I see now why Rollovers can take FOREVER ....

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livesoft
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I see now why Rollovers can take FOREVER ....

Post by livesoft » Sun Sep 16, 2018 4:55 pm

After responding to a post requesting simplification, I was motivated to try to reduce the number of our accounts by one. The obvious account to let go was an inactive TIAA 403(b) with less than $200 in it. This belongs to my spouse who nowadays wants nothing to do with finances. Today was a good day to start the process because my spouse was watching football all day and following her Fantasy Football team, so I knew she would be sticking close to the couch for a few hours.

This account exists because she taught one single course at the local community college ages ago and employees of this government organization did not pay into social security. That money went into a 403(b). One could choose from the usual suspects of terrible custodians with TIAA being the obvious best choice to any Boglehead. She has not logged into her account in several years and didn't know her username nor password. Getting those was easy since we have not moved nor changed phone numbers in decades.

Next up, was to request a rollover to an existing Vanguard IRA. TIAA actually a button to click "Rollover to IRA" but that leads to opening a new TIAA IRA. Only after scrolling down below the displayed options could one find "Direct Transfer". Next up was to fill out the form there which was amusing because any birthyear like 1950 got converted to 2050 in the online fillable form. And any account number could not have dashes in it. Oh well. So we worked around that and submitted the request. Immediate response was "We need approval from your former employer to do this. Please go to their web site and get approval. Then fax us back their approval."

So off to another web site with more gnashing of teeth. Basically, one fills out another form and then one has to fax to them a bunch of TIAA forms and the newly filled out form in order to see what might happen. The fine print is quite helpful, not:
TSACG wants to assist you in the most efficient manner possible. Carefully reviewing all documentation, verifying that you
have signed all necessary forms, and verifying that you have included any necessary evidence will help us to reach this
goal and avoid delays that are caused by incomplete documentation. Our customer service representatives are available to assist you at ....
Basically everything is done by fax which is so 1970's and only during banking hours Mon-Fri. Furthermore, it looks like TSACG won't do anything until TIAA faxes them forms and TIAA won't do anything until TSACG faxes them forms. I also liked that there is no place whatsoever on any of the forms for signature. Probably done on purpose: We need your signature! Where? You can't give it to us. Sorry!

So at this point in time, the process is stuck in limbo. I have made my spouse promise to call them tomorrow morning from her work and to fax everything back and forth. Past experience tells me not to get my hopes up. Also, some of the vocabulary used on these forms would prevent most people from filling them out properly anyways.

So far we spent an entire football game working on this. If I was billing out my hours for this, I would charge over $500 for this service. Who would pay $500 in order to get less than $200? I can see how a Vanguard CSR would just want to throw up their hands for working on some of these rollovers.

I'll update as this rollover rolls along.

Bottom line: Try to do rollovers of small accounts as soon as possible before you forget all the details. And don't get rid of your land line until you have all your old accounts in order and can update the phone number on them.
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jebmke
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Re: I see now why Rollovers can take FOREVER ....

Post by jebmke » Sun Sep 16, 2018 5:00 pm

I suspect it is highly dependent on the institution. In 2013 I rolled a mixed 401(k) - after-tax money and pre-tax money separately to a new ROTH Ira and a Traditional IRA respectively. Including setting up the IRA accounts, the entire process took less than 30 minutes. This was a 401(k) held at Fidelity to IRAs created at Fidelity.
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livesoft
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Re: I see now why Rollovers can take FOREVER ....

Post by livesoft » Sun Sep 16, 2018 5:06 pm

jebmke wrote:
Sun Sep 16, 2018 5:00 pm
I suspect it is highly dependent on the institution.
But, of course! :beer
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Re: I see now why Rollovers can take FOREVER ....

Post by unclescrooge » Sun Sep 16, 2018 5:54 pm

I was trying to help my cousin roll over a CD IRA from Wells Fargo about 4 years ago.

After several tries, he just gave up.

The money is still sitting there :oops:

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Re: I see now why Rollovers can take FOREVER ....

Post by IowaFarmBoy » Sun Sep 16, 2018 6:01 pm

I had an incredibly similar situation. I filled in at a community college for someone who was out on sick leave back in about 1990. I think I built up $36 in the retirement account for my six weeks. The good and the bad is that the account was with Met Life. Bad because it was required to be in some kind of investment contract that had a terrible return. It was good because Met later demutualized and I got an ownership share and the account swelled to something like $275. I tried to roll this over to my IRA about ten years ago but couldn't because the community college said they wouldn't release it because I might come back to work there. I hadn't taught there in at least 15 years and now lived over a 1000 miles away.

So I left it in the account earning almost nothing until I turned 59.5 and I was able to withdraw it this year. It was taxable this way but at least I have cleaned up one "stray" account and now have the money in my taxable account. The incredible good fortune in this was that Met demutualized and I had a very good overall return. I just wish I could have put the money into better investments sooner.

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Re: I see now why Rollovers can take FOREVER ....

Post by Tdubs » Sun Sep 16, 2018 6:08 pm

TIAA is the easy part. Wait till you get to Vanguard.

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Re: I see now why Rollovers can take FOREVER ....

Post by Alan S. » Sun Sep 16, 2018 6:48 pm

In some cases it might be easier to just request a distribution and do a 60 day rollover. That way, if something goes wrong it will not involve more than one institution at a time.

If the account is small you can work around the mandatory 20% withholding on qualified plans easily enough. For qualified plan balances under $200, there is no mandatory withholding.

TheDDC
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Re: I see now why Rollovers can take FOREVER ....

Post by TheDDC » Sun Sep 16, 2018 7:05 pm

livesoft,

I actually had to do a rollover from an Ameriprise 403(b) from an old employer (which also used TSACG as TPA) to a Fidelity 403(b) with a different TPA. Ameriprise is arguably an even worse brokerage than TIAA in terms of paperwork. However, I have managed to do two successful rollovers from TSACG to a new TPA this year using this method. Here's what I did:

1) Initiate phone call with receiving brokerage and TPA. Since these entities are eager to get your money they are by far the best to deal with.

2) Fill out forms for both TIAA and receiving brokerage. No signature other than yours and the receiving TPA should be needed. In my case the receiving TPA gave me a certificate to include in my packet which essentially is the signature.

3) Run completed forms past your receiving brokerage to verify all is needed to proceed. I did this via scan to email with Fidelity.

4) Once receiving brokerage approves, scan or fax a letter with special instructions to said brokerage telling them to fax the completed paperwork (including receiving TPA cert) to TSACG and TIAA.

At this point once this went through my losing brokerage sent me a form letter saying they need authorization from the former TPA (TSACG). However, this was due to be processing lag from TSACG. Once they fulfilled the faxed request the wheels started turning and Amerprise sold the shares and mailed a paper check to Fidelity.

I know YMMV but TSACG will do what they are supposed to. I cannot stress the need to be in constant communication with Vanguard on this and also to fax your packet to both the losing TPA and TIAA simultaneously. If Vanguard can transmit the fax on your behalf, even better.

Best of luck and let us know how it goes!

-TheDDC

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Re: I see now why Rollovers can take FOREVER ....

Post by watchnerd » Sun Sep 16, 2018 7:13 pm

Even doubly stupid:

My previous employer set up our 401k at Vanguard (yay!).

My rollover IRA is at Vanguard.

You would think this could mean it could all be done electronically, but, no, I have to have the Vanguard 401k cut a check, which is mailed to me, which I then mail back to Vanguard for deposit in my rollover....

:oops: :oops: :oops:
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Mlm
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Re: I see now why Rollovers can take FOREVER ....

Post by Mlm » Sun Sep 16, 2018 7:26 pm

I rolled over an inherited IRA that was sitting in a passbook account at a small town bank. They wanted the actual passbook mailed to them so that they could "stamp it". My sister couldn't find her passbook so she had to go through a request that a new one be mailed to her and then she had to mail it back to them. We laughed a lot about the whole process. Vanguard Reps were great on my end.

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Re: I see now why Rollovers can take FOREVER ....

Post by jebmke » Sun Sep 16, 2018 8:03 pm

watchnerd wrote:
Sun Sep 16, 2018 7:13 pm
Even doubly stupid:

My previous employer set up our 401k at Vanguard (yay!).

My rollover IRA is at Vanguard.

You would think this could mean it could all be done electronically, but, no, I have to have the Vanguard 401k cut a check, which is mailed to me, which I then mail back to Vanguard for deposit in my rollover....

:oops: :oops: :oops:
You win! :mrgreen:
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livesoft
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Re: I see now why Rollovers can take FOREVER ....

Post by livesoft » Sun Sep 16, 2018 8:25 pm

Alan S. wrote:
Sun Sep 16, 2018 6:48 pm
In some cases it might be easier to just request a distribution and do a 60 day rollover. That way, if something goes wrong it will not involve more than one institution at a time.

If the account is small you can work around the mandatory 20% withholding on qualified plans easily enough. For qualified plan balances under $200, there is no mandatory withholding.
There is no way in this case to not involve 2 institutions (TIAA, TSACG) at the same time. The 3rd institution is not involved yet at all. The paperwork to do a distribution is the exact same, but with a different checkbox checked.

Indeed, if I had asked Vanguard to initiate the rollover, then that would have involved 3 institutions simultaneously (see what TheDDC posted). I wasn't going to try that at all. Actually, I have 4 institutions to deal with because my spouse is an Institution unto herself. And she won't make more than one phone call before giving up.
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Re: I see now why Rollovers can take FOREVER ....

Post by The Wizard » Mon Sep 17, 2018 7:40 am

I would have just taken that $200 in cash and paid taxes on it...
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Re: I see now why Rollovers can take FOREVER ....

Post by nisiprius » Mon Sep 17, 2018 8:01 am

Lucky me, when I was a substitute teacher I had no problems like this because the state in their wisdom automatically and involuntarily enrolled me in a 403(b) program with, IIRC, Great West. I did not have the option of not contributing, and the only investment option was a money market fund (real teachers got real plans). But it wasn't a problem because there was a $25 annual charge, and there was never more than $25 in the plan at the end of the year, so it all got zeroed out every year and no hassles trying to roll it over. Very convenient. Easy-peasy.
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Re: I see now why Rollovers can take FOREVER ....

Post by clemrick » Mon Sep 17, 2018 9:29 am

I hope the money is not in their traditional annuity because that is a royal pain to get money out of. For $200, I would hope you don't have to move a little each year for 10 years, but can take it out all at once. I have been on the 10 year route and I had to make several calls every year to get the money into the correct place at the correct time.

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Re: I see now why Rollovers can take FOREVER ....

Post by tuningfork » Mon Sep 17, 2018 9:49 am

For $200 I would go the easiest route possible. If she's over 59.5 can't she just withdraw it? Tax on $200 seems minimal, and she would have one less account. If she's not yet 59.5 but it's on the horizon I would just wait.

Makes me happy my 401k to IRA rollover at Fidelity went smoothly and quickly. One phone call and it happened overnight. No paperwork, no need to contact former employer. I decided to NOT transfer it to Vanguard, so maybe that's what saved me from headaches.

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Re: I see now why Rollovers can take FOREVER ....

Post by livesoft » Mon Sep 17, 2018 9:51 am

The Wizard wrote:
Mon Sep 17, 2018 7:40 am
I would have just taken that $200 in cash and paid taxes on it...
As noted, it is the same forms, red tape, paperwork, faxing, phone calls, and hassle whether taking a distribution in cash or doing a direct transfer.
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livesoft
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Re: I see now why Rollovers can take FOREVER ....

Post by livesoft » Mon Sep 17, 2018 9:54 am

nisiprius wrote:
Mon Sep 17, 2018 8:01 am
Lucky me, when I was a substitute teacher I had no problems like this because ....
Thanks, that made me feel much better. :)
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livesoft
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Re: I see now why Rollovers can take FOREVER ....

Post by livesoft » Mon Sep 17, 2018 9:58 am

clemrick wrote:
Mon Sep 17, 2018 9:29 am
I hope the money is not in their traditional annuity ....l
Nope, not in TIAA TA. TIAA is ready to send the money as soon as the TSACG approves and let's them.
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livesoft
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Re: I see now why Rollovers can take FOREVER ....

Post by livesoft » Mon Sep 17, 2018 10:01 am

tuningfork wrote:
Mon Sep 17, 2018 9:49 am
For $200 I would go the easiest route possible. If she's over 59.5 can't she just withdraw it?
She is over 59.5 and she is taking the easiest possible route. In service rollovers are not allowed, so she has to show she hasn't worked at this place in years and will not work at this place again.
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Re: I see now why Rollovers can take FOREVER ....

Post by xenochrony » Mon Sep 17, 2018 11:27 am

watchnerd wrote:
Sun Sep 16, 2018 7:13 pm
Even doubly stupid:

My previous employer set up our 401k at Vanguard (yay!).

My rollover IRA is at Vanguard.

You would think this could mean it could all be done electronically, but, no, I have to have the Vanguard 401k cut a check, which is mailed to me, which I then mail back to Vanguard for deposit in my rollover....

:oops: :oops: :oops:

This posting troubled me as I am about to open an i401k at VG with a plan, if and when my self-employed 1-man business is terminated in the future, to roll over the i401k to my tIRA at VG. I would not want to liquidate all funds and have a check mailed to me only to send that $ right back to VG and be out of the market for an unknown period of time; with the possibility of having to buy back in at higher prices. Your comment, if true, would lead me to not open an i401k at VG, so I called them. Now maybe the rules on an i401k vs a 401k are different at VG with respect to rolling it over but the small business rep assured me that VG could roll over an i401K into a tIRA, both at VG with no requirement to cut a check, liquidiate funds, and no necessity to be out of the market at all for funds that are moving from VGs "left hand to right hand." Can anyone here confirm whether VG has given me the correct information of if they completely different rules on internal rollovers, whether the source account is a solo 401k vs. 401k?

Thanks.

xenochrony

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Re: I see now why Rollovers can take FOREVER ....

Post by The Wizard » Mon Sep 17, 2018 1:34 pm

livesoft wrote:
Mon Sep 17, 2018 9:51 am
The Wizard wrote:
Mon Sep 17, 2018 7:40 am
I would have just taken that $200 in cash and paid taxes on it...
As noted, it is the same forms, red tape, paperwork, faxing, phone calls, and hassle whether taking a distribution in cash or doing a direct transfer.
Perhaps.
But there is a TIAA online Take a Distribution function which *might* work painlessly.
I say *might* since I've not tried to do a one shot distribution with them...
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Re: I see now why Rollovers can take FOREVER ....

Post by open_circuit » Mon Sep 17, 2018 1:39 pm

watchnerd wrote:
Sun Sep 16, 2018 7:13 pm
Even doubly stupid:

My previous employer set up our 401k at Vanguard (yay!).

My rollover IRA is at Vanguard.

You would think this could mean it could all be done electronically, but, no, I have to have the Vanguard 401k cut a check, which is mailed to me, which I then mail back to Vanguard for deposit in my rollover....

:oops: :oops: :oops:
I had a similar experience rolling an IRA (former 401k rollover) into an employer's 401k, both held by ""Vanguard". They didn't make me receive the check and mail it back to them, but they did have to mail themselves a check. I was, much like you, baffled that this was not a simple electronic transfer.

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Re: I see now why Rollovers can take FOREVER ....

Post by livesoft » Mon Sep 17, 2018 2:55 pm

The Wizard wrote:
Mon Sep 17, 2018 1:34 pm
But there is a TIAA online Take a Distribution function which *might* work painlessly.
I say *might* since I've not tried to do a one shot distribution with them...
Tried it. Doesn't work because of the intervening TPA. If TIAA was the custodian AND the TPA, then things would be much simpler, so you are right about that.
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Re: I see now why Rollovers can take FOREVER ....

Post by VictoriaF » Mon Sep 17, 2018 3:13 pm

unclescrooge wrote:
Sun Sep 16, 2018 5:54 pm
I was trying to help my cousin roll over a CD IRA from Wells Fargo about 4 years ago.
I have some IRA CDs in credit unions. Are you saying that getting these money back to Vanguard would be a problem?

Victoria
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Re: I see now why Rollovers can take FOREVER ....

Post by gluskap » Mon Sep 17, 2018 5:36 pm

The Wizard wrote:
Mon Sep 17, 2018 7:40 am
I would have just taken that $200 in cash and paid taxes on it...
I had about $200 at a community college retirement account from when I was a tutor back in college. I ended up doing this! LOL.

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Re: I see now why Rollovers can take FOREVER ....

Post by Sagefemme » Mon Sep 17, 2018 5:50 pm

In early summer (I think it was June) I asked my spouse to transfer an old retirement account at Fidelity with about $25,000 in it to TIAA (into his current retirement account). Eliminating this old IRA needs to happen in order to start a backdoor Roth for him. The back-and-forth among Fidelity, TIAA, and my spouse (who has no interest in my Roth plan) was comical. Everyone seemed to say that everyone else needed to do something first, but that something seemed completely opaque (couldn't tell what the task was, let alone how to accomplish it). Back and forth, calls, faxes, snailmail, etc. I was surprised TIAA wasn't more interested in facilitating getting the money transferred to them. And my exasperated husband kept saying to me, "now, why am I banging my head against a wall to make this transfer happen??"

Now it's September and I haven't pestered DH about this for a while. I'll ask him tonight if the transfer ever occurred. I do know he was working on it for a while, but he only has patience for about one phone call per day, which stretches out the length of time the whole operation takes.

I'll get back to this thread with an update later!

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Re: I see now why Rollovers can take FOREVER ....

Post by livesoft » Mon Sep 17, 2018 6:09 pm

I got lucky today in that my spouse pestered me about something, so it was only fair that I pester her back and ask about the phone call and faxing she promised to do. She did the phone call after my text query, but not the faxing. Progress has been made!
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Re: I see now why Rollovers can take FOREVER ....

Post by TheDDC » Mon Sep 17, 2018 6:38 pm

It seems like the issue here is that Vanguard is not engaged in this process at all. Just curious. Is it because they have indicated they won't do anything more or you just haven't chosen to engage them?

This is where I can't say enough good things about having competant phone support. 403(b)s are these complex things that mountains of paperwork to maneuver. Of course the TPA (or TPAs) involvement is another problem. However, I can't believe that TSACG would be much of a hindrance. They don't even have a form to fill out. This is why I let the receiving entity handle the faxing according to my description in my letter.

-TheDDC

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Re: I see now why Rollovers can take FOREVER ....

Post by JohnnyB » Mon Sep 17, 2018 6:41 pm

Great! Now that my DW has retired, we plan to transfer a VOYA 403B and VALIC 457 to Vanguard. I'm not looking forward to the experience.

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Re: I see now why Rollovers can take FOREVER ....

Post by livesoft » Mon Sep 17, 2018 8:34 pm

TheDDC wrote:
Mon Sep 17, 2018 6:38 pm
However, I can't believe that TSACG would be much of a hindrance. They don't even have a form to fill out.
In my spouse's case, TSACG does have a form to fill out and it was specifically pointed to by TIAA. It is right there online for everybody to see.

I chose not to engage Vanguard because I cannot do so. My spouse can, but not me. Remember: My spouse prefers to watch football games than deal with financial things, so I take the path that I perceive has the least spouse resistance. We shall see if Vanguard even needs to be involved before they received the FBO check in the mail.

There is no pushback from TIAA to send a check to Vanguard once they get approval from TSACG.
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Re: I see now why Rollovers can take FOREVER ....

Post by unclescrooge » Tue Sep 18, 2018 1:08 am

VictoriaF wrote:
Mon Sep 17, 2018 3:13 pm
unclescrooge wrote:
Sun Sep 16, 2018 5:54 pm
I was trying to help my cousin roll over a CD IRA from Wells Fargo about 4 years ago.
I have some IRA CDs in credit unions. Are you saying that getting these money back to Vanguard would be a problem?

Victoria
Only if they are at Wells Fargo.

Apparently, they provided the wrong form twice. Then they lost the form. Basically after going to bank 3 or 4 times over a 4 month period he gave up.

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Re: I see now why Rollovers can take FOREVER ....

Post by GCD » Tue Sep 18, 2018 2:16 am

One solution for these small accounts may be to ignore them. Just never respond to anything the company sends you and if they call tell them you aren't you and never heard of you. Eventually they will deem the account abandoned and turn it over to the state treasurer. At which point you can claim it as cash.

I've been dealing with a relative that has 17 abandoned accounts over several states. Part of the problem is they liked to open up savings accounts for the free toaster and then forgot about them. If you've got some little BS account that is too much trouble to deal with give the bank/investment company the same treatment they give you. It will eventually resolve in a manner that doesn't cost you as much time.

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Re: I see now why Rollovers can take FOREVER ....

Post by MindTheGAAP » Tue Sep 18, 2018 4:35 am

xenochrony wrote:
Mon Sep 17, 2018 11:27 am
watchnerd wrote:
Sun Sep 16, 2018 7:13 pm
Even doubly stupid:

My previous employer set up our 401k at Vanguard (yay!).

My rollover IRA is at Vanguard.

You would think this could mean it could all be done electronically, but, no, I have to have the Vanguard 401k cut a check, which is mailed to me, which I then mail back to Vanguard for deposit in my rollover....

:oops: :oops: :oops:

This posting troubled me as I am about to open an i401k at VG with a plan, if and when my self-employed 1-man business is terminated in the future, to roll over the i401k to my tIRA at VG. I would not want to liquidate all funds and have a check mailed to me only to send that $ right back to VG and be out of the market for an unknown period of time; with the possibility of having to buy back in at higher prices. Your comment, if true, would lead me to not open an i401k at VG, so I called them. Now maybe the rules on an i401k vs a 401k are different at VG with respect to rolling it over but the small business rep assured me that VG could roll over an i401K into a tIRA, both at VG with no requirement to cut a check, liquidiate funds, and no necessity to be out of the market at all for funds that are moving from VGs "left hand to right hand." Can anyone here confirm whether VG has given me the correct information of if they completely different rules on internal rollovers, whether the source account is a solo 401k vs. 401k?

Thanks.

xenochrony
No need to worry here. I’ve done the same situation and it’s an electronic transfer. I think I had to send them a letter (faxed) that requested they close the plan due to alternate employment and gave them the Vg acct number to roll the funds into. It was fairly painless.
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Re: I see now why Rollovers can take FOREVER ....

Post by spectec » Tue Sep 18, 2018 6:44 am

The transaction times are notoriously long when two institutions are involved. My credit union can't have commercial accounts, so I have to keep my SEP at the BIG BANK and then periodically initiate a transfer to sweep all bur a residual amount to the credit union. It's all manually done. I go into the credit union and fill out a trustee-to-trustee transfer. Even though I take the forms from the previous transaction, it still takes a half hour for this process, usually because I get a different person each time. Then there's the waiting time while BIG BANK processes the paperwork and sends a check to the credit union. Then someone at the credit union has to marry up the check from BIG BANK with the IRA account and process a manual deposit.

All in all, the process involves two or three human interventions plus snail mail in both directions. Typical round trip is about 5 weeks, so I have to factor that into my planning at year-end since there's now a RMD to be dealt with.
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Re: I see now why Rollovers can take FOREVER ....

Post by arf30 » Tue Sep 18, 2018 7:32 am

Not exactly the same thing, but I just did an ACATS transfer of a Roth IRA from Vanguard to Fidelity in under a week, fully online, without talking to anyone. Some institutions try to be difficult on purpose so you leave the accounts with them.

Bmac
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Re: I see now why Rollovers can take FOREVER ....

Post by Bmac » Tue Sep 18, 2018 7:44 am

Livesoft, your spouse is likely going to make more money by winning her fantasy league with far less hassle and exponentially more fun than than you will get finalizing this rollover.

tarmangani
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Re: I see now why Rollovers can take FOREVER ....

Post by tarmangani » Tue Sep 18, 2018 8:03 am

Can confirm true. I've done several rollovers to consolidate accounts in the past couple of years, waiting on one now to finish in fact from Voya to Vanguard (457b), and the mechanisms are so ridiculously archaic. FWIW, I've never had an issue with Vanguard receiving the money, so I hope you're in the clear. When you create a new transfer (incoming), Vanguard writes something which suggests that you have to do something, but you don't--you just wait for the check to arrive.

Voya was actually the most sophisticated I've seen yet. The website had a Direct Transfer option and it auto-populated the correct address for Vanguard when I chose Vanguard as the destination. Still waiting on the check though, so...maybe I shouldn't speak too soon.

Now this is going to be bad: I just left a state pension system where only my contributions were vested. So next up I've got to transfer my pension contributions over to Vanguard. The pension system barely even has a website setup, certainly no forms online. The FAQ has literally one question about receiving disability payments. Not looking forward to that.

Dandy
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Re: I see now why Rollovers can take FOREVER ....

Post by Dandy » Tue Sep 18, 2018 9:57 am

I can see how a Vanguard CSR would just want to throw up their hands for working on some of these rollovers.
Brings back painful memories. I ran mutual fund operations (and the call center at a different time). Rollovers was one of the worst jobs. Almost every company had its own unique forms and requirements. We had insurance agents in the middle of the process between us and their customer. We had an informal data base of companies, schools etc and kept copies of their forms, requirements and contact numbers to try to reduce the backlog. For an individual trying to do this it must be twice as frustrating.

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Re: I see now why Rollovers can take FOREVER ....

Post by livesoft » Tue Sep 18, 2018 10:12 am

Bmac wrote:
Tue Sep 18, 2018 7:44 am
Livesoft, your spouse is likely going to make more money by winning her fantasy league with far less hassle and exponentially more fun than than you will get finalizing this rollover.
That is so true!
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nisiprius
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Re: I see now why Rollovers can take FOREVER ....

Post by nisiprius » Tue Sep 18, 2018 10:32 am

To the best of my recollection there have been about two occasions when an account transfer has worked quickly and smoothly. Both were "ACAT transfers" of entire retirement accounts, and they took well under five business days and went right the first time.

The six or eight other times there have always been snags, delays, glitches, and worrisomely long periods of time during in which the relevant balances at both the sending and receiving was being shown as "zero." And the customer-facing representatives never seemed to be able to get actual information on where the assets were, or what was happening.

The worst was TIAA-CREF-to-Vanguard. It took more than seven weeks. Due to the fact that the TIAA assets were variable annuity "accounts," and not mutual funds, transfer in kind was impossible, so it was liquidate-transfer-buy. And the market moved significantly during those seven weeks... fortunately, down.

It once took over three weeks to make an allowed in-service transfer from a Fidelity-managed 401(k) to my already-existing rollover IRA account at Fidelity. I had three weekly conversations that were almost identical. "That's odd, that should have completed by now. Oh, let me look. Oh, I see the problem. I've corrected it. It's OK now. Check again in about a week, you should see it." Lather, rinse, repeat.
Last edited by nisiprius on Tue Sep 18, 2018 2:29 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: I see now why Rollovers can take FOREVER ....

Post by nolesrule » Tue Sep 18, 2018 11:14 am

xenochrony wrote:
Mon Sep 17, 2018 11:27 am
watchnerd wrote:
Sun Sep 16, 2018 7:13 pm
Even doubly stupid:

My previous employer set up our 401k at Vanguard (yay!).

My rollover IRA is at Vanguard.

You would think this could mean it could all be done electronically, but, no, I have to have the Vanguard 401k cut a check, which is mailed to me, which I then mail back to Vanguard for deposit in my rollover....

:oops: :oops: :oops:

This posting troubled me as I am about to open an i401k at VG with a plan, if and when my self-employed 1-man business is terminated in the future, to roll over the i401k to my tIRA at VG. I would not want to liquidate all funds and have a check mailed to me only to send that $ right back to VG and be out of the market for an unknown period of time; with the possibility of having to buy back in at higher prices. Your comment, if true, would lead me to not open an i401k at VG, so I called them. Now maybe the rules on an i401k vs a 401k are different at VG with respect to rolling it over but the small business rep assured me that VG could roll over an i401K into a tIRA, both at VG with no requirement to cut a check, liquidiate funds, and no necessity to be out of the market at all for funds that are moving from VGs "left hand to right hand." Can anyone here confirm whether VG has given me the correct information of if they completely different rules on internal rollovers, whether the source account is a solo 401k vs. 401k?

Thanks.

xenochrony
When I terminated a Vanguard i401k (I moved states and terminated an S Corp), they moved the funds directly into an IRA account.

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Re: I see now why Rollovers can take FOREVER ....

Post by nolesrule » Tue Sep 18, 2018 11:18 am

open_circuit wrote:
Mon Sep 17, 2018 1:39 pm
watchnerd wrote:
Sun Sep 16, 2018 7:13 pm
Even doubly stupid:

My previous employer set up our 401k at Vanguard (yay!).

My rollover IRA is at Vanguard.

You would think this could mean it could all be done electronically, but, no, I have to have the Vanguard 401k cut a check, which is mailed to me, which I then mail back to Vanguard for deposit in my rollover....

:oops: :oops: :oops:
I had a similar experience rolling an IRA (former 401k rollover) into an employer's 401k, both held by ""Vanguard". They didn't make me receive the check and mail it back to them, but they did have to mail themselves a check. I was, much like you, baffled that this was not a simple electronic transfer.
My understanding is that the plan administrator has to receive and approve the funds in order for the custodian to roll them into your account.

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jharkin
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Re: I see now why Rollovers can take FOREVER ....

Post by jharkin » Tue Sep 18, 2018 11:24 am

I'm going through this pain trying to move an old 401k from Tansamerica to Schwab... Schwab wants a check, but TA has a cap on check size beyond which they will only do wire transfer. And an even smaller cap beyond which they want a medallion stamp (even to liquidate and transfer cash). Schwab insists they wont accept a wire...

Back and forth, I put a thread up here on Bogleheads asking for advise and people told me to just ask Schwab... well I even got to their special transfer advice line and they had no clue.

So I just had to figure it out on my own... ended up transferring the money over in chunks small enough for TA to authorize a check. Its taking months and there is a mountain of paperwork... but it seems to be working.


Next up is to move some old money in a UESP 529 we stopped contributing to years ago over to fidelity. Its only a couple grand, but if I read the fidelity forms right I need a medallion stamp just for this?

UGH.

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Re: I see now why Rollovers can take FOREVER ....

Post by spectec » Tue Sep 18, 2018 12:01 pm

spectec wrote:
Tue Sep 18, 2018 6:44 am
The transaction times are notoriously long when two institutions are involved. My credit union can't have commercial accounts, so I have to keep my SEP at the BIG BANK and then periodically initiate a transfer to sweep all bur a residual amount to the credit union. It's all manually done. I go into the credit union and fill out a trustee-to-trustee transfer. Even though I take the forms from the previous transaction, it still takes a half hour for this process, usually because I get a different person each time. Then there's the waiting time while BIG BANK processes the paperwork and sends a check to the credit union. Then someone at the credit union has to marry up the check from BIG BANK with the IRA account and process a manual deposit.

All in all, the process involves two or three human interventions plus snail mail in both directions. Typical round trip is about 5 weeks, so I have to factor that into my planning at year-end since there's now a RMD to be dealt with.
This thread reminded me to check on my most recent transfer. I initiated the transfer from the SEP at BIG BANK to the IRA at my Credit Union on 8/27/18. The charge to my SEP at BIG BANK occurred on 9/14/18. I assume by now the check may be in the mail to my Credit Union, but no way of knowing that. In any event, I'm into the third week and the money hasn't shown up at my Credit Union yet.
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whodidntante
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Re: I see now why Rollovers can take FOREVER ....

Post by whodidntante » Tue Sep 18, 2018 12:54 pm

Leave it to your heirs to deal with. It will build character.

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Re: I see now why Rollovers can take FOREVER ....

Post by Gretchen » Tue Sep 18, 2018 1:38 pm

Upon retirement, I rolled over my Schwab 401(K) to Vanguard. I called Vanguard and set up an empty Rollover IRA to receive the funds. Schwab had to liquidate my funds and physically send me a check (despite agreeing to do an electronic transfer). I sent the check to Vanguard by registered or certified mail, I forget which, and Vanguard immediately put the money into the waiting IRA account.

But the old Schwab account earned a little dividend money that was paid into the old Schwab account, so we went through the whole mail and re-mail check cycle. Everything worked, but it took more time and attention to get it all done.

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Re: I see now why Rollovers can take FOREVER ....

Post by Snuffycuts99 » Tue Sep 18, 2018 1:48 pm

I am in the process or rolling my wife's 403b into an existing traditional IRA at Vanguard. I am hoping it won't be that difficult, as the 403b is also with Vanguard. The problem is that Newport administers the 403b for Vanguard. So I'm still dealing with two different companies. My flagship advisor can't really provide any help besides giving me the phone number for Newport. It's only been a few weeks now, I'm hoping it doesn't turn into a few months. I would hate watching the monthly fees get taken out of the account.

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Re: I see now why Rollovers can take FOREVER ....

Post by mouses » Tue Sep 18, 2018 2:11 pm

VictoriaF wrote:
Mon Sep 17, 2018 3:13 pm
unclescrooge wrote:
Sun Sep 16, 2018 5:54 pm
I was trying to help my cousin roll over a CD IRA from Wells Fargo about 4 years ago.
I have some IRA CDs in credit unions. Are you saying that getting these money back to Vanguard would be a problem?

Victoria
Possibly. I had some IRA CDs at a small credit union and initiated a trustee to trustee transfer with Vanguard doing the pulling. After weeks of countless phone calls, with the transfer stuck in some sort of processing at Vanguard, I gave up, drove to the credit union, had then cut a check to Schwab FBO me, and drove to the local Schwab office and deposited it. The cu and Schwab coded this in some way that made it a trustee to trustee transfer.

I have forgotten what Vanguard was saying the problem was. It was something like the cu was not in their database so they had no idea what to do. (It is a perfectly legitimate cu with federal insurance.)

The good thing was the Schwab office (in Providence) was amazing. I was up to my ankles in plush carpeting, etc. A little glimpse of how the other half lives. I used to visit a Schwab office when I lived in another state, and it was nothing like this one.

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Re: I see now why Rollovers can take FOREVER ....

Post by mariezzz » Tue Sep 18, 2018 2:20 pm

I rolled over a 403b from TIAA to a Vanguard IRA about 8 years ago. I did everything on paper, via US mail. It took a while, 6-7 weeks - the Vanguard agent said TIAA was very slow to process these things, but aside from downloading the forms, I didn't do anything via the internet.

I believe I needed a signature from the employer, but because I initiated the process at the very end of my employment, it was just a matter of walking to HR to get it.

The main problem is TIAA pulled the money out of the account, and it was in limbo (so no opportunity for growth - or loss) for at least 2 weeks. From this I decided I would always move money out of equities before initiating the transfer.

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