Wednesday, September 10, 2003

San Diego Board Temporarily Tables Issue

I spoke at the San Diego City Schools Board meeting yesterday and along with a few others was able to convince the board to table the contract with Envoy Plan Services. I will shortly post a copy of my comments on my website at www.403bretire.com. It was a victory in my opinion, though the issue will be taken up again at the next board meeting on September 23rd. If you are an employee of the SDCS district please make your voice heard at the union and at the district. Let them know that you are opposed to them using Envoy Plan Services as the TPA for 403(b) and 457(b) plans.

I have stated this before, but it is worth stating again - I am not against Envoy just to pick a fight. The God's honest truth is I really don't have the time to do the advocacy work that I do, but it is imperative to my clients and to the teachers retirement that I spend time on this issue. I am against Envoy for two reasons, the first is the fee they are forcing vendors to pay them, the second are the conflicts of interest that exist. Forcing vendors to pay the fee is wrong as it will eliminate low-cost providers and force other providers to raise their fees - in the long run this hurts teachers. The second issue, conflicts of interests is one that other TPA's don't have - why pay Envoy a fee and allow them to make money off your employees through the sale of products? If you are going to pay a fee, hire a company that is completely independent of all product sales. The districts in California that have hired Envoy are going to regret it in my opinion. I think that if they want Envoy then they should pay the fee and not allow Envoy to sell products (actually Envoy's sister company sells the products) - if they would do this then I wouldn't have a problem. I have told Envoy several times that if the districts paid the fee and if they separated themselves from product sales that I wouldn't have a problem with them. I am not against the use of a TPA, simply the use of a TPA where the TPA charges vendors for its services - this harms teachers.

For those of you in San Diego, keep an eye on KFMB channel 8 - you might just see me on one of their segments!!!

A Wierd Day

September 10th is a wierd day, it is hard to believe that two years ago on this day we were all completely ignorant of what was about to happen. A lot has changed in the past two years, I don't think the world got more dangerous, I think we found out how dangerous the world actually is. I thank God every night for the blessing he has given me. I will share my thoughts on 9/11 tomorrrow.

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