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The San Diego County Office of Education sponsors the FBC. The FBC offices are located within the County Office of Education.
The County Schools Fringe Benefits Consortium (FBC) was formed in 1982 to provide medical benefits to San Diego area school districts as a non-profit government entity. At that time, 12 school districts covering approximately 2,500 employees joined together to self-insure their health plans. Since 1982, 15 new programs have been added and the Consortium has grown to 77 San Diego, Imperial, and Riverside County school districts covering over 80,000 employees. In 2001 the 403(b)/457(b) Deferred Compensation Program was created and offered to participating school districts to provide a high quality, low cost retirement savings alternative.
The purpose of the FBC is to provide the best benefits at the lowest possible cost. This savings comes from the joint purchase of benefits made possible by the joining together of school districts. Further savings are possible through self-insuring some benefit programs and utilizing FBC staff for all consulting/brokerage services. The FBC programs have saved school districts and their employees hundreds of thousands of dollars over the years. The County Schools Fringe Benefits Consortium's web page can be found at: http://www.sdcoe.net/business-services/risk-management/Pages/fringe-benefit-consortium.aspx.
Trusted by more than 9.4 million individuals* and nearly 40,000 organizations** to administer $686.5B*** in assets.
After a comprehensive selection process, Empower Retirement was chosen by the FBC Deferred Compensation Program to provide administrative, education and communication services. In conjunction with your FBC plan, Empower is committed to helping you understand and evaluate your financial situation by providing you with the information you need to make the financial decisions that are right for you, so you can enjoy your never-ending summer after the last bell rings on your career.
If you have any questions, or would like to speak to an Empower Retirement Plan Advisor for further information, Click here to find the Representative assigned to your district.
* As of December 31, 2019.
** As of December 31, 2019. Individuals and organizations refers to all retirement business of Great-West Life & Annuity Insurance Company and its subsidiaries and affiliates, including Great-West Life & Annuity Insurance Company of New York marketed under the Empower Retirement brand.
*** As of December 31, 2019. Information refers to the business of Great-West Life & Annuity Insurance Company and its subsidiaries, including Great-West Life & Annuity Insurance Company of New York. Of the total $686.5B assets under administration, $19.6B represents the AUA of GWL&A of NY. AUA do not reflect the financial stability or strength of a company. GWL&A assets total $48.8B and liabilities total $47.3B. GWL&A of NY assets total $1.6B and liabilities total $1.5B.
History of the Fringe Benefit Consortium 403(b)/457(b) Plan
Historically, 403(b) plans available to school employees have been less than adequate. They have high fees, penalties for leaving early, and almost always charge a commission. School employees have lost millions of dollars because of high fees over the years contributing to high cost retail 403(b) plans.
In 2001 the San Diego County Office of Education decided to do something about this problem. Through their non-profit subsidiary the Fringe Benefit Consortium they set out to create an institutional retirement plan. Basically they wanted to create a plan that would benefit school employees, not the financial services industry. The purpose was simple, use the accumulated buying power of several districts to negotiate price discounts and other concessions from financial service providers and pass those savings onto the school employees.
The result is a retirement plan that is low in cost, free of surrender penalties, and because the plan is operated on a non-profit basis, the fees will only get lower as the plan grows bigger. In addition, each district has an assigned representative that will help school employees enroll into the plan and choose an asset allocation that works best for them.
Riverside and Imperial County schools have also joined the program so that their districts could benefit from the same price discounts.
The FBC also works closely with school districts to help ensure their retirement plans maintain compliance with IRS regulations.