Company Will Offer Funds, Variable Annuities to NEA Members

Security Benefit Group today began offering a new 403(b)and 403(b)(7) retirement program to members of the National Education Association. The company became the exclusive retirement plan provider to the 2.6 million-member NEA last year, a contract previously held by Nationwide. NEA retirement plan assets total approximately $800 million, according to Kal Bakk, Security Benefit's chief marketing officer.

Named after Internal Revenue codes, 403(b) and 403(b)(7) plans offer tax-deferred retirement options exclusively to teachers and employees of educational institutions, certain non-profit and government organizations.

Security Benefit's new program, named the NEA Value Builder Program, offers 37 different investment options from various fund companies including; AIM, American Century, Fidelity, Dreyfus, INVESCO, Strong and Van Kampen.

The program has two tax sheltered account plans: The NEA Valuebuilder Mutual Fund TSA and the Variable Annuity TSA. The Mutual Fund TSA is a 403(b)(7) custodial account that offers benefits like loan provisions, a aggregated fund statements and automatic asset reallocation.

The Variable Annuity TSA provides the same investment options as the Mutual Fund TSA but also includes a fixed-income option. It also allows participants to customize their individual plans and choose specific features they want included in their plan. The features include various enhanced death benefit riders, retirement income protection, credit enhancement and alternate withdrawal charges, according to the firm.

Security Benefit Group has nearly $10 billion in assets under management.

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