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D Junkins

CT Vendor list for wife

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4 hours ago, krow36 said:

None of the low-cost 403b vendors such as Vanguard, Fidelity, Aspire or Security Benefit’s NEA Direct Invest have a local rep explaining the importance of low-cost investing. We understand that the reason they are low-cost is because they have no local rep. And we don’t know the enrollment numbers of any of these vendors except that the numbers are low.

We all agree that SB’s main business plan is to take advantage of uninformed K-12 employees by selling outrageously expensive 403b annuity contracts. We all agree that NEA prostitutes itself by selling its name to these products. Sure, SB’s NEA Direct Invest doesn’t remove the sins of SB’s and NEA’s main relationship. And that main relationship is what makes NEA Direct Invest possible.

Steve is very proud of the very low expense ratio of his portfolio. If his only choice of vendors was SB’s NEA Direct Invest and Aspire, would he choose Aspire and add 0.15% to his overall ER? Probably, but others (BashDash and Ed LaFave) choose Direct Invest. I think either choice is valid, but I don’t think we all have to agree to that.

5 hours ago, Bashdash said:

Steve, I agree with you I bet I may be only enrollee in my huge district I am in.  Same with the amazing state run 457 plan.  Without krow36 I wouldn't have ever known.  Yes, an anonymous helper saved my retirement! 

8 hours ago, tony said:

I would like to see the numbers of how many people are actually enrolled in NEA Direct Invest and how many even know it even exists and how many even care. Sales people are not going to recommend it so it's not going to change the  403b world and that's just the WAY Security Benefit and the NEA wants it.  You are not going to hear these companies and salespeople saying " Hey I have a program here that has rock bottom fees and I want to explain it to you and help you sign up for it even if I don't make any commissions on it"

That's why I think Aspire offers a better way out of annuities. It's visible on provider lists and offers an escape hatch that a teacher can find on their own instead of having to come to this obscure site to find out. The catch there is understanding that  the self direct  option which isn't advertised is the way to go.

Hi Fellows,

All I asked from the OP is to report how he enrolled. I have no idea why we are having this discussion because I said something that might be inaccurate, from what I have read and heard from these boards and financial advisers helping teachers that it's primarily murderous and rare?  So we have one person, and perhaps a few others on Bogleheads, Bashash who experienced a breeze when it comes to enrolling thanks to the anonymous helper, Krow36. I am happy to know that it was easy for you, but not everybody has Krow36 helping. 

Anyway, I certainly did not expect a lecture on SB direct invest and to be told that enrolling with SB direct invest is now simple for the OP and everybody else!? Let's have the OP let us know. That's all I was asking. My goodness!

I hope that helps the OP, because thats what we should be doing, if I now dare to be lecturing. :- ) 

Steve

 

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1 hour ago, tony said:

Steve

I certainly wasn't lecturing you. I was trying to agree with you in regards to  Direct Invest

 

Tony

Tony,

I know you weren't. We all agree to help the OP, and that's where these discussions should be focused. I find it annoying when the discussion leads to a meta-discussion over petty corrections among ourselves that the OP doesn't need. We not only lost the focus but the OP.   I am still interested in Junkin's experience with enrolling. 

Have a great week,

Steve

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I know we all like to comment but maybe we over comment. If one person has answered the question then the rest of us  maybe shouldn't repeat the same information. Only add something new. Thats what I'm going to start doing.

My number one goal is not necessarily to push everybody to  lowest of low fees but instead  I'mm more interested in trying to remove the strangle hold the insurance industry has on the 403b industry and to further financial literacy.

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Hi all, nothing groundbreaking to report yet.  We've filled out the DirectInvest account application online and I'm told that can take 3-5 days to be completed. 

SB does not have the Plan # required on the District's Salary reduction form so, I've got an email in with my favorite HR person and we'll see how much of a hornet's nest I've stirred up over there.  If all goes perfectly well, the District will provide me the Plan # and SB will send me an account confirmation letter by tomorrow.  Those two things will get submitted to HR and we're off and running.  

Thanks again,

Dan

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5 hours ago, D Junkins said:

Hi all, nothing groundbreaking to report yet.  We've filled out the DirectInvest account application online and I'm told that can take 3-5 days to be completed. 

SB does not have the Plan # required on the District's Salary reduction form so, I've got an email in with my favorite HR person and we'll see how much of a hornet's nest I've stirred up over there.  If all goes perfectly well, the District will provide me the Plan # and SB will send me an account confirmation letter by tomorrow.  Those two things will get submitted to HR and we're off and running.  

Thanks again,

Dan

Thanks, Dan, for your update. 

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Update for you all....

HR doesn't apparently have any account/plan #s - said our agent needed to provide them. Hah!  So, back to square one with SB.

My wife went through several phone reps today at SB until finally speaking with one that was able to find her NEA DirectInvest application. They told her that the application was received yesterday (I submitted it online 9 days ago?) and that she should receive her welcome letter and account info for the account in another 7-10 days. 

On a separate track, I've emailed District HR and they said I'd need to get the plan # from my account rep.  I plan on dealing with them later, once I have the welcome letter and, hopefully, the account info.  I should be able to fill out the salary reduction form myself for HR and without too many additional questions with those two pieces of info.

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Have you asked the district's TPA (TSA Consulting Group) for the plan number? I think it’s likely that all Security Benefit options have the same plan number. But maybe not? The district or the TPA can’t tell you which of the SB options you should use. In any case, ask a SB rep, and don’t be surprised if they claim to have never heard of NEA Direct Invest. Hang in there!

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12 hours ago, krow36 said:

Have you asked the district's TPA (TSA Consulting Group) for the plan number? I think it’s likely that all Security Benefit options have the same plan number. But maybe not? The district or the TPA can’t tell you which of the SB options you should use. In any case, ask a SB rep, and don’t be surprised if they claim to have never heard of NEA Direct Invest. Hang in there! 

Thanks, its not really transparent to me who the TPA is but, I've asked HR if I could contact them or the SB agent for the District plan number. I also gave them a few links and offered to do whatever I could to support adding some better options:

  1.  NY Times 403b Expose
  2.  SEC Investigates Teacher 403b's
  3.  Vanguard 403b Services
  4. CT WorkSavePlay 403b

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On 10/26/2019 at 11:28 AM, krow36 said:

I think you need to confirm with SB that your application has been accepted. This usually seems to take several weeks? The district or the TSA likely has their own Salary Reduction agreement, so you should ask them about that, and they can give you the SB plan number. 

Yes, seems like it took more than a week for them to be able to see the submitted/accepted online application.  My wife also bounced around to different people until she got one that knew how to find it.  Seems to be in separate system than what the call center reps normally use, so they need to know to look in that other place, if that makes sense.  Said that we'd get paperwork for the account 7-10 days from when it was accepted.

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Hi all, it's been a while since my last update. Life got in the way and bouncing back and forth with folks trying get this account setup.  We've been enrolled and have our online login to the Security Benefits Portal.  I've submitted the paper work to HR to begin contributions this month for 2020. Crossing fingers. 

We got caught up for some time trying to figure out what our Plan # was...Security Benefit wouldn't give over the phone and said to check our statements online (nonexistent because we made no contributions).  I eventually found out from our District's account rep for Security Benefit that it was her SS#.  Not a great business practice but, at least explains why nobody would provide it to us.

In summary:

  1. Apply online with the links provided at the top of this threa.
  2. You should get a confirmation letter 7-10 days later
  3. My wife got her account login info from Security Benefit over the phone sometime after that
  4. Setup your investment choices online. There are several Vanguard funds available with .04 - .07 expense ratios
  5. Fill out your HR forms to begin contributions

Tip: 

  1.  If you need to call Security Benefits, ask up front if the person is familiar with their NEA DirectInvest product.  Phone support was indeed helpful if they knew about the product - not so much if they didn't.

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59 minutes ago, D Junkins said:
 
52 minutes ago, D Junkins said:We got caught up for some time trying to figure out what our Plan # was...Security Benefit wouldn't give over the phone and said to check our statements online (nonexistent because we made no contributions).  I eventually found out from our District's account rep for Security Benefit that it was her SS#.  Not a great business practice but, at least explains why nobody would provide it to us.

My free book Fighting Powerful Interests is packed with stories like what you report. But this is very clever. 

What appears to be different from you is that at least the powers to be are much more nuanced than my experience 25 years ago. 

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On 1/6/2020 at 9:51 AM, D Junkins said:

Hi all, it's been a while since my last update. Life got in the way and bouncing back and forth with folks trying get this account setup.  We've been enrolled and have our online login to the Security Benefits Portal.  I've submitted the paper work to HR to begin contributions this month for 2020. Crossing fingers. 

We got caught up for some time trying to figure out what our Plan # was...Security Benefit wouldn't give over the phone and said to check our statements online (nonexistent because we made no contributions).  I eventually found out from our District's account rep for Security Benefit that it was her SS#.  Not a great business practice but, at least explains why nobody would provide it to us.

In summary:

  1. Apply online with the links provided at the top of this threa.
  2. You should get a confirmation letter 7-10 days later
  3. My wife got her account login info from Security Benefit over the phone sometime after that
  4. Setup your investment choices online. There are several Vanguard funds available with .04 - .07 expense ratios
  5. Fill out your HR forms to begin contributions

Tip: 

  1.  If you need to call Security Benefits, ask up front if the person is familiar with their NEA DirectInvest product.  Phone support was indeed helpful if they knew about the product - not so much if they didn't.

Hi all, the journey is complete.  The first contribution arrive in my wife’s Security Benefit account yesterday.  

Very thankful to the forum and members that helped out.

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3 hours ago, D Junkins said:

Hi all, the journey is complete.  The first contribution arrive in my wife’s Security Benefit account yesterday.  

Very thankful to the forum and members that helped out.

Hi Junkins,

Your tip about asking for SB rep who knows about the DirectInvest was very refreshing news. 

Congrats!

Steve

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