Resource Library - 403(b) TSA

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Mutual Funds 101: One-decision investing, two options

Learn more about Model Portfolios and Target Retirement Funds (continued from Investment Spotlight: Mutual Funds 101).


Mutual Funds 101: What's next?

Apply what you’ve learned from "Investment Spotlight: Mutual Funds 101" to start investing in your future or evaluate your current investments.


Investment spotlight: Mutual Funds 101

Knowing how to secure your financial well-being is one of the most important things you’ll ever need to do in life. You don’t have to be a genius to do it. You just need to know a few basics, form a plan, and commit to it.


Will your retirement plan last a lifetime?

How would your plans for retirement change if you knew you were going to live to 100? When planning for your retirement years, you’ll be better prepared if you understand the role life expectancy should play on your savings decisions.


Retirement program myth busters!

We bust some of the common myths members hear about Member Benefits’ retirement and savings program.


Special retirement considerations for women

While both sexes are living longer than ever before, a longer life expectancy can impact women even more in retirement due to a number of issues. This article is a continuation of, "Will your retirement plan last a lifetime?"


Contribution limits remain the same

Are you maximizing your retirement contributions? If not, you may wish to re-evaluate the amount you're putting toward retirement.


Watch your mail for important retirement information

Look for your 1099-R if you took a reportable distribution from your WEA TSA Trust 403(b) and or WEAC IRA account(s) during 2016. You should also have received information about reviewing your beneficiaries.


Announcing the 2017 Prudential Guaranteed Annual Credited Rate

WEA Member Benefits is pleased to announce that the 2017 Prudential Guaranteed Investment credited annual rate of return for both the WEA TSA Trust and WEAC IRA programs will be 3.50%. Learn more about the investment.


Smart Money Move #2: Pay less, get more

The impact of fees over time on your IRA or 403(b) account can significantly reduce your nest egg, and not all providers charge the same fees. Learn more about some of the fees to watch for so you can keep more of your money working for you.



Income from self-employment? Don't forget SEP retirement contributions

It is not unusual for school employees to have a job on the side during the school year or summer break. If this applies to you, don't miss out on an opportunity to save more for your retirement through a Simplified Employee Pension (SEP) plan.


Time to review 403(b) and IRA contribution limits

Are you contributing as much as you can toward your retirement? If you're not maximizing your contributions, you may wish to re-evaluate the amount you're putting toward retirement.


Investment spotlight: Prudential Guaranteed Investment

Understanding basic principles about how to analyze an investment can help you make wise choices and feel confident about it. In our January 2017 issue of your$, we’ll help you learn more about investment principles. As a prequel to our upcoming issue, we first shine a spotlight on the Prudential Guaranteed Investment.


403(b)

The 403(b) plan was created in 1958 specifically to give teachers and employees of other nonprofit organizations the opportunity to save money on a tax-deferred basis. It's like the 401(k) plans available to private-sector workers but with fewer regulatory controls.


Are you leaving money on the table?

If your employer (or your spouse’s employer) offers a match in your 403(b) or 401(k) plan, take it. It’s free money. Learn why you shouldn't miss out on this benefit.


New educators can learn a lot with the Don’t Be Jack™ game

In our article, “Personal finance lessons: 4 insights for new educators,” new teacher Molly Walsh Anderson shared important financial lessons she’s learned in part from playing Member Benefits’ Don’t Be Jack interactive board game. It’s a great way to learn about financial issues that impact Wisconsin public school employees.


Personal finance lessons: 4 insights for new educators

Every teacher knows the many important lessons they learned during their early years of teaching, and new teacher Molly Walsh Anderson likes to pass on her own personal finance lessons to help others. Here are four insights she learned during her first year that have helped her navigate new financial realities and responsibilities.


Deadlines are coming up before you know it

Get the details on deadlines for 403(b) and IRA exchanges/transfers/rollovers, postdated checks, and year-end withdrawal deadlines.


Frankenstein’s investment style

Overlooking the personality flaws, Frankenstein—or the creation of Frankenstein—can help to illustrate the important investment concept of diversification.


Ghost accounts can haunt your future

Do you have retirement accounts from previous jobs floating out there like ghosts from the past? Forgotten accounts can take on a life of their own. Learn how to head off any scary surprises.


Start the school year out right

The start of a new school year is a good time to take a look at your retirement account. Here are a few things you may want to review.


Top 5 things to do when choosing a 403(b) TSA vendor [INFOGRAPHIC]

When comparing 403(b) plans, whether you are just getting started or considering a transfer, it's the details that matter. [INFOGRAPHIC]


Q&A: Additional retirement contributions

What do I need to consider if I want to put additional money toward my retirement above my 6.6% contribution to WRS? Should I put it in WRS or another retirement product such as a 403(b) or IRA? Read today's blog post for what to keep in mind when making a decision.


Take a moment to boost your savings

Are you maximizing your 403(b) contributions? Summer is a good time to update your Salary Reduction Agreement (SRA) so you’ll be ready to go for the school year.


Retired or changed jobs? Keep enjoying our low fees

We get a lot of questions on this one. If you have a 403(b) or an IRA account with us, you can keep it here regardless of your employment status and continue to take advantage of our low fees and great customer service.


Review your beneficiary designations every year

As you experience changes in your life such as marriage, divorce, or death, do not forget to review your beneficiary designations. The beneficiary designations associated with your retirement account(s) take precedence over your will.


You don't need to save a lot to get ahead, but start you must

Michelle Blog PhotoA comfortable retirement is an expensive proposition. But you might be surprised to learn that saving with as little as $20 per pay period can make a difference.

It's ok to start with a small amount, as long as you start. And, the sooner the better.

The importance of saving early is illustrated clearly in our story of Jack and Jill.


You can stick with us

Did you know that you can stay insured with us even after you leave your school job or retire? And your Member Benefits’ 403(b) and IRA accounts can remain with us whether you retire, change districts, or change professions?


What's your investment style?

The decision to save for retirement is an easy one when you consider the potential future benefits, but how to invest is often the source of uncertainty and frustration for investors new and old. At its most basic, how you decide to invest should be based on what kind of investor you are—your style—so you can make choices that are right for you.  

So, what kind of investor are you? We have some guidance to help you answer that question.


We can help you plan ahead for year-end distribution

Laura KampsIf you have a 403(b) or IRA account with Member Benefits, we have some important things for you to make note of as we head towards year-end. Always feel free to contact us with your questions at 1-800-279-4030 or retirement@weabenefits.com.

403(b) and IRA exchanges/transfers/rollovers

Exchanges, transfers, and rollovers require a longer processing time. Your completed paperwork (including approved third-party administrator transaction authorization if applicable) will be submitted to the payer company by the end of December if we receive it by December 20, 2014. This includes requests for IRA recharacterizations and conversions.


Update your retirement goals

Brenda EcheverriaSummer is a great time to revisit your personal financial goals. If you have an IRA or 403(b)/TSA account with us, you can log in to yourMONEY to access your account.

On your home page, you will find a “My Retirement Goals” section with three boxes (blue, green, and red). Clicking on the “Update My Goals” gives you the opportunity to add in information that will indicate how much you will need in retirement, where you are at today, and identify any shortfall. An easy sliding calculator allows you to learn what it will take to eliminate the gap.

We also have a number of free calculators for you to use to help you with your retirement planning as well as savings goals, WRS projections, debt management, and more. Visit weabenefits.com/calc.


Unsung heroes

Educators across the state find financial encouragement, advice, and guidance for becoming financially secure in the profession they love from someone down the hall.


Target Retirement Funds Can Help Simplify Investing

For those that desire a simple, one decision investment option designed to build assets without the need for monitoring or rebalancing, investing in a target retirement fund might be for you. How do target retirement funds work? A target retirement


Taking a conservative investment approach?

Low risk and historically good returns make the Prudential Guaranteed Investment a favorite investment among our participants. But, is a conservative investment like this good enough by itself to get you where you want to be? We discuss why diversification might get you farther.


Start your savings plan

Jay LukasThis week is America Saves Week, which raises awareness about good savings behavior and encourages people to set a savings goal, create a plan, and save automatically.

According to their Web site, only 54% of Americans say they have a savings plan with specific goals. If you don't have your own plan, now is a good time to start. Here’s a few savings tips to keep in mind:

  • Contribute as much as you can to your savings plans as early as possible so you can to benefit from potential investment growth.
  • Beware of fees when choosing a retirement savings provider. They do not all charge the same. Learn more about fees.


Should I stay or should I go? Moving money from your retirement accounts should not be done hastily

If you're a saver, chances are at some point you'll be invited to move your retirement money. Before you accept this invitation, take time to understand what the move really means. It may be the most impactful financial decision you make in your lifetime.


Roth IRA conversions: Q & A

If you have saved for retirement in a pretax retirement account (Traditional IRA, SEP, Simple IRA, 403(b), 401(k), or 457 plan), you may have the option to convert some or all of your pretax dollars into a Roth IRA.


Pay it forward!

Brenda EcheverriaDid you know that a record number of new educators were hired in Wisconsin public schools this year? So many of our members have told us how they wished someone had talked to them about financial options when they were young.

Be that "someone." Help us to help them get on the right financial path by sharing the benefits they can take advantage of with Member Benefits.

  1. Encourage early saving in our low-cost 403(b) or IRA program.
  2. Point out our personal insurance discounts for young teachers and WEAC members.
  3. Tell them about our free consultations and financial seminars.
  4. Direct them to your$ magazine on our Web site.


New year, new resolution for retirement savings

Brenda EcheverriaHappy New Year! We have a new year's resolution that can really pay off for you in the long run—resolve to increase your retirement savings. It can be as easy as 1-2-3.

  1. Open a 403(b) or IRA. Or if you already have an account, pledge to increase your contributions, even if it's just a little bit. Compound interest can help you build that nest egg over time. Check with your school district on when you can make changes to your salary reduction agreement. Or, if you receive a tax refund this year, use that to increase your contributions to your 403(b) or IRA.
  2. Be clear on fees. Fees can take a big bite out of your retirement earnings. Whether you have a retirement savings account or you're thinking of starting one, make sure you understand all of the fees involved.


Member Benefits’ investment options quick reference

In our August 3, 2015 article, “What’s your investment style?” we illustrated that how you decide to invest should be based on what kind of investor you are. Once you know your investor style and understand your risk tolerance, you can make more informed choices about your specific investments. Details are in the article, but read on for a quick summary of our investment options.


Love yourself with sweet savings

As an educator, you spend so much of your time taking care of others. Are you taking care of yourself as well? If you’re not saving for retirement, contact us today to open a 403(b) or IRA so you can start making your own future a little brighter.


Know your year-end deadline for retirement account withdrawals

If you have a 403(b) tax-sheltered annuity, 401(k), Traditional IRA, or another qualified retirement plan, the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) requires you to start withdrawing money at a certain age and continuing annual withdrawals after that. These withdrawals are called required minimum distributions (RMDs).


It's National Retirement Security Week

National Retirement Security Week, October 18-24, 2015, is a congressionally supported program to raise awareness of how critical it is to save now for a secure financial future. It is meant to create a culture that promotes and values saving in the workplace and the community. If you haven’t started saving for retirement yet, or if you want to learn more, now is a good time to focus on your goal. Here’s some of our “best of” retirement savings advice.


If you only keep one resolution this year, resolve to save more

It’s never been more important to save for your financial future and it’s never been easier. Start out with a simple resolution, then turn to Member Benefits.


FRONTLINE: How retirement fees cost you [INFOGRAPHIC]

View this excellent, interactive infographic from PBS' FRONTLINE program on how fees could be eating away at your retirement savings. While this infographic is based on the 401(k), it still applies to the 403(b) and other retirement savings programs held by Wisconsin public school employees.


Fostering financial literacy in and out of the classroom

Imagine sharing your personal financial information with your students—your bank account transactions, your retirement account statements, even your bills. Patrick Kubeny, a nationally certified business education teacher at Rhinelander High School, not only sets the example, he is the example. He puts everything out there for all of his students to see, because he believes his real life examples are his strongest teaching tools.


Dream snatchers: Part 3

Part 3 of a 3 part series: Despite our best intentions to act rationally, basic impulses and emotional responses can influence our decisions, often against our better judgment. We wrap up our series exploring this potential retirement planning mistake and share some keys to successful investing to help keep the dream snatchers (procrastination, fees, and emotion) at bay.


Dream snatchers: Part 2

Part 2 of a 3 part series: The fees you pay in your retirement savings accounts matter! The number one factor in determining your rate of return—after asset allocation—is cost.


Dream snatchers: Part 1

Procrastination. Fees. Emotion. Let them rule your decision making process and you may find them to be your most destructive retirement planning mistakes. The good news is that you actually have control over these dream demons. Here are some ways to stop them in their tracks. (Part 1 of 3)


Life happens: Keep beneficiaries up-to-date

Keeping your beneficiaries up-to-date is important because the named beneficiaries on your retirement accounts supersede your will.