Retirement

IRA

Our Individual Retirement Account offers a variety of investment choices and low fees…plus it’s open to family members.

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An Individual Retirement Account (IRA) is a great way to save for your future. Increase your retirement savings and take advantage of tax benefits. We offer both our Roth and Traditional IRAs.

Traditional IRAs give you tax-deferred growth and possible tax deductibility now, while Roth IRAs offer tax-free growth, meaning no taxes at all later on.

Program features

  • No-load mutual funds
  • Prudential Guaranteed Investment with competitive returns
  • Financial counseling for participants
  • Internet and telephone account access 24/7
  • No fees to open or close an account
  • No fees for account changes
  • Low annual administrative fees (0.45%), annual fee cap of $600 for WEAC members, $750 for non-members*
  • No commissions paid to Member Benefits staff
  • Convenient automatic contributions through electronic funds transfer or payroll deduction (available in 150 schools)

*Minimum annual fee of $25 for inactive accounts. Inactive accounts are accounts with no contributions within a calendar year.

Got $25 and 5 minutes? Then you can start saving for retirement with WEA Member Benefits.

Participants may make contributions on a before-tax basis, an after-tax (Roth) basis, or some combination of the two up to the IRA limit. For current IRS contribution limits, please visit IRA FAQs.

What is a Roth IRA and how is it different from a Traditional IRA?

Roth contributions are after-tax, which means you pay taxes now on your contributions, but all qualified* withdrawals, including earnings, are tax-free.

This is different from Traditional IRA contributions that are made on a before-tax basis. Before-tax contributions reduce your taxable income and defer taxes until you withdraw the money. However, not everyone is able to deduct Traditional IRA contributions. Please consult with a tax advisor to determine the extent of your ability to deduct your contributions.

So the question is, do you want to pay the taxes on your contributions now or after you begin taking withdrawals?

*For qualified withdrawals from the Roth IRA, the participant must be age 59½ or older and have held the Roth IRA account for at least five tax years.

What is the benefit of after-tax savings?

One of the greatest benefits of Roth savings is the ability to reduce your tax liability in retirement.

For decades the assumption has been that most people would be in a lower tax bracket in retirement and would benefit from before-tax savings. However, changes in tax policy, including lower tax rates, the taxation of Social Security, and other deductions available under the tax code increase the chances that you could be in the same or higher tax bracket when you retire.

These changes mean that before-tax savings may not always be the optimal tax strategy.

What does this mean to me?

At retirement, Wisconsin public school employees typically have at least three sources of income: a monthly retirement benefit from the Wisconsin Retirement System (WRS), Social Security benefits, and pre-tax retirement savings. Most of these may be taxable as ordinary income in retirement. Any tax savings realized today could be more than offset by a higher tax bill in retirement. The Roth IRA provides an opportunity to control your tax liability in retirement.

Is the Roth IRA right for everyone?

Before-tax contributions and tax-deferred growth are key advantages of Traditional IRAs. However, there will be some who will benefit more from after-tax (Roth) contributions and tax-free growth.

A Roth IRA gives you tax-free access to some of your nest egg in retirement, allowing you to manage your tax situation and possibly prevent you from moving into a higher tax bracket.

Member Benefits does not provide personal legal or tax advice; you may want to consult with a tax professional to assess the right type of contribution for you.

Not everyone is eligible to contribute to a Roth IRA. Your income must not exceed the stated Internal Revenue Service limits.

Moving your 403(b) or IRA from another provider to a Member Benefits account could save you money because of our low annual administrative fees and annual fee caps. (See 403(b) fees or IRA fees.)

Play video VIDEO: Are fees sending your retirement savings down the drain? (3:25)

If fees are taking a big bite out of your retirement savings, why not roll over to a low-cost IRA offered by Member Benefits?

Work with one of our enrollment specialists to:

1. Evaluate your current provider.
We can look at what you’re currently paying in fees, discuss your investments, and help you determine if a move is right for you. If it’s not, we’ll tell you that, too.

2. Prepare paperwork.
We will mail the appropriate forms to you and assist you with the completion of those forms.

3. Monitor the transfer process.
We will work with the releasing company to ensure funds are processed in a timely manner. We’ll even participate in a conference call with your current provider.

Even if your current provider has surrender charges, you may be able to minimize them by making transfer installments.

Open to family members. Remember, your spouse/domestic partner, parents, parents-in-law, and children and their spouses can also participate in our IRA program.
(Restrictions may apply. Wisconsin residency required.)

For more information about the WEA Member Benefits IRA, or to enroll, call us at 1-800-279-4030 or fill out the information below.

If you live in the Milwaukee area, call 414-259-1990, Extension 1133.

See our fees listed below and find out why fees matter and how they impact your current and future savings.

WEA Member Benefits IRA Fees

Compare our fees with other providersWEA Member Benefits IRA
Annual administrative fee (capped annually at $600 for WEAC members and $750 for nonmembers)0.45%
Surrender chargesNone
Sales commissionNone
Mortality and expense (M&E) feeNone
Fees to open, or close accountNone
Inactive Account* minimum annual fee$25
Other administrative feesNone
*Inactive accounts are accounts with no contributions within a calendar year. Investment management and redemption fees apply.

 

Member focused

We operate as a trust which reinvests any profits back into programs that benefit participants. As a member organization, we have only your best interest at heart. Helping you achieve your financial goals is our mission.

Open to family

Family members, like your spouse or domestic partner, children and their spouses, parents, parents-in-law—and in some cases, your grandchildren—are also eligible to open a WEA Member Benefits IRA account. (Wisconsin residency required.)

Personal consultations

Our experienced consultants will take the time to help you develop a plan that is right for you. Schedule a personal phone consultation at a time that is convenient for you.

Access 24/7

Access your account information by phone or online at any time.

Low fees

• No-load mutual funds
• No transfer fees
• No surrender penalties or withdrawal charges
• Low annual administrative fee of .45% ($4.50 per $1,000 invested) and annual fee cap of $600 for WEAC members and $750 for nonmembers.*

*Minimum annual fee of $25 for inactive accounts. Inactive accounts are accounts with no contributions within a calendar year.

We have a Guaranteed Investment

The Prudential Guaranteed Investment fills the role of a fixed-income investment in your portfolio. The Guaranteed Investment traditionally offers a very competitive rate of return.**

Transfers and rollovers

We accept rollovers from a variety of retirement plans including IRAs, 401(k), 457(b), Simple IRA, and SEP IRA.

Play video VIDEO: Are fees sending your retirement savings down the drain? (3:25)

If fees are taking a big bite out of your retirement savings, why not roll over to a low-cost IRA offered by Member Benefits?

**About the Prudential Guaranteed Investment:
Interest is compounded daily to produce the current annual yield prior to the deduction of administrative fees of the WEA TSA Trust and the WEAC IRA program. Principal and net credited interest are fully guaranteed by Prudential Retirement Insurance and Annuity Company (PRIAC). Such guarantees are based solely upon the financial strength and claims-paying ability of PRIAC. The Prudential Guaranteed Investment is a group annuity product issued by PRIAC. Amounts contributed to the contract are deposited in PRIAC’s general account. Payment obligations and the fulfillment of any guarantees specified in the group annuity contract are insurance claims supported by the full faith and credit of PRIAC. PRIAC periodically resets the interest rate credited on contract balances, subject to a minimum rate specified in the group annuity contract and subject to change. Past interest rates are not indicative of future rates. PRIAC is compensated in connection with this product by deducting an amount for investment expenses and risk from the investment experience of certain assets held in PRIAC’s general account. PRIAC uses a portion of its aggregate revenue to reimburse WEA TSA Trust and WEA Member Benefit Trust for record-keeping expenses incurred in connection with the WEA TSA Trust and WEAC IRA programs.