Wednesday, June 14, 2006

New York Teachers Union Settles Retirement Probe

The 403(b) world is changing and for the better. Unions are finally getting the message that endorsing high cost product in order to boost revenues for their Member Benefits units is a bad idea. ING just got slapped with a fine and it seems to me that the NEA is about to find itself in similar travails. Both have announced that they will bid out their programs and offer low cost products and just this week the United Teachers of Los Angeles worked to ensure that the new 457 plan that will be offered to employees is in the employees best interest.

The CTA and CFT recently endorsed legislation (AB 2462) that would allow the California State Teachers Retirement System to offer a compliance program to school districts along with a low cost 403(b) and 457(b). I think unions might finally be getting the message - supplemental retirement plans matter and they can have a big hand in making these products the best that they can be.

Many people have worked hard to get to this point, but the work is not over. We need to build on this momentum and keep pushing for better options, more disclosure, and education.

Scott Dauenhauer, CFP, MSFP
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