403(b) is a TAX SHELTERED ANNUITY. As an annuity, it is a "retirement plan" that is offered to public school employees. The district sponsors the plan that is issued through an insurance company (a Washington licensed insurance agent). We, as a district, only allow a contract with a company if we have a minimum of five employees who wish to participate.
The plan 457 is a state sponsored "retirement plan" and can only be accessed through the DRS website, and forms are available in the Payroll Office.
Because they are both "retirement plans" there are limits as to when you can draw without penalty, role over rules, access with no penalty, etc. You may want to inquire direct to a tax advisor to go over your individual situation and what might work best for you.
All transactions for 403(b) vendors are handled through our third party administrator, TSA.