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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.
Well.. my account is set up! Thank you for all the help! I applied through the online sign up, and after the docusign confirmation of "application signed" email I waited... and waited. I guess I was expecting a "welcome, your plan is active, call or come register online" type of notification once the application was approved, but that did not happen. My employer requires us to have an active account prior to submitting a salary reduction agreement. So... 2 weeks after submitting the online application, I emailed customer service. A few days later, while I was at work, (public schools are back in session in HI) someone from security benefit called and left a message to call back. Now, a week later, I finally was able to carve out time to call back within the time zone differences and the representative I spoke to confirmed my account was active and helped me register for my online account. I haven't finished poking around the site, but it seems fairly user-friendly. Now I have to mail/fax the SRA and still have to fill out my paperwork to move my money from AXA to Security Benefit, but at least I'm on the right track. Mahalo! I am grateful for this forum and its posters.
I have a question about the 403bcompare website that is run by the CA State Teachers Retirement System (CalSTRS). As I understand it, 403b vendors of K-12 plans in CA are required by CA State law to participate by submitting information on their offerings. Are there any consequences if the vendor omits one of the plans it sells? Is the vendor allowed to omit their low-cost option and continue to provide information on only their high-cost options? I believe this is the case with Security Benefit’s NEA Direct Invest 403b plan, and with Lincoln Investment Group’s Participant Directed Platform 403b/457 plans. I see that a school district “may not forward annuity or custodial account consideration to the vendor of any unregistered 403(b) product,” except for employee accounts started before 2004 which are grandfathered in. (403bcompare.com) In CA neither of the above self-direct low-cost plans would be legal. In a document sent to the school districts, employers are encouraged to notify the 403bCompare.com Administrator at Administrator@403bCompare.com if: The employer suspects materially inaccurate information has been provided by a vendor. and Vendor Removal Process California Education Code Section 25103 gives authority to the Teachers’ Retirement Board to remove a vendor for submission of materially inaccurate information, not submitting assessed fees within 60 days of invoice, or failing to submit notice of material changes to registered products. https://www.403bcompare.com/Documents/ED2004-04_403bCompare.pdf Scotty and Steve, what do you think? Can 403bcompare force the vendors to include all their products? Or does the school district have to start the process?
Below is an email all teachers in my district just received. It did have a name, lengthy signature and contact information. It is signed "NEA Retirement Specialist- Security Benefit." Am I correct to assume that this is an insurance agent through Security Benefit who hopes to sell high fee annuity products? How do you suggest I respond to teachers in the district that have asked for my advice regarding regarding this representative? I hope this note finds you in great spirits. I am the NEA Retirement Specialist the district and I will be meeting with faculty and staff throughout the coming months. I want to offer you the opportunity to meet and review retirement ideas and financial planning strategies that pertain to teachers and their pension/social security benefits. The 403b program is one of many retirement accounts that offer tax benefits, and investment options. I encourage you to schedule a meeting to review the options available in the district. Objectivity is important. I am always available by email or phone. If you have any questions I suggest we set a date and time to get together. I look forward to hearing from you soon. Sincerely, ________________________ Investment Advisor Representative Medallion Wealth Advisors, LLC NEA Retirement Specialist - Security Benefit