TIAA - Full POA *not* enough for all tasks any more - need "Guardianship" ??

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ResearchMed
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TIAA - Full POA *not* enough for all tasks any more - need "Guardianship" ??

Post by ResearchMed » Sat Jul 21, 2018 6:53 am

UPDATE: The following information/requirement may *not* be correct... still looking into it...

So... TIAA reps (2 of 'em) told us that a full PoA or any sort of agent authorization is NOT sufficient anymore for all access to the account information.

One must now have "guardianship"/"conservatorship" (terms used interchangeably by TIAA reps).
Yes, even if DH is fully competent.

I was having difficulty needing to keep resetting password with the "3 tries and you're out" happening regularly, no matter how carefully I typed. (I think we solved that problem at the computer level, but that's irrelevant.)

Point is, to get any website assistance, the fact that I was full agent (NEVER been challenged in any way before by TIAA) was not sufficient for me to get transferred to the other department.

DH had to identify himself, etc., and then "authorize me" yet again, even though I had passed the regular screening and discussed some financial figures, etc.
He expressed some annoyance, given that I was already fully authorized, and this had never happened before.

Both reps (one the front line; the other the "advanced website support") said this is relatively new.

Both of them reluctantly acknowledged that they did, in fact, "get it" about what "guardianship" (or "conservatorship") meant and when it was used.

When the web support person was discussing this, I started - again - to complain that "IF we go into a court and I request "guardianship" and my husband is standing there and says "That's fine with me, where do I sign..." the rep interrupted and said, "You can't do that if the other person isn't incapacitated!".
... to which I replied, "EXACTLY!" :oops:

Point is, they both claim that there is NO way for ME, as full agent, to get any website help with the account if, say, DH is out of town, or just in a meeting... IF he is "not incapacitated".

Is this really a new "thing" at TIAA?
IF so, is there a reason for this? And will this start happening at other financial institutions?

Or did two separate TIAA reps in two separate departments get this confused at the same time?

Note: At no time was I trying to withdraw/move money. I just needed log-in help with the website interface/interaction. And I *was* able to log in while they "watched", as I had re-set the password, yet again, before calling.

RM
Last edited by ResearchMed on Tue Jul 24, 2018 9:32 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: TIAA - Full POA *not* enough for all tasks any more - need "Guardianship" ??

Post by Yooper16 » Sat Jul 21, 2018 8:17 am

Sounds pretty normal to me and what you stated was my experience with my dad. He had a little spending problem at the "nudey bars" that was needed to be stopped.

POA didn't mean squat if he wasn't willing to go along with it and was able to undo whatever had been done.

We ended up in state sanctioned conservatorship where he voluntarily gave up his financial rights. He only voluntarily gave it up after his older sister came for a visit and read him the riot act. He did not need to be incapacitated, in fact reviews were done to determine that he was not being railroaded into doing this.

In Michigan, the conservatorship only covered financial functions. Guardianship covered all aspects, housing, healthcare, etc. I eventually, 4-5 years later became his guardian.

I still gave him money for the nudey bars, but at least he wasn't spending 10K per month or still buying the engagement ring for the 22 year old.

edited to add--- the sign in stuff and issues you had were very similar that DH had to do with his mothers accounts. She had to verbally authorize anything done on the phone.

Good Luck!

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Re: TIAA - Full POA *not* enough for all tasks any more - need "Guardianship" ??

Post by The Wizard » Sat Jul 21, 2018 8:40 am

I'm a little puzzled why POA or beyond is needed if DH is not presently incapacitated or in the early stages of losing it mentally.

What exactly is it that needs to be done on the TIAA website when DH is in a meeting or out of town? And why can't he do it himself in a few hours.

And I use the Android TIAA app on my smartphone most of the time. I log into my TIAA account in the app using my fingerprint and I could authorize additional fingerprints as I see fit.
I could rebalance my slice and dice equity allocation on my smartphone from Italy in coming weeks if I feel inclined.

So if you're thinking DH's affairs may eventually need full guardianship authority, I can understand that. But right now it seems that he does not. Have I interpreted correctly?
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Re: TIAA - Full POA *not* enough for all tasks any more - need "Guardianship" ??

Post by orlandoman » Sat Jul 21, 2018 8:52 am

A lot depends on State law, you need to check it.

Recently, had to use POA's in Virginia, for an ailing VA resident and in the Commonwealth of Virginia, it is illegal not to accept a power of attorney unless the person accepting it has reason to believe it is falsified. Took the POA to their Wells Fargo branch in VA, they had to email a copy to their legal department in another state, the bank I was at immediately called the legal depatment & within 5 minutes, I had been added to the account.
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Re: TIAA - Full POA *not* enough for all tasks any more - need "Guardianship" ??

Post by InMyDreams » Sat Jul 21, 2018 10:43 am

Well, this is discouraging.
What if the situation involved a durable financial power of attorney?

In the next year or three, I'll be considering where to move some 401k and 403b monies. I have a very favorable 403b TIAA contract with TIAA, and if I could, I would probably choose to add it to my TIAA 403b. But. I do worry about the things it does and its future directions.

You haven't posted this on M*'s TIAA forum?

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Re: TIAA - Full POA *not* enough for all tasks any more - need "Guardianship" ??

Post by The Wizard » Sat Jul 21, 2018 11:04 am

InMyDreams wrote:
Sat Jul 21, 2018 10:43 am
Well, this is discouraging.
What if the situation involved a durable financial power of attorney?

In the next year or three, I'll be considering where to move some 401k and 403b monies. I have a very favorable 403b TIAA contract with TIAA, and if I could, I would probably choose to add it to my TIAA 403b. But. I do worry about the things it does and its future directions.

You haven't posted this on M*'s TIAA forum?
The M* forums have been down for two days and running...
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Re: TIAA - Full POA *not* enough for all tasks any more - need "Guardianship" ??

Post by tibbitts » Sat Jul 21, 2018 11:07 am

This is a valid point because sometimes you lose website access (not necessarily to TIAA, I'm thinking about a pension plan that I recently lost web access to) through no fault of your own (not a result of losing passwords, etc.)n Luckily I think for the most part getting the sex correct on the phone is still usually sufficient to move on. Just don't use me to help - people keep confusing me with a woman on the phone.

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Re: TIAA - Full POA *not* enough for all tasks any more - need "Guardianship" ??

Post by tibbitts » Sat Jul 21, 2018 11:09 am

The Wizard wrote:
Sat Jul 21, 2018 11:04 am
InMyDreams wrote:
Sat Jul 21, 2018 10:43 am
Well, this is discouraging.
What if the situation involved a durable financial power of attorney?

In the next year or three, I'll be considering where to move some 401k and 403b monies. I have a very favorable 403b TIAA contract with TIAA, and if I could, I would probably choose to add it to my TIAA 403b. But. I do worry about the things it does and its future directions.

You haven't posted this on M*'s TIAA forum?
The M* forums have been down for two days and running...
Really? Wow. It works now in read-only mode but I haven't tried posting.

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Re: TIAA - Full POA *not* enough for all tasks any more - need "Guardianship" ??

Post by ResearchMed » Sat Jul 21, 2018 1:28 pm

InMyDreams wrote:
Sat Jul 21, 2018 10:43 am
Well, this is discouraging.
What if the situation involved a durable financial power of attorney?

In the next year or three, I'll be considering where to move some 401k and 403b monies. I have a very favorable 403b TIAA contract with TIAA, and if I could, I would probably choose to add it to my TIAA 403b. But. I do worry about the things it does and its future directions.

You haven't posted this on M*'s TIAA forum?
tibbitts wrote:
Sat Jul 21, 2018 11:07 am
This is a valid point because sometimes you lose website access (not necessarily to TIAA, I'm thinking about a pension plan that I recently lost web access to) through no fault of your own (not a result of losing passwords, etc.)n Luckily I think for the most part getting the sex correct on the phone is still usually sufficient to move on. Just don't use me to help - people keep confusing me with a woman on the phone.
Yeah... the problem is (at the least) if there is a login problem, they apparently will NOT help someone with full agent/DPoA authorization.
TIAA's system KEPT rejecting a new password, after it had been used once or twice at most. It kept forcing a re-set, and had been doing so for days.
Initially, my main concern about the problem was, what if the system stopped allowing me to reset the password at all...

What bothers me especially is what "else" will they NOT help with or allow a DPoA/authorized agent to do under the "new rules" unless they have "Guardianship/Conservatorship"... which isn't possible unless the account holder is already incapacitated... but isn't that what the DPoA is for?
The DURABLE part of the DPoA is precisely to avoid needing to get someone certified as incapacitated... the "power" continues from when the account holder is fully capable through any incapacity.
And obviously, a fully competent person cannot be declared incapacitated just so an agent can satisfy TIAA's sudden need for Guardianship/Conservatorship.

The rep would NOT have helped with the login problem at all, had DH not returned home just as I was starting to deal with this. In *this* case, no big problem. It could wait, as it was already after the market had just closed.

But not helping an authorized agent who is having difficulty logging on, unless that agent has full Guardianship/Conservatorship? Really?

DH was more ticked off than I expected. His entire reason of giving me full authorizations is because he DOES NOT WANT to have anything to do with the investments. (I insist upon occasionally discussing our overall progress. For occasional major moves as the possibility of actual retirement begins to loom, I also insist on "a little discussion", which he only does because it makes *me* feel better. He prefers to spend his time on "his work", which he cares deeply about.)

[Vanguard has their own silly rule that causes extra agent difficulty, but only for 403b accounts. It can't be due to ERISA rules, because neither Fidelity nor TIAA have the same policy: They disallow a full agent from *viewing* the holdings online or taking any actions. It's supposed to be done by CALLING and having a rep READ the agent each of the holdings and balances, or any recent transactions, etc. It's not even possible to verify online that the full amount is still there. But I digress...]

On Monday, I hope to be able to reach our WMA to ask exactly what ELSE is no longer allowed for a full agent/DPoA/etc., due to the "new rules".
We'd much rather understand this in advance, than encounter some problem unexpectedly if DH is unavailable.
However, refusing an agent assistance logging on, even after all of the various security questions were satisfied, seems inappropriate.
[tibbetts: right... if I could just speak to them in a lower register... They've never yet asked either of us a question we both couldn't answer.]

RM
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Re: TIAA - Full POA *not* enough for all tasks any more - need "Guardianship" ??

Post by The Wizard » Sat Jul 21, 2018 1:40 pm

tibbitts wrote:
Sat Jul 21, 2018 11:09 am
The Wizard wrote:
Sat Jul 21, 2018 11:04 am

The M* forums have been down for two days and running...
Really? Wow. It works now in read-only mode but I haven't tried posting.
You're right, it's back now...
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Re: TIAA - Full POA *not* enough for all tasks any more - need "Guardianship" ??

Post by ResearchMed » Sat Jul 21, 2018 2:12 pm

student wrote:
Sat Jul 21, 2018 2:00 pm
Did you use a generic POA or one from TIAA? Maybe you need one of these.

https://www.tiaa.org/public/pdf/paymentdestination.pdf

https://www.howardcm.com/forms/Variable ... zation.pdf
We've had the proper TIAA-CREF/now TIAA own forms completed for years, and there has *never* before been even the slightest hint that there was anything I couldn't do.

(The only possible exception would be removing money, but that can't be done anyway, not even by DH, until he retires or goes half time.)

Your link:
https://www.tiaa.org/public/pdf/paymentdestination.pdf
doesn't seem to work. I keep getting a:
"The requested URL /public/pdf/paymentdestination.pdf was not found on this server."

IF there are "new forms", no one has ever mentioned anything, and both of the two phone reps yesterday made it abundantly clear that no matter what, the "Guardianship/Conservatorship" would have been needed for me to get help with the login.

RM
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Re: TIAA - Full POA *not* enough for all tasks any more - need "Guardianship" ??

Post by student » Sat Jul 21, 2018 2:40 pm

ResearchMed wrote:
Sat Jul 21, 2018 2:12 pm
Your link:
https://www.tiaa.org/public/pdf/paymentdestination.pdf
doesn't seem to work. I keep getting a:
"The requested URL /public/pdf/paymentdestination.pdf was not found on this server."
Interesting. I just clicked on it and it worked. Hmm.

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Re: TIAA - Full POA *not* enough for all tasks any more - need "Guardianship" ??

Post by ResearchMed » Sat Jul 21, 2018 3:10 pm

student wrote:
Sat Jul 21, 2018 2:40 pm
ResearchMed wrote:
Sat Jul 21, 2018 2:12 pm
Your link:
https://www.tiaa.org/public/pdf/paymentdestination.pdf
doesn't seem to work. I keep getting a:
"The requested URL /public/pdf/paymentdestination.pdf was not found on this server."
Interesting. I just clicked on it and it worked. Hmm.
I tried again, and... it worked.
"Whatever", as the younger folks say...

I have no idea if this is identical to the TIAA-CREF forms that we filed some years ago, and never had any problem with before. I was able to move money around, among the various holdings, without ever encountering any problem, including over the phone, or get information of any sort... until this happened yesterday.
But I'm assuming it can't be "exact", because it uses "TIAA" rather than "TIAA-CREF".

RM
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Re: TIAA - Full POA *not* enough for all tasks any more - need "Guardianship" ??

Post by student » Sat Jul 21, 2018 6:26 pm

ResearchMed wrote:
Sat Jul 21, 2018 3:10 pm
student wrote:
Sat Jul 21, 2018 2:40 pm
ResearchMed wrote:
Sat Jul 21, 2018 2:12 pm
Your link:
https://www.tiaa.org/public/pdf/paymentdestination.pdf
doesn't seem to work. I keep getting a:
"The requested URL /public/pdf/paymentdestination.pdf was not found on this server."
Interesting. I just clicked on it and it worked. Hmm.
I tried again, and... it worked.
"Whatever", as the younger folks say...

I have no idea if this is identical to the TIAA-CREF forms that we filed some years ago, and never had any problem with before. I was able to move money around, among the various holdings, without ever encountering any problem, including over the phone, or get information of any sort... until this happened yesterday.
But I'm assuming it can't be "exact", because it uses "TIAA" rather than "TIAA-CREF".

RM
I believe TIAA-CREF is calling itself TIAA now.

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Re: TIAA - Full POA *not* enough for all tasks any more - need "Guardianship" ??

Post by ResearchMed » Sat Jul 21, 2018 6:31 pm

student wrote:
Sat Jul 21, 2018 6:26 pm
ResearchMed wrote:
Sat Jul 21, 2018 3:10 pm
student wrote:
Sat Jul 21, 2018 2:40 pm
ResearchMed wrote:
Sat Jul 21, 2018 2:12 pm
Your link:
https://www.tiaa.org/public/pdf/paymentdestination.pdf
doesn't seem to work. I keep getting a:
"The requested URL /public/pdf/paymentdestination.pdf was not found on this server."
Interesting. I just clicked on it and it worked. Hmm.
I tried again, and... it worked.
"Whatever", as the younger folks say...

I have no idea if this is identical to the TIAA-CREF forms that we filed some years ago, and never had any problem with before. I was able to move money around, among the various holdings, without ever encountering any problem, including over the phone, or get information of any sort... until this happened yesterday.
But I'm assuming it can't be "exact", because it uses "TIAA" rather than "TIAA-CREF".

RM
I believe TIAA-CREF is calling itself TIAA now.
I understand that it is "TIAA" now.

However, it was "TIAA-CREF" when we would have been signing the forms.
Therefore, the "TIAA" forms cannot possibly be completely identical to what we would have completed and signed.
Unless/until we retrieve the "TIAA-CREF" forms that we did file with them, from our files, I can't know if the rest of the form is the same or not.

RM
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student
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Re: TIAA - Full POA *not* enough for all tasks any more - need "Guardianship" ??

Post by student » Sat Jul 21, 2018 6:44 pm

ResearchMed wrote:
Sat Jul 21, 2018 6:31 pm
student wrote:
Sat Jul 21, 2018 6:26 pm
ResearchMed wrote:
Sat Jul 21, 2018 3:10 pm
student wrote:
Sat Jul 21, 2018 2:40 pm
ResearchMed wrote:
Sat Jul 21, 2018 2:12 pm
Your link:
https://www.tiaa.org/public/pdf/paymentdestination.pdf
doesn't seem to work. I keep getting a:
"The requested URL /public/pdf/paymentdestination.pdf was not found on this server."
Interesting. I just clicked on it and it worked. Hmm.
I tried again, and... it worked.
"Whatever", as the younger folks say...

I have no idea if this is identical to the TIAA-CREF forms that we filed some years ago, and never had any problem with before. I was able to move money around, among the various holdings, without ever encountering any problem, including over the phone, or get information of any sort... until this happened yesterday.
But I'm assuming it can't be "exact", because it uses "TIAA" rather than "TIAA-CREF".

RM
I believe TIAA-CREF is calling itself TIAA now.
I understand that it is "TIAA" now.

However, it was "TIAA-CREF" when we would have been signing the forms.
Therefore, the "TIAA" forms cannot possibly be completely identical to what we would have completed and signed.
Unless/until we retrieve the "TIAA-CREF" forms that we did file with them, from our files, I can't know if the rest of the form is the same or not.

RM
ok. Please let us know if and when the issue is resolved.

InMyDreams
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Re: TIAA - Full POA *not* enough for all tasks any more - need "Guardianship" ??

Post by InMyDreams » Sat Jul 21, 2018 10:43 pm

student wrote:
Sat Jul 21, 2018 6:44 pm
ok. Please let us know if and when the issue is resolved.
+1

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Re: TIAA - Full POA *not* enough for all tasks any more - need "Guardianship" ??

Post by Chip » Sun Jul 22, 2018 6:11 am

ResearchMed wrote:
Sat Jul 21, 2018 6:53 am
So... TIAA reps (2 of 'em) told us that a full PoA or any sort of agent authorization is NOT sufficient anymore for all access to the account information.
I think this is outrageous. My understanding of how a full POA should work is that you should be able to ACT as the person who granted the POA. Yes, the grantor can still act on their own, but the attorney-in-fact should be able to act as well. Including withdrawals!

I may be am cynical, but this is just CYA from TIAA. Maybe they can incorporate those letters into their name, replacing CREF. TIAA-CYA. :twisted:

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Re: TIAA - Full POA *not* enough for all tasks any more - need "Guardianship" ??

Post by Jack FFR1846 » Sun Jul 22, 2018 6:56 am

Are you just trying to "fight the power" here?

Accept that TIAA doesn't meet your needs anymore because of the new way they do business. Move the account somewhere that doesn't impede what you want to do.

I can tell you that Schwab is very helpful in situations like this. With a new account, my wife had to show them proof of identity, probably under the "know your customer" rules. While there, they asked if she wanted me to have access to her account and she told them yes. They gave here the proper forms which when filled out, her account showed under my page in my Schwab account, where I can fully control it, if needed.

This TIAA thing would have me moving the account (and all other accounts) out of there. If they can't get their act together, then they can play without me.
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Re: TIAA - Full POA *not* enough for all tasks any more - need "Guardianship" ??

Post by ResearchMed » Sun Jul 22, 2018 7:03 am

Chip wrote:
Sun Jul 22, 2018 6:11 am
ResearchMed wrote:
Sat Jul 21, 2018 6:53 am
So... TIAA reps (2 of 'em) told us that a full PoA or any sort of agent authorization is NOT sufficient anymore for all access to the account information.
I think this is outrageous. My understanding of how a full POA should work is that you should be able to ACT as the person who granted the POA. Yes, the grantor can still act on their own, but the attorney-in-fact should be able to act as well. Including withdrawals!

I may be am cynical, but this is just CYA from TIAA. Maybe they can incorporate those letters into their name, replacing CREF. TIAA-CYA. :twisted:
Although my complaint/question in this post was about TIAA, don't forget that Vanguard has apparently never recognized a "regular" PoA or DPoA. They *only* recognize their own "Agent Authorization" forms. And they continue to do this despite the recent Pennsylvania law prohibiting those who do business in Pennsylvania from requiring some other forms. (They - Vanguard senior reps - simply state that they have absolutely no intention of complying with the law, although initially they denied such a law existed, until we provided a copy. Is that "progress"??)

But it's not just the "form" (paper) that is the problem. Vanguard's agent authorization does NOT allow "full access" specifically with respect to retirement accounts such as 403b's (not sure about 401k's or other). Despite claims (here on BH) to the contrary, with respect to 403b accounts, a "full agent" can not do everything that would/should be possible with a DPoA.
Should "the worst" happen to the account holder, the "Agent" would need to go to court (or somehow start some legal procedures) to get access to the money. This is NOT what either DH or I want, and such a requirement obviates the purpose of a DPoA. We want the DPoA's to control access (no surprise). That's the entire point of the "D" = "Durable".
Vanguard is at least "consistent" in that they don't allow full access under a simple non-durable PoA, either :annoyed
It's "bad enough" that full access isn't granted while account owner is competent, but it can be devastating once the account holder is incapacitated... if one needs to first start legal proceedings to gain the very access that the DPoA was specifically intended to provide. The "Durable" is supposed to make the access transition seamless, without requiring physician documentation of incapacitation, never mind additional legal hurdles...

So it looks like TIAA has now "backed up" and is following something like Vanguard's "model", although we don't yet know just what TIAA now does/doesn't allow.
-->> It would have been "helpful" if TIAA had NOTIFIED account holders (especially those with the agent authorizations already on file) that the "powers" are now restricted by some "new rule".

Yes, I'll report back once I get clarification, preferably in a formal written document and not just an "email" from an individual, and certainly not just phone "discussion" from some relatively entry level phone reps...

RM
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Re: TIAA - Full POA *not* enough for all tasks any more - need "Guardianship" ??

Post by alrick » Sun Jul 22, 2018 7:09 am

While this requirement might be legitimate, it's just another example of the difficulties associated with doing business with TIAA. I moved all of my TIAA assets to Vanguard years ago largely because I was afraid of what my heirs would face when they had to deal with the TIAA mindset. I strongly recommend that you move the assets elsewhere.

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Re: TIAA - Full POA *not* enough for all tasks any more - need "Guardianship" ??

Post by student » Sun Jul 22, 2018 7:13 am

ResearchMed wrote:
Sun Jul 22, 2018 7:03 am
Although my complaint/question in this post was about TIAA, don't forget that Vanguard has apparently never recognized a "regular" PoA or DPoA. They *only* recognize their own "Agent Authorization" forms. And they continue to do this despite the recent Pennsylvania law prohibiting those who do business in Pennsylvania from requiring some other forms. (They - Vanguard senior reps - simply state that they have absolutely no intention of complying with the law, although initially they denied such a law existed, until we provided a copy. Is that "progress"??)
Interesting, I was thinking that maybe it is analogous to collecting state sales tax for another state. Wait. Vanguard is headquartered in Pennsylvania. I don't understand how they can do this.

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Re: TIAA - Full POA *not* enough for all tasks any more - need "Guardianship" ??

Post by ResearchMed » Sun Jul 22, 2018 7:32 am

Jack FFR1846 wrote:
Sun Jul 22, 2018 6:56 am
Are you just trying to "fight the power" here?

Accept that TIAA doesn't meet your needs anymore because of the new way they do business. Move the account somewhere that doesn't impede what you want to do.

I can tell you that Schwab is very helpful in situations like this. With a new account, my wife had to show them proof of identity, probably under the "know your customer" rules. While there, they asked if she wanted me to have access to her account and she told them yes. They gave here the proper forms which when filled out, her account showed under my page in my Schwab account, where I can fully control it, if needed.

This TIAA thing would have me moving the account (and all other accounts) out of there. If they can't get their act together, then they can play without me.
alrick wrote:
Sun Jul 22, 2018 7:09 am
While this requirement might be legitimate, it's just another example of the difficulties associated with doing business with TIAA. I moved all of my TIAA assets to Vanguard years ago largely because I was afraid of what my heirs would face when they had to deal with the TIAA mindset. I strongly recommend that you move the assets elsewhere.

We would LOVE to move it all to Schwab (although we'll probably always have at least relatively modest amounts of money at other vendor(s?) just in case of some lengthy computer snafu.
Schwab is where we've moved most of our IRA monies, and where we recently moved MIL's trust account.

But this isn't just academic (pun intended; we have retirement accounts through a university :wink: ). We can NOT move any of the significant 403b money to Schwab until DH retires.

Further, unless we want to forgo TIAA's Trad Annuity or TREA account entirely, we can't move that money out of TIAA, ever. Those cannot be held "elsewhere", the way mutual funds often can be. This also involves *my* 403b (although since I'm retired, I was already able to remove all but the Trad Ann and TREA).

And we are locked into TIAA's warm embrace for at least 9 years and a day, IF we decide to move everything, as that's the length of time it would take to remove all of the Trad Ann. TREA funds could be moved out of TREA and then out of TIAA immediately; that money could go to the 403b arms at Vanguard or Fidelity, which is where the majority of the 403b money is now held.

[Until several years ago, however, TIAA was the ONLY custodian possible, and that caused several significant problems such that we needed the assistance of both Employer and then SEC and NASD (now Finra). We'll never know if those events contributed to Employer's decision to minimize use of TIAA. The offerings there were significantly restricted when Vanguard and Fidelity were added. We were beyond delighted, of course. But there are still the Trad Ann and TREA holdings, and we don't want to ditch those.]

RM
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cas
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Re: TIAA - Full POA *not* enough for all tasks any more - need "Guardianship" ??

Post by cas » Sun Jul 22, 2018 7:47 am

I had something similar happen with TIAA maybe 18 months ago. My father has a slowly progressing dementia, and I have both general durable POA (the lawyer-drawn-up general document) and the TIAA-specific, on-TIAA-forms full agent/highest level authorization/whatever-TIAA-calls-it authorization for Dad's 403(b). Dad hasn't been able to handle financial matters for many years, but he still wouldn't qualify for having a court or doctor label him "incompetent" and needing a guardian/conservator (I say with the caveat that I Am Not a Lawyer, and we've never pursued it: Dad has enough understanding of things that he would die of humiliation if we did.)

I don't remember the exact details, but I ran into trouble with the 2 factor authentication I had set up on the account, bungled it 3 times in a row, and got locked out. I think the issue was that my computer "forgot" (during one of the OS patches or some such) that it was an authorized computer for his account, so 2-factor authentication was needed to re-authorize it, but then I was in one state with my computer, and the 2FA phone was my parents' phone in another state, and the time limit for getting the code from phone to computer was really short, and my parents aren't good with techie stuff, and we just couldn't get the 2FA completed within the time limit 3 times in a row.

Anyway ... same deal as ResearchMed: I called TIAA, they were happy enough to verify me as valid POA on the phone and talk to me about the account, but doing anything about getting the online access back in working order was a definite No Go zone. (Although - TIAA also never mentioned the guardian/conservator thing that they mentioned to ResearchMed.) I think they did offer to call Dad and work with him to get his account back in working order, but that is definitely something he wouldn't be capable of. And, in this case, I had some sympathy for them: even though I was explaining a true circumstance, I could definitely see how I sounded like a scammer trying to social engineer them. In any case ... the complete lock-out on the account expired by itself after a small number of days (they told me it would), and I just waited to do anything that required 2FA until one of my trips (on airplane) to my parents' house, had the necessary computer and phone right in front of me, and was able to set up the 2FA into a more workable configuration.

There is obviously a massive social collision arising:
- the growing reach, prevalence, and sophistication of the Bad Guy scammers due to the internet. (For a real life chilling example reported here on the bogleheads forum see: "Retirement Account Stolen by Identity Theft" viewtopic.php?f=2&t=228799 . It is a long thread, but if you skim through all the updates by the original poster, you'll get the gist of a long and disturbing tale.)
versus
-the growing prevalence of aging people encountering cognitive decline (ability to do finances goes long before a guardianship/conservatorship would be appropriate in probably the majority of cases?) who need family members - often out-of-state family members - to step in.

That is a bigger issue than I am ever going to be able to resolve battling with phone reps. (Sounds like a lawsuit/legislation/many years type of issue to me. Or, at the very least, a long argument between TIAA's IT/Information Security department(s) and some more human-oriented department dealing more daily with aging customers), but, at a lower level of trying to do what I can in the short term...

I did wonder if part of the issue was that I was logging in using my father's login/password. As far as I know, TIAA won't give an authorized agent (who has no other relationship with TIAA) their own login/password to use to manage their authorized-agent accounts, but I'm not 1000% sure on that. ResearchMed - do you know anything on that topic? (Were you logging in using your husband's login/password? Have you ever tried to pursue with TIAA whether they will give your own login/password that would allow you to see the accounts for which you have agent authorization?)

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Re: TIAA - Full POA *not* enough for all tasks any more - need "Guardianship" ??

Post by Chip » Sun Jul 22, 2018 8:01 am

ResearchMed wrote:
Sun Jul 22, 2018 7:03 am
Although my complaint/question in this post was about TIAA, don't forget that Vanguard has apparently never recognized a "regular" PoA or DPoA. They *only* recognize their own "Agent Authorization" forms.Vanguard is at least "consistent" in that they don't allow full access under a simple non-durable PoA, either :annoyed
[...]
It's "bad enough" that full access isn't granted while account owner is competent, but it can be devastating once the account holder is incapacitated... if one needs to first start legal proceedings to gain the very access that the DPoA was specifically intended to provide. The "Durable" is supposed to make the access transition seamless, without requiring physician documentation of incapacitation, never mind additional legal hurdles...
Absolutely.

I had a full authorization form on file at Vanguard for a relative during the decade before 2010. I was taking care of all of her Vanguard business during that period. Near the end of the decade she became incompetent. I had decided that a Roth conversion of some of her IRA assets was in her best interest. I attempted to open a Roth account for her and was told I couldn't do that without her informed consent/acknowledgement over the phone. I told them it was not possible due to her incompetence and that the authorization was supposed to "let me stand in her shoes" and act as her. They said no, that doesn't include opening new accounts. I escalated through a couple of supervisory levels. Eventually someone at some level agreed with me and I was allowed to open the account.

Based on what you've written it seems unlikely I'd get to open the account today.

Though I buy Vanguard ETFs, all of my accounts are at Fidelity. :P I haven't fully tested their Agent Authorization system yet but so far have not run into any roadblocks making transactions, Roth conversions, etc. for my wife.

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Re: TIAA - Full POA *not* enough for all tasks any more - need "Guardianship" ??

Post by student » Sun Jul 22, 2018 8:03 am

cas wrote:
Sun Jul 22, 2018 7:47 am
There is obviously a massive social collision arising:
- the growing reach, prevalence, and sophistication of the Bad Guy scammers due to the internet. (For a real life chilling example reported here on the bogleheads forum see: "Retirement Account Stolen by Identity Theft" viewtopic.php?f=2&t=228799 . It is a long thread, but if you skim through all the updates by the original poster, you'll get the gist of a long and disturbing tale.)
versus
-the growing prevalence of aging people encountering cognitive decline (ability to do finances goes long before a guardianship/conservatorship would be appropriate in probably the majority of cases?) who need family members - often out-of-state family members - to step in.
Thank you for the reminder and the post regarding your experience. I think it is a difficult act to balance fraud prevention and convenience for the customers.

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Re: TIAA - Full POA *not* enough for all tasks any more - need "Guardianship" ??

Post by dia » Mon Jul 23, 2018 6:50 am

It's amazing to me that these firms have all sorts of "security" in place resulting in keeping honest people from conducting legitimate business (even WITH all the proper authorizations in place). But then eventually you get notified that their systems have been hacked and the entire planet has your information. Maybe more time and effort should be spent on the latter.
What, Me Worry? --Alfred E. Neuman

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Re: TIAA - Full POA *not* enough for all tasks any more - need "Guardianship" ??

Post by 2015 » Mon Jul 23, 2018 3:05 pm

Jack FFR1846 wrote:
Sun Jul 22, 2018 6:56 am
Are you just trying to "fight the power" here?

Accept that TIAA doesn't meet your needs anymore because of the new way they do business. Move the account somewhere that doesn't impede what you want to do.

I can tell you that Schwab is very helpful in situations like this. With a new account, my wife had to show them proof of identity, probably under the "know your customer" rules. While there, they asked if she wanted me to have access to her account and she told them yes. They gave here the proper forms which when filled out, her account showed under my page in my Schwab account, where I can fully control it, if needed.

This TIAA thing would have me moving the account (and all other accounts) out of there. If they can't get their act together, then they can play without me.
This. I moved on from "TIAA" (I don't care what they call themselves, I call them Substandard) due to much dissatisfaction with them. Now all I have is a lousy TPA with only a few more transfers until I"m finished with them entirely. This is 2018 and the Age of Choice (Abundance), no reason for putting up with mediocrity anymore.

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ResearchMed
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Re: TIAA - Full POA *not* enough for all tasks any more - need "Guardianship" ??

Post by ResearchMed » Tue Jul 24, 2018 9:31 am

Temporary Update after reviewing form:

WMA advisor is stating that the regular TIAA Agent Authorization should indeed suffice, and this includes a Power of Attorney (which *seems* to be Durable).
(There does not seem to be a way to have a "non-durable" or springing Power with TIAA. That's not a problem for us, but... it's a choice that some might want.)

I have asked him to listen to the phone call, and again address the Guardian/Conservator "requirement", as stated by two separate reps.

The TIAA Form seems to allow the TIAA Participant to select, as Agent (PoA attached if that level desired) a variety of persons such as Spouse, Friend, Accountant, Attorney, *OR* a Guardian/Conservator.

Duh!

There seems to be no requirement (not even the ability to do so) to distinguish roles/access rights depending solely upon whether one is "which of the above categories", etc.

But a lot of good THAT does if the phone reps are ... totally clueless...

I'll update again when I have a more specific response.
So far, this WMA has been helpful without fail, including "fixing" some egregious mistakes that required unwinding "irreversible" investment actions that were taken only due to incorrect information.
(Thank goodness for phone recordings that really are "kept"!)

RM
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