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<<Her school system designates Tax Sheltered Annuity (TSA) providers that are authorized to receive payments into 403B accounts. Initially these were all insurance companies offering annuities but three years ago they added an option to invest in mutual funds.>>

I am glad to see that someone else has dealt with such a horrible system. My wife's former employer had a similar arrangement for their 403b but the only choices were insurance company TSA annuity accounts. She invested in an Aetna annuity that was supposed to be investing in Twentieth Century's Growth fund. No matter how much 20th Century Growth goes up, her annuity account shows essentially no growth. She stopped working there but felt sort of trapped by the fee for terminating the annuity. We have since realized that paying Aetna 5% to go away is a relative bargain compared to sticking with a massively underperforming investment.

My bias is that in general annuities are horrible investments. In a tax sheltered account where you are getting no tax benefit they are worse.
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