Trying to transfer a Roth IRA and this Medallion Signature requirement is driving me nuts!

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41fan
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Trying to transfer a Roth IRA and this Medallion Signature requirement is driving me nuts!

Post by 41fan » Wed Mar 15, 2017 3:57 pm

Hi all, new guy here.

I have a Roth IRA that has been at a broker for 20 years, and now am trying to transfer it to Vanguard. The Vanguard paperwork said to check and see whether the current institution requires a "Medallion Signature" in order to process the transfer. This is a new and unfamiliar thing to me. I called the current institution where my Roth IRA is held, and the lady who answered the phone said they do require it for account transfers.

The current brokerage is not local to me, so I go to the local branch of my bank where my checking account and mortgage is held. They said no one in that branch has a Medallion signature, but gave me the number of an officer at another branch who has one.

I called him up on the phone. He said the bank has tightened up their rules and he is only allowed to use it his clients or on other investment clients of that bank (which I am not).

So I am at a loss... where do I go to get a Medallion Signature on this Vanguard paperwork, when neither the current brokerage nor the eventual future brokerage have local offices to me, and my local bank where I hold accounts can't do it either?

Frustrated...

ved
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Re: Trying to transfer a Roth IRA and this Medallion Signature requirement is driving me nuts!

Post by ved » Wed Mar 15, 2017 4:05 pm

You are a client/ customer of a bank - not a specific branch (even if you regularly conduct business with a specific branch).

If another branch of a bank where you have accounts has an officer that can provide a medallion signature, then he/she should be able to provide that guarantee. If he/she is not willing to, ask to speak to the branch manager and take it up from there.

And, all that the signature (similar to a notary) is that they are guaranteeing that you are signing the document, not that any info on that is accurate.

NotWhoYouThink
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Re: Trying to transfer a Roth IRA and this Medallion Signature requirement is driving me nuts!

Post by NotWhoYouThink » Wed Mar 15, 2017 4:08 pm

Medallion signatures can be a pain, but you may be able to get by without it.

I transferred an IRA from Schwab to Vanguard without one. I did have to register for the Vanguard voice verification feature. So if Vanguard contacts the institution that holds your IRA, they might release it without the Medallion signature.

I've heard Wells Fargo banks (not available here) and BOA provide Medallion signatures, so you might be able to open an account at one of those and keep it long enough to get the signature and whatever bonus they offer for opening an account.

Good luck.

furwut
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Re: Trying to transfer a Roth IRA and this Medallion Signature requirement is driving me nuts!

Post by furwut » Wed Mar 15, 2017 4:09 pm

I hear your pain. Institutions have pretty much stopped giving out these guarantees to all but their best customers. If I had to get one today I, too, wouldn't know where to go.

One possible work around - maybe go the hard route and do the 60-day rollover?
60-day rollover – If a distribution from an IRA or a retirement plan is paid directly to you, you can deposit all or a portion of it in an IRA or a retirement plan within 60 days. Taxes will be withheld from a distribution from a retirement plan (see below), so you’ll have to use other funds to roll over the full amount of the distribution.

NotWhoYouThink
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Re: Trying to transfer a Roth IRA and this Medallion Signature requirement is driving me nuts!

Post by NotWhoYouThink » Wed Mar 15, 2017 4:12 pm

ved wrote:You are a client/ customer of a bank - not a specific branch (even if you regularly conduct business with a specific branch).

If another branch of a bank where you have accounts has an officer that can provide a medallion signature, then he/she should be able to provide that guarantee. If he/she is not willing to, ask to speak to the branch manager and take it up from there.

And, all that the signature (similar to a notary) is that they are guaranteeing that you are signing the document, not that any info on that is accurate.
At my local bank, it's not good enough to be a customer, you have to be a private banking customer, which I am not because I don't want to pay fees to get special treatment. I think that's the case at OP's bank, too. Not good enough to have an account, you have to have the right kind of account.

And a Medallion is a much bigger deal than a Notary. The notary just verifies that I am NotWhoYouThink. The MSG also guarantees that NotWhoYouThink is authorized to sign this document and approve this transaction, and if YourWorstNightmare comes by the bank later and proves NotWhoYouThink was not authorized to approve the transaction but the bank allowed it anyway, then the bank is liable to pay back the funds. They take it pretty seriously.

retiredjg
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Re: Trying to transfer a Roth IRA and this Medallion Signature requirement is driving me nuts!

Post by retiredjg » Wed Mar 15, 2017 4:19 pm

As mentioned, you are the customer of the bank, not the branch. You should shake that tree again. If necessary, go up the line.

If that fails, contact your current broker and tell them you have tried ____ times to get the signature and you are unable to get one because you do not have an account anywhere that will issue one. Tell them you want to move your money and ask them how to get it done. if you have made an honest effort to get the signature and failed, keep escalating until you talk to someone who can help you.

If you simply MUST do the 60 day rollover, do it. Since it is a Roth IRA there should not be any taxes withheld, but make sure that actually happens.

NotWhoYouThink
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Re: Trying to transfer a Roth IRA and this Medallion Signature requirement is driving me nuts!

Post by NotWhoYouThink » Wed Mar 15, 2017 4:20 pm

I can't for the life of me figure out why an institution would write a check for a rollover without a MSG, but would not do a custodian to custodian transfer. So if they would write you a check, there should be a way to get them to do a transfer.

livesoft
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Re: Trying to transfer a Roth IRA and this Medallion Signature requirement is driving me nuts!

Post by livesoft » Wed Mar 15, 2017 4:25 pm

It's a Roth IRA, so do an indirect rollover. That is, cash it out and the put the money within 60 days into Vanguard. Just make sure Vanguard knows that your new check that you write is NOT a contribution.
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The Wizard
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Re: Trying to transfer a Roth IRA and this Medallion Signature requirement is driving me nuts!

Post by The Wizard » Wed Mar 15, 2017 4:29 pm

NotWhoYouThink wrote:I can't for the life of me figure out why an institution would write a check for a rollover without a MSG, but would not do a custodian to custodian transfer. So if they would write you a check, there should be a way to get them to do a transfer.
It's pretty clear that they simply are trying to make it difficult for people to move funds to a new custodian...
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41fan
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Re: Trying to transfer a Roth IRA and this Medallion Signature requirement is driving me nuts!

Post by 41fan » Wed Mar 15, 2017 4:29 pm

NotWhoYouThink wrote:
At my local bank, it's not good enough to be a customer, you have to be a private banking customer, which I am not because I don't want to pay fees to get special treatment. I think that's the case at OP's bank, too. Not good enough to have an account, you have to have the right kind of account.

And a Medallion is a much bigger deal than a Notary. The notary just verifies that I am NotWhoYouThink. The MSG also guarantees that NotWhoYouThink is authorized to sign this document and approve this transaction, and if YourWorstNightmare comes by the bank later and proves NotWhoYouThink was not authorized to approve the transaction but the bank allowed it anyway, then the bank is liable to pay back the funds. They take it pretty seriously.
My experiences today mirror what you say. I have a checking account and a mortgage with this local bank, and have had accounts there for 20 years or more. But I am not an INVESTMENT client, i.e., they don't do wealth management services for me. Apparently, the bank has tightened down on letting these signatures go out for anybody who ask. because the Medallion Signature giver is taking on what could be a huge liability - basically insuring that 41fan is who he says he is. The way it was explained to me, the Medallion Signature giver is insuring the transaction in that if I turn out to not be who I say, then the Signer is guaranteeing the balance that was lost. No wonder no one wants to sign.

The guy at my bank suggested I call someone at another brokerage (involve a 3rd brokerage in this?!?) Why in the world would a Merrill Lynch be willing to take on the liability if my transfer got screwed up? Since they are neither the current broker or the receiving broker?

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Re: Trying to transfer a Roth IRA and this Medallion Signature requirement is driving me nuts!

Post by Silk McCue » Wed Mar 15, 2017 4:31 pm

I would call your broker back and ask again. Tell them that you have no way to get a Medallion and push it up the chain if they say they do. Otherwise have them send you the check made out to you and then send without endorsing to Vanguard with the account number where the funds are to be placed. Vanguard can provide any additional details. I just did this. John Hancock didn't require a Medallion but Vanguard said handling the transfer was going to take weeks and suggested I go this route if I wanted it done faster.

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El Greco
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Re: Trying to transfer a Roth IRA and this Medallion Signature requirement is driving me nuts!

Post by El Greco » Wed Mar 15, 2017 4:32 pm

This may not be the answer you are looking for, but I think your main problem here is Vanguard. Recently, I transferred both mine and my wife's Roth IRAs from Janus. Mine was transferred to Vanguard. My wife's was transferred to Fidelity. My transfer to Vanguard was excruciatingly complicated and took 2 months. My wife's was as smooth as silk and took 2 days. For mine, Vanguard required a Medallion signature, a raft of physical paperwork, plus I had to liquidate my Janus funds because they would not transfer them "in kind". I had to make several phone calls and emails to Vanguard to effect the transfer and it was literally a comedy of errors till the money got there. In the meantime my money sat in cash, not invested for TWO months.

My wife's experience transferring to Fidelity was completely different. She merely walked into the local Fidelity office with a copy of her latest Janus statement. A very competent representative made copies of the statement, did all of the necessary paperwork, had my wife sign it and it was done. 20 minutes at most. Within 2 days her funds were transferred in kind from Janus. A couple of weeks later we exchanged them for Fidelity funds, online. Easy-Peasy.

Vanguard has great funds but their customer service and procedures leave much to be desired. Fidelity's customer service is great and their funds are pretty good too. YMMV

z-man
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Re: Trying to transfer a Roth IRA and this Medallion Signature requirement is driving me nuts!

Post by z-man » Wed Mar 15, 2017 4:35 pm

When I had to get mine done I was able to get it done @ CapitalOne. Currently hold a few accounts there. Just needed to call ahead and make sure that the medallion signature person was there.

These banks are down right fools turning away their own customers. I would close my accounts and move them if they refused to do it. But that's just me.

Big Dog
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Re: Trying to transfer a Roth IRA and this Medallion Signature requirement is driving me nuts!

Post by Big Dog » Wed Mar 15, 2017 4:38 pm

Had a similar problem when my mother passed away last year and I wanted to transfer her POD account to me. Her full retail broker (national name) refused without a medallion. So I wrote a very nice -- and tert -- letter to the CEO and explained how/why their internal policies were prohibiting from receiving my money. (And I hinted that the SEC would probably have an issue with that.)

I received a call from the General Counsel within the week and she said that she would personally walk down to Ops and approve my transfer.

Sure, I could done another work around, but this was more to the point. The GC even admitted to me on the phone that her firm was in process of changing their rules for Medallions bcos they have become so hard to get.
Last edited by Big Dog on Wed Mar 15, 2017 4:39 pm, edited 1 time in total.

retiredjg
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Re: Trying to transfer a Roth IRA and this Medallion Signature requirement is driving me nuts!

Post by retiredjg » Wed Mar 15, 2017 4:38 pm

NotWhoYouThink wrote:I can't for the life of me figure out why an institution would write a check for a rollover without a MSG, but would not do a custodian to custodian transfer. So if they would write you a check, there should be a way to get them to do a transfer.
I think it has to do with sending the check to your address they have on file. I suppose there is more danger doing a trustee to trustee transfer because someone else could be moving your money.

Yes, I know someone else could snatch the check before you get it but there is no way around that. They have to be able to send money to the address you have given them.

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Ged
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Re: Trying to transfer a Roth IRA and this Medallion Signature requirement is driving me nuts!

Post by Ged » Wed Mar 15, 2017 4:55 pm

NotWhoYouThink wrote:

I've heard Wells Fargo banks (not available here) and BOA provide Medallion signatures, so you might be able to open an account at one of those and keep it long enough to get the signature and whatever bonus they offer for opening an account.
Wells Fargo will provide Medallion signature guarantees at some branches, but they are a pain about it. I did it to gain authorization to make changes to my wife's Fidelity account. They require that you have been an account holder for at least 60 days, furthermore they require disclosure of the financial details of what they are guaranteeing, and they use your visit as an opportunity to give you a sales pitch for their investment services and of course their credit cards.

Yeeesh.

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Re: Trying to transfer a Roth IRA and this Medallion Signature requirement is driving me nuts!

Post by PEMdoc » Wed Mar 15, 2017 5:00 pm

41fan wrote:Hi all, new guy here.

I have a Roth IRA that has been at a broker for 20 years, and now am trying to transfer it to Vanguard. The Vanguard paperwork said to check and see whether the current institution requires a "Medallion Signature" in order to process the transfer. This is a new and unfamiliar thing to me. I called the current institution where my Roth IRA is held, and the lady who answered the phone said they do require it for account transfers.

The current brokerage is not local to me, so I go to the local branch of my bank where my checking account and mortgage is held. They said no one in that branch has a Medallion signature, but gave me the number of an officer at another branch who has one.

I called him up on the phone. He said the bank has tightened up their rules and he is only allowed to use it his clients or on other investment clients of that bank (which I am not).

So I am at a loss... where do I go to get a Medallion Signature on this Vanguard paperwork, when neither the current brokerage nor the eventual future brokerage have local offices to me, and my local bank where I hold accounts can't do it either?

Frustrated...
I was attempting to transfer a large account to Vanguard, and I was initially told I needed a Medallion. I basically pushed back (similar situation to you, no physical location near me) and said that was not going to work from me. The rep then said that the Medallion was only needed for a transfer over a specific amount and I could do partial transfers under that amount without requiring a Medallion. Not sure if it works for all cases and I'm still waiting for it all to happen (it's been a bit of a PITA... kind of wishing I'd gone with Fidelity at this point), but it may be an option for you.

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Re: Trying to transfer a Roth IRA and this Medallion Signature requirement is driving me nuts!

Post by Kevin M » Wed Mar 15, 2017 5:18 pm

El Greco wrote:This may not be the answer you are looking for, but I think your main problem here is Vanguard.
Not correct. It is the sending broker that is requiring the signature guarantee, not Vanguard.
Mine was transferred to Vanguard. <snip> For mine, Vanguard required a Medallion signature <snip>
This does not sound correct either. It's the sending custodian that sometimes requires a signature guarantee. The receiving custodian is not the one at risk.

I have done a number of IRA transfers into (and out of) Vanguard, and a signature guarantee has never been required.

Of all the IRA transfers I've done between many financial institutions, the only one that ever required a signature guarantee on an outbound transfer was Ally Bank, and they have since dropped this requirement. Ally Bank was happy to receive a number of inbound IRA transfers with no signature guarantee.

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retiredjg
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Re: Trying to transfer a Roth IRA and this Medallion Signature requirement is driving me nuts!

Post by retiredjg » Wed Mar 15, 2017 5:32 pm

A cautionary note....if you elect the 60 day rollover, you are only allowed to do this once in a 12 month period.

Silence Dogood
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Re: Trying to transfer a Roth IRA and this Medallion Signature requirement is driving me nuts!

Post by Silence Dogood » Wed Mar 15, 2017 5:57 pm

I know that DCU does Medallion Signature Guarantees (you have to be a member).
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ff4930
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Re: Trying to transfer a Roth IRA and this Medallion Signature requirement is driving me nuts!

Post by ff4930 » Wed Mar 15, 2017 6:37 pm

I was able to transfer my IRA from Betterment to Vanguard without one. It all depends on your provider. I would call them up and see if they require one.

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Re: Trying to transfer a Roth IRA and this Medallion Signature requirement is driving me nuts!

Post by 41fan » Wed Mar 15, 2017 6:41 pm

ff4930 wrote:I was able to transfer my IRA from Betterment to Vanguard without one. It all depends on your provider. I would call them up and see if they require one.
I did call. The lady that answered said they do, but from the sound of experiences in this thread, maybe that answer isn't ironclad or can be changed.

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Re: Trying to transfer a Roth IRA and this Medallion Signature requirement is driving me nuts!

Post by Dottie57 » Wed Mar 15, 2017 6:54 pm

El Greco wrote:This may not be the answer you are looking for, but I think your main problem here is Vanguard. Recently, I transferred both mine and my wife's Roth IRAs from Janus. Mine was transferred to Vanguard. My wife's was transferred to Fidelity. My transfer to Vanguard was excruciatingly complicated and took 2 months. My wife's was as smooth as silk and took 2 days. For mine, Vanguard required a Medallion signature, a raft of physical paperwork, plus I had to liquidate my Janus funds because they would not transfer them "in kind". I had to make several phone calls and emails to Vanguard to effect the transfer and it was literally a comedy of errors till the money got there. In the meantime my money sat in cash, not invested for TWO months.

My wife's experience transferring to Fidelity was completely different. She merely walked into the local Fidelity office with a copy of her latest Janus statement. A very competent representative made copies of the statement, did all of the necessary paperwork, had my wife sign it and it was done. 20 minutes at most. Within 2 days her funds were transferred in kind from Janus. A couple of weeks later we exchanged them for Fidelity funds, online. Easy-Peasy.

Vanguard has great funds but their customer service and procedures leave much to be desired. Fidelity's customer service is great and their funds are pretty good too. YMMV

I had the same experience at fidelity.

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Re: Trying to transfer a Roth IRA and this Medallion Signature requirement is driving me nuts!

Post by Jack FFR1846 » Wed Mar 15, 2017 6:56 pm

NotWhoYouThink wrote:I can't for the life of me figure out why an institution would write a check for a rollover without a MSG, but would not do a custodian to custodian transfer. So if they would write you a check, there should be a way to get them to do a transfer.

I have never in my life had to get an MSG for anything, including moving over a quarter mil to Vanguard. I've rolled at least 10 large retirement accounts someplace else over the years. It does sound like the OP has a problem with the "from" company, not Vanguard.

OP, do you live anywhere near a Digital Credit Union? (DCU) They will do free MSGs for members (as well as notary, US Savings bond cashing etc...you know, all the things banks used to do?)
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Re: Trying to transfer a Roth IRA and this Medallion Signature requirement is driving me nuts!

Post by krow36 » Wed Mar 15, 2017 7:12 pm

I was with a relative who was moving a SIMPLE IRA account from American Funds to Vanguard. The broker was Edward Jones and wasn't involved in the move. In a 3 way phone call with VG and AF, AF said they do not require a MSG for transfers under 250k. VG's form has a space for the MSG but it seems to me that it's there for the possibility that the "from" institution requires it.

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Re: Trying to transfer a Roth IRA and this Medallion Signature requirement is driving me nuts!

Post by Kevin M » Wed Mar 15, 2017 7:33 pm

krow36 wrote:VG's form has a space for the MSG but it seems to me that it's there for the possibility that the "from" institution requires it.
This is exactly right. It even says on the form:
If your current
financial institution
requires a Medallion
signature guarantee,
DO NOT sign this
form until you’re in
the presence of an
authorized officer.
Note the reference to "current financial institution", which is the one you're transferring FROM. The form is for doing transfers TO Vanguard.

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Re: Trying to transfer a Roth IRA and this Medallion Signature requirement is driving me nuts!

Post by stlutz » Wed Mar 15, 2017 7:49 pm

Reading the original post, no problem has actually occurred yet. I would just fill out the transfer form (w/o signature guarantee) and send it into Vanguard and let them request the transfer. Nobody you have talked to on the phone is actually responsible at the sending broker for processing transfers. They may require one in your case; they might not. Your transfer hasn't actually been denied. If they do, then Vanguard will contact you.

If they do, ask them for a proposed solution since you are unable to get one at local bank. They may have options aside from the two I would suggest:

a) the 60 day rollover option where you have the old broker provide you a check (as others have suggested)
b) setting up an account a broker who has local office who can provide you signature guarantee (e.g. Fidelity, Schwab etc.). You can do low-cost investing multiple places after all. This option presumes that you live in/near a city where there are such local offices.

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Re: Trying to transfer a Roth IRA and this Medallion Signature requirement is driving me nuts!

Post by El Greco » Wed Mar 15, 2017 11:04 pm

I have never in my life had to get an MSG for anything, including moving over a quarter mil to Vanguard. I've rolled at least 10 large retirement accounts someplace else over the years. It does sound like the OP has a problem with the "from" company, not Vanguard.
I beg to differ. I made 2 small transfers to Vanguard in the last 2 years and both times Vanguard required a medallion signature. One transaction (as I described before) was moving a Roth IRA from Janus. The Vanguard reps told me that Janus required the medallion signature. After excessive delays in completing the transfer, I found out from Janus that they had no such requirement. It mystifies me why Vanguard made me go to the trouble of getting one. Another transaction Vanguard made me get a Medallion signature for was in transferring some shares of a GNMA fund from my father's Transfer on Death account at Vanguard to my account at Vanguard. No other brokerage required this for similar transfers. That being said, I think it is actually Vanguard making life difficult for you. BTW, both times I required a medallion signature I obtained it from TDBank where I have small account. They are very accommodating for most banking transactions and are a pleasure to deal with.

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Re: Trying to transfer a Roth IRA and this Medallion Signature requirement is driving me nuts!

Post by kramer » Thu Mar 16, 2017 3:12 am

A few years ago (2010?) I thought I was going to need a Medallion Signature Guarantee to transfer my HSA from a credit union. I called Schwab to ask if they could do it if I went to one of their offices (I am a long time Schwab brokerage account holder) and they said they would only do it if they were involved in the transaction (e.g., receiving the funds). Fortunately, I pushed back a little and ended up not needing the Medallion. Now that I live abroad, I basically have no way of ever getting an MSG ... it's one reason I have never opened a Treasury Direct Account.

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Re: Trying to transfer a Roth IRA and this Medallion Signature requirement is driving me nuts!

Post by 41fan » Thu Mar 16, 2017 8:02 am

stlutz wrote:Reading the original post, no problem has actually occurred yet. I would just fill out the transfer form (w/o signature guarantee) and send it into Vanguard and let them request the transfer. Nobody you have talked to on the phone is actually responsible at the sending broker for processing transfers. They may require one in your case; they might not. Your transfer hasn't actually been denied. If they do, then Vanguard will contact you.

If they do, ask them for a proposed solution since you are unable to get one at local bank. They may have options aside from the two I would suggest:

a) the 60 day rollover option where you have the old broker provide you a check (as others have suggested)
b) setting up an account a broker who has local office who can provide you signature guarantee (e.g. Fidelity, Schwab etc.). You can do low-cost investing multiple places after all. This option presumes that you live in/near a city where there are such local offices.
I think this is probably the approach I will try to take next.

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Re: Trying to transfer a Roth IRA and this Medallion Signature requirement is driving me nuts!

Post by retiredjg » Thu Mar 16, 2017 8:17 am

Here's an article that addresses "where to find" the Medallion Signature Guarantee. It is relatively recent and I think it is probably mostly accurate. So somebody has gone to the trouble of doing a lot of the footwork here.

http://firstquarterfinance.com/medallio ... locations/

Some things of note:
  • These people found that decisions about this issue can be made at the branch level of an institution.

    A few institutions (Key Bank and maybe Wells Fargo Financial Advisors) will sometimes offer the service to non-customers for a fee.

    Several brokerages (like Fidelity) offer guarantees to their customers. Some only do it for money coming in, not going out.

    It is possible this is tied to transferring securities, not money.
The comments are worth reading as well.

The fact that many brokerages offer the guarantee might take some of the mystery out of why it is sometimes required and sometimes not - maybe it could be happening without the customer even knowing it is happening.

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Re: Trying to transfer a Roth IRA and this Medallion Signature requirement is driving me nuts!

Post by NotWhoYouThink » Thu Mar 16, 2017 8:31 am

Let us know how it works out.

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Re: Trying to transfer a Roth IRA and this Medallion Signature requirement is driving me nuts!

Post by BrandonBogle » Thu Mar 16, 2017 8:37 am

stlutz wrote:Reading the original post, no problem has actually occurred yet. I would just fill out the transfer form (w/o signature guarantee) and send it into Vanguard and let them request the transfer. Nobody you have talked to on the phone is actually responsible at the sending broker for processing transfers. They may require one in your case; they might not. Your transfer hasn't actually been denied. If they do, then Vanguard will contact you.
This. Try submitting it without one. If it gets rejected, then try something else, such as an indirect rollover or whatever.

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Re: Trying to transfer a Roth IRA and this Medallion Signature requirement is driving me nuts!

Post by BrandonBogle » Thu Mar 16, 2017 8:39 am

kramer wrote:A few years ago (2010?) I thought I was going to need a Medallion Signature Guarantee to transfer my HSA from a credit union. I called Schwab to ask if they could do it if I went to one of their offices (I am a long time Schwab brokerage account holder) and they said they would only do it if they were involved in the transaction (e.g., receiving the funds). Fortunately, I pushed back a little and ended up not needing the Medallion. Now that I live abroad, I basically have no way of ever getting an MSG ... it's one reason I have never opened a Treasury Direct Account.
Treasury Direct's requirement for MSG for so many things (even at small dollar amounts) and my frustrating experiences with their online system have led me to just sell all my Series I Bonds and just use something else. Treasury Direct does not make things user-friendly and it wasn't worth the hassle to me.

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Re: Trying to transfer a Roth IRA and this Medallion Signature requirement is driving me nuts!

Post by tfb » Thu Mar 16, 2017 8:40 am

41fan wrote:So I am at a loss... where do I go to get a Medallion Signature on this Vanguard paperwork, when neither the current brokerage nor the eventual future brokerage have local offices to me, and my local bank where I hold accounts can't do it either?
If you have an account with another broker with a local branch, such as Fidelity, Schwab, or TD Ameritrade, you can go to them and get your signature guarantee there. If not you can consider transferring the Roth IRA to Fidelity, Schwab, or TD Ameritrade. They will give you the signature guarantee as a new client and a welcome bonus. You can have build a good portfolio at Fidelity, Schwab, or TD Ameritrade.
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wolf359
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Re: Trying to transfer a Roth IRA and this Medallion Signature requirement is driving me nuts!

Post by wolf359 » Thu Mar 16, 2017 8:49 am

I also consolidated most of my retirement accounts at Vanguard, and did not have to get a medallion signature for them. The sending institutions were T Rowe Price, TD Ameritrade, Betterment, and a few smaller ones I can't remember. However, in all cases, they sold all assets and sent a check in a trustee-to-trustee transfer. It may have made a difference that these were 401k to IRA rollovers (except for Betterment).

In the case of Betterment, it was an IRA account transfer. I attempted to transfer the assets in-kind, and then a medallion was required. Since I couldn't figure out how to get the medallion, I ended up having them send a check instead. In one of my Betterment IRAs, I accidentally did a withdrawal that resulted in the check being sent directly to me (their system is TOO EASY to use.) I mailed that check immediately to Vanguard, but had to make sure I didn't do anything like that again for 365 days.

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Earl Lemongrab
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Re: Trying to transfer a Roth IRA and this Medallion Signature requirement is driving me nuts!

Post by Earl Lemongrab » Fri Mar 17, 2017 5:55 pm

Who is the current custodian? I have also transferred between most of the major institutions and never needed a signature guarantee of any sort. It's possible that the person you called didn't give the correct answer.

I never talk the current custodian unless something actually comes up. I fill out the transfer form at the receiver and go. I wouldn't be transferring to Vanguard, because they don't have a bonus program.
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Re: Trying to transfer a Roth IRA and this Medallion Signature requirement is driving me nuts!

Post by stlutz » Fri Mar 17, 2017 6:58 pm

One thing that should be added to state the completely obvious. When people talk about the "60 day rollover" option, that doesn't mean that the process takes 60 days. One should be able to execute the whole operation in under 2 weeks. "60 days" refers to the IRS rule whereby you must complete the rollover within a 60 day timeframe.

Lots of people do/have done this method, so it's not an arcane process. I did it when I moved my IRA to Vanguard back in 1999 just because it seemed to be the easiest way to get it done at the time (I picked up a check at my old broker, deposited it to my bank account and wrote out a new check to Vanguard and it was in my account in 3 days--done).

In short, if the transfer w/o signature guarantee doesn't work, using the "60 day rollover" option should not result in night terrors.

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Medallion Signature

Post by jdv01 » Fri Mar 17, 2017 10:27 pm

In the past I've had to do this when donating stock certificates and the first few times it went smoothly not even a customer of the bank. As time went by and years passed it got to the point that weren't willing to do it anymore. I finally found out that my credit union offered that service and that made it easier.

On March 7 I started the transfer process of my IRA from Ameriprise to Vanguard. I grabbed just the paper for the signature and went to my CU. Got redirected once to another branch since the person who could do it was at lunch. At the branch I showed the manager my paper for the Medallion and she explained that I needed to bring all of the paper work. Trucked on back to work to pick it all up. She wanted my current Ameriprise statment and all of the Vanguard papers. She proceeded to read them all took my ID and account info. Entered them in to the computer. Then photocopied everything. In the past they did the same with the stock certificates.

Mailed it all to Vanguard and was notified yesterday that the transfer was complete. I'm guessing if I hadn't gotten the Medallion that Ameriprise would have made an issue out of it and I would have been forced to get it.

As someone mentioned this puts the Medallion signer/institution on the hook if it turns out you aren't who you say you are but it doesn't make it easier for you. But once you have it things should go easier at least from my experience. I fully expected my transfer to take a month or more and it was only a couple days after they indicated that the Transfer was in process.

Good luck on tracking down someone who is willing to sign it for you just remember to take all of papers associated with the transfer.

jdv01

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Re: Trying to transfer a Roth IRA and this Medallion Signature requirement is driving me nuts!

Post by 41fan » Wed Mar 29, 2017 9:30 am

NotWhoYouThink wrote:Let us know how it works out.
Well I mailed off my transfer paperwork to Vanguard on 3/20 without a Medallion signature, as suggested above. This morning, I got a Vanguard "can we help you?" email, so I called and asked about the status of my transfer. The Vanguard guy said that the other firm does require a Medallion signature guarantee. I told Vanguard guy that I don't have access to one, and he said I could request the money be mailed in a check to me and forward that to Vanguard. So that is what I'll probably do.

Earl Lemongrab wrote:Who is the current custodian? I have also transferred between most of the major institutions and never needed a signature guarantee of any sort. It's possible that the person you called didn't give the correct answer.

I never talk the current custodian unless something actually comes up. I fill out the transfer form at the receiver and go. I wouldn't be transferring to Vanguard, because they don't have a bonus program.
The current custodian is Victory Funds.

Tell me more about this bonus program? Who offers the bonuses, and what are the bonuses? Thanks!

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Re: Trying to transfer a Roth IRA and this Medallion Signature requirement is driving me nuts!

Post by Earl Lemongrab » Wed Mar 29, 2017 9:38 am

41fan wrote:Tell me more about this bonus program? Who offers the bonuses, and what are the bonuses? Thanks!
Check out The Final, Definitive Thread on Brokerage Transfer Bonuses
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Re: Trying to transfer a Roth IRA and this Medallion Signature requirement is driving me nuts!

Post by homerj15 » Wed Mar 29, 2017 10:32 am

FWIW, I get my Medallion Signatures done at my local Chase branch. Easy peasy.. done in under five minutes.

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Re: Trying to transfer a Roth IRA and this Medallion Signature requirement is driving me nuts!

Post by itsallrigged » Wed Mar 29, 2017 10:35 am

I went through this exact problem a couple of years ago.

Turned out that Vanguard will accept a Notary instead of a Medallion for some states. I was in Montana and just happened to be where a Notary worked. It took me a few weeks to figure all this out. I ended up hearing about the possibility of using a notary in certain states from an acquaintance and called Vanguard and it took them two different people to confirm that Montana was one of the accepting ones.

I sent all the paperwork in with a notary and no issues with the transfer. You might want to see if your state qualifies, too.

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Re: Trying to transfer a Roth IRA and this Medallion Signature requirement is driving me nuts!

Post by SeekingFI » Wed Mar 29, 2017 12:05 pm

I transferred two $5.5k Roth's and one largish tIRA to Vanguard in the last 12 months. Annoyingly, the paperwork generated by Vanguard's online tool required Medallion signatures on each of them. However, my local credit union branch does Medallion signatures for free within minutes and it was a total non-event akin to getting a Notary stamp. For those having problems, ditch your bank as you are getting poor service.

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Re: Trying to transfer a Roth IRA and this Medallion Signature requirement is driving me nuts!

Post by NotWhoYouThink » Wed Mar 29, 2017 1:42 pm

Thanks for the update.

We transferred some accounts from Schwab to Vanguard, and Schwab completed the transfer without the MSG. When we moved from WF to Vanguard, we got the MSG from WF, after some pushback. Glad you found a way to make the transfer, even if you have to deal with a paper check.

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Re: Trying to transfer a Roth IRA and this Medallion Signature requirement is driving me nuts!

Post by Kevin M » Wed Mar 29, 2017 2:18 pm

itsallrigged wrote: Turned out that Vanguard will accept a Notary instead of a Medallion for some states.
Once again, for a transfer TO Vanguard, it is not Vanguard that requires a signature guarantee, it is the sending custodian. So it would be up to the sending custodian as to whether or not a notary would be an acceptable substitute. Vanguard does not require a signture guarantee when they are the sending custodian (I have done a number of inbound and outbound IRA transfers to/from Vanguard with no signature guarantee).
SeekingFI wrote:I transferred two $5.5k Roth's and one largish tIRA to Vanguard in the last 12 months. Annoyingly, the paperwork generated by Vanguard's online tool required Medallion signatures on each of them.
And again, the Vanguard IRA transfer form does not require a signature guarantee. They provide a space for it to use if the sending custodian requires it. I explained this in an earlier replay, and quoted the exact language on the Vanguard IRA transfer form.

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Re: Trying to transfer a Roth IRA and this Medallion Signature requirement is driving me nuts!

Post by littlebird » Wed Mar 29, 2017 2:32 pm

El Greco wrote: I beg to differ. I made 2 small transfers to Vanguard in the last 2 years and both times Vanguard required a medallion signature. One transaction (as I described before) was moving a Roth IRA from Janus. The Vanguard reps told me that Janus required the medallion signature. After excessive delays in completing the transfer, I found out from Janus that they had no such requirement. It mystifies me why Vanguard made me go to the trouble of getting one. Another transaction Vanguard made me get a Medallion signature for was in transferring some shares of a GNMA fund from my father's Transfer on Death account at Vanguard to my account at Vanguard. No other brokerage required this for similar transfers. That being said, I think it is actually Vanguard making life difficult for you. BTW, both times I required a medallion signature I obtained it from TDBank where I have small account. They are very accommodating for most banking transactions and are a pleasure to deal with.
Yes. I have had to get it when gifting shares from my account to that of my grand-child. As a poster said down-thread, it seems to be tied to transferring securities, not cash.

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Re: Trying to transfer a Roth IRA and this Medallion Signature requirement is driving me nuts!

Post by retiredjg » Wed Mar 29, 2017 3:50 pm

41fan wrote: I told Vanguard guy that I don't have access to one, and he said I could request the money be mailed in a check to me and forward that to Vanguard. So that is what I'll probably do.
Since this is a Roth IRA, they should send you a check for the full amount, not taxes withheld. However, they make keep enough to cover their "account closing fee".

Be sure you get the money to Vanguard within 60 days.

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Re: Trying to transfer a Roth IRA and this Medallion Signature requirement is driving me nuts!

Post by 41fan » Thu Mar 30, 2017 11:31 am

I am kind of rethinking rolling my Roth (~$14k) to Vanguard given the Medallion signature business. I am now thinking I'll roll it somewhere else to leverage a bonus, if the other places can make a transfer happen without the Medallion BS.

If I roll this Roth to Schwab, it looks like I would be eligible for a $100 bonus, in addition to the cheaper e/r on the Total Market Index fund.

If I roll this Roth to Fidelity, my account is too small to earn a bonus, but I could get the Fidelity Rewards 2% Visa and link the cashback rewards to this Roth, and also get a $100 bonus for opening the credit card.

I will touch base with these two brokers and see if either is willing to attempt to push back on Victory Funds about the Medallion signature garbage on my behalf.

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Re: Trying to transfer a Roth IRA and this Medallion Signature requirement is driving me nuts!

Post by Kevin M » Thu Mar 30, 2017 11:59 am

41fan wrote:I am kind of rethinking rolling my Roth (~$14k) to Vanguard given the Medallion signature business. I am now thinking I'll roll it somewhere else to leverage a bonus, if the other places can make a transfer happen without the Medallion BS.

If I roll this Roth to Schwab, it looks like I would be eligible for a $100 bonus, in addition to the cheaper e/r on the Total Market Index fund.

If I roll this Roth to Fidelity, my account is too small to earn a bonus, but I could get the Fidelity Rewards 2% Visa and link the cashback rewards to this Roth, and also get a $100 bonus for opening the credit card.

I will touch base with these two brokers and see if either is willing to attempt to push back on Victory Funds about the Medallion signature garbage on my behalf.
The point is that if you use one of these brokers, they can do the signature guarantee for you in a local office, so they won't have to push back. At least I know Fidelity can do it, since I've gotten a number of signature guarantees from them (in my case not for transfers to Fidelity, but they've tightened up on this lately, and their policy now is to do it only on Fidelity forms).

If you wanted, you could then do a second IRA transfer from Fidelity or Schwab to Vanguard. I've done IRA transfers from both, and no signature guarantee was ever required. I haven't done one from Schwab in about 10 years, but I've done numerous IRA transfers from Fidelity to Vanguard and other financial institutions, including one in the last few months, and no signature guarantee was ever required by Fidelity (again, it's the sending custodian who requires it).

This is the workaround I'd use, especially if it wasn't a time-sensitive transfer (as could be the case for a good CD deal), and especially if I got a bonus out of it.

Kevin
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