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SCteacher13

Switching 403b

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I am a teacher in South Carolina, and I started my 403b plan this past January (with AXA/Equitable). I just contacted my district and asked for a list of approved vendors.

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From my research, I should get out of my plan with Equitable. Is there a better choice based on the list above? If not, is there another option?

 

Thanks in advance!

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SCteacher13, welcome to the forum. You are fortunate to have access to the SC state 401k and 457 plans which are described here:https://www.chacity.org/images/FCKUploads/file/Careers/Employee Forms/401k-457 Getting Started.pdf

Here’s a listing of the funds available in both plans: https://southcarolinadcp.empower-retirement.com/participant/#/articles/SouthCarolina/investmentInformation

The administration fee is 0.11% and the expense ratio of a target retirement fund is 0.10%. 

You can invest in both a 401k and a 457, each having their on maximum contribution of 19.5k for 2020. You are fortunate to have a high quality 401k rather than an expensive 403b. Your 403b vendors are high-cost annuity sellers and should be avoided. You can't transfer your 403b account balance into either the 401k or the 457 while you remain with the same employer. I would stop contributions ASAP and set up either (or both?) the 401k or the 457 accounts.

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The PFS Invest 403b would be a possible vendor that you could use to transfer your AXA account into. Their expense ratios run from about 0.52% to about 1.30% so it's not low-cost. But it is lower cost than AXA which has a 1.20% fee on top of your fund's expense ratio fee. You could use only the one fund Invesco Equally-Wtd S&P 500 A. It’s expense ratio is 0.52%. Unfortunately it and the other funds have a 5.5% front-end load.   https://www.403bcompare.com/products/78#/investmentoptions

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 SC Teacher  

You can always count on Krow's advice . He is probably the most technically/detail accurate poster on this forum. I think it's good from time to time to show our appreciation to our contributors like Krow on this forum who help others straighten out/ sort through their 403b/457b messes apparent in most school 403b plans. Unfortunately most school systems don't have a Krow on their personal staff. That would be helpful to most teachers but the insurance vendors would probably try and get him fired.  So you have to come here which is probably quicker anyway.

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Tony, thanks for the kind words. Coming from you, the one most responsible for keeping this forum going these days, they are appreciated! I've been spending time helping on the 403bwise Facebook Group, and it seems very successful in spreading the word. The Group is developing a number of knowledgeable teachers that are organizing on a district and building level. There are lots of zoom sessions with Dan and Scott as well as frequent posts by them. There are teachers showing up for help just about every day! I don't use FB myself, but this FB Group is effective. I think this forum is a much better medium for conferring and storing information, but the FB Group is preferred by today's teachers.

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Yes, I agree with Tony. Thank you so much for your advice. I really appreciate you taking the time to respond. It is greatly appreciated. I will also check out the Facebook group. 

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