Experience with HSA to HSA trustee transfer?

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PeterParker
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Experience with HSA to HSA trustee transfer?

Post by PeterParker » Thu Jan 10, 2019 5:29 pm

Hey there --

I guess I better call the Fidelity HSA hotline ---

But anyway. I have $X dollars at "Employer HSA custodian of suckitude".
I just opened a Fidelity HSA, dude to dollar 1 investing, no minimums, zero fees, and zero expense index funds I want to give a whirl.

I do not wish to CLOSE my Employer HSA custodian. Since my payroll goes in there to avoid FICA taxes.

However I would like to (perhaps quarterly) transfer funds from Suckitude HSA to Fidelity HSA.

It's my understanding (possibly wrong) that a "rollover" is a full boat 100% close account A, re-open as account B transaction. Or is a rollover simply a nickname for a regular old transfer?

If so, I don't want to do that. I only want to transfer out 98% of assets from Employer HSA A to Fidelity HSA B. Is there a special form or process for this? Or should I just enter the specific routing numbers at either my Employer HSA or Fidelity HSA and wait a few days?

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whodidntante
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Re: Experience with HSA to HSA trustee transfer?

Post by whodidntante » Thu Jan 10, 2019 6:44 pm

I don't think a trustee to trustee transfer has to close the account, but by asking them to do it, the "Employer HSA custodian of suckitude" will probably charge a fee and screw it up. So don't be surprised if they close the account. Maybe your experience with other humans will be more positive. The only real downside of an indirect rollover is that you can only do one per 12 month period across all IRAs and HSAs and you have to report it correctly.

I can see why you'd want to leave your current HSA custodian. Their marketing is terrible.

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Clark & Addison
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Re: Experience with HSA to HSA trustee transfer?

Post by Clark & Addison » Thu Jan 10, 2019 7:13 pm

You do not have to withdraw all of you money when you do a rollover. The disadvantage to the rollover is that it can only be done once per rolling 12 month period. All you have to do is make a normal withdraw from your employer HSA, then mail in a check for the same amount and the deposit slip below to Fidelity. On the slip, make sure you check "60-Day Rollover". There is no fee for this. With the trustee to trustee transfer, there may be a fee from your employer HSA each time you do a transfer (mine does).

https://www.fidelity.com/bin-public/060 ... t-slip.pdf

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jhfenton
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Re: Experience with HSA to HSA trustee transfer?

Post by jhfenton » Thu Jan 10, 2019 8:08 pm

I transferred my HSA in kind from Lively/TD Ameritrade to Fidelity, but while my HSA was at Lively my practice was to make roughly quarterly transfers from my employer HSA to Lively. Fortunately, my employer HSA does not charge for transfers, so I was able to do them regularly. I learned through trial and error to leave more than $25 behind in the employer HSA to avoid them closing the account and assessing their $25 account closure fee.

The first time I did a transfer they closed the account because I transferred the full amount, even though I had talked to them in advance and said that I wanted to leave it open. (And after they reopened it and refunded the $25, the system charged me $10 for issuing a new debit card. :annoyed That $10 was also refunded.) After that I always left some money behind. On the fourth transfer, the person processing it apparently thought I was trying to be clever by transferring $1,375 and leaving a few dollars behind. So he deducted $25 from the account balance, transferred the rest (less than the $1,375 I requested) and closed the account. :oops:

skylar
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Re: Experience with HSA to HSA trustee transfer?

Post by skylar » Thu Jan 10, 2019 9:19 pm

I've been doing partial trustee transfers from Health Equity to HSA Bank (and now Lively) for a while now. Health Equity just sends a check to the other trustee and leaves my account open. With HSA Bank, I always had to mail a form to them, but Lively has a web-based workflow and it seems like they turn that into a fax on the other side.

pasadena
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Re: Experience with HSA to HSA trustee transfer?

Post by pasadena » Thu Jan 10, 2019 11:36 pm

Clark & Addison wrote:
Thu Jan 10, 2019 7:13 pm
You do not have to withdraw all of you money when you do a rollover. The disadvantage to the rollover is that it can only be done once per rolling 12 month period. All you have to do is make a normal withdraw from your employer HSA, then mail in a check for the same amount and the deposit slip below to Fidelity. On the slip, make sure you check "60-Day Rollover". There is no fee for this. With the trustee to trustee transfer, there may be a fee from your employer HSA each time you do a transfer (mine does).

https://www.fidelity.com/bin-public/060 ... t-slip.pdf
Wait, what? Is this specific to Fidelity? [Edit: Checked again at my new HSA... I can do this, yay!!]

I have an HSA at Optum that I need to rollover to my new employer's HSA (not at Fidelity). I was going to go through the trustee-to-trustee transfer dance, but if I can just withdraw the money and send a check to my new custodian, that would be amazing... I mean, modern?

So I can withdraw the money to my checking account (via ACH or direct deposit), and send a check to the new one using a personal check, right?

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PeterParker
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Re: Experience with HSA to HSA trustee transfer?

Post by PeterParker » Fri Jan 11, 2019 12:16 pm

Okay my custodian says they transfer a $25 fee no matter what.

I am a bit worried about withdrawing most of the HSA balance into my personal Chase checking account --- I don't want to be penalized --

But you're saying I essentially do that, then essentially write a check of the full amount from my Chase checking, to Fidelity HSA, with the paper form and 60 day rollover box checked? That's it? I don't have to report anything to the IRS at all? And avoid the fee?

I'm trying to think of the best way to do this since I can only do it once every 12 months.

Olemiss540
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Re: Experience with HSA to HSA trustee transfer?

Post by Olemiss540 » Fri Jan 11, 2019 12:42 pm

pasadena wrote:
Thu Jan 10, 2019 11:36 pm
Clark & Addison wrote:
Thu Jan 10, 2019 7:13 pm
You do not have to withdraw all of you money when you do a rollover. The disadvantage to the rollover is that it can only be done once per rolling 12 month period. All you have to do is make a normal withdraw from your employer HSA, then mail in a check for the same amount and the deposit slip below to Fidelity. On the slip, make sure you check "60-Day Rollover". There is no fee for this. With the trustee to trustee transfer, there may be a fee from your employer HSA each time you do a transfer (mine does).

https://www.fidelity.com/bin-public/060 ... t-slip.pdf
Wait, what? Is this specific to Fidelity? [Edit: Checked again at my new HSA... I can do this, yay!!]

I have an HSA at Optum that I need to rollover to my new employer's HSA (not at Fidelity). I was going to go through the trustee-to-trustee transfer dance, but if I can just withdraw the money and send a check to my new custodian, that would be amazing... I mean, modern?

So I can withdraw the money to my checking account (via ACH or direct deposit), and send a check to the new one using a personal check, right?
Looking at this myself. Optum got rid of check writing and wire fees but still has a transfer fee. To get around this, apparently you have a check written to you and then make sure your new custodian knows your deposit is a 60 day rollover.
I hold index funds because I do not overestimate my ability to pick stocks OR stock pickers.

theplayer11
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Re: Experience with HSA to HSA trustee transfer?

Post by theplayer11 » Fri Jan 11, 2019 1:19 pm

PeterParker wrote:
Fri Jan 11, 2019 12:16 pm
Okay my custodian says they transfer a $25 fee no matter what.

I am a bit worried about withdrawing most of the HSA balance into my personal Chase checking account --- I don't want to be penalized --

But you're saying I essentially do that, then essentially write a check of the full amount from my Chase checking, to Fidelity HSA, with the paper form and 60 day rollover box checked? That's it? I don't have to report anything to the IRS at all? And avoid the fee?

I'm trying to think of the best way to do this since I can only do it once every 12 months.
when you file your tax return, you file form 8889(as you must do anyway if you contributed) and on line 14a you enter the distribution and on line 14b you enter the rollover amount. simple, no tax consequence.

cas
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Re: Experience with HSA to HSA trustee transfer?

Post by cas » Fri Jan 11, 2019 2:17 pm

Warning for those who are contemplating HSA to HSA 60-day-rollovers:

Somewhere in the very long current Fidelity HSA thread*, there is an episode where, as I recall, someone got all enthused about saving the $25 fee by doing a rollover rather than a trustee-to-trustee transfer. But they hit a snag where their HSA administrator (which I recall being a common HSA administrator, but don't remember which one) put a $ limit on the amount they were allowed to withdraw from their HSA per day. So they did several withdrawals in order to get the whole HSA balance into their checking account, so that they could then write a 60-day-rollover check to the receiving HSA.

However, they happened to complain in the thread about this snag with having to do multiple withdrawals. In the nick of time, before they had actually sent the check to the receiving HSA, SpiritRider jumped in and pointed out that the 60 day rollover regulations said that only *one* of the withdrawals qualified for the 60-day-rollover and the rest would be disallowed by the IRS as violating the "once per 12 month" rule ... thus taxes, penalties, etc. etc.

Then I seem to recall the discussion went into debate on exactly what the IRS regulations *did* say about multiple withdrawals vs multiple contributions.

Unfortunately, I did some searching through that very long thread and can't find the exact place where this discussion occurred.

But it is probably worth finding before trying to do a 60-day-HSA rollover, just to make sure you are really sure you know all the ins-and-outs of the law.

*"Rumor mill - Fidelity starting individual HSA's Nov. 15th"viewtopic.php?f=10&t=263661


Also .... hoppy08520 wrote a very nice, thorough post on his/her experience with a 60-day-rollover between BenefitWallet HSA and HSA Bank. Even if those aren't the HSA administrators of interest to readers of this thread, you may find the general themes of the post useful. "Tips for closing out BenefitWallet HSA via direct rollover to new HSA" viewtopic.php?t=241923

Topic Author
PeterParker
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Re: Experience with HSA to HSA trustee transfer?

Post by PeterParker » Fri Jan 11, 2019 4:14 pm

Based on a few things and threads, it seems like it might be ideal to just not screw around with forms and additional IRS line items, and just do a 1-time payment of $25 ---- either now or if I leave my employer in the near future.

That's not even 0.5% of my total balance (in cash) --- so having it invested for a full year would have much greater expected return than 0.5%, in my opinion.

Then again, they have a 'transfer and account closure fee of $25' -- so maybe they charge $25 if you close no matter what. Is there any downside to having 0.00 cents in an account and keeping it open? Or a penny? (the minimum no-fee balance according to them). But maybe that's just another thing to keep an eye on and be on the hook for.

Hmmm maybe I'll just get used to doing an annual rollover, then when I actually close the account whenever, eat the $25. Sigh. Everyone wants my money.

theplayer11
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Re: Experience with HSA to HSA trustee transfer?

Post by theplayer11 » Fri Jan 11, 2019 5:08 pm

Called Saturna today and had my entire balance of about $75k sent via ACH to my linked bank account. I didn't even realize I had a bank linked and was expecting a check in the mail :happy .
I will now write check to Fidelity in the same amount along with their deposit form checking the 60 day rollover box. Saturna charges a $75 account transfer out fee, so the rolllover was worth it to me. I just need to fill in 2 more line on form 8889 indicating the withdrawal and the rollover, no biggie.

lstone19
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Re: Experience with HSA to HSA trustee transfer?

Post by lstone19 » Sat Jan 12, 2019 11:59 pm

cas wrote:
Fri Jan 11, 2019 2:17 pm
Warning for those who are contemplating HSA to HSA 60-day-rollovers:

Somewhere in the very long current Fidelity HSA thread*, there is an episode where, as I recall, someone got all enthused about saving the $25 fee by doing a rollover rather than a trustee-to-trustee transfer. But they hit a snag where their HSA administrator (which I recall being a common HSA administrator, but don't remember which one) put a $ limit on the amount they were allowed to withdraw from their HSA per day. So they did several withdrawals in order to get the whole HSA balance into their checking account, so that they could then write a 60-day-rollover check to the receiving HSA.

However, they happened to complain in the thread about this snag with having to do multiple withdrawals. In the nick of time, before they had actually sent the check to the receiving HSA, SpiritRider jumped in and pointed out that the 60 day rollover regulations said that only *one* of the withdrawals qualified for the 60-day-rollover and the rest would be disallowed by the IRS as violating the "once per 12 month" rule ... thus taxes, penalties, etc. etc.

Then I seem to recall the discussion went into debate on exactly what the IRS regulations *did* say about multiple withdrawals vs multiple contributions.

Unfortunately, I did some searching through that very long thread and can't find the exact place where this discussion occurred.

But it is probably worth finding before trying to do a 60-day-HSA rollover, just to make sure you are really sure you know all the ins-and-outs of the law.
It’s not in the Fidelity HSA thread, it in this one: viewtopic.php?f=10&t=266089

pasadena
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Re: Experience with HSA to HSA trustee transfer?

Post by pasadena » Sun Jan 13, 2019 12:10 am

I checked on Optum's website, and they do charge $20 for withdrawals/transfers out and account closure. In the menu, I have the choice to either Pay a provider or "Reimburse myself" via ACH transfer to my account. No option for withdrawals, but I suppose I can use the Reimburse Yourself option, right?
Last edited by pasadena on Sun Jan 13, 2019 12:38 am, edited 1 time in total.

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whodidntante
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Re: Experience with HSA to HSA trustee transfer?

Post by whodidntante » Sun Jan 13, 2019 12:24 am

pasadena wrote:
Sun Jan 13, 2019 12:10 am
I checked on Optum's website, and they do charge @20 for withdrawals/transfers out and account closure. In the menu, I have the choice to either Pay a provider or "Reimburse myself" via ACH transfer to my account. No option for withdrawals, but I suppose I can use the Reimburse Yourself option, right?
I think so. I have Optum and I'm considering doing the same, versus a trustee to trustee transfer. I think that would be faster than letting Optum jack around with a trustee to trustee transfer.

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Re: Experience with HSA to HSA trustee transfer?

Post by spitty » Mon Jan 14, 2019 7:29 am

Last year I just transferred from Optum to Lively; did an ACH from Optum to my bank account and wrote a check to Lively. Wanted it done quickly, avoiding any transfer fees. I didn't close the O account..it shows a zero balance. BTW I got an email from Lively last week saying they've dumped the monthly $2.50 fee. Probably to better compete with Fidelity.
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Olemiss540
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Re: Experience with HSA to HSA trustee transfer?

Post by Olemiss540 » Mon Jan 14, 2019 7:37 am

pasadena wrote:
Sun Jan 13, 2019 12:10 am
I checked on Optum's website, and they do charge $20 for withdrawals/transfers out and account closure. In the menu, I have the choice to either Pay a provider or "Reimburse myself" via ACH transfer to my account. No option for withdrawals, but I suppose I can use the Reimburse Yourself option, right?
Nope. The fee is for transfers to another custodian. You can wire OR get a check for your full account balance free of charge to perform a 60 day rollover.
I hold index funds because I do not overestimate my ability to pick stocks OR stock pickers.

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PrettyCoolWorkshop
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Re: Experience with HSA to HSA trustee transfer?

Post by PrettyCoolWorkshop » Mon Jan 14, 2019 7:37 am

I did a transfer from an employer HSA (EDIT: it was BenefitWallet) to a Fidelity HSA (my wife's employer) about a year ago. It required sending in a paper form by mail, and waiting 8 weeks for the estimated time for the normal process to complete. After 10 weeks, nothing had changed, and I had to call them repeatedly, eventually getting all 3 parties on the phone simultaneously multiple times, and nothing got resolved until I started yelling at the employer HSA representative 6 months into the process. Statements such as "I need your boss's boss's boss on the line, this is ridiculous!" etc. The Fidelity reps were empathetic with me the whole time, and based on the process flow they had plausible deniability that any problems were their fault. I blame the employer HSA 100%, their reps were incompetent and obviously working off of a script even after repeated escalation, and they failed to send me documents I requested every time I requested them.

This transfer didn't close my employer HSA (now has $0 and we use wife's HSA), and I had to pay a fee that they refused to tell me about before the process began, I think it was $20 (EDIT: I have now looked up my statements, it was $25) It was the most irritating financial transaction I've ever completed.
Last edited by PrettyCoolWorkshop on Mon Jan 14, 2019 10:50 am, edited 3 times in total.
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cas
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Re: Experience with HSA to HSA trustee transfer?

Post by cas » Mon Jan 14, 2019 8:38 am

PrettyCoolWorkshop wrote:
Mon Jan 14, 2019 7:37 am
I did a transfer from an employer HSA to a Fidelity HSA about a year ago. It required sending in a paper form by mail, and waiting 8 weeks for the estimated time for the normal process to complete. After 10 weeks, nothing had changed, and I had to call them repeatedly, eventually getting all 3 parties on the phone simultaneously multiple times, and nothing got resolved until I started yelling at the employer HSA representative 6 months into the process.
Was it one of the major employer-used HSA vendors? (Or just some bank local to a small company employer?)

If it was a large HSA vendor, would you be willing to name names, so that those of us (apparently many) ramping up to do trustee-to-trustee transfers to the new individual Fidelity HSA know to just jump directly to doing a 60-day-rollover approach rather than attempting the trustee-to-trustee transfer approach?

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PrettyCoolWorkshop
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Re: Experience with HSA to HSA trustee transfer?

Post by PrettyCoolWorkshop » Mon Jan 14, 2019 8:40 am

cas wrote:
Mon Jan 14, 2019 8:38 am
PrettyCoolWorkshop wrote:
Mon Jan 14, 2019 7:37 am
I did a transfer from an employer HSA to a Fidelity HSA about a year ago. It required sending in a paper form by mail, and waiting 8 weeks for the estimated time for the normal process to complete. After 10 weeks, nothing had changed, and I had to call them repeatedly, eventually getting all 3 parties on the phone simultaneously multiple times, and nothing got resolved until I started yelling at the employer HSA representative 6 months into the process.
Was it one of the major employer-used HSA vendors? (Or just some bank local to a small company employer?)

If it was a large HSA vendor, would you be willing to name names, so that those of us (apparently many) ramping up to do trustee-to-trustee transfers to the new individual Fidelity HSA know to just jump directly to doing a 60-day-rollover approach rather than attempting the trustee-to-trustee transfer approach?
Sure. The employer HSA was through BenefitWallet. I am not sure how big they are, I think they are smallish.
Be greedy and fearful. All the time.

cas
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Re: Experience with HSA to HSA trustee transfer?

Post by cas » Mon Jan 14, 2019 9:01 am

PrettyCoolWorkshop wrote:
Mon Jan 14, 2019 8:40 am
cas wrote:
Mon Jan 14, 2019 8:38 am
PrettyCoolWorkshop wrote:
Mon Jan 14, 2019 7:37 am
I did a transfer from an employer HSA to a Fidelity HSA about a year ago. It required sending in a paper form by mail, and waiting 8 weeks for the estimated time for the normal process to complete. After 10 weeks, nothing had changed, and I had to call them repeatedly, eventually getting all 3 parties on the phone simultaneously multiple times, and nothing got resolved until I started yelling at the employer HSA representative 6 months into the process.
Was it one of the major employer-used HSA vendors? (Or just some bank local to a small company employer?)

If it was a large HSA vendor, would you be willing to name names, so that those of us (apparently many) ramping up to do trustee-to-trustee transfers to the new individual Fidelity HSA know to just jump directly to doing a 60-day-rollover approach rather than attempting the trustee-to-trustee transfer approach?
Sure. The employer HSA was through BenefitWallet. I am not sure how big they are, I think they are smallish.
One of the largest. Used to advertise themselves as the largest, although I think I've seen elsewhere they are something like #6 right now.

And ... yikes ... BenefitWallet is the vendor I'm just about to attempt a trustee-to-trustee transfer. 60 day rollovers make me nervous (and other people have had bad experiences with that too: "Tips for closing out Benefit HSA via direct rollover to new HSA" viewtopic.php?t=241923 ), but ... gotta consider it now. I guess first step is to call Fidelity and see if they have figured out a process to extract a trustee-to-trustee transfer from BenefitWallet now that more people are likely asking for it.

cas
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Re: Experience with HSA to HSA trustee transfer?

Post by cas » Mon Jan 14, 2019 9:47 am

PrettyCoolWorkshop wrote:
Mon Jan 14, 2019 8:40 am
Sure. The employer HSA was through BenefitWallet.
Do you remember if you tried to initiate the trustee-to-trustee transfer from the BenefitWallet end or the Fidelity end?

I'm a little confused because you said you had to send BenefitWallet a paper form, but the only transfer-related form they have on their website involves transferring assets *to* them rather than *from* them.

(Meanwhile, Fidelity has a form to use to initiate a trustee-to-trustee transfer *to* Fidelity from BenefitWallet, which I would send to Fidelity, then Fidelity would contact BenefitWallet and, theoretically, Fidelity would have do most of the dealing with BenefitWallet. However, other people with HealthEquity HSAs have been called by Fidelity saying that HealthEquity refuses to talk to Fidelity until the account owner calls HealthEquity directly, so your account may well fit in with that type of thing.)

I realize that it was a long time ago, and you would rather forget it all, but there are apparently quite a few of use ramping up to try to do a BenefitWallet -> Fidelity transfer, so any insight you can offer would be greatly appreciated. ("BenefitWallet HSA - anyone successfully liquidated 100% of investments? (update: also transfer/rollover issues)" viewtopic.php?f=10&t=269173&newpost=431 ... ead#unread )

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Re: Experience with HSA to HSA trustee transfer?

Post by armeliusc » Mon Jan 14, 2019 9:56 am

Forgive me for the sideline ... but I don't quite understand

1. What so bad about your current employer HSA (that you want to do this)? Fees?

2. FWIW, my employer uses Optum HSA. Other folks here also mention Optum and wanted to do transfer. What's bad about Optum? To me it just seems like an okay provide. It has VTSMX as a choice for investment and I just leave my HSA invested there and don't really touch it.

3. Or, what's so great about Fidelity's HSA?

Just seems like a lot of hoops to jump to use a different provider ...
I mean these as honest questions.

theplayer11
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Re: Experience with HSA to HSA trustee transfer?

Post by theplayer11 » Mon Jan 14, 2019 10:00 am

requested full account balance withdrawal from Saturna on Friday via ACH, it's in my BOA account this morning.

harvestbook
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Re: Experience with HSA to HSA trustee transfer?

Post by harvestbook » Mon Jan 14, 2019 10:09 am

I am at HealthSavings Administrators. We opened our Fidelity account at the end of 2018. I just requested a full withdrawal at HealthSavings (around $14k) and to close the account. $25 closing fee will be deducted from the total after investments are sold to cash. The account-closure form said payment in less than three weeks but the service rep said four to six weeks, with apparently a mailed check instead of the ACH into my bank account as currently set up there.

At any rate, I save the $25 transfer fee and don't have to muck around with delays in the trustee-to-trustee transfer. I'll do an indirect rollover and hope it all gets done in 60 days. Save the $45 annual fee and .25 wrap fee, so even though I don't like being out of the market for weeks, at least I'll get instant fee savings. Hopefully this is the last time I have to change HSA providers.
I'm not smart enough to know, and I can't afford to guess.

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Re: Experience with HSA to HSA trustee transfer?

Post by Ostentatious » Mon Jan 14, 2019 10:43 am

armeliusc wrote:
Mon Jan 14, 2019 9:56 am
Forgive me for the sideline ... but I don't quite understand

1. What so bad about your current employer HSA (that you want to do this)? Fees?

2. FWIW, my employer uses Optum HSA. Other folks here also mention Optum and wanted to do transfer. What's bad about Optum? To me it just seems like an okay provide. It has VTSMX as a choice for investment and I just leave my HSA invested there and don't really touch it.

3. Or, what's so great about Fidelity's HSA?

Just seems like a lot of hoops to jump to use a different provider ...
I mean these as honest questions.
+1
In the same shoe as you. What is even preventing me from rolling over from Optum is the fact that I still have to maintain the investment account and pay the $3 monthly fee if I want to immediately invest my contributions (from paycheck) instead of waiting every few months to roll over. For now, I don't see the benefit of rolling over from Optum because of the above reason.

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PrettyCoolWorkshop
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Re: Experience with HSA to HSA trustee transfer?

Post by PrettyCoolWorkshop » Mon Jan 14, 2019 10:45 am

cas wrote:
Mon Jan 14, 2019 9:47 am
PrettyCoolWorkshop wrote:
Mon Jan 14, 2019 8:40 am
Sure. The employer HSA was through BenefitWallet.
Do you remember if you tried to initiate the trustee-to-trustee transfer from the BenefitWallet end or the Fidelity end?

I'm a little confused because you said you had to send BenefitWallet a paper form, but the only transfer-related form they have on their website involves transferring assets *to* them rather than *from* them.

(Meanwhile, Fidelity has a form to use to initiate a trustee-to-trustee transfer *to* Fidelity from BenefitWallet, which I would send to Fidelity, then Fidelity would contact BenefitWallet and, theoretically, Fidelity would have do most of the dealing with BenefitWallet. However, other people with HealthEquity HSAs have been called by Fidelity saying that HealthEquity refuses to talk to Fidelity until the account owner calls HealthEquity directly, so your account may well fit in with that type of thing.)

I realize that it was a long time ago, and you would rather forget it all, but there are apparently quite a few of use ramping up to try to do a BenefitWallet -> Fidelity transfer, so any insight you can offer would be greatly appreciated. ("BenefitWallet HSA - anyone successfully liquidated 100% of investments? (update: also transfer/rollover issues)" viewtopic.php?f=10&t=269173&newpost=431 ... ead#unread )
I initiated the transfer through the Fidelity end. I believe I used the "transfer of assets" pdf form that you can print of through their website using the transfer tracker workflow (not 100% sure). Printed and mailed to Fidelity. Fidelity then communicated with BenefitWallet, and I was able to confirm through Fidelity that they were 100% sure they had sent the information, and they had the details that they would only know through my form, so I was able to trust them. Based on the what I could gather, the most likely mistake is that all information was successfully received by BenefitWallet, but then fell into a black hole. They claimed to have cut me a check 2 months into the process, but that does not match my account statements, which do show the check they finally sent 6 months into the process, but no earlier check from 2 months in.

At no point in the process was there any indication that I had done anything wrong necessarily, such as failing to call BenefitWallet similar to your HealthEquity example. I had called BenefitWallet at first, and they told me to use the Fidelity process.

The only actionable advice I have to offer is:
1. Mark the date that your transfer should be completed by in your calendar, then give it 2 more weeks before taking action to make sure you don't prematurely descend into a nightmare.
2. If you call BenefitWallet, realize the rep you are talking to is an idiot, and try to escalate to a higher service representative, they will transfer you to another idiot. The BenefitWallet service reps I talked to mostly sounded like they had a mouth full of potatoes and were depressed to be working in a dysfunctional system.
3. With BenefitWallet, if you request certain documents through email, they will claim they cannot do it, and have to mail them to you. This mail may never arrive.
4. If you call BenefitWallet to follow up on the status of a previous request, they will not be able to follow up. If you call BenefitWallet multiple times with the same request, they may cancel previous requests out of their own confusion.
5. Initiate a 3-way call with a Fidelity rep, a BenefitWallet rep, and yourself as soon as possible. This is what ultimately saved me, although it still took a month after this. Basically, after our first 3-way call, the Fidelity rep (reasonably) assumed that BenefitWallet would complete the actions the said they would, but they didn't. After 2 weeks, I did another 3-way call, and it succeeded.
6. BenefitWallet states that once they cut a check, it takes 2 weeks to reach Fidelity. You can't really know anything about where it is in the process for the duration of these 2 weeks.

Hope it's helpful! I probably fell into a black hole that most people will not fall into. But the process is error prone. I started reading through the thread linked above (viewtopic.php?p=4310322#p4310322) where some people, yourself included, have their BenefitWallet assets in investments, not just in cash... mine was just in cash (the ~$3 monthly fee to invest didn't feel worth it for my <$4,000 account balance) so I hope those folks don't have too much added worry from liquidating the investments.

I wonder if Fidelity is ramping up their HSA options now because the accounts have now grown large enough that they pay for themselves. The legal concept of the HSA is only a few years old, and given maximum annual contributions it wasn't that long ago that HSA's couldn't realistically be bigger than say $20,000. Now that they are larger they are worth it to have a no-fee option (just expense ratios, etc to bring in profit).
Be greedy and fearful. All the time.

cas
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Re: Experience with HSA to HSA trustee transfer?

Post by cas » Mon Jan 14, 2019 11:01 am

PrettyCoolWorkshop -

Thank you! I am sure your effort in writing all that will help more than just me. Not many people have been commenting on my thread about my ongoing attempts to liquidate my investments at BenefitWallet, but I've been getting lots of views.

Also ... in a misery loves company vein ... the other person who commented on my thread who had attempted to discuss something with BenefitWallet customer reps also said that they had never encountered such a consistently high level of idiocy in any other customer service interaction with any other financial vendor.

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PrettyCoolWorkshop
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Re: Experience with HSA to HSA trustee transfer?

Post by PrettyCoolWorkshop » Mon Jan 14, 2019 11:05 am

cas wrote:
Mon Jan 14, 2019 11:01 am
PrettyCoolWorkshop -

Thank you! I am sure your effort in writing all that will help more than just me. Not many people have been commenting on my thread about my ongoing attempts to liquidate my investments at BenefitWallet, but I've been getting lots of views.

Also ... in a misery loves company vein ... the other person who commented on my thread who had attempted to discuss something with BenefitWallet customer reps also said that they had never encountered such a consistently high level of idiocy in any other customer service interaction with any other financial vendor.
Haha thanks- now that it's all over, I can definitely laugh at it. But looking at the other thread, I can empathize for the pain. I even have a conspiracy theory brewing that the management at BenefitWallet has realized that the idiocy is a feature- the longer they draw out the process, and the more painful it is, the longer they can hold onto your money and charge fees. :twisted:
Be greedy and fearful. All the time.

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jhfenton
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Re: Experience with HSA to HSA trustee transfer?

Post by jhfenton » Mon Jan 14, 2019 11:08 am

armeliusc wrote:
Mon Jan 14, 2019 9:56 am
Forgive me for the sideline ... but I don't quite understand

1. What so bad about your current employer HSA (that you want to do this)? Fees?

2. FWIW, my employer uses Optum HSA. Other folks here also mention Optum and wanted to do transfer. What's bad about Optum? To me it just seems like an okay provide. It has VTSMX as a choice for investment and I just leave my HSA invested there and don't really touch it.

3. Or, what's so great about Fidelity's HSA?

Just seems like a lot of hoops to jump to use a different provider ...
I mean these as honest questions.
In my case, yes, it's fees and a $2,000 cash requirement (paying 0.25% interest). My employer HSA charges $2/month plus 5 bp/quarter (20 bp/year). On a $50K HSA that's $124/year plus cash drag. They do not, however, charge for transfers, so I was making roughly quarterly transfers to Lively. Going forward that will be Fidelity. There is still a bit of a cash drag, but if I transfer $1,500 per quarter, my average cash balance is only about $750 rather than $2,000. (I don't pay the $2 because I'm not investing anything in my employer HSA now. I can't, in fact, as long as my balance stays under $2,000.)

Fidelity's HSA is fee-free and offers a single integrated account allowing for 100% investment.

Ostentatious
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Re: Experience with HSA to HSA trustee transfer?

Post by Ostentatious » Mon Jan 14, 2019 1:14 pm

jhfenton wrote:
Mon Jan 14, 2019 11:08 am
In my case, yes, it's fees and a $2,000 cash requirement (paying 0.25% interest). My employer HSA charges $2/month plus 5 bp/quarter (20 bp/year). On a $50K HSA that's $124/year plus cash drag. They do not, however, charge for transfers, so I was making roughly quarterly transfers to Lively. Going forward that will be Fidelity. There is still a bit of a cash drag, but if I transfer $1,500 per quarter, my average cash balance is only about $750 rather than $2,000. (I don't pay the $2 because I'm not investing anything in my employer HSA now. I can't, in fact, as long as my balance stays under $2,000.)

Fidelity's HSA is fee-free and offers a single integrated account allowing for 100% investment.
What is "bp/quarter (20 bp/year)" ?

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jhfenton
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Re: Experience with HSA to HSA trustee transfer?

Post by jhfenton » Mon Jan 14, 2019 1:23 pm

Ostentatious wrote:
Mon Jan 14, 2019 1:14 pm
jhfenton wrote:
Mon Jan 14, 2019 11:08 am
In my case, yes, it's fees and a $2,000 cash requirement (paying 0.25% interest). My employer HSA charges $2/month plus 5 bp/quarter (20 bp/year). On a $50K HSA that's $124/year plus cash drag. They do not, however, charge for transfers, so I was making roughly quarterly transfers to Lively. Going forward that will be Fidelity. There is still a bit of a cash drag, but if I transfer $1,500 per quarter, my average cash balance is only about $750 rather than $2,000. (I don't pay the $2 because I'm not investing anything in my employer HSA now. I can't, in fact, as long as my balance stays under $2,000.)

Fidelity's HSA is fee-free and offers a single integrated account allowing for 100% investment.
What is "bp/quarter (20 bp/year)" ?
5 basis points/quarter (20 basis points/year) = 0.05% per quarter (0.20% per year). They charge the fee quarterly on invested balances. It was 10 bp/year for several years, but then they raised it to 20 bp/year paired with a full rebate of 12b-1 fees. So if you choose any of the Vanguard funds or cheaper active funds (e.g. Dodge & Cox), you pay the full 20 bp. If you choose more expensive active funds with 12b-1 fees, you can get a rebate. (But then you're paying for expensive active funds instead.)

Olemiss540
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Re: Experience with HSA to HSA trustee transfer?

Post by Olemiss540 » Mon Jan 14, 2019 1:24 pm

Ostentatious wrote:
Mon Jan 14, 2019 1:14 pm
jhfenton wrote:
Mon Jan 14, 2019 11:08 am
In my case, yes, it's fees and a $2,000 cash requirement (paying 0.25% interest). My employer HSA charges $2/month plus 5 bp/quarter (20 bp/year). On a $50K HSA that's $124/year plus cash drag. They do not, however, charge for transfers, so I was making roughly quarterly transfers to Lively. Going forward that will be Fidelity. There is still a bit of a cash drag, but if I transfer $1,500 per quarter, my average cash balance is only about $750 rather than $2,000. (I don't pay the $2 because I'm not investing anything in my employer HSA now. I can't, in fact, as long as my balance stays under $2,000.)

Fidelity's HSA is fee-free and offers a single integrated account allowing for 100% investment.
What is "bp/quarter (20 bp/year)" ?
BP stands for "basis points" I am assuming. Meaning the expense ratios for investing with that particular institution were .24% per year instead of .04% per year at another institution.
I hold index funds because I do not overestimate my ability to pick stocks OR stock pickers.

Ostentatious
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Re: Experience with HSA to HSA trustee transfer?

Post by Ostentatious » Mon Jan 14, 2019 2:23 pm

jhfenton wrote:
Mon Jan 14, 2019 1:23 pm
Ostentatious wrote:
Mon Jan 14, 2019 1:14 pm
jhfenton wrote:
Mon Jan 14, 2019 11:08 am
In my case, yes, it's fees and a $2,000 cash requirement (paying 0.25% interest). My employer HSA charges $2/month plus 5 bp/quarter (20 bp/year). On a $50K HSA that's $124/year plus cash drag. They do not, however, charge for transfers, so I was making roughly quarterly transfers to Lively. Going forward that will be Fidelity. There is still a bit of a cash drag, but if I transfer $1,500 per quarter, my average cash balance is only about $750 rather than $2,000. (I don't pay the $2 because I'm not investing anything in my employer HSA now. I can't, in fact, as long as my balance stays under $2,000.)

Fidelity's HSA is fee-free and offers a single integrated account allowing for 100% investment.
What is "bp/quarter (20 bp/year)" ?
5 basis points/quarter (20 basis points/year) = 0.05% per quarter (0.20% per year). They charge the fee quarterly on invested balances. It was 10 bp/year for several years, but then they raised it to 20 bp/year paired with a full rebate of 12b-1 fees. So if you choose any of the Vanguard funds or cheaper active funds (e.g. Dodge & Cox), you pay the full 20 bp. If you choose more expensive active funds with 12b-1 fees, you can get a rebate. (But then you're paying for expensive active funds instead.)
So, I assume you don't pay this the basis points/quarter at Fidelity?

Olemiss540
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Re: Experience with HSA to HSA trustee transfer?

Post by Olemiss540 » Mon Jan 14, 2019 2:27 pm

Ostentatious wrote:
Mon Jan 14, 2019 2:23 pm
jhfenton wrote:
Mon Jan 14, 2019 1:23 pm
Ostentatious wrote:
Mon Jan 14, 2019 1:14 pm
jhfenton wrote:
Mon Jan 14, 2019 11:08 am
In my case, yes, it's fees and a $2,000 cash requirement (paying 0.25% interest). My employer HSA charges $2/month plus 5 bp/quarter (20 bp/year). On a $50K HSA that's $124/year plus cash drag. They do not, however, charge for transfers, so I was making roughly quarterly transfers to Lively. Going forward that will be Fidelity. There is still a bit of a cash drag, but if I transfer $1,500 per quarter, my average cash balance is only about $750 rather than $2,000. (I don't pay the $2 because I'm not investing anything in my employer HSA now. I can't, in fact, as long as my balance stays under $2,000.)

Fidelity's HSA is fee-free and offers a single integrated account allowing for 100% investment.
What is "bp/quarter (20 bp/year)" ?
5 basis points/quarter (20 basis points/year) = 0.05% per quarter (0.20% per year). They charge the fee quarterly on invested balances. It was 10 bp/year for several years, but then they raised it to 20 bp/year paired with a full rebate of 12b-1 fees. So if you choose any of the Vanguard funds or cheaper active funds (e.g. Dodge & Cox), you pay the full 20 bp. If you choose more expensive active funds with 12b-1 fees, you can get a rebate. (But then you're paying for expensive active funds instead.)
So, I assume you don't pay this the basis points/quarter at Fidelity?
Correct. Fidelity HSA has zero fees.
I hold index funds because I do not overestimate my ability to pick stocks OR stock pickers.

Ostentatious
Posts: 232
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Re: Experience with HSA to HSA trustee transfer?

Post by Ostentatious » Mon Jan 14, 2019 2:36 pm

Olemiss540 wrote:
Mon Jan 14, 2019 2:27 pm
Ostentatious wrote:
Mon Jan 14, 2019 2:23 pm
jhfenton wrote:
Mon Jan 14, 2019 1:23 pm
Ostentatious wrote:
Mon Jan 14, 2019 1:14 pm
jhfenton wrote:
Mon Jan 14, 2019 11:08 am
In my case, yes, it's fees and a $2,000 cash requirement (paying 0.25% interest). My employer HSA charges $2/month plus 5 bp/quarter (20 bp/year). On a $50K HSA that's $124/year plus cash drag. They do not, however, charge for transfers, so I was making roughly quarterly transfers to Lively. Going forward that will be Fidelity. There is still a bit of a cash drag, but if I transfer $1,500 per quarter, my average cash balance is only about $750 rather than $2,000. (I don't pay the $2 because I'm not investing anything in my employer HSA now. I can't, in fact, as long as my balance stays under $2,000.)

Fidelity's HSA is fee-free and offers a single integrated account allowing for 100% investment.
What is "bp/quarter (20 bp/year)" ?
5 basis points/quarter (20 basis points/year) = 0.05% per quarter (0.20% per year). They charge the fee quarterly on invested balances. It was 10 bp/year for several years, but then they raised it to 20 bp/year paired with a full rebate of 12b-1 fees. So if you choose any of the Vanguard funds or cheaper active funds (e.g. Dodge & Cox), you pay the full 20 bp. If you choose more expensive active funds with 12b-1 fees, you can get a rebate. (But then you're paying for expensive active funds instead.)
So, I assume you don't pay this the basis points/quarter at Fidelity?
Correct. Fidelity HSA has zero fees.
Thanks! Makes sense to rollover then.

Topic Author
PeterParker
Posts: 56
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Re: Experience with HSA to HSA trustee transfer?

Post by PeterParker » Mon Jan 14, 2019 2:46 pm

I guess I started this thread --

My custodian is First American. But --- I'm sure most of the custodians outside of Fidelity, Lively, HSAdmins, the well-known ones, generally are cut-rate.

In my case, FirstAm offers (very limited) Vanguard funds of use with low expense ratios.

HOWEVER, they charge $60 a year to invest, and require $2,000 in cash. Fidelity does neither.
Assuming 4%-5% returns in equity investment, that's $140-$160 a year. I guess that's not much but eh, it adds up across all accounts. Fund selection is probably most important long-term. I also like Fidelity's zero-expense mutuals (which they use loans to make money off of?) -- I'm not sure exactly how it works but it sounds good to me.

Since FirstAm charges a $25 account closure fee regardless (which I will probably do to tie up lose ends) --- until I leave them (thus my employer, date undetermined) --- I will probably do my 1 free annual rollover.

Wait I just thought of a dumb question/ strategy.

Instead of contribution the maximum $3500/ 12 = about $292 a month to my HSA, might it behoove me to possibly "front-load" my HSA investment to the even the first 2-3 months of the year ($1200 a month if I can swing it after company match) -- so I can brain-drain the whole thing into my Fidelity HSA using my free annual rollover? Actually my employer technically deposits $500 twice late in the year, so it would only be $2500 on my end. Hmm. Might be a good idea for this (and future) employers, but it would be less automated, and is that worth the money saved.

Topic Author
PeterParker
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Re: Experience with HSA to HSA trustee transfer?

Post by PeterParker » Mon Jan 14, 2019 2:58 pm

Scratch the front-load strategy. There might be monthly contribution limits. Or really, you can't be certain you'll keep your HDHP the entire year necessarily, and it's month-to-month basis. Eh.

Even with annual rollovers, an individual will average 3500 (max limit) / 2 = $1750 over the course of a year sitting in my case in mediocre FirstAm, not invested. That's about $75-$100 depending on expected investment returns.

If I did a $25 transfer halfway through the year, I'd be gaining $45 ... yeah probably not worth the BS for a $20 profit at most.

pasadena
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Re: Experience with HSA to HSA trustee transfer?

Post by pasadena » Mon Jan 14, 2019 3:46 pm

armeliusc wrote:
Mon Jan 14, 2019 9:56 am
Forgive me for the sideline ... but I don't quite understand

1. What so bad about your current employer HSA (that you want to do this)? Fees?

2. FWIW, my employer uses Optum HSA. Other folks here also mention Optum and wanted to do transfer. What's bad about Optum? To me it just seems like an okay provide. It has VTSMX as a choice for investment and I just leave my HSA invested there and don't really touch it.

3. Or, what's so great about Fidelity's HSA?

Just seems like a lot of hoops to jump to use a different provider ...
I mean these as honest questions.
In my case, Optum is my previous employer's HSA. I now have another one through my new employer. I'm rolling over from Optum to New One because:

- Optum is charging me a $3 per months fee for the privilege of having an account with them
- I am not allowed to contribute to what they call my "old investment account" and if I wanted to add new money, I would have to open another investment account within the HSA, for an additional fee.
- I like simplicity, and having all my $$ in one bucket.

Edit to add: Optum can be frustratingly SLOW. Their website is very slow (although fairly pretty and clear), their phone app is worse. I sold my investments on Friday and the money still hasn't reached my HSA account.

Ostentatious
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Re: Experience with HSA to HSA trustee transfer?

Post by Ostentatious » Mon Jan 14, 2019 5:17 pm

I have just opened a new Fidelity HSA account and also just linked my Fidelity Checking account to my OPTUM HSA account. In the next few days, I will ask for a distribution of the full investment amount into the Fidelity Checking account. When that is completed, I will transfer the full amount from the Fidelity Checking account into the Fidelity HSA account. Is that a good way to do this? Hopefully, I am not missing anything.

lstone19
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Re: Experience with HSA to HSA trustee transfer?

Post by lstone19 » Mon Jan 14, 2019 5:57 pm

Ostentatious wrote:
Mon Jan 14, 2019 5:17 pm
I have just opened a new Fidelity HSA account and also just linked my Fidelity Checking account to my OPTUM HSA account. In the next few days, I will ask for a distribution of the full investment amount into the Fidelity Checking account. When that is completed, I will transfer the full amount from the Fidelity Checking account into the Fidelity HSA account. Is that a good way to do this? Hopefully, I am not missing anything.
I believe rollovers need to be mailed with the appropriate form so you will need to write a check on your Fidelity checking account and mail it to another part of Fidelity.

Topic Author
PeterParker
Posts: 56
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Re: Experience with HSA to HSA trustee transfer?

Post by PeterParker » Tue Jan 15, 2019 11:38 am

I would contact Fidelity's HSA department. I'm not sure if the funds need to be "via check with the form attached" or you just do the transfer as you indicated (only key part is that it needs to go to your personal checking first, in your case, it happens to also be with Fidelity) AND THEN mail the form, as long as its within 60 days.

With the free 12-month rollover, you do need to fill out a couple lines on your tax return as well.

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