No. of Recommendations: 2
As for Valic, if I go with them there won't be an annual fee as long as I keep employed by the university.

Maybe not an annual fee, but look for the "expense ratio" or "investment advisory fees" or "expenses" (or similar wording) expressed as a percentage of the account that is used for paying the manager and expenses of the investments in that instrument. If this is a variable annuity offering inside the 403(b) or 457, check also the "M&E Fees" and whether they are included in the "expense ratio" or are in addition to them.

Disclaimer: my 403(b) is with TIAA-CREF, specifically in their Equity Index Account (0.36% expense ratio), Bond Market (0.38% expense ratio), and Real Estate (0.64% expense ratio). (These expense ratios include the 0.005% M&E Fees.) Before my 403(b) was with TIAA-CREF, my account was with a different company that had huge expenses, e.g., their large cap growth was 1.50% annual "investment advisory fee" plus 1.05% M&E Fee, making their expenses for that annuity account seven times more expensive than TIAA-CREF's Equity Index account.
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