Resource Library - 403(b) TSA

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National Retirement Security Week - October 15-21, 2017

National Retirement Security Week is an annual campaign that raises awareness about the importance of saving for retirement, educates workers on how saving for retirement is key to financial health and security, and provides information on retirement savings options. If you're not saving for retirement, now is a great time to learn more and get started.

Retirement savings options

Are you a new(er) employee in public education? If so, you may not have thought about retirement quite yet or are unaware of what to consider. We have a quick rundown of the retirement savings options available to you as a public school employee in Wisconsin.

A cautionary tale: No free lunches!

Seminar invites and ads targeted at seniors should be scrutinized for “red flag” language that SEC investigators say is meant to lure you in. Because seniors are a growing segment of investors, financial services firms are increasingly focusing their marketing and sales of investment products to investors in or nearing retirement. If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is.

Protecting a legacy

With $2.4 billion in member assets, the Guaranteed Investment is kind of a big deal. Just as Member Benefits monitors our mutual fund investments to make sure they continue to meet our standards, we also monitor the Guaranteed Investment and evaluate PRIAC in their role as manager of the account to ensure the best interests of our participants are being served.

Summer is a great time to boost your savings

Are you maximizing your 403(b) contributions? Summer is a good time to update your Salary Reduction Agreement (SRA) so you’ll be ready to go for the school year.

403(b) Withdrawal Options

This brochure describes the ways you can choose to receive income from your 403(b)  account. If your employer is using a third party administrator (TPA), you may need to complete additional forms and processing may be delayed.

Don’t miss these curtain calls

Continued from Breaking into your second act. If you’re planning to retire soon, refer to this handy list of deadlines so you don't miss any important dates when preparing to retire.

Because you asked: Statement changes coming

You asked for changes on your retirement statement, so we’re delivering!

Breaking into your second act

Before making your retirement debut, you need to rehearse for the part. The act of retiring changes everything from what you do every day and who you see to how you spend and manage your money.

Investment spotlight: Prudential Guaranteed Investment

Understanding basic principles about how to analyze an investment can help you make wise choices and feel confident about it. In our January 2017 issue of your$, we’ll help you learn more about investment principles. As a prequel to our upcoming issue, we first shine a spotlight on the Prudential Guaranteed Investment.

Investment spotlight: Mutual Funds 101

Knowing how to secure your financial well-being is one of the most important things you’ll ever need to do in life. You don’t have to be a genius to do it. You just need to know a few basics, form a plan, and commit to it.

Choosing Beneficiaries for Your Retirement Account

Though saving as much as possible in your retirement account is important, do not lose sight of one of the most important financial decisions you will make: determining the beneficiaries of your account. Without careful consideration, your decision may have unexpected tax and estate planning implications.

Automatic Enrollment in 403(b) Plans

Many workers are looking for an easier way to get started in their workplace retirement plans. Varying investment choices and paperwork are overwhelming obstacles, often preventing participation in offered retirement plans. Automatic enrollment makes it easy for employees to begin saving for their future right away by skipping the complicated decision making that often prevents them from taking action.

To Roth or Not to Roth in Your 403(b)

This brochure explains the Roth 403(b) and provides information to help you decide how after-tax and before-tax savings fit into your retirement savings strategy.

Required Minimum Distributions

The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) requires you to start withdrawing money from your before- and after-tax (Roth) 403(b) account at the later of age 70½ or the calendar year you retire from an employer through which you contributed. These withdrawals are called required minimum distributions (RMDs).

403(b) and IRA Beneficiary Information

The following information will help you understand some of the features and requirements of the retirement account that you have inherited.

Mutual Funds 101: One-decision investing, two options

Learn more about Model Portfolios and Target Retirement Funds (continued from Investment Spotlight: Mutual Funds 101).

Mutual Funds 101: What's next?

Apply what you’ve learned from "Investment Spotlight: Mutual Funds 101" to start investing in your future or evaluate your current investments.

Will your retirement plan last a lifetime?

How would your plans for retirement change if you knew you were going to live to 100? When planning for your retirement years, you’ll be better prepared if you understand the role life expectancy should play on your savings decisions.

Retirement program myth busters!

We bust some of the common myths members hear about Member Benefits’ retirement and savings program.

Special retirement considerations for women

While both sexes are living longer than ever before, a longer life expectancy can impact women even more in retirement due to a number of issues. This article is a continuation of, "Will your retirement plan last a lifetime?"

Contribution limits remain the same

Are you maximizing your retirement contributions? If not, you may wish to re-evaluate the amount you're putting toward retirement.

Watch your mail for important retirement information

Look for your 1099-R if you took a reportable distribution from your WEA TSA Trust 403(b) and or WEAC IRA account(s) during 2016. You should also have received information about reviewing your beneficiaries.

Announcing the 2017 Prudential Guaranteed Annual Credited Rate

WEA Member Benefits is pleased to announce that the 2017 Prudential Guaranteed Investment credited annual rate of return for both the WEA TSA Trust and WEAC IRA programs will be 3.50%. Learn more about the investment.

Smart Money Move #2: Pay less, get more

The impact of fees over time on your IRA or 403(b) account can significantly reduce your nest egg, and not all providers charge the same fees. Learn more about some of the fees to watch for so you can keep more of your money working for you.

Income from self-employment? Don't forget SEP retirement contributions

It is not unusual for school employees to have a job on the side during the school year or summer break. If this applies to you, don't miss out on an opportunity to save more for your retirement through a Simplified Employee Pension (SEP) plan.

Time to review 403(b) and IRA contribution limits

Are you contributing as much as you can toward your retirement? If you're not maximizing your contributions, you may wish to re-evaluate the amount you're putting toward retirement.


The 403(b) plan was created in 1958 specifically to give teachers and employees of other nonprofit organizations the opportunity to save money on a tax-deferred basis. It's like the 401(k) plans available to private-sector workers but with fewer regulatory controls.

Are you leaving money on the table?

If your employer (or your spouse’s employer) offers a match in your 403(b) or 401(k) plan, take it. It’s free money. Learn why you shouldn't miss out on this benefit.

New educators can learn a lot with the Don’t Be Jack™ game

In our article, “Personal finance lessons: 4 insights for new educators,” new teacher Molly Walsh Anderson shared important financial lessons she’s learned in part from playing Member Benefits’ Don’t Be Jack interactive board game. It’s a great way to learn about financial issues that impact Wisconsin public school employees.

Personal finance lessons: 4 insights for new educators

Every teacher knows the many important lessons they learned during their early years of teaching, and new teacher Molly Walsh Anderson likes to pass on her own personal finance lessons to help others. Here are four insights she learned during her first year that have helped her navigate new financial realities and responsibilities.

Deadlines are coming up before you know it

Get the details on deadlines for 403(b) and IRA exchanges/transfers/rollovers, postdated checks, and year-end withdrawal deadlines.

Frankenstein’s investment style

Overlooking the personality flaws, Frankenstein—or the creation of Frankenstein—can help to illustrate the important investment concept of diversification.

Ghost accounts can haunt your future

Do you have retirement accounts from previous jobs floating out there like ghosts from the past? Forgotten accounts can take on a life of their own. Learn how to head off any scary surprises.

Start the school year out right

The start of a new school year is a good time to take a look at your retirement account. Here are a few things you may want to review.

Top 5 things to do when choosing a 403(b) TSA vendor [INFOGRAPHIC]

When comparing 403(b) plans, whether you are just getting started or considering a transfer, it's the details that matter. [INFOGRAPHIC]

Q&A: Additional retirement contributions

What do I need to consider if I want to put additional money toward my retirement above my 6.6% contribution to WRS? Should I put it in WRS or another retirement product such as a 403(b) or IRA? Read today's blog post for what to keep in mind when making a decision.

Take a moment to boost your savings

Are you maximizing your 403(b) contributions? Summer is a good time to update your Salary Reduction Agreement (SRA) so you’ll be ready to go for the school year.

Retired or changed jobs? Keep enjoying our low fees

We get a lot of questions on this one. If you have a 403(b) or an IRA account with us, you can keep it here regardless of your employment status and continue to take advantage of our low fees and great customer service.

Review your beneficiary designations every year

As you experience changes in your life such as marriage, divorce, or death, do not forget to review your beneficiary designations. The beneficiary designations associated with your retirement account(s) take precedence over your will.

You don't need to save a lot to get ahead, but start you must

Michelle Blog PhotoA comfortable retirement is an expensive proposition. But you might be surprised to learn that saving with as little as $20 per pay period can make a difference.

It's ok to start with a small amount, as long as you start. And, the sooner the better.

The importance of saving early is illustrated clearly in our story of Jack and Jill.

You can stick with us

Did you know that you can stay insured with us even after you leave your school job or retire? And your Member Benefits’ 403(b) and IRA accounts can remain with us whether you retire, change districts, or change professions?

What's your investment style?

The decision to save for retirement is an easy one when you consider the potential future benefits, but how to invest is often the source of uncertainty and frustration for investors new and old. At its most basic, how you decide to invest should be based on what kind of investor you are—your style—so you can make choices that are right for you.  

So, what kind of investor are you? We have some guidance to help you answer that question.

We can help you plan ahead for year-end distribution

Laura KampsIf you have a 403(b) or IRA account with Member Benefits, we have some important things for you to make note of as we head towards year-end. Always feel free to contact us with your questions at 1-800-279-4030 or

403(b) and IRA exchanges/transfers/rollovers

Exchanges, transfers, and rollovers require a longer 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 20, 2014. This includes requests for IRA recharacterizations and conversions.

Update your retirement goals

Brenda EcheverriaSummer is a great time to revisit your personal financial goals. If you have an IRA or 403(b)/TSA account with us, you can log in to yourMONEY to access your account.

On your home page, you will find a “My Retirement Goals” section with three boxes (blue, green, and red). Clicking on the “Update My Goals” gives you the opportunity to add in information that will indicate how much you will need in retirement, where you are at today, and identify any shortfall. An easy sliding calculator allows you to learn what it will take to eliminate the gap.

We also have a number of free calculators for you to use to help you with your retirement planning as well as savings goals, WRS projections, debt management, and more. Visit

Unsung heroes

Educators across the state find financial encouragement, advice, and guidance for becoming financially secure in the profession they love from someone down the hall.

Target Retirement Funds Can Help Simplify Investing

For those that desire a simple, one decision investment option designed to build assets without the need for monitoring or rebalancing, investing in a target retirement fund might be for you. How do target retirement funds work? A target retirement

Taking a conservative investment approach?

Low risk and historically good returns make the Prudential Guaranteed Investment a favorite investment among our participants. But, is a conservative investment like this good enough by itself to get you where you want to be? We discuss why diversification might get you farther.

Start your savings plan

Jay LukasThis week is America Saves Week, which raises awareness about good savings behavior and encourages people to set a savings goal, create a plan, and save automatically.

According to their Web site, only 54% of Americans say they have a savings plan with specific goals. If you don't have your own plan, now is a good time to start. Here’s a few savings tips to keep in mind:

  • Contribute as much as you can to your savings plans as early as possible so you can to benefit from potential investment growth.
  • Beware of fees when choosing a retirement savings provider. They do not all charge the same. Learn more about fees.

Should I stay or should I go? Moving money from your retirement accounts should not be done hastily

If you're a saver, chances are at some point you'll be invited to move your retirement money. Before you accept this invitation, take time to understand what the move really means. It may be the most impactful financial decision you make in your lifetime.

2017 Guaranteed Rate