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arich

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Everything posted by arich

  1. Erich Can you share your state and school district? This is very interesting because in NYS some districts do NOT give you the option even if you want to pay the fees. This is the amunition I need to help some close friends and family out. My District, Eastchester, NY, offers many great companies, two og them being Vanguard and Fidelity. We also have access to the NYSDCP or 457. Anthony
  2. AXA sent this to every teacher in my district today UGH. Teacher e-mails are posted on our website. http://m.connect.axa.us.com/nl/jsp/m.jsp?c=%4061pD2gKvvQY6UpLQCAelJHYTa%2BKaKxXKKDJVkYb8g5U%3D
  3. Because vanguard was Grandfathered for employees who has already established accounts and since she's been there for 15 years I'm hoping that the Fidelity Advisor with simply send Vanguard the old money with asking too many questions. She got $68,000 in the acct. if I can establish this and then request that Vanguard request a transfer annually from the new money that goes into Mutual then it might work out. Still trying for the 457 too
  4. Hi everyone, I'm on this trail again and need to reference a NYS Doc that indicates that a public employer is obligated to offer the 457 plan. I think this is going to be my sister in laws best bet since the 403 offers basically suck. Mutual is the best of the worst with access to Vanguard and a .35% service fee. I'm in the process of establishing a vanguard account to transfer contributions annually if that's even going to be possible.
  5. That was interesting Can a school district or the TPA be threatened or accused of fiduciary breach or is no one actually held accountable. Can this be used to get low cost providers added?
  6. Thanks Tony I'm personal friends with the business official who set up ours about 10 years ago. I'll ask her how much work it was.
  7. Thank Tony. I'm going to see what I can do to get the 457 added. The difference between districts in this area is amazing. It usually takes a director of business who really looks out for the interest of the employees rather than trying to cut costs. Thanks Tony Anthony
  8. Steve, Thanks for your response. I'm very sorry to hear about Dan. I've read a lot of your work together. I had listened to Podcast 10 and you guys were great. Sorry for your loss. This could be a long response as I am very frustrated. My wife and I happen to be very lucky and work in districts with lots of great financial choices. I'm a huge advocate in my district and run all the financial seminars pushing my colleague towards low cost options and helping them escape the sharks. I write newsletters telling teachers about their choices and remind teacher WHEN is a good time to increase contributions so they won't feel the pain. We are both 44 and max out our 403bs which are at Vanguard in Total Stock index AND we max out our NYS 457 plans which are also in the lowest cost Vanguard Equity fund. We're sheltering $72,000 annually with no opportunities for catch-up until the age of 50 (additional $3000). We've contributed too much for the 15 year catch-up. We will use the "457 catch-up" to double contributions during out final 3 years of employment. We use a "backdoor Roth" and contribute $5,500 each. I contribute $10,000 annually to my 13 and 15 years olds 529 plans and since they work for me in the summer they too have Roth IRAs and max them out. In addition to being a teacher I own a summer day camp where I pull a salary and max out a defined benefits plan for myself, my wife and one full time employee. The other 100 employees are part-time so they are not eligible for the DB. That DB is managed by UBS and I pay 1% for the management. I put what ever we have left in savings in a Vanguard Brokerage account and keep $50,000 in an emergency money market. My wife and I will have 64.5% pensions at the age of 55. I'm happy to share specifics another time but let's just say we're doing pretty well for two teachers our age. We are going to teach and retire "young & rich" My sister in law is another story entirely. She was duped into thinking she was saving to Fidelity when she started teaching when in fact it was a Fidelity Advisement account and she was/is paying 1.5-2% advisement fees.. She managed to save $50,000 but stopped contributing when the district put a stop to further contributions to that provider. Unfortunately she never told me she had stopped and has now gotten very use to living on her full salary without saving anything. I'm sure you've heard of OMNI 403, the TPA. They have basically taken over the TPA business in NY and now many other states. HERE is where is gets good. About two-three years ago something called OMNI P3 started appearing on their website. It is a list of preferred providers (the typical suspects) who have agreed to cover the administration costs and defer them from the districts BUT at the expense of limiting the companies that you can contribute to. 13 of the 22 surrounding districts signed up for it to save on cost and SCREWED new employees and current employees who many not have started saving. All current employees who were with non P3 providers were able to continue with their companies. I have written to her business office, superintendent and Union President. It's a very small district with less than 150 teachers (estimate). They do NOT have access to a 457plan. (I will advocate for this next) Here is OMNIs participant site: https://www.omni403b.com/Participants.aspx Select NY and Valhalla to see the current selection Here is a link to the P3 program:https://www.omni403b.com/employers.aspx?loadver=5 They claim "Revolutionizing the relationship between employers and their 403(b)providers" At this point I am exhausted. All of this is for my sister in law and I'm trying to make changes in a district I don't even work for. The senior members of the district don't care because they are locked into the companies they want. My story is very similar to other 403wise followers. I got hooked in Travellers when I started teaching. When I learned the truth I went on a mission in my district. Thanks for everything you've done for the teaching industry. Any help or comments would be greatly appreciated.
  9. My Sister-in-Law works for the Valhalla School District in NY. They use the Omni P3 system and have limited the choice of all new members and those that want to transfer. She thought she had Fidelity but it turned out she had a Fidelity Advisors account and the fees are higher. Is Oppenheimer the best to use them the list below? If this is correct can anyone recommend a fund (similar to Vanguard Total Stock Market Index) or a group of funds. I hope that I will be able to transfer to Vanguard once a year under the radar for her since she can't officially contribute to Vanguard. I've already opened an account for her at Vanguard and I hope to initiate a simple transfer from Fidelity Advisors. AXA Equitable Life Insurance Company Foresters Financial (First Investors) Lincoln Investment Planning MetLife Mutual Inc/PlanMember Service NY Life Ins. & Annuity Corp. Oppenheimer Shareholder Svcs. RiverSource Life Insurance Co of NY Security Benefit The Legend Group/ADSERV Voya Financial (ING Natl NY) Grandfathered teachers who already had an account can continue using the companies below but new new accounts can be established: American Fund/Capital Guardian Confidential Planning - Smart Choice Fidelity Management Trust Co. Fiduciary Trust Intl (FT&T) Hartford Life Ins Co. MetLife of CT (Travelers) Putnam Investments T. Rowe Price Trust Company Unity Mutual Life USAA Life Insurance Co. Vanguard Fiduciary Trust Co. Wilton Reassurance Life Co of NY Thanks, Anthony
  10. If the law makes it available and your employer doesn't offer it then what must one do?
  11. New York State has its own 457 Plan https://www.nysdcp.com/iApp/tcm/nysdcp/index.jsp My district does it and OMNI 403 is the thrid party administrator. I don't know what is holding up other districts. Not enough education and not many people can afford to contrubute to both.
  12. Here is the thread for my siter in law: ----------------------------------------------------------------- Hi T, How are you? Hope all is well. I have a question for the 403b can you use other companies that are not listed on the Omni Plan. Most of the companies are insurance companies and there are no low cost options. Why aren't companies like Vanguard and Fidelity not participating? Thanks for your help. Lisa --------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Hi L, All is well here. Thank you. Hope the same for you. We does not determine the participating service providers. The district contracts with OMNI as a third party administrator of our 403b plan. They ensure compliance with all IRS and state requirements as well as determine the participating service providers. Hope this helps. If you have any other questions, please do not hesitate to contact me. ave a great day. T ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------ Hi T, I'm trying to assist L (my sister in law) in choosing a new provider since Fidelity Advisor is no longer an option in Valhalla. I'm very familiar with the rules and regulations of 403s and 457s as I do the workshops for my teachers and assist teachers in starting accounts and give them strategies to reach maximum contribution. Here in Eastchester we worked with central office to make sure that everyone (teachers and administrators) had a wide variety of low cost options like Vanguard and Fidelity. During the time of the pension reform in 2007 many investment companies were reluctant to sign the Written Plan Documents while the insurance companies were more than willing as 403bs are very profitable. As a result many districts removed Fidelity and Vanguard from their list of options and put insurance companies in their place to remain complaint. In the end the compliance documents were agreed upon and today many districts around Westchester have low cost choices including Vanguard and Fidelity. I contacted OMNI on Lisa's behalf about adding Fidelity and Vanguard and this is their response: Anthony, To add a new provider to an organization’s list, the payroll specialist would simply need to send an email to their assigned compliance specialist here at the OMNI group an inquiry. Evan If it's as simple as sending an inquiry then I'm going to have L formally make that request. I hate to stick my nose where it might not belong but I've been a strong advocate of choices for 20 years in Eastchester. I have a wonderful relationship with our Asst Superintendent of Finance and we've often conducted many workshops together to speak of the importance of saving from an early age and using the low cost options. We've also made strides to prevent the predatory tactics of the insurance companies (stuffing mailbox, unannounced visits to classrooms, setting up sales literature in teachers' rooms etc.) In addition your district also does not offer a 457 deferred compensation plan (or at least I don't see it listed on OMNI). Under the current 2014 law teachers can contribute $17,500 to a 403 and $17,500 to a 457 plan. Beginning in 2015 these amounts rise to $18,000 for each plan for a total of $36,000 per year not taking into consideration over 50 or catchup provisions. Additionally a spouse who is also a teacher can shelter and additional $36,000 for a total of $72,000 per year. My wife and I have been doing this for years and I know a number of colleagues (teachers and admins) who do the same. I'm surprised none of your young single, dual income families or your higher compensated administrators have not requested this yet as it's a wonderful way of sheltering additional money and also sheltering retirement incentives like unpaid sickdays. I am advising Lisa to max out the 403 plan and begin a 457 plan if made available. I hope that you can help L out and that other teachers and administrators will see the benefits of having choices and sheltering as much income as possible at a young age. This is a win win for all members. I'm happy to help in anyway I can. I live in Hawthorne and would be willing to run an unbiased seminar for your teachers and admins. I'm just a teacher colleague and have nothing to gain. A great website to share with teachers and administrators is one started by a California teacher who was sick of the fleecing of teachers in his state. www.403bwise.com. Dan Otter is also the author of the informative book Teach and Retire "Rich" and is an advocate for teachers and administrators all over the country. Thank you for your time, Anthony ---------------------------------------- Hi Anthony, Thank you for the information.s someone who works in the payroll department, such decisions are not within my power.Therefore, I have forwarded your email to the appropriate person for review. Have a great day.T --------------------------------------------- Good Morning Lisa, I have been looking into your request for Fidelity and/or Vanguard. Several years ago the IRS regulations changed and at that time the District contracted with Omni to vet companies that would agree to specific contractual requirements to be in IRS compliance. Fidelity and Vanguard opted not to enroll. The employees who had accounts at that time were grandfathered in but no new accounts have been added. From time to time we recanvas providers but to date Fidelity and Vanguard have declined. I recently reached out to representatives from those companies and unfortunately they are not interested in participating in our program. There are a couple P3 providers on our list where employees could open accounts, and access the Vanguard and Fidelity funds. Those providers are The Legend Group, and Mutual Inc. I hope this has been helpful
  13. Check out this contract from OMNI LINK HERE that it makes providers sign if they want to part of Omni's P3 preferred list. The provider must pay Omni $36 for evey account they have with that company. Only the companies that charge high rates will pay this. Essentially the member is paying for the administration. I did some research on surrounding Westhester schools and created this chart. Just about EVERY district that does not participate in the P3 program offers Vanguard and Fidelity. I was also shocked how few districts offer 457 plans. Essentially the districts are sticking it's employees with high fee providers so that they do not have to administer the costs of Omni. (my table got messed up so this is the best I could do. First "column" is the district name. Second is if the district offers Vanguard, third is fidelity, fourth is if the district is a P3 participant and 4th if they offer a 457.) Ardsley Y Y N Y Bedford N N Y N Briarcliff Y Y N N Bronxville Y Y N N Chappaqua Y Y N Y Croton N Y N N Dobbs Ferry N N Y Y Eastchester Y Y N Y Harrison N N Y Y Irvington N N Y Y Mamaroneck N N Y Y Mt Pleasant Y Y N N Ossining N N Y N Pocantico Y N N N Port Chester N N Y Y Rye City N N Y N Rye Neck N N Y Y Scarsdale Y Y N Y Somers N N Y Y Tuckahoe N N Y Y White Plains N N Y Y Yonkers N N Y N I love these two clauses: Upon Service Provider’s failure to pay any amount due in accordance with the term s of this agreement, Service Provider shall be removed from the Preferred Provi der List and this agreement shall terminate. No such termination shall affect any other terms of the parties’ ISA. DONT PAY AND YOU'RE OFF THE LIST (e) Service Provider shall not enter into any other agreem ent which provides for Service Provider’s payment of plan administration expenses for any 403(b) or 457(b) pl an sponsors located in the State of New York. In the event Service Provider enters in to such an agreement, Service Provider shall be removed from the Preferred Provider List and this agreement shall terminat e. No such termination shall affect any other terms of the parties’ ISA. ATTEMPT TO JOIN ANY OTHER THIRD PARTY ADMINISTRATOR AND YOU'RE OFF THE LIST
  14. This all has gotten very interesting. Personally my wife and I max out both our 403 accounts and our 457 accounts. My sister in law is now battling with her NY school district to add fidelity and vanguard to the 403 choices. Her district does not have a 457 plan established. Can you please elaborate on the law making it available to all public ny employees?
  15. First of all I am a Fidelity Investor and a long time reader of 403 Wise. Got a phone call the other night from First Investors telling me that his company with THE Preferred Provider for our school district. After screaming at him for calling me at home and hanging up on him I was curious and did some digging. This Link https://www.omni403b.com/p3.aspx shows that our 403 Administrator Omni 403 has posted Preferred Providers. I dug deeper in the criteria and unearthed something frightful. Companies are ranked by a variety of criteria one being how much of the district administration cost their comany is willing to eat. Well of course the most expensive companies will rank high as they can afford to eat the fees while Fidelity is not even listed on the site. There was a case a while back where ING was the NYSUT endorsed 403B provider. Elliot Spitzer discovered that that endorsement came with a large payment to NYSUT for "training". This seems very similar to that and enplains why the guy who called the other night called himself a "Preferred Provider. I would love to hear others thoughts on this since Omni is now a very large company and handling hundreds of districts.
  16. My wife and I have all of our funds in Fidelity. I'm looking to buy some Dodge and Cox funds and was wondering in I had a Vanguard account open could I access these through their "FundAccess" program where you can buy just about anything. OR, does a Vanguard 403 plan only allow you to buy Vanguard funds like Fidelity? Thanks, Anthony
  17. My wife and I are teachers in NYS. We are long time investoros in Fidelity, Vanguard, Merrill and previously Janus. With the Regs upon us and only about 30 days to go before I have to make some significant changes to our portfolios some serious questions have been raised. 1. An advisor has told me that the School District pays no out of pocket money for OMNI our third party administrator or Compliance officer. TRUE? 2. Omni or the TPA enters into agreements with the financial companies (in most cases insurance companies) and receives it's revenue from these agreements. 3. Financial companies that do sign on offer teachers alternative, higher cost, options to offset these "fees." 4. Companies like Vanguard and Fidelity simply cannot afford to adopt these fees or simply wont. Our list is not looking good and I fear as many others do that that Fidelity will not sign. It's a classic game of Chicken. A number of us are considering legal action against the district using our past practice clause, or change in benefits. Perhaps I've been given false information but it's all starting to make sense why Vanguard and Fidelity wont sign OMNI's agreement. See below: Crossouts have refused to sign Underlined are still in negotations American Fund/Capital Guardian AXA Equitable Life Insurance Company Confidential Planning - Smart Choice Dean Witter Trust Company Delaware Service Group Dreyfus Service Corporation EAL Administration Fidelity Management Trust Co. First Investors Corporation Franklin Templeton Bank & Trust Hartford Life Insurance Co. ING National Trust Lincoln Investment Planning Merrill Lynch 11 Merrill Lynch 21 Metropolitan Life Insurance Co New York State Deferred Comp Plan - 457 Oldham Resource Group, Inc. Oppenheimer Shareholder Svcs. Paul Revere, Inc. Prudential Annuity Service Center Putnam Investments RiverSource Life Insurance Co of NY Smith Barney - 370 Branch Sun America T. Rowe Price Trust Company UBS Financial Services 4 UBS Financial Services 6 Vanguard Fiduciary Trust Co Wasatch Funds Wilton Reassurance Life Co of NY
  18. Got a Call today from my Merrill Rep where my wife and I have a large majority of our 403 $$$$. The rest is in Fidelity and Vanguard. He said that as of January first it would be very doubtful if he would be able to accept any further contributions becasue of the new regulations. He said and I quote, "Merrill, Fidelity and Vanguard are going to walk away from the 403 market because of the new reporting demands." Any truth to this???? He also said he still like to continue managing our accounts but future $$$$ would have to go elsewhere. Anthony
  19. arich

    Who To Use?

    I am 22 years from retirement. My wife and I plane to retire as soon as our children finish college. We'll be 55 at that point with 33 years of teaching each. I am meeting with an advisor this week who handles very large 401K plans for corporate companies. He has been searching for a low cost for me and subsequently the other teachers in my district. He tried to explain to me about RSA and non-RSA plans but I can't say that I fully understand. My hopes is that this will be my last step in financial management and the costs will truly be low. The only other way that I can see organizing a low cost, diversified portfolio is to purchase Vanguard, Fidelity, Janus, TIAA CREF, etc. funds directly and maintain seperate accounts. Schwab may be the only broker that I have found where I can purchase other funds that might not be available directly. Anthony
  20. arich

    Who To Use?

    Just got off the Phone with D&G. They told me that I could not open an account with them and that I would have to purchase 403b7 funds through a broker. Advice????? Anthony
  21. arich

    Who To Use?

    Market timer is an advised portfolio by Bob Brinker. You subscribe to the news letter. He tells you what to buy and when to buy and then advises when to sell. Check his website. Anthony
  22. arich

    Who To Use?

    I visited the Dodge and Cox site but only found info on individual abbounts and IRAs. I would no info about opening a 403b7. Thanks, Anthony
  23. arich

    Who To Use?

    Thanks Dan, What about purchasing mutual funds from other companies. Gambelli small cap, Clipper, T.Rowe Blue chip. etc. Any suggestions? Great book by the way. I'm on Chapter three. Anthony
  24. arich

    Who To Use?

    I have been contributing to my 403 for 7 of my 11 years of teaching. I have had travellers, a private account with Janus and a managed account with Prime. Travellers was a nightmare. They were pushy, deceptive, and flat outlied about fees. I lost about $4000 when I trasferred my $$ to Janus. Well I dont need to tell any one what happenen to the market one year after I trasferred to Janus. Lost 50% of it's value. Shortly after my experiences with Janus ans realizing that I dont know wnough to do it on my own I signed up with Prime. I pay 1.25% for a managed account but over the year it hasn't done as I would have hoped and the fees are eating up my returns. Besides this my advisor left the company and the new guy is a joke. A colleague and I want to try this again on our own. We read a number of magazines, follow the market and spend a lot of time thinking about this move. One of the newsletters we read is the Bob Brinkner market timer. We would like to use 50% of our manoey and follow one of his portfolios. The problem is how do you purchase these funds at a low cost?? We have fidelity and vanguard accounts set up but would like some kind of "brokrage account" to purchase the mutual funds we want. I know the text below is a mess but it's the only way I could past the funds in. Thanks, Anthony NY MARKETIMER MODEL PORTFOLIO I Current Holdipp-s Symbol Baron Partners Fund BPTRX Baron Small Cap. BSCFX Dodge & Cox International DODFX Meridian Growth Fund MERDX Rydex OTC Fund RYOCX Vanguard International Growth VWIGX Vanguard Total Stock Market VTSMX MARKETIMER MODEL PORTFOLIO 11 Current Holdin s Symbol Dodge & Cox International DODFX Gabelli Asset Fund GABAX Meridian Growth Fund NERDX Muhlenkarnp Fund MUHLX Rydex OTC Fund RYOCX Vanguard International Growth VWIGX Vanguard Total Stock Market VTSMX MARKETIMER MODEL PORTFOLIO III Current Hol ings Symbol Dodge & Cox International DODFX Gabelli Asset Fund GABAX Muhlenkamp Fund MLTHLX Rydex OTC Fund RYOCX Vanguard Intemational Growth VWIGX Vanguard Total Stock Market VTSMX Vanguard Ginnie Mae Fund VFIIX Vanguard Intlation Protected Securities VIPSX Van-uard Short Term Investment Grade VFSTX
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