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NJ Teacher 403b Options

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I think Tony has it right. HR and the third party administrator have no business telling you which of Lincoln Investment 403b offerings you should use. It's your choice. A TPA that is a AXA vendor obviously has a conflict of interest. You know how to get the application form, go ahead and ask for it and get the account set up. The TPA will have the salary reduction application you'll need to get your contributions started. Hang in there! 

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I just found this thread after being frustrated with the growth in my Equitable account... Here are the vendors my district offers. I plan on researching in the coming days, but does anyone have any clear cut favorites, or advice?

AXA EQUITABLE            
             
VALIC            
             
             
             
FORESTERS- FORMERLY FIRST INVESTORS            
             
FIDELITY            
             
OPPENHEIMER FINDS            
             
THE LEGEND GROUP            
             
SECURITY BENEFITS

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Hi Amanda, welcome to the forum! The lowest cost vendor on that list is Fidelity. They charge only $24/yr. Their 403b is a custodial account, not an annuity contract. They are internet based, so there are no local reps (salespersons) in the teacher's lounge wanting to do the paperwork for you so they can earn that big commission. 

Start here on Fidelity’s 403b website: https://nb.fidelity.com/public/nb/ready2enroll/planoptions “Plan Basics” explains their 403b plan and “Investment Options” leads you to the list of all the Fidelity funds. I suggest you use only their index funds, either what’s called a 3 Fund Portfolio like below, or a single Freedom Index 20XX fund, ER 0.12%.

Fidelity® Total Market Index Fund, FSKAX, ER 0.015%

Fidelity® International Index Fund, FSPSX, ER 0.035%

Fidelity® U.S. Bond Index Fund, FXNAX, ER 0.025%

The 3 funds or a Freedom Index 20XX give you maximum diversification, which is desirable.

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