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jphillips

Why Won't Joel Say Who He Is?

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My friend the FrenchTeacher said: "What if someone wants a full financial plan done for them? More simply, what if someone wants a one-on-one, face-to-face meeting with someone at which they can sit and discuss their personal situation, even if it's just as simple as asset allocation? Sounds to me like they'd be stuck ponying up the high hourly fees that a fee-only financial planner would charge."

 

Joel replies: As a NYSUT member the City teacher would call up the Benefit Trust and get the name(s) of a fee-only financial planner. The same benefit is available to you at the same pre arranged hourly fee. You, on the other hand, must first pay ING 2 percent just to ACQUIRE the investment and then if you feel you need more intense attention go into your pocket and pay a financial planner while the NYC teacher pays just 0.34 percent to ACQUIRE the investment.

 

The NYC situation is infinitely more transparent than what the teachers outside of the city have. I deplore NYSUT... not for WHAT they did but HOW they did it. You and your colleagues ratify your collective bargaining agreements... why don't you demand the same elementary respect when it comes to the union endorsement of a 403b program? I deplore all state teacher organizations that have done the same thing. Minnisota and Louisiana are two more. Do you know out of the remaining 47 state teacher unions how many more can be added to this infamous list?

 

These unions do not put it to a popular vote because they know it would fail and then they would have to sell the propostion that the union needs a dues increase and they rather not do that because then the entire union budget is open to scrutiny and the officials simple cant't have that. So rather than disclose the ENTIRE picture to you, for you and your colleagues to decide, they decide for you. I DIPLORE SUCH BLATANT DISRESPECT. You see the heart of the issue at hand goes to the VERY GOVERNANCE OF A UNION. Such unions have lost their moral compass.

 

I venture to say that of all the loaded carriers offered by the various school districts ING is the most expensive because they have to pass on their cost for the exclusive endorsement to someone and that someone is you, the French Teacher. Surely you know that the ING stockholders don't pay for it. So, just like you pay for the advertising of your favorite soft drink you are simply reimbursing ING each month for the monthly check they write to the Benefit Trust. Then the Benefit Trust uses that money the way it sees fit which is not necessarily the way you might use it. So part of the fees you pay to ING is used for programs offered to the NYSUT membership by the union and or its Benefits Trust. But your pro rata share is never divulged to you. In my view the amount in question can only be labeled "additional union dues".

 

Peace and Hope,

Joel

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My friend the FrenchTeacher said: "What if someone wants a full financial plan done for them? More simply, what if someone wants a one-on-one, face-to-face meeting with someone at which they can sit and discuss their personal situation, even if it's just as simple as asset allocation? Sounds to me like they'd be stuck ponying up the high hourly fees that a fee-only financial planner would charge."

 

Joel replies: As a NYSUT member the City teacher would call up the Benefit Trust and get the name of a fee-only financial planner. You, on the other hand first must pay ING 2 percent just to acquire the investment and then if you feel you need more intense attention go into you pocket and pay a financial planner.

 

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Are you telling me that the Benefit Trust keeps a file of fee-only financial planners who will visit you and do all the work described above, free of charge? I believe you are mistaken. Regardless, you are DEFINITELY misstating the situation AGAIN, Joel, inasmuch as the expense ratio of my ING 403(b) account (which, I remind everyone reading this, is NOT a flat 2 percent, the way Joel says it is) ALREADY GETS ME the full services of a certified financial planner! Clearly there is no need to go into my pocket to pay for that which is already provided to me.

 

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The NYC situation is infinitely more transparent than what the teachers outside of the city have. I deplore NYSUT... not for WHAT they did but HOW they did it. You and your colleagues ratify your collective bargaining agreements... why don't you demand the same elementary respect when it comes to the union endorsement of a 403b program? I deplore all state teacher organizations that have done the same thing. Minnisota and Louisiana are two more. Do you know out of the remaining 47 state teacher unions how many more can be added to this infamous list?

 

These unions do not put it to a popular vote because they know it would fail and then they would have to sell the propostion that the union needs a dues increase. So rather than give you the entire picture for you and your colleagues to decide they decide for you. I DIPLORE SUCH TREATMENT.

 

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You represented your title as "Current Pension Topics Columnist" for "The Chief-Civil Service Leader." Given that, I'm absolutely shocked at your ignorance on the workings of a union. I will repeat what I said the other day, in hopes that this time it will not fall on deaf ears.

 

"Have you ever belonged to a union, Joel? It's why we elect leaders. They make decisions on our behalf, every day. Some of those decisions are financial...many others are not. WE DON'T GET TO RATIFY THEM ALL. But if our leaders make bad decisions on our behalf, they don't remain our leaders for long."

 

If you understood how a union worked, your feigned shock and outrage at the "failure" of the Benefit Trust to put every endorsement decision to a ratification vote would vanish. At any rate, the complete absence of outrage from any of the rank and file is as clear an indication as you need that the endorsements of the Benefit Trust are not a substantial issue to us. Why? Because if we disagree with the endorsement, we are free to take our business anywhere we choose, bound only by limitations placed by school districts, not by the union.

 

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I venture to say that of all of the loaded carriers offered by the various school districts ING is the most expensive because they have to pass on the cost of getting the union endorsement onto somone and that someone is you the French Teacher.

 

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And again, you would be completely wrong. At some point, Joel, do you back up a single thing you say? I've already illustrated several times already the ways in which this is inaccurate: the fact that Opportunity Plus clients have no annual account fees or sales charges of any kind, among many other benefits which makes them quite possibly the LOWEST cost full-service provider. You should either substantiate your baseless charges or retract them, Joel. As a columnist, surely you understand that that would be the honest, ethical thing to do.

 

At the end of the day, Joel, I welcome an honest disagreement. I would happily trade opinions with you if you would simply acknowledge when the things that you have written were inaccurate, false and misleading...OR, failing that, if you would substantiate anything at all that you have said here. If you still believe ING is the highest-cost provider out there, despite my ample proof to the contrary, prove it. Show us...not with empty rhetoric, but with numbers illustrating that you are correct.

 

In just the preceding post, you have listed three fallacies that I challenge you to prove or retract, and a fourth that I suspect is wrong, which I similarly challenge you to substantiate or retract:

 

1.) ING Opportunity Plus clients pay 2 percent. (No, we don't; what we DO pay depends entirely on our investments, and far more often than not, is less than 2 percent. And if we are bothered by such expenses, we can redirect our funds to a different carrier.)

2.) ING Opportunity Plus clients have to pay out of pocket for financial planning. (No, we don't.)

3.) ING is "the most expensive" of the full-service providers. (No, it isn't.)

4.) The UFT program allows its members to call the Benefit Trust and get the name of a fee-only financial planner, paid for by the UFT, who will do a full financial plan, replete with meetings and revisions if needed, all for a mere 0.34 basis points. (I find this highly unlikely.)

 

 

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I will reply in CAPS IN THE BODY OF YOUR TRANSMISSION.

 

Joel

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1.) ING Opportunity Plus clients pay 2 percent. (No, we don't; what we DO pay depends entirely on our investments, and far more often than not, is less than 2 percent. And if we are bothered by such expenses, we can redirect our funds to a different carrier.)

 

PARTICIPANTS IN OPPORTUNITY PLUS PAY A FLAT 1.00 PERCENT FOR INSURANCE COSTS COMMONLY REFERRED TO AS THE MORTALITY AND EXPENSE CHARGE. I ESTIMATE THAT THE FEES ASSOCIATED WITH THE INVESTMENT IN THE SUB ACCOUNT(S) IS ABOUT 1.00 PERCENT. NATURALLY THESE FEES ARE NOT THE SAME FOR ALL PARTICIPANTS BECAUSE OF THE 50 DIFFERENT INVESTMENT FUNDS OFFERED BY OPPORTUNITY PLUS.

 

2.) ING Opportunity Plus clients have to pay out of pocket for financial planning. (No, we don't.)

 

YOU MAY OR MAY NOT CONSIDER THE GUY OR GAL THAT SELLS YOU OPPORTUNITY PLUS TO BE A "FINANCIAL PLANNER" BUT THE BENEFIT TRUST IS OF A DIFFERENT OPINION BECAUSE IT OFFERS A "FINANCIAL COUNSELLING/PLANNING" (CHECK THE WEBSITE) BENEFIT THAT IS AVAILABLE TO ALL I REPEAT ALL NYSUT MEMBERS REGARDLESS OF THE 403B CARRIER ONE ELECTS. THE HOURLY FEE FOR THESE PLANNERS IS NEGOTIATED BY THE UNION AND PAID DIRECTLY OUT OF POCKET BY THE MEMBER. SO IF YOU DESIRE SOMEONE OTHER THAN YOUR OPPORTUNITY PLUS SALESPERSON TO SIT DOWN WITH YOU ON A ONE ON ONE YOU MUST PAY HIS OR HER HOURLY FEE IN ADDITION TO THE 2 PERCENT YOU ALREADY PAID TO ING TO ACQUIRE THE INVESTMENT. WITH THE UFT MEMBER HE/SHE PAYS 0.34 PERCENT TO ACQUIRE THE INVESTMENT AND THEN IF HE DESIRES TO SIT DOWN WITH A FINANCIAL PLANNER HE CAN CALL UP NYSUT FOR THE LIST OF FINANCIAL PLANNERS REFERRED TO ABOVE AND PAY THE SAME OUT OF POCKET FEE THAT YOU WOULD PAY IF YOU USED THE "FINANCIAL COUNSELLING" BENEFIT AVAILABLE TO ALL MEMBERS. AGAIN CHECK THE WEBSITE.

 

3.) ING is "the most expensive" of the full-service providers. (No, it isn't.) I TRUST THAT YOUR SALES REP HAS PROVEN THAT TO YOU.

 

4.) The UFT program allows its members to call the Benefit Trust and get the name of a fee-only financial planner, paid for by the UFT, who will do a full financial plan, replete with meetings and revisions if needed, all for a mere 0.34 basis points. (I find this highly unlikely.)

 

YOU GOT TO CHANGE YOUR MEDICATION----I NEVER SAID THE ABOVE! My post says:

 

"Joel replies: As a NYSUT member the City teacher would call up the Benefit Trust and get the name of a fee-only financial planner. You, on the other hand first must pay ING 2 percent just to acquire the investment and then if you feel you need more intense attention go into you pocket and pay a financial planner" PLEASE SHOW US THE WORDS IN MY QUOTE WHERE I SAY THE UFT PAYS THE FEE.

 

SEE MY RESPONSE TO #2.

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As far as the first point is concerned, your estimate is high, unless someone is almost exclusively in international investments.

 

As far as the second point is concerned, this isn't a question of whether or not I CONSIDER my guy or gal to be a financial planner. He actually IS a Certified Financial Planner (CFP). He actually DID do a complete financial plan for me. It didn't cost me a penny extra, and certainly not the high hourly fees that "fee-only" financial planners receive. So I'm well ahead of the game in comparison to my brothers and sisters in NYC, who thanks to the UFT have to pay hourly fees to get the same advice and planning.

 

As to the third point...holy smoke, you're actually conceding something. The sun might rise in the west tomorrow. Hell is almost certainly freezing over.

 

As to the fourth...you write:

 

"YOU GOT TO CHANGE YOUR MEDICATION----I NEVER SAID THE ABOVE! My post says: Joel replies: As a NYSUT member the City teacher would call up the Benefit Trust and get the name of a fee-only financial planner. You, on the other hand first must pay ING 2 percent just to acquire the investment and then if you feel you need more intense attention go into you pocket and pay a financial planner" PLEASE SHOW US THE WORDS IN MY QUOTE WHERE I SAY THE UFT PAYS THE FEE."

 

Well, to clarify, I'm on no medication. When you juxtapose "the City teacher would call up the Benefit Trust and get the name of a fee-only financial planner" with "You...must go into your pocket and PAY a financial planner" (emphasis mine), it's easy to infer that the City teacher is getting a free service as part of his great 403(b) plan, whereas the poor ING guy has to pay out of pocket for his. I'm nevertheless delighted to hear you acknowledge that the NYC teacher does indeed have to pay for financial planning, in a way that I never did as part of my Opportunity Plus account.

 

By the way, Member Benefits does indeed offer a Financial Counseling Program to all, repeat all, NYSUT members, regardless of the 403(b) carrier one elects. For $79 a year, you receive access to a helpline that is manned entirely by CFP's that can answer your question. In addition, you can for an hourly fee receive a full financial plan done by a CFP with Ernst & Young. As you say, the website is an excellent resource here. This is one more example of the excellent work done by the NYSUT Benefit Trust on behalf of its members...thanks for bringing it to everyone's attention.

 

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Frenchteacher said: "By the way, Member Benefits does indeed offer a Financial Counseling Program to all, repeat all, NYSUT members, regardless of the 403(b) carrier one elects. For $79 a year, you receive access to a helpline that is manned entirely by CFP's that can answer your question. In addition, you can for an hourly fee receive a full financial plan done by a CFP with Ernst & Young. As you say, the website is an excellent resource here. This is one more example of the excellent work done by the NYSUT Benefit Trust on behalf of its members...thanks for bringing it to everyone's attention."

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INSOFAR AS YOU ASSERT THAT OPPORTUNITY PLUS REPS PROVIDE FINANCIAL PLANNING AS PART OF THEIR FULL SERVICE, WOULD YOU STIPULATE THAT THE "FINANCIAL COUNSELLING" PROGRAM AVAILABLE THROUGH THE BENEFITS TRUST WAS PRIMARILY DESIGNED FOR THE MEMBER WHO USES A NO-LOAD PROVIDER FOR 403(B)?

 

Joel

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Frenchteacher said: "By the way, Member Benefits does indeed offer a Financial Counseling Program to all NYSUT members, regardless of the 403(b) carrier one elects. For $79 a year, you receive access to a helpline that is manned entirely by CFP's that can answer your question. In addition, you can for an hourly fee receive a full financial plan done by a CFP with Ernst & Young. As you say, the website is an excellent resource here. This is one more example of the excellent work done by the NYSUT Benefit Trust on behalf of its members...thanks for bringing it to everyone's attention."

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INSOFAR AS YOU ASSERT THAT OPPORTUNITY PLUS REPS PROVIDE FINANCIAL PLANNING AS PART OF THEIR FULL SERVICE, WOULD YOU STIPULATE THAT THE "FINANCIAL COUNSELLING" PROGRAM AVAILABLE THROUGH THE BENEFITS TRUST WAS PRIMARILY DESIGNED FOR THE MEMBER WHO USES A NO-LOAD PROVIDER FOR 403(B)?

 

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Presumably either that, or someone who uses a full-service provider whose financial planning services fall short of their expectations. It's also entirely possible that there are ING clients out there whose expectations aren't met by their agents, or whose agents are not CFP's. Also important to note that the Financial Counseling Program offers financial planning services through Ernst & Young, a firm which sells no financial products whatsoever. So ING clients who are concerned about a conflict of interest on the part of their agents have this service to turn to.

 

Again, I am impressed by the fact that the NYSUT Benefit Trust, despite your earlier assertions, is forcing ING down nobody's throat, and in fact goes out of their way to accomodate what they perceive to be the needs of their membership. (Unless, of course, you plan on claiming that the real reason for the endorsement is that Ernst & Young are compensating the Benefit Trust for their endorsement by buying advertising space in NY Teacher!!!)

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FrenchTeacher says: It's also entirely possible that there are ING clients out there whose expectations aren't met by their agents, or whose agents are not CFP's. Also important to note that the Financial Counseling Program offers financial planning services through Ernst & Young, a firm which sells no financial products whatsoever. So ING clients who are concerned about a conflict of interest on the part of their agents have this service to turn to.

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JOEL'S REACTION: YOUR STATEMENT IS ONE OF THE BEST ARGUMENTS I HAVE HEARD FOR A UNION NEVER TO GET INVOLVED IN ENDORSING A FULL SERVICE PROVIDER. If NYSUT WAS A DISINTERESTED AND OBJECTIVE BYSTANDER THEY WOULD DO AWAY WITH OPPORTUNITY PLUS AND ALONG WITH THE NY STATE SCHOOL BOARDS ASSOCIATION HIRE A CONSULTANT AND DESIGN A NO LOAD PROGRAM ALONG THE LINES OF THE "INVESTMENT PLAN" OF THE FLORIDA RETIREMENT SYSTEM. THEY TOO HAVE RETAINED THE SERVICES OF ERNST AND YOUNG FOR THE VERY REASONS YOU GIVE, NAMELY THAT THE ENTITY THAT FURNISHES FINANCIAL PLANNING ADVICE SHOULD NOT BE THE INVESTMENT PROVIDER. YOUR NYSUT HAS BREACHED THIS ETHICAL PRINCIPLE FOR ONE REASON AND ONE REASON ONLY, FINANCIAL BENEFIT.

 

 

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JOEL'S REACTION: YOUR STATEMENT IS ONE OF THE BEST ARGUMENTS I HAVE HEARD FOR A UNION NEVER TO GET INVOLVED IN ENDORSING A FULL SERVICE PROVIDER. If NYSUT WAS A DISINTERESTED AND OBJECTIVE BYSTANDER THEY WOULD DO AWAY WITH OPPORTUNITY PLUS AND ALONG WITH THE NY STATE SCHOOL BOARDS ASSOCIATION HIRE A CONSULTANT AND DESIGN A NO LOAD PROGRAM ALONG THE LINES OF THE "INVESTMENT PLAN" OF THE FLORIDA RETIREMENT SYSTEM. THEY TOO HAVE RETAINED THE SERVICES OF ERNST AND YOUNG FOR THE VERY REASONS YOU GIVE, NAMELY THAT THE ENTITY THAT FURNISHES FINANCIAL PLANNING ADVICE SHOULD NOT BE THE INVESTMENT PROVIDER. YOUR NYSUT HAS BREACHED THIS ETHICAL PRINCIPLE FOR ONE REASON AND ONE REASON ONLY, FINANCIAL BENEFIT.

 

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You reveal your true motivations here, Joel: you claim that "a union [should] never get involved in endorsing a full-service provider"...but in the very next sentence, they SHOULD get involved enough to "design a no-load program along the lines of...the Florida Retirement System."

 

In other words, it's perfectly acceptable for them to get involved...just as long as they reach the same conclusions YOU do.

 

I, too, sometimes wish I could limit the world to only those who agree with me.

 

By the way, I never said that the entity that furnishes financial planning advice should not be the investment provider, merely that I respect the fact that some people DO feel that way. Within NYSUT, if they feel that way, they deal with Ernst & Young; if they don't, they can do as I have and deal with one of the full-service providers who also does financial planning. It is certainly misleading to refer to this as an "ethical principle" that is universally accepted by all.

 

In fact, the CFP that oversees my account at ING told me that part of being a CFP is accepting a written code of ethics that was written by the very organization that certifies financial planners. I'd be interested to know how he got certified in the first place, if merely working for ING was such an unethical act!

 

(PS...in future posts, it would be great if you could not do all caps...it gives the impression that you are yelling. Thanks.)

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FrenchTeacher:

 

As you know the NYSUT sponsors a 401(k) for its employees. The no-load firm, Fidelity Investments is the investment provider. Why didn't the NYSUT officials select Opportunity Plus/ING to be investment provider? Aren't NYSUT employees entitled to the same fine full service provider that you have?

 

PS: Sometimes I yell at you, like right now, while I'm using lower case!

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You reveal your true motivations here, Joel: you claim that "a union [should] never get involved in endorsing a full-service provider"...but in the very next sentence, they SHOULD get involved enough to "design a no-load program along the lines of...the Florida Retirement System."

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Does money change hands between Opportunity Plus/ING and NYSUT Benefit Trust? Yes! Is that money used by NYSUT for programs is offers its members? Yes! Can you reach the same results with the use of a no-load provider? No. So what are my true motivations? To reveal to people like you that their union has a severe conflict of interest by endorsing Opportunity Plus whereas such endorsement does not exist if they along with their counterpart, the NY State School Board association hired a consultant to design a no-load program.

 

YOUR UNION HAS A DIRECT FINANCIAL INTEREST IN THE RELATIVE SUCCESS ING EXPERIENCES IN THE 403(b) MARKET IN THE STATE OF NY. SO WHICH PROGRAM DOES THE UNION ENCOURAGE ITS MEMBERS TO JOIN? ING OR THE NO-LOAD THAT IS AVAILABLE?PLEASE TELL THE READERS THE FINANCIAL STAKE THAT YOUR UNION WOULD HAVE IF THEY HELPED DESIGNED A NO-LOAD PROGRAM?

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FrenchTeacher:

 

As you know the NYSUT sponsors a 401(k) for its employees. The no-load firm, Fidelity Investments is the investment provider. Why didn't the NYSUT officials select Opportunity Plus/ING to be investment provider? Aren't NYSUT employees entitled to the same fine full service provider that you have?

 

PS: Sometimes I yell at you, like right now, while I'm using lower case!

 

One of the reasons I don't jump to answer your questions right away is that you don't understand the answers very well. So, like in this case, you ask the same ones, over and over again, rephrased.

 

I can't speak for NYSUT here, but I imagine the answer has something to do with the fact that NYSUT, the employer/union, is a different and separate entity from the NYSUT Benefit Trust. The Benefit Trust endorsed ING, not NYSUT. NYSUT chose Fidelity to do their 401(k). Since these two are separate entities, it's entirely reasonable that they would arrive at different conclusions.

 

I've said all along that there is no one-size-fits-all solution. YOU're the one who keeps trotting out the no-loads as the one AND ONLY way to do things. And even the proprietors of this site don't agree with you on that point.

 

I'm sure the grassy knoll theories about NYSUT and the NYSUT Benefit Trust are coming out next. Save it. If you really can't grasp the concept of how a non-profit functions, you have a lot more reading to do, and I for one won't be doing your research for you.

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I can't speak for NYSUT here, but I imagine the answer has something to do with the fact that NYSUT, the employer/union, is a different and separate entity from the NYSUT Benefit Trust. The Benefit Trust endorsed ING, not NYSUT. NYSUT chose Fidelity to do their 401(k). Since these two are separate entities, it's entirely reasonable that they would arrive at different conclusions.

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The NYSUT Benefit Trust is a wholly owned subsidiary of the NYSUT. The NYSUT Benefit Trust is a creature of the NYSUT and was created by NYSUT for the sole and exclusive reason of offering benefits to the NYSUT membership. So THROUGH ITS BENEFITS TRUST SUBSIDIARY THE NYSUT HAS ENDORSED ING! REPEAT...THROUGH ITS BENEFITS TRUST SUBSIDIARY THE NYSUT HAS ENDORSED ING! DO YOU HEAR ME NOW, I AM YELLING!?

 

Every dollar paid by Opportunity Plus to the NYSUT Benefit Trust is A DOLLAR THAT WOULD OTHERWISE BE CREDITED TO YOUR OPPORTUNITY PLUS ACCOUNT! A dollar received by the Benefit Trust is a dollar that need not be raised via direct dues collection from the members of NYSUT.

 

May I suggest you discuss this point with your colleagues at school. Maybe they will be able to clarify this obvious point for you.

 

But you still have not told us why the NYSUT wants you to have "full service" with your 403(b) but feels that their own employees are entitled to something less like a no-load menu at about 50 basis points or 0.50 percent. Also, why don't the employees of your NYSUT have the benefit of paying 1.0 percent for Mortality and Expense? If NYSUT feels its important for you to have this protection, why didn't they give it to their own employees? COULD IT BE THAT THE UNION IS PULLING THE WOOL OVER THE EYES OF THEIR UNIONIZED EMPLOYEES BUT BEING COMPLETELY ABOVE BOARD WITH THEIR DUES PAYING MEMBERS?

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I can't speak for NYSUT here, but I imagine the answer has something to do with the fact that NYSUT, the employer/union, is a different and separate entity from the NYSUT Benefit Trust. The Benefit Trust endorsed ING, not NYSUT. NYSUT chose Fidelity to do their 401(k). Since these two are separate entities, it's entirely reasonable that they would arrive at different conclusions.

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The NYSUT Benefit Trust is a wholly owned subsidiary of the NYSUT. The NYSUT Benefit Trust is a creature of the NYSUT and was created by NYSUT for the sole and exclusive reason of offering benefits to the NYSUT membership. So THROUGH ITS BENEFITS TRUST SUBSIDIARY THE NYSUT HAS ENDORSED ING! REPEAT...THROUGH ITS BENEFITS TRUST SUBSIDIARY THE NYSUT HAS ENDORSED ING! DO YOU HEAR ME NOW, I AM YELLING!?

 

Every dollar paid by Opportunity Plus to the NYSUT Benefit Trust is A DOLLAR THAT WOULD OTHERWISE BE CREDITED TO YOUR OPPORTUNITY PLUS ACCOUNT! A dollar received by the Benefit Trust is a dollar that need not be raised via direct dues collection from the members of NYSUT.

 

May I suggest you discuss this point with your colleagues at school. Maybe they will be able to clarify this obvious point for you.

 

But you still have not told us why the NYSUT wants you to have "full service" with your 403(b) but feels that their own employees are entitled to something less like a no-load menu at about 50 basis points or 0.50 percent. Also, why don't the employees of your NYSUT have the benefit of paying 1.0 percent for Mortality and Expense? If NYSUT feels its important for you to have this protection, why didn't they give it to their own employees? COULD IT BE THAT THE UNION IS PULLING THE WOOL OVER THE EYES OF THEIR UNIONIZED EMPLOYEES BUT BEING COMPLETELY ABOVE BOARD WITH THEIR DUES PAYING MEMBERS?

Joel, as I've said before, I'm not going to do your research for you on this. Statements like "a dollar received by the Benefit Trust is a dollar that need not be raised via direct dues collection" simply illustrate your own ignorance of how non-profits work. You can repeat the same thing 200 times without making it any more true. Perhaps you can discuss this with some of your colleagues who have actual knowledge of non-profits, so that they can clarify this obvious point for you.

 

The illogic continues with your ranting questions at the end, all based on a false premise. NYSUT endorses ING...they do not mandate them. Anyone who doesn't want full-service accounts for their 403(b) has lower-cost alternatives. Furthermore, this entire paragraph is an apples-to-oranges comparison, in that 401(k) plans mandate a single provider, whereas 403(b) plans offer multiple providers. So besides the fact that NYSUT and the Benefit Trust are SEPARATE entities, and 401(k) and 403(b) plans are DIFFERENT types of retirement plans, your argument has an awful lot of merit.

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I can't speak for NYSUT here, but I imagine the answer has something to do with the fact that NYSUT, the employer/union, is a different and separate entity from the NYSUT Benefit Trust. The Benefit Trust endorsed ING, not NYSUT. NYSUT chose Fidelity to do their 401(k). Since these two are separate entities, it's entirely reasonable that they would arrive at different conclusions.

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The NYSUT Benefit Trust is a wholly owned subsidiary of the NYSUT.  The NYSUT Benefit Trust is a creature of the NYSUT and was created by NYSUT for the sole and exclusive reason of offering benefits to the NYSUT membership.  So THROUGH ITS BENEFITS TRUST SUBSIDIARY THE NYSUT HAS ENDORSED ING!  REPEAT...THROUGH ITS BENEFITS TRUST SUBSIDIARY THE NYSUT HAS ENDORSED ING!  DO YOU HEAR ME NOW, I AM YELLING!? 

 

Every dollar paid by Opportunity Plus to the NYSUT Benefit Trust is A DOLLAR THAT WOULD OTHERWISE BE CREDITED TO YOUR OPPORTUNITY PLUS ACCOUNT!  A dollar received by the Benefit Trust is a dollar that need not be raised via direct dues collection from the members of NYSUT. 

 

May I suggest you discuss this point with your colleagues at school.  Maybe they will be able to clarify this obvious point for you.

 

But you still have not told us why the NYSUT wants you to have "full service" with your 403(b) but feels that their own employees are entitled to something less like a no-load menu at about 50 basis points or 0.50 percent.  Also, why don't the employees of your NYSUT have the benefit of paying 1.0 percent for Mortality and Expense?  If NYSUT feels its important for you to have this protection, why didn't they give it to their own employees?  COULD IT BE THAT THE UNION IS PULLING THE WOOL OVER THE EYES OF THEIR UNIONIZED EMPLOYEES BUT BEING COMPLETELY ABOVE BOARD WITH THEIR DUES PAYING MEMBERS?

Joel, as I've said before, I'm not going to do your research for you on this. Statements like "a dollar received by the Benefit Trust is a dollar that need not be raised via direct dues collection" simply illustrate your own ignorance of how non-profits work. You can repeat the same thing 200 times without making it any more true. Perhaps you can discuss this with some of your colleagues who have actual knowledge of non-profits, so that they can clarify this obvious point for you.

 

The illogic continues with your ranting questions at the end, all based on a false premise. NYSUT endorses ING...they do not mandate them. Anyone who doesn't want full-service accounts for their 403(b) has lower-cost alternatives. Furthermore, this entire paragraph is an apples-to-oranges comparison, in that 401(k) plans mandate a single provider, whereas 403(b) plans offer multiple providers. So besides the fact that NYSUT and the Benefit Trust are SEPARATE entities, and 401(k) and 403(b) plans are DIFFERENT types of retirement plans, your argument has an awful lot of merit.

 

I might ask you to re-read what's already been written in response to your fresh attacks on NYSUT's integrity. An endorsement of a program is NOT a mandate, and everyone I know of who wants a no-load program in which to invest has one available to them.

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