Helping school employees of San Diego County, Riverside County, and Imperial County save for retirement.




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What is the Fringe Benefits Consortium (FBC)?


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 的nstitutional 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.


Who Is Involved?


  • San Diego County Office of Education


The San Diego County Office of Education sponsors the FBC.  The FBC offices are located within the County Office of Education.


  • Riverside County


Several school districts in Riverside County are members of the Fringe Benefits Consortium and those districts have access to the same FBC services as San Diego County districts.


  • Imperial County Office of Education


Several school districts in Imperial County are members of the Fringe Benefits Consortium and those districts have access to the same FBC services as San Diego County districts.


  • Fringe Benefits Consortium (FBC)


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痴 programs have saved school districts and their employees hundreds of thousands of dollars over the years.  The County Schools Fringe Benefits Consortium's webpage can be found at:


  • Empower Retirement


Empower Retirement specializes in servicing defined contribution retirement plans. Headquartered in Greenwood Village, Colorado, Empower represents 7.5 million participant accounts as of December 31, 2015. 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. Empower Retirement Plan Advisors


  • National Benefit Services, LLC (NBS)


National Benefit Services, LLC (NBS) is a benefit plan administration firm that was established in 1986 with offices in Rancho Bernardo, CA and West Jordan, UT.  NBS partners with the FBC and Empower Retire to assist in administering 403(b) and 457(b) plans in the continually evolving retirement landscape.  NBS expertise enables employees and school districts to more effectively manage their retirement plans and maintain compliance with IRS regulations.  A $1.50 per month is charged by NBS for each employee pro rata with an account balance in the plan.  NBS' website can be found at


New Final 403(b) Regulations Issued by IRS


On July 23, 2007 the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) issued final comprehensive regulations governing 403(b) plans for the first time in 43 years.  The general effective date of the regulations is January 1, 2009--although the effective date of some portions of the regulations is sooner.  We are working with our partner, National Benefit Services, LLC, to interpret the regulations and assess the implications for the Program.  A summary of the regulations is available here.  Additional information will be forthcoming.


Copyright ゥ 2002-2007 Risk Management JPA / Fringe Benefits Consortium

6401 Linda Vista Road, San Diego, CA 92111