A Guide to Public School Plans 403(b) and 457(b)

On July 26, 2007, the IRS released final 403(b) regulations for public school employee retirement plans. The final rules represent a significant increase in administrative responsibility for school superintendents. For the first time, superintendents will assume full responsibility for administering public school systems’ retirement savings plans. The regulations, which are published in the July 26 Federal Register will, for the most part, take effect on Jan. 1, 2009.

The AASA Center for System Leadership has developed a cutting-edge toolkit to help school leaders effectively implement the final regulations. The toolkit, Blueprints: A Guide to Public School Plans 403(b) and 457(b), provides easy-to-use tools and IRS materials to assist schools in understanding what is required to comply with the final regulations. The toolkit is made possible by grants from AIG Retirement, AXA Equitable, Horace Mann Companies and ING. Please log in below to access this toolkit.

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Download the complete toolkit (PDF).

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Letter to Superintendents from Paul D. Houston (PDF) –AASA’s executive director explains why the AASA Center for System Leadership developed the Blueprints project for all superintendents in America.

Introduction to Blueprints (PDF) – What is Blueprints and how can you use the toolkit? Includes a glossary of terms and general provisions related to 403(b) and 457(b) plan administration.

Wall Chart

Blueprints Wall Chart (PDF) – A unique flowchart that graphically depicts six chronological steps for building a 403(b) plan for a school system. Includes clear, concise step-by-step information for developing a 403(b) plan.


The following tools accompany the Blueprints Wall Chart, the Glossary of Terms and the General Provisions. Some are sample documents you can use to correspond with employees and product providers about your 403(b) plan. The IRS Model Plan Language document is included to assist you in formatting your 403(b) plan.

  • Sample Request for Information Survey A (Word)
  • Sample Request for Information Survey B (Word)
  • Sample Records Retention and Maintenance Checklist (Word)
  • IRS Hot Issues: 403(b) and 457(b) Comparison Chart (PDF)
  • Sample Service Provider Agreement A (Word)
  • Sample Service Provider Agreement B (PDF)
  • Sample 403(b) Employee Notice of Eligibility (Word)
  • Sample Employee Letter A (Word)
  • Sample Employee Letter B (Word)
  • Sample Letter to Product Providers (Word)
  • Links to IRS Resources for School Administrators and Employees (Word)
  • IRS Model Plan Language (PDF)

Download the complete toolkit (PDF).

To Order a Copy of the Toolkit
Download the order form (PDF) to receive a copy of the Blueprints toolkit, including a step-by-step wall chart, glossary, general provisions, a Tools You Can Use CD-ROM with sample forms, IRS links and more.




Additional Resources:

About the Superintendents Knowledge Series
This series provides professional development programs through strategic partnerships to deliver just-in-time support on hot topics, meeting critical needs of school system leaders and framing issues in terms of systemic thinking.

For More Information
Please contact MaryAnn Jobe at AASA.