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401(k) Consolidation and Rollover Complete
Old 06-08-2021, 04:45 AM   #1
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401(k) Consolidation and Rollover Complete

What a nice trip it's been since 2014, when megacorp chopped me:
https://www.early-retirement.org/for...ade-72128.html

I did leave the 401(k) with ING which then lost the business to Empower. Most of the choices stayed the same, all low expense.

I also went off and took a job with minicorp and built another 401(k) piece in 4-5 years. When I left early 2020 I soon moved that amount to Schwab Rollover IRA. Principal made that pretty easy to do, just the complications of checks going back and forth during Covid was a bit stressing. Check had to go to Florida where some poor guy has to process all the deposits for closed Schwab offices. Actually got him on the phone and he bumped me further up the queue and relived my angst.

Important things arose shortly after, and I continued to hold the megacorp 401(k). I've recently hit a bright spot and filled out new 17 page transfer form (form had changed from a year earlier). Empower was requesting notary on spouse sign-off portion, so another complication. Dumb luck led us to UPS which has a notary ($12). More work was required to scan and splice signature pages into the fillable PDF provided by Empower. Got that done, and securely uploaded.

Two text messages and emails followed (interesting that all were duplicated), and on the 5th day I had two checks in my grubby paws. 1) Rollover check FBO me to Schwab, and 2) Withdraw of post-tax contributions and earnings. Check #2 was scanned and deposited to bank. For #1 check I drove to local Schwab office, and deposited in box at front desk.

Went to Staples to waste some money, and arrived home about 1 hour after dropping off check. I logged in and the funds were available. Seven-year odyssey is now finished.
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Old 06-08-2021, 05:30 AM   #2
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Glad all went well. I was in the process January 2020 and things headed south with pandemic, and stopped the transfer action. I haven't thought about roll over transfer again. I might just leave mine where it is at.

I bet it was a stressful ordeal and added stress with the times we were in.
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Old 06-08-2021, 05:53 AM   #3
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I need to do this with a large 401K DW has with Mass Mutual. The funds and fees are fine so there is no rush but they don't have a reasonable web site or easy methods for withdrawals so we want to move it to Schwab. MM doesn't let you transfer in kind so it is risky to let them liquidate when they get around to it. With the market up so high I suspect the thing to do is get the paperwork ready, liquidate on an up day, then file the papers.
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Old 06-08-2021, 06:29 AM   #4
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Congratulations, well done! I did a big consolidation/re-engineering of accounts last year and it has been wonderfully more simple to manage our portfolio.
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Old 06-08-2021, 07:03 AM   #5
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Recently rolled over a 401K to Fido IRA, and it couldn't have been simpler. Check from 401K arrived 2 days after requesting distribution online (took maybe 1 minute). Deposited check via Fidelity phone app.

Done.
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Old 06-08-2021, 07:38 AM   #6
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It's funny (to me anyway) that setting up my 401k retirement account was so simple I don't even recall setting it up... I think maybe it took a single page form or checking off a box somewhere... They immediately started taking the money out of my payroll checks and deposited it in my account. That went on transparently for 30 years.... They even changed 401k managers at one point and it "just happened" from my POV. No actions ever required by me...

After I retired (~10 years ago) I decided to transfer a small amount from my 401k last year to my tIRA at Schwab. Really did this just to see how it would work... I lost track of how many forms, emails and phone calls it took to get it done... Then, when done, they finally sent a paper check FBO, VIA the US mail to my brokerage account. It took over two weeks in total to get a small transfer done once the check was sent... Overall it was well over three weeks. Next time it will be for everything.


Clearly they don't like moving "money" from one financial institution to another.
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Old 06-08-2021, 10:04 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by street View Post
Glad all went well. I was in the process January 2020 and things headed south with pandemic, and stopped the transfer action. I haven't thought about roll over transfer again. I might just leave mine where it is at.

I bet it was a stressful ordeal and added stress with the times we were in.
I've been dealing with more urgent issues since retirement. I just pushed this one to the side after the dance I had to do when transferring the first. The ongoing fees were minimal, but it did weigh on me. But it's done now. There's a local office where spouse can go if necessary.

Quote:
Originally Posted by donheff View Post
I need to do this with a large 401K DW has with Mass Mutual. The funds and fees are fine so there is no rush but they don't have a reasonable web site or easy methods for withdrawals so we want to move it to Schwab. MM doesn't let you transfer in kind so it is risky to let them liquidate when they get around to it. With the market up so high I suspect the thing to do is get the paperwork ready, liquidate on an up day, then file the papers.
You don't know the day it is liquidated until later. There's no way around being out of the market either. Getting the transfer paperwork and running through it helped me. They may have trick questions for you, like in high school.


Quote:
Originally Posted by chassis View Post
Congratulations, well done! I did a big consolidation/re-engineering of accounts last year and it has been wonderfully more simple to manage our portfolio.
Yes, this puts two 401(k) accounts into one rollover, and we have three (3) ETF's instead of six (6) funds. I'm looking forward to a much simpler month-end inventory.
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Old 06-08-2021, 10:15 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Car-Guy View Post
It's funny (to me anyway) that setting up my 401k retirement account was so simple I don't even recall setting it up... I think maybe it took a single page form or checking off a box somewhere... They immediately started taking the money out of my payroll checks and deposited it in my account. That went on transparently for 30 years.... They even changed 401k managers at one point and it "just happened" from my POV. No actions ever required by me...

After I retired (~10 years ago) I decided to transfer a small amount from my 401k last year to my tIRA at Schwab. Really did this just to see how it would work... I lost track of how many forms, emails and phone calls it took to get it done... Then, when done, they finally sent a paper check FBO, VIA the US mail to my brokerage account. It took over two weeks in total to get a small transfer done once the check was sent... Overall it was well over three weeks. Next time it will be for everything.

Clearly they don't like moving "money" from one financial institution to another.
This rings a bell for me. Last year I decided it would help if I could withdraw the post-tax money. I also needed to find out why I couldn't use my linked bank account for a withdrawal. The link didn't work I surmised because it gave them an opportunity to persuade me to use their blah-blah-blah product when I called in for support. And I couldn't withdraw just post-tax. With a withdrawal all of the sources get apportioned. So it confirmed again that getting out of Empowerment was still a great idea. Even better I got to withdraw the post-tax money, which is simply what I wanted to do.
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Old 06-08-2021, 05:55 PM   #9
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I'm leaving megacorp (retiring) this year and was going to move 401K to Fido but decided to wait since 401K plan has a stable value MM paying close to 2%. Hopefully in the near future cd's will inch back up and then I will do the rollover to access the brokered cd's...
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Old 06-08-2021, 11:53 PM   #10
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You are guilting me: the goal for the year was to roll the DW's 5 IRAs into her largest Fidelity IRA. I still haven't taken action.

Step 1 is to buy the Etrade stock/funds in the Fidelity account (there is enough cash to sell the Etrade holdings and buy in Fidelity), then after the Etrade funds are deposited, start the larger Vanguard transition. I still haven't started. Fail!
The rationale is to prepare in case I croak prematurely, since then she will only need to deal with 2 Fidelity accounts.
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Old 06-09-2021, 06:16 AM   #11
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I just completed an HSA move from Further/Schwab to Fidelity and it was much more painful than the 401k experiences listed on this thread. Firstly, Schwab refused to move the investment portion of the account in-kind, I assume because it was behind the Further account, rather than truly mine. Then Further refused to let me sell more than 90% of the holdings in one transaction, so it took two transactions over several days to cash out there before I could even start the transfer on the Fido side. Then a few weeks to get the money moved to Fido, even though it was all done online. 7 weeks total.
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Old 06-09-2021, 06:57 AM   #12
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All those roadblocks confirm you made the right decision. Fidelity customer service is much better. Although I do think your difficulty in the transfer were not really Schwab.
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Old 06-09-2021, 07:59 AM   #13
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My Stable Value Fund Performance

Quote:
Originally Posted by daver View Post
I'm leaving megacorp (retiring) this year and was going to move 401K to Fido but decided to wait since 401K plan has a stable value MM paying close to 2%. Hopefully in the near future cd's will inch back up and then I will do the rollover to access the brokered cd's...
I was thinking similarly, and focused on the access to SVF. Eventually though I just had to make the move as simplification won out. I just logged in to get the performance of the SVF. I always felt it lagged what others here were reporting anyways. I won't miss it.
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Old 06-09-2021, 08:14 AM   #14
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Iím a week into the consolidation process now. Rolling small 401(k) and 457 plans into my big IRA at Merrill Lynch private client group.

Had to fill out a few forms and mailed those off to 401(k) and 457 plan administrators along with an acceptance letter from ML last week.

Waiting to see how this transfer process works.
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Old 06-09-2021, 08:14 AM   #15
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I tried to get all the after tax money out of my 401k with Aon Hewitt, but there's still $0.35 in it (the interest accumulated after the pull request and before the pull was executed). I knew the rate, and tried to pull the amount, plus those few cents, and the web site wouldn't do it. So I called and said I wanted to pull ALL after tax, including accumulated interest. They said they could, but then they did exactly what I could have done, leaving the interest


If they didn't charge $5 per transaction, I'd do another pull for $0.35.
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Old 06-09-2021, 08:26 AM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RobLJ View Post
You are guilting me: the goal for the year was to roll the DW's 5 IRAs into her largest Fidelity IRA. I still haven't taken action.

Step 1 is to buy the Etrade stock/funds in the Fidelity account (there is enough cash to sell the Etrade holdings and buy in Fidelity), then after the Etrade funds are deposited, start the larger Vanguard transition. I still haven't started. Fail!
The rationale is to prepare in case I croak prematurely, since then she will only need to deal with 2 Fidelity accounts.
A little guilt goes a long way! Here is our perspective.

We had 21 funds (positions really) to track in 12 accounts. Now we are down to 9: TSA, SEP-IRA, Rollover-IRA, S/D IRA, IRA, 2 Roth's, taxable brokerage, inherited annuities. I think we can get it to 7 by end of next year.
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Old 06-09-2021, 10:51 AM   #17
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A little guilt goes a long way! Here is our perspective.

We had 21 funds (positions really) to track in 12 accounts. Now we are down to 9: TSA, SEP-IRA, Rollover-IRA, S/D IRA, IRA, 2 Roth's, taxable brokerage, inherited annuities. I think we can get it to 7 by end of next year.
Over the past few years we've been cleaning out dust bunnies and detritus too. Not urgently, so elapsed time could have been less. We are now at our minimum # of accounts: 2xIRA, 2xCash accounts, 2xRoths. Our real accomplishment, though others may not view it that way, is to get all the equity holdings into one fund, VTWAX. No need to track anything any more; just hold 9,000 or so stocks, review the accounts and AA once a year, and ignore Mr. Market's games.

Re Buffett's advice: "Only buy something that you'd be perfectly happy to hold if the market shut down for 10 years." We're there.
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