Author Topic: Supplemental retirement plan - w/ university or on my own?  (Read 1711 times)

LadyStash

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Supplemental retirement plan - w/ university or on my own?
« on: October 16, 2014, 06:51:13 PM »
My university employer mandates that all employees participate in a 403b plan (6% employee / 6.75% employer contribution). I also have the opportunity to open a supplemental plan and have post-tax monies moved from each check to that account (which is classified as a TIAA-CREF Roth Post-tax account). I max out my own Roth IRA in addition to the 403b required contribution through my university and would like to open up an additional account to stash more cash.

Should I open the supplemental account with my university via TIAA-CREF (which can include any funds from any brokerage firm, including Vanguard) or just open up my own account with Vanguard? Is it a case of six-of-one, half-dozen of the other or is there some significant difference between these options?

Thanks for any and all advice!
« Last Edit: October 16, 2014, 07:15:00 PM by LadyStash »

Abe

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Re: Supplemental retirement plan - w/ university or on my own?
« Reply #1 on: October 16, 2014, 07:03:41 PM »
If you are already maxing out a Roth IRA and the 403b, i don't think you can open an additional account. The contribution limit for Roth IRAs applies across all potential IRAs you may have.

LadyStash

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Re: Supplemental retirement plan - w/ university or on my own?
« Reply #2 on: October 16, 2014, 07:27:59 PM »
Thanks for your reply, Abe! I, too, thought that I was allowed $5500 max for ANY and ALL Roth accounts (combined). To clarify, I consulted with a TIAA-CREF rep last month because I was interested in upping my contribution to the university-required fund. Apparently, though, that's not allowed; when we want to add additional funds, we have to open a supplemental account. The rep said that I could have a supplemental Roth in the 403b plan (which could be in any fund/s) and put up to $17,500 per year in (even in a Roth) with post-tax money.

My initial response was "Woo hoo!" but now I'm not sure if it wouldn't be better for me to open up my own fund directly with Vanguard. Regardless, I obviously need to ask more questions of the TIAA-CREF rep re: how the supplemental plan works, especially in relation to a Roth (and he was clear that I had my own Roth that I max out yearly)!

Abe

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Re: Supplemental retirement plan - w/ university or on my own?
« Reply #3 on: October 16, 2014, 08:03:31 PM »
Is the other account a 457(b)? If so, then that would make sense - the limit on that type of account is separate from other types. If you can open an account directly with Vanguard, do so because it will likely reduce your fees.

Trudie

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Re: Supplemental retirement plan - w/ university or on my own?
« Reply #4 on: October 17, 2014, 11:58:57 AM »
My husband has TIAA-CREF.  I work outside higher education but within the last year we rolled everything over to TIAA-CREF (my stuff is in IRAs and Roth IRAs).  We have a TIAA-CREF brokerage account also.

It's been worthwhile for us to consolidate everything.  For one thing, our assets were high enough (over $500K) by consolidating that we qualified for totally free representation by a personal asset manager.  I like having a person to call, and this extra service has been helpful when trying to make changes to our accounts (I dread paperwork).

I wouldn't do it if we didn't still have access to a broad range of investment options through TIAA-CREF, but we do.  It's easier for our advisor to see what we have and to make recommendations.  With this said, we're still very much in the driver's seat.  We don't give the advisor discretion to move our investments around.

I deal with other peoples' money all day and have no desire to study the market enough to be a stock-picker, so I like knowing that someone is watching over things.  I have a lot of faith in TIAA-CREF.  They don't need to satisfy shareholders so I think they will keep expenses in line and do right by those they represent (generally).