Vanguard Traditional IRA Rollover to 401k

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John Uskglass
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Joined: Sun Mar 10, 2019 12:01 am

Vanguard Traditional IRA Rollover to 401k

Post by John Uskglass » Wed Mar 13, 2019 10:17 pm

I’m preparing to do a backdoor Roth IRA this year, but first I need to roll an existing Vanguard traditional IRA to my 401k at T. Rowe Price (TRP). I’ve already contacted T. Rowe Price to confirm that my 401k will accept the rollover. My next step is to contact Vanguard.

Before I do, I’m trying to make sure that I understand exactly what I need to ask for from Vanguard.

From what I’ve read on the wiki, I should do a direct rollover to avoid withholding and ask for a check payable to “T. Rowe Price FBO John Uskglass”. This lines up with the guidance I’ve received from TRP.

However, the wiki also mentions:
Note that Vanguard phone reps now refuse to execute direct rollovers in this form of a check payable to "Trustee FBO Account Owner" AND coding the transaction to show a direct rollover on the 1099. However this option remains on the IRA Distribution Kit paper mail-in form.
This suggests that I won’t be able to do what I want over the phone and I’ve only been able to find dead links to the IRA Distribution Kit; it seems to no longer exist.

  1. Is asking for a direct rollover and a check payable as above the best way to do this? It seems to be the simplest to me.
  2. Is the note about Vanguard refusing to do this still valid?
  3. If Vanguard does refuse to do a direct rollover, what should I do? I see two other potential options:
    1. Take a check payable to me with 20% withheld, then send the full amount including the 20% to TRP within 60 days. The amount in the IRA is < $10k, so the withholding would not be a major hardship.
    2. Possibly transfer the IRA to TRP (direct trustee-to-trustee transfer), then roll from the TRP IRA to the 401k (I’m not sure if this is possible, but it seems like it might work. This post describes this approach with Vanguard to Fidelity).
Any advice on how to proceed is much appreciated.

Thank you!

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Joined: Tue Nov 20, 2007 6:02 am

Re: Vanguard Traditional IRA Rollover to 401k

Post by mhalley » Thu Mar 14, 2019 12:00 am

I think selling everything at vanguard and doing a trustee to trustee transfer would be simpler. ... a-to-401k/
. the easiest way to roll a traditional IRA into a 401(k) is to request a direct transfer, which moves the money from your IRA into your 401(k) without it ever touching your hands. Contact your 401(k) plan administrator for instructions on how to do this; following its guidance will allow you to avoid taxes and penalties.

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