403(b) Sales Tactics – Don’t Be Fooled!
The beginning of the school year is here and 403(b) representatives and/or vendors will be gearing up their marketing activities. This may include mailings to your home, email solicitations, or offering you pizza in the faculty lounge.
Some 403(b) vendors will offer to provide you with information on your “State Retirement Benefits” or “Free CalSTRS or CalPERS estimates.” These are often used as sales tactics to secure an appointment to sell you an insurance product.
It’s easy to use the CalSTRS or CalPERS on-line tool for an estimate of your retirement benefit, visit CalSTRS Retirement Benefits Calculator or CalPERS Retirement Estimate Calculator. Or, if you are interested in meeting with a counselor, visit CalSTRS Find a Local Counseling Office for a list of offices or to schedule a telephone benefits counseling session with CalSTRS or visit Contact CalPERS.
You can also visit CTAinvest.org which includes videos, consumer guides, calculators and other tools to help you make an informed decision with your 403(b) or 457 investments.
Don’t be pressured into making a quick decision. Some products carry high fees and surrender charges. Before purchasing a product, be sure to ask the representative to disclose ALL fees and commissions, and put their recommendations in writing. Read or download the free CTA guide to SELECTING A 403(b)/457 ADVISOR & Understanding Plan Fees.
You have options – check out 403bCompare.com for a list of 403(b) vendors including disclosure on fees and performance.