US 403(b) Plans’ High Fees Eat Teachers’ Retirement Plans

Educating, not selling

One of my main missions as a fee-only investment advisor is to shine light on how every day professionals can best save and invest for retirement, and know exactly what they’re paying for such services and what they get from those services. I was glad to see this latest Barron’s article highlighting US teachers’ 403(b) plans as one big area where unscrupulous “advisors” still get away with taking huge commissions on overly complex and unsuitable products.

As the article points out, 403(b) plans lack some of the fiduciary protections as 401(k) plans, as much as I study US pension law, I am still surprised how differences like these are allowed to persist without becoming bigger political issues. Granted, many of the pension systems I’ve looked at outside the US are riddled with just as much cost and complexity as a typical 403(b) plan.

Does you school’s teachers’ pension plan suffer from high fees, complex investment products, and other inefficiencies that will leave your community’s educators with significantly less in retirement? Please do contact me if you have a retirement plan horror story to share that we might be able to help fix.

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