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I have been working in a district (New York state) where I was contributing to my 403b under plan member. I just got a new job in a new district. They do not offer plan member as a provider. I think I am going to go with Aspire. Should I transfer my old funds to the new 403b account? Should I keep them in plan member and just not contribute? If I do transfer funds, do I contact my new provider (Aspire) or the old one (plan member)? Thank you so much for any feedback!
Yesterday, I learned that one of our district's 403(b) vendors -- PlanMember Services -- offers teachers a "direct" investment option in addition to their "advisor" accounts. This "direct" plan appears on its face to be the best option on our district's list of high-fee insurance company vendors. According to the PlanMember website & the customer service rep with whom I spoke, I could invest directly into Vanguard funds -- no mutual fund wrappers, no sub-accounts, no nonsense (seemingly). PlanMember Direct lists funds with tickers & it seems straightforward on its face. Your 403(b) contributions go right into self-directed investments -- You get no advice (which is fine by me) & never have to talk to anyone on their sales force. With the "Direct" account, a participant pays Vanguard's internal fund expense, and the only fee collected by PlanMember (according to their site & rep) is a .35% annual asset-based service fee. Of course we'd love to have Vanguard (or TIAA-CREF or anyone reasonable) added to our district's Vendor List, and several of us are still lobbying for this, but it is taking forever to get our district's Benefits Office to review our list of vendors. In the meantime, does anyone know anything about this "Direct" PlanMember Services Program? Are there hidden fees other than the .35% annual service fee? I have read in this forum that this company's advisor-based 403(b) accounts are ridiculously expensive, and so sadly, I just don't have any confidence in the good folks at PlanMember to tell me the truth about their "direct" plan. Thanks so much to anyone who may have any insight into or experience with this plan. Tracy in Wichita, Kansas