Questions 403(b) Participants May be Asking

January 6, 2009 ( - As 403(b) plan sponsors and advisers have prepared for new Internal Revenue Services regulations in effect as of January 1, no doubt communications with participants about the new environment have begun, but have you told them everything?

Aside from the list of providers they are offered in their plans and new procedures for loan and distribution requests, participants may have many more questions to assure them that the plan and their assets are being administered appropriately and about how best to take advantage of this retirement savings vehicle.

Security Benefit, a provider of consulting and administrative services, has come up with a list of questions you should be prepared to answer:

  • What has the school administration done to prepare for the January 1 compliance deadline?
  • How have the administration and teachers’ associations worked together on this issue?
  • Was our plan compliant by the IRS deadline? If not, what impact does that have on me and my retirement assets?
  • What changes should I expect and when will I get more information?
  • Do I have to transfer my current assets to a new provider?
  • What are the fees and expenses of the new providers?
  • Who will help me in making these changes and what kind of service can I expect?
  • How should I decide which provider to select?

As Linda Segal Blinn, JD, Vice President, Technical Services, ING, says, you can help ease the transition for participants by implementing an effective communication plan for your employees (see Tell Me About It – Communicating 403(b) Changes to Your Employees ).