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What has really scared me today as I've talked with other teachers about this situation - something which affects so many of us - is how little they know about the company with which they invest, their holdings, how their investment has performed, fees, etc

There is a reason the insurance industry has focused on 403(b) plans of educational districts, and it's not to be of service to teachers. Teachers have unknowingly transferred a large % of their invested lifetime earnings to the middlemen....its been a sweet deal for insurers and certain mutual funds.

This is one of the primary reasons that the IRS has required that all school districts and non-profit organizations offering 403(b) plans to come into compliance, through a written plan that addresses all matters normally addressed by employer sponsored retirement plans, including eligibility, contribution limits, loans, hardship withdrawls, rollover, etc. This requirement is really designed to force school districts to take responsibility for their 403(b) plans instead of leaving it up to the insurance companies. It was supposed to be in effect 1/1/09, but due to low compliance, the IRS has extended this deadline to 1/1/10

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