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i just called fidelity..either they have no CLUE about 403bs or i don't
Old 12-12-2010, 02:04 PM   #1
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i just called fidelity..either they have no CLUE about 403bs or i don't

so i just called fidelity to talk to them about transferring my 403b at work to them. i currently have AXA but too many fees so they got to go. i'm talking to a operater and i tell him i have a 403b at work and i simply want to change vendors. he then asks me "who is letting me do that? usually you can't change vendors because it's a 403b" he starts talking of how a 403b is set up through my employer and i would have to roll my 403b into an individual IRA at fidelity. i was like of course i can transfer into a new 403b. he said i couldn't set up a 403b account. i said that i originally wanted vanguard and set up a 403b with them online but come to find out they weren't allowed in my 403plan. he then proceeds to tell me that whoever i talked to didn't know what they were doing. i then told him i talked to my plan administrator at work and 5 different people at vanguard that said it was a simple 403b transfer. he did say that he wasn't in the 403 b department...and i would have to call back. as far as i know i can transfer my 403b to another company. isn't that correct? i told him the two companies were part of my 403b plan and i just wanted to change vendors. either i have been confused all this time about 403bs or fidelity hires morons. help me out here. i
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Old 12-12-2010, 02:40 PM   #2
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To the best of my knowledge you will need to have "new" money put into the fidelity 403b. Your employer payroll dept. can help you set this up. Your old money with AXA you are probably stuck with until you retire when you can roll it over into whatever you want. If you are making contributions thru your pay to the AXA 403b cancel them and set up future deposits for fidelity. (This is how it was at my school anyway)
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Old 12-12-2010, 02:56 PM   #3
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here is a link w more info. contact your employer for help
403(b)wise . Wise Information for Participants . Frequently Asked Questions
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Thank you.
Old 12-12-2010, 02:59 PM   #4
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Thank you.

thank you. i knew i was right.
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Old 12-12-2010, 03:55 PM   #5
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DW is a teacher. She had her investments with some crooks another vendor. Her school system brought in Fidelity and she moved her old money and contributions of new money to Fidelity. The old vendor extracted a pound of flesh from her on the way out the door.

I think a lot of what you'll experience will have to do with what the 403(b) administrators allow.
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Old 12-12-2010, 04:09 PM   #6
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door42: Could it be that Fidelity is not on your school district's approved vendor list?
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Old 12-12-2010, 04:22 PM   #7
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Maybe you will get a better response on a weekday between 9AM and 4PM.
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i hope this clears it up
Old 12-12-2010, 04:47 PM   #8
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i hope this clears it up

i want to move my 403b from axa-equitable to fidelity. they are both vendors (mutual fund companies that have signed an agreement with my employer so they can be part of the 403b plan) in my employers 403b plan so it is a simple 403b account exchange/transfer authorization. i originally wanted vanguard, so i called them and filled out a 403 account exchange form. I also called axa and they sent me their direct transfer/contract exchange form which i filled out. i filled out the entire amount of my 403b to be transferred. then i found out at the last possible moment that vanguard was an unauthorized vendor because they will not pay the fees associated with the new third party legislation for 403bs. this is the way they keep their costs down. fidelity was the best choice on my list of approved companies. so once again...fidelity and axa are both in my employers 403b plan. just want to change companies. i know i can do this. this operator did say he wasn' t part of the 403b department but he was a cocky sob
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Old 12-12-2010, 04:54 PM   #9
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This seems to be a common problem. Another guy at Bogleheads has the exact same issue.
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Old 12-12-2010, 05:00 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dooo42 View Post
i want to move my 403b from axa-equitable to fidelity. they are both vendors (mutual fund companies that have signed an agreement with my employer so they can be part of the 403b plan) in my employers 403b plan so it is a simple 403b account exchange/transfer authorization.
That does clear things up. Sorry you had such a problem with Fidelity. Although I no longer have any Fido funds, I don't recall such customer service problems when I did. Hopefully, it was a weekend aberration and they treat you better on the next call.
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Old 12-12-2010, 05:24 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by travelover View Post
This seems to be a common problem. Another guy at Bogleheads has the exact same issue.
When our helpful gov't () changed the 403b rules and regs a few years ago, they included some employer responsibilities and other provisions that complicated the game. Employers generally responded by dealing only with vendors that would handle these things for them. The services, of course, wind up being paid for by the employees through fees. Not all financial houses wanted to do this. Vanguard, for example, dropped out at DW's pre-RE employer.

When OP called Vanguard to transfer his account, that indicated he hadn't done his homework. Knowing which providers your employer has contracts with would be an extremely basic beginning. It sounds like that info is understood now. The next step is to contact the Fidelity representative assigned to his employer. The employer (if a school district that would be the business manager) will have the name and number. That person will know what to do and can get the job done. Fidelity and other providers do not want phone reps to handle 403b issues, again due to the complications of gov't regs now in effect.

DIYers often find this confusing/frustrating. But it is the way it is. Even with Fidelity, you will be assigned an FA. Calling in on a Sunday afternoon isn't likely to get the job done.


Edit: The above is based on my experience helping DW xfer her 401b several years ago. No guarantees that things are exactly the same today.
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Old 12-12-2010, 06:26 PM   #12
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My wife is also a teacher with 403b funds. She had bought some Oppenheimer funds a while back and I wanted to transfer those to another vendor. The school system has a list of approved vendors and we could only switch the funds to one of those vendors. We ended moving to American Century Funds since neither FIDO or VG were on the list. It's very simple to do if FIDO is on the approved list but you do need to talk with someone in the 403b department. The guy you were talking with should have just transferred you to the right people. Good luck.
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