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D**N S*Bs!! 20 years ago when the university that I was working at offered an option--state pension or a fancy 403b where you could KEEP your OWN money for retirement! Sounded good and I bit. The 403b was in the hands of an insurance company (sound familiar?). Insurance companies are now being touted as the WORST place to put your retirment money. Not only are they slimeballs, at the time, they were recommending a highly managed portfolio which of course was netting them tons of money to manage it. Well I changed jobs 10 years ago but kept my earlier 403b where it was. My new job had me in TIAA-Cref. Now that I'm getting serious about retirement (hit 50) I'm looking at my portfolio to make sure that it is doing what I want it to do. Of course 20 years has increase my understanding of funds, investments etc. understanding that I didn't have 20 years ago (yes youngsters, there was life before the internet<g>). The insurance company based (and on top of it my retirement money was with TWO different insurance companies) 403b was NOT performing at all. When I learned about management costs a few years ago, I immediately switched my allocations to index funds which had smaller management fees but over 20 years I would have been better in savings bonds with all the fees and stuff!

OK making a long story short, three months ago I tried to move my 403b's in the two insurance companies 'care' to TIAA-CREF. GUESS WHAT!! It STILL hasn't happened! I'm getting super slow response from those insurance companies (did I mention it was Valic and Zurich Kemper?) and in one case they 'claimed' they couldn't move the part that had my prior universities matching contribution AT ALL!

I know it's not a problem just with these two companies because my DH and I were working on moving HIS 401k with Great Western insurance (100% contribution by HIM not the stage agency he works for) and they told him today that 'no can do!' because even though he's not contributing to that account anymore, since he's still employed with the state he's stuck with keeping his money with these leaches!!!

OK, WHAT SHOULD WE DO? Or are we stuck with these leaches? Anyone else have a problem transferring 401k's or 403b's to other handlers?
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I would love to see how this comes out. Please email me.

There are Valic retirement plans with SURRENDER charges!

Thieves

buzman
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rosie,

how have you been trying to transfer the funds?

Here is my recommendation:

I have moved $$ back and forth from fidelity to TIAA-Cref. Each time, I contacted the place I was moving the money TO and filled out a 403b (or 401k) form. Then that was it. Fidelity or TIAA-Cref took care of the rest.

So do this. Do it again if you've already done it and give it until October 15th to take. If it does not, start making phone calls up the chain at Valic or Zurich Kemper to see what you can do. You also may need to contact your previous employer to see if you need to send forms from them to move $$.

And if they still hold onto your $$ for no reason you can fathom, there are regulatory agencies that may need to become involved.

-b-
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Fidelity or TIAA-Cref took care of the rest.

Yep! If you ask Fidelity, Vanguard, or other large outfits like them to give you a hand (which assumes you are moving the money to them), they likely will guide you through the process and reduce the BS factor coming from the insurance company.

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Hmm...my University just added VALIC to its options (which currently include TIAA-CREF and American Century.) I was attracted to VALIC because they offer some Vanguard funds, but I did notice they didn't offer Vanguard's Index funds.

So...is it general consensus that it's a good idea to stay away from VALIC?

I'm with American Century now but may look at TIAA-CREF when I re-adjust to meet my asset allocation goals.

Any comments welcome.

Teehoe
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TIAA-CREF is a shining light in a dismal field. Plus they offer index funds.

buzman
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I also like their real estate investment part of their portfolio offering.
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What you need to do is called a 90-24 transfer. This allows you to tranfer from one 403b provider to another without penalty.
There is an excellent web site that discusses all types of issues with 403bs.
Here is the link for the 90-24 tranfer rules.

Bill

http://www.403bwise.com/wisemoves/transfer403b_bm.html
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Thanks Bill, I'll take a look. BTW, for any of you looking at 403b/401k's that are held with an insurance company, my advice is DON'T DO IT!!!! It is the stupidest way to invest retirment money. It's not investment. They hold your money HOSTAGE!
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BTW, for any of you looking at 403b/401k's that are held with an insurance company, my advice is DON'T DO IT!!!!

My 403(b) is with an insurance company and I have no intent of switching.

--Mark
Happy with TIAA-CREF for several years now!
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