Any insight since VG support is nowhere to be found

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Humility101
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Any insight since VG support is nowhere to be found

Post by Humility101 »

I hate to start another thread on Vanguard customer service being...absent, but I sent an e-message 5 business days ago without reply.

So, my question is does anyone have experience with Vanguard acceptIng “in-kind” transfers of the same fund (specifically Vanguard Total International) from an employer sponsored plan (401k) to a rollover IRA? I am transitioning employers and would like to move my investment without any buy/sell transaction taking place.

If anyone has done this successfully I would appreciate insight into the process.

Thanks Much,

Humility101
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Cheez-It Guy
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Re: Any insight since VG support is nowhere to be found

Post by Cheez-It Guy »

I don't have any firsthand experience with the execution, but I asked about this topic at an information session with our 401(k) plan administrator T. Rowe Price (where I hold exclusively Vanguard funds by my own selection), and was told it likely would not be possible without liquidation. Sounded more like a T. Rowe Price restriction, because he said it MAY be possible if rolling into an IRA at TRP. The other consideration is I have institutional shares in the 401(k), but would not have a large enough balance in any one fund to qualify for institutional class on my own. I did not persist, as I am still several years away from this and my plan does not allow for in-service rollovers.

So I would suggest asking your plan provider before messing with Vanguard. If they can send, I'd assume Vanguard can receive.
afan
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Re: Any insight since VG support is nowhere to be found

Post by afan »

Not sure why you would want in kind for a tax favored account. If the retirement plan will not send the fund, just invest the cash when it hits your account. If you are worried about being out of the market, split it up into several transfers. Initiate #2 once you have invested #1, continue in as many transfers aas you like.
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gwe67
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Re: Any insight since VG support is nowhere to be found

Post by gwe67 »

I did this, moving from T Rowe to VG. Once complete, however, I sold the T Rowe fund to buy a VG fund. This was the main reason for the exercise, to get rid of the high fee T Rowe fund. The "in-kind" transfer did provide for no "time out of the market".

Note that the funds to be transferred have to be ones that VG supports. Some 401k's have customized funds that aren't available anywhere else.
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go140point6
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Re: Any insight since VG support is nowhere to be found

Post by go140point6 »

My mother did this on retirement (401k to IRA) with at least one Vanguard fund (I think Wellington), but I really don't know if they liquidated it, moved the cash and then just reinvested right then. Vanguard was the 401k custodian and it was going into a Vanguard IRA, so maybe that factored in.

And regarding the fact you emailed/secure messaged VG your question, don't do that. It takes forever (but you should eventually get an answer). You need to call them for just about anything you want an answer to inside of say 2 weeks. I really wish that VG would have better email/message support, or even better yet, a chat feature (as long as it's a real customer service rep and not a stupid chat bot), especially for something like this which I consider a pretty easy question to get answered.
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Cheez-It Guy
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Re: Any insight since VG support is nowhere to be found

Post by Cheez-It Guy »

^^Well, that experience supersedes my previous post in this thread, so I guess go with that one. I just asked a guy who may or may not have known the real answer. At least worth contacting your 401(k) plan administrator to investigate further.
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galawdawg
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Re: Any insight since VG support is nowhere to be found

Post by galawdawg »

I believe that most 401k providers liquidate assets for an IRA rollover and send a check (yep, a paper check) to your brokerage. Have you inquired of your 401k provider how they handle an IRA rollover from their end.

I won't derail your thread to go into Vanguard's failure to respond to your secure message, there are numerous threads and posts on the decline of Vanguard service here on Bogleheads and elsewhere.
fourwheelcycle
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Re: Any insight since VG support is nowhere to be found

Post by fourwheelcycle »

I recently helped my wife do essentially this exact transaction, from Fidelity to Vanguard, and it worked fine. Our goal was to avoid being out of the market for a week or more, even though the money was in a tax-deferred account. We would not have faced capital gains taxes, but we were at risk for any market increase that would have left my wife with fewer mutual fund shares than she had when she started.

My wife's money was in Vanguard Institutional shares in her employer's custodial account at Fidelity, so she could not transfer them in-kind to her rollover IRA at Vanguard. When she retired, she was allowed to roll her money out of her employer's account. We opened a rollover IRA for her at Fidelity and asked Fidelity to sell her employer-based Vanguard Institutional shares at one day's market closing price and re-buy them in her rollover IRA as Admiral shares at the next day's market closing price. As it turned out, the market dropped very slightly from the first day's market close to the next.

As a plus, once the money was in her personal IRA at Fidelity she did not even have to call Fidelity to initiate the in-kind transfer to her Vanguard IRA. She just told Vanguard what she wanted to do and Vanguard initiated the transfer. The transfer went very smoothly, with no problems.
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Cheez-It Guy
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Re: Any insight since VG support is nowhere to be found

Post by Cheez-It Guy »

Good point. May first require an in-house rollover to IRA.
drzzzzz
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Re: Any insight since VG support is nowhere to be found

Post by drzzzzz »

I would suggest rolling it over to an IRA at the current custodian, then it is a simple rollover IRA to rollover IRA transfer. The only thing with my work plan custodian is that they don't label their rollover IRA as a rollover IRA just an IRA, so you might want to check with your work plan how the IRA is labelled if the account title name is important to you.
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Humility101
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Re: Any insight since VG support is nowhere to be found

Post by Humility101 »

Thanks for the replies,

Vanguard did actually reply today and say that it is possible to in kind transfer if my employer sponsored plan allows for it. I am reaching out to Paychex to see if they are amicable.

I am aware that there are no tax implications for doing the rollover, just trying to avoid the transaction costs from the 401k vendor in addition to receiving and remailing paper checks, especially when I want to keep the money in the exact same fund.

Thanks all,

Humility101
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