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Follow the step-by-step rollover process

You'll have some decisions to make, but we'll be there to help.

A quick look at rollovers

Although rollovers typically take about 2-4 weeks to complete, you'll only spend about 20 to 30 minutes getting the process started. You'll need an eligible IRA open at Vanguard to move your assets into, and you'll also need to contact the other firm to initiate your rollover.

A quick guide for rollovers

Follow these steps to roll over your retirement savings.

Step 1

Set up your Vanguard IRA

Do you already have an IRA open at Vanguard? Then you may not need to open a new one to receive the assets. If you don't have an IRA open yet, you can open one online. Just remember a few things:

  • Pre-tax contributions from an employer plan must be moved into a rollover IRA or a traditional IRA.
  • Roth contributions from an employer plan must be moved into a Roth IRA.
  • If you're transferring both pre-tax and Roth contributions, you'll need to open one account for each.

Step 2

Contact your provider to understand the rollover requirements

There are multiple things to consider when initiating a rollover, and the first step is contacting the firm that's holding your plan. You'll need to ask them what types of assets are held in your employer plan (pre-tax or Roth), what paperwork they may need you to complete, whether a letter of acceptance is needed, whether a notary or medallion signature guarantee is required, and more. Reach out to them and ask about all the specifics.

Step 3

Deposit money into your Vanguard account

The other firm should:

  • Make the check out to Vanguard FBO [your name]
  • Indicate that this is a rollover
  • Place your Vanguard account number(s) on the request

If the check is made payable to Vanguard, do not endorse it. If the check is made payable to you instead of Vanguard, you should endorse it, include the above information, and mail it to us within 60 days. To avoid owing taxes or penalties on early withdrawals, check with your tax advisor. You can mail your check to this address.

Once we receive the assets, we'll place the funds into your money market settlement fund in your IRA.

Consider mobile check deposit

If you're already a Vanguard client and you're registered for online access, remember that you can use our mobile check deposit option offered through the Vanguard app. It's faster than mailing a check!

When you're logged on and using the app, just tap the Mobile check option under the main menu and then follow the instructions. Learn more about mobile check deposit

Start your rollover online

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Personal Investors

Employer-plan participants



If you're interested in a Vanguard Brokerage IRA, please call us.