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Subject:  Re: TAx Sheltered Annuities Date:  8/24/1999  2:05 PM
Author:  TMFPixy Number:  13412 of 108261

Greetings, Toennisson, and welcome. You wrote:

<<I am confused. I work in the health care industry, in a non profit hospital. We only recently were able to have a 401k account. We recieved a payout on our pension plan and I started one with regular contributions. Prior to this I had a TSA that I invested in. I still have this account but cannot add to it. My money in the TSA is invested in mutual funds. I recently saw a financial planner who really did not speak favorably of TSAs. He thinks I should pull my money out of the TSA and invest in HIS mutual funds. The TSA accounts I have invested in have payed off well and the company representative has given me good advice. <When I started with him I knew nothing about investing. I know a lot more now but am still learning.> What is wrong with TSA aaccounts? What exactly makes them different than 401k accounts? I have read and read but cannot find this anywhere. Most investment books dont mention them or talk about them just like a 401k acount. Also, I cannot find the mutual funds in my TSA listed with Morningstar or other such places. Help! >>

I can't tell from your description if you are using a Tax Sheltered Annuity in a 403b plan or a Tax Deferred Annuity purchased with after-tax dollars. I suspicion that prior to having a 401k your employer used the 403b plan. That differs from a 401k in that your contributions are limited to the lesser of 20% of compensation or $10K and the fact the account may be invested in annuities and/or mutual funds only. You chose the annuity and are using one that allows you a choice of subaccounts, which are mutual fund look-alike funds. You won't find them listed in the paper because they are not publicly traded funds and by law cannot be. Also, they tend to have higher expenses due to management and administrative fees imposed by both the investment manager and the insurance company that offers the annuity. Many of the same comments one can make about in annuities in general apply to tax sheltered annuities as well. For a Foolish perspective, see message number 11725 on this board at For a discussion on 40b plans, see my Foolish Retirement Plan Primer at

All that said, if you're happy with the annuity, don't change. However, it is possible you could do better elsewhere.

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