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Hello all,

I'm a teacher in NY in a small district.  We do not have access to 457s unfortunately. Which of the following plan providers offers the lowest fees?

Which type of plan offers the lowest fees as well?  Are mutual funds my best options? 

Also I don't think my district offers Roth options. In the future  Can I convert the 403b to a Roth IRA with Vanguard without penalty? 

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Are you 100% sure you don’t have access to any 457b plans? I know the state of New York sponsors an excellent 457.

To answer your question, the best plan available to you is Security Benefit’s NEA DirectInvest, which is an elite 403b. I documented the plan here.

Again are you 100% sure you don’t have access to Roth accounts? If not, then yes when you eventually rollover your employer plan to an IRA, you can convert that IRA to a Roth IRA. The con of doing so is that each dollar you convert will be taxed as ordinary income (at your highest marginal tax rate) in the year the Roth conversion is performed. But that’s the con of Roths in general  

I view the Traditional va Roth debate as an optimization that cannot be definitely answered because it requires knowledge you’ll only have in the future. Still, I think most people will be better off with a Traditional. We can discuss in more detail if you’d like, but my case is made pretty well here.

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As Ed mentioned, NY state teachers have access to the excellent state-run, very low-cost 457 plan (also called a Deferred Compensation Plan): https://www.nysdcp.com/tcm/nysdcp/static/Brochure_NYSDCP_Education_Kit.pdf?r=1

Although your district may not have this vendor on a 457 list, or have a list, it may be possible for you to get it added. You could call up the NYSDCP and ask them about adding it to your district's options. Other posters have been able to get the NYSDCP added in this way.

Although 403b plans are often (usually?) very expensive, and often sold as annuities or expensive mutual fund plans, the Security Benefit NEA Direct Invest plan is an excellent, very low-cost 403b plan. It is internet and phone based, not local rep based. Lots of folks that post here and on Bogleheads forum are using it. Please study Ed's link.

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