Move 401(k) or Rollover to IRA

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Topic Author
mrploppy
Posts: 60
Joined: Thu May 04, 2017 5:20 pm

Move 401(k) or Rollover to IRA

Post by mrploppy »

For background on my situation have a look at
viewtopic.php?f=22&t=251107
but basically - UK citizen, UK resident, with a leftover 401(k) from working in the US.

Now that my ex-company is moving its 401(k) plan to a different provider, I'm told I have the option of leaving mine with Fidelity and rolling over to an IRA.

Things I need to know, off the top of my head:
1. Is it even possible seeing as I don't have a US address?
2. Is rolling over a taxable event?
3. Is growth in the IRA taxable (in the US and/or the UK)?
4. Will an IRA have the same withdrawal options as I had with my 401(k)? You may not know the answer to that, but I mention it here for my benefit.
5. I presume withdrawals are taxable in the same way as the 401(k).

That'll do for starters! I wonder if this thread will live for 3 years like the aforementioned one?
TedSwippet
Posts: 3555
Joined: Mon Jun 04, 2007 4:19 pm
Location: UK

Re: Move 401(k) or Rollover to IRA

Post by TedSwippet »

mrploppy wrote: Wed Mar 31, 2021 5:07 pm 1. Is it even possible seeing as I don't have a US address?
Opening a new IRA (or 401k) with a company with which you don't already hold accounts would very likely be impossible from cold as an NRA, but if your ex-employer switches their 401k provider, it's likely they can arrange a transfer for your funds also.

From what you write, they appear to already have offered this. Did their communication to you hold any sense of them having looked into your particular circumstances as an NRA, or was it just a boilerplate message sent to all plan participants (99.9% of whom would be US residents/citizens)?
mrploppy wrote: Wed Mar 31, 2021 5:07 pm 2. Is rolling over a taxable event?
Not taxable in the US under normal rules, and explicitly excluded from UK tax under treaty article 18 paragraph 1 parenthetical clause ("may be taxed as income of that individual only when, ... (and not transferred to another pension scheme)."
mrploppy wrote: Wed Mar 31, 2021 5:07 pm 3. Is growth in the IRA taxable (in the US and/or the UK)?
Not annually. If not withdrawn then not taxable under normal US rules, and as above, protected by treaty from annual UK tax on internal plan growth.
mrploppy wrote: Wed Mar 31, 2021 5:07 pm 4. Will an IRA have the same withdrawal options as I had with my 401(k)? You may not know the answer to that, but I mention it here for my benefit.
It's Fidelity. We know from past experience that anything could happen (or not) here. Not just that, but it might vary from month to month depending on how they reinterpret the rules over time!

Comments about Fidelity's poor implementation of treaty claims aside, in general the withholding and other tax rules for an IRA payer are the same as for a 401k payer. So ... there is at least a decent chance that having gone through this dance with Fidelity over your 401k, you can get the same conditions to hold for an IRA. One slight improvement could be that once rolled into an IRA, your 401k plan sponsor no longer has any control or say over what you can or cannot do.
mrploppy wrote: Wed Mar 31, 2021 5:07 pm 5. I presume withdrawals are taxable in the same way as the 401(k).
Right. Or at least, should be. The US/UK treaty doesn't differentiate between the two, and while there are a few tiny differences on the US side (protection from bankruptcy, age-55 access to a 401k for certain cases), none of these should affect you.

So, should you roll over to an IRA, or not? Tricky question.

Who are your ex-employer moving their 401k to? If Vanguard, they are at least a somewhat known quantity when it comes to handling NRAs. Not that they do it well, or efficiently, or seamlessly, but they are at least large enough to expect some level of competency from them. If to a much smaller organisation, that might raise questions about whether or not they would be prepared to take the time to understand all the nuances of handling NRA pensions.

Have you asked Fidelity outright what will happen with withdrawals and withholding if you rollover your 401k to an IRA? It's always possible that they might surprise you with a simple answer that turns out to be right.

Other aspects ...

What funds do you currently hold, and can you replicate them in (a) the new 401k, or (b) a rollover IRA? What charges are you currently paying in your 401k, and will they increase or decrease across the move (one might hope that your ex-employer is moving to a better and/or cheaper for you 401k, but less scrupulous employers might move instead to one that decreases their cost even if it increases yours).

In an IRA you will have a choice of everything; in a 401k, only what the plan sponsor allows. In a good 401k, the limited options are nevertheless excellent, and the charges very skimpy indeed -- I have one like this which I have held on to even though I could roll it into my IRA. In a poor one, the limited options tend to be expensive and a bit boutique. How do the investment options in the new 401k compare with those in a Fidelity IRA?
Topic Author
mrploppy
Posts: 60
Joined: Thu May 04, 2017 5:20 pm

Re: Move 401(k) or Rollover to IRA

Post by mrploppy »

As always, thanks for these detailed answers. I shall try and address them as best I can, given that I only learned yesterday of the impending 401(k) move and I don't have much information yet.
TedSwippet wrote: Thu Apr 01, 2021 3:20 am
mrploppy wrote: Wed Mar 31, 2021 5:07 pm 1. Is it even possible seeing as I don't have a US address?
Opening a new IRA (or 401k) with a company with which you don't already hold accounts would very likely be impossible from cold as an NRA, but if your ex-employer switches their 401k provider, it's likely they can arrange a transfer for your funds also.

From what you write, they appear to already have offered this. Did their communication to you hold any sense of them having looked into your particular circumstances as an NRA, or was it just a boilerplate message sent to all plan participants (99.9% of whom would be US residents/citizens)?
It was always the case, once I left the employer, that I had the option, in theory, of rolling over into an IRA. I say "in theory" because it may well be rejected were I to try it, due to address requirements. You're correct, it was just a boilerplate message. In fairness, I wouldn't expect a US company with few UK employees (and none since I left, I think) to be au fait with Fidelity's NRA rules.
TedSwippet wrote: Thu Apr 01, 2021 3:20 am
mrploppy wrote: Wed Mar 31, 2021 5:07 pm 2. Is rolling over a taxable event?
Not taxable in the US under normal rules, and explicitly excluded from UK tax under treaty article 18 paragraph 1 parenthetical clause ("may be taxed as income of that individual only when, ... (and not transferred to another pension scheme)."
Excellent.
TedSwippet wrote: Thu Apr 01, 2021 3:20 am
mrploppy wrote: Wed Mar 31, 2021 5:07 pm 3. Is growth in the IRA taxable (in the US and/or the UK)?
Not annually. If not withdrawn then not taxable under normal US rules, and as above, protected by treaty from annual UK tax on internal plan growth.
Excellent again.
TedSwippet wrote: Thu Apr 01, 2021 3:20 am
mrploppy wrote: Wed Mar 31, 2021 5:07 pm 4. Will an IRA have the same withdrawal options as I had with my 401(k)? You may not know the answer to that, but I mention it here for my benefit.
It's Fidelity. We know from past experience that anything could happen (or not) here. Not just that, but it might vary from month to month depending on how they reinterpret the rules over time!

Comments about Fidelity's poor implementation of treaty claims aside, in general the withholding and other tax rules for an IRA payer are the same as for a 401k payer. So ... there is at least a decent chance that having gone through this dance with Fidelity over your 401k, you can get the same conditions to hold for an IRA. One slight improvement could be that once rolled into an IRA, your 401k plan sponsor no longer has any control or say over what you can or cannot do.
Regarding withdrawal options, there's only one way to find out, I suspect, and that involves calling them up.

The fact that the employer is still "involved" in the 401(k) even after one leaves their employment has been a bit of an eye-opener for me. I had no idea that that would be the case. Whereas they've been very accommodating, they may not always be that way. Plus there are fewer and fewer people still employed there that remember me, so at some point I'll become "some guy who used to work for us a long time ago, apparently, and who I've never met, is asking me to do something for him".
TedSwippet wrote: Thu Apr 01, 2021 3:20 am
mrploppy wrote: Wed Mar 31, 2021 5:07 pm 5. I presume withdrawals are taxable in the same way as the 401(k).
Right. Or at least, should be. The US/UK treaty doesn't differentiate between the two, and while there are a few tiny differences on the US side (protection from bankruptcy, age-55 access to a 401k for certain cases), none of these should affect you.
Good.
TedSwippet wrote: Thu Apr 01, 2021 3:20 am So, should you roll over to an IRA, or not? Tricky question.

Who are your ex-employer moving their 401k to? If Vanguard, they are at least a somewhat known quantity when it comes to handling NRAs. Not that they do it well, or efficiently, or seamlessly, but they are at least large enough to expect some level of competency from them. If to a much smaller organisation, that might raise questions about whether or not they would be prepared to take the time to understand all the nuances of handling NRA pensions.

Have you asked Fidelity outright what will happen with withdrawals and withholding if you rollover your 401k to an IRA? It's always possible that they might surprise you with a simple answer that turns out to be right.

Other aspects ...

What funds do you currently hold, and can you replicate them in (a) the new 401k, or (b) a rollover IRA? What charges are you currently paying in your 401k, and will they increase or decrease across the move (one might hope that your ex-employer is moving to a better and/or cheaper for you 401k, but less scrupulous employers might move instead to one that decreases their cost even if it increases yours).

In an IRA you will have a choice of everything; in a 401k, only what the plan sponsor allows. In a good 401k, the limited options are nevertheless excellent, and the charges very skimpy indeed -- I have one like this which I have held on to even though I could roll it into my IRA. In a poor one, the limited options tend to be expensive and a bit boutique. How do the investment options in the new 401k compare with those in a Fidelity IRA?
They are moving to Principal www.principal.com who I've never heard of. That's not to say they're not a big player (they may well be) - but they're not Fidelity, Vanguard, Schwab or any of the usual names.

Clearly, I need to speak to Fidelity. I also need to get answers from Principal, once I've established a contact with them. As I say, this has come as a bit of shock and information is limited at the moment. I have about a month before "the move" happens.

I currently hold one fund, a target retirement date Fidelity fund (so I presume that would be available in a Fidelity IRA). I used to have a number of different funds, rebalanced once, reallocated twice, but finally took the easy option. In fairness, the fund I have has done (and is still doing) very well. There is an almost identical Fidelity fund available through Principal. TBH, I've never paid attention to fees, but I guess they're really low - otherwise I would have noticed! Very little info available from Principal as of yet.

Thanks again, and watch this space!
Topic Author
mrploppy
Posts: 60
Joined: Thu May 04, 2017 5:20 pm

Re: Move 401(k) or Rollover to IRA

Post by mrploppy »

First update! Don't know if anyone's interested, but I'll document anyway - as much for my own benefit.

I spoke to Fidelity today to ask the fundamental question - would it even be possible for me to rollover to an IRA, given that I don't have a US address? It took absolutely ages for someone to speak to someone else but the good news is that it is possible for me. But it's only possible because I already hold a 401(k) account with them.

The bad news is that the rollover can't be done online or over the phone. It'll involve paper forms, with a covering "letter of intent" from me - containing words I hope they'll give me. That sounds like the long pole in the tent. They said that the actual transfer of the money from one account to another is quick (overnight, I think).

Existing arrangements like periodic withdrawals will need to be re-done for the IRA. As will the W-8BEN I presume. I read a horror story on another forum regarding periodic payments from an IRA being refused for UK citizens, so I'll need to make sure that's not the case before proceeding. I haven't decided for sure whether this is what I'm going to do but I'll need to decide shortly because the 401(k) moves at the of April.
TedSwippet
Posts: 3555
Joined: Mon Jun 04, 2007 4:19 pm
Location: UK

Re: Move 401(k) or Rollover to IRA

Post by TedSwippet »

mrploppy wrote: Thu Apr 01, 2021 11:13 am First update! Don't know if anyone's interested, but I'll document anyway - as much for my own benefit.
I'm following the saga. Much like I might follow a soap opera (though in practice I don't watch any -- attention vampires!).
mrploppy wrote: Thu Apr 01, 2021 11:13 am I spoke to Fidelity today to ask the fundamental question - would it even be possible for me to rollover to an IRA, given that I don't have a US address? It took absolutely ages for someone to speak to someone else but the good news is that it is possible for me. But it's only possible because I already hold a 401(k) account with them.

The bad news is that the rollover can't be done online or over the phone. It'll involve paper forms, with a covering "letter of intent" from me - containing words I hope they'll give me. That sounds like the long pole in the tent. They said that the actual transfer of the money from one account to another is quick (overnight, I think).
Both the above are what I would have predicted (should have put it in writing upthread!), since it pretty well mirrors the experience I had with Vanguard when I opened a Roth IRA with them as a nonresident alien, alongside my existing Vanguard 401k and tIRA.

As it turned out, the paperwork wasn't all that horrific, and Vanguard were pretty slick about acting on it once they received it. They did insist on a 'wet signature' at the time, but post-covid, a lot of organisations will now accept paper forms that are signed and then scanned into PDFs and sent via email or secure message system, so probably worth looking into that possibility.
mrploppy wrote: Thu Apr 01, 2021 11:13 am Existing arrangements like periodic withdrawals will need to be re-done for the IRA. As will the W-8BEN I presume. I read a horror story on another forum regarding periodic payments from an IRA being refused for UK citizens, so I'll need to make sure that's not the case before proceeding. I haven't decided for sure whether this is what I'm going to do but I'll need to decide shortly because the 401(k) moves at the of April.
My sense is that having won this battle once already with Fidelity, it should be easier to win it a second time ("prior art"!). As already noted, the IRS rules for payments to NRAs are broadly the same for 401ks and IRAs, as are the US/UK treaty terms. Not sure what horror story you read elsewhere, but perhaps it's old? Or maybe just Fidelity doing their thing of acting randomly.

Have you investigated Principal yet? If it were me, and having looked at a few reviews on Principal, I think I might prefer the known devil to the unknown one. I guess it now depends on Principal's value proposition, and what they say (or don't say) regarding support for NRAs.

It's a bit of a pain having got everything running smoothly with Fidelity to now have to navigate this hiccup though, isn't it?
Topic Author
mrploppy
Posts: 60
Joined: Thu May 04, 2017 5:20 pm

Re: Move 401(k) or Rollover to IRA

Post by mrploppy »

TedSwippet wrote: Thu Apr 01, 2021 12:40 pm
mrploppy wrote: Thu Apr 01, 2021 11:13 am First update! Don't know if anyone's interested, but I'll document anyway - as much for my own benefit.
I'm following the saga. Much like I might follow a soap opera (though in practice I don't watch any -- attention vampires!).
mrploppy wrote: Thu Apr 01, 2021 11:13 am I spoke to Fidelity today to ask the fundamental question - would it even be possible for me to rollover to an IRA, given that I don't have a US address? It took absolutely ages for someone to speak to someone else but the good news is that it is possible for me. But it's only possible because I already hold a 401(k) account with them.

The bad news is that the rollover can't be done online or over the phone. It'll involve paper forms, with a covering "letter of intent" from me - containing words I hope they'll give me. That sounds like the long pole in the tent. They said that the actual transfer of the money from one account to another is quick (overnight, I think).
Both the above are what I would have predicted (should have put it in writing upthread!), since it pretty well mirrors the experience I had with Vanguard when I opened a Roth IRA with them as a nonresident alien, alongside my existing Vanguard 401k and tIRA.

As it turned out, the paperwork wasn't all that horrific, and Vanguard were pretty slick about acting on it once they received it. They did insist on a 'wet signature' at the time, but post-covid, a lot of organisations will now accept paper forms that are signed and then scanned into PDFs and sent via email or secure message system, so probably worth looking into that possibility.
mrploppy wrote: Thu Apr 01, 2021 11:13 am Existing arrangements like periodic withdrawals will need to be re-done for the IRA. As will the W-8BEN I presume. I read a horror story on another forum regarding periodic payments from an IRA being refused for UK citizens, so I'll need to make sure that's not the case before proceeding. I haven't decided for sure whether this is what I'm going to do but I'll need to decide shortly because the 401(k) moves at the of April.
My sense is that having won this battle once already with Fidelity, it should be easier to win it a second time ("prior art"!). As already noted, the IRS rules for payments to NRAs are broadly the same for 401ks and IRAs, as are the US/UK treaty terms. Not sure what horror story you read elsewhere, but perhaps it's old? Or maybe just Fidelity doing their thing of acting randomly.

Have you investigated Principal yet? If it were me, and having looked at a few reviews on Principal, I think I might prefer the known devil to the unknown one. I guess it now depends on Principal's value proposition, and what they say (or don't say) regarding support for NRAs.

It's a bit of a pain having got everything running smoothly with Fidelity to now have to navigate this hiccup though, isn't it?
With regard to paper forms, I would hope that they at least can send them to me electronically so that I can print them. They don't have a great record of sending mail expeditiously. All the better if I can then submit them electronically.

The horror story was on another forum (you may even participate there). I wasn't sure what the rules were regarding linking to other forums, but if you were to enter "Fidelity IRA distribution to UK-periodic No-no" into your favourite search engine, you would find it (if it doesn't break the rules, I'll post the link). It was started in 2016, so not that old. The form mentioned in that OP does indeed exist and does say what he says it says. I have no idea if it's current though - I haven't read the whole thread. Seems like nonsense to me based on my own experience, albeit that my withdrawals come from a 401(k) and not an IRA.

I've only done a small amount of research into Principal, and it doesn't look great. I won't have any plan-specific details until I either speak to a contact there (which I've been promised shortly) or actually make the move (which kind of defeats the purpose).

I'm coming to the conclusion that staying with Fidelity would be the path of least resistance now that I've trained them to do what I want! As long as I can get the IRA to behave exactly like my 401(k) is.

Stay tuned!
Topic Author
mrploppy
Posts: 60
Joined: Thu May 04, 2017 5:20 pm

Re: Move 401(k) or Rollover to IRA

Post by mrploppy »

In retrospect, maybe I was a little melodramatic in using the term "horror story" above. However, it is still "less-than-ideal".

For those interested, the discussion is here
https://talk.uk-yankee.com/index.php?topic=88242.0
where someone was trying to arrange automatic periodic withdrawals from their IRA with Fidelity, and were being refused due to their NRA status. Admittedly, it was 4 years ago so policy may have changed but the form mentioned, with the wording quoted, is still present on the Fidelity website. It seems the policy wasn't unique to Fidelity either.

My situation is pretty much identical (although I haven't decided whether to rollover yet), except for the fact that I am fortunate to still have a US bank account and wouldn't need US dollar cheques (checks!) sent overseas.

I'm struggling to understand the rationale behind such a policy. As you know, if you've followed my pervious topic, I have succeeded in getting automatic periodic withdrawals from my 401(k) to my US bank account with 0% tax withholding (due to W-8BEN). The form I completed in order to initiate this was supplied to my by me ex-employer (the plan sponsor) and not by Fidelity directly, and had pretty much identical questions to the "official" Fidelity form linked to in the other forum, but without the wording regarding NRAs.

I feel a phone call to Fidelity's IRA dept. coming on. Unfortunately, as others have found, they will sometimes tell you one thing on the phone and then do something completely different in practice.
Topic Author
mrploppy
Posts: 60
Joined: Thu May 04, 2017 5:20 pm

Re: Move 401(k) or Rollover to IRA

Post by mrploppy »

Duly made the phone call to Fidelity today - they were open on Good Friday, which is nice.

Spoke to someone in the IRA section, hoping to get the same answers from two different people on two different days:
1. Would I be able to rollover to an IRA without a foreign address.
2. Would I be able to set up automatic periodic withdrawals (I didn't broach the subject of withholding).

Again he had to speak to someone in the back office, which took a while, but the answer to both questions came back as yes.

For the first step he's even emailed me a form that I'll need to fill in and mail back to them, so I believe this will work.

For the second part, I'm not yet convinced. He was pretty adamant, but yet somewhat vague, that it would be possible by just calling them to set it up. He said he'd checked that with the back office. I may call a third time and press them on this point - and maybe ask about the online form that specifically precludes NRAs from doing so. Should have done it today I suppose but I'd run out of steam by that point.

I don't yet know what Principal will allow with regard to withdrawals should I move my 401(k) there. I'm reluctant to dive into doing the rollover with Fidelity yet until I'm a little more confident that automatic periodic withdrawals will work. Worst case scenario with Fidelity appears to be how I started off with the 401(k) - calling up every month to request a withdrawal and having 30% tax withheld regardless of W-8BEN. Then claiming the tax back. It's a right royal pain, but not the end of the world.
Topic Author
mrploppy
Posts: 60
Joined: Thu May 04, 2017 5:20 pm

Re: Move 401(k) or Rollover to IRA

Post by mrploppy »

Your summing up (in the topic of different Fidelity funds) is exactly the thought process that I'm going through at the moment. Whereas initially I was in the "cut the ties with the 401(k) and rollover to IRA with Fidelity" camp, I'm now leaning to the "it'll be so much less hassle to just let the 401(k) transfer happen" camp. Despite what Fidelity have told me on the phone regarding automatic periodic withdrawals from an IRA, I have zero confidence (based on others' experience) that that will actually be the case when I come to try it. Plus it means sending forms by mail to the US pretty damn quick.

When I set up my 401(k) periodic withdrawals from Fidelity, I did it via my ex-company (plan administrator) - because you have to, I guess. I've revisited the process - the form they supplied me to fill in back then was not a Fidelity form per se - and there was no statement on it saying "can't use for NRAs". My hope is that by going through my ex-company the same can happen this time. I doubt the automatic withdrawals I currently have will just carry over to Principal - I'm fully expecting to have to go through setting that up again. And the tax withholding of course, but that could be the same with Fidelity.

There may be hidden fees with Principal that I don't know about yet but I keep coming back to what price do you put on having someone on the other side of the pond to help things along - someone I can communicate with via email. My biggest fear with an IRA at Fidelity is that basically I'd be on my own trying to fix things from here.

So, some of the questions I have re Principal are pretty simple
1. I'm assuming they can't refuse to accept my 401(k) - and cash me out!
2. Are they used to dealing with NRAs (that can be as painful as not being able to enter a UK postcode into a zip code field in an online form)?
3. Do they have a toll-free (or call collect) phone number for the UK - because it's quite common to be on the phone for an hour or so?
4. Will they EFT or ACH withdrawals to my US bank fee free?

Then come the harder questions
5. Automatic periodic withdrawals
6. W-8BEN.

I'm hoping to get answers to some of these questions this week.

Stay tuned!
Topic Author
mrploppy
Posts: 60
Joined: Thu May 04, 2017 5:20 pm

Re: Move 401(k) or Rollover to IRA

Post by mrploppy »

Well, I've sort of half bitten the bullet. Having read some pretty horrendous reviews of Principal Finance, and with little or no information to go on with regard to how well they accommodate NRAs, I have taken the first steps to rolling over my 401(k) into an IRA with Fidelity. I've filled in forms, attached the extra stuff they asked for and mailed it via Royal Mail International Tracked and Signed to the USA. Goodness knows how long mail takes these days but short of trying to find an overnight courier like FedEx - which seems nigh on impossible in this country - I had little choice.

I realise that the fees might be slightly higher in an IRA and that I won't have the convenience of a 401(k) plan administrator to call on but there are so many unknowns (and maybe unknown unknowns - they're the worst!) about Principal that I felt with time running out, remaining with the known knowns was more prudent.

Having said all that, it's not a done deal of course. If Fidelity don't open my IRA in time e.g. stuff lost in the mail, or I fail to transfer funds from my 401(k) in time (which may need the assistance of my ex-company's plan administrator) then by default I assume my 401(k) will be moved along with everyone else's.

If anyone has experience of rolling over and knows the exact process with regard to the transfer of funds I'd be glad to hear it. All the IRA application form says is
"Initiate your plan distribution by calling your plan’s toll-free number. Request and complete any required distribution forms from your plan and follow the appropriate processing instructions that they provide."
I've had enough for one day, so that phone call will have to wait. I assume I need to wait until the IRA is open before initiating my plan distribution - but maybe not.
bhradbh
Posts: 59
Joined: Thu Mar 16, 2017 2:22 pm

Re: Move 401(k) or Rollover to IRA

Post by bhradbh »

mrploppy,

Re: via Royal Mail International Tracked and Signed

I have recently sent numerous mail items to the US with Tacked and Signed service, after a while every item had just got stuck at a local to delivery address USPS office and has remained there ever since.

I have successfully had other mail items delivered to the same addresses using the Royal Mail International Tracked service. To be clear that is the tracked service without signature.

Just an FYI for future reference.
Topic Author
mrploppy
Posts: 60
Joined: Thu May 04, 2017 5:20 pm

Re: Move 401(k) or Rollover to IRA

Post by mrploppy »

bhradbh wrote: Wed Apr 07, 2021 4:08 pm mrploppy,

Re: via Royal Mail International Tracked and Signed

I have recently sent numerous mail items to the US with Tacked and Signed service, after a while every item had just got stuck at a local to delivery address USPS office and has remained there ever since.

I have successfully had other mail items delivered to the same addresses using the Royal Mail International Tracked service. To be clear that is the tracked service without signature.

Just an FYI for future reference.
That's depressing to hear. Fingers crossed.

Out of curiosity, what do you do when that happens? Is there any chance of getting your item "unstuck"? Or do you just send again?
bhradbh
Posts: 59
Joined: Thu Mar 16, 2017 2:22 pm

Re: Move 401(k) or Rollover to IRA

Post by bhradbh »

I just cut my losses and resent without the signature requirement.
TedSwippet
Posts: 3555
Joined: Mon Jun 04, 2007 4:19 pm
Location: UK

Re: Move 401(k) or Rollover to IRA

Post by TedSwippet »

bhradbh wrote: Wed Apr 07, 2021 4:49 pm I just cut my losses and resent without the signature requirement.
When this happened to me, I queried it with the Post Office. After investigating, they refunded my full postage costs.

Even better, the items (this has happened more than once) all arrived at their destination and in good time anyway. It was just that the far end -- presumably the good old USPS -- failed to keep to their signature part of the bargain (repeatedly). Free postage for me, then. Result!
Topic Author
mrploppy
Posts: 60
Joined: Thu May 04, 2017 5:20 pm

Re: Move 401(k) or Rollover to IRA

Post by mrploppy »

TedSwippet wrote: Wed Apr 07, 2021 4:57 pm
bhradbh wrote: Wed Apr 07, 2021 4:49 pm I just cut my losses and resent without the signature requirement.
When this happened to me, I queried it with the Post Office. After investigating, they refunded my full postage costs.

Even better, the items (this has happened more than once) all arrived at their destination and in good time anyway. It was just that the far end -- presumably the good old USPS -- failed to keep to their signature part of the bargain (repeatedly). Free postage for me, then. Result!
Good to hear that your items arrived! TBH, I'm not sure why I chose Tracked and Signed - maybe I thought it was analogous to belt and braces. In reality, I don't suppose the signature is useful. It's not as if you could point the finger at that person - who's probably someone working for minimum wage in a mailroom. What's more important is that you know it's been delivered to its final destination. Ah well, lesson learned I suppose.

Exciting times though - it's on its way to Heathrow!
bhradbh
Posts: 59
Joined: Thu Mar 16, 2017 2:22 pm

Re: Move 401(k) or Rollover to IRA

Post by bhradbh »

Very exiting. Gets to Heathrow in a day, handed over to USPS and then hurry up and wait.
Topic Author
mrploppy
Posts: 60
Joined: Thu May 04, 2017 5:20 pm

Re: Move 401(k) or Rollover to IRA

Post by mrploppy »

Just been in touch with Fidelity. They said that the "regular mail" address, which is a PO Box, is generally for mail that doesn't require a signature. The "overnight" mail address, which is a proper mail address, is where they normally receive their "signed for" mail - like FedEx, UPS and all those other excellent services you get in the US. So I can imagine that mail requiring a signature could get stuck with a PO Box address.

To that end, and with my rather tight timescale, I intend sending my paperwork again tomorrow - tracked but not requiring a signature - to the regular mail address. My first attempt was tracked and signed to their regular mail address. It can't hurt, and I can't afford to wait to work out whether my application is stuck in a USPS delivery depot. Plus it's only a tenner.

Fidelity say that receiving the paperwork twice wouldn't be an issue - but I've included a note anyway. Now it's even more exciting - how many, if any, will reach their destination, and if both do which one will get there first. I can hardly contain myself!
TedSwippet
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Location: UK

Re: Move 401(k) or Rollover to IRA

Post by TedSwippet »

mrploppy wrote: Thu Apr 08, 2021 1:55 pm It can't hurt, and I can't afford to wait to work out whether my application is stuck in a USPS delivery depot. Plus it's only a tenner.
Really? That much? I'm clearly out of touch.

I gave up with all of these confirmation and signed-for things some time ago, having become entirely convinced that you never, ever get any delivery confirmation back from the US. Nowadays, I just use regular air mail when email or secure message is not an option. So far, nothing has ever got lost or mislaid, and things seem to sometimes arrive scarily quickly. For cases where you can tell, that is -- this would of course exclude the IRS, who will sit on incoming mail for months if it does not include a cheque.

A side question ... do you have any regrets over your choice of forum username? :-)
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mrploppy
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Re: Move 401(k) or Rollover to IRA

Post by mrploppy »

TedSwippet wrote: Thu Apr 08, 2021 2:11 pm
mrploppy wrote: Thu Apr 08, 2021 1:55 pm It can't hurt, and I can't afford to wait to work out whether my application is stuck in a USPS delivery depot. Plus it's only a tenner.
Really? That much? I'm clearly out of touch.

I gave up with all of these confirmation and signed-for things some time ago, having become entirely convinced that you never, ever get any delivery confirmation back from the US. Nowadays, I just use regular air mail when email or secure message is not an option. So far, nothing has ever got lost or mislaid, and things seem to sometimes arrive scarily quickly. For cases where you can tell, that is -- this would of course exclude the IRS, who will sit on incoming mail for months if it does not include a cheque.

A side question ... do you have any regrets over your choice of forum username? :-)
The signed option does seem a bit daft in retrospect. I read on the RM's website earlier that there's no way to get a copy of the signature anyway, so you couldn't identify who'd handled your mail. As far as mail going missing we've had bad experiences. When we lived abroad, relatives once sent money in an envelope (stupid idea I know) for our sons' birthdays. Apparently, it was delivered (to someone) and we never saw the money. RM did reimburse some of it if I remember. A couple of times in the last few years we've sent small parcels to Europe and they've never arrived. Maybe we're just unlucky.

As far as my username - you're the first to even mention it! I started using it when we lived in the USA. The locals were ever-so amused but they didn't know the Blackadder reference, of course. It was a cunning plan.
bhradbh
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Joined: Thu Mar 16, 2017 2:22 pm

Re: Move 401(k) or Rollover to IRA

Post by bhradbh »

TedSwippet wrote: Thu Apr 08, 2021 2:11 pm Nowadays, I just use regular air mail when email or secure message is not an option. So far, nothing has ever got lost or mislaid, and things seem to sometimes arrive scarily quickly. For cases where you can tell, that is -- this would of course exclude the IRS, who will sit on incoming mail for months if it does not include a cheque.
You may have something here. Now I think about it, when sending regular correspondence or even Christmas cards etc. via 1st class air mail it is usually received within a week of post mark date.
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