FAQ – 403(b)/457 Costs and Surrender fees

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I have some money in the 457 plan, but am tired of not having very much control over it. I believe we can make more money buying individual stocks rather than paying someone to buy a range of stocks in a very general category. I looked into the self-managed account, but it too was not really self-managed – no ETFs even! When are we going to see a pre-tax, employer contribution, totally self-managed account? If you have other ideas, let me know. Should I roll over some of the 457 to an IRA that may allow me to invest in individual stocks?

By and large, 457 and 403(b) plans offer mutual funds, annuities and sometimes general investment contracts as investment options. 403(b) plans are limited to offering mutual funds and annuities. 457 plans may offer other investment options, but they, too, are generally limited. Some plans may offer a brokerage window that allows you to purchase mutual funds not offered by your plan's vendor.

Under current rules, if you are still working you cannot take money out of your 457 plan except in the case of unforeseen emergency. If you are retired and would like more control over your investments, you could consider rolling over some or all of your 457 balance into a traditional rollover IRA in order to maintain tax-deferral and have access to a much greater range of investment options.

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