NY Times first in a series about 403(b)s with public K-12

Discuss all general (i.e. non-personal) investing questions and issues, investing news, and theory.
sschullo
Posts: 2418
Joined: Sun Apr 01, 2007 8:25 am
Location: Rancho Mirage, CA
Contact:

NY Times first in a series about 403(b)s with public K-12

Post by sschullo » Fri Oct 21, 2016 6:45 pm

Think your retirement is bad? Talk to a teacher.

Part 1 Published Oct 21: "Think your retirement plan is bad? Talk to a teacher." http://www.nytimes.com/2016/10/23/your- ... share&_r=0

This initial article is a review of what has been reported by the print media for the last 20 years. You ain't seen anything yet.

Part 2 Published Oct 26: An annuity for the teacher--and the broker. A look inside the high-pressure job of selling annuities to public school teachers." http://www.nytimes.com/2016/10/27/your- ... .html?_r=0

I have been following the print media on the hideous 403(b) selling to public k-12 for almost 20 years. This series may be a game changer, the reporting is excellant!
Last edited by sschullo on Thu Oct 27, 2016 6:56 am, edited 2 times in total.
Public School K-12 Educators: "Ask NOT what your annuity sales person can do for you, ask what you can do to be a Do-It-Yourselfer (DIY)."

informal guide
Posts: 197
Joined: Mon Aug 29, 2016 10:26 am

Re: NY Times first in a series about 403(b)s with public K-12

Post by informal guide » Fri Oct 21, 2016 7:28 pm

I encourage all to read this story. It is truly a travesty for a highly deserving group of beneficiaries!

I find the 403(b) suits recently filed against the big university 403(b)s such as Duke and MIT laughable versus the way these deserving folks - particularly public employees not a protected by ERISA being fleeced by most insurance companies, salespeople, and many third party administrators (TPAs). All too often, organizations you'd think were around to benefit these folks (such as teachers' associations, unions, and government agencies) are, in fact, receiving significant compensation from the very insurance companies and TPAs that are charging very high investment management, advice, administration, and sometimes annuity fees to 403(b) participants. It is more egregious than AARP receiving payments from "endorsed" insurance companies serving seniors.

Wagnerjb
Posts: 7202
Joined: Mon Feb 19, 2007 8:44 pm
Location: Houston, Texas

Re: NY Times first in a series about 403(b)s with public K-12

Post by Wagnerjb » Fri Oct 21, 2016 8:22 pm

This is a very important subject. Sadly, the New York Times ruins it with a pity party and loads of unnecessary politics. Why can't they just talk about the issue - high cost 403b funds - without injecting so much politics aimed at making us feel bad for those teachers?
As a result, the people who do the most good in the world, spending their careers helping others in exchange for modest paychecks, often get the worst retirement plans.
Oh, so people who take care of elderly patients don't do enough good? Nurses don't do enough good? The lady working to find a cure for cancer at a pharmaceutical company doesn't do enough good? The person risking his life on a drilling rig to find oil to heat our homes isn't doing enough good? Geez, turn the volume down....

What are the photos in the article? First, there is Valarie William's son who has down syndrome. The next photo is of Valarie's daughter who is blind and severely disabled. Valarie is using her 403b to save for a van to transport her daughter. The next photo is another photo of Valarie's disabled daughter. The fourth photo is yet another photo of Valarie's handicapped daughter. The fifth photo is yet another photo of Valarie with her daughter, at a breast cancer walk. The sixth photo is another photo of Valarie with her disabled daughter, reminding us that Valarie is divorced.
One of Ms. Jusinski’s colleagues, Karen S., is a 62-year-old widow nearing retirement who agreed to discuss her situation if her last name was not used to protect her family’s privacy. At the end of 2015 she would have had an additional $113,000 in savings — or nearly 50 percent more — had she not paid approximately $37,500 in commissions and various fees over the previous eight years and had instead invested in a simpler mix of low-cost stock and bond funds, according to an analysis performed by Mr. Dauenhauer, the 403(b) consultant.

Her husband died of brain cancer when their three boys were 3, 5 and 7, leaving her to raise the children on her own.
Can't we leave the pity out of the article? I know lots of people are struggling in life, but that isn't what this article is supposedly about. It is about high-cost brokers. They also prey on people who aren't old, people who aren't divorced, people who aren't handicapped.

Finally we have some normal reporting, with some educational content:
Tracee Huffman, a 26-year-old who teaches seventh and eighth graders in Norfolk, Va., became so fed up waiting for the representative to get back to her — it took more than six months — that she educated herself about costs and decided her personal individual retirement account was a better deal. “I have emailed the other vendors, but they always refused to respond to my questions via email,” Ms. Huffman said. “They would prefer I drive to meet with them when my question is simple: ‘Do you have a 403(b) that has an expense ratio under 1.5 percent? If so, I’m yours.’”
This is great!!! Let's tell readers how to educate themselves to avoid the high-cost brokers. Let's help teachers to make better financial decisions when it comes to their 403b plans. Let's tell Congress to change the laws to include 403b plans in the fiduciary protections. But why ruin the message with such lopsided reporting? Sad that such a worthy message is lost in the reporting.

Best wishes.
Andy

GenXer
Posts: 112
Joined: Fri May 24, 2013 11:01 pm

Re: NY Times first in a series about 403(b)s with public K-12

Post by GenXer » Fri Oct 21, 2016 8:25 pm

Thank you for linking to this article. It was incredibly informative, and every public school teacher would do well to read it.

Spirit Rider
Posts: 8701
Joined: Fri Mar 02, 2007 2:39 pm

Re: NY Times first in a series about 403(b)s with public K-12

Post by Spirit Rider » Fri Oct 21, 2016 8:42 pm

The biggest problem is that their employers and unions are complicit in the high fee plans.

jasc15
Posts: 381
Joined: Wed Dec 19, 2012 1:36 pm

Re: NY Times first in a series about 403(b)s with public K-12

Post by jasc15 » Fri Oct 21, 2016 9:26 pm

My wife is an employee in a New Jersey public school, and I tried to get some information about her options on the web. It is nearly impossible. All you can find are forms to enroll in the various plans without information what the plans contain. If the fees are the worst part, the opacity of the process is right behind.

There is something called NEA Direct Invest (part of Security Benefit I think, which is mentioned the article), which may or may not be available in all districts, and allows self directed investing with mutual funds. To get it added to the district's offerings requires getting some sort of petition circulated. And good luck finding out what funds are offered. I think we'll focus on filling our IRA space instead of wading through the murky 403b swamps.

sschullo
Posts: 2418
Joined: Sun Apr 01, 2007 8:25 am
Location: Rancho Mirage, CA
Contact:

Re: NY Times first in a series about 403(b)s with public K-12

Post by sschullo » Sat Oct 22, 2016 7:27 am

Bogleheads.

I have a favor to ask. Many of you have a spouse, friend or relative that are public K-12 teachers. Please get this report and the successive reports in front of them. If you have to print it out and read it together, that would be great.

The selling of expensive, inappropriate insurance products to 20 something (and older teachers) has been going on far too long. If you have a twitter, FB, LinkedIN, Blog, please share it with your followers.

I will post each article as they are published. I don't know what the NY Times schedule is nor do I know how many in the series. What I do know is this reporter has been working on this since the beginning of the year and has talked to all of the major stakeholders in our tiny advocacy group.

thanks and have a great day,
Steve
Public School K-12 Educators: "Ask NOT what your annuity sales person can do for you, ask what you can do to be a Do-It-Yourselfer (DIY)."

User avatar
njboater74
Posts: 632
Joined: Mon Apr 25, 2016 8:21 pm

Re: NY Times first in a series about 403(b)s with public K-12

Post by njboater74 » Sat Oct 22, 2016 7:38 am

Thank you so much for posting this.

What's also concerning is how many teachers are disinterested in changing this. My wife's district has low cost options, but nobody seems interested in moving from what the insurance reps have already set up for them.
When the mob and the press and the whole world tell you to move, your job is to plant yourself like a tree beside the river of truth and tell the whole world - 'No, YOU move'--Captain America, Boglehead

sschullo
Posts: 2418
Joined: Sun Apr 01, 2007 8:25 am
Location: Rancho Mirage, CA
Contact:

Re: NY Times first in a series about 403(b)s with public K-12

Post by sschullo » Sat Oct 22, 2016 7:59 am

njboater74 wrote:Thank you so much for posting this.

What's also concerning is how many teachers are disinterested in changing this. My wife's district has low-cost options, but nobody seems interested in moving from what the insurance reps have already set up for them.
I know the feeling. After all of these years, I have summed up in my unscientific report that there are three categories of teachers:
1. 70% do not participate in any tax deferred retirement plan because of the pension.
2. 80% of those who do participate in a 403(b) love their insurance "guy" or gal.
3. Up to 20% are investment savvy educators, and many are Bogleheads here, but far too many feel the resistance and pushback from the teaching culture and give up trying.

This series of reports may be a game changer. Print out the report and have your wife take it to her school to share with her colleagues.
Public School K-12 Educators: "Ask NOT what your annuity sales person can do for you, ask what you can do to be a Do-It-Yourselfer (DIY)."

KESP
Posts: 125
Joined: Sat May 07, 2016 8:24 pm

Re: NY Times first in a series about 403(b)s with public K-12

Post by KESP » Sat Oct 22, 2016 8:04 am

I work in a school district and have one of those high cost 403bs. I would love to abandon it for my Vanguard IRA, but from what I am reading, if my adjusted gross income is over $98,000, the contribution is not deductible, or is only partially deductible. The district I'm in is very small, and retirement plans seem to be something no one wants to think about. My guess it's because there is a pension involved, so people have this sense of security with that. The biggest frustration I have is that it seems like either the national union, NEA, or our local state union certainly have enough power to make this better, but don't. I have asked my local union representatives about this, and I get blank stares. I will be pushing to try and get some answers and other options. The donuts and raffles of mini iPads certainly don't make up for the thousands of dollars in lost retirement income.

LearningtheRopes
Posts: 32
Joined: Sat Jun 06, 2015 4:34 pm

Re: NY Times first in a series about 403(b)s with public K-12

Post by LearningtheRopes » Sat Oct 22, 2016 8:05 am

My spouse is now working for a school district in the northeast, and when we were researching the 403(b) options available, the opacity was striking, particularly with respect to investment options and expenses. We haven't made a decision yet, but there appear to be no good choices, and although having money taken out pre-tax to reduce AGI is a big thing, I haven't crunched the numbers to see whether it would make more sense to put the after tax $$ in our taxable Vanguard account where I know the ERs are minuscule and no other fees. If anyone has thoughts on this, I welcome them.

Also, another big issue buried in this article -- no fault of the Times, it wasn't the subject -- was the following about public pensions:

"And while public schoolteachers often are offered decent pensions, many of them do not work for the decades required to qualify for a full payout. And pension formulas are becoming less generous for newer recruits" (emphasis added).

This is something that many who are considering going into public service are not fully aware of. This is meant to be actionable, not political - something to keep in mind before making a choice -- but when you hear "pension" it's *not* your mother or father's pension -- the benefits in many areas (subject to less generous Tiers as time goes on) are a *fraction* of what they were a generation ago. There are valid reasons for this (that discussion is definitely political, and not for here), but something that I do not believe many people think about before joining a publicly funded pension program.

User avatar
friar1610
Posts: 1271
Joined: Sat Nov 29, 2008 9:52 pm
Location: MA South Shore

Re: NY Times first in a series about 403(b)s with public K-12

Post by friar1610 » Sat Oct 22, 2016 8:17 am

Although not a teacher, I used to visit a site called 403Bwise.com as I was assisting my nurse daughter with setting up her retirement investments. At that time, and I haven't visited it recently, it was a valuable source of information that educated readers on how they were getting screwed and steps to take to get their employers to change to lower cost plans. It may be useful to the same folks who would find the NYT articles helpful.
Friar1610

sschullo
Posts: 2418
Joined: Sun Apr 01, 2007 8:25 am
Location: Rancho Mirage, CA
Contact:

Re: NY Times first in a series about 403(b)s with public K-12

Post by sschullo » Sat Oct 22, 2016 8:54 am

friar1610 wrote:Although not a teacher, I used to visit a site called 403Bwise.com as I was assisting my nurse daughter with setting up her retirement investments. At that time, and I haven't visited it recently, it was a valuable source of information that educated readers on how they were getting screwed and steps to take to get their employers to change to lower cost plans. It may be useful to the same folks who would find the NYT articles helpful.
I am told that The Time's took a photo shoot of Dan Otter, the brilliant webmaster. Since 2000, my friend has been way ahead of everybody on this issue. All of the "brilliant" minds of districts and unions DON'T GET IT.
Public School K-12 Educators: "Ask NOT what your annuity sales person can do for you, ask what you can do to be a Do-It-Yourselfer (DIY)."

User avatar
goingup
Posts: 3218
Joined: Tue Jan 26, 2010 1:02 pm

Re: NY Times first in a series about 403(b)s with public K-12

Post by goingup » Sat Oct 22, 2016 9:07 am

sschullo-
I thought of you when I read this article yesterday. I recall all your efforts with the LA unified school district to reform their retirement plans.

Why do these 403B plans remain so bad and 401K plans continue to improve? It's as though they are the last refuge for bad advisors and scoundrels!

The last non-proft I worked for had TIAA Cref as an administrator of their 403B--which I felt was not inexpensive but reputable.

sschullo
Posts: 2418
Joined: Sun Apr 01, 2007 8:25 am
Location: Rancho Mirage, CA
Contact:

Re: NY Times first in a series about 403(b)s with public K-12

Post by sschullo » Sat Oct 22, 2016 11:19 am

goingup wrote:sschullo-
I thought of you when I read this article yesterday. I recall all your efforts with the LA unified school district to reform their retirement plans.

Why do these 403B plans remain so bad and 401K plans continue to improve? It's as though they are the last refuge for bad advisors and scoundrels!
I am still at it. I am a member of the advisory committee and we won a plan design award for LAUSD 457(b) plan. In answering your question about why the abuse continues, it's a complex issue. Part of the answer has to do with focus. The public education institution was set up so teachers can focus on students, and not be distracted by economic outside issues. Districts have overwhelming issues to deal with and they believe they will be liable for something else if they try and clean up the 403b. And the teachers just don't complain loud enough and don't listen to their savvy colleagues or spouses. The unintended consequences are that teachers are well protected by districts and unions. They never talk about the 403b as a policy issue because they believe it's a private matter.

The sales force has everything going for them because teachers judge people face to face, and love the phony 10% bonuses and that they will never lose money in the stock market.

I wrote a free book, "Fighting Powerful Interests" that documents my trials and tribulations on implementing the 457b to replace the forever corrupted 403b with public k-12 school districts. PM me and I can email you a copy.
Last edited by sschullo on Sun Mar 19, 2017 10:18 am, edited 1 time in total.
Public School K-12 Educators: "Ask NOT what your annuity sales person can do for you, ask what you can do to be a Do-It-Yourselfer (DIY)."

MNGopher
Posts: 268
Joined: Tue Jun 16, 2015 1:44 pm

Re: NY Times first in a series about 403(b)s with public K-12

Post by MNGopher » Sat Oct 22, 2016 11:30 am

It will be interesting to see what changes, if any, will occur when the Department of Labor's "fiduciary rule" goes into effect next spring. Will insurance companies actually be required to inform people that a variable annuity with a 403B plan, makes absolutely no sense.

Rupert
Posts: 3649
Joined: Fri Aug 17, 2012 12:01 pm

Re: NY Times first in a series about 403(b)s with public K-12

Post by Rupert » Sat Oct 22, 2016 1:07 pm

The Times is going to be running a series of articles on 403b plans in the coming weeks/months. The nonprofit sector will be covered in a separate piece. Keep watching.

jasc15
Posts: 381
Joined: Wed Dec 19, 2012 1:36 pm

Re: NY Times first in a series about 403(b)s with public K-12

Post by jasc15 » Sat Oct 22, 2016 9:19 pm

Is there a page somewhere on the NY Times site that talks about the planned series, or is there just this article so far? I'd like to bookmark a page to check for new articles.

sschullo
Posts: 2418
Joined: Sun Apr 01, 2007 8:25 am
Location: Rancho Mirage, CA
Contact:

Re: NY Times first in a series about 403(b)s with public K-12

Post by sschullo » Sat Oct 22, 2016 9:53 pm

jasc15 wrote:Is there a page somewhere on the NY Times site that talks about the planned series, or is there just this article so far? I'd like to bookmark a page to check for new articles.
Either I will post the link to next article here or somebody else.
Public School K-12 Educators: "Ask NOT what your annuity sales person can do for you, ask what you can do to be a Do-It-Yourselfer (DIY)."

User avatar
StormShadow
Posts: 591
Joined: Thu Feb 09, 2012 6:20 pm

Re: NY Times first in a series about 403(b)s with public K-12

Post by StormShadow » Sun Oct 23, 2016 1:21 am

Read through the beginning of the article, but didn't need to finish. High expense ratios/management fees are a problem with many 401k/403b plans. Most bogleheads already knows this. Its ironic that a lack of education (specifically financial literacy) is part of the problem.

Makes me wonder why we can't change the law to allow people to invest their 401k/403b contributions with whichever mutual fund they want, like with IRA's.

sschullo
Posts: 2418
Joined: Sun Apr 01, 2007 8:25 am
Location: Rancho Mirage, CA
Contact:

Re: NY Times first in a series about 403(b)s with public K-12

Post by sschullo » Sun Oct 23, 2016 7:28 am

StormShadow wrote:Read through the beginning of the article, but didn't need to finish. High expense ratios/management fees are a problem with many 401k/403b plans. Most bogleheads already knows this. Its ironic that a lack of education (specifically financial literacy) is part of the problem.

Makes me wonder why we can't change the law to allow people to invest their 401k/403b contributions with whichever mutual fund they want, like with IRA's.
You're right, about 30 articles in the last 20 years have already been published which showed the same problems. But like I said above, you ain't seen anything yet. Finally, we were able to get teachers to talk because they are afraid their agents might lose their jobs! I believe your eyebrows will raise when you read what the annuity sale force are doing with teachers now. It's disgusting, but perfectly legal in the 403(b) world with public school teachers.

Here in California, we tried twice to change the insurance code, but was beaten back by the insurance industry. If enough educators complain, we could change it overnight. That's what we hope that this article will be a game changer.
Public School K-12 Educators: "Ask NOT what your annuity sales person can do for you, ask what you can do to be a Do-It-Yourselfer (DIY)."

User avatar
friar1610
Posts: 1271
Joined: Sat Nov 29, 2008 9:52 pm
Location: MA South Shore

Re: NY Times first in a series about 403(b)s with public K-12

Post by friar1610 » Sun Oct 23, 2016 8:09 am

Is there any on-line depository of canned letters to state insurance regulators/state legislatures that even we non-teachers could send to support this efforts? I belong to an organization of active and retired military officers that frequently provides texts of letters on issues of concern that members can send on to Congress. I, for one, would be happy to weigh in for teachers because this just pi$$e$ me off. And, in researching 403b plans for my nurse daughter I saw how, to paraphrase a particular presidential candidate, how rigged the system is.
Friar1610

User avatar
whaleknives
Posts: 1210
Joined: Sun Jun 24, 2012 7:19 pm

Re: NY Times first in a series about 403(b)s with public K-12

Post by whaleknives » Sun Oct 23, 2016 10:48 am

An eye-opening article. For those of us with 401(k) experience who think 403(b) plans are just another IRS category, two differences stood out:
  • Most 403(b) plans are exempt from ERISA, and are only covered by "state laws or less stringent federal securities regulations".
  • Most plans under ERISA include the right to sue, but 403(b)'s not under ERISA can require - you guessed it - arbitration.
"I'm an indexer. I own the market. And I'm happy." (John Bogle, "BusinessWeek", 8/17/07) ☕ Maritime signal flag W - Whiskey: "I require medical assistance."

User avatar
LAlearning
Posts: 1365
Joined: Wed May 09, 2012 12:26 pm
Location: Los Angeles

Re: NY Times first in a series about 403(b)s with public K-12

Post by LAlearning » Sun Oct 23, 2016 10:59 am

shared away Mr. Schullo.
I know nothing!

User avatar
F150HD
Posts: 1603
Joined: Fri Sep 18, 2015 7:49 pm

Re: NY Times first in a series about 403(b)s with public K-12

Post by F150HD » Sun Oct 23, 2016 11:28 am

If you are a teacher w/ Fidelity as a choice, you might have access to Brokeragelink inside the 403.

https://thefinancebuff.com/best-investm ... elink.html

This would allow you to personally select any funds you wish to put into your 403. Fidelity has their own index lineup.

https://www.fidelity.com/mutual-funds/i ... ndex-funds

Coolstavi
Posts: 100
Joined: Mon Oct 10, 2016 8:52 pm

Re: NY Times first in a series about 403(b)s with public K-12

Post by Coolstavi » Sun Oct 23, 2016 12:16 pm

Keep us updated with these articles.

I talked to my union president the other day and he is completely clueless about the retirement plans. Sad how little most teachers know about this.

Filled an application out for the NEA Direct Invest a week and a half ago. It still hasn't been processed. But hopefully this program is the start of something good for all of us.

texasdiver
Posts: 2665
Joined: Thu Jun 25, 2009 12:50 am
Location: Vancouver WA

Re: NY Times first in a series about 403(b)s with public K-12

Post by texasdiver » Sun Oct 23, 2016 2:34 pm

Teacher here.

I've taught in both Texas and now in Washington State so my experience is limited to those two states. What I have found is the following:

1. Yes the sharks are definitely out in both parts of the country. Teaching is on an annual cycle where you sign up or re-enroll in all your benefits on an annual basis at the beginning of the year when you are trying to get 1000 things done at once and get ready for your new classes and students. So you do medical, dental, life insurance, cafeteria plan, etc. etc. all at the same time, usually in some big benefits fair where you walk around to different tables like at a job fair and meet all the different representatives for the medical plans, insurance plans, and retirement plans. It is impossible to actually sort out what they are selling as you are in a line of other teachers and all they have for you is their slick brochures. It is difficult to even discern who is a sales person and who is representing your school district sometimes. So it isn't surprising that teachers get signed up for outrageous high-fee annuities and that sort of thing.

2. Yes I get bombarded with sales pitches as the more aggressive annuity sales people are adept at capturing school staff email directories and they like to worm their way into giving you free presentations and dinners and that kind of thing. It's all packaged in the form of free advice.

That said, in both states that I have worked I have found low-fee or zero fee options for retirement investing. They tend to be pretty hidden and absolutely no one from your school HR people or fellow teachers or (here in Washington) your union will really tell you how to find them.

In Texas both Vanguard and Fidelity are available for teachers to use as self-administered 403(b) plans. I used Vanguard and there were no fees whatsoever. The only minor cost was that Admiral Shares were unavailable. So the only cost to me of my Vanguard school district 403(b) plan was the difference in fees between Vanguard Investor and Vanguard Admiral shares. Pretty dang trivial compared to even the best 401(k) plans. It was simply a matter of opening my own Vanguard 403(b) account through the Vanguard web site and then filling out my school districts salary reduction form myself with that Vanguard account number on it. Pretty trivial. That is basically all the work the sales people ever do themselves when they enroll you in a high cost annuity. Essentially 10 minutes of paperwork to save thousands and thousands of dollars.

In Washington there don't appear to be the same zero-fee Vanguard options available for 403(b) plans. All I can find are the usual suspects like the insurance companies offering "products". However Washington State does have a state-run Deferred Compensation Program available for public employees. I haven't done a huge amount of research but it seems to function similar to the Federal TSP plan with a limited suite of in-house index funds and pretty low fees (0.13%). The investment limits are similar (or identical) to 403(b) and 401(k) plans so it seems to amount to more or less the same thing.

I can't speak for other states but at least in the two states where I have worked as a teacher I have found zero-cost or extremely low cost investment options available. But you really have to do your own research, especially in Texas. And for the most part this never happens. Teachers seem to be uniquely susceptible to sales pitches from the annuity guys. I don't know if they are more trusting or just overwhelmed with other stuff when the annual enrollment cycle comes around each fall. Or just tend not to be very savvy about finances. I really don't know. The fact that teaching is a majority female profession may have something to do with it as well.

User avatar
pondering
Posts: 1006
Joined: Fri Jan 30, 2015 11:04 pm
Location: 412-977-3526, originally 718-273-2422

Re: NY Times first in a series about 403(b)s with public K-12

Post by pondering » Sun Oct 23, 2016 2:36 pm

Do we want to get together to try to share notes about these plans?
--Robert Sterbal | 412-977-3526 call/text

Coolstavi
Posts: 100
Joined: Mon Oct 10, 2016 8:52 pm

Re: NY Times first in a series about 403(b)s with public K-12

Post by Coolstavi » Sun Oct 23, 2016 3:25 pm

texasdiver wrote:
In Texas both Vanguard and Fidelity are available for teachers to use as self-administered 403(b) plans. I used Vanguard and there were no fees whatsoever. The only minor cost was that Admiral Shares were unavailable. So the only cost to me of my Vanguard school district 403(b) plan was the difference in fees between Vanguard Investor and Vanguard Admiral shares. Pretty dang trivial compared to even the best 401(k) plans. It was simply a matter of opening my own Vanguard 403(b) account through the Vanguard web site and then filling out my school districts salary reduction form myself with that Vanguard account number on it. Pretty trivial. That is basically all the work the sales people ever do themselves when they enroll you in a high cost annuity. Essentially 10 minutes of paperwork to save thousands and thousands of dollars.

In Washington there don't appear to be the same zero-fee Vanguard options available for 403(b) plans. All I can find are the usual suspects like the insurance companies offering "products". However Washington State does have a state-run Deferred Compensation Program available for public employees. I haven't done a huge amount of research but it seems to function similar to the Federal TSP plan with a limited suite of in-house index funds and pretty low fees (0.13%). The investment limits are similar (or identical) to 403(b) and 401(k) plans so it seems to amount to more or less the same thing.

I can't speak for other states but at least in the two states where I have worked as a teacher I have found zero-cost or extremely low cost investment options available. But you really have to do your own research, especially in Texas. And for the most part this never happens. Teachers seem to be uniquely susceptible to sales pitches from the annuity guys. I don't know if they are more trusting or just overwhelmed with other stuff when the annual enrollment cycle comes around each fall. Or just tend not to be very savvy about finances. I really don't know. The fact that teaching is a majority female profession may have something to do with it as well.
I tried opening a Vanguard 403b but my third party administrator wouldn't allow it. So that may not work for everyone. My district doesn't have any low cost alternatives (assuming this Security Benefit NEA Direct Invest doesn't work).

User avatar
heartwood
Posts: 1261
Joined: Sat Nov 23, 2013 1:40 pm

Re: NY Times first in a series about 403(b)s with public K-12

Post by heartwood » Sun Oct 23, 2016 3:43 pm

While state or federal fixes may be possible, this is currently a local, school district issue, at least in NJ. My wife lived the situation described in the article. The agents, the coffee and cookies, the filling out of forms for you ... and the 5% loads and high ERs, plus mostly annuities that were restrictive. The plans through the teachers union that were as bad. But the agents are happy to market you, fill out the forms, etc to get the commissions. Then they worked through the HR office to have the deductions sent to them and the high cost plans.

After a couple of years DW spoke with the school payroll person, essentially the bookkeeper, not the BOE accountant or even the board, about whether Vanguard could become an option. DW spoke to the woman who made sure your payroll deductions happened. The bookkeeper, who wasn't interested in getting more work for herself said to bring in the details from Vanguard on 403(b). Vanguard wasn't especially helpful but did provide forms, and instructions on where to send the deductions, etc. In about a month's time the bookkeeper added Vanguard to the available plans and DW used them for over 30 years. The bookkeeper setup the payroll deductions, the district sent the funds directly to Vanguard. DW's W-2 showed the correct amounts each year. To our knowledge it was never discussed by the BOE. It was all handled by the "right" person. DW was fortunate to have someone who was willing to adapt.

texasdiver
Posts: 2665
Joined: Thu Jun 25, 2009 12:50 am
Location: Vancouver WA

Re: NY Times first in a series about 403(b)s with public K-12

Post by texasdiver » Sun Oct 23, 2016 4:09 pm

Coolstavi wrote:
texasdiver wrote:
In Texas both Vanguard and Fidelity are available for teachers to use as self-administered 403(b) plans. I used Vanguard and there were no fees whatsoever. The only minor cost was that Admiral Shares were unavailable. So the only cost to me of my Vanguard school district 403(b) plan was the difference in fees between Vanguard Investor and Vanguard Admiral shares. Pretty dang trivial compared to even the best 401(k) plans. It was simply a matter of opening my own Vanguard 403(b) account through the Vanguard web site and then filling out my school districts salary reduction form myself with that Vanguard account number on it. Pretty trivial. That is basically all the work the sales people ever do themselves when they enroll you in a high cost annuity. Essentially 10 minutes of paperwork to save thousands and thousands of dollars.

In Washington there don't appear to be the same zero-fee Vanguard options available for 403(b) plans. All I can find are the usual suspects like the insurance companies offering "products". However Washington State does have a state-run Deferred Compensation Program available for public employees. I haven't done a huge amount of research but it seems to function similar to the Federal TSP plan with a limited suite of in-house index funds and pretty low fees (0.13%). The investment limits are similar (or identical) to 403(b) and 401(k) plans so it seems to amount to more or less the same thing.

I can't speak for other states but at least in the two states where I have worked as a teacher I have found zero-cost or extremely low cost investment options available. But you really have to do your own research, especially in Texas. And for the most part this never happens. Teachers seem to be uniquely susceptible to sales pitches from the annuity guys. I don't know if they are more trusting or just overwhelmed with other stuff when the annual enrollment cycle comes around each fall. Or just tend not to be very savvy about finances. I really don't know. The fact that teaching is a majority female profession may have something to do with it as well.
I tried opening a Vanguard 403b but my third party administrator wouldn't allow it. So that may not work for everyone. My district doesn't have any low cost alternatives (assuming this Security Benefit NEA Direct Invest doesn't work).
Which state?

Coolstavi
Posts: 100
Joined: Mon Oct 10, 2016 8:52 pm

Re: NY Times first in a series about 403(b)s with public K-12

Post by Coolstavi » Sun Oct 23, 2016 4:15 pm

texasdiver wrote:
Which state?
Live in Illinois.

User avatar
ruralavalon
Posts: 13968
Joined: Sat Feb 02, 2008 10:29 am
Location: Illinois

Re: NY Times first in a series about 403(b)s with public K-12

Post by ruralavalon » Sun Oct 23, 2016 5:13 pm

sschullo wrote:Think your retirement is bad? Talk to a teacher.

http://www.nytimes.com/2016/10/23/your- ... share&_r=0

This initial article is a review of what has been reported by the print media for the last 20 years. You ain't seen anything yet.
This is a subject overdue for more exposure in the general media.

Sadly school districts and public employee unions have been unhelpful in protecting employee interests on this subject.
Last edited by ruralavalon on Sun Oct 23, 2016 5:26 pm, edited 1 time in total.
"Everything should be as simple as it is, but not simpler." - Albert Einstein | Wiki article link:Getting Started

sschullo
Posts: 2418
Joined: Sun Apr 01, 2007 8:25 am
Location: Rancho Mirage, CA
Contact:

Re: NY Times first in a series about 403(b)s with public K-12

Post by sschullo » Sun Oct 23, 2016 5:25 pm

MNGopher wrote:It will be interesting to see what changes, if any, will occur when the Department of Labor's "fiduciary rule" goes into effect next spring. Will insurance companies actually be required to inform people that a variable annuity with a 403B plan, makes absolutely no sense.
At this time, the DoL fiduciary rule will have no impact on the sale of annuities in public sector 403(b) plans. The ERISA 403(b)s will be covered.
Public School K-12 Educators: "Ask NOT what your annuity sales person can do for you, ask what you can do to be a Do-It-Yourselfer (DIY)."

sschullo
Posts: 2418
Joined: Sun Apr 01, 2007 8:25 am
Location: Rancho Mirage, CA
Contact:

Re: NY Times first in a series about 403(b)s with public K-12

Post by sschullo » Sun Oct 23, 2016 5:28 pm

ruralavalon wrote:
sschullo wrote:Think your retirement is bad? Talk to a teacher.

http://www.nytimes.com/2016/10/23/your- ... share&_r=0

This initial article is a review of what has been reported by the print media for the last 20 years. You ain't seen anything yet.
This is a subject long overdue for exposure in the general media.

Sadly school districts and public employee unions have been unhelpful in protecting employee interests on this subject.
We hope this will be a game changer. Like all social or economic movements, it's the numbers game. If enough teachers complain, the situation will change overnight. There are plenty of investment savvy teachers, but they remain silent. But if they hear enough noise, perhaps they will come out and support change.
Public School K-12 Educators: "Ask NOT what your annuity sales person can do for you, ask what you can do to be a Do-It-Yourselfer (DIY)."

sschullo
Posts: 2418
Joined: Sun Apr 01, 2007 8:25 am
Location: Rancho Mirage, CA
Contact:

Re: NY Times first in a series about 403(b)s with public K-12

Post by sschullo » Sun Oct 23, 2016 5:35 pm

heartwood wrote:While state or federal fixes may be possible, this is currently a local, school district issue, at least in NJ. My wife lived the situation described in the article. The agents, the coffee and cookies, the filling out of forms for you ... and the 5% loads and high ERs, plus mostly annuities that were restrictive. The plans through the teachers union that were as bad. But the agents are happy to market you, fill out the forms, etc to get the commissions. Then they worked through the HR office to have the deductions sent to them and the high cost plans.

After a couple of years DW spoke with the school payroll person, essentially the bookkeeper, not the BOE accountant or even the board, about whether Vanguard could become an option. DW spoke to the woman who made sure your payroll deductions happened. The bookkeeper, who wasn't interested in getting more work for herself said to bring in the details from Vanguard on 403(b). Vanguard wasn't especially helpful but did provide forms, and instructions on where to send the deductions, etc. In about a month's time the bookkeeper added Vanguard to the available plans and DW used them for over 30 years. The bookkeeper setup the payroll deductions, the district sent the funds directly to Vanguard. DW's W-2 showed the correct amounts each year. To our knowledge it was never discussed by the BOE. It was all handled by the "right" person. DW was fortunate to have someone who was willing to adapt.
I think your DW experience reflects some changes within districts, in that, they actually help people who have questions. 25 years ago, district benefits personal would not even have a brochure because they were so afraid of liability. For decades the insurance industry scared the bejesus out of the BoE, legal counsel and benefits people NOT to provide any information.
Public School K-12 Educators: "Ask NOT what your annuity sales person can do for you, ask what you can do to be a Do-It-Yourselfer (DIY)."

sschullo
Posts: 2418
Joined: Sun Apr 01, 2007 8:25 am
Location: Rancho Mirage, CA
Contact:

Re: NY Times first in a series about 403(b)s with public K-12

Post by sschullo » Sun Oct 23, 2016 5:43 pm

texasdiver wrote:Teacher here.

I can't speak for other states but at least in the two states where I have worked as a teacher I have found zero-cost or extremely low cost investment options available. But you really have to do your own research, especially in Texas. And for the most part this never happens. Teachers seem to be uniquely susceptible to sales pitches from the annuity guys. I don't know if they are more trusting or just overwhelmed with other stuff when the annual enrollment cycle comes around each fall. Or just tend not to be very savvy about finances. I really don't know. The fact that teaching is a majority female profession may have something to do with it as well.
Yes, there are low-cost options available but as you said you have to be an amateur private eye to locate them. Here in California Pension2 403(b) has been around for almost a decade and is available to most school districts. But NOBODY is going to tell teachers about this option. In fact, the largest teachers union won't even tell their members of this outstanding option.
As a result of this giant loophole, who comes a knocking at the classroom during lunch or recess, but the smiling and effusive annuity agent ready to do all of the work to get the signature.
There are many teachers who are savvy about finances, but they remain in the background. As far as the profession having 70% female employees might be a factor but I don't believe nurses are as trusting as teachers are. Perhaps the MDs here could chime in. IMO, Gender differences are murky at best, and full of speculation at worse.
Last edited by sschullo on Sun Mar 19, 2017 10:20 am, edited 2 times in total.
Public School K-12 Educators: "Ask NOT what your annuity sales person can do for you, ask what you can do to be a Do-It-Yourselfer (DIY)."

sschullo
Posts: 2418
Joined: Sun Apr 01, 2007 8:25 am
Location: Rancho Mirage, CA
Contact:

Re: NY Times first in a series about 403(b)s with public K-12

Post by sschullo » Sun Oct 23, 2016 5:45 pm

duplicate
Public School K-12 Educators: "Ask NOT what your annuity sales person can do for you, ask what you can do to be a Do-It-Yourselfer (DIY)."

Rainmaker41
Posts: 465
Joined: Tue Apr 26, 2016 11:34 am

Re: NY Times first in a series about 403(b)s with public K-12

Post by Rainmaker41 » Sun Oct 23, 2016 6:05 pm

[Tirade against politicians for prohibiting in-service rollovers or instead allowing contribution of 403b/401k annual limit directly to lower fee Vanguard IRAs redacted to avoid violation of forum rules.]
My username is not about money, but is my old online gaming username. I can't say that I make a great deal of money; I just hate spending it. Married the most loving woman in the world October 2017.

User avatar
ruralavalon
Posts: 13968
Joined: Sat Feb 02, 2008 10:29 am
Location: Illinois

Re: NY Times first in a series about 403(b)s with public K-12

Post by ruralavalon » Sun Oct 23, 2016 7:30 pm

Rainmaker41 wrote:[Tirade against politicians for prohibiting in-service rollovers or instead allowing contribution of 403b/401k annual limit directly to lower fee Vanguard IRAs redacted to avoid violation of forum rules.]
It's very polite of you to delete your own tirade violating forum rules (it saves moderators the trouble), but I wish I had seen your rant.
"Everything should be as simple as it is, but not simpler." - Albert Einstein | Wiki article link:Getting Started

User avatar
grabiner
Advisory Board
Posts: 22718
Joined: Tue Feb 20, 2007 11:58 pm
Location: Columbia, MD

Re: NY Times first in a series about 403(b)s with public K-12

Post by grabiner » Sun Oct 23, 2016 7:37 pm

KESP wrote:I work in a school district and have one of those high cost 403bs. I would love to abandon it for my Vanguard IRA, but from what I am reading, if my adjusted gross income is over $98,000, the contribution is not deductible, or is only partially deductible.
The Roth IRA income limit for contributions is higher, so you can probably contribute there in preference to the 403(b). (Get any employer match first). If you don't already have a traditional IRA, or can convert your traditional IRA to a Roth IRA, you can use a backdoor Roth IRA if your income is over the Roth IRA income limit.
Wiki David Grabiner

jasc15
Posts: 381
Joined: Wed Dec 19, 2012 1:36 pm

Re: NY Times first in a series about 403(b)s with public K-12

Post by jasc15 » Sun Oct 23, 2016 8:26 pm

Coolstavi wrote:
texasdiver wrote:It was simply a matter of opening my own Vanguard 403(b) account through the Vanguard web site and then filling out my school districts salary reduction form myself with that Vanguard account number on it. Pretty trivial. That is basically all the work the sales people ever do themselves when they enroll you in a high cost annuity. Essentially 10 minutes of paperwork to save thousands and thousands of dollars.
I tried opening a Vanguard 403b but my third party administrator wouldn't allow it. So that may not work for everyone. My district doesn't have any low cost alternatives (assuming this Security Benefit NEA Direct Invest doesn't work).
heartwood wrote:After a couple of years DW spoke with the school payroll person, essentially the bookkeeper, not the BOE accountant or even the board, about whether Vanguard could become an option. DW spoke to the woman who made sure your payroll deductions happened. The bookkeeper, who wasn't interested in getting more work for herself said to bring in the details from Vanguard on 403(b). Vanguard wasn't especially helpful but did provide forms, and instructions on where to send the deductions, etc. In about a month's time the bookkeeper added Vanguard to the available plans and DW used them for over 30 years. The bookkeeper setup the payroll deductions, the district sent the funds directly to Vanguard. DW's W-2 showed the correct amounts each year. To our knowledge it was never discussed by the BOE. It was all handled by the "right" person. DW was fortunate to have someone who was willing to adapt.
Can anyone else weigh in on this? Some success and some failure in simply having the salary reduction agreement appropriately filed by payroll. Is there more to it than that?

sschullo
Posts: 2418
Joined: Sun Apr 01, 2007 8:25 am
Location: Rancho Mirage, CA
Contact:

Re: NY Times first in a series about 403(b)s with public K-12

Post by sschullo » Sun Oct 23, 2016 8:38 pm

jasc15 wrote:
Coolstavi wrote:
texasdiver wrote:It was simply a matter of opening my own Vanguard 403(b) account through the Vanguard web site and then filling out my school districts salary reduction form myself with that Vanguard account number on it. Pretty trivial. That is basically all the work the sales people ever do themselves when they enroll you in a high-cost annuity. Essentially 10 minutes of paperwork to save thousands and thousands of dollars.
I tried opening a Vanguard 403b but my third party administrator wouldn't allow it. So that may not work for everyone. My district doesn't have any low-cost alternatives (assuming this Security Benefit NEA Direct Invest doesn't work).
heartwood wrote:After a couple of years DW spoke with the school payroll person, essentially the bookkeeper, not the BOE accountant or even the board, about whether Vanguard could become an option. DW spoke to the woman who made sure your payroll deductions happened. The bookkeeper, who wasn't interested in getting more work for herself said to bring in the details from Vanguard on 403(b). Vanguard wasn't especially helpful but did provide forms, and instructions on where to send the deductions, etc. In about a month's time the bookkeeper added Vanguard to the available plans and DW used them for over 30 years. The bookkeeper setup the payroll deductions, the district sent the funds directly to Vanguard. DW's W-2 showed the correct amounts each year. To our knowledge it was never discussed by the BOE. It was all handled by the "right" person. DW was fortunate to have someone who was willing to adapt.
Can anyone else weigh in on this? Some success and some failure in simply having the salary reduction agreement appropriately filed by payroll. Is there more to it than that?
Yes, there is more to it than that. Heck, I tried to enroll in VG Wellington 20 years ago by "simply filling out the payroll deduction form" but my application was returned with a handwritten "not available" scribbled across. In those days, it was the hold harmless agreements that Vanguard could not sign because of the added expensive of taking the risk for the district accounting errors (absolutely bazaar, but you read that correctly).

Nowadays, it is a little bit easier, but you have to talk to the TPA to see what options for investments you have. In many cases, districts only offer annuities in their 403b plan. But nobody tells that they might have a 457b plan with low-cost options. And still other cases, the state pension plan has a low-cost option too. All are available for my ex-district LAUSD (Los angles). In California, the best low-cost plan is Pension2 offered by CalSTRS our state pension plan.
Call your benefits department and ask if they have both a 403b or a 457b, and if you are eligible for any state-sponsored 457b plans.
Last edited by sschullo on Mon Oct 24, 2016 7:01 am, edited 2 times in total.
Public School K-12 Educators: "Ask NOT what your annuity sales person can do for you, ask what you can do to be a Do-It-Yourselfer (DIY)."

Coolstavi
Posts: 100
Joined: Mon Oct 10, 2016 8:52 pm

Re: NY Times first in a series about 403(b)s with public K-12

Post by Coolstavi » Sun Oct 23, 2016 8:44 pm

jasc15 wrote:
Can anyone else weigh in on this? Some success and some failure in simply having the salary reduction agreement appropriately filed by payroll. Is there more to it than that?
I didn't actually try to fill out the salary form. Called my TPA and also said something to payroll. District said the same thing. Could I have sneaked it through? Maybe. But I didn't want to take the risk and over-complicate things.

Johnny Thinwallet
Posts: 69
Joined: Wed Nov 21, 2012 6:07 pm

Re: NY Times first in a series about 403(b)s with public K-12

Post by Johnny Thinwallet » Sun Oct 23, 2016 9:27 pm

My wife is a public school teacher in Ohio, and their 403(b) plan is absolutely appalling. They'll allow the sales person - my wife calls him "the 403(b) guy" - to walk in and out of classrooms introducing themselves to teachers and putting on the friendly sales face. He used to pressure my wife pretty strongly about signing up, enough that she started getting annoyed with him. Finally I told my wife to set up a meeting and get all the information, just out of sheer curiosity. I also armed her with a short list of questions surrounding fees, which I told my wife to ask verbatim how I wrote them down, and she said the sales guy stuttered through the answers. She finally asked if he had any investment options that had no contract and were less than 20 basis points in total fees, including admin expenses and fund operating expenses. Not surprisingly, that was a no.

Funny enough, "the 403(b) guy" doesn't bother my wife anymore about signing up.

Anyway, the plan offered in her district is an AXA Equitable Equi-Vest plan. Here are some of the gory details:

Withdrawal charge (breaking contract before 7th year): 5% - apparently it does to go 0% once you hit year #7.
Annual fee if acct is < $25k: $30/year
Mortality and Expense Fee: 0.95%
Other Expenses: 0.25%
Investment fund expense ratios: Ranging from 0.62% (lowest) to 1.91% (highest)

The school district pushes this option as a benefit to all teachers. What it is, though, is theft.

My wife is enrolled in the STRS Ohio defined benefit plan, and we also max a Roth IRA for her. Beyond that, we have the Ohio Deferred Compensation 457(b) available which is a very, very nice program with low fees. There's no need for us to bother with that 403(b), but my wife does have several co-workers who got sucked in.

I'll also add that the school district doesn't help itself. Each year they send out fancy forms highlighting the benefits of the 403(b) plan. The much better 457(b) is buried in small print at the bottom of the form as an alternative option.

pkcrafter
Posts: 13071
Joined: Sun Mar 04, 2007 12:19 pm
Location: CA
Contact:

Re: NY Times first in a series about 403(b)s with public K-12

Post by pkcrafter » Sun Oct 23, 2016 9:58 pm

The public school retirement saving system is indeed maddening to those who understand what's being done. I'll use the term government here in a broad meaning, but it is truly outrageous that the government allows this to go on. It certainly isn't because they aren't aware. The government requires non-government employers to provide fiduciary duty and lower costs, but they themselves are exempt from the rule. A double standard that hurts school teachers. :evil:

Paul
When times are good, investors tend to forget about risk and focus on opportunity. When times are bad, investors tend to forget about opportunity and focus on risk.

krow36
Posts: 1856
Joined: Fri Jan 30, 2015 6:05 pm
Location: WA

Re: NY Times first in a series about 403(b)s with public K-12

Post by krow36 » Sun Oct 23, 2016 10:08 pm

Coolstavi wrote: I tried opening a Vanguard 403b but my third party administrator wouldn't allow it. So that may not work for everyone. My district doesn't have any low cost alternatives (assuming this Security Benefit NEA Direct Invest doesn't work).

Coolstavi, it's only been 11 days since you submitted your application to SB. Don't give up! If nothing happens after 2 weeks, you might call SB and ask if there's a problem with your application. Another poster said he waited many weeks before calling and found out he had not filled out the form completely. He could have called earlier and straightened out the problem.

krow36
Posts: 1856
Joined: Fri Jan 30, 2015 6:05 pm
Location: WA

Re: NY Times first in a series about 403(b)s with public K-12

Post by krow36 » Sun Oct 23, 2016 10:26 pm

sschullo wrote:
heartwood wrote:While state or federal fixes may be possible, this is currently a local, school district issue, at least in NJ. My wife lived the situation described in the article. The agents, the coffee and cookies, the filling out of forms for you ... and the 5% loads and high ERs, plus mostly annuities that were restrictive. The plans through the teachers union that were as bad. But the agents are happy to market you, fill out the forms, etc to get the commissions. Then they worked through the HR office to have the deductions sent to them and the high cost plans.

After a couple of years DW spoke with the school payroll person, essentially the bookkeeper, not the BOE accountant or even the board, about whether Vanguard could become an option. DW spoke to the woman who made sure your payroll deductions happened. The bookkeeper, who wasn't interested in getting more work for herself said to bring in the details from Vanguard on 403(b). Vanguard wasn't especially helpful but did provide forms, and instructions on where to send the deductions, etc. In about a month's time the bookkeeper added Vanguard to the available plans and DW used them for over 30 years. The bookkeeper setup the payroll deductions, the district sent the funds directly to Vanguard. DW's W-2 showed the correct amounts each year. To our knowledge it was never discussed by the BOE. It was all handled by the "right" person. DW was fortunate to have someone who was willing to adapt.
I think your DW experience reflects some changes within districts, in that, they actually help people who have questions. 25 years ago, district benefits personal would not even have a brochure because they were so afraid of liability. For decades the insurance industry scared the bejesus out of the BoE, legal counsel and benefits people NOT to provide any information.
I think DW's experience 30 years ago with getting Vanguard added was unusual as heartwood says. These days with Third Party Administrators in the mix, I think it's probably less likely to happen via the HR office clerk.

Coolstavi
Posts: 100
Joined: Mon Oct 10, 2016 8:52 pm

Re: NY Times first in a series about 403(b)s with public K-12

Post by Coolstavi » Mon Oct 24, 2016 7:39 am

krow36 wrote:
Coolstavi wrote: I tried opening a Vanguard 403b but my third party administrator wouldn't allow it. So that may not work for everyone. My district doesn't have any low cost alternatives (assuming this Security Benefit NEA Direct Invest doesn't work).

Coolstavi, it's only been 11 days since you submitted your application to SB. Don't give up! If nothing happens after 2 weeks, you might call SB and ask if there's a problem with your application. Another poster said he waited many weeks before calling and found out he had not filled out the form completely. He could have called earlier and straightened out the problem.
I called this past Friday and the lady said it still hasn't been processed. Will be calling every Friday from here on out til it gets done.

sschullo
Posts: 2418
Joined: Sun Apr 01, 2007 8:25 am
Location: Rancho Mirage, CA
Contact:

Re: NY Times first in a series about 403(b)s with public K-12

Post by sschullo » Mon Oct 24, 2016 7:45 am

Coolstavi wrote:
krow36 wrote:
Coolstavi wrote: I tried opening a Vanguard 403b but my third party administrator wouldn't allow it. So that may not work for everyone. My district doesn't have any low cost alternatives (assuming this Security Benefit NEA Direct Invest doesn't work).

Coolstavi, it's only been 11 days since you submitted your application to SB. Don't give up! If nothing happens after 2 weeks, you might call SB and ask if there's a problem with your application. Another poster said he waited many weeks before calling and found out he had not filled out the form completely. He could have called earlier and straightened out the problem.
I called this past Friday and the lady said it still hasn't been processed. Will be calling every Friday from here on out til it gets done.
Great! keep us posted. Security Benefit NEA has been dragging its feet about this so-called low-cost plan for years. We have heard that local SB reps will not assist "in any way" teachers with enrolling in the plan.
Public School K-12 Educators: "Ask NOT what your annuity sales person can do for you, ask what you can do to be a Do-It-Yourselfer (DIY)."

Post Reply