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kismer asks:

"1. Is it common for qualified plans to offer only annuities as the investment vehicle?
2. If an annuity is our only option here, do the tax advantages offered by the 403-B out-weigh the additional costs and potentially "restricted" returns offered by the mutual fund subaccounts offered through the annuity? "

1. Yes, most qualified plans select a funding provider - that becomes the only choice while working for that employer.

2. Maybe, 403b/TSA plans are not inherently inferior to other plans (like mutual funds), it depends on the funding provider. My experience has found some very competitive plans using TSA's (as well as some not-so-competitive...).

Spend the time studying all the choices & their 5 year and 10 year performance histories. Review the flexibilty of transfers between account (without charge). And be sure to understand the terms of the plan. The "costs" should not be much more than 1.50% (about what many mutual fund operating costs run).

Good luck! PP
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