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FAQs: 403(b) Product List

FAQs: 403(b) Product List

What information is maintained on the 403(b) Product List?

The 403(b) Product List maintains information submitted to, and accepted by, TRS by certified companies for qualified 403(b) products and associated fees charged through salary reduction agreements. [-TOP-]

How often is information on the 403(b) Product List updated?

Certified companies are required to keep information current for products on the TRS list. Each year, certified companies can register new products during the two established registration periods, May 1 through June 15 and November 1 through December 15. Updates to current registered products may be made at any time.
[-TOP-]

How is information displayed on the 403(b) Product List?

Initially, information is displayed alphabetically, first by company name, then by product type, then by product name, then by investment option. A summary of the total fees (excluding fees for optional benefits) associated with each product/investment option is displayed for each of the six specifically named fee types. The total by fee type reflects the aggregate of the maximum annualized fee for each fee entered by a certified company. If a company has entered information on other fees that do not fall into one of these six categories, a check mark appears in the "Other Fees" column. Each product/investment option has also been assigned a TRS identifying number.

Note: Users should be able to view all columns at the same time. If you cannot do so, you may need to change the control panel display settings on your computer.

To view detailed fee information for a specific product/investment option, place your cursor and click on that product/investment option. The detail provides a list of all fees associated with the product/investment option. It also provides clarifying information regarding a specific fee, including any ranges or exceptions that may apply. The detail also includes a list of fees charged for optional benefits. [-TOP-]

Can I sort the Product List so it is displayed differently?

Yes, active products may be searched by entering a company name, product name, or product type and then clicking on the “Search Active Products” button. Lists produced by using the “Search Active Products” feature may be sorted by clicking on a column heading.  For instance, clicking on the "Maximum Fixed Dollar Fees" heading sorts all products from the lowest total maximum fixed dollar fees to the highest total maximum fixed dollar fees; clicking on the heading "Investment Option Name" sorts all investment options alphabetically.

Active products may also be searched by clicking on the "View Companies with Active Products" link, scrolling down to the bottom of the page, and then clicking on "View All Active Products List". The list produced by clicking on the "View All Active Products List" may be sorted as mentioned above. Note: Downloading this list may take a few minutes. Lists produced by just selecting the "View Companies with Active Products" link cannot be sorted. [-TOP-]

What if I take my cursor and click on a column heading and nothing happens?

The 403(b) Product List requires that a user have "JavaScript" enabled, in order for the column-sorting feature to work. If you do not have this feature enabled, you may need to modify your Internet settings. [-TOP-]

How can I search for certain products?

Products may be searched by entering a company name, product name, or product type and then clicking on either the “Search Active Products” or “Search Discontinued Products” buttons. [-TOP-]

Is every product on the list available to all employees?

Not necessarily. Employees should contact their district to determine which products are available to them. [-TOP-]

What are fee caps?

Fee caps are limits on the fees that can be charged through salary reduction agreement for 403(b) products offered to school employees by companies certified with TRS. By rule, TRS has set caps on six specific fee types. [-TOP-]

What is an asset–based fee?

An asset–based fee is a fee charged against the total 403(b) fund assets. Asset–based fees may not exceed 2.75% per year according to TRS rules. [-TOP-]

Why does the 403(b) Product List display some products/investment options that have asset–based fees which exceed the TRS maximum of 2.75% per year?

In total, a 403(b) participant may not be charged asset–based fees that exceed 2.75% per year. Certain products have multiple investment options. The 403(b) Product List displays the total fees of each individual investment option in combination with product fees. However, an employee has the opportunity to choose a mix of investment options, some of which exceed and some of which do not exceed the maximum rate, so that resulting total weighted asset–based fees would not exceed 2.75% per year. [-TOP-]

What is a front–end sales load?

A front–end sales load is a charge assessed at the time an investment is purchased. Front–end loads, in combination with any back–end loads, may not exceed 6% according to TRS rules. [-TOP-]

What is a back–end sales load?

A back–end sales load is a charge assessed at the time an investment is sold. Back–end loads, in combination with any front–end loads, may not exceed 6% according to TRS rules. [-TOP-]

What is a surrender or withdrawal charge?

Surrender or withdrawal charges are charges that are deducted if a product is cashed in (surrendered). TRS rules require that surrender or withdrawal charges may not exceed 10% and must decline annually, terminating within 10 years of contract inception. However, the rules allow that, with disclosure to the employee, surrender or withdrawal charges may extend to a maximum period of twelve years and that there is a maximum 1% charge in years eleven and twelve. [-TOP-]

What is a fixed dollar fee?

A fixed dollar fee is a flat amount charged for specific time intervals, such as annually or quarterly. Fixed dollar fees may not exceed $50 per year according to TRS rules. [-TOP-]

What is a loan application fee?

A loan application fee is a one–time fee that a company may charge at the time a loan is initiated by an employee. A loan application fee may not exceed $50 according to TRS rules. [-TOP-]

What are "other fees"?

"Other fees" are charges assessed by a 403(b) company that do not fit in any of the six specific fee categories subject to caps established by TRS rules. [-TOP-]

What is an optional fee?

An optional fee is a charge associated with a product feature, such as a "living benefit," that may be chosen by a participant, but is not required to be purchased with the product.

Note: Although fees for optional benefits are not included in the calculation of the total fees as displayed on the 403(b) Product List, an employee may not enter into a salary reduction agreement in which the product/ investment options fees in combination with fees for selected optional benefits exceed the caps established by TRS rules, unless excepted under Section 9 of art. 6228a-5. [-TOP-]

Why can I not see detailed product information when I click on a product?

In order to use all of the features available in the 403(b) Products List, it is recommended that you disable your browser's pop–up blocker for the duration of your visit. Once this is done you should be able to fully view the Products List.

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