403bwise is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization.

The K-12 403(b) is broken.
Together we can fix it.
Dan's Blog

Bad K-12 403(b) Vendor Lists 😫

October 19, 2021

Forget Ivy League schools. Forget most schools. If the following school districts tried to get into college based on the grade they received for their 403(b) vendor list they would be laughed out of the admissions office. Bad 403(b) vendor choices aren't funny, however. They are damaging to the financial health of school employees. It's why we created the 403bwise Plan Rating Project. It's our effort to expose the horror that is most K-12 403(b) and 457(b) vendor lists. 

Grading Time

The 403bwise Plan Rating Project was launched last week. Since there are more than fourteen thousand school districts we are going to need help. A lot of it. Which is why we put out a request for assistance with adding districts. At launch we had vendor data for close to 4,000 school districts. Because each grade must be entered manually, we only had graded 75 school districts. If a district is in our database but has not yet received a grade, a prompt will appear allowing submission of a grade request. In the 48 hours after our launch we got a request to grade the following districts (Ratings explained). They are proving our point: K-12 403(b) districts are awful.  




Where Are the As and Bs?

Not on this. Unless you count the letters in some of the district and state names. But there are a few in the database. Here are two districts that do it right. 

  1. Montgomery County Public Schools, Maryland
  2. Anchorage School District, Alaska

Explore the Database

You begin by searching first for state and then by school district name. If the district you are searching for is not available you will be given an option to add the information. If the district vendor list is in the database, but not yet graded, you will be given an option to request a grade. 


Stay wise and well (and keep adding to the database).

Related Podcast:

403(b) Plan Rating Project 403bwise launches school district 403(b) & 457(b) database and A-F rating system. Dan and Scott discuss initiative that they hope will bring sunshine and accountability. Listen Now »