Moving 401K to Vanguard Rollover/Traditional IRA

Recently, I moved my old 401(K) from my previous employer to a Vanguard Rollover IRA account. The process was relatively smooth and I didn’t encounter any issues during the process. The best part? It only required one 11-minute-phone-call to Transamerica where my old 401(K) account was.  Do you want to know more about the process, timelines and fees? 

Before I jump into a full account of what happened I would like to clarify a few things about Rollover IRAs and Traditional IRAs. Even though, for most people, it may not make a difference there is a slight advantage to Rollover IRAs. A rollover IRA is the same as a traditional IRA, except that only funds rolled over from a previous retirement plan are held in the account. By segregating the monies in this way, a rollover IRA ensures that the funds can be rolled to another 401(K) plan if a person gets a job with another company. It just gives you more flexibility in the future.

Here is what happened:

10/23/2016 [Evening]: First, I went to the Vanguard site and started the process to roll over my old 401(K). All I had to do was to print the “Action needed to complete your client’s rollover request” letter to mail to Transamerica with their request form. Then I downloaded the Direct Rollover Request form Transamerica’s website and completed it shown below. So far, everything was online.

Vanguard letter



Transamerica rollover request form


10/24/2016 [Morning]: Before I mailed the rollover request form I called Transamerica to to make sure that was all they needed. I dialed the 1-800 number and was immediately transferred to a Rollover Account Specialist once they found out that I wanted rollover to the account to Vanguard. He tried to convince me to keep the account with them. But after I told him that I already have other accounts with Vanguard and I wanted to consolidate them he understood. He was not pushy at all. Then just to be sure, we went over the direct rollover request form and he told me everything was filled out correctly. This whole conversation with two representatives took only 11 minutes. My next step was to mail the request form and the letter to Transamerica.


10/26/2016: I received an email from Transamerica stating that the assets were liquidated. What? That fast? And the biggest surprise was the full distribution fee charge which was only $25. That was it!

Transamerica Distribution


10/27/2016: Check was issued on 10/27/2016. Disbursement details are below:

Transamerica Disbursement Details


10/31/2016: Check was cashed and invested on 11/01/2016.


The process was very painless and took less than 10 days. I was pleasantly surprised about the small amount of fees charged by Transamerica. That was not the experience I had with Prudential when I rolled over my other rollover IRA account. Perhaps, that one needs its own post in the near future.



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