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Expected timeline to move money to vanguard
Old 02-20-2014, 12:42 PM   #1
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Expected timeline to move money to vanguard

Hey all,

I am trying to move money from my wife's 401 to Vanguard and it seems to be going, well, not so well.

My wife quit her job and has no plans to start another. Her 401 is with Principal. Moving the money from Principal seemed easy enough (though it hasnt actually moved yet) and the entire process was done online.

Now for Vanguard. After expressing my interest to create an account my wife and I sat down and talked with a rep over the speaker phone. She asked my wife what name she wanted to use with the account and my wife told her (leaving out her middle initial (name)) and also told her into what fund(s) we wanted the money directed. Seemed simple enough.

A few days later we got notice that there was problem. The rep with Vanguard told my wife that because she omitted her middle initial (name) that the department of Homeland Security got involved. It might have been better if the rep had asked "what is the exact name on your Social Security card and not what name do you want to use.

So the Vanguard rep sent a FedX letter for my wife to fill out and return. My wife did so. Today my wife gets an e-mail from the Vanguard rep asking if we had sent the letter back and my wife replied that yes indeed she had and the expected delivery date was 2 days ago.

We're waiting now.

I checked the status of the money and its still in her old account.

How long does this process usually take?
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Old 02-20-2014, 12:53 PM   #2
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Seems like creating a new account with the expected name would have been a lot easier than what they're dragging you through.
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Old 02-20-2014, 01:30 PM   #3
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Call Vanguard back and talk to someone else about it. It is not an instaneous transfer and could take several days even when everything is in order, so also ask just what the transfer procedure will be (will Principal mail a check to your wife to then send on to Vanguard, etc.).
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Old 02-20-2014, 01:36 PM   #4
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When I rolled my wifes 401K to Vanguard it took about a week from the initial request to the money showing up in her Vanguard accounts. This included the layover on my front porch. I hate that most firms mail you the check made out to VFTC and then you have to forward it onto Vanguard. It came to my house via UPS and was forwarded onto Vanguard via FedEx.

Transferring IRAs is different, they normally do that without passing the check through your address at all.

I just started rolling my 401K, so I should have another data point in a few days. Immediately after my wife retired our company changed 401K trustees, so my roll comes from a different place than my wife's did.
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Old 02-20-2014, 09:13 PM   #5
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We just rolled some IRA money over and it took a couple weeks I believe.
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Old 02-21-2014, 03:18 PM   #6
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I got an e-mail from the vanguard rep asking if my wife had returned the letter verifying her name as shown on her SS card. I indicated that it had already been returned. The rep said she would e-mail when she received it.

I just tracked it on the Fedex web site, it was delivered 3 days ago. No word from the rep.

I'm beginning to think twice about Vanguard.
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Old 02-21-2014, 05:44 PM   #7
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I got an e-mail from the vanguard rep asking if my wife had returned the letter verifying her name as shown on her SS card. I indicated that it had already been returned. The rep said she would e-mail when she received it.

I just tracked it on the Fedex web site, it was delivered 3 days ago. No word from the rep.

I'm beginning to think twice about Vanguard.
No question that Vanguard has some of the lowest costs funds in the industry. Unfortunately they have some of the most unpredictable and inept (IME), administrative staff and processes you will find.
As goes the saying--"You get what you pay for". If you are lucky, once you get your funds transferred you will be over the hard part UNLESS you have an ongoing interest in anything relying on administrative process or brokerage services.
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Old 02-26-2014, 09:44 PM   #8
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My husbands transfer of funds took over a month. I was excited about using Vanguard, but sorely disappointed with this start up process. Now on to step 2 in finding the appropriate funds to invest in to get an adequate return without having to hire a FA.
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Old 02-26-2014, 10:03 PM   #9
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When I rolled my wifes 401K to Vanguard it took about a week from the initial request to the money showing up in her Vanguard accounts. This included the layover on my front porch. I hate that most firms mail you the check made out to VFTC and then you have to forward it onto Vanguard. It came to my house via UPS and was forwarded onto Vanguard via FedEx.

Transferring IRAs is different, they normally do that without passing the check through your address at all.

I just started rolling my 401K, so I should have another data point in a few days. Immediately after my wife retired our company changed 401K trustees, so my roll comes from a different place than my wife's did.


+1 on the check coming to me.... but it took a few days to get here as I was not willing to pay for overnight delivery...

I think my total processing time was a little over 2 weeks...


With me, the Vanguard person was on the phone with Fidelity to answer any questions that might come up... very satisfied with the service...
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Old 02-26-2014, 10:07 PM   #10
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My husbands transfer of funds took over a month. I was excited about using Vanguard, but sorely disappointed with this start up process. Now on to step 2 in finding the appropriate funds to invest in to get an adequate return without having to hire a FA.
I wonder what was going on. I have now done transfers of 2 401Ks and 1 transfer of an old pension to Vanguard. I haven't yet done transfers of IRAs, maybe that's different.

My wife's from ING took 8 calendar days from the day we started. 5 days to get the check from ING and 3 days for the check I forwarded to appear in the Vanguard accounts that we had already chosen. This was last August.

And mine from JP Morgan took 9 calendar days. 6 days to get the check from JPM and 3 days for the check I had to forward to appear in the Vanguard accounts that we have already chosen. This one completed sometime last night. Funds in the accts at 8am this morning when I got up.

The old pension was with Hewitt. Based on my transaction history I can see that it took a total of 6 days to zero out at Hewitt, travel to Vanguard and be executed as a Buy in my new fund. This was last May.
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Old 02-26-2014, 10:34 PM   #11
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With me, the Vanguard person was on the phone with Fidelity to answer any questions that might come up... very satisfied with the service...
Pretty much the same thing in all of my cases. I didn't fill out forms, I called Vanguard concierge services and they were on the phone with me when we called the other firms. Frankly all firms involved seem fairly smooth with the whole process. The Hewitt guy was a little shaky but the Vanguard lady I had that time talked him through it.

I did use the rollover worksheet from Vanguard every time, so I had already selected my funds and percentages and was ready to provide the old firm phone numbers and enter passwords when needed. So I was pretty smooth just like they were because I practiced before calling.

For both 401K rolls, Vanguard FedEx'd me postage paid FedEx mailers to forward the checks in. The first time they just told me they were sending it. The second time I asked if they were doing that like last time and the guy said, "We can certainly do that if you like." And I liked.
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Old 02-27-2014, 06:57 AM   #12
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Something to keep in mind for the future.

WHENEVER you do a transfer (rollover) of an account to another company, ALWAYS use EXACTLY the same name (account registration). That should generally avoid delays and problems.
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Old 02-27-2014, 07:34 AM   #13
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Wow! Homeland security got involved. I don't know if that makes me more comfortable or nervous

When I left my j*b and transferred my 401K from Fidelity to my Vanguard IRA, it took about a week.

But I tell you, waiting to have a huge portion of my life savings mailed to me from Fidelity (made out to Vanguard) in a check was nerve racking. I felt like Uncle Billy from "It's a Wonderful Life".
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Old 02-27-2014, 07:47 AM   #14
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Wow! Homeland security got involved. I don't know if that makes me more comfortable or nervous

When I left my j*b and transferred my 401K from Fidelity to my Vanguard IRA, it took about a week.

But I tell you, waiting to have a huge portion of my life savings mailed to me from Fidelity (made out to Vanguard) in a check was nerve racking. I felt like Uncle Billy from "It's a Wonderful Life".
I'm with ya on the nervous part.
I contacted Vanguard and asked what the holdup was. In the e-mail I sent I provided the FedEx tracking number to show that the paperwork they needed had already been delivered. I then asked "what is the holdup?"

Three days later an entirely different person from Vanguard contacted me telling me that "I am responding for representative XYZ who is unable to assist you at this time, let me assure you that...blah blah blah".

Then a couple of days after that the original representative contacted me again indicating that "Let me assure you that...blah blah blah".

I responded to the e-mail asking what the holdup was and got a reply that they were simply waiting on Principal to move the money.

I contacted Principal two days ago to ask what the holdup was. They have a policy of getting back within two days, so today hopefully I hear something.

I know this is just paper shuffling to these people but its a large chunk of my retirement and it makes me nervous when the process is this uncoordinated.
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Old 02-27-2014, 08:17 AM   #15
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For me, during the process Vanguard was very helpful and answered all my questions and the money move went without a hitch. Yet, the process had we question why Vanguard doesn't do electronic transfers (I guess for security) from another institution.

In that idle time, one's imagination can take several detours (what if the mail carrier had a bad day, a major weather event? etc. etc.).
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Old 02-27-2014, 08:52 AM   #16
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When a TA receives the funds, I seem to remember they have 3 business days to complete the transaction. If not they back date the transaction to an 'as of date', so you get the price as of that date.

I know it's nerve wracking to have your funds out in who knows where, but all mutual funds want to adhere to the regulations. They have whole compliance departments, to ensure they follow the rules.

If your not happy with the answers you get, ask for a supervisor. That's what there there for. The only thing, don't say anything that the representative can claim is abusive.
Best wishes,
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Old 02-27-2014, 08:56 AM   #17
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If your not happy with the answers you get, ask for a supervisor. That's what there there for. The only thing, don't say anything that the representative can claim is abusive.
Best wishes,
MRG
I am never abusive, I know these people are just doing a job, I dont take it personally. My question has always been "whats the holdup?" I hope thats not seen as abusive.
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Old 02-27-2014, 09:01 AM   #18
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I am never abusive, I know these people are just doing a job, I dont take it personally. My question has always been "whats the holdup?" I hope thats not seen as abusive.
No that's far from abusive.
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Old 02-27-2014, 09:07 AM   #19
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I got a reply from Principal. They have no transfer request on record.

When my wife and I did this a couple, or was it a few weeks ago, we called Principal and asked what the process was and could they help. They said it was easiest to do online. We did it online. Apparently not correctly. Clearly Principal has no interest in helping us move money out of their company.

I cant believe the state of corporate policies in this country. Its just incredible to me that one has to stumble through moving such a large amount of money and the companies involved seem disinterested in helping with the process.
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Old 02-27-2014, 09:21 AM   #20
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Hey all,

The rep with Vanguard told my wife that because she omitted her middle initial (name) that the department of Homeland Security got involved.
Wow, and I thought they were busy reading everyone's emails.

Back OT. I have gone through the same process of moving funds from a 401K with no real electronic transfer capability to various funds in my Vanguard IRA. So far I have made 4 transfers over the last couple years and it always seems to be about 10 business days between the time disappears from my 401K and appears in the Vanguard Account(s) I specify. It is crazy, I can request the transfer online to Vanguard (or any other Financial Institution, or even myself) logging into my 401K but in the end all they do is snail mail a check. (I think you can pay extra for Fedex or Overnight mail or something better than first class). After my final transfer which I plan to initiate soon, the nightmare will be over. I have always called Vanguard ahead of time to let them know a check for $100K (or whatever) is in the mail and how to allocate to my handful of IRA funds. (I think all the info I have set up online for my 401K transfers to Vanguard is Vanguard's mailing address and a single account number. There is some button to select confirming it is rollover so they don't withhold taxes. My 401K then mails me several months later several pages of legal/financial mumbo-jumbo that basically says the transfer meets the rollover requirements and no taxes or penalties (I am below 59.5) are due.
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