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TIAA-CREF Update...............:)
Old 03-07-2007, 01:35 PM   #1
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TIAA-CREF Update...............:)

I guess I got "some" customer satisfaction:

As you guys may recall, my sister passed away and wanted her 403B money to go to my minor children to pay for college. However, she changed them to the primary beneficiaries without my knowledge.

TIAA wanted me to set up a conservator-ship for the funds, they said it's their policy, and from what I gather is common. Apparently they or others have had some "bad experiences", where the custodian takes the money and spends it on fancy living or something............ :P

Anyway, I was getting nowhere, so I fired off a very scathing letter regarding their customer service, and I got a guy to call me who actually knows something.........

I went back and forth with their legal department, who kept saying that they were looking out for the "children's best interest", and seemed unimpressed that I am a RIA and a financial advisor, etc. Bottom line, here's the "settlement":

1) Funds will stay at TIAA-CREF
2)Annual RMD's will go directly to their UTMA/UGMA accounts each year.
3)I will have online and account management access to the accounts

I was going to transfer the funds to Vanguard, but I guess TIAA isn't the worst case scenario. I sensed they were a little worried about ME managing the funds, but they would not agree to letting me transfer to another custodian outside TIAA.

Bottom line, I saved myself about $2500 to set up the conservatorship, along with annual attorney and accounting fees of $500 or so a year, so I am happy............

However, it seems a little sad you have to basically threaten people to get them to help you..............
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Re: TIAA-CREF Update...............:)
Old 03-07-2007, 01:38 PM   #2
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Re: TIAA-CREF Update...............:)

Quote:
However, it seems a little sad you have to basically threaten people to get them to help you..............
Best I can tell, that's the only way to get ANY help...
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Re: TIAA-CREF Update...............:)
Old 03-07-2007, 02:03 PM   #3
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Re: TIAA-CREF Update...............:)

Quote:
Originally Posted by FinanceDude
However, it seems a little sad you have to basically threaten people to get them to help you..............
I have been trying to do a 1035 transfer out of their after-tax annuity. Even 10 days
after Vanguard sent the paperwork over they "couldn't find it". So Vanguard faxed
it and it still went missing. Finally asked for a supervisor, left a message, and she
called back that day saying it had been "misplaced" and it's now "being processed".
Guess which day it actually got processed ? You guessed it, 2/27/07.

Meanwhile, trying to re-allocate the annuitized money in my retirement account,
trying to figure out "annuity units" - found references to a document that seems to
explain it, can't find it online, keep asking for it, they keep sending me other docs I
already have multiple copies of. Argh.

They suck, but I accept Brewer (and others) assurance that they are THE most solid
insurance company. Sure aggravating to deal with though.

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Re: TIAA-CREF Update...............:)
Old 03-07-2007, 02:38 PM   #4
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Re: TIAA-CREF Update...............:)

Quote:
Originally Posted by RustyShackleford
I have been trying to do a 1035 transfer out of their after-tax annuity. Even 10 days
after Vanguard sent the paperwork over they "couldn't find it". So Vanguard faxed
it and it still went missing. Finally asked for a supervisor, left a message, and she
called back that day saying it had been "misplaced" and it's now "being processed".
Guess which day it actually got processed ? You guessed it, 2/27/07.

Meanwhile, trying to re-allocate the annuitized money in my retirement account,
trying to figure out "annuity units" - found references to a document that seems to
explain it, can't find it online, keep asking for it, they keep sending me other docs I
already have multiple copies of. Argh.

They suck, but I accept Brewer (and others) assurance that they are THE most solid
insurance company. Sure aggravating to deal with though.
There's ONE REASON they're the most solid.........it's impossible to get money OUT of them...........
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Re: TIAA-CREF Update...............:)
Old 03-07-2007, 02:40 PM   #5
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Re: TIAA-CREF Update...............:)

Quote:
Originally Posted by RustyShackleford

They suck, but I accept Brewer (and others) assurance that they are THE most solid
insurance company. Sure aggravating to deal with though.
They have bulletproof credit quality, but based on all the complaints, I would have to say that they appear to be underinvesting in customer service.
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Re: TIAA-CREF Update...............:)
Old 03-07-2007, 09:54 PM   #6
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Re: TIAA-CREF Update...............:)

Quote:
... unimpressed that I am a RIA and a financial advisor
... maybe that's why they're so concerned
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Re: TIAA-CREF Update...............:)
Old 03-07-2007, 10:00 PM   #7
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Re: TIAA-CREF Update...............:)

DANG IT...I was all ready to throw out the same quip!

That'll teach me to go outside for 8 hours...
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Re: TIAA-CREF Update...............:)
Old 03-07-2007, 11:08 PM   #8
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Re: TIAA-CREF Update...............:)

Quote:
Originally Posted by d
... maybe that's why they're so concerned
Thanks for the moral support............it's reassuring based on the crap I went through with TIAA..... : : :.....10 layers of idiots that I would fire if I was in management there............I've had better service at a fast food place staffed by ex-cons.................. :P :P :P :P
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Re: TIAA-CREF Update...............:)
Old 03-08-2007, 01:16 PM   #9
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Re: TIAA-CREF Update...............:)

Quote:
Originally Posted by FinanceDude
I've had better service at a fast food place staffed by ex-cons........
And everytime you call the jackasses, they ask you to participate in a
customer service survey. I always say "no", but once that was not good
enough and they called me (before I had all this 1035 grief and the grief
trying to figure out "annuity units", so my impressions were generally good)
and it was a really stupid survey. Basically asked the same questions over
and over again - you know the type. Next time I will point them to this
thread !

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Re: TIAA-CREF Update...............:)
Old 03-08-2007, 01:37 PM   #10
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Re: TIAA-CREF Update...............:)

FinanceDude.....

In situations like this where the beneficiaries are children/minors, would TIAA-CREF, or whatever company, have any fiduciary responsibility if they turn the funds over to a parent who proceeds to piss the funds away? Could the kids come back later as adults and sue? A "why did you turn my money over to my alcoholic, drug dealing, SOB dad?" kind of thing.

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Re: TIAA-CREF Update...............:)
Old 03-08-2007, 05:20 PM   #11
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Re: TIAA-CREF Update...............:)

Quote:
Originally Posted by youbet
FinanceDude.....

In situations like this where the beneficiaries are children/minors, would TIAA-CREF, or whatever company, have any fiduciary responsibility if they turn the funds over to a parent who proceeds to piss the funds away? Could the kids come back later as adults and sue? A "why did you turn my money over to my alcoholic, drug dealing, SOB dad?" kind of thing.
Not really, because as I read in their prospectus regarding a transfer of accounts to another custodian, etc..........it says "such transfers end the fiduciary responsibility of TIAA-CREF, and by doing so you hold TIAA-CREF harmless for any damages due to mismanagment and/or misapprorpiation of funds"...........in other words, if you transfer it out, and piss it away, your kids can'r sue us............

However, I got the distinct feeling good old TIAA has been on the worng side of some litigation in the past, hence the "mother hen" attitude.

As long as I leave the money with them, according to the guy I talked to, TIAA will restrict ANY distributions beyond the normal annual RMD that has to be taken under IRS laws............

It's "good enough" for me, considering the hassles I went through.........
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Re: TIAA-CREF Update...............:)
Old 03-08-2007, 07:32 PM   #12
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Re: TIAA-CREF Update...............:)

Quote:
And everytime you call the jackasses, they ask you to participate in a
customer service survey.
Yes, and the survey you take won't have any space for "Other comments," so you have no way of describing the actual problem you had.
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