Common 403(b) Terms and Definitions

If you are looking to work with Public School employee benefits, these terms will help.

Most, if not all, public school districts have a process whereby an employee chooses how much money to have sent from their paycheck to one of their school’s 403(b) providers. If this form is not completed (it may be on paper or sometimes online) the money will NOT be taken out of their paycheck and sent to the 403(b) provider.

This position oversees all of the business matters of a public school district. They are usually located in the district’s main office. This person is one of the best resources to learn about 403(b) issues at the district.

This is the industry term that is used to identify companies that offer products and services to public school districts. TPAs often use this term.

This often annual event at a public school district is where any or all benefits providers are invited to an event where employees can learn about their different benefits, including 403(b). While we don’t see a lot of these anymore, you should be asking about them in discussions with the school district.

The 403(b) Third Party Administrator (TPA) almost always provides services different from those of ERISA plan TPAs. In non-ERISA public school 403(b) plans, these services are largely related to overseeing IRS and DOL compliance of withdrawal and loan transactions.