Cobb Schools Enhances Retirement Programs, Reduces Investment Fees

The Cobb County School District is pleased to announce upcoming improvements to the district’s 403(b) and 457(b) retirement plans. As part of the enhancements to the district’s voluntary supplemental retirement programs, employees will see administrative expenses reduced by about 50 percent. The programs will also offer simplified provider choice and continued access to a wide variety of investment options and robust participant services.  

“On average, typical annual separate investment fees paid by employees will be reduced from about 0.87 percent under the current plan structure down to about 0.41 percent under the new lower cost modernized plan. As a result, with over $268 million in total plan assets district-wide, our participating employees will collectively save about $1.2 million in reduced net investment fees per year,” said John AdamsCobb Schools Deputy Superintendent of HR and Operations. “Even more importantly, individual participating employees may eventually accumulate tens of thousands of dollars more in their 403(b)/457(b) accounts as a result of the significantly reduced fees.” 
 

Effective February 1, 2019, Cobb Schools retirement plans will offer:  

  • Reduced administrative expenses to make the plans more cost-effective, with about a 50 percent reduction in investment fees. As a result of reduced fees, employees will enjoy higher net investment returns and will have more money saved for retirement
  • A simplified choice of two retirement plan providers: VALIC Financial Advisors (VALIC) and Lincoln Financial Group (Lincoln). VALIC and Lincoln both have decades-long relationships with Cobb Schools, are industry leaders, and together serve about 70 percent of current plan participants
  • Access to a broad array of top mutual fund investment options, along with continued access to a fixed/stable value account
  • Easy access to one-on-one personal counseling with dedicated retirement plan representatives
  • State-of-the-art financial education, tools, and calculators
  • A robust participant website to make it easy for employees to monitor and manage retirement savings

“The Cobb County School District is excited to provide our hard-working employees with an enhanced, improved, simplified, modern, and lower cost 403(b)/457(b) program. We look forward to continuing to work with VALIC and Lincoln to help prepare our employees for the retirement they deserve,” Adams said.  
 

The retirement program improvements only affect district employees’ voluntary supplemental retirement 403(b)/457(b) programs. TRS, PSERS, and Social Security are not affected. 

What happens… 

  • If your account is currently with Lincoln and/or VALIC  

If your 403(b) and/or 457(b) plan account is with VALIC and/or Lincoln now, your contributions will continue as usual, and you will receive further information regarding the new investment options.  

  • If your account is currently with one of the providers being eliminated  

If your 403(b) and/or 457(b) plan account is with one or more of the providers that are being eliminated, you must select either Lincoln or VALIC for contributions to continue to be made to your account after December 19, 2018. If you do not choose a new retirement plan provider, salary deferral contributions to your account will stop in January 2019.  

  • If you have accounts with both VALIC and/or Lincoln and a provider that is being eliminated  

If you have 403(b) and/or 457(b) plan accounts with Lincoln and/or VALIC and one or more of the providers being eliminated, you need to change your salary deferral information so that 100% of your contributions are made to VALIC and/or Lincoln. If you do not update your information, salary deferral contributions to your account will stop in January 2019.  

  • If you are not currently participating  

If you are eligible and would like to enroll in the 403(b) plan or 457(b) plan, you will have an opportunity to do so and additional information is forthcoming.  

  • More information and answers to your questions  

In the coming weeks, you will receive more information regarding the transition process. In addition, Lincoln and VALIC retirement plan representatives will be available to meet with you and answer your questions. Please see upcoming meeting information and contact information for VALIC and Lincoln representatives. We want to be sure you have the information you need to make decisions for your retirement plan savings.  

The district is holding three retirement planning meetings where financial advisors will be available to answer questions. Details on the upcoming meetings and contact information for VALIC and Lincoln representatives are included below.  

Retirement Plan Information Meetings 

Monday, December 3, 2018  

Marietta  

Lassiter High School  

2601 Shallowford Road  

Meeting Room: Conference Room 718  

Time: 6:00 to 7:00 p.m.  

 

Tuesday, December 4, 2014  

Austell  

South Cobb High School  

1920 Clay Road  

Meeting Room: FTA Media Center  

Time: 6:00 to 7:00 p.m.  

 

Wednesday, December 5, 2018  

Kennesaw  

North Cobb High School  

3400 Old 41 Highway  

Meeting Room: Freshman ID Lab  

Time: 6:00 to 7:00 p.m.  

 

Representatives  

VALIC  

Stephen Komisar  

Senior Financial Advisor  

770.395.4706  

stephen.komisar@valic.com  

 

Jim Riley  

Financial Advisor  

770.395.4706  

James.Riley@valic.com  

 

Mark Magee  

Financial Advisor  

770.395.4706  

Mark.Magee@valic.com  

 

Scott Strobel  

Financial Advisor  

770.395.4706  

Scott.Strobel@valic.com  

 

Lincoln Scott  

Braswell Investment Advisor Representative  

Lincoln Financial Advisors  

770-799-7035  

Scott.Braswell@LFG.com  

 

Elaine Parent Retirement Consultant  

470-989-6087  

Elaine.Parent@LFG 

 

Employees with questions or comments are invited to email retirement@cobbk12.org or call (770) 429- 5868.