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Financial Fitness Blog

Personal investment account option

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Laura KampsIf you’re looking for an investment opportunity outside of our 403(b) and IRA programs, look no further.

Member Benefits personal investment account (PIA) gives you an option to invest your nonretirement money without using a cash account such as savings, checking, or certificates of deposit. If you have a windfall of cash, an inheritance, or other extra income you won’t need in the next several years, a PIA might be for you.

To learn more, call 1-800-279-4030 or visit

Laura Kamps, Financial Planning Specialist

1099-R coming in the mail soon

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Brenda EcheverriaIf you took a reportable distribution from your WEA TSA Trust 403(b) and/or WEAC IRA account(s) during 2018, we will send a 1099-R to the address on file on or before January 31, 2019. You will receive your 1099-R from our custodian, Mid Atlantic Trust Company.

If you have not received yours by February 18, please contact our office at 1-800-279-4030.

Brenda Echeverria, Financial Planner

403(b) and IRA contribution limits have changed

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Sue LukasThe contribution limits on both the 403(b) and the IRA increased this year. The last IRA increase was in 2013. Take advantage of these new limits to increase your retirement savings.

  • The 2019 limit for the 403(b) has increased to $19,000, with the age 50 and over catch-up remaining the same at $6,000 for a total of $25,000.
  • The limit on annual contributions to an IRA increased to $6,000, with the age 50 and over catch-up limit at $1,000 for a total of $7,000.

Visit for more information or call us at 1-800-279-4030 if you have questions.

Sue Lukas, RIS Specialist

Time to review your retirement account

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N'Kenza WhitlowDid you review your retirement account when school started in the fall? If not, a brand new year can also be a good reminder to give your account an annual checkup. You may want to:

  • Increase your 403(b) contributions by completing a new Salary Reduction Agreement (SRA).
  • Review and update your beneficiaries, especially if you’ve experienced any life events (marriage, divorce, birth of a child, death of a family member, etc.). It’s important to note that beneficiaries named on your retirement account supersede your will
  • Update your address, review your portfolio, and rebalance your investment allocation.

Visit yourMONEY online to review your account, or call us at 1-800-279-4030.

N’Kenza Whitlow, Retirement Savings Consultant

Important end-of-year dates for your retirement accounts

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Laura KampsCheck your calendar

403(b) and IRA exchanges/transfers/rollovers

Exchanges, transfers, and rollovers require significant processing time. Your completed paperwork (including approved third-party administrator transaction authorization, if applicable) will be submitted to the payer company by the end of December if we receive it by December 7. This includes requests for IRA recharacterizations and conversions. Call us if you have any questions. We’re happy to help you through the process.

Postdated checks

We are unable to accept IRA contribution checks written and received this tax year (2018) for next tax year (2019). Postdated checks will be returned.

Year-end withdrawal deadlines

If you would like to take a lump sum withdrawal from your 403(b) or IRA accounts before the end of 2018, your completed request (including third-party administration transaction authorization, if applicable) must be received by us on or before December 14. Requests received after this date may not be processed before year-end.

Watch your contribution limits…year-end is closing in

Employee contribution limits for 403(b) accounts are $18,500 for 2018; however, employees age 50 and older can contribute an additional $6,000 for a total of $24,500 per year. Give us a call if you need assistance. 

Laura Kamps, Financial Planning Specialist

2018 Financial Mentor Award winners

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Brenda EcheverriaOur 2018 Mentor Award winners were recommended by their peers as champions of education who take the time to mentor their colleagues on good financial planning and saving for retirement. Their comments speak for themselves:

“He meets with every new employee to discuss investment and savings plans in detail and spends a great deal of time assisting our staff with their financial questions and situations.”

“She is always helping other staff with their questions related to retirement and benefits.”

“She truly cares about the teachers in our district and helping them to make good choices. Her e-mail reminders, after school planning sessions, and personal conversations go above and beyond her call of duty.”

Congratulations to these exceptional financial advocates. You are appreciated for what you do!

  • Rick Sutherland, Nekoosa
  • Al Crider, Nekoosa
  • Douglas Olsen, Kickapoo
  • Kathy Johnson, Wittenberg-Birnamwood
  • Mary Blaha, Sheboygan Falls
  • Sherry Hendrickson, Monroe
  • Cheryl Richards, Ithaca
  • Kara Bolly, Fontana
  • Tom Wilcox, Germantown
  • Del DeBerg, Melrose-Mindoro

Each winner was recognized in your$ magazine and will receive a personal certificate of recognition.

Don’t see your mentor on the list? 2019 Mentor nominations are now open at

Brenda Echeverria, Financial Planner

Do your accounts have the right beneficiaries?

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Andie HartwigAs you experience changes in your life such as marriage, divorce, or death, don’t forget to review your beneficiary designations. The beneficiary designations associated with your retirement account(s) take precedence over your will.

Want more information about choosing beneficiaries? Read our online brochure, Choosing Beneficiaries for Your Retirement Account.

Andrea Hartwig, Financial Planner