What can I do with an annuity in a retirement plan?

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chambers136
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What can I do with an annuity in a retirement plan?

Post by chambers136 » Wed Nov 06, 2019 8:22 am

My wife has an annuity in a retirement plan held by TIAA Cref. It's a very small amount relative to our net worth, and ideally I'd like to roll it into her 401k at Fidelity and use the money to buy ETFs already held in the 401k. Is this possible, or does she need to call the custodian to find out? If so, would she call TIAA or Fidelity? She has no interest in dealing with financial issues, so I'd like to avoid her having to make calls if possible, at least until I have some understanding of what may be possible.
Thanks

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Mel Lindauer
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Re: What can I do with an annuity in a retirement plan?

Post by Mel Lindauer » Wed Nov 06, 2019 8:32 am

chambers136 wrote:
Wed Nov 06, 2019 8:22 am
My wife has an annuity in a retirement plan held by TIAA Cref. It's a very small amount relative to our net worth, and ideally I'd like to roll it into her 401k at Fidelity and use the money to buy ETFs already held in the 401k. Is this possible, or does she need to call the custodian to find out? If so, would she call TIAA or Fidelity? She has no interest in dealing with financial issues, so I'd like to avoid her having to make calls if possible, at least until I have some understanding of what may be possible.
Thanks
She can do a custodian to custodian rollover of the annuity to her Fidelity account. Let Fidelity do the work.

The only thing you need to consider is that there may be a surrender fee on the annuity. It's normally reduced each year she's held it until it eventually disappears after a designated number of years.

If it's close to an anniversary date, the fee may be reduced or eliminated on that date, so it may pay to do the rollover after that date. Otherwise, move on with the rollover and don't look back.
Best Regards - Mel | | Semper Fi

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Stinky
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Re: What can I do with an annuity in a retirement plan?

Post by Stinky » Wed Nov 06, 2019 9:06 am

Mel Lindauer wrote:
Wed Nov 06, 2019 8:32 am
chambers136 wrote:
Wed Nov 06, 2019 8:22 am
My wife has an annuity in a retirement plan held by TIAA Cref. It's a very small amount relative to our net worth, and ideally I'd like to roll it into her 401k at Fidelity and use the money to buy ETFs already held in the 401k. Is this possible, or does she need to call the custodian to find out? If so, would she call TIAA or Fidelity? She has no interest in dealing with financial issues, so I'd like to avoid her having to make calls if possible, at least until I have some understanding of what may be possible.
Thanks
She can do a custodian to custodian rollover of the annuity to her Fidelity account. Let Fidelity do the work.

The only thing you need to consider is that there may be a surrender fee on the annuity. It's normally reduced each year she's held it until it eventually disappears after a designated number of years.

If it's close to an anniversary date, the fee may be reduced or eliminated on that date, so it may pay to do the rollover after that date. Otherwise, move on with the rollover and don't look back.
This.

In order to get it into her 401(k), she might need to have Fidelity do a two step process. First, roll to an IRA. Then, roll the IRA into the 401(k) - that is, assuming that the 401(k) plan accepts roll-in money.
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chambers136
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Re: What can I do with an annuity in a retirement plan?

Post by chambers136 » Wed Nov 06, 2019 11:12 am

Thanks! This give me a good starting point

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Re: What can I do with an annuity in a retirement plan?

Post by galawdawg » Wed Nov 06, 2019 11:24 am

chambers136 wrote:
Wed Nov 06, 2019 8:22 am
My wife has an annuity in a retirement plan held by TIAA Cref. It's a very small amount relative to our net worth, and ideally I'd like to roll it into her 401k at Fidelity and use the money to buy ETFs already held in the 401k. Is this possible, or does she need to call the custodian to find out? If so, would she call TIAA or Fidelity? She has no interest in dealing with financial issues, so I'd like to avoid her having to make calls if possible, at least until I have some understanding of what may be possible.
Thanks
Your wife may want to reach out to TIAA by sending a secure message online through her account access and find out what her withdrawal/rollover options are. Some TIAA retirement plans do not permit a "lump sum" rollover to an IRA but require that you do a transfer payout annuity (TPA) to rollover the account to the IRA in ten annual installments.

Here is a link to the forms for the various withdrawal and rollover options: https://www.tiaa.org/public/support/for ... -money-out

jimishooch
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Re: What can I do with an annuity in a retirement plan?

Post by jimishooch » Wed Nov 06, 2019 2:40 pm

start with the 401k administrator for instructions and then to TIAA...
good luck
jim

donall
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Re: What can I do with an annuity in a retirement plan?

Post by donall » Wed Nov 06, 2019 7:56 pm

jimishooch wrote:
Wed Nov 06, 2019 2:40 pm
start with the 401k administrator for instructions and then to TIAA...
good luck
jim
Often for annuities, the spouse will have to sign a paper allowing the transfer. Trustee to trustee transfers may also not happen, rather you may get a check in the mail.

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Re: What can I do with an annuity in a retirement plan?

Post by grabiner » Wed Nov 06, 2019 8:28 pm

Mel Lindauer wrote:
Wed Nov 06, 2019 8:32 am
The only thing you need to consider is that there may be a surrender fee on the annuity. It's normally reduced each year she's held it until it eventually disappears after a designated number of years.
TIAA annuities don't have a surrender fee.

However, you will have to check the employer's rules about withdrawals. I had several old TIAA-CREF accounts from previous academic jobs which I wanted to roll over. Most could just be rolled into a Vanguard IRA, which took about a week. One institution required my spouse's approval (and accepted my certification that I didn't have a spouse). Another one would not allow me to withdraw the employer match until I turned 55, so I still have that account.
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