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NTSA wants to help teachers learn ABCs of retirement planning

NTDSA Executive Director Brent Neese

Even teachers need to be taught the basics of planning for retirement. In an effort to improve their retirement readiness, the National Tax-Deferred Savings Association has launched an educational program for school districts and their employees across the U.S.

The program was created to address the low participation rates in 403(b) plans, which average 27% nationally, said Brent Neese, executive director of the NTSA in Arlington, Va.

"This effort is completely focused on promoting and improving 403(b) participation rates in public schools across the country," Mr. Neese said.

The program, which is intended to be completed in an hour, is vendor-neutral and does not include any specific investment product recommendations, according to the non-profit association.

"It is a basic education course," Mr. Neese said, explaining that it lays the groundwork for educators to start the planning process. Teachers and school district workers will gain a greater awareness of what they will need to save to supplement their pension plan and, if they have access to it, Social Security, he said.

The program is taught by NTSA-certified retirement education specialist advisers. These individuals have completed a certificate program through the American Retirement Association Retirement Planning Academy focused on the top retirement planning considerations of public employees, according to the NTSA.

"We're very excited about the program and its prospects of truly making a difference for public educators," Mr. Neese said.