I work at a state university and contribute to my 403(b) retirement account on a twice-monthly basis, maxing out the matching funds. I also contribute a smaller amount to another account, after matching funds.
My question is about the 403(b) account. I read nowadays about pensions being raided, specifically when state or local governments run out of money, and the government ends up inventing or interpreting laws in such a way that faceless corporations get paid before pension holders, regular people who end up effectively losing their retirement funds.
Given how many legal restrictions there are on withdrawing from my 403(b) account, as well as transferring funds from an old 403(b) account from one company (TIAA/CREF) to another (Fidelity), what is the likelihood of a state or local government that defaults on its bonds or other financial obligations ending up making use of my 403(b) funds (or the matching portion paid by the state government) to pay off corporate creditors, and thus effectively debiting at will from my retirement?
Can I trust that my 403(b) account won't get raided the way that pensions (like those in Detroit) have been raided?
- I have not stated anywhere in my question that a 403(b) is a pension; I am also not asking if a 403(b) is a pension
- I do not watch Fox News