Frequently Asked Questions


    What is a 403(b)?

    A 403(b) is a retirement plan available to certain employees of public schools and not-for-profit organizations. It is named after the section of the IRS code governing it.


    All public school employees and not-for-profit workers are eligible to participate in a 403(b). However, employers can restrict access based on such factors as hours worked. Check with your employer for details.


    How Much Do I Have To Contribute?

    That is entirely up to you. You may contribute as little or as much as you like up to the IRS annual limit. The maximum contribution for 2015 is $18,000. The most important step to supplementing your retirement income is contributing something. There is no amount that is too small.


    How Can I “Catch Up” on my 403(b) Retirement Investing?

    If permitted by the plan, participants age 50 and older at any time during the calendar year are permitted to contribute an additional $6,000 in 2015.


    Furthermore, employees with 15 years of service with their current employer and an annual average contribution of less than $5,000 per year are eligible for an additional $3,000 contribution per year up to a lifetime maximum-catch up of $15,000. This is known as the 15-year rule. For participants eligible for both the age 50 catch up and the 15-year rule, the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) will apply contributions above the regular limit first to the 15-year rule. Employers are not required to make this provision available.


    Please visit the IRS website for details.


    Why Is My School Involved In My Personal Retirement Plan?

    The IRS now requires schools to be involved. Previously, their only involvement was to deduct the amount you requested from your paycheck and forward it to the investment provider of your choosing. The IRS issued new regulations requiring schools develop a plan document and assume all responsibilities for 403(b) retirement savings.


    Can I Move My Existing 403(b) / TSA Retirement Plan Into My New 403(b)?

    Yes, that decision is entirely up to you. If you are interested, the representatives of Confidential Planning will work closely with you to determine if consolidating your retirement plan makes sense. That’s because most of the previous investments offered by other companies charged upfront sales commissions or back-end surrender charges lasting up to 12 years. Only a careful examination of your current investments can determine what is right for you.


    What If I Don’t Have A 403(b) Retirement Plan?

    Signing up is simple! And Confidential Planning is here to help. You’ll just fill out a short enrollment form and you are on your way toward supplementing your retirement.


    What If I Change Jobs?

    The money you contribute is yours at all times. If you change jobs you may still leave your investments with MultiChoice® so that it may grow until you need it in retirement, or if your new employer’s plan accepts transfers you may choose to move it. Also, since the investments in MultiChoice® do not have any upfront commissions or back-end surrender charges, your entire investment can be transferred without penalty.


    What If I Plan To Retire In The Near Future?

    No problem! Since the investment options we offer do not have upfront commissions or back-end surrender charges, your entire investment is available to you when you retire.


    Who is Confidential Planning?

    Confidential Planning began in 1975 as an independent financial services company specializing in retirement planning and investment advice. After joining the Pinnacle Family in 2006, Confidential Planning introduced the MultiChoice® 403(b) plan to school districts throughout New York State. With over 30 years of experience as a full service organization, we now focus on the unique financial needs of educators and employees of school systems, universities, hospitals, and non-profit organizations.


    At Confidential Planning, we provide a professional approach to integrated financial services and offer our clients superior, personalized customer service, sound advice, and a diversified range of investment products.


    Headquartered in Syracuse, New York, we have a presence throughout the northeast. Hundreds of school districts, hospitals, universities and non-profit organizations entrust us with providing retirement planning services for their employees.