Friday, April 27, 2007

The Re-Education of CalSTRS

II Magazine Americas

An extensive history of how CalSTRS got to where it is today. This article also profiles the CEO and CIO, a good read for any teacher in California.


Friday, April 20, 2007

Another 403(b) TPA Files Bankruptcy

QUADS Financial Group, Inc

Add Quadsweb to the list of third party administration firms that service 403(b) plans that have filed bankruptcy. Quadsweb was not a traditional TPA in the 403(b) sense and they didn't, as far as I know steal any money. They have been taken over by a conservator and are reorganizing under Chapter 11.

We can't put this failure in the same category as Plan Compliance Group, NEBSonline, and Flagship/Horizon as this entity was taken over before money could be stolen (not saying there was any attempt to steal money). However, its failure is further proof that districts need to take great care in who they do business with.

Scott Dauenhauer, CFP, MSFP, AIF

Friday, April 13, 2007

Beginning of The End For NEA Valuebuilder?

Class Action Newsline

It looks like the NEA Member Benefits is about to reap what it sowed, it will be sued. Though only an investigation, Keller Rohrback would not go public if they didn't have the evidence needed to go after this horrible product.

What follows is the press release:

Keller Rohrback L.L.P. Announces Excessive Fee Investigation Regarding NEA Valuebuilder Program

SEATTLE, April 7, 2007 (PRIME NEWSWIRE) -- Keller Rohrback L.L.P. ( today announced that it is investigating the National Education Association ("NEA") Valuebuilder 403(b) variable annuity plan. The plan, which is sold by an insurance company called Security Benefit, is the only retirement program endorsed by the NEA. In exchange for the endorsement, Security Benefit provides compensation to the NEA. Keller Rohrback is evaluating whether the NEA endorsed the program because of the payments, as opposed to a prudent evaluation of whether the plan is in the best interests of NEA members.

A 403(b) plan is a tax-deferred retirement plan available to employees of educational institutions and certain non-profit organizations. A common 403(b) plan investment option is a variable annuity. A variable annuity is an annuity plan that enables participants to direct their salary deferral into certain specific mutual funds. As many commentators have noted, 403(b) annuity plans often charge excessive fees that substantially diminish participants' retirement savings. In addition, 403(b) providers often choose mutual funds for their plans based on revenue sharing deals with the mutual fund companies, as opposed to a prudent evaluation of the merits of the fund option. Recent articles have drawn attention to the fees charged by the NEA Valuebuilder plan.

If you are a participant in the NEA Valuebuilder 403(b) variable annuity plan, and would like to speak with us regarding our investigation, please contact any member of our team: paralegal Jennifer Tuato'o or attorneys Cari Campen Laufenberg, Derek Loeser, or Lynn Sarko, toll free at 800-776-6044, or via e-mail at

Keller Rohrback is one of America's leading law firms handling ERISA retirement plan litigation. We are committed to helping employees and retirees protect their retirement savings. Keller Rohrback serves as lead and co-lead counsel in numerous ERISA class action cases, including cases against Enron, WorldCom, Inc., HealthSouth, and Marsh & McLennan Companies, as well as ERISA cash balance pension plan cases, including JP Morgan Chase & Co. Keller Rohrback has successfully provided class action representation for over a decade. Its trial lawyers have obtained judgments and settlements on behalf of clients in excess of seven billion dollars.

CONTACT:  Keller Rohrback L.L.P.
Jennifer Tuato'o, Paralegal
(800) 776-6044

Friday, April 06, 2007

Imperfect Union -

Imperfect Union -

Neil Weinberg details the class action brought against the New York State United Teachers and ING accusing wrongdoing in their 403(b) plan.

Scott Dauenhauer, CFP, MSFP, AIF

Trust Sued Over Backing Retiree Plan - New York Times

Trust Sued Over Backing Retiree Plan - New York Times

NYSUT, the New York Union that settled with Elliot Spitzer is now being sued as part of a class action under a very interesting theory.

This is a good development in that these entities need to know that abusing their members is not going to go unpunished. Its only a matter of time before the NEA Valuebuilder product is targeted, the NEA Member Benefits organization in my opinion is one of the worst providers of 403(b) products in the nation.

Scott Dauenhauer, CFP, MSFP, AIF