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Explorer ○○

Not thrilled with TIAA service, or web page

I initiated an in plan ROTH 403 conversion on 6/4/2020

It should have been a simple movement of funds in GSRA account  from pretax to roth.

All funds are in tiaa traditional. I jut wanted to move some funds from pretax 3% to tax free 3%

Things that bother me.

1) I should have been able to do this on their web interface.

2) I had to do it by telephone. I do not like telephones.

3) I've followed up several times via online chat, and telephone. They apparently keep a transcript, but are unable to share that transcript with me.

4) what should have been a 2 business day transaction has dragged on for weeks

Eventually I'll probably want to move those 403b Roth monies into Roth IRA. I have a ROTH ira with tiaa. I like keeping all my money in one place. But I'm tempted to move all roth accounts to a different vendor. No rush, I'll give tiaa a few years to step up their game. . .

14 Replies
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Explorer ○

Re: Not thrilled with TIAA service, or web page

My experiences have long been very similar to what you report. They have some unique products, which are the reason to stay.

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Frequent Contributor

Re: Not thrilled with TIAA service, or web page

There is a longstanding tradition of paternalism at TIAA.  It's been there forever. I don't care for it, but it's been there for so long that I don't expect any change. 

I can certainly understand the anger and frustration.  As an annuitant, I am required to work through a gatekeeper but over time I have made so few changes I just deal with it and move on.

Bob

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Participant ○○

Re: Not thrilled with TIAA service, or web page

Some of us long-term TIAA investors have learned to grin and bear it. I'm retired now and have my main investment account at TIAA. But no annuities, no conversions, just an occasional reallocation among available investments within the plan; and taking required minimum distributions (RMD's). The webpage is terrible, the availability of historical data on one's account is terrible, and some trades and transactions that are nominally available to be made cannot be done. (For example, some listed investment options  are not actually accessible when one tries to reallocate funds to them. This may be a webpage defect.)

Now I have a large accumulated value, and a small number of individual holdings, only one of which is TIAA-specific investment ("Traditional"). I send my monthly RMD's to my credit union (my "bank"). I do not have any TIAA annuities.

I am doing OK financially, and benefiting from my 45 years with TIAA. But I would not recommend TIAA if one has another good option. When my daughter began a retirement plan at a major university 5 years ago, I recommended that she go with Vanguard rather than TIAA -- though she has some money in TIAA from a previous employer.

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Frequent Contributor

Re: Not thrilled with TIAA service, or web page

It occurs to me that TIAA may well be pervaded by an insurance mentality.

Unlike Fidelity, Schwab or Vanguard (all of whom I have dealt with in the past or currently), TIAA--regrettably--simply hasn't adapted to the times.  It thinks it has to hold your hand.

Bob

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Explorer ○

Re: Not thrilled with TIAA service, or web page

Yes, my TIAA account reminds me of an inherited account with UBS, where transactions had to be done through my advisor. The unavailability of online transactions was to "protect" me from fraudulent activity. On a number of occasions, the advisor needed to be reminded to do what I had requested. 

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Explorer ○○○

Re: Not thrilled with TIAA service, or web page

As several other respondents have said, you just have to live with incompetence or leave. TIAA is not going to "step up their game"  ever.  In 2011 my former employer started messing around with investment choices. I started moving out of TIAA and into an IRA at Fidelity. I couldn't make all the move immediately because of some holdings in TIAA Traditional. Those will be all out by Nov 2022. I never regretted the change. Do a search in Google for "problems with TIAA"

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Follower ○○○

Re: Not thrilled with TIAA service, or web page

What's that you say, you're not thrilled with TIAA service, or web page ?   There's actually a club for that.  It's called ... EVERYBODY.

 

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Participant ○

Re: Not thrilled with TIAA service, or web page

Were you able to preserve your TIAA Traditional Vintages passing through the conversion?

Tim

EDIT: Rusty just below: Thank you for posting. I completely overlooked that IRA/RothIRA don't have 3% guarantees for new money. Someone who has an "old" IRA/Roth MIGHT have "a place to put" 3% money (namely, a "frozen" TIAA Traditional account. I actually meant a more prosaic procedural question, but your question is a better one.

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Follower ○○○

Re: Not thrilled with TIAA service, or web page


It should have been a simple movement of funds in GSRA account  from pretax to roth.

All funds are in tiaa traditional. I jut wanted to move some funds from pretax 3% to tax free 3%


You're saying you have Trad funds earning the 3% minimum accumulation rate and you can convert those to a Roth and still get the same accumulation rate ?    Is that the case for Trad in an RA as well ?   Or does it depend on one's particular institution ?

 

 

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Explorer ○○

Re: Not thrilled with TIAA service, or web page


@crefwatch wrote:

Were you able to preserve your TIAA Traditional Vintages passing through the conversion?

Tim

EDIT: Rusty just below: Thank you for posting. I completely overlooked that IRA/RothIRA don't have 3% guarantees for new money. Someone who has an "old" IRA/Roth MIGHT have "a place to put" 3% money (namely, a "frozen" TIAA Traditional account. I actually meant a more prosaic procedural question, but your question is a better one.


I'll let you know when it finally happens. Still waiting . . .

I suspect the vintages will remain the same. This is in a GSRA 403b account. In this account the pretax and Roth monies are co-mingled. The only difference between pretax and Roth is an accounting difference. No investments will actually be moved, they will just have to change the ROTH balance. I think . . .

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Explorer ○○

Re: Not thrilled with TIAA service, or web page


@RustyShacklefor wrote:

It should have been a simple movement of funds in GSRA account  from pretax to roth.

All funds are in tiaa traditional. I jut wanted to move some funds from pretax 3% to tax free 3%


You're saying you have Trad funds earning the 3% minimum accumulation rate and you can convert those to a Roth and still get the same accumulation rate ?    Is that the case for Trad in an RA as well ?   Or does it depend on one's particular institution ?

 

 


It probably depends on institution. The option for Roth 403b in GSRA became an option a few years before I retired. There is no such option in RA (where Traditional is iliquid).

 

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Explorer ○○

Re: Not thrilled with TIAA service, or web page

It appears that the vintages were preserved when the in-plan roth conversion was completed.

 

Now I only have one more issue. The conversion is listed twice - once as having being processed, and once a still pending. I guess I'll have to contact them again. I do not want them to do it twice ...

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Explorer ○○

Re: Not thrilled with TIAA service, or web page

FWIW I got it all sorted out. It all went through as planned.

 

I think we (me and tiaa) may have have figured out the issue. In previous years, if you wanted to move funds into a tiaa account you choose roll-in (even if the source was another tiaa account). Now it appears if you want to move funds from one tiaa account into another you have to choose move money out of your account, then you can easily move it in to another tiaa account. It sort of makes sense, just a different way of looking at the same thing ;)

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Participant ○○

Re: Not thrilled with TIAA service, or web page

Thanks for your updates. We've all had to deal with TIAA's webpage issues. Your perseverance appears to have been rewarded.

 

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