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Our objective is to make life easy for all retirement plan stakeholders. We do our best to thoroughly explain the features and benefits of our smart retirement solutions. Sometimes, you may still have a question. Click on these Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) to get the information you need to understand why smart retirement solutions are best in class. 

  • What mutual funds are available?
    Aspire has access to a universe of over 20,000 mutual funds within over 400 fund families. Many plans are restricted to certain fund families by their school district or common remitter/TPA. You can find your choices in Review your Plan Investment Options on your school district's plan site.
  • Do I need to complete a new salary deferral agreement?
    Yes, the salary deferral agreement is required so your school district has the correct information to send your contributions for your new account.
  • Can I retain the financial advisor on my account?
    Yes, one of the advantages of using Aspire is that you may retain the services of your current financial advisor, or choose another one, as long as the school district does not have restrictions prohibiting advisors that service the plan.
  • Can I have an account without using a financial advisor?
    Yes, another advantage of using Aspire is that you can choose to self-direct your account, choosing whichever funds you wish from the approved list of fund families. Many participants have self-directed their account using fund companies with no-load options, and can continue to do so, often with the option of using fund families not available to them previously.
  • How do I access my account?
    Once your account is established, you will receive notification of your account number, and a PIN to access your account through our site, aspireonline.com. Once you have your login info, you can click Login then select Participant/Employee Login. Enter your account number and initial password that was provided to you in your welcome email. After you login please change your password in the My Info section of your account.
  • Will I receive account statements?
    As well as the online access, you will receive paper statements in the mail once every quarter.
  • Is Aspire paid "revenue sharing" from mutual fund companies?
    Certain mutual funds pay out part of their internal expenses to the investment providers, so in these cases, Aspire may receive some recompense from the fund company for providing these funds on their platform.
  • Where can I find an Enrollment Form?
    Once on the site, select “Plan Search”. This link will give you the option to select your State and Plan/District Name. Next, please click on Plan Details located under Quick Links. Here you can find your plan’s most current enrollment form.
  • Where do I send the completed Enrollment Forms?
    Fax to: 813.466.7523 Email to: enrollments@aspireonline.com Mail to: Aspire ATTN: Enrollments 4010 Boy Scout Boulevard Suite 500 Tampa, FL 33607
  • Why should we add Aspire as an investment provider to our Plan?
    Aspire is a recordkeeper that can act as an investment provider for a non-profit employer (district/college/church/NPO). We provide a platform that can support mutual fund solutions in a conflict-free environment. We do this by granting access to our platform to any investment firm.
  • What investments are available?
    Aspire, through its custodian, MG Trust Co. LLC, has access to over 400 fund families, limited only by request of the employer or their TPA for nominal custodial fees.
  • Will Aspire sign Information Sharing Agreements (ISA) from our district/college?
    Yes, Aspire will sign ISAs from employers, pending review of any extraordinary changes to standard documents.
  • Are information sharing agreements (ISA) necessary with the mutual fund investment companies within the Aspire platform?
    No, when Aspire signs an ISA with an employer, it covers access to any of the mutual fund families offered.
  • Will Aspire work with our appointed Third-Party Administrator (TPA) and or Common Remitter?
    Yes, Aspire will work with any TPA/common remitter, and has relationships with over 30 firms currently.
  • Does Aspire require that the Employer have a Third-Party Administer (TPA)?
    No, an employer can choose to do the administrative work on a plan. The employer should consult with IRS requirements regarding reporting responsibilities.
  • Does Aspire provide Third-Party Administration (TPA) services?
    No, Aspire does not provide TPA services, but can recommend a provider through our TPA network, if requested.
  • Can the Employer restrict investments?
    Yes, the employer has control over which investments are offered to employees by Aspire.
  • Can employees/participants retain the services of their existing financial advisor?
    Yes, the Aspire platform provides investment firms the ability to service their existing clients.
  • Are employees/participants required to have a financial advisor associated with their account?
    No, a participant can certainly self-direct their 403(b) account, if they so choose.
  • What are the fees to participants?
    Aspire charges a $40 account fee and a custody fee of 15 basis points (0.15%) of the account value annually for its recordkeeping services. These fees are assessed against the participant's accounts monthly. In most cases, up to $20 of the account fee is used to offset some or all of the TPA's fees.
  • How are contributions processed?
    Employers can remit contributions online through the employer section of the recordkeeping system. To complete the transaction, the employer uses the Processes functionality. Funds are transmitted by ACH.
  • Does the Employer have online access to view participants that elected to use Aspire?
    Yes, an employer can request online access to view all participants enrolled through Aspire in their plan.
  • Is Aspire authorized by my broker-dealer?
    Aspire creates a platform that can be used by any broker dealer or investment firm, pending approval by the sponsor. To ensure that financial advisors are paid properly, a broker dealer or registered investment advisor firm should sign a service agreement with both Aspire and the custodian, Matrix (MG Trust Company, LLC).
  • Do I need an agreement to use the Aspire platform?
    Financial advisors do not need individual agreements with Aspire; each enrollment form has an Authorized Agent form where the advisor will fill in their profile information and sign, and the participant will also sign, agreeing to the financial advisor's services on their account with Aspire.
  • How do I become approved to work in a Plan/District?
    A financial advisor can service participants in any district that does not prohibit their access. Most plans have an open firm policy, but some have limited access. To determine if a plan as an open firm policy go to Plan Search, locate the plan and refer to the Plan Details section. The Investment Firm Policy section indicates if the plan is open or has limited access. If the plan is open, the advisor can work with participants. If the plan has limited access, the financial advisor must get approval from the district to work with participants. To be listed on Find a Financial Advisor, the advisor must be a member of the Aspire 403(b) Advisor Network. To obtain information about joining the network, login to the InvestDesign Center and click on the Aspire 403(b) Advisor Network to obtain more information and how to join.
  • How do I complete the Account Investment Election form?
    In most cases, employers either do not limit the number of fund families accessible to a participant through Aspire, or names several fund families. Financial advisors, when filling in the Account Investment Election form, should keep these points in mind: Be consistent in share class, i.e., do not insert American Funds A shares and R3 shares on the same form. If you intend for fund shares to be load-waived, please note the ticker symbol as ABCX.
  • What funds are available?
    Aspire has access to a universe of over 20,000 mutual funds within over 400 fund families. Many plans are restricted to certain fund families by their district or TPA. If the plan has restricted the funds available it will be noted in the Review Your Plan Investment Options on a district's plan site within www.aspireonline.com. You should also consult your broker dealer as to which fund families you are authorized to offer. Use the Fund Search located in the advisor section of the site to determine if the funds are available on the Aspire platform.
  • Do you have annuities as investments?
    No, Aspire currently has available over 25,000 investment options that include mutual funds, exchange traded funds (ETFs) and also provides a stable value fund--the Guaranteed Interest Account offered by Prudential.
  • Are there share class restrictions?
    You may offer either A-class shares, or retirement shares, most commonly R shares. R shares do not have an associated load; advisors are paid by 12b-1 commissions contained in the funds internal expenses. A-class shares are not available as load-waived in some cases (i.e., American Funds); check with Aspire regarding situations where you choose to offer load-waived shares.
  • How do I get paid?
    Advisors are paid just as they would in normal circumstances; the broker dealer or registered investment advisor firm is paid, and payments flow through to the agent. Loaded shares are paid, as are the 12b-1 commissions, depending on share class chosen.
  • Is there online access for Financial Advisors?
    Yes. Once your first enrollment form is processed, you will receive an email from Aspire with their login info, granting you online access to any participant accounts that you are listed as authorized agent.
  • What level of access for advisors is provided? Can I change investments in my participant accounts?
    Advisors will have account view access online. Under normal circumstances, financial advisors will not have discretionary capabilities online or over the phone. In certain cases, where compliant with the policy of the financial advisor’s broker dealer, discretion can be granted, with written permission from the participant.
  • Can I transfer existing 403(b) accounts to my participants Aspire account?
    Yes, existing accounts may be transferred to the new Aspire account. There is a transfer form under each plan's Plan Details page, which would need to be filled out, as well as any delivering firm's required transfer form, and possibly a transfer form required by the third-party administrator. For American Funds transfers, a delivering firm form is not required.
  • Do you send statements to participants?
    Yes. Hard-copy statements are sent to participants on a quarterly basis. Participants can create and download statements online at any time.
  • Do advisors receive a copy of those statements?
    No. Financial advisors do not receive hard-copy statements, but do have online access to their participants' accounts. On-demand statements are available for any time period.
  • Are there any fee offsets?
    Yes, we will apply up to $20 of the $40 account fee to offset third-party administrator (TPA) / common remitter fees. The fee offset is dependent on each plan's fee arrangements with the TPA/Common Remitter.
  • Where can I find a 403(b) Enrollment Form?
    On the K-12 page of the 403(b) plan section go to Plan Search. This link will give you the option to select your State and Plan/District Name. Next, please click on Plan Details located under Quick Links. Here you can find your plan’s most current enrollment form.

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