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I have been lurking on this boards for couple of months and learning a lot.

At present I am struggling with the following dilemma.
My employer is using variable annuity as an investing vehicle for the 403(b) plan. They (American United Life
Insurance Company) seem to have some decent choices but the EXPENSES ARE HIGH !!!! 1.25% added on top of
the mutual fund-like subaccount expense. So some of the subaccount choices end up costing whopping 2.45% and S@P 500-like subaccount 1.53%. There is also $30 annual fee. How about 8% surrender charge?!!!. Funny that none of the company reps mentions any of that when you sign up for this thing. Another thing, there is no matching from employer.
Considering all of the above, would I be "foolish" to just stick with my Roth IRA - up 38% this year, and taxable account- up 35% this year, and not bother with this annuity thing???? Or should I chip in some small amount in to this expensive tax deferral ???
My next question - since this is "before taxes" annuity will I have to pay tax on the whole thing (contributions and earnings) at retirement. I am 44 years old, 28% tax bracket.
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