I feel pretty safe with my funds at TIAA. TIAA debited fund from my account 3 weeks after I filed a rollover request online and only after I called them again. Scammers would be better off elsewhere.
Was it 403b or IRA rollover? Did it involve transfer of funds out of TIAA?
All firms have more strict rules for 403b and workplace retirement rollovers/direct-transfers requiring online/paper forms, initiation at the source [not at the target that is OK for IRAs], 3-way phone conferences, and sometimes requiring HR signoffs [if funds involve employer contributions]. While these are often seen as headaches, they also ensure higher levels of protections for funds. What is also confusing is that the same firm may have different rules for different 403b plans they administer.
While these are often seen as headaches, they also ensure higher levels of protections for funds.
In 2010 I walked into the closest Fidelity office in our area with two seven-figure checks from my lump sum pension payouts. I had rolled over my 401k six months earlier, so I already had an IRA account setup. The front desk told me that the checks had to be approved by some “pension” committee, which would take five business days. I asked to speak with a manager who confirmed that the checks, since they were from a pension plan, needed to be approved by some committee, and it would be “some time” before the funds could be deposited in my account. I asked him what he could do for me, and he said it was out of his control. I said I would see if I could get Schwab to accept the checks for deposit today and stood up. The manager then said he would call to see if he could get approval to accept the checks for deposit. He called and gave them my name, account number, the bank the checks were drawn on, the check numbers, etc. After about 30 minutes, he received a call approving access to the funds, for trading, after 1 pm.
The extra safety for pension payouts is a good thing, IMO, and I expect many if not most firms operate in a similar matter.
It was a direct rollover from a 403b to an ira outside TIAA. The thing is that it could have taken 3 months if I did not call. There was a breakdown somewhere and they did not have a system to detect it. TIAA did debit the account on the day I called.
I've had occasional glitches with TIAA. It is annoying. But I've had glitches with my local bank as well. In the end both of them have sorted it out for me, actually now I think about it, I've had to sort it out for them . . .