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tony

Vanguard 403b Services A Mess

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I would not  let your frustration with  newport keep you from getting your money to a lower cost option with Vanguard .

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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.

 

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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.

 

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Francaise

Since the transfer request has only been in since February 28, I think you should be more patient now. Your earlier post led me to believe you were dealing with this issue longer.These transfers can take a while .  They won't be done overnight .Retirement plans take longer than most other transfers/trades. I would make sure they have all their/your information straight and then sit back and give them a couple of weeks  to sort it all out. In a couple of weeks I would call Sherry Lynn and see what progress has been made towards the transfer. If Sherry sounds competent to you then I would always ask for her. Its sometimes the  little details that can hold the process up. Like I said earlier I find how they handle customers  disorganized. But, they did finally make it happen for my teacher friend and it took eight weeks or so If I remember correctly. Granted in shouldn't take that long but sometimes it does because of all the other requests they are handling and the fact its a retirement account. I think you are on the right track. It will happen.  Keep us informed.  I think it will work out but I understand your frustration in the meantime. 

Tony

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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.

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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.

 

Sounds exactly like the crazy whirlwind my friend had to go through.  It shouldn't be that way. Its sad they still haven't changed their procedures. Please keep us informed. 

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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. 

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Wow

I am impressed. You should direct him to this thread . He'll have a conniption. I complained to Vanguard but it didn't seem to have any effect.

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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

 

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I hope you mentioned what happened to you was not an isolated case. He needs to be aware that this may be a bigger problem than he may realize. I applaud you. You may have helped make things better-easier  for other Vanguard 403b investors down the line.  You are one tough cookie!

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