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Your guide to completing a rollover

To complete a rollover to Vanguard, the first step is usually contacting the current firm that holds your employer plan. Here are some questions you should ask them when you give them a call.


Questions to ask

What types of assets are held in the employer-sponsored plan?

Our take on this question

Knowing whether you have pre-tax or Roth assets will tell you what type of IRA you’ll need at Vanguard to hold those assets (a Traditional IRA, Roth IRA, or both). Company stock included in your plan may also add a layer of complexity.


Questions to ask

Is there a name difference to be aware of?

Our take on this question

A common situation that delays a rollover is when checks are made out from the current institution to a name that doesn't match your registration at Vanguard. Examples include birth name vs. married name, missing suffix (Jr., Sr., etc.), differing middle initials (John A. Doe and John J. Doe), etc.


Questions to ask

What rollover requirements are there?

Our take on this question

Each employer-sponsored plan will have its own requirements. The most common include:

  • The employer plan may require its own paperwork.
  • The employer plan may require its paperwork with additional signature requirements (e.g., a notary).

Remember, the plan administrator may be able to take all the information over the phone or online!


Questions to ask

Is a letter of acceptance (LOA) required?

Our take on this question

Many times, the company holding your employer plan will require a LOA from Vanguard. A letter of acceptance is just a letter that says Vanguard will receive the assets. They'll need this because they want to know where to send your funds. You can generate a LOA from Vanguard by going through our online rollover process.


Questions to ask

Is a notary, Medallion signature guarantee, or signature from the plan administrator required?

Our take on this question

Every now and then, your plan will require an additional proof of your identity to complete the rollover. This could be a notary or a Medallion signature guarantee (which is something you usually get from your bank).

Occasionally, the plan's administrator may also have to sign off on the rollover.


Questions to ask

Do I need to obtain spousal consent?

Our take on this question

Some plans may require your spouse to provide a signature in order to move the money from the plan to an IRA.


Questions to ask

Where will the rollover check be sent?

Our take on this question

Vanguard will accept a check sent directly from the plan or directly from you. Please make sure you/your provider follow the appropriate mailing guidelines to avoid any delays in the process.

If you're already a Vanguard client and registered for online access, consider using Mobile Check Deposit offered through the Vanguard app.


Questions to ask

Are e-signatures or faxes allowed?

Our take on this question

Some plans allow e-signatures or copies of paperwork. Others may require original paperwork with your original signature.

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Personal Investors

Employer-plan participants