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  1. Hello everyone. I just recently found out about this Supplemental Annuity Collective Trust (SACT) that New Jersey offers. I wanted to start a discussion on this SACT. I am in the early stages of my research. I will share everything I have learned thus far. I am hoping some other people from New Jersey have experience or advice, or if anyone else has ever researched it or is interested in looking through the information. My ultimate goal is to see if it's worth investing in. Information is very limited online about the SACT and trying to track down the stocks they invest in is tough. Eligibility: Employees who are actively contributing members of one of the following state-administered retirement systems are eligible to participate in SACT Regular. Judicial Retirement System (JRS) Teachers’ Pension and Annuity Fund (TPAF) Public Employees’ Retirement System (PERS) Police and Firemen’s Retirement System (PFRS) State Police Retirement System (SPRS) {The SACT plan is a 403(b)} The SACT-Regular Plan allows contributions in whole percentages beginning at 1 percent of your base salary. The maximum contribution allowable falls under the $53,000 IRCAIS limits for 2016 (includes Pension 414(h) contributions). Lump-sum contributions of $50 or more are allowed in the third month of any calendar quarter. Although your contributions to the regular plan are "after tax contributions," your accumulated earnings are deferred from federal tax until you withdraw your money. "The Supplemental Annuity Collective Trust provides a variable annuity as opposed to the fixed annuity benefits of the State administered retirement systems. The fixed annuity benefits of these systems provide a guaranteed amount regardless of economic conditions and the performance of underlying investments. However, over time, inflation will erode at least a portion of the purchasing power of these fixed benefits. By supplementing your retirement system benefits with a variable annuity from the Trust, you have the potential to increase the amount of your retirement income through the appreciation of the underlying investments of the Trust" http://www.state.nj.us/treasury/pension ... handbk.pdf ( This link gives all the basic information on the SACT) The profits they list are in Unit Values. The last year they show is 2013. http://www.state.nj.us/treasury/deferred/sact.shtml July 2013 75.3337 June 2013 72.1644 May 2013 73.3738 April 2013 71.8395 March 2013 70.7088 February 2013 68.2962 January 2013 67.6088 December 2012 64.6331 November 2012 64.4278 October 2012 64.2862 September 2012 65.7004 August 2012 64.2602 July 2012 63.1320 June 2012 62.5365 May 2012 60.2980 April 2012 64.0390 March 2012 64.5729 February 2012 63.2730 January 2012 61.5859 December 2011 59.6947 November 2011 59.1500 October 2011 58.9901 September 2011 53.6614 August 2011 57.5872 July 2011 60.9810 June 2011 62.3742 May 2011 63.5929 April 2011 64.3139 March 2011 61.2140 February 2011 61.3458 January 2011 59.5480 December 2010 58.6890 November 2010 55.9697 October 2010 56.1529 September 2010 54.7458 August 2010 51.1929 July 2010 52.8842 June 2010 50.1476 May 2010 52.6003 April 2010 56.4044 March 2010 53.8407 February 2010 51.8363 January 2010 50.4984 December 2009 51.9323 November 2009 51.1409 October 2009 48.4146 September 2009 49.2613 August 2009 47.7934 July 2009 46.9180 June 2009 44.2856 May 2009 44.8538 April 2009 43.0230 March 2009 40.9865 February 2009 38.3128 January 2009 42.4718 December 2008 45.2130 November 2008 44.1957 October 2008 47.0543 September 2008 55.6247 August 2008 60.3652 July 2008 59.4224 June 2008 59.8911 May 2008 66.1912 April 2008 65.2104 March 2008 62.1107 February 2008 63.0920 January 2008 64.3912 Now here are some links I found wrote by Joel Frank in favor of SACT http://board.403bwise.com/index.php?showtopic=5716 http://board.403bwise.com/index.php?showtopic=5410 Now it seems like all fees for this are covered by the state. But KROW36 from here on Bogleheads questions that. viewtopic.php?t=179734 "I believe that although the fees of the SACT fund are not disclosed, they exist, and are subtracted from the unreported but calculable rate of return (ROR). Every mutual fund, or portfolio of mutual funds, has expenses. The SACT fund expenses are subtracted out of its returns before they report their "unit values". KROW36 also compared the SACT "I also found the Unit Values page for the Supplemental Annuity Collective Trust (SACT) but was hoping they provide the rate of return over the years. Maybe they aren’t all that proud of their ROR? I used the unit values for December for some recent years and calculated the ROR. For a comparison I used Vanguard’s LifeStrategy Moderate Growth which uses a 60/40 asset allocation and includes International stocks and bonds. I noticed that the unit values for 2013 were incomplete and 2014 was missing. -----------SACT ROR——LSMG ROR 2012————8.27%——— 11.76% 2011————1.71———— 0.26 2010————13.01——— 13.31 2009————14.86——— 20.33 2008———— -34.13—— -26.50 2007—————0.33——— 7.36 The SACT is very opaque, and doesn’t seem to outperform a diversified index fund portfolio." "I calculated a few more years of the ROR of the SACT fund and compared it to the ROR of the Vanguard Life Strategy Moderate Growth. SACT.------SACT ROR——LSMG ROR 2012——— 8.27%—— 11.76% 2011——— 1.71——— 0.26 2010——— 13.01—— 13.31 2009——— 14.86—— 20.33 2008********* -34.13***** -26.50 2007——— 0.33—— 7.36 2006——— 11.85—— 13.31 2005——— 4.35—— 5.69 2004——— 8.21—— 10.57 2003——— 23.56—— 22.40 2002******** -27.47** -10.32 2001******** -12.04** -4.48 I would steer clear of the SACT fund 403b because of The significant outperformance over time of the Vanguard fund over the SACT 403b" now when i googled SACT NJ STOCKS i finally found their investments http://www.nasdaq.com/quotes/institutio ... -nj-820828 http://www.octafinance.com/hedge-funds/ ... ust-of-nj/ a 2014 audit: http://www.state.nj.us/treasury/pension ... act-14.pdf sorry to throw so much information out there. I tried to organize all this information the best I could and give a good presentation. I am trying to figure out if the SACT is really worth it for me to invest in. I am opening a 457(b) plan with Valic (the best sponser my company offers) but I just found out about this SACT. Thank you all for reading and any information or advice you may have on the SACT of NJ
  2. Hi! I am wanting to start contributing to a 403b through the school district I work at in Texas. They give a lot of options to choose from and I have no idea where to start. I am attaching the list of options if anyone has any insight for me!
  3. My district recently added Vanguard as a provider for our district. I am so excited about it because I have educated myself with the use of many financial podcasts and websites etc. I appreciate your podcast and site for a lot of my knowledge. My question is should I transfer funds from my Equitable account to Vanguard account while the market is down or should I wait? Thanks in advance.
  4. My wife is retiring from Cincinnati Public Schools and will be owed a considerable amount for unused sick pay. School officials tell her she has no choice but to allow that money to go into a Voya 403b, through which she may (or may not) be able to freely roll it over to a retirement oriented instrument at TIAA. She would prefer to avoid Voya altogether, because of complex fee structure, lack of clarity about rules on passing money thru to TIAA, etc. My question: shouldn't she be able to take the money owed her directly as income and avoid Voya entirely? Or can a school district and/or union sign a contract with third party like Voyage that forces all employees due a certain benefit to use that company? Ohio law states employees cannot be forced to purchase goods from a third party. But unions can compel employees to do certain things, so the legal question here is perhaps thorny.
  5. Hi, I currently have a 403b plan with AXA EQUI-VEST® - 403(b) and AXA Retirement 360. I have about $61,000 in the Equi-vest account and about $12,000 in the Retirement 360 account. Over the last 10 years, I've contributed to the account on and off, but I've completely stopped contributing in October of 2018. If it matters, I'm 32, so retirement isn't exactly around the corner for me. Since I've stopped contributing, I've been maxing out my Roth IRA and have been investing in low-fee index funds through my vanguard account. I'm wondering two things: 1) Aside from the Roth IRA and index funds investments, should I be contributing to a 403b using a less terrible option than AXA? 2) What should I do with the money that I currently have in my AXA account? (I've asked the representative for my account and he's given me the round around about surrender fees.) Unfortunately, my district has discontinued many of the 403b options that have lower fees, and we are left with three options: AIG Retirement Services/Valic (19 bps), AXA (31 bps), Lincoln (25 bps). The district has also started offering 457b plans, but I've never had one. Any advice is appreciated!
  6. Looking at the providers for my district and wanted to get the perspective of the community and what products might be most advantagous for me to invest in. Here they are: Ameriprise AXA Equitable Great American MetLife Valic Any information on these? Or the products they provide that would be good to look into?I did a little hunting around on the suggested comparing tool but wanted to get a peoples perspective. Thanks Everyone!
  7. I’ve maxed out my 457 plan and will max out my Roth IRA this year. In addition, I’m thinking about investing in a 403b. I’m reluctant to invest with the high fee annuity companies such as Voya, AXA, Met Life, Etc. but I have another investment option—this company charges a flat fee of .80 basis points, no surrender fees and offers several Vanguard products. Would you invest? (Funds & expenses) Vanguard 500 index/Adm—.04% Vanguard equity income—.26% Vanguard S&P 500 index—.14% Vanguard Mid-Cap Growth Index—.07% Vanguard Small-cap growth index—.19%
  8. Hello I just realized I am stuck (possibly) with my worst scenario with my 403b loan. I was informed that my job will be discontinued in Aug, so, I panicked. I had outstanding car loan and other loans and I took a loan to pay off those. I did not realize the rule about paying back after getting laid off. What option I have ? I have x4 times money in my 403b left. I have excellent credit ratings but not sure what it means in current situation. .With best regards,
  9. I am looking into contributing to a 403(b) in addition to a school pension plan. How do I choose the best 403(b) provider? The list below is who I am able to choose from. Does anyone have pros and or cons for any of these vendors? * Ameriprise Financial *AXA Equitable *Horace Mann Companies *VOYA *Kades Margolis *Lincoln Financial Group *Lincoln Investment Planning Inc. *Mass Mutual Financial Group *MetLife *MetLife Investors - New England Financial *MetLife of CT *Planmember Services Corp *Security Benefit Life *Valic Annuity Life Insurance *Thrivent *Vanguard Any help would be appreciated, thanks!
  10. I recently started a new job. The retirement accounts offered are a 403(b), a 401(a) with employer match after 1 year and 6-year graded vesting schedule and an 457(b). I was very excited about the opportunity to put money pre-tax money in a 457 for this job. Today I found out my job uses Valic for retirement services. I looked through the list of available funds, its only about 30 total. Strangely there is no total market index fund, no S&P index fund, no REITs, and the only bond fund available is a total market bond fund. There are a few vanguard funds, but most are target cycle retirement funds. I’m an investing newbie. I am not sure how much I want to slice-and-dice my portfolio, but I do want more choices in available funds. What options do I have to use a different company than Valic? I’ve heard its possible to change companies, but also that companies will make it difficult to do so or you may end up losing money if you have an outside company do it because the match may not work correctly? I’m interested in hearing the prospective from the group. I’m 33 years old. I currently have about 1.5 years pre-tax savings in a TIAA retirement account from my previous job, money saved in a taxable brokerage account with Vanguard, a backdoor Roth at vanguard, and a small old fidelity retirement 403b. Should I approach TIAA, vanguard, or fidelity investment companies to see if they can take over my 457 and 403b and make this easier? I don’t want to lose any benefits from my current job, but Valic doesn’t seem to have the greatest options. I've heard there is an IRS law that says you can change to whatever company you want? Thanks! Would appreciate help from the group
  11. Hello, On behalf of our ad-hoc advocacy group, I created a website, a twitter presence, a facebook page and a facebook group. They are called FIT403b. Our mission is to help public school teachers and employees make smart financial decisions. Please consider visiting the website FIT403b which serves as the landing page to direct traffic to 403bwise. The facebook page is to bring our cause to teachers using social media, as is the Twitter account. They are both reasons for this 403bwise forum to join or revisit both social media sites. I have not been much of a social media user and my learning curve is large but I can't think of a better way to bring more awareness to teachers and public school employees. Please consider visiting us on Facebook and Twitter @FIT403b. Thank you all for all you have done, said and continue to do for me personally, and countless others.
  12. Good Morning, I am an educator and currently researching 403 (b) plans. It is so overwhelming because my district has so many product to choose from. I have been looking at the CalSTRS Pension2 and the Vanguard 403(b). Does anyone have an insight into which product to go with? This is all new to me, so anything i should be "looking for" or anything to "steer away" from? Any insight would be helpful! Below are ALL of my approved vendors. Thanks!
  13. AXA's aggressive salespeople locked my wife in and she has some money in there now - about $6k. I want to change it to one of other providers available to her. Please let me know what the best choice is for lowest fees. Unfortunately, Fidelity was removed, and there's no Vanguard either, which would have been no-brainers. Is it Aspire? Also, if you guys know if we're going to get screwed by AXA on rollover fees, etc. that would be helpful. See the image for the providers. As an aside, I also have a SEP-IRA ($25k) and a 457 ($105k) also locked into AXA, but my employer has them as their only choice with this 1985-era annuity that is absolutely savage on fees... 1.35% off the top for a "separate account fee" plus everything else. I've complained but my HR person has zero HR experience, my GM is unmotivated and nobody else knows anything. I transfer $ from my SEP-IRA to a Vanguard IRA annually via a rollover of the max amount I can that is fee-free, but beyond that, I feel helpless. As I'm maxxing out my 457 right now, I'm not even really sure I should be doing that or should I be using a different investment vehicle? FWIW, I gross about $98k and expect to retire in 17 years. Responses to either of these issues would be much appreciated.
  14. I live in NY and currently have a 457, but I would also like to contribute to a 403b. The school district I work for offers some not-so great options. Of the choices given, should I try and find the "least bad" option? Or find another way to invest my money? My husband and I have maxed out our Roth IRA for the year and we invest a lot in Vanguard, but are looking to possibly zero out my paycheck (or as close to as possible) to help at tax time. When I ask others in the school district who they use, many have gone with AXA and many don't know the types of fees they pay. It's very scary. Any input would be so helpful. Thank you. Axa-This one is NO for me. First Investors Corp FTJ/L&M Financial ING National Trust Met Life Insurance Co NY Life Insurance Oppenheimer Shareholder Svcs. RiverSource Life Insurance Co of NY Security Benefit The Legend Group/ADSERV Travelers Life & Annuity
  15. Does anyone know if the NEA Direct Invest is an option for higher ed?
  16. I think we’ve discussed this before and it frustrated me that I need to ask again. I am writing a teacher Professional Development class on 403b’s. The objective is to alert them to the advantages and pitfalls of this type of investment. I am far enough along where I know most local districts will not approve it for them to receive any Pd credit for it because it doesn’t benefit students or district goals. However, I will end up with a course I can take anywhere and will have awakened some teachers in my class, at the very least. Goals are to become aware of 403b options; to set a personal goal for investment with a time frame; understand the 4% rule; identify their potential pension amount after number of years; identify if they are likely to live off their pension; be able to explain the effect of Fees on investment returns. I will have them identify their district 403b options and search to identify the costs. I will refer them to their district office to dig, and to a salesman. I will refer them to this blog, of course. I will require readings, and post/comment their findings. I will teach this with a (zoom) webinar, and discussion board. What else would you add and how would you go about teaching? I appreciate any advice, especially from those who have already taught teachers, or presented to them. I cannot find the presentations that have been shared and I apologize for requesting duplicate information.
  17. 1. First attempt - opened an account with Security Benefit, stopped contributions to AXA, started contributions to SB. Sent AXA paperwork with TPA paperwork to TPA to be forward to AXA requesting the exchange. Got a letter from AXA saying they needed new account provider signatures on the paperwork. No return of original paperwork. 2. Second attempt - sent AXA paperwork to SB with self-addressed stamped envelope, requested SB signatures so I could send to TPA to forward to AXA. No return of paperwork. SB sent a letter to AXA requesting fund transfer and cc'd me on the correspondence. AXA sent a letter saying no exchange because no TPA signatures. No return of original paperwork. 3. Round 3 - sent AXA paperwork with TPA paperwork with request to foward to SB. Attached all correspondence from SB and AXA to forward to SB. Attached letter requesting SB signatures & forward of all paperwork to AXA. Got a letter from SB stating request was sent to AXA about contract exchange & then a follow up letter asking about the length of time in completing exchange. No communication from AXA, but about a week ago, logging in to AXA online stopped showing contract information. Today, logging in to SB account showed account activity and "carrier to carrier" transfer of funds. Finally done... the whole process started about 5 months ago.
  18. Hi all, Thanks for all the helpful information on this website - it's been a godsend. Based on a lot of my research, I decided to cease contributions to the AXA Equitable 403b plan that my school district offers and shift into the Massachusetts state 457 plan ("SMART Plan"), which has much lower fees. I've been trying to figure out if I am allowed to roll over AXA funds into the 457 plan, and it seems as though this is not possible until I turn 59.5 or leave my current job. I was wondering what suggestions you all had in terms of next steps for the money that is in that account (I've been contributing for the past five years to the 403b) - I'm happy to pay surrender fees if it gets me into a better investment vehicle, but I don't even know if that's possible. Are there specific funds or AXA plans that are "least crappy"? Or general advice for what to do with money that's already in a bad 403(b)? My school only offers plans from AXA and Lincoln Financial, so there's not a "good" 403b option within my employer to transfer to (Vanguard, Aspire, etc.).
  19. radase


    I received clarification from our third party administrator, OMNI, that Aspire will be offered to us and not Fidelity directly (which is what we were originally told). Within Aspire, we'll have hundreds of options to select from including Fidelity, Vanguard, etc. Omni provided me with their fees: Fees charged to participants by Aspire: Annual Account Maintenance fee - $40 Custodian and Administration Fee – 0.15% of the value of the Account These fees will be assessed on a monthly billing cycle and will be assessed, pro rata from the assets in the Account. Therefore, our new choices will be TIAA, Security Benefits (NEA Direct Invest) and Aspire. This is a major improvement from what is currently available: AXA, Ameriprise and Lincoln Investments. Any feedback on Aspire would be greatly appreciated.
  20. Hi All, My district is in the process of approving the following companies for our 403b plans: -TIAA -Fidelity -NEA (Security Benefit) Our third party administrator will be with Omni (also new to our district) I would like to get your feedback from anyone who has experience with any of these companies. I would only consider Direct-Invest if I was to go with Security Benefit. We currently have the following providers: Ameriprise AXA Lincoln Financial. So, I would like to think the new providers will be a much better option for us. Thank you!
  21. A little background... I've worked in my district since September 2016. Before that, I was working in another neighboring district in New York. I also worked in New Jersey for about 3 years, another school in NY for about a year and a half, and Connecticut for a year. I'm 31 years old and have been a school counselor since I was 22.... crazy how the years have flown by without much knowledge of 403b's and retirement accounts. I completely fell into all the traps mentioned in the podcasts. I fell for opening up an AXA 403b account at the age of 22, thinking I was being smart for starting my retirement so early. When I started at another school and considered contributing again, I realized my growth was minimal with AXA. Before opening up another 403b account with another company (I was considering Voya at the time), I inquired with AXA about transferring my funds. It was at this point I realized that something wasn't right. Trying to be more savvy, I asked the Voya "advisor" many questions before opening an account with them. I was told I wouldn't be locked into a surrender charge as long as I didn't put any money into guaranteed accounts. So that's what I did. Fast forward to today, I got very lucky that my district has done the hard work for me. They offer a ROTH 403b with Fidelity and Vanguard 403b. Learning from the podcast, I created a ROTH Fidelity account. I am in the process of transferring my AXA and Voya accounts into Vanguard, but I'm not sure if I should open up a Vanguard 403b or IRA account? Part of me feels like I should open up the 403b account so that I have it with the school just in case anything changes, but another colleague suggested I do a Vanguard IRA account so that my money is more flexible. Does anyone have advice on this? Thanks so much in advance!
  22. Hi everyone, I haven't posted in awhile, but I knew just where to go for advice! (I'll be back more frequently going forward) I received the letter from Vanguard regarding my 403b account, as has recently been discussed on here. I'm just not sure what to do about it, and I could really use some advice. OMNI charges me $3/month to use Vanguard, and Vanguard charges me $15/year to invest in a Target Date Fund. I decided $51/year in fees (on top of expense ratios) was worth it for the privilege of having access to Vanguard, since most of the offerings from my district are not as good. I imagine the OMNI fees won't be going away, so the partnership with Newport looks like it will raise my fees from $51/year to $96/year. I only started investing last year, and I only have $2100 in my Target Date Fund. It looks like this fund does not have access to Admiral funds, so if I stay with Vanguard I will need to exchange these for something else to take advantage of the switch to Newport. It feels a little foolish to stay with Vanguard, however, since a much larger portion of my gains will be consumed by fees. But, given that it is a 403b, taking the money out before retirement seems like a no-go. Are my first year's contributions simply held hostage now? Here are my options, as I see them. I have no idea what to do next, and I would love some guidance: 1) Keep the status quo, pay more in fees. 2) Stay with Vanguard, but switch into something that has admiral class shares. I don't want to use a managed fund. Higher fees remain, but hopefully I will pay less in expense ratios that will make this more advantageous. That said, my small balance means this will be marginal at best, right? 3) Treat this as a hostage situation, and we all know that the US doesn't negotiate with terrorists. I would leave my money in Vanguard, stop contributions, and open an account with someone else to begin contributing to. The decent options that I have access to are Aspire (403b and Roth), T Rowe Price, and TIAA. 4) Stop all retirement contributions, try and save $3,000 and open an IRA sometime next year. 5) Another genius idea that only the folks at 403bwise would think of. You guys rock. The fourth option I like because, ideally, I would like my savings to not be taxed when I withdraw in retirement. But I don't have $3,000 saved, and I am not optimistic about my ability to save it on my own. Medical bills seem to be frequent things nowadays in my household, and there will always be something important that I will need to put my savings into. Having my district take the money out before I can get my hands on it has worked well so far. The ROTH Aspire is an attractive option for these reasons, but I have access to lower-fee options than Aspire so it is difficult to go with them. I would LOVE any advice. I am feeling stuck. Erich
  23. Background My wife's employer has chosen to move to another financial company for employee 403b account management, basically giving Voya the boot. Over the course of the following year, we were barraged with what Voya accounts could and couldn't be moved to her new 403b provider. We have (2) accounts that were not eligible to be moved. Issue - Missing Quarterly Payment After calling Voya to inquire about the missing payment notice, my wife was told our home mailing address had been marked undeliverable and that the quarterly payment was not mailed because of this. Also, all mailing to our address has been stopped. During the entire 1st quarter of this year speaking with Voya, never was our address verified or were we informed that in hard been marked as undeliverable. We have mail from Voya from February for the rollover information. I don't understand why only SOME of the mail was undeliverable. Lesson Learned After a few calls with the help desk at Voya, we were finally escalated far enough up the chain to have the following information revealed by Voya. It is not Voya's problem if you fail to receive their mailings and they assume that the customer will call (eventually) and validate their current mailing address. You should not assume that you will be contacted in any other way than your mailing address with Voya. Voya will NEVER call, email, send smoke signals, nadda. zilch... I was told by many CSAs that Voya does not have the resources to currently entertain these avenues and that their customers will eventually call. Do not expect common courtesy on Voya's behalf like Visa, Mastercard, or Comcast for a missed payment or reaching out to contact you using another method than your mailing address. A single missed payment results in a defaulted loan and there is no recourse. Voya's Flawed Logic So, I just ran down this logic path that Voya uses with a few CSAs at Voya... Q. What happened to my mail? 1. Mailing Address is marked undeliverable in Voya’s system, all mail stops. 2. Grace Period Letter is not mailed, since the mailing address is undeliverable. 3. Default Notice Letter is not mailed, since the mailing address is undeliverable. 4. 1099R ??? hopefully mailed, but probably not - since the mailing address is undeliverable. A. Don’t have anything to do with Voya! Take Away Voya doesn't care about you. Don't expect the local account rep. to help. There is nothing record or noted in Voya's System that would indicate why YOUR mail was marked undeliverable. Side note, I was also told by one CSA that they could not process the shear amount of mail that Voya receives on a daily basis. So, I don't understand how our mailing address was ever marked undeliverable. What told them that our mailing address was undeliverable? I hope that this info finds its way to folks that were affected by any of the current natural disasters. It is up to YOU, the customer, to ensure that Voya can always mail you. Do yourself a favor and investment your hard-earned money with someone that cares about you.
  24. I Moved Money Out of Vanguard by Dan Otter
  25. Aloha folks! So I learned a new term today... Thanks to this forum and the kind folks here, I started my journey toward fiscal responsibility and found out about my state's 457 "deferred compensation" program and a better 403b option with lower fees and better investment options. I got the 403b new account open and redirected my pre-tax savings into it. Now that that's squared away, I'm finally getting the exchange paperwork done. When I requested the paperwork and the account numbers, the advisor that set up the original 403b contract has suggested the use of a "free corridor" to avoid surrender fees. When I looked up the term, it seems as though surrender fees can vary from contract to contract... some fees drop off completely after a certain amount of time, and some reduce by steps year after year depending on a certain amount of time. Near as I can tell, my contract with AXA specifies that the surrender fee won't fall off until after year 7, and I'm only in year 4. From other internet reading, for some contracts, surrender fees are applied to the date of the monies being deposited , not necessarily the date of the contract start.... so "free corridor" is the money that can be transferred without surrender fees, which can be done in incrementally. The way I look at it now, my surrender fees are high, but not as bad as leaving the money in the account.... where I'd be accumulating an annual fee, expense ratios, and a quarterly penalty for an account under $XX,000. Haha... so my answer to my own question is... it's not worth it for me according to the math. So now, near as I can tell, I have all the information and paperwork that each provider and my state's TPA requires to get this done. Whew!
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