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Tricia C.

Need Help Selecting 403b Service Provider

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6 minutes ago, whyme said:

Again, if you can fight your way past the "advisors," Security Benefit DirectInvest looks like a great option. 

I read Ed's account of picking the DirectInvest option for his wife's plan (https://educatorsfightingforfairness.wordpress.com/our-story/)--it is harrowing!  An advisor actually enrolled his wife in a different high-fee plan when she submitted the paperwork for DirectInvest.  Wow, that is profoundly unethical.  I hope you won't encounter such shenanigans. 

 

The important thing to realize with the SB NEA Direct Invest 403b is that it is internet (and phone) based, not rep based. You shouldn't need to talk to a local rep. The phone number jebjebitz posted will connect you to a SB office, not to a local rep. The Direct Invest website has the forms you need to fill out. Most posters have not had significant trouble getting set up with Direct Invest. A few have had trouble with their TPA and or district. Some have complained about getting to talk to someone knowledgable at SB. This stuff takes patience and persistence, but it pays off. 

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Oh Boy, I'm loosing it! That's the number for the Lincoln Investment plan! Let me look for it, I'm sure I've seen it fairly recently. Ed may know the best number also as he is currently using NEA Direct Invest. 

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I looked over Direct Invest threads through 2018 and couldn't find the number. Bash Dash, jebjebitz and several other posters are also using Direct Invest--maybe they'll have the number. There is an 800 number on the Direct Invest website and they should be able to direct you to a number that is Direct Invest-smart.

Have you checked out the website? I would only use their phone line if you have a problem (that we can't help you with here). As the website states, Direct Invest is meant to be used by those able to manage their account via the internet. Instead of using a rep who has a conflict of interest, you can get advice from posters here who are actively using Direct Invest. 

Security Benefit is a large insurance company which sells expensive 403b plans to teachers. They and NEA (the national teachers union) have arranged the NEA Direct Invest 403b plan. SB pays NEA several million per year to attach the NEA name to several 403b plans. EXCEPT for the NEA Direct Invest plan, all of SB's 403b plans are very expensive annuity and mutual fund plans. Direct Invest is a very small part of SB's 403b business. When you phone SB about Direct Invest, you may talk to someone that is uninformed, although that is annoying.  

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Thanks for the valuable advice, Krow! I have yet to check out their website, and will definitely reach out to the 403bwise community if there's something I'm not sure about. Thanks again!

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