Jump to content
squiggmo

403b Asp Personal Experience -warning

Recommended Posts

Hi Everyone, I saw this thread and thought I would give you some input regarding 403b ASP. My wife's school district changed their plan as most did at the turn of the year. One of the approved vendors was 403B ASP. We chose this vendor as it was our only access point to American Funds. Also, our investment advisor looked them up and didn't report any negative findings. In any event, we faxed our documents to them, which they promptly lost and, after re-faxing, the account was duly signed up and withdrawals began. Shortly thereafter, I began to wonder a little about this company. We received no written confirmation from them about how things were set up. Eventually, we received an email with some login information. Upon logging in, we found that sometimes the site worked and other times it didn't. Most surprising to me was that, none of our requested investment elections were honored. In fact, all of my wife's contributions were being pooled into a single utility-based income fund that wasn't a part of the American Funds Family. Furthermore, none of the specified beneficiary designations that were submitted to the company are listed on the account. It's now been 8 months since we started investing via 403b ASP and we have yet to receive a mailed statement of any sort. A phone call to 403b ASP simply results in the following "our system shows the statements are being sent, we don't know what to tell you" or "why don't you just download them." We have worked with other 403b plans in the past and I have 401k accounts set up via Fidelity. I have NEVER had the type of issues getting things right and getting the correct information that I have had with this company. In 25 years of investing, I have never had statements just go missing as has happened with 403b ASP. I recently met with our advisor and I expressed my displeasure about how 403b ASP was handling things and he said that he was getting other complaints about them as well. Evidently, this company has grown too fast and has not brought on qualified people quickly enough, and, well, it shows. We are limited as to when we can change our plan options, but I do plan to change this as soon as I can. This is completely unsatisfactory. I am also considering notifying our state's security regulators because I don't think this company lives up to what it promises. Certainly, the fee structure is attractive, but this mess makes it completely not worth it. Perhaps others of you have had good luck with them. We certainly have not. I would not recommend this company.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I'm a CRPC 403b advisor with Morgan Stanley Smith Barney and I have to say that I've never heard of this company. Im assuming that American Funds wasnt an option for you or your advisor isnt an approved rep for American Fnds. In these cases, it's best to go with a name brand. Im partial to Oppenheimer, Fidelity, in addition to American Fnds. Unfortunately, it seems as though you're going to have to play the waiting game.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hi Everyone, I saw this thread and thought I would give you some input regarding 403b ASP. My wife's school district changed their plan as most did at the turn of the year. One of the approved vendors was 403B ASP. We chose this vendor as it was our only access point to American Funds. Also, our investment advisor looked them up and didn't report any negative findings. In any event, we faxed our documents to them, which they promptly lost and, after re-faxing, the account was duly signed up and withdrawals began. Shortly thereafter, I began to wonder a little about this company. We received no written confirmation from them about how things were set up. Eventually, we received an email with some login information. Upon logging in, we found that sometimes the site worked and other times it didn't. Most surprising to me was that, none of our requested investment elections were honored. In fact, all of my wife's contributions were being pooled into a single utility-based income fund that wasn't a part of the American Funds Family. Furthermore, none of the specified beneficiary designations that were submitted to the company are listed on the account. It's now been 8 months since we started investing via 403b ASP and we have yet to receive a mailed statement of any sort. A phone call to 403b ASP simply results in the following "our system shows the statements are being sent, we don't know what to tell you" or "why don't you just download them." We have worked with other 403b plans in the past and I have 401k accounts set up via Fidelity. I have NEVER had the type of issues getting things right and getting the correct information that I have had with this company. In 25 years of investing, I have never had statements just go missing as has happened with 403b ASP. I recently met with our advisor and I expressed my displeasure about how 403b ASP was handling things and he said that he was getting other complaints about them as well. Evidently, this company has grown too fast and has not brought on qualified people quickly enough, and, well, it shows. We are limited as to when we can change our plan options, but I do plan to change this as soon as I can. This is completely unsatisfactory. I am also considering notifying our state's security regulators because I don't think this company lives up to what it promises. Certainly, the fee structure is attractive, but this mess makes it completely not worth it. Perhaps others of you have had good luck with them. We certainly have not. I would not recommend this company.

 

 

Last winter, we had a long discussion about this company, click here. Bottom line is that they are not improving their services after all of this time. I would never ever put money into a company that has no statements! You have got to be kidding.

 

 

 

I'm a CRPC 403b advisor with Morgan Stanley Smith Barney and I have to say that I've never heard of this company. If you have any further quest, feel free to email me michael.j.jappell@smithbarney.com and I can try to help in any way I can

 

 

Mike,

If you want to help, post here so all of us can learn. This site is not for soliciting.

Regards,

Steve

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

After reading your post, I have a question of my own. I don't have 403b ASP as you do but I have another provider. You know how money is taken out of your paycheck and it goes into your 403b; when this happens, do they send a confirmation statement or not?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

After reading your post, I have a question of my own. I don't have 403b ASP as you do but I have another provider. You know how money is taken out of your paycheck and it goes into your 403b; when this happens, do they send a confirmation statement or not?

 

 

 

I think it depends on the provider. We knew the funds were being withdrawn based upon my wife's paystub. However, we did not get a confirmation from them about the investment of the funds. For the first quarter this didn't surprise me because my 401k through fidelity only sends quarterly statements. Our prior 403b plan via American Funds did the same thing, so, I didn't realize anything was amiss until about four months out when I realized that I had received statements from our other accounts, but nothing whatsoever from 403b ASP. We have already made plans to withdraw from the fund at the annual enrollment period, so unfortunately, we are stuck with them for short period yet.

 

403b ASP really stinks as a company and they clearly don't have anything under control. I have never been so dissatisfied with a company in my life.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

To everyone on 403bwise,

 

We at 403b ASP appreciate the feedback we receive regarding our service levels and product quality, whether here on this site, or otherwise. Certainly, we are as aware as anyone that the IRS regulation changes caused a huge upheaval in the 403(b) industry, for sponsors, TPAs and vendors alike. It is for numerous reasons that a great many vendors in these plans have not agreed to sign the new Information Sharing Agreements with the employers they have long worked with, causing a great gap in service that we have endeavored to fill with our product, 403b FundSource.

 

Our product has proven successful, as we have been named as a vendor in over 3000 plans in less than one year, and have brought in over $300 Million in 403(b) assets through contributions and transfers over the same period. We will be the first to state that we were overwhelmed by the response, and our initial level of unpreparedness due to the extreme volume was unacceptable by our standards as well as those of our clients. To be fair, with few exceptions, nearly all other firms in this industry felt the same overpowering surge, as TPAs and common remitters that planned to begin services at the start of the year are in some cases still relying on the sponsors to act directly, often with little or no direction, and the vast majority of those employers waited until year-end or later to address the situation, to the point that the IRS felt the need for an extension.

 

Have we made mistakes? Yes. Do we correct our mistakes? Yes. If there has been any occurrence within an account that needed to be adjusted due to delays in OUR service, we have made the corrections.

 

Are we challenged by the mistakes of other? Yes. We, as the vendor, are the site where clients correctly expect to see their contributions, feel the brunt of the blame, whether justified or not. We will, however, in all instances, give our assistance to bring the client an acceptable level of comfort and trust, wherever the issue may lie.

 

Since those early days, we have constantly added new staff (over 50 new associates), created new training systems, and are consistently bolstering the Call Center to our present situation wherein hold times are minimal, service tickets are created and tracked, and e-mails and voice-mails are retrieved, answered and tracked as well. We have come a long way and I'm confident we have addressed our service issues. Even our greatest critics have acknowledged that our pricing is beyond competitive, especially when compared to annuities and the like.

 

If anyone out there has had difficulties contacting us in the past, or has issues with their accounts, statements, access, etc., please feel free to contact us toll-free at 866-634-5873 or through e-mail at info@403basp.com.

 

Thank you for attention, your patience and your trust. If we have lost any of these, we will continue to endeavor to win them back.

 

James Olson

Principal

403b ASP

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

 

If anyone out there has had difficulties contacting us in the past, or has issues with their accounts, statements, access, etc., please feel free to contact us toll-free at 866-634-5873 or through e-mail at info@403basp.com.

 

James Olson

Principal

403b ASP

 

 

Hi Squig,

Here are the contact numbers and email provided by Mr. Olson of ASP. Let us know what you find out about your missing statements.

Steve

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

Loading...

×
×
  • Create New...