Many plans allow participants to direct the investment of their plan balances among a menu of investment options (for example, separate account investments in a variable annuity contract). Some arrangements also allow participants to move all or some of their account or contract balances to other financial institutions that offer 403(b) custodial accounts or annuity contracts, regardless of whether the account or contract receives contributions from the employer.
These transactions, generally referred to as exchanges, are not subject to current income tax so long as the receiving contract or account includes distribution restrictions at least as stringent as the old contract or account and if:
- the receiving account or contract is part of the employer's plan, or
- your employer has entered into an information sharing agreement with the receiving 403(b) vendor.
The information sharing agreements are intended to assist the employer and the employee to comply with 403(b) requirements.
Please keep in mind that your employer's plan must specifically provide for exchanges for them to be available under the 403(b) funding contract or account.
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