Retirement

IRA

Our Individual Retirement Account offers a variety of investment choices and low fees…plus it’s open to family members.

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An Individual Retirement Account (IRA) is a great way to save for your future. Increase your retirement savings and take advantage of tax benefits. We offer both our Roth and Traditional IRAs.

Traditional IRAs give you tax-deferred growth and possible tax deductibility now, while Roth IRAs offer tax-free growth, meaning no taxes at all later on.

The WEA Member Benefits IRA program is now available to members and their families who live outside the state of Wisconsin. Find out if your state is eligible.

Program features

  • No-load mutual funds
  • Prudential Guaranteed Investment with competitive returns
  • Financial counseling for participants
  • Internet and telephone account access 24/7
  • No fees to open or close an account
  • No fees for account changes
  • Low annual administrative fees (0.45%), annual fee cap of $600 for WEAC members, $750 for non-members*
  • No commissions paid to Member Benefits staff
  • Convenient automatic contributions through electronic funds transfer or payroll deduction (available in 150 schools)

*Minimum annual fee of $25 for inactive accounts. Inactive accounts are accounts with no contributions within a calendar year.

Got $25 and 5 minutes? Then you can start saving for retirement with WEA Member Benefits.

Enroll now.

Participants may make contributions on a before-tax basis, an after-tax (Roth) basis, or some combination of the two up to the IRA limit. For current IRS contribution limits, please visit our IRA/403(b) contribution limits page.

What is a Roth IRA and how is it different from a Traditional IRA?

Roth contributions are after-tax, which means you pay taxes now on your contributions, but all qualified* withdrawals, including earnings, are tax-free.

Traditional IRA contributions may be tax deductible and the earnings are tax-deferred while accumulating in the account; however, contributions and earnings are taxable when distributed. (Please consult with a tax advisor to determine the extent of your ability to deduct your contributions.)

So the question is, do you want to pay the taxes on your contributions now or after you begin taking withdrawals?

*For qualified withdrawals from the Roth IRA, the participant must be age 59½ or older and have held the Roth IRA account for at least five tax years.

What is the benefit of after-tax savings?

One of the greatest benefits of Roth savings is the ability to reduce your tax liability in retirement.

For decades the assumption has been that most people would be in a lower tax bracket in retirement and would benefit from before-tax savings. However, changes in tax policy, including lower tax rates, the taxation of Social Security, and other deductions available under the tax code increase the chances that you could be in the same or higher tax bracket when you retire.

These changes mean that before-tax savings may not always be the optimal tax strategy.

What does this mean to me?

At retirement, Wisconsin public school employees typically have at least three sources of income: a monthly retirement benefit from the Wisconsin Retirement System (WRS), Social Security benefits, and pre-tax retirement savings. Most of these may be taxable as ordinary income in retirement. Any tax savings realized today could be more than offset by a higher tax bill in retirement. The Roth IRA provides an opportunity to control your tax liability in retirement.

Is the Roth IRA right for everyone?

Before-tax contributions and tax-deferred growth are key advantages of Traditional IRAs. However, there will be some who will benefit more from after-tax (Roth) contributions and tax-free growth.

A Roth IRA gives you tax-free access to some of your nest egg in retirement, allowing you to manage your tax situation and possibly prevent you from moving into a higher tax bracket.

Member Benefits does not provide personal legal or tax advice; you may want to consult with a tax professional to assess the right type of contribution for you.

Not everyone is eligible to contribute to a Roth IRA. Your income must not exceed the stated Internal Revenue Service limits.

Why consolidate your retirement accounts with WEA Member Benefits?

Low cost

Multiple accounts means multiple costs. Excessive costs can eat away at your account balance, leaving you with less money in retirement. With Member Benefits, you enjoy:

  • ONE low administrative cost with an annual fee cap.
    • 403(b) program: Annual administrative costs of 0.35%.
      Annual cap: $500
    • IRA program: Annual administrative cost of 0.45%.
      Annual fee cap: WEAC member = $600 / Non-WEAC member = $750
  • No-load mutual funds.
  • No transfer fees.
  • No surrender penalties or withdrawal charges.

Investment choices

No-load mutual funds, representing all asset classes, and our Prudential Guaranteed Investment (see also Guaranteed Long-Term Fund Fact Sheet) provide the flexibility you need to manage risk and build a diversified portfolio.

Learn more about investment strategies.


Steps to transfer funds to Member Benefits

Follow the steps below to move a retirement account(s) to Member Benefits. You can get personal assistance from one of our Retirement Specialists at any time.

Step 1

Obtain a statement from your existing retirement account. Your account statement needs to indicate what type of retirement account you have (403(b), 401(k), Traditional IRA, Roth IRA, 457(b), 401(a), or a different type of qualified plan).

Step 2

Verify you can transfer a retirement account into your existing or new retirement account with Member Benefits by reviewing the IRS rollover chart or by signing up for a consultation with a Member Benefits Retirement Specialist.

Step 3

Call the financial institution that holds your account. Ask them the following questions:

  1. Do they require their own forms for transferring funds to a different company?
  2. Do they require a notary or signature guarantee?
  3. Will they charge you a fee for moving the account to us? Are there any surrender fees that will be charged for moving your account?
  4. What is the address or fax number Member Benefits should send the forms once they are complete?
  5. Does the account need to be liquidated or moved to cash before the rollover request is submitted to them?

Step 4

Choose from one of the following options.

  • Option 1. Call WEA Member Benefits at 1-800-279-4030, Extension 8568. You can speak directly to a Specialist who will walk you through the process for moving your old account to your existing WEA Member Benefits Account. If you don’t have an existing account, we will enroll you into the appropriate account.
  • Option 2. Schedule a meeting with a Member Benefits Retirement Specialist. One of our Specialists will walk you through the process of moving your existing account to your existing or new account with WEA Member Benefits.
  • Option 3. Click the link below to upload your statement and fill in the digital form to begin the process of transferring your outside accounts to Member Benefits.

WEA Member Benefits Exchange/Transfer/Rollover Form


Be sure to consider all of your available options and the applicable fees and features of each option before moving your retirement assets.

See our fees listed below and find out why fees matter and how they impact your current and future savings.

WEA Member Benefits IRA Fees

Compare our fees with other providersWEA Member Benefits IRA
Annual administrative fee (capped annually at $600 for WEAC members and $750 for nonmembers)0.45%
Surrender chargesNone
Sales commissionNone
Mortality and expense (M&E) feeNone
Fees to open, or close accountNone
Inactive Account* minimum annual fee$25
Other administrative feesNone
*Inactive accounts are accounts with no contributions within a calendar year. Investment management and redemption fees apply.

 

How can you keep your money working for you in retirement?

yourINCOME PATH™ can help!

yourINCOME PATH is the suite of options and support we offer to help turn your retirement savings account balance into income during retirement.

We offer several income management options to fit your unique goals and needs during retirement. And Member Benefits provides these services at no additional cost.*

Visit the yourINCOME PATH page to read more about the program and review retirement income management strategies, then learn how to get started on your own income strategy.

Member Benefits is here for you to and through retirement.

Learn more about yourINCOME PATH

 

*If you choose to invest in the WEA Tax Sheltered Annuity or WEA Member Benefits IRA program, fees will apply. Consider all expenses before investing.

Member focused

We operate as a trust which reinvests any profits back into programs that benefit participants. As a member organization, we have only your best interest at heart. Helping you achieve your financial goals is our mission.

Open to family

Family members, like your spouse or domestic partner, children and their spouses, parents, parents-in-law—and in some cases, your grandchildren—are also eligible to open a WEA Member Benefits IRA account. (Certain state residency required.)

Personal consultations

Our experienced consultants will take the time to help you develop a plan that is right for you.

Schedule a personal phone consultation.

 

Access 24/7

Access your account information by phone or online at any time.

Low fees

• No-load mutual funds
• No transfer fees
• No surrender penalties or withdrawal charges
• Low annual administrative fee of 0.45% ($4.50 per $1,000 invested) and annual fee cap of $600 for WEAC members and $750 for nonmembers.*

*Minimum annual fee of $25 for inactive accounts. Inactive accounts are accounts with no contributions within a calendar year.

We have a Guaranteed Investment

The Prudential Guaranteed Investment fills the role of a fixed-income investment in your portfolio. The Guaranteed Investment traditionally offers a very competitive rate of return.**

Transfers and rollovers

We accept rollovers from a variety of retirement plans including IRAs, 401(k), 457(b), Simple IRA, and SEP IRA.

If fees are taking a big bite out of your retirement savings, why not roll over to a low-cost IRA offered by Member Benefits?

**About the Prudential Guaranteed Investment:
Interest is compounded daily to produce the current annual yield prior to the deduction of administrative fees of the WEA TSA Trust and the WEAC IRA program. Principal and net credited interest are fully guaranteed by Prudential Retirement Insurance and Annuity Company (PRIAC). Such guarantees are based solely upon the financial strength and claims-paying ability of PRIAC. The Prudential Guaranteed Investment is a group annuity product issued by PRIAC. Amounts contributed to the contract are deposited in PRIAC’s general account. Payment obligations and the fulfillment of any guarantees specified in the group annuity contract are insurance claims supported by the full faith and credit of PRIAC. PRIAC periodically resets the interest rate credited on contract balances, subject to a minimum rate specified in the group annuity contract and subject to change. Past interest rates are not indicative of future rates. PRIAC is compensated in connection with this product by deducting an amount for investment expenses and risk from the investment experience of certain assets held in PRIAC’s general account. PRIAC uses a portion of its aggregate revenue to reimburse WEA TSA Trust and WEA Member Benefit Trust for record-keeping expenses incurred in connection with the WEA TSA Trust and WEAC IRA programs.

The WEA Member Benefits IRA program* is now available to members and their families who live outside the state of Wisconsin. If you live in one of the eligible states, you and your family** may enjoy the benefits of saving with a WEA Member Benefits IRA.

The WEA Member Benefits IRA program is available to those who meet eligibility guidelines and live in the following states:

  • Wisconsin
  • Arizona
  • Colorado
  • Florida
  • Illinois
  • Iowa
  • Michigan
  • Minnesota
  • South Dakota
  • Texas
Enroll in an IRA

 

If you would like to know when the WEA Member Benefits IRA will be available in your state, fill out the form below.

Request for IRA eligibility

Please contact me when the WEA Member Benefits IRA becomes available in my state.

For more information, contact us at 1-800-279-4030 or retirement@weabenefits.com.

*To be eligible for this program, you must meet the IRS eligibility requirements for contributing to an IRA. Restrictions may apply. Certain state residency required.

**Your spouse/domestic partner, parents, parents-in-law, and children and their spouses may also participate in our IRA program if they live in one of the approved states.