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VMK

Bad 403b options and an official who refuses to add more

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Hello, 

I am stuck in a bad 403b (American Fidelity) and I am at a loss as to what I can do about it. My vendor list has nothing but bad options; there are no options like Aspire, Fidelity, Vanguard, etc. that I can switch to. I have contacted my benefits official to see about adding better options for myself and my fellow teachers, but the response I got was that they would add no new vendors. I stopped my contributions months ago and I started and fully funded a Roth IRA instead. My balance in the 403b is about 9k, and I have contacted American Fidelity about my options to transfer/rollover my money into something else, and the answer I got was that without a qualifying event (which I do not have) there is nothing I can do except transfer the money to another company on my approved vendor list (which, as I said, is nothing but bad options).

Is there anything I can do to get this money out of there? Do I just have to chalk it up as a lost cause? I do not care about tax/penalty consequences.

I can attach my vendor list if needed, and I am in a small school district in Hamilton County, OH. 

Thank you very much.

VMK

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VMK

 You have a way around the roadblocks. NEA Direct Invest.  https://www.nearetirementprogram.com/nea-directinvest If you have Security Benefit you qualify. The forms are on the link. Fill it out and send it in and open the account. Pick from the Vanguard Funds offered.  Once your account is opened, you can initiate a transfer over from American Fidelity. You will probably have to fill out transfer forms .  If you type in NEA direct invest in the search box on this forum, you will learn all you need to know.

Just remember , this is a self directed account so you  will not get salesperson/advisor  assistance nor  should you deal with a Security Benefit advisor because they may steer you towards a high commisioned product. Do everything on your own.  We can help w/ questions along the way. So go get started!!

You will want to pick Vanguard Total Stock Market Index, Vanguard  Total international, and Vanguard intermediate Bond fund. The fees are very very low. And that's why it s so well hidden. There is no incentive for them to promote it.

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Krow36 and Tony,

Thank you very much for the help! I see my mistake was not understanding that NEA Direct Invest was within Security Benefit. I will make sure to do everything on my own, and I already have VTSAX and VTIAX in my Roth, so that will work out quite nicely. I will start tomorrow! 

Thanks again for all of your help, this has definitely a big relief.

 

VMK

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1 hour ago, ClarkandAddison said:

In Ohio, you also have a great 457(b) as an option.

If teachers qualify for it, that gives VMK a second great option and perhaps a few more fund choices than what NEA might offer!! However the school district must be willing to add it. NEA direct invest's fees are very hard to beat but it's true that its Vanguard choices are limited.Limited but more than adequate to get the diversification needed.

If Ohio's 457b plan is anything like Virginia's it might definitely be worth looking at.

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If this is the correct page these are the investments offered. I like the life path funds and the Vanguard funds but Vanguard Total Stock  market Index is strangely missing from the mix. Doesn't make a whole lot of sense. The fees seem very good  though. Perhaps they offer a self direct option which allows to tap into it. I didn't look too deeply out of late night laziness.

 

https://www.ohio457.org/investments

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