403(b) retirement for educators

Preparing for a fulfilling future

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Insights and resources

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Beyond finances: Make the most of your advisor conversations

More advisors today are taking a holistic approach to life planning. Learn how having a broad conversation can help your advisor discuss the right strategy for you. Read more.

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Checklist: getting ready for an advisor conversation

Make sure you're prepared for your next discussion with your financial professional, with questions and updates that go beyond your finances. Read more.

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Preparing for a complex world

The global coronavirus pandemic has created rampant uncertainty, but there are options that can offer a measure of certainty in an uncertain world. Read more.

Why Equitable

Chosen by you. 

#1 403(b) provider

in the nation.

Strength and stability. We've gained respect as one of America's leading financial services companies - and we've earned the trust of clients and their families for generations. Trust comes with experience. You can count on ours.1

What is a 403(b)?

A 403(b) is like a 401(k) for educators.

A 403(b) is a retirement plan designed for educators and available through your school district. It enables compounding growth of your investments and can reduce the amount of tax you pay along the way.

No matter where you are in life, your 403(b) is a smart choice that offers hope for a bright retirement future - so you can focus on the people and the passions that bring you fulfillment.

A good financial strategy starts with knowing the whole you

Begin by setting goals for yourself and see how much you should be comfortably saving to get to where you want to be.

I am years old and earn a year.

I have saved for retirement and contribute every . Annual salary must be between $20,000 and $500,000. Savings must be between $0 and $9,999,999. Maximum yearly contribution is $19,500 for people aged 49 and under. For people who turn 50 by the end of the year a catch-up contribution allowance of $6,500 is permitted. Contribution cannot be more than annual salary ($).

A 403(b) works the way you want it to

An Equitable 403(b) is designed to be a powerful investment tool, yet flexible so you can choose the options that suit your specific needs.

Set goals to achieve your retirement dreams
Set goals to achieve your retirement dreams

Set your own goals and decide how much you can comfortably contribute straight from your paycheck with pre-tax dollars - meaning your money works smarter and harder to meet those goals.

Retirement income calculator

You are in control of how your money is invested
You are in control of how your money is invested

Choose your own investments, or you can choose Semester StrategiesSM, a simplified investment strategy available through the EQUI-VEST® variable annuity contract in your 403(b) - offering growth, protection and professional guidance2 in a convenient, cost-effective package.

Learn about Semester Strategiessm for educators 

Easy online enrollment
Easy online enrollment

Simple and secure — enrolling online takes just a few minutes. 

Watch a short video: How to enroll in 4 easy steps.

A 403(b) fits into any phase of your life

It's never too early - or too late. Whether you're just beginning your career, a seasoned educator or getting ready for retirement, keep these tips in mind:

If you're feeling cash-strapped, even small savings in everyday life can go a long way in your 403(b). Every dollar you put in has potential to grow - especially if your employer matches a portion of your contributions. 

Over your working years, the value of saving with pre-tax dollars really makes a difference. Because your contributions keep earning without diverting money to pay taxes, your savings work harder for you while decreasing your yearly taxable income. 

If you're over 50, you have the option to make even higher tax-deferred catch-up contributions. 

Working with an advisor* yields more money, more confidence

Higher account balances. More confidence for the future. A common trait among top savers is that they get help from a financial professional to guide smart choices and keep their plan on track as life evolves.

Higher balances

higher balance graphic

Nearly twice the median account balance was achieved when individuals chose to work with a financial professional

Happier with savings

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18% higher satisfaction with their retirement plan when working with a financial professional

Financial professionals also help clients with...

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Early savings
56% attribute early savings start to working w/ advisor

Understanding your big picture, what's important, setting goals

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Strategic investment advice to grow and protect your money

Find more education and research on the benefits of working with a financial professional in our Enhancing Outcomes whitepaper. 

Click here to read the full study

Source: Equitable's Value of the Advisor study, 2018.

More tips and resources for educators

Learn more about Semester Strategiessm - a simplified 403(b) investment program available through the EQUI-VEST® variable annuity contract2-- designed specifically for educators

Semester Strategiessm

Learn more about ways you can stay invested while protecting against all or some of your account losses to provide you the best opportunity to grow your retirement account over the long term.

Stay invested

Learn more about the fundamentals of retirement planning

Retirement planning fundamentals

Learn more about student loan forgiveness for educators3

Student loan forgiveness

Ready to get started? 

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*The use of the terms of “financial advisor” or “advisor” for purposes of the survey questions and responses by both the consumers and the financial advisors queried does not necessarily imply that the individual is a registered investment adviser (RIA). The use of these two terms is meant in a general sense of the word or phrase to describe working with an investment advisor, a licensed insurance agent or other financial professionals who may sell annuity products.

1LIMRA, Not-for-Profit Survey, Q1, 2017 Results, based on 403(b) plan participants and contributions.

2If available under your employer's plan, you may generally enroll in the model portfolio and investment advisory services program (i.e., Semester Strategiessm) of SWBC Investment Advisory Services LLC ("SWBC") to manage your account value. The Program will allocate your account value among the variable investment options, guaranteed interest option (GIO) and Segments in the SIO, based on your set time horizon, risk tolerance and investment return objectives derived by SWBC from information you provide to SWBC. SWBC Retirement Plan Services is an unaffiliated third-party and is a wholly-owned subsidiary of SWBC, which was established in 1976. Advisory services are offered by SWBC Investment Advisory Services, LLC, d/b/a SWBC Retirement Plan Services, a Registered Investment Advisor with the Securities and Exchange Commission. SWBC Retirement Plan Services focuses exclusively on serving the retirement plan market. Equitable has entered into an agreement to make SWBC Retirement Plan Services' fiduciary services available to EQUI-VEST® clients through Semester Strategiessm.

A variable deferred annuity, such as EQUI-VEST®, is a long-term financial product that is designed for retirement purposes. In essence, it is a contractual agreement in which payments are made to an insurance company, which agrees to pay an income stream or lump-sum amount at a later date. There are contract limitations, fees and charges associated with variable deferred annuities, which include, but are not limited to, mortality and expense risk charges, withdrawal charges and administrative fees. For costs and complete details, see the prospectus or contact your financial professional. The variable investment options offered in this contract will fluctuate and are subject to market risk, including loss of principal.

As is the case with any investment or investment feature, it's important for current and prospective EQUI-VEST® variable annuity contract holders to understand all applicable restrictions and limitations associated with Semester Strategies. As some examples, the EQUI-VEST® variable annuity contract holder's Planned Retirement Age cannot be later than the maturity date under their contract, and those currently invested in the Personal Income Benefit (PIB) are not eligible to participate in Semester Strategiessm ("Program") at this time. Also, those with current investments in the Structured Investment Option (SIO) may not be eligible to participate in the Program if their current SIO allocations are higher than the Model Portfolio allocations to the SIO.

The EQUI-VEST® variable annuity is offered by prospectus, which provides important information about the annuity's restrictions, limitations, risks, charges, expenses, and investment objectives. Current EQUI-VEST® contract holders, please consult your prospectus and the prospectus for the underlying portfolios containing this and other important information. Prospective clients, please contact Equitable or an Equitable Advisors financial professional for these prospectuses and read them carefully before you invest or send money.

Important note: Equitable believes that education is a key step toward addressing your financial goals, and we've designed this material to serve simply as an informational and educational resource. Accordingly, this brochure does not offer or constitute investment advice and makes no direct or indirect recommendation of any particular product or the appropriateness of any particular investment-related option. Your needs, goals and circumstances are unique, and they require the individualized attention of your financial professional.

EQUI-VEST® is a registered service mark of, and is issued by, Equitable Financial Life Insurance Company, NY, NY 10104. Equitable Advisors Financial Professionals offer securities through Equitable Advisors, LLC (NY, NY, 212-314-4600), member FINRA, SIPC, and offer annuity and insurance products through Equitable Network, LLC (Equitable Network Insurance Agency of California, LLC; Equitable Network Insurance Agency of Utah, LLC; Equitable Network of Puerto Rico, Inc.).

Variable Annuities: Are Not a Deposit of Any Bank • Are Not FDIC Insured • Are Not Insured by Any Federal Government Agency • Are Not Guaranteed by Any Bank or Savings Association • May Go Down in Value

Certain types of contracts, features and benefits may not be available in all states and jurisdictions or from all selling firms. Marketing material availability may also vary by firm. Please check with your firm for more details.

3Student loan forgiveness services are offered through StudentLoan Tech. StudentLoan Tech helps to determine your eligibility for the Federal Student Loan Forgiveness programs. StudentLoan Tech is not an affiliate of Equitable Advisors, Equitable or its affiliated companies. Neither Equitable Advisors, Equitable nor its affiliates are responsible for the output or enrollment documents provided by StudentLoan Tech. 

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  • Setting a careful balance on the aggressiveness of your investment strategy
  • A new sense of accomplishment

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You just took a big step to a better retirement. Here’s what you can expect from your meeting:

  • New insight into your current financial situation
  • A plan for best- and worst-case retirement possibilities
  • Setting a careful balance on the aggressiveness of your investment strategy
  • A new sense of accomplishment

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Thank you for contacting Equitable. We will be in touch soon.

You just took a big step to a better retirement. Here’s what you can expect from your meeting:

  • New insight into your current financial situation
  • A plan for best- and worst-case retirement possibilities
  • Setting a careful balance on the aggressiveness of your investment strategy
  • A new sense of accomplishment
GE-2862073 (01/2020) (Exp. 01/2022)