ARLINGTON, VA., (September 20, 2011)—The National Tax Sheltered Accounts Association (NTSAA) and The American Society of Pension Professionals & Actuaries (ASPPA) today announced the formation of an industry taskforce dedicated to increasing transparency in the 403(b) marketplace.
The focus of the taskforce is the creation of national fee & services disclosure standards to increase transparency within the 403(b) market. Partners include the National Education Association (NEA), the Association of School Business Officials, International (ASBO INTL), and NTSAA members with diversity of industry experience.
The taskforce is creating a model disclosure form that will give 403(b) participants—including teachers and other school district staff—the ability to make apples to apples comparisons between their 403(b) retirement plan options. The model disclosure form will provide public school employees with simple and clear information about the services and fees associated with their retirement plan options.
“We are committed to improving the 403(b) system by creating national transparency standards for 403(b) fees and services. This will allow public school employees the opportunity to evaluate their retirement savings options so they can make informed choices about their retirement. We strongly believe that improving transparency is a far better approach to improving the 403(b) marketplace, than taking away employee’s options as some have been advocating,” said Brian Graff, executive director and CEO of ASPPA.
“The opportunity to invest in 403(b)’s is an important benefit to school district employees. As ASBO’s representative to the 403(b) Transparency Task Force, I am focused on best practices that will simplify and standardize investment provider information for school districts and their employees,” said Melody Douglas, SFO and past president of ASBO.
“The NEA is committed to offering its members resources for their professional and personal lives, through its wholly owned subsidiary, NEA’s Member Benefits Corporation (NEA MB). NEA supports this initiative to provide clear, useful information for teachers and education support professionals to evaluate the 403(b) options offered by their employers and to make informed retirement planning decisions,” said Gary Phoebus, President and CEO of NEA MB.
The taskforce will soon release a 403(b) comparison tool featuring the types of plan services, the level or type of provider assistance or advice, and disclosure of fees and expenses.
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The Association of School Business Officials International (ASBO) is a professional association that provides programs and services to promote the highest standards of school business management practices, professional growth, and the effective use of educational resources. ASBO members are employed in K-12 school districts, community colleges, universities, and state departments of education. They manage the business side of school district operations, including the areas of budgeting, purchasing, and financial management; facility operations and maintenance; human resources; technology; transportation and security; food service; health care; and much more. www.asbointl.org
The National Education Association (NEA) is the nation’s largest professional employee organization, representing 3.2 million elementary and secondary teachers, higher education faculty, education support professionals, school administrators, retired educators and students preparing to become teachers. NEA’s Member Benefits Corporation (NEA MB) is a wholly-owned subsidiary of the NEA charged with bringing additional value to Association membership by providing financial products and solutions tailored for NEA members and their families. For more information visit www.neamb.com
The National Tax Sheltered Accounts Association (NTSAA) is the only independent, non-profit association dedicated to the 403(b) and 457 marketplaces in the nation and represents practitioners, agencies, corporate, and employer members. The NTSAA mission is to provide members with high quality education, technical support, and information resources, as well as to offer a professional networking forum. For more information, visit www.ntsaa.org
The American Society of Pension Professionals & Actuaries (ASPPA) is a national organization of more than 7,500 retirement plan and benefits professionals that serves as the educator, voice, and advocate for the employer-based retirement system. ASPPA members are administrators, actuaries, advisors, attorneys, accountants, and other financial services professionals who provide consulting and administrative services for qualified retirement plans. ASPPA is based in Arlington, Virginia, and has 17 regional ASPPA benefits councils (ABCs) providing local retirement plan employee benefit professionals with opportunities to participate in ASPPA activities in their local communities. www.asppa.org
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