News ArchiveEducation + Advocacy
Our laundry list of newsworthy 403(b) stories previously featured on this site.
February 2016
Info on Cal State System 403(b) Changes »
System moving to sole vendor.
September 2015
California State University picks Fidelity as sole record keeper for 403(b) plan »
California State University, Long Beach, Calif., hired Fidelity Investments as record keeper for its $1.1 billion 403(b) plan, said Melody Kojima, interim director, contract services and procurement.
Hiltzik: Longtime Teachers' Pensions Are Well Earned »
They are "designed to reward people who provide a full career."
July 2015
The Need for a Better K-12 403(b) Plan Design »
Lack of awareness, vendor pressure among issues.
The Next Steps for K-12 403(b) Reform »
Advocate Steve Schullo says reform is moving in the right direction, but there is more work to do.
June 2015
Scott and Dan Now Podcasting: We’ll Drink to That »
Introducing the Teach and Retire Rich Podcast.
How To Retire Well After Big Investment Mistakes »
403(b) warrior Steve Schullo and partner Dan Robertson share their investment ups and downs.
May 2015
50 is Kind of Nifty »
Dan Otter shares his thoughts on turning 50.
The DOL's Re-Proposed Definition of Fiduciary »
Impact on large employers.
Court Makes it Easier to Sue Over 401(k) Retirement Plans »
Plantiffs claimed mutual funds selected by plan fiduciaries were too expensive.
Latest 403(b) Market Stats »
Mutual funds make up only 24% of $1 trillion market.
Reforming K-12 403(b) Plans »
Steve Schullo is working to shed light on the awful shortcomings of K-12 403(b) plans.
Hidden Fees Take Toll on Pensions »
Undisclosed charges are a meaningful drag on returns.
April 2015
Yale Retirement Plan Shifts to Single Record Keeping »
TIAA-CREF selected as sole record keeper; Vanguard still offered.
Arizona State University to offer Freshman Year Online, for Credit »
Cost will be half of in-state tuition.
Risky Moves in the Game of Life Insurance »
Are state insurance commissioners protecting policy holder money?
Don't Hate the IRS; Hate Congress »
Comedian John Oliver with help from singer Michael Bolton capture misplaced tax anger.
Measure for Measure, Index Funds Rule »
Once again, study finds index funds soundly beat actively managed funds.
March 2015
SEC No-Action Letter Permits Non-ERISA Plans to Issue Fee Disclosures »
In order to comply each vendor must provide "respective fee and expense information" before new participant's "first investment."
$1.3 Billion K-12 403(b)/457(b) Plan Moves to Single Vendor »
Superintendent: "Increasing transparency and savings for our employees money."
Mark Cuban: This tech bubble is ‘far worse’ than back in 2000 »
"Mr. Market is beginning to launch into the giddy phase..."
February 2015
Auto Enrollment for K-12 403(b) Plans? »
Auto enrollment and escalation is fast becoming a 401(k) standard. Is it right for the 403(b)?
Making Brokers Toe the Mark »
Excerpt: "We think all advice should be subject to a fiduciary standard."
Revisiting K-12 School District 403(b) Agreements »
W. Scott Simon analyzes a series of agreements between a large insurance company and a K-12 district (reg. required).
Why You Should Tell Your Children How Much You Make »
Too often money is a source of mystery to children.
January 2015
Has the Student Loan Crisis Been Solved? »
A quiet revolution in helping lift the burden of student debt.
5 Key Social Security Facts »
In 2014, 59 million Americans received Social Security.
Payday Loan Alternative? »
Churches step in with alternative to high-interest, small-dollar lending industry.
403(b) and 457(b) Contribution Rates Rise »
$18,000 in regular contributions; $6,000 in age 50 catchup.
Decembber 2014
Investor Alert »
Risky tradeoffs in retirement plan withdrawals and rollovers.
November 2014
Professor Seeks to Limit PayDay Loan Rates »
Rates of 500 to 1,000 percent permitted (free log in).
Keep 403(b)/457(b) in Retirement? »
Varying rules complicate decision.
Fees? What Fees? »
Half of baby boomers don't know they pay IRA, 401(k) fees.
October 2014
Combating a Flood of Early Withdrawals »
Why do so many draw from retirement accounts?
2015 403(b) Contribution Limits Rise to $18,000 »
Age 50 rises to $6,000.
Teacher Pensions at Risk? »
Behind private equity’s curtain.
No Smoke, No Mirrors: The Dutch Pension Plan »
Dutch pensions are scrupulously funded; required to tally liabilities with brutal honesty.
Was Fed Protecting Goldman Sachs? »
Secret recordings suggest they were.
September 2014
The Future of the K-12 403(b) Just Arrived »
MCPS to go from 9 vendors to one record keeper to reduce costs and increase transparency.
Wanted: A million bucks or more in retirement savings »
Gen X believes it needs a million bucks; so far it only has 70k.
Our Retirement Savings Crisis... »
...has an easy solution: financial literacy.
Opinion: Jersey Bounce Would Be Retirement Heist »
Gov. Chris Christie has recently signed an Executive Order creating a Pension Study Commission...
John Oliver: Student Debt Is Like An STD »
It will follow you for the rest of your life.
Using Gambling to Entice Low-Income Families to Save »
The accounts make up a small part of the savings universe, but they are slowly gaining traction.
August 2014
Passive Investing is Now Mainstream »
Says Morningstar researcher.
Paper Boys »
Inside the dark labyrinthine, and extremely lucrative world of consumer debt collection.
ERISA@40: A History Lesson »
The Employee Retirement Income Security Act was signed into law on September 2, 1974.
Do Active Funds Have a Future? »
This is a serious question.
July 2014
Surrender Fees Haunt 403(b) Plans »
As employers move to lower-cost retirement options, some plans charge as much as 8% to switch.
Why Is FINRA Concerned about Variable Annuities? »
Product remains at the top of investor complaints.
LAUSD 457(b)Plan Honored »
Wins Plan Design category.
This is What Happened When I Drove My Mercedes to Pick Up Food Stamps »
This wasn't supposed to happen to people like me.
Target-Date Funds Get Cheaper »
Fidelity new price leader, replacing Vanguard.
June 2014
Firm Rolls Out Recordkeeping Platform for K-12 403(b)s »
IPX trading and recordkeeping platform focused on K-12.
Brokers Fight Rule to Favor Best Interests of Customers »
Push back on fiduciary requirement.
Ohio Ends "Any Willing 403(b) Provider" Environment (.PDF) »
HB 483 applies to institutions of higher education.
403(b)s Simplifying Investment Menus »
Plans also adding target date funds.
Millennials Squeezed Out of Buying a Home »
Student loan debt key factor.
May 2014
Class Field Trip Stops at a Local Pawnshop »
Lessons learned in high interest lending.
Protect NY Teachers From "Shark Attacks" »
Make NYC TRS 403(b) the model (.pdf).
Kiss 403(b) Investing Rocks »
In NYC it leads to 70 percent participation.
Latest 403(b) Market Stats »
Mutual funds continue to grow.
Emulating ERISA (.pdf) »
Providing a safety net for public K-12 teachers.
April 2014
Emulating ERISA (.pdf) »
Providing a safety net for public K-12 teachers.
Thomas Piketty Doesn't Hate Capitalism »
He just wants to fix it.
Does Vanguard Pose a Threat to Advisors? »
Expansion of firm's web-savvy retail advice service is "sending shivers throughout the financial planning community."
Social Security to Resume Benefits Statement Mailings »
Will be sent to workers ages 25, 30, 35, 40, 45, 50, 55 and 60.
TurboTax Maker Working Against Simple Tax Filing »
Report: Intuit behind fake ‘grassroots’ campaign.
NTSA Getting Desperate and Bizarre »
Factually inaccurate and hostile attack on consumer-friendly legislation.
AFT Adds Three Firms to List of DB Busters »
Aon PLC, GTCR LLC and Highbridge Capital Management said to support elimination of defined benefit plans.
America's Retirement System is Breaking Down »
Roughly half of all U.S. families have no money set aside for retirement, Federal Reserve data show.
A Lone Ranger of 401(k)'s »
This should scare the hell out of all employers offering high-fee products.
March 2014
IRS Extends Deadline for 403(b) Plan Docs »
Pushed to April 30, 2015.
NTSAA Foiled (Again) in Iowa »
Third attempt to alter plan often cited as a solution to “any willing provider” model.
Advisors to women: Don't quit job »
It often leads to lower lifetime earnings.
Give Fees an Inch, and They’ll Take a Mile »
Excerpt: 1% annual fee would subtract almost $28,000.
February 2014
Warren Buffett Wisdom »
He reveals the one stock fund you need to invest in.
Crushingly Expensive Retirement Mistake »
Fees cost hundreds of thousands of dollars over lifetime.
AOL Chief Offers 401(k) Mea Culpa »
Reinstates regular 401(k) contributions.
John Bogle: Retirement Investors Leave 80% on the Table »
High fees punish.
January 2014
President Proposes New Retirement Plan »
How the new 'myRA' retirement accounts will work.
How to Retire at 30 »
Pete, a.k.a. "Mr. Money Mustache" shares his secret.
Angry Annuity Clients Seek Damages »
Excerpt: "They’ve long exasperated consumer advocates because of their relatively high commissions and fees..."
Another Case For Index Fund Portfolios »
Diversified portfolios of index funds vs. portfolios of actively managed funds.
December 2013
Protect Yourself Against Blimpish Fees »
An oldie (1997) but goodie.
401(k) Fees »
Key takeaway: bigger plan = less costs.
November 2013
Why $1 Million Nest Egg May Not Be Enough »
Arbitrary number no panacea.
How We Saved $250,000 Taking "Crappy" Jobs »
In May of 2009, my wife and I were exhausted and in need of a change of scenery...
What's Missing from 401(k)/403(b) Menus? »
Experts weigh in.
2014 403(b) Contribution Limit Remains at $17,500 »
Age 50 catch-up remains at $5,500.
October 2013
Ready to Retire? Grab a Pencil »
Stumped by basic questions about nest eggs, life expectancy, and health care? Your later years may not be as good as you hope.
Robert Shiller: A Skeptic and a Nobel Winner »
"I found there were certain gaps in the efficient-market theory."
Actively Managed Mutual Funds Fall Short (Again) »
Rush into index funds underway.
TPAs and the 403(b) »
It is still the wild west.
September 2013
Breaking 403(b)ad »
The real reason Walter White went Heisneberg.
All The Financial Advice You'll Need... »
...on one 4 x 6 index card!
403(b)wise Launches Latest Education Portal »
Teachers at Bosque School now have user-friendly retirement information at their fingertips.
Is a $1 Million Retirement Portfolio Realistic? »
$500,000 may be more realistic.
August 2013
Platinum Card and Text Alert, via Pawnshop »
Pawnshop as financial institution.
Annuityville Horror Stories »
Even novelist Stephen King would be horrified by some of scary annuity events that unfortunately happen every day.
Master’s Degree Is New Frontier of Study Online »
Georgia Tech online computer science master's degree $6,600 vs. $45,000 on-campus price.
Request for IRS 403(b) Prototype Guidance »
SPARK Institute also seeks information on error correction program (.pdf).
Why Do Wall Street's Biggest Fish Slip Away? »
Behold the power of plausible deniability.
Pension Risk-Sharing: Making it Fairer »
Excerpt: "Placing all of the risks on one party or another doesn’t seem like an optimal outcome."
July 2013
Protecting Retirement for our Country's Educators »
Does a greater number of investment providers result in better outcomes for 403(b) plan participants? (Registration Required).
Pension Proposal Aims to Ease Burden on States and Cities »
"MetLife and Prudential...might thus step into shoes now occupied by the likes of Calpers."
PlanMember Services 403bcompare Disclosure »
Firm hasn't fully disclosed fee and fund choice options on 403bcompare for more than year.
Financial Wisdom From a Couple of Late Bloomers »
Vanguard interview of 403(b) advocates and authors Steve Schullo and Dan Robertson.
June 2013
Same-Sex Couples: Celebrate, Then Call a CPA »
After Supreme Court ruling, Uncle Sam may owe couples bigger refunds.
Suddenly, Retiree Nest Eggs Look More Fragile »
Many Americans don’t have enough money to carry them through retirement — and many of them know it.
For Retirees, a Million-Dollar Illusion »
A MILLION dollars isn’t what it used to be.
May 2013
403(b)s Becoming More Like 401(k)s — With One Big Exception »
Focus on annuities can inflate plan costs and complicate planning for participants.
T. Rowe's New Target-Date Funds Lighten Up on Stocks »
More emphasis on bonds before retirement.
LIMRA 403(b) Study»
Growth in 403(b) plans make them more attractive to plan service providers.
Opinion: Single vs. Multi-Vendor »
Pros and cons of differing approaches to K-12 DC plans.
April 2013
Loans Borrowed Against Pensions Squeeze Retirees »
"Pension advances" target the vulnerable.
Frontline: The Retirement Gamble »
See 403(b) warriors Steve Schullo, Crystal Mendez and Dan Roberston.
New K-12 Financial Literacy Standards »
Essential knowledge for 4th, 8th, and 12th graders from Council on Economic Education.
In History Departments, It’s Up With Capitalism »
New academic focus on capitalism.
March 2013
Next Big Thing »
Equal-weight index funds.
Now entering: Pension offset zone, a Social Security nightmare »
Retirement payout from non-covered work can wipe out a spousal or survivor benefit.
US Facing Retirement Crisis »
The Wall Street Journal: 57% of U.S. workers have less than $25,000 in savings.
When Teachers Choose Pension Plans: The Florida Story »
Finding: Close to a third of new Florida teachers chose DC plan over DB plan (.pdf).
How a Lifetime Income Annuity Works »
Want a guaranteed income stream for life?
February 2013
Yikes!!! Real Mutual Fund Cost »
Non-taxable account: 3.17%; Taxable account: 4.17%.
Voluntary Correction Program Submission Kit (.pdf) »
For 403(b) plan sponsors who missed 2009 deadline to adopt written plan.
January 2013
Compensation Matters: The Case of Teachers »
Finding: "Cutting compensation for new teachers is not costless, as it will likely reduce applicant quality."
Switching Jobs? Ditch Your 401(k)/403(b) »
Let’s be blunt: Chances are, your employer stinks at picking mutual funds.
Workers Raiding Retirement Funds to Pay the Bills »
Breaches undermining retirement security for millions.
Taxation for Beneficiaries Younger than 59 1/2 »
Question: unmarried participant dies; daughter younger than 59 1/2 is beneficiary; taxes owed?
Roth 403(b) Conversions »
Fiscal cliff deal allows money in a pre-tax 403(b) account to be converted into a Roth 403(b) account.
December 2012
Are Retirement-Fund Critics Off-Target? »
Vanguard's John Ameriks emphasizes that TDFs are an investment, not a guarantee (video).
Fixing Late Deposit of Salary Deferrals »
IRS help for DC plan sponsors who fail to make timely deposits.
2012 Year-End Compliance Reminders »
For non-ERISA DC plans (.PDF).
November 2012
Is the 401(k) a $240 Billion Waste? »
Is the federal government getting a good return on its investment?
2012 Money Magazine Money Heroes »
These are some inspirational folks.
Fee Disclosure Study... »
...has not significantly influenced investor behavior (.pdf).
October 2012
Is Dollar-Cost Averaging Overrated? »
Lump sum may win out.
2013 403(b) Contribution Limits Rise to $17,500 »
Age 50 remains at $5,500.
Worst Trader Ever? »
Probably a guy who lost an average of $500,000 a day for a period of 11 years!
Setting Record Straight (.pdf) »
Opinion: "Any willing provider" model costs teachers.
NAGDCA Conference Opens »
Fiduciary issues on agenda.
September 2012
NAGDCA Helps Tame Wild, Wild West »
Group effecting change.
403(b)wise Discussion: Our Ridiculous Approach to Retirement »
Current system "is like asking the family pet to dance on two legs."
CalSTRS Formula »
Video: Learn how retirement benefit is calculated.
Equity Indexed Annuity Commission Schedule (.pdf) »
Commissions up to 10.75%.
August 2012
Latest 403(b) Market Stats »
See how $807 billion 403(b) market is allocated.
Don't Mess with Texas 403(b) Plans (pdf)... »
... because we cap fees at 2.75%!
NTSAA/ASPPA: Closed for Open Discussion? »
Organization's "honest and accurate" blog lacking.
Dan Otter of 403(b) wise Wins 2012 Media Recognition Award »
For coverage of government defined contribution industry.
Defend This ASPPA/NTSAA »
Annuity promises 9% commission.
A Beginner's Guide to Irrational Behavior »
Online course about "many ways in which people behave in less than rational ways."
July 2012
Plan Size Matters »
Small plans pay 1.4% in fees; Biggest plans pay 0.36% in fees.
Questions to Ask Your Advisor »
Planner's will hate question #19.
Firing Your Advisor is Easy »
Winning investment philosophy can be at odds with adviser’s self-interest.
Law Limits L.A. School District's Efforts to Simplify 403(b) Plan »
NTSAA/ASPPA + CTA fight reform efforts (free registration required).
DALBAR Registered Fiduciary Program for 401(k) Advisors »
First in nation fiduciary designation...identifies advisors that commit in writing to act as fiduciaries...
The 403(b)ill of Rights »
We the people of the 403(b) ...
Families Probably Lose $155K to 401(k) Fees »
Estimate: one-third of plan accumulation is lost to fees.
June 2012
Investment Primer for Texas Teachers »
Lone star educators don't pay into SS and are stuck in an "any willing" 403(b) provider universe.
Target Date Funds Not Equally Safe »
Asset allocation mixes vary by provider.
Make the Most of Your 403(b) »
Why teacher retirement plans often flunk — and how to raise the grade.
403(b) Contributions Not Tax Deductible in NJ »
401(k) contributions are; push to change.
ASPPA/NTSAA’s Embarrassing Blog Post Mistake »
Out of the pan and into the fiduciary fire?
May 2012
LAUSD 403(b) Contribution Data »
95.5% of accounts with high fee vendors.
Money Magazine Honors Dan Otter »
Names him one of 40 who have made "extraordinary efforts to improve others' financial well-being."
Vanguard Rolls Out Free Basic Financial Education Program to Schools »
Excerpt: Lessons about earning, budgeting, saving, and delaying gratification are at the core of My Classroom Economy.
Watch UTLA Speak Against AB 1949 »
Who made UTLA flip on AB 1949?
Watch Teacher Speak for AB 1949 »
Sold high fee annuity; cost $1,000 to exit.
Watch CTA Speak Against AB 1949 »
Admits teachers being "exploited."
Teachers Lose Battle With Industry Giants »
"Any willing provider" beats "competitive bidding" (for now).
ASPPA/NTSSA “Study” Rebutts Self »
Consultant to plan cited refutes ASPPA/NTSAA "study."
April 2012
AB 1949 Fight (.pdf) »
Innovest: ASPPA research: "shoddy...reckless...mislead(ing)."
The Post-Cash, Post-Credit-Card Economy »
Excerpt: "The cellphone increasingly contains the essentials of what we need to make transactions."
WEA Member Benefits Receives Award (.PDF) »
Union that does 403(b) right honored for financial literacy work.
Magic Johnson + 4th Grade Teacher Team Up to Buy LA Dodgers »
This is not an Onion story.
Fiduciary Champion Charged »
Matthew Hutcheson faces 31 counts of theft, wire fraud.
More Reasons To Be Blue About Security Benefit »
Report: Firm part of record setting purchase of LA Dodgers.
In Target-Date Funds, a Hodgepodge of Styles »
One finding: Wide variance in allocation mixes.
What is 403(b)? »
Basics of the 403(b) in video form.
March 2012
American Fidelity — Low Fees for Us; High Fees for Educators »
Firm offers low-fee retirement plan to employees; sells high-fee 403(b) products to educators; fights California legislation aimed at reducing 403(b) costs.
403(b) Loan Guidance »
§ 2550.408b-1: General statutory exemption for loans to plan participants and beneficiaries.
North Carolina Creating Centralized 403(b) Plan »
Goals: facilitate compliance; reduce investment and administrative fees.
Homework for Teachers »
Nice mention of 403(b)wise.
Opinion: How to Pretend to Care About Teacher 403(b) Plans »
Starring NTSAA/ASPPA and the NEA (Video).
February 2012
California Dreaming... of Better 403(b) Plans (Again) »
Opinion: AB 1949 gives K-14 educators a second chance at 403(b) reform.
AB 1949 would permit competitive bidding in California 403(b) plans »
Would allow selection of 4 or more vendors.
Assessing Reasonableness of 403(b) Fees (.PDF) »
Best practices for defining Who, What, How and Why.
Opinion: 403(b) Fair — Promoting Greater Transparency
for 403(b) Plan Fees
403(b) plans have been like like the "Wild West, where anything goes."
Alabama Ed. Association Picks TIAA-CREF »
Low cost products + access to fee-only advisors.
Too Much Sunshine? »
Fearful of fee disclosure, some "advisors" want to block innovative fee information tool.
Airline "Bag" Fees Coming to Mutual Fund Near You? »
Opinion: 401(k) fee disclosure rule may spur additional "creative" charges.
401(k) Plans Step Into the Sunshine »
New Labor Department rules will require fee disclosures.
January 2012
Retirement in America is ‘endangered’ »
Social Security, contribution rates and more need fixes.
Is ASPPA Really Interested in Disclosure? »
Here is their chance to prove It.
Teachers' 403(b) Plans See Big Changes »
These programs are becoming more like corporate 401(k) plans as school districts respond to revised rules.
403(b)wise Launches Mobile Site »
403(b)/457(b) FAQs, Must Reads, and Discussion Board are good to go.
403(b)wise Launches Mobile Site »
403(b)/457(b) FAQs, Must Reads, and Discussion Board are good to go.
To Save Money Social Security Suspends Annual Benefits Estimation Mailing »
Online resources available to perform calculation.
2012 403(b) Contribution Limits Rise to $17,000 »
Age 50 catch-up remains at $5,500.
December 2011
Walmart Settles Landmark 401(k) Fees Class Action Lawsuit »
Doesn't look like company's slogan "Save money. Live better." applied to the investment products in its 401(k) plan.
JACK BOGLE: "Our Markets Have Gone Crazy" »
Is it fair Wall Street gamblers pay 15% while a bricklayer pays equal or more? Absolute absurdity.
Father of 401(k): “Blow up the system and restart” »
If Benna thinks the 401(k) is bad, imagine his thoughts on the 403(b)?
Dan Otter Connects with Educators in Connecticut »
Dan discusses concepts from his book Teach and Retire Rich with staff of St. Luke's in New Canaan, CT.
My Challenge to ASPPA’s Brian Graff (and it’s not “silly”) »
Excerpt: "Instead of engaging in debate, ASPPA is defending the indefensible."
November 2011
TSA Agent Offers Free Lunch + No Market Risk! (.PDF) »
Something for regulators to chew on?
Funny or Die Takes Aim at Bank of America »
Video excerpt: "We recently introduced an arbitrary $5 fee on all of our debit cards...we can't keep track of all the things we do to screw over people but we promise to sometimes stop doing it."
Blog War Breaks Out Between an RIA and ASPPA Members »
An RIA has been sparring with defenders of the American Society for Pension Professionals and Actuaries about the fiduciary debate surrounding non-profit retirement plans, and the online battle has taken a nasty turn.
5 Ways to Improve the U.S. Retirement System »
U.S. has 10th best pension system of 14 countries studied.
October 2011
The Paradox of Choice »
Barry Schwartz takes aim at a central tenet of western societies: freedom of choice; for every 10 mutual funds offered in work-place retirement plans, participation declines 2 percent.
ASPPA/NTSAA Getting Personal? »
Opinion: Where I attack ASPPA on the issues – ASPPA has sunk to the level of grade school bully, attacking me personally and spreading lies.
IRS Raises 2012 Contribution Limit to $17,000 »
Affects 403(b), 401(k) and most 457 plans; Age 50 catch-up remains at $5,500; First increase since 2009.
Client Interests Shouldn't Come First? »
The financial services lobby (primarily major brokerage firms and insurance companies) have vigorously fought a proposed Fiduciary Standard that would cover all who provide financial advice to consumers.
Employees Sue Ameriprise Over 401(k) Plan »
Excerpt If it turns out that Ameriprise didn’t even get its own 401(k) right, why would you put your financial future in the company’s hands?
ASPPA 403(b) Research Falls Short »
Opinion ASPPA’s research paper supports salespeople over participants & membership.
Research Claims Vendor Choice Reduction Reduces 403(b) Participation (.pdf) »
Is this the case of a lobbying group (ASPPA/NTSAA) manufacturing findings to support its business interests or is this a valid finding? Discuss findings here.
Are a Ponzi Scheme and Social Security Comparable? »
Examing Governor Perry's claim.
A Wish List for Retirement Funds »
Simple ideas for improving investment options.
403(b) plans looking more like 401(k) plans, survey shows »
Mutual funds continue to replace annuities in 403(b) plans (registration required).
September 2011
Borzi & Graff: Two Different Views on "Choice" »
NTSAA/ASPPA's Brian Graff and DOL's Phyllis Borzi have very different views on employee investment choice.
What Accounts Are Considered by the IRS and DOL to be in a 403(b) Plan? »
IRS audit guidance with "respect to assets that are required to be maintained" in a 403(b) plan.
CalSTRS Establishes Pension Abuse Hotline »
Excerpt The California State Teachers' Retirement System said it has established a Pension Abuse Reporting Hotline and a Compensation Review Unit designed to curb pension spiking.
CalSTRS Chosen to Manage LAUSD 457(b) Plan »
Excerpt CalSTRS will partner with TIAA-CREF to keep the LAUSD program's records. CalSTRS will also assist LAUSD employees in the program with education and counseling services about the role the defined contribution accounts play in a well-rounded retirement security plan.
Some 403(b) retirement plan advice for teachers »
Excerpt "many 403(b) plans ... get failing grades from retirement experts."
Asking the Right and Wrong Questions »
Excerpt "For the most part, professional financial services rely on clients’ answers to two questions."
August 2011
Retirement Savers Who Didn't Blink Saw Big Gains »
Fidelity study shows savers who kept equity allocation and continued to contribute to retirement plans during October 2008 market free-fall were rewarded with large returns.
2010 403(b) Market Stats »
Market at $790 billion; 22% of money in mutual funds.
CalSTRS to Host Webinar for Fiduciary Advisor Program »
RIAs or Investment Advisor Representatives can learn more about the program by signing up for one of the webinars.
Regulators urge caution with equity indexed annuities (.pdf) »
Excerpt "By far, equity indexed annuities generate the most complaints to the office of Chief Financial Officer Jeff Atwater (Florida)."
Top 10 Reasons Middle-Class Retirement Is at Risk »
Many Americans’ ‘Golden Years’ may be anything but.
LAUSD Responds to Brian Graff (.pdf) »
Excerpt "...the Committee noted your disposition to impede our efforts to implement significant reforms..."
5 Questions Brian Graff & ASPPA/NTSAA Should Answer Publicly »
It's time for Mr. Graff to answer some hard questions about the 403(b).
July 2011
Competition will cut costs for teacher retirement plans »
Opinion Time to allow competitive bidding in California 403(b) plans.
Wharton Tests Lesson Plan, Teens Gain Business Smarts »
Philadelphia area students test drive financial literacy curriculum.
A Tale of Two Cities…er, Retirement Plans »
Opinion Public sector participants losing billions to financial sector.
Income Rider Ripoff? (.pdf) »
Opinion Annuity riders pay less than guaranteed systematic withdrawal provision.
Study: Too Many Choices Impair 401(k) Decisions »
Less can be more (free registration to view).
June 2011
NTSAA/ASPPA and the 403(b): One Step Forward; One Step Back »
Opinion NTSAA/ASPPA helps/hurts the 403(b).
California 403(b) + 457(b) Portal Goes Live »
California school employees have powerful new education tool.
Higher Ed Retirement Confidence Survey (.pdf) »
Excerpt ...college and university workforce is more confident regarding its prospects for a financially secure retirement than are American workers in general.
Correcting 403(b) Plan Errors: The Current State»
Excerpt ...many 403(b) plan sponsors have been confronted with operational errors...
Revealing Costs of Your 401(k)/403(b)»
Excerpt Your 401(k), 403(b) or other similar plan isn’t free. In fact, it’s probably pretty expensive...
Equity Indexed Annuity Alert »
Excerpt touted as a vehicle for investors to realize stock-market-like gains without the risk, a “best of both worlds” marketing strategy.
Indexed Annuity Warning Issued (.pdf) »
Excerpt: “... educators are being targeted... and this can turn out to be a financial disaster for the unsuspecting teacher.”
403(b) Reform Advocate Quits NTSAA Leadership Council (.pdf) »
Opinion: NTSAA "protecting vested interests" over participant.
May 2011
403(b) Plans Increase Use of Advisers and Online Communications »
Latest 403(b) plan sponsor survey from the Profit Sharing/401k Council of America (PSCA).
A Retirement Plan That Works »
Studies reveal most investors come up short. Here are six tips to help.
Who Retires Early?»
Paper examines differences in personal circumstances between those who retire and those who remain at work for pay at various ages.
Valic Hires MCPS's John Kevin»
Kevin improved MCPS 403(b) plan; lowered costs; championed education Portal.
403(b) and You (.pdf)»
Business officers use expanded fiduciary responsibilities to improve benefits.
The High Cost of Low Teacher Salaries»
Opinion: When we don’t get the results we want in our military endeavors, we don’t blame the soldiers.
April 2011
IRS Starts Higher Ed 403(b) Compliance Check»
IRS has begun its 403(b) Universal Availability Higher Education Project.
Dan Otter to Speak in Santa Clara, California May 20 (.pdf) »
He will speak on teacher savings issues.
IRS Guidance for Terminating 403(b) Plans (.pdf) »
Clarification and analysis of plan termination process.
IRS Plan Termination Information (.pdf) »
Revenue Rule 2011-7.
March 2011
Understanding Retirement Plan Fees Excerpt: And Expenses »
Includes information on how employers can evaluate fees.
Only Thing Worse Than a Nearly Empty Nest Egg Is a Ripped-Off One »
Brokers push annuities in 401(k) plans.
Illness and Unexpected Expenses Strain Retired Teacher's Finances »
Excerpt: pension income barely covers her monthly expenses.
IBC Selects TIAA-CREF and GWN in Florida »
Goal: access to low-cost investments + objective advice.
LAUSD 403(b) Vendor Guide (.pdf) »
No selling on campus or leaving sales materials on campus.
New Reporting Requirement for ERISA 403(b) Plans (.pdf)»
Form 8955-SSA: annual registration statement identifying separated participants with deferred vested benefits.
California Teachers' 403(b) Plans Flawed »
Study shows teachers lose thousands of dollars to fees.
February 2011
New IRS Guidelines on 403(b) Plan Terminations »
Clarification of Revenue Ruling 2011-7.
Who's Watching the Door? »
Poor employer 403(b) plan oversight costs teachers tens of thousands of dollars.
401(k) Fees »
A hot topic for plan fiduciaries and participants.
Clearing the Air About Target Date Performance »
Attention seeking outlets highlight outlier data experienced by few.
New Edition of Teach and Retire Rich »
Updated for 2011; includes index.
January 2011
Sneak Peek at CalSTRS Plan Education Portal »
All California public school districts could have access to objective plan information at no cost.
Independent Fiduciary Symposium (.pdf) »
Denver, March 1-3, 2011.
Updated 403(b) Best Practices Items From SPARK (.pdf) »
Includes related plan information sharing and data elements.
457(b) Content on 403(b)wise »
Learn about the 457(b).
BIG Doings in 2011 »
457(b) info, mobile site, new version of Teach and Retire Rich among coming 403(b)wise attractions.
Retirement Themes for 2011 »
"Big picture" retirement themes for New Year.
December 2010
Hotel Stays, Flights and a $400 Bottle of Wine »
Financial companies footed travel bills for two San Diego County Office of Education investment program employees.
5 Financial Fibs We Tell Ourselves »
Let's face it: we can't handle the truth.
How the Grinch Stole the 403(b) »
very 403(b) investor liked low-cost mutual funds a lot...
Could You Retire Without Social Security? »
Most Americans would be woefully unprepared.
403(b) Plan Response to Changing Conditions »
Data from 599 not-for-profit organizations.
Video From First Pollinate Project Workshop »
16 teachers gathered to improve their financial literacy, and the teaching of financial literacy. See what happened.
In the Vanguard »
Meeting John Bogle by Dan Otter.
Target Date Problems vs. DOL Proposal »
Fiduciary checklist.
Dismissal of 403(b) Fee Lawsuit (.pdf) »
In Montoya vs. NY State Teachers, plaintiffs challenged fees, revenue sharing arrangement and "alleged" fee kickbacks.
November 2010
Employees Furious at NACo »
Employees claim the National Association of Counties enrolled them in a "high cost, high risk" DC plan.
Participant Fee Disclosure Rules in ERISA 403(b) Plans »
Excerpt: ..."plan fiduciary must act prudently and solely in the interest of plan participants."
403(b) Plan Compliance Issues Unearthed »
Public 403(b) plans are "overhauling" themselves (free registration).
Automatic 403(b) Toolkit (.pdf) »
Step-by-step employer guide for implementing automatic features.
Nationwide Settles Alabama Lawsuit over 457 Plan Fees »
Case included probe into "endorsement fee" paid to Alabama State Employees Association.
Plan Limits for the Tax Years 2005 - 2011 »
Handy chart includes 403(b) and 457.
October 2010
2011 403(b) & 457(b) Contributions Limits Stay at $16,500 »
403(b) and 457(b) remain at $16,500; Age 50 stays at $5,500.
Impact of the 408(b)(2) Regulation on ERISA 403(b) Plans Plans »
Comment: "While only the service providers to ERISA 403(b) plans will be required to comply with the new requirements, other service providers may elect to comply on a voluntary basis."
In-Plan Roth Conversions Allowed Under 401(k) and 403(b)
Plans (.pdf) »
Small Business Jobs Act (Act), signed into law on September 27, 2010, allows in-plan Roth conversions for 401(k) and 403(b) plans.
Reviewing the DOL's Final Rule on Participant Fee Disclosure »
Overview of new rules.
Faces of Retirement Income Deficit »
Real Americans. Real stories.
Delaware Retirement Conference October 16 »
Aimed at public employees; keynote address by Dan Otter of 403bwise and Pollinate.
Thrown to the Wolves »
California wrong to consider DB to DC switch.
September 2010
Small Business Jobs Act Affects 401(k), 403(b), and 457(b) Plans »
Among changes: Roth 457(b).
2010 NAGDCA Conference Highlights (.pdf) »
Report from Philadelphia gathering.
Map of Pension Health »
Fewer than half of plans have assets to cover the 80 percent of benefits recommended by actuaries.
Wanted: Teachers for Paid Financial Literacy Workshop »
Pollinate, the Teacher Financial Literacy Project, is looking for 12-16 teachers to participate in inaugral financial literacy workshop.
High-Fee Passive Advisor Hypocrisy »
Some index-fund favoring advisors stick their own clients with high fees.
Best Practices for Multiple Vendor 403(b) Plans »
Form 5500 Aggregation.
Spotting a Fake Fiduciary »
Excerpt: What has recently set me off are insurance agents that masquerade as "Consultants" for 403(b) and 457(b) programs.
A Simple Recipe for Investors: Less Can Often Lead to More »
Easy does it.
August 2010
Thinking About Raiding Your 401(k) Plan? »
Don't do it.
Being a Non-ERISA 403(b) »
How does a plan maintain its non-ERISA status in the era of new regs?
403(b) Plan Information Sharing Technical Q&As »
Includes updated Q&As on best practices for multiple vendor plans remittance and data census elements.
Proposed Financial Education Core Competencies (.pdf) »
Treasury invites feedback.
K-12 District Selects TIAA-CREF »
Chapel Hill-Carrboro City Schools in North Carolina selects TIAA-CREF.
Small Investors Flee Stock Market »
Economic uncertainty is testing Americans’ generation-long love affair with the stock market.
Should Annuities Be an Option in 401(k)s? »
Excerpt: Fundamental problems with putting these kinds of products into an employer-sponsored plan.
Investing Made Easy — If Only »
Fees have biggest impact, yet fee transparency is still lacking in retirement plans.
The Gospel of Matthew Hutcheson »
Leader of the “independent fiduciary movement” has investors backs.
General Dynamics Settles 401(k) Fee Suit »
Class-action lawsuit alleged firm violated fiduciary responsibilities by allowing Fiduciary Asset Management to charge excessive fees.
Dan Otter Wins NAGDCA 2010 Media Recognition Award »
Award given to a member of the media for "outstanding coverage of pension and retirement issues in newspapers, magazines, national newsletters or research reports."
401(k) Fee Disclosures Rules Don't Go Far Enough »
Opinion: Require advisors to be "3(38) ERISA fiduciaries."
Cracks in Fee Armor »
Judge rules against excessive fees in 401(k) plan; 403(b) plans vulnerable?
Small Step on Small Fees, but Big Charges Remain »
SEC fee disclosure proposal must go further
July 2010
Employee Allegations of excessive 401(k) Fees Gain Ground »
Ruling: Firm "did 'substantial' harm to employees by not negotiating lower fees from the firm running the 401(k) plans."
Vendor Consolidation in Higher Education: Getting More from Less »
Summary of Fidelity Market Insights Brief.
States Shift To Hybrid Pensions »
Facing shortfalls, some combine guaranteed plans with 401(k)-like options.
CalSTRS Selects BWISE GUYS to Build Retirement Plan Information Portal »
Site will serve as one-stop-place for school employees to learn about the 403(b) and 457(b), and access, forms, documents and vendors.
In-plan Roth Conversions, Roth 457 Accounts Expected to Gain Senate Approval »
HR 5297 would authorize governmental 457(b) plans to add Roth features, including in-plan conversions.
The 403(b)ill of Rights »
We, the people of the 403(b) plan, in order to form a more perfect retirement vehicle, establish justice, insure investing tranquility...
June 2010
403(b) Contribution Data for 2009 »
Latest 403(b) market data from Spectrem Group.
Teachers Facing New Financial Pains »
Layoffs, salary cuts force educators to rethink finances.
Financial Reform: Free Pass for Annuity Salespeople? »
Excerpt: "annuity peddlers are still not required to act in their customers’ best interest..."
Teaching Kids About You Know What »
I am, of course, talking about the rampant unprotected financial transactions far too many children engage in....
TIAA-CREF Launches Spanish Site »
Spanish committment includes site, seminars and bilingual consultants.
Weigh the Cost Before 403(b) to 401(k) Switch »
Excerpt: there is NO blanket statement declaring either plan type is better than the other for every plan sponsor.
Survey: Teachers Strongly Support Teaching of Financial Literacy »
Results from Dan Otter's survey of 2,776 classroom teachers gauging their attitudes and beliefs about teaching personal finance.
Annuities: Good, Bad Or Ugly? »
Bogleheads object to high expense, surrender fees and sales tactics.
May 2010
403(b)wise on Twitter »
Get our latest news from a little birdie.
Retirement Debate Focuses on Annuities »
Can annuities ensure retirement funds will last?
2010 403(b) Plan Survey from the Profit Sharing/401k Council of America »
Survey reports on the 2009 plan-year experience of 552 plan sponsors from across the country.
Investor Bulletin: Target Date Retirement Funds (.pdf) »
Overview of popular retirement saving investment.
Workers Struggle to Deal With Changes to 403(b) Plans »
Overview of impact of new 403(b) regulations.
Minimizing Risk and Maximizing Outcomes (.pdf) »
Fiduciary and compliance risk guidance for plan sponsors.
April 2010
Financial Blogs Worth Your Time »
Guide to some of the best — and often little-known — websites to
help manage your finances.
March 2010
403(b)wise Turns 10; Joe Biden Weighs In »
New wise crack blog entry.
John Bogle: Consistently Correct »
Kathy Kristof story on Vanguard founder.
Target-Date Funds Series Research Paper (.pdf) »
2010 industry survey by Morningstar.
403(b) Annuity Plan Guidance for Tax-Exempt Entities: Where Does Your Plan Stand? »
Excerpt: "The new DOL guidance on 403(b) annuity programs reinforces the idea that an employer needs to be very thorough and cautious in determining whether a 403(b) annuity program is subject to ERISA and the Form 5500 reporting requirements."
Employees Succeed in Trimming Plan Fees »
Excerpt: Jeff Powelson knows how tough it is to fight for lower fees in a 401(k) retirement plan.
Pensions Still Fall Short As A Retirement Parachute »
Excerpt: "The financial crisis certainly laid bare how inadequate our retirement savings system is," says Alicia Munnell, the director of the Center for Retirement Research at Boston College.
February 2010
Annual Reporting and ERISA Coverage for 403(b) Plans »
Q & A's from Employee Benefits Security Administration.
The 403(b) Plan Audit Part 2 »
Second in series on what to expect if your 403(b) plan is audited.
Are 403(b) Plan Administrators Prepared to Meet the New Regulatory
Requirements? »
Excerpt: To better understand the effect of the new regulations on plan compliance, the TIAA-CREF Institute recently conducted a survey of more than 400 plan administrators at not-for-profit and governmental institutions with 403(b) plans.
Vermont Teacher Retirement Deal Would Save $15M a Year »
Teachers would pay more to pensions, work longer, but would receive increased benefits.
January 2010
SPARK Institute Releases Form 5500 Guidelines for 403(b) Plans (.pdf) »
Guidelines cover multi-vendor plans.
403(b) Advocates Welcome NTSAA to Palm Springs
403(b) advocate Steve Schullo and partner Dan Robertson have a message for NTSAA officials on the eve of their January 27 to January 30 National Conference in Palm Springs.
December 2009
Contribution Limits to Stay the Same in 2010 »
Review limit information in our FAQs.
The Doctor Is In (Reluctantly) »
Dan Otter blogs about earning his doctorate, and his new financial literacy initiative.
Bringing Higher Education 403(b) Plans Up-to-Date with Current ERISA Fiduciary Best Practices »
White Paper titled Avoiding the Breach was developed to help higher education plan sponsors understand when and how ERISA applies to 403(b) plans.
November 2009
DOL Considering 403(b) FAQ »
Excerpt: (Biggest challenge is) addressing the mystery of how to define and manage fiduciary issues arising from 403(b) plans funded with individually owned annuity contracts.
Living the Retirement Reality [Part 4] »
Teacher and 403(b) advocate Steve Schullo concludes his series on life in retirement.
Bogle Takes on Mutual Fund Industry as Top Court Considers Fees »
Vanguard founder is backing investors asking the U.S. Supreme Court to limit fees charged by fund managers.
October 2009
The Free Plan "Education" Fallacy »
Most 403(b)/457(b) financial education programs in public schools are really just covers for commission-based product sales.
NAGDCA DC Plans Taskforce (.pdf)»
Report on implementing defined benefit (DB)-like features in defined contribution (DC) plans.
GAO Issues Retirement Savings Report »
Excerpt: Many 403(b) plan sponsors keep sponsor involvement to a minimum, which limits the opportunities to pool assets and decrease fees.
Fairfax County Schools Pick 403(b) Providers »
Great-West Retirement Services and TIAA-CREF selected.
September 2009
403(b) Theft — How Employees and Employers Get Bilked »
Most plan participants and employers have no idea how much they are losing.
California Stars: CalSTRS and Scott Dauenhauer »
New post in the Wise Cracks blog.
The 403(b)wise Visitor Survey »
Help make 403(b)wise even better by participating in our short 10-question user survey.
Introducing the New Wise Cracks Blog »
Dan Otter of 403(b)wise blogs about a recent presentation to teachers in California, 403(b)wise doings and more.
Participant Loan Extension Can Carry Unexpected Consequences »
Failure to comply with the Tax Code's constraints on participant loans can subject a borrowing participant to immediate income taxation and, if the participant is not yet age 59-1/2, a 10% penalty tax.
403(b) Contribution Limits to Drop in 2010? »
Low inflation may lead to lower contribution limits according to consulting firm Mercer.
View related discussion comments »
August 2009
IRS Makes Available 403(b) Plan Information Presentations for Employer and Employee »
IRS 403(b) Presentation for Employees and IRS 403(b) Presentation for Employers
Hire a Salesman as Your Financial Advisor... »
And your return looks PacMan-like.
Mutual Funds Slide, But Fees Jump Five Percent »
Awful year just got more awful for many mutual fund investors.
Comparison: New 403(b) Plan Requirements and the 401(k) »
This article explores the new regulations and the key questions CPAs need to ask when discussing these options with their nonprofit employers or clients.
DOL Issues Limited Relief for Annual Reporting Requirements »
Under certain conditions current and former employees will not be treated as participants for Form 5500 reporting requirements.
July 2009
New Edition of Teach and Retire Rich Now Available »
Updated version of popular book on teacher retirement plans is now shipping. First 25 orders will be autographed by author.
Planner Delia Fernandez Renews Commitment to 403(b) Advisor Directory »
Fernandez is a fee-only planner based in Los Alamitos, California.
403(b)wise Advisor Directory Adds New Advisor »
Michelle Slawny, CFP, of Wisconsin is the newest member of our unique advisor directory.
New SPARK Best Practices Documents »
Institute has released three new best practices documents for 403(b) plans, including new best practices for sharing remittance and census data.
June 2009
Obsolete 403(b) Guidance Documents (.pdf) »
Finalized IRS list of obsolete 403(b) revenue rulings.
Rebuilding Target-Date Investment Options »
Scott Dauenhauer of Meridian Wealth Management proposes a better target date fund.
June 30 Deadline to Fix Defective 403(b) Contract Exchanges »
Excerpt: "Plan sponsors whose plans permitted exchanges with non-approved vendors after September 24, 2007, and who did not enter into ISAs with such vendors by January 1, 2009, might wish to remind plan participants of the upcoming deadline and the need to re-exchange any such contracts back into the plan in order to avoid the potential income tax consequences."
Groom Comments on Proposed IRS 403(b) Prototype Plan Program (Opinion) (.pdf) »
Firm has specific comments on: vesting, selected church plan rules, employer contributions, cash limit, hardship distribution and disability definition.
The SPARK Institute Comments on IRS 403(b) Plan Prototype Program (.pdf) »
The Case for 'Distributed Custodial Accounts' from Terminated 403(b) Plans »
Excerpt: "One of the biggest disappointments arising from the issuance of the 403(b) regs has been the inability of employers to effectively terminate their plans."
May 2009
Pension Reduction Rally (.pdf) »
Government Workers: Learn how the Government Pension Offset and Windfall Elimination Provision can drastically reduce Social Security benefits at a May 30 rally in Berkeley, California.
April 2009
IRS Prototype 403(b) Plans »
Summary of key provisions in the "draft" revenue procedure.
New 403(b) Market Statistics Available »
Statistics showing the distribution of investments in the 403(b) market are now updated to include 2008 information.
IRS Publishes Sample 403(b) Prototype Document Language (.pdf) »
The Internal Revenue Service has published some sample prototype 403(b) language — and wants to know what you think.
Texas Legislators Seek to End Abusive TPA Practices »
Read talking points (.pdf) and the bill (.pdf).
March 2009
Dan Otter Speaks to Educators in Los Angeles
Earlier this month, 403(b)wise operator and Teach and Retire Rich author Dan Otter spoke to educators on retirement issues in an event hosted by United Teachers Los Angeles (UTLA). For more information about Dan's seminars, go to the Teach and Retire Rich website.
Target Date Funds Took Too Many Risks for Near-Retirees »
Funds show that one-size-fits-all investments can be faulty when risks aren't understood.
Superintendent Was Client of Benefits Manager Who Also Acted As Broker »
At issue is the deferred-compensation program run by the Fringe Benefits Consortium, which was organized by the county schools office in 1982 and now serves about 72,000 school employees in San Diego, Riverside and Imperial counties.
Benefits Manager Acted as Broker »
Office of Education employee collected at least $355,000 in commissions as a broker for AIG.
Reallocation Versus Rebalancing »
Discussion on difference between rebalancing a portfolio's current asset allocation and outright changing a portfolio's target asset allocation.
February 2009
401(k) Fee Bill Introduced in Senate »
Legislation aimed at improving disclosure of 401(k) fee information was introduced in the Senate.
Rate Your 401(k) »
BrightScope puts plans under microscope.
403(b)wise Adds 12th Advisor to Directory »
Eric Weiss, a CFP from Florida, becomes 12th member of the 403(b)wise Advisory Directory, a unique listing of fee-only planners who meet our strict requirements for inclusion.
January 2009
IRS Provides Guidance to Financial Institutions on RMDs for 2009 »
The Act waives any RMDs for 2009 for individual account plans, such as 401(k) plans and 403(b) plans, and for IRAs.
Our Vanguard 403(b) Story (.pdf) »
A Tough Test for 403(b)s »
Updated look at new 403(b) rules.
New 403(b) Regulations Now in Effect »
New 403(b) era begins though written plan requirement has been delayed.
Lessons the Market Taught Us in 2008 »
Bear market provided a "doctoral seminar" of investment lessons.
December 2008
Financial Tips for Teachers from a Teacher (.pdf) »
Teacher and author Danny Kofke shares ideas on how teachers can make the most of their salaries.
Teacher Pensions: A Background Paper (.pdf) »
Excerpt: "Paper examines one important but relatively unfamiliar element of human resource policy for teachers — pensions."
Virginia School Board Chooses One Provider »
After weeks of contention, Newport News School Board chooses Lincoln Financial Group.
Financial Tips for Teachers from a Teacher (.pdf) »
Teacher and author Danny Kofke shares ideas on how teachers can make the most of their salaries.
President Bush Signs Pension Relief Bill »
Excerpt: "The bill allows retirees to avoid making withdrawals from depleted 401(k)s, IRAs, and 403(b)s in 2009."
403(b) Plan Termination FAQs »
Revised information reflects recent conversations with a representative of the IRS National Office.
403(b) Crunch Time Series »
Blog to help employers get ready for new regulations.
IRS Announces Delay in Written Plan Requirement (.pdf) »
Employers now have until December 31, 2009 to comply with this provision.
CalSTRS Expands Compliance Services »
California pension fund helps employers with new regulations.
The SPARK Institute Holding 403(b) Information Sharing Webcast »
December 10th event will begin at noon EST and include Q&A session.
SPARK Institute Answers More Technical Questions Regarding Information Sharing »
New questions and answers are now available.
Happy New Year? Not For Some »
403(b) plans will have fewer investment options, more restrictions in 2009
November 2008
ASBO Asks for New Reg Delay (.pdf) »
Group cites "difficulties faced by our constituents in attempting to comply with the new 403(b) regulations."
It's Time to Rethink Our Retirement Plans »
An opinion article by TIAA-CREF's CEO about the need to fix what isn't working before the next financial crisis.
Video: IRS Technical Presentation on 403(b) Final Regulations »
Each part is less than 10 minutes long.
SPARK Institute Releases New Version of Best Practices for 403(b) Plans Information Sharing »
The Data Elements Best Practices document was modified from an earlier version due to a number of complicated and technical questions received from companies that are actively developing systems to follow the best practices.
October 2008
IRS 403(b) Phone Forum on December 4 »
Following a presentation, Bob Architect will answer questions about new regs.
Groups Ask for Extension on 403(b) Written Plan Requirement (.pdf) »
More than 30 organizations including the SPARK Institute and American Benefits Council ask for extension and recognition of good faith compliance effort.
Baltimore County Schools Choose 5 Providers »
After rejecting single vendor, board chooses: AIG Retirement, ING Life Insurance & Annuity Co., Lincoln Financial Group, MetLife Resources and Security Financial Resources & Security Distributors Inc.
IRS' Architect Dispels Myths about 403(b) Regs »
Sponsors of and advisers to 403(b) plans recently got some clarification regarding compliance directly from one of the “architects” of the new regulations.
IRS Announces 2009 Contribution Limits »
403(b) contribution limits rise to $16,500 for 2009, and age 50 catchup increases to $5,500 for 2009.
A.M. Best Downgrades Ratings of Security Benefit Life Insurance Company
and Its Subsidiary »
Ratings placed under review.
Move to One Vendor Rejected »
Board unanimously opposed recommended contract with 403(b) plan provider Lincoln Financial Group, which would have moved away from multiple vendors.
Retirement Plans and the Troubled Asset Relief Program »
Will Emergency Economic Stabilization Act affect qualified retirement plans?
AIG to Sell VALIC Unit (.pdf) »
AIG perspective on sale of VALIC, "the #1 provider of retirement plans to K-12 market."
Nurturing The Nest Egg »
School districts get new federal duties in overseeing workers' 403(b) supplemental retirement accounts.
Transcript Available from Education Week Online Chat on Financial Meltdown »
John Musso, chief financial officer for ASBO, and Dan Otter, operator of 403(b)wise, discussed the financial crisis and its effect on school districts, teachers, and their retirement savings.
Retirement Plan Disclosure (.pdf) »
A declaration of ethical principles and legal obligations.
September 2008
New AHA/Diversified Survey Reveals Overhaul of 403(b) Regulations Impacting Retirement Plans for Healthcare Sector »
Just one year after the IRS issued an extensive overhaul of 403(b) regulations, an AHA/Diversified survey reveals that they are impacting healthcare employers' decisions about their retirement plan administration even more so than the Pension Protection Act of 2006 (PPA).
Letter from AIG Retirement to Plan Participants (.pdf) »
AIG Retirement responds to questions they have received from retirement plans and participants regarding their parent company, AIG.
Educators Eye Exposure to U.S. Financial Turmoil »
School business officials kept a close watch on the financial markets this week.
AIG Releases Talking Points Document (.pdf) »
Response to recent press coverage on AIG's liquidity.
California Attorney General's Opinion Regarding Whether School District Can Give Preference to a 403(b) Vendor (.pdf) »
Also addresses whether a school district or its employees receive compensation for the promotion or sale of a particular 403(b) plan to public school employees.
AIG Slumps as Insurer Rushes to Raise Capital »
Insurer gets access to $20 billion in assets from subsidiaries.
'Two' Works for 403(b) Plans »
At long last, a DOL official has spoken publicly about what constitutes a "reasonable choice" under its 403(b) "safe harbor," 2510.3-2(f)(3)(vii).
HEART Act Changes Retirement Plan Rules for Military Reservists »
Article summarizes changes as they apply to qualified defined benefit and defined contribution plans, Section 403(b) plans, and Section 457(b) plans.
Final 403(b) Regulations and How They Affect Plan Sponsors »
"Under these new regulations, a greater level of employer involvement will be necessary," said Gene Paranczak, senior consultant and ERISA attorney in Vanguard Institutional Strategic Consulting. "Vanguard is committed to helping 403(b) plan sponsors adjust to their new fiduciary responsibilities."
The SPARK Institute Releases Answers to Technical Questions Regarding Its 403(b) Plans Information Sharing Best Practices »
The SPARK Institute today announced that it has created a web site to address questions regarding its "Best Practices for 403(b) Plans Information Sharing — Minimum and Comprehensive Data Elements" document released in July.
The New 403(b) Plan Documents and ERISA »
Dreaded question: whether or not any particular 403(b) plan is subject to ERISA's Title I.
Putting the Nest Egg at Risk »
Hard economic times drive many employees to raid retirement plans to meet immediate needs.
August 2008
403(b) Participants More Cautious »
Participants in 403(b) retirement plans contribute less and are not as aggressive with their investments as their 401(k) counterparts, according to a Spectrem Group survey released today.
How America Saves 2008: A Report on Vanguard 2007 Defined Contribution Plan
Data »
A reference tool that provides an analysis of savings, investing, and account activity trends in Vanguard defined contribution plans.
Clarifying "Information Sharing Agreements" »
The new 403(b) regulations introduced a new term of art into the industry, the "Information Sharing Agreement." Conversations with a number of consultants, attorneys and IRS officials reveal that this is a term which is still seeking a meaning, and which is causing a bit of confusion in the marketplace.
Sample Letter to TPAs from Employers (.doc) »
Are California educational entities even aware of the state TPA disclosure requirement? This sample letter can be used by employers to see if their TPAs are in compliance with recently passed fee disclosure laws. We believe employers outside of California would be wise to require similar disclosure.
A Retirement Plan Where Everything Goes Wrong »
Persistent misconceptions exist that can put many retirees at risk of running out of money according to MetLife study.
Workers Deserve Index Funds with Low Fees and High Returns »
Vanguard Group Founder John Bogle has shown that, between 1980 and 2005, an S&P 500 index fund returned 12.3% a year, compared to 7.3% for the average mutual fund.
When 401(k) Investing Goes Bad »
Teachers in West Virginia offer a valuable lesson for what not to do.
July 2008
Managing Your 403(b) Plan — Is It Like Herding Cats? »
New Social Security Calculator »
New user-friendly online benefits estimator.
401(k) Proposal Would Clarify Fees »
Fees "subtract from the overall amount of retirement savings, so it's really important that workers are able to compare for themselves the relative level of expenses that are deducted," said Labor Secretary Elaine Chao.
RFP Guide for 403(b) Plans (.pdf) »
The SPARK Institute today released a guide to help employers conduct vendor searches that are being prompted by the IRS' 403(b) plans regulations.
Best Practices for 403(b) Plans Information Sharing (.doc) »
The SPARK Institute released a new version of this document to help vendors and employers comply with the new IRS regulations.
403(b)wise Launches New Look, New Features, and New Service
403(b)wise, the leading source for 403(b) news and information on the internet, announces a total site redesign. In addition to an attractive new interface, 403(b)wise now offers online calculators, a dedicated employer section, an advisor directory, and a new education service for employers and employees: the YourPlan.info Portal.

Older archived stories »

Wise Sponsors
Wise info...