chart with 403(b) word on itIt's noteworthy that 403(b) plans were legislated in 1958,predating 401(k)s by 20 years. At that time, annuities were theonly allowable investment vehicles for 403(b) participants. The1958 legislation codified what was a savvy savings practice by afew charitable organizations into a tax law available for allnonprofit employees.(Photo: Shutterstock)

(Bloomberg Opinion) –How is it possible that two variations oftax-deferred retirement accounts, born of similar ideals andmotivations, have evolved into shockingly different animals?

I refer to 401(k) and 403(b) investment accounts. Despite being partof similar tax codes with nearly identical goals, in practice theportfolios of each bear little resemblance to each other. As aresult, millions of American teachers, among others, are retiringwith less in savings than they deserve.

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