As a BTU member you are eligible to participate in a tax-sheltered savings plan, either a 403b or a 457 plan. There are dozens of plans to choose from. Be choosy.
Many of the Boston 403b funds send commission-seeking salesmen and saleswomen to wander through our schools, even though they are not supposed to have any access beyond the main office. See this directive from the Superintendent reissued every year:
“Any vendors seeking to solicit business from teachers or sell products to teachers shall remain in the main office and shall be prohibited from entering teacher’s rooms or teacher lounges.”
As part of the last contract negotiations we requested to have the Superintendent issue the above directive. Why?
These salespeople have no special authority to sell to our members, they have no special product for city employees, no imprimatur from the city, and, frankly, have no business being in our schools. Their specialty — not all, but many — is taking advantage of unsuspecting staff who have other, more important things to do. The directive is to protect staff from unwanted visitors and unwanted intrusions. All vendors, including annuity salesmen and saleswomen, are not allowed to stray from the main office. If any wishes to drop his/her card into your mailbox and then you wish to make an appointment to meet and discuss your finances, then that’s between you and the vendor.
To learn more about the ins and outs of tax-sheltered plans, see here.
While we don’t endorse any particular plan, the 457 plan is endorsed and monitored by the state treasurer — and that gives all of us a strong measure of comfort. What’s more, the 457 plan is NOT a commissioned-based plan.
The SMART Plan representative, Lisa Cardinal, will be scheduling appointments at 26 Court Street in Boston and 180 Mt. Vernon Street in Dorchester (the BTU Hall) on September 19 and October 22. The Court Street appointments will take place throughout the day, and the Mt. Vernon Street ones in the late afternoon and early evening. All are welcome to make an appointment, whether you are already participating in the SMART Plan or not. To make an appointment, please email Lisa at and indicate your preferred date, time, and location, and whether you are already participating in the Plan. Learn more about the SMART plan here.