The Bare Minimum

Welcome to the 403(b) Portal. Before you begin working with Public School 403(b) and 457(b) Plans, at a minimum you’ll need to consider taking the following steps.

Virtually every public school employee is covered by their state Teacher Retirement System defined benefit program. This is the foundation of their retirement and you’ll need to understand its basics before you begin to offer financial services to any employee. Look up your state’s plan using the State Retirement System Directory (paid Membership required).

Call or visit your school’s human resources or business office to get a copy of the 403(b)/457(b) provider list. You’ll need this list to figure out which, if any, of the approved providers who you can work with.

Can the 403(b) Portal help? YES. Look up school district contact info using the US School District Directory (paid Membership required) to find the school district contact information and website.

The TPA will be able to guide you on working with providers and how the enrollment process works. You may be able to get the TPA from the 403(b) Portal, but you can certainly get the TPA information from directly contacting the school district office. School district information exists in the 403(b) Portal.

Can the 403(b) Portal help? YES. Look up school district TPA information using the Enrollment and Data Portal (paid Membership required) OR contact the school district directly.

The Salary Reduction Agreement (SRA) is used to indicate how much the employee would like to have deducted from their paycheck for their 403(b)/457(b) investment. The SRA can be provided by the school district or TPA. In many cases, this remains a paper form. Thankfully, some TPAs have built an online process.

Naturally, you and your new customer will also need to complete the application and disclosures required by the product provider you choose to do business with. Someday we’ll consider hosting these documents on the 403(b) Portal too, but not yet.

Can the 403(b) Portal help? YES. Look up school district contact info using the US School District Directory (paid Membership required) to get the name of the TPA. Then use the TPA Directory (paid Membership required) to contact the TPA for the SRA.

Please don’t assume you can send mass solicitation emails or go walking the halls during the school day. Your chances of success will skyrocket if you discuss access and solicitation topics with the school district’s business official, HR or benefits office.

One of the reasons why participation in these plans is so low is because of the advisors who have neglected these rules and created an environment whereby schools have to severely restrict access to advisors who work with these plans.

You can have a huge impact by simply following the rules and being more creative in your marketing approach. The 403(b) Portal and MarkLuck Media can help you with this, if you need help.

Can the 403(b) Portal help? YES. The Portal provides access to marketing emails and tools that help you succeed in providing services to public school employees (paid Membership required).

This should be enough to get you started. Now go back to the portal to look up school district contact information and more.

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