Getting Better 403(b) Choices 🥇
January 5, 2021
It usually goes like this...
- A teacher learns that her 403(b) choices are not great. Worse, she may have been sold a high-cost, high-commission product.
- She contacts us and/or joins the 403bwise Facebook Group
- She shares the current vendor list with us and/or posts it on the 403bwise Facebook Group
- The list often contains high-cost companies like American Fidelity, AXA Equitable, National Life Group, and Security Benefit
- The list often fails to include low-cost companies like: Aspire Financial Services, Fidelity Investments, ICMA-RC, T. Rowe Price, TIAA, and Vanguard
We advise the following...
- Use the 403bwise Advocacy Tools to enlist colleagues and lobby employer
- Connect with fellow advocates on the the 403bwise Facebook Group who have had similar experiences
- See if a 457(b) plan is available. This is another supplemental plan available to school employees. Costs are often lower and the plan has a few major advantages over the 403(b).
What usually happens...
- Pushback ensues. We have heard some version of the following: This can't be done; the union makes those decisions; take it to the School Board; take it to the Third Party Administrator; vendor won't join (usually false); can only have so many "slots"; we have to offer advisor* sold products.
- In almost zero cases do school districts make this easy. Often the best response is that some number of other school employees must be willing to sign up with a new vendor.
*When they say "advisor" they are unwittingly or wittingly, referring to non-fidcuciary, high-comission sales agents. This is the exact opposite kind of advice one should you use.
Three Who Succeeded
On Wednesday, January 6th from 4-5:15pm PAC/7-8:15pm EST, three teachers who refused to take no for answer will share how they were able to successfully add at least one low-cost option. They will also take questions. This is a free event via Zoom. See: Registration information.
Stay wise and well.
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