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DustinVoss

What districts would be considered the "gold standard" for 403b options/administration

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Is there a reason you're asking what district is the "gold standard" as opposed to what a "gold standard" would look like?

I certainly haven't reviewed every district in the nation, so I can't award a "gold standard". However, I can tell you what I would do if I were given complete control over a district:

  1. I'd have exactly one vendor for the 403b and one vendor for the 457b...neither would have agents.
  2. That vendor would offered fixed allocation funds (Vanguard LifeStrategy), target date funds, total domestic stock fund, total international stock fund, and a total bond fund. That's it.
  3. Every employee would be automatically enrolled, they'd have a "reasonable" percentage of their salary allocated towards it, and they'd be invested in a target date fund based on their age.
  4. Every employee would be able to override this automatic enrollment.
  5. My Retirement Services department would offer information very similar to what I've posted on my Investing 101 page.

That is the gold standard, but I'm not aware of any districts that have implemented it.

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Ed’s answer reminds me that we need to advocate for this gold standard model in the School Business Leader and Administration education programs in addition to the teacher education college programs. Wouldn’t that be marvelous?

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43 minutes ago, MoeMoney said:

School Business Leader and Administration education programs

What is that?

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Teachers who enter into a degreed or certification program to advance to the administrative level in order to obtain a position as a building principal, administrator or school business leader. To be a school business leader you do not have to be an educator so that is a different program. 

To my knowledge the programs, like teacher education programs, do not include instruction on choosing 403(b) plans. 

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The annuity people attend and present at administration associations such as the California School Boards Association and California Association of School Administrators. There are ones in every state. 

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I really like what we have now with the University System of Georgia. 

They have done a lot of trimming in the last year or so.  Now we only have TIAA, Fidelity, and Valic and they made these three vendors offer a lot less options than before. 

https://www.usg.edu/hr/benefits/retirement_plan_enhancements/new_investment_lineup

They have three tiers of investments, with target date funds in the first tier. People who don't make an investment choice get automatically put in a target date fund. 

https://www.usg.edu/hr/benefits/retirement/current-employee

They also added free on-on-one advice with Captrust

https://www.usg.edu/hr/benefits/retirement_plan_enhancements/important_changes

 

S

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Ed,

 

Thank so much. Your thoughts are in line with mine, but you've put it much more succinctly than I could.

 

I ask for examples because its not unusual for central office brass to dismiss rank and file teachers' ideas in our district. If I can come with some concrete examples, I'm guaranteed to be able to parry some of the weak dismissals brass throws at me. I don't have any wool over my eyes about the hold that insurance companies have over Chicago Public Schools. In fact, I bet they're going to come at me with "local control" so that admin that has relationships with salesmen can continue to accrue whatever benefits they are currently receiving.  

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The things Ed mentioned above it looks like Harvard University does. https://hr.harvard.edu/files/humanresources/files/tdaplan.pdf

I am pushing our benefits department to do these things. When I tried to discuss it with them they either didn't care or didn't understand. They told me they were not changing anything so I contacted our superintendent and he wants to meet with me. Now suddenly benefits is interested in what I have to say:-)

It's an uphill battle , but I am not giving up.

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