November 1, 2017

Joining Together For Lower Fees

By Beth Knight-Pinneo, Alliance Benefits

We are better together, and can realize far greater success when we work together to reach our common goals (or in some cases our uncommon goals) as we partner for His Kingdom. Planning for retirement is certainly a goal we all share. We want our Alliance family to be aware of every opportunity: by joining together, we can share in significant benefits along the retirement journey.

Did you know that the C&MA 403(b) plan in most cases offers advantages over a retail investment account that you might decide to begin on your own? Let’s count the ways:

  • The limits you can defer on a 403(b) are higher than an Individual Retirement Account – $18,500 in 2018 compared to $5,500. If you are over age 50, you can add $6,000 more, versus $1,000 in an IRA.
  • The C&MA 403(b) fees compared to a retail investment are very competitive. Were you aware that if you happen to be invested in the TIAA Lifecycle Target Date Fund, the “all-in” cost including administration fees is just .35% per year? Compare this to a retail, non-institutional investment platform that can near or surpass 2%. We accomplish this by a continual monitoring of costs when considering the plan’s size and scale. As a reminder, all participants pay a flat $35 per year regardless of the investment option selected.
  • A team of professionals follows a systematic process by which they monitor the existing investments offered by the C&MA 403(b), in an effort to maintain a best in class investment menu from which participants can choose.
  • Individual churches can opt into the C&MA 403(b) plan and take advantage of tremendous compliance and administrative efficiency as opposed to “recreating the wheel” on their own. Alliance Benefits and its team of professionals work hard to bring best in class practices and procedures to plan participants, so they can spend more time focusing on their mission.

Also, churches are sometimes surprised to hear that Alliance Benefits doesn’t charge churches any fee to set up the C&MA 403(b) Plan or to administer it for their employees.

If you’re not currently saving for retirement, it’s definitely worth your consideration. If you are saving for retirement but aren’t participating in the C&MA 403(b) Plan, we would be happy to set this up for you.

Would you like help comparing your current plan (and its fees) to the C&MA 403(b) Plan? Or, perhaps you are already enrolled and have specific questions about your C&MA 403(b) Plan fees?

We invite you to speak with Strategic Financial Partners, the C&MA 403(b) Plan consultant. You can contact them at 866-963-1843, and someone will be glad to answer your questions – usually within 48 hours.

Don’t let this opportunity pass you by. As you can see, we’re better together!


Beth joined Alliance Benefits in January 2001. In her role as Benefits Consultant, she focuses on building relationships with churches and districts, and assisting with Health Plan and 403(b) questions. She is assigned to serve the churches and districts in the Western and Southern US, and the multi-cultural districts.

Posted in: 403(b) Plan Tools