Success changing 403b fund options

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Success changing 403b fund options

Post by thinkingmama » Fri Jan 11, 2013 3:41 pm

Just wanted to let those on this forum know that sometimes, the squeaky wheel really does get the grease. For two years, I have sent emails and letters to my HR department asking them to consider adding more low cost index funds to their fund menu at TIAA/CREF and Fidelity. Despite the fact both companies offer good low cost passively managed funds, the only fixed income fund available was PIMCO, and the only passively managed US equity funds were CREF equity index, with an e/r of .40, or thereabout, and Fidelity Spartan 500 index, which is a great fund with an expense ratio of .04 (net). As of now, my employer has added Vanguard Total US Bond Index to the menu at TIAA/CREF, and Fidelity Total US bond idex to the menu available through Fidelity. I hope they add more low cost options (e.g. short term and itermediate treasury bond index funds), but this is a good beginning. Thanks for encouraging me to keep on them.

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Re: Success changing 403b fund options

Post by Beelzebozo » Sun Mar 24, 2013 7:14 pm

Good on you. The sad fact is it probably took them less work to add those funds than it did for you to write the letters.

If you're still even slightly dissatisfied with the fund menu, consider lobbying for a Self-Directed Brokerage Account feature. This would allow you, upon signing a waiver, to get any fund at Fidelity's online brokerage. This is an easy thing for them to do. Participating will be either free or cheap for you.

Disclosure: I work within the retirement plan industry and over just the past year have analyzed more plans than almost anyone in the nation. I am an Investment Advisor Representative of a fee-only Registered Investment Advisory firm and receive no compensation from plan providers nor investment companies. This post is for education purposes only and should in no way be considered investment advice or a solicitation of business.

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Re: Success changing 403b fund options

Post by hoppy08520 » Mon Mar 25, 2013 8:13 pm

Good job. For many passive investors, a 500-index fund and a total bond fund could make up half your portfolio, so that's a good start. I'm glad people post these success stories as a way to motivate others to agitate just a little bit.

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Re: Success changing 403b fund options

Post by fcirullo » Mon Mar 25, 2013 8:49 pm

hoppy08520 wrote:I'm glad people post these success stories as a way to motivate others to agitate just a little bit.
I, too, am glad that people post their encourages others to ask for what they want. Well done, thinkingmama!
Frank R. Cirullo | | "It isn't what we don't know that gives us trouble, it's what we know that ain't so." -- | Will Rogers

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