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Questions about non-governmental 457b

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  • AR
    replied




    I would never use a non gov 457b and don’t use mine. It’s an unnecessary risk. I can easily achieve (have achieved) FI without it. I know others do and feel the odds (gods?) favor them.

    A large number of community hospitals are at the brink of insolvency, or were until Obamacare saved them. It’s easy to forget how dire health care finances were in the Great Recession. Did you examine your organization’s finances at that time? I examined ours, and it wasn’t pretty. Margins went from 12% to 3% and our bond rating dropped three notches. We laid off ten percent of our work force , and some physicians, while not strictly terminated, were let go through contract non renewals. My institution is larger and has a much longer history than yours.

    If Obamacare is repealed or Medi/Medi are substantially reformed to block grants or individual stipends, neither of which is out of the question if Republicans win the 2020 election, all bets are off.

    Certainly consolidation rather than closure will be the rule, and the odds of forfeiture are low. But a wise rule of investing (and life) is to take no unnecessary risk which isn’t compensated. In your case, the compensation is minimal barring early retirement or some other period of prolonged and substantially lower income, because you will remain in the highest tax bracket otherwise.

    The real question is why you are using a Roth account . If you’re searching out more tax deferral in the form of a non gov 457b, why not take the easy one in the form of the 401k?
    Click to expand...


    1.  Are you aware of any health care organization's 457b plans being taken by creditors?  I understand that it could happen, but have you ever heard of a single instance.  Even with the tough times your organization went through, did people lose their 457b plans?

    2.  I don't understand why you think the risk is uncompensated.   The tax benefits can be quite significant.  The money is not taxed going in.  It grows tax free. And at retirement, you will presumably withdraw from this account exclusively until it is exhausted.  So odds are you will be taxed at a lower rate than when you were earning. That's a lot of tax savings. When weighed against something that is extremely rare (losing the 457b), it seems more than sufficiently compensated.

    Most of these tax savings will not be achieved if you leave the organization and go work somewhere else prior to retirement. So the likelihood of that happening should definitely play a role in the decision.  However, even if that happens (which in OP's case is a consideration given his age, but it is definitely less of a concern in many other cases) it seems the rate of these plans being lost is so low, that it is generally probably worth it.

    Leave a comment:


  • pulmdoc
    replied
    If all the stars align...

    1) Employer at very low risk of default (Aa bond rating or similar)

    2) The investment options are similar to what you would invest in a taxable account with low expense ratios/low management fees

    3) The severance payouts are spread out over several years to avoid a tax bomb

    4) There isn't a better use for that money and you can afford for it to be illiquid

    Then the tax advantage of a 457b may be worthwhile. I have personally used my employer's 457b for the past three years.

    Leave a comment:


  • Raddoc123
    replied
    I agree with jfox.  Use the account without question. Good investment options, distribution options, financial standing, and the best part is the tax savings.  There is also asset protection since the money is not technically yours until distribution.   10-11k in reduced take home pay gets you 18.5k in investments.  The final balance of your 457b account will be a tiny % of assets given your high savings.  Chances of account loss are very small.  Never heard an actual 457 loss.

    Leave a comment:


  • q-school
    replied
    we had the same questions as the original poster.  after several years of creating a nest egg, we finally caved and started the non government 457.  it didn't radically change anything.  surprisingly, after we started we owed more in taxes, but i'm not sure how much was due to growth of the stock market and other things.  obviously not due to 457 plan.

    i hear lots of debates about the roth 401 versus the 401.  as always, there's not a single right answer.  the people advocating for the roth 401 argue taxes are only going to go up in the future and take the pain now.  i am not fully sure they understand the possibility of early retirement offering an opportunity to perhaps take the 403 and convert to ira at a lower rate.  if you never retire early, continue to save, and you make a million a year for 30+ years, it is not likely that you would be able to drop your income enough to go into lower rate category however.

    Leave a comment:


  • FIREshrink
    replied
    I would never use a non gov 457b and don't use mine. It's an unnecessary risk. I can easily achieve (have achieved) FI without it. I know others do and feel the odds (gods?) favor them.

    A large number of community hospitals are at the brink of insolvency, or were until Obamacare saved them. It's easy to forget how dire health care finances were in the Great Recession. Did you examine your organization's finances at that time? I examined ours, and it wasn't pretty. Margins went from 12% to 3% and our bond rating dropped three notches. We laid off ten percent of our work force , and some physicians, while not strictly terminated, were let go through contract non renewals. My institution is larger and has a much longer history than yours.

    If Obamacare is repealed or Medi/Medi are substantially reformed to block grants or individual stipends, neither of which is out of the question if Republicans win the 2020 election, all bets are off.

    Certainly consolidation rather than closure will be the rule, and the odds of forfeiture are low. But a wise rule of investing (and life) is to take no unnecessary risk which isn't compensated. In your case, the compensation is minimal barring early retirement or some other period of prolonged and substantially lower income, because you will remain in the highest tax bracket otherwise.

    The real question is why you are using a Roth account . If you're searching out more tax deferral in the form of a non gov 457b, why not take the easy one in the form of the 401k?

    Leave a comment:


  • Golfing Doc
    replied
    Thanks for the input Johanna. I was hoping you would chime in. It is indeed an npo. Significant other is a physician as well which explains the high income.

    I also was unaware that npo’s aren’t bought out... I was under the impression most hospital systems are technically npo’s but merge and are bought/sold frequently

    Leave a comment:


  • Golfing Doc
    replied
    One detail I forgot to add. On separation, the funds in the 457b account are distributed over 10 years

    Leave a comment:


  • jfoxcpacfp
    replied

    1. Yes, because at your income level, the deduction is particularly valuable. I believe there is way too much fear of 457b’s on this and other forums. Of course, you need to be aware that, if the company goes under and if the creditors come after the retirement plan, you could lose it. But you also need to know that the chance of this happening is extremely remote and far less probable than the risk of making a bad decision in the next bear market and losing real money by emotional selling.

    2. If the company is bought out, the BOD of your NPO will come to an agreement with the new BOD about the handling of the 457b’s in the new business. You will probably be given the opportunity to take out your account balance, penalty-free, or roll over to the takeover NPO’s 457b.


    I am a little confused about the original post. If your company has a non-governmental 457b, that means you work for a NPO. NPOs aren’t ‘bought out’ like for-profit businesses and typically don’t ‘go under’ although that is certainly possible. Also, the average income per physician is higher than what I would expect for an organization that is mission-minded. I think we may be missing some information.

    Leave a comment:


  • Golfing Doc
    started a topic Questions about non-governmental 457b

    Questions about non-governmental 457b

    Hi everyone. I work for a fairly large healthcare group (12000 employees) that was formed 20-25 years ago. It seems stable to me and they have expanded significantly over the last 10 years years. Household income ranges from 850k-1 mil. I am in my early 30s, married with one child, maxing out a roth 401k (still debating about roth v pre-tax, but probably a topic for another thread), backdoor roth, have a reasonable 15 year mortgage, have about 4 months of expenses in a high interest checking account, am saving in my child's 529, and am investing about 20k a month in a taxable account. I have been considering investing in the company's non-governmental 457b. I am in my early 30s so I was going to delay investing in the 457b and build up a taxable account, but wanted to hear others' opinions. I have not heard of any financial difficulty in the company but I am not truly in the know I suppose and the company has not been around all that long. I have not yet seen the investment options in the 457b, but they are very reasonable in the 401k and include VINIX (institutional S&P index), VFWSX (institutional ex-US fund), and VBTIX (institutional total bond fund), as well as an institutional extended market fund I am considering - VIEIX (mid cap blend). There is a record keeping fee of 0.24% as well. I would assume the options in the 457b are similar, but I am not sure. I have inquired about after tax 401k contributions and they are not allowed.

    My question is two-fold...

    Should I contribute to the non-governmental 457b assuming they have reasonable investment options?

    I know if the company goes under, the money in the 457b goes to the creditors. What happens if the company is bought out?
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