Skip to main content
No. of Recommendations: 0
I have recently joined a university which offers 403(b), with dollar for dollar match, to its employees. With my present salary I can contribute upto $4500/yr towards 403(b). I also have a choice to particiapte in a volunteery TSA (which is not matched by employer). On the list of companies I was provided by HR dept I have a choice of going with Fidelity or TIAA-CREF (for mutual funds)(Unfortunately they dont offer Vanguard). I am interested in primarily investing in index, no load funds however on fidelity web site almost all funds i see either have some kind of load (Fidelity is only charging back end load and not front end load on any fund based on an agreement with the university)managment fees etc. I am not familiar with TIAA-CREF. Please share with me your experience if anyone of you have invested with these companies.

thanks

Arif
Print the post Back To Top
No. of Recommendations: 0
I just spoke with a gentleman from Fidelity on the phone yesterday about transferring my wife's TSA into a 403(b) plan. Her current TSA is with American Express and the fees are pretty high. The way I understood it the only fees on a 403(b) plan at Fidelity were a $24 per year fee and a fee if you transfer funds to another fund within 30 days of the starting a particular fund. I told this guy I was looking at the fees on their website and he said those fees don't apply to a 403(b) plan. I'm very new to investing myself but I figured I'd pass on the information. The number I called was 1-800-343-3548. This was their 403(b) department. By the way, my 403(b)7 plan is with Vanguard and they seem to be great. Good luck.
Tom
Print the post Back To Top
No. of Recommendations: 0
I invested my 403b in CREF & TIAA for many years, and have been pleased with organization. There has been no load, and the management fees are reasonable--it seems to be a totally above board company that in the past dealt with universities and research institutes. A word of caution, don't think that puting your money into TIAA is like balancing your stock account with a bond account as the TIAA-CREF brochure suggests. TIAA is an annuity, and getting your money out when you retire follows TIAA's payout schedule and takes a long time. I made that mistake, and have about 7 more years before all my funds will have been moved out.

When you do retire, you will likely want to roll over your funds to something like a Schwab IRA, because dealing with CREF is not facile. It takes TIAA-CREF 9 days just to move funds internally from a scheduled payout from your TIAA account to your CREF account! Funds are only distributed from CREF, and CREF does not do EFT to brokerages; it sends a check through the USPS. If you set up an IRA at your bank, you may be able to get CREF to do an EFT without witholding 20% for taxes.

db
Print the post Back To Top
No. of Recommendations: 0
The way I understood it the only fees on a 403(b) plan at Fidelity were a $24 per year fee and a fee if you transfer funds to another fund within 30 days of the starting a particular fund.

TIAA-CREF charges no such fee for 403b accounts. In addition, and probably more significantly, you'd want to compare expense ratios for the exact funds you're interested in at TIAA-CREF and Fidelity. TIAA-CREF's expenses are among the lowest in the industry. I'm not sure how Fidelity stacks up.
Print the post Back To Top
No. of Recommendations: 0
I have a choice of going with Fidelity or TIAA-CREF

I have a taxable mutual fund account with TIAA-CREF. seems so far to be a great place to stash my cash.

my employer also recently began offering a 403(b) with TIAA-CREF. I checked it out---the only thing that they were offering was annuities.

check into that in particular, IMO. I don't think you'd want to be stuck with an annuity if it wasn't what you were looking for.

you can look at the funds at www.tiaacref.com

HTH,

gahdzila
Print the post Back To Top
No. of Recommendations: 1
check into that in particular, IMO. I don't think you'd want to be stuck with an annuity if it wasn't what you were looking for.

I think this is generally good advice. However, the TIAA-CREF retirement annuities are a bit of an exception. Their M&E (mortality and expense) fee is negligible; their overall expenses are lower than any mutual fund I know of (with the exception of Vanguard indexes.) I have never drawn any money out of TIAA-CREF, but I understand that the CREF Traditional annuity (the one with the guaranteed rate of return) can be a hassle. But with all the TIAA annuities, you can either choose to annuitize or not annuitize when you withdraw. Or, if sometime in the future (after you have left your current employer) you can always transfer the funds to a Rollover IRA to get it out of the annuity category.

I think it's interesting that John Bogle, in a Q&A exchange on a Morningstar chat bord, cited TIAA-CREF as one of 4 competitors that he admired.

jtmitch
Print the post Back To Top