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  1. Vanguard 403b Services A Mess

    So, VP Kevin Patrick is a godsend. He called Friday morning with apologies and Friday afternoon (as promised) with a representation that the transfer had been approved and should post by Vanguard by Tuesday. He retrieved and is listening to my four conversations with the three different agents (I started with a male back in mid-February, who also misled me). He will find a very angry but coherent woman on those tapes, and he says he is going to use them for training purposes. I told him, among other things, a caller is always cut off on the voice routing system when you try to enter your SSN; he was so happy to learn that because he discovered a glitch last month meant the time had been inadvertently shrunk from 20 seconds to 5, so he's correcting that. He also said Vanguard Flagship representatives have a backdoor way into NG, and he was going to call my rep so she would know that (and not also be left hanging when "customer service" fails to do what they promised or call back as promised). The proof will be if the money has been transferred by Tuesday, but I'm optimistic. While Kevin didn't blame his people, he never defended them either, claiming several times my situation should have been escalated long ago. He also asked for me to send him an old Vanguard statement, which I did, because he was trying to track down why NG came up with the wrong school district. There is NO school district on my statements from old Vanguard, so I think he is realizing the mistake is on their side, and he's trying to correct it. So far, so good. And just in case anyone needs it (or ask me for the CEO's email too!): Kevin Patrick Senior Vice President, Participant Service Center | Newport Group 35 Iron Point Circle, Suite 300, Folsom, CA 95630 Phone: 916-467-1929 | Cell: 916-693-2505 Kevin.Patrick@newportgroup.com
  2. Vanguard 403b Services A Mess

    Well, I figured out the email address for the CEO and wrote him last night. First thing this morning, he replied, and I have just finished talking to Kevin Patrick, the VP for the Participant Service Center, who says none of this should ever have happened. It should have been escalated immediately when I asked to have the school district name to be corrected (many weeks ago), and my emails (sent through the NG website) should have been responded to. He said there's a special number for a Vanguard Flagship employee to call, and he will contact my Flagship representative to let her know that, since she experienced awful service and no callbacks, too. He is going to listen to all my calls to "customer service" today. He says the rollover will occur today, and he'll call me back to confirm. When in doubt....go to the top. "There is no contact information for the manager of our department"---really?? I think I figured it out. They crossed the wrong woman. I feel sorry for others who aren't as persistent as I have been.
  3. Vanguard 403b Services A Mess

    Just to clarify: I started working with them in early January, when they directed me first to the wrong form, then to the wrong plan administrator. And they admit they had my two emailed requests from February that they had not responded to, as well as the transfer request since February 28, and simply weren't responding to them because they believed the school district name was wrong. Nothing was started on correcting the wrong school district name until I called March 5. We will see.
  4. Vanguard 403b Services A Mess

    Just an update on my attempt to get Newport Group to roll over the 403b money. I spoke to "Sherry Lynn" in "customer service" (1-800-569-4903) on March 5 and she promised to get the school district error on their end corrected so the rollover could take place and promised to keep me posted. I called her to check on March 6 and she said it hadn't happened yet. Today I gave up on Sherry Lynn (who's never attempted to call me back) and asked for Katie, who (sadly) wasn't available. I talked to Chris instead, who told me (a) the system has to be updated before the rollover can happen, (b) IT has to update the system and they have a lot of tickets in line ahead of this one, (c) she can't promise me when the update will happen, and (d) "there is no contact number for a manager of the department." Does anyone know how to reach someone above them? They've had the rollover request since February 28.
  5. Vanguard 403b Services A Mess

    Steve, those ERs are indeed crazy high. Thanks for such a useful resource. It makes it easy to put a price on USAA's accessibility, transparency and service, doesn't it? A high price, for sure, but until I calm down, I am willing to cut off my nose to spite my face. Actually---since my husband is beyond 59 1/2, maybe I'll just roll USAA's 403(b) into the Vanguard Rollover IRA, once I get the Newport rollover to fund it. Ah! Problem solved.
  6. Vanguard 403b Services A Mess

    Oh, don't get me started on the annuity rip-off program! Our poor school employees, who assume that's the only route, when it's such a money-loser. As for USAA, the funds are in USAA S&P 500 Index Fund with an expense ratio of .28%, year to date return 5.68%. Of course, Vanguard is distinctly better, but I'll forgo a decent amount of return just to avoid Newport Group. And here I was, a few months ago, planning to move the USAA money over to Vanguard. But not now.
  7. Vanguard 403b Services A Mess

    USAA is fantastic. Newport Group (at first) couldn't tell me the identity of the plan administrator; then a couple of weeks later they gave me the wrong name. I had to call USAA to find the name of the plan administrator (because my husband has another 403(b) there from the same school district). Within 5-10 minutes I had the right person at USAA who knew the right information and willingly shared it with me. Then, knowing the true plan administrator, I went back to Newport Group to continue my quest for the rollover. Still working on that one, but I'll update you when I know more. I am dealing with "Sherry Lynn" (sounds like that) but have taken due note of "Katy's" name you mention above. I think I'll ask for her when I call again tonight. [Another NG touch: My husband is present with me when I call. Each time he has to give his full name, birthdate and address to verify I can speak for him. Last night, Sherry Lynn wouldn't proceed until he provided the third name of our three-word city, even though he'd given everything else correctly. He didn't know what she was asking for, and she didn't try to help him understand. They are incorrigible, but I am determined. ]
  8. Vanguard 403b Services A Mess

    I've been having the same problem for many weeks with Newport Group. In trying to move the balance of a Vanguard 403(b) account to an already-established Vanguard Rollover IRA account, Newport Group has done nothing but set up roadblocks for my husband. In the first weeks, waits of 40 minutes or more to have the phone answered. Recently, two online emailed requests completely ignored. Newport Group then directed me to the wrong form, then refused it when I mailed it. Then NG directed me to the wrong plan administrator--because they erred in classifying the account with the wrong school district name. I went personally to that plan administrator, hand-delivering the form, and sent it NG. It was completely ignored because they gave me the WRONG plan administrator. They don't contact you to provide any guidance or follow-up. Finally I found the right plan administrator, which faxed the form to NG on February 28. No word on the transfer of funds. On March 5 NG told me they couldn't process it because the school name didn't fit their designation--but that's totally NG's error, and both a phone call to a live person in early February plus two attempted online contacts to have the name corrected were completely fruitless. On March 5 NG said they could only send the funds to my husband, and he would have to re-send them to his other Vanguard account. I said that wasn't acceptable, so they agreed to "escalate" our request. I called March 6, and they said the escalation consisted of their trying to get the name change corrected--but as of March 6, it still hadn't happened. I am appalled that Vanguard has outsourced to such an incompetent group, which is affecting Vanguard's reputation--or, certainly, my regard for the company. My Flagship representative has tried to help but been equally ineffective; NG promises to call her back, but doesn't. My husband's new 403(b) funds are going to USAA, because they answer the phone, know what they're doing, and care about their customers. We would do anything to not deal with NG again.