Retirement

Get the facts about Member Benefits’ retirement and savings program

DATE | 11/16/20
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Myths vs facts.

MYTH: You have to move your money out of WEA Member Benefits because (fill in the blank).

FACT:

Despite what you might hear, you DO NOT need to move your money from your 403(b) or IRA with Member Benefits if you:

  • Retire or leave your job to take another job (even if it’s not in education).
  • Turn (insert any number) years old.
  • Move out of Wisconsin.

MYTH: Consolidating your money will make it easier for your beneficiaries.

FACT:

Sure, consolidation makes managing your money easier, but unless you are consolidating into a low-cost program, your account balance could take a hit.
You won’t have access to your 403(b) funds in retirement because it is in an “annuity” (tax-sheltered annuity).

Our program has flexible withdrawal options without surrender periods (the amount of time an investor must wait before withdrawing funds from an annuity without penalty). Often individual annuities or insurance company annuities have surrender/maturity periods that are many years long (sometimes 5–12 years). Ours doesn’t.

MYTH: My beneficiaries are specified in my will, so I’m set.

FACT:

Your will is not enough. The beneficiary designated on any retirement account supersedes the instructions found in a will or a trust. So be sure yours are up to date on all of your retirement accounts, and review and update your accounts whenever you experience any major life events (marriage, divorce, birth of a child, death of a family member, etc.).

MYTH: There are fees to transfer money from other retirement accounts into Member Benefits program.

FACT:

Nope! The WEA TSA Trust does not charge fees to transfer money from other retirement accounts into our program. However, if your retirement account at your current carrier has a surrender fee, or if you move money from a mutual fund that has a redemption sales charge, you may be charged a fee from your current carrier. Contact your current provider to review possible charges.

MYTH: There are fees to get funds out of your Member Benefits account upon retirement.

FACT:

Nope again! Member Benefits does not charge transactional fees or surrender charges even if you move your money out. (Mutual fund redemption fees may apply in certain situations.)

MYTH: Member Benefits doesn’t offer nonretirement accounts.

FACT:

Yes, we do! We have been offering Personal Investment Accounts since 2018. It’s a way to invest your money outside of a retirement account without using a cash account such as savings, checking, or certificates of deposit. It can be registered in just your name or opened jointly with anyone.

MYTH: In order to open a WEA Member Benefits IRA, I have to live in Wisconsin.

FACT:

In case you missed it, Member Benefits recently opened our IRA program to folks who live outside of Wisconsin! If you meet eligibility guidelines and live in one of the states that offer our IRA program, you and your family may enjoy the benefits of saving with a WEA Member Benefits IRA.

Have some questions about your retirement account or need help getting started? Contact us at 1-800-279-4030 or retirement@weabenefits.com.