Author Topic: Vanguard and/or Empower lost my $32K!  (Read 1991 times)

Timeforfocus

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Vanguard and/or Empower lost my $32K!
« on: September 27, 2021, 01:56:40 PM »
I recently left my employer and did a rollover from Empower to Vanguard. I rolled the $$ from the settlement fund to VTSAX three weeks ago. This past Friday at 4:30pm I got a notice (which I read on Saturday morning) stating that I needed to send them $32K to reimburse my settlement fund.  Two hours on the phone this morning reveals that Empower apparently pulled the funds back this past Thursday. However, Empower states that they show the check was cashed. Both companies have started an investigation, but right now it's a giant mess and Vanguard is planning to sell off my VTSAX to make themselves whole. The whole thing is a pretty giant cluster right now.

yachi

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Re: Vanguard and/or Empower lost my $32K!
« Reply #1 on: September 27, 2021, 02:06:04 PM »
This sounds awful, I hope they get it sorted out.  Are these brokerage accounts, or IRA/401(k) accounts?

Timeforfocus

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Re: Vanguard and/or Empower lost my $32K!
« Reply #2 on: September 27, 2021, 02:14:21 PM »
They are rollover 401k to IRA accounts. The money market is the settlement fund, and that's where the money first landed. Then they swept it out into the retirement fund. I had two checks, one for Roth and one for traditional, and the traditional account is the one that is all screwed up. It's a giant mess and neither company was quite sure who to look to for resolution.

MustacheAndaHalf

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Re: Vanguard and/or Empower lost my $32K!
« Reply #3 on: September 28, 2021, 08:14:18 AM »
Lawyer fees might be a bit much for $32k, but it could be worth reaching out to government departments.  Maybe start with the Department of Labor, since your employer is refusing to give you your money?

iris lily

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Re: Vanguard and/or Empower lost my $32K!
« Reply #4 on: September 28, 2021, 10:07:55 AM »
So sorry to hear this!

About a year or more ago I rolled over funds from Empower to Vanguard and it went smoothly. I will say that because I was in their upper level of funds, entry point was $250,000 I think, I had someone watching my account as well as the transaction I presume.

In Contrast, I rolled over a far lesser amount from an investment account in Transamerica to Vanguard. Oh God the hoops I had to jump through to do that! And then they confiscated a shit ton of money as I exited their clutches.I just rolled my eyes and cursed them because there’s nothing I can do about it and I’m sure this was on the initial paperwork I signed decades ago.

BicycleB

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Re: Vanguard and/or Empower lost my $32K!
« Reply #5 on: September 28, 2021, 12:08:39 PM »
Keep after it, @Timeforfocus. This kind of thing should be well documented and highly resolvable.

I assisted a friend who was transferring funds from a US bank to a foreign one in order to invest in small business domiciled in the country of the foreign bank. Sure enough at one point the money seemed to disappear. In due course (a few days if I recall correctly), after several phone calls and requests for documentation, the flaw in the accounting systems related to different bank branches was discovered and straightened out.

No doubt the details are different here, but it's a pure financial transaction between US institutions. Each transfer and recipient should be documented. Obviously, so far it sucks though! Good luck getting to the bottom of this.

Timeforfocus

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Re: Vanguard and/or Empower lost my $32K!
« Reply #6 on: September 28, 2021, 02:19:40 PM »
Back on hold with Vanguard. No one has contacted me today, so time for me to get back up in someone's business. Thus far the problem seems to possibly stem from the fact that Empower wrote the check to Vangaurd instead of Vanguard. I still can't figure out how they could pull the money back three weeks after the money was deposited, though.

Dicey

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Re: Vanguard and/or Empower lost my $32K!
« Reply #7 on: September 28, 2021, 02:32:43 PM »
Back on hold with Vanguard. No one has contacted me today, so time for me to get back up in someone's business. Thus far the problem seems to possibly stem from the fact that Empower wrote the check to Vangaurd instead of Vanguard. I still can't figure out how they could pull the money back three weeks after the money was deposited, though.
All that over such a minor typo? After this gets resolved, use the power of social media to shame them both. Or report them to the proper authorities. Or both.

I'd be as pissed as you are right now. What a waste of your time, energy and resources! Fingers crossed that the time out of the market works in your favor.

ZaraThustra

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Re: Vanguard and/or Empower lost my $32K!
« Reply #8 on: September 29, 2021, 10:01:12 AM »
Back on hold with Vanguard. No one has contacted me today, so time for me to get back up in someone's business. Thus far the problem seems to possibly stem from the fact that Empower wrote the check to Vangaurd instead of Vanguard. I still can't figure out how they could pull the money back three weeks after the money was deposited, though.

But the Roth check deposited. And, wouldn't the routing number be for Vanguard regardless of a typing error elsewhere?  (EDIT: Article 3 of UCC covers negotiable instruments. Check with typo in payee's name / deposit bank is still properly payable.)

I traded with an online broker named Options House. Logged in. Money all gone. Showed a negative account balance. Emailed and called them frantically. Next day, all good.  There's ghosts in the machine.  Sorry this happened.
« Last Edit: September 29, 2021, 10:06:57 AM by ZaraThustra »

Timeforfocus

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Re: Vanguard and/or Empower lost my $32K!
« Reply #9 on: September 29, 2021, 03:07:07 PM »
Sigh. Nothing new today. Vanguard still says it's Empower's fault. Empower says they didn't do it. Vanguard rep is supposed to call me again tomorrow. Such a PIA!

BicycleB

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Re: Vanguard and/or Empower lost my $32K!
« Reply #10 on: September 29, 2021, 03:25:43 PM »
This is so baffling. Each party should have documentation of where the money went.

It makes me wonder if an individual is covering up. In which case going over their head so that someone else reviews the documentation might expose the error?

Maybe it's one of these cases where it is correct to go up the ladder persistently.


Another Reader

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Re: Vanguard and/or Empower lost my $32K!
« Reply #11 on: September 29, 2021, 03:32:18 PM »
Vanguard lost a couple of hundred thousand in a rollover from a 457 plan about 10 years ago.  Vanguard stated several times they had no record of receiving the money.  It mysteriously appeared after about six weeks of denial.  No love for Vanguard here...

iris lily

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Re: Vanguard and/or Empower lost my $32K!
« Reply #12 on: September 29, 2021, 06:27:25 PM »
When I was relating the pain of transferring money around (and this was one of those transactions, Empower to Vanguard)  someone on another forum relayed the sad tale of their own money transfer. A check for six figures completely disappeared for a couple of weeks. He later found it in the bushes near his front porch.

What a shit show.I remember asking Empower  “can’t you transfer this digitally? “But nope they could not, they had to write a check.

I wish you well OP. It’s nerve-racking until all the monies are safely deposited.
« Last Edit: September 30, 2021, 10:40:06 AM by iris lily »

Timeforfocus

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Re: Vanguard and/or Empower lost my $32K!
« Reply #13 on: October 05, 2021, 06:35:43 PM »
Dammmmmit! Vanguard left a message on my husband's phone (no idea why that's primary) and said to call Empower to reissue the check or call them and they'd conference and help me get that done. Tried to call Vanguard-hold time >30 minutes. Gave up, called Empower-held for 10 minutes then spent another 15 trying to figure it out with the woman who answered the phone. Nope, check still shows cashed on their end-they are not reissuing. Hang up, try back to Vanguard-hold time still >30 minutes-waited until 8pm and then gave up since no one would answer at Empower after 8. I'll have to try again tomorrow, but I am very over it.

On the plus side-I did win my fight with Express Scripts today over a billing error that they made and I no longer owe them $116. We've been fighting about that since August 23. One down...one much bigger one to go.

BicycleB

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Re: Vanguard and/or Empower lost my $32K!
« Reply #14 on: October 05, 2021, 10:08:17 PM »
check still shows cashed on their end

What answers do they give to Where's My Money questions like:

-What account was it deposited in - what bank, what account number, etc?
-What is the time, transaction number, and other identification information of the transaction?
-Can they provide an electronic or physical receipt from the recipient bank acknowledging the above?

Anyway, since you got a flicker of assistance already, here's hoping you succeed soon.

Timeforfocus

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Re: Vanguard and/or Empower lost my $32K!
« Reply #15 on: October 06, 2021, 05:36:47 PM »
Another day, another hour on hold. On the plus side-I actually have a phone number and name of someone I can reach out to. That's a first after four or five times of telling the story and having someone "research" it and read the notes.

The current explanation is that it was "double deposited" on the 10th and then in reconciliation they "pulled it back" from my account on the 23rd. They are now having the accounting department and some other department that is in my notes review the logs and verifying that the money did actually make it to Vanguard and then they will correct my account.

Vanguard did finally admit today that the problem was on their end and not Empower's even though they told me to call and have Empower reissue a check yesterday.

So annoying and frustrating, but hopefully closer to a resolution.

ardrum

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Re: Vanguard and/or Empower lost my $32K!
« Reply #16 on: October 06, 2021, 07:00:05 PM »
I hope this gets resolved very soon!  I would be very stressed out.

BicycleB

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Re: Vanguard and/or Empower lost my $32K!
« Reply #17 on: October 06, 2021, 08:24:38 PM »
Another day, another hour on hold. On the plus side-I actually have a phone number and name of someone I can reach out to. That's a first after four or five times of telling the story and having someone "research" it and read the notes.

The current explanation is that it was "double deposited" on the 10th and then in reconciliation they "pulled it back" from my account on the 23rd. They are now having the accounting department and some other department that is in my notes review the logs and verifying that the money did actually make it to Vanguard and then they will correct my account.

Vanguard did finally admit today that the problem was on their end and not Empower's even though they told me to call and have Empower reissue a check yesterday.

So annoying and frustrating, but hopefully closer to a resolution.

Annoying and frustrating, amen.

marty998

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Re: Vanguard and/or Empower lost my $32K!
« Reply #18 on: October 07, 2021, 04:02:56 AM »
I remember asking Empower  “can’t you transfer this digitally? “But nope they could not, they had to write a check.

In this day and age, there is no excuse. None. For companies continuing to perpetuate an incredibly outdated method of payment.

Any company still paying cheques basically is holding a neon sign flashing to the world "we are inefficient, unable to compete in the 21st century, and unworthy of your business because we are administratively higher cost for slower service".

RWD

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Re: Vanguard and/or Empower lost my $32K!
« Reply #19 on: October 12, 2021, 11:59:42 AM »
Any update? This sounds super frustrating.

Timeforfocus

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Re: Vanguard and/or Empower lost my $32K!
« Reply #20 on: October 12, 2021, 06:19:43 PM »
Money reappeared in my account yesterday. No notice from anyone, no message, nothing, but the account no longer has a negative balance. From the last phone call last week it sounds like there was an issue in the app and when I took the picture of the check it didn't process fully but then actually went through a second time. SO, the issue was on Vanguard's end the whole time and Empower never actually pulled the check back or did anything wrong. WAY too much time spent chasing this down, but I'm glad it seems to be resolved.

BicycleB

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Re: Vanguard and/or Empower lost my $32K!
« Reply #21 on: October 13, 2021, 08:43:38 AM »
Yay!!

PS. I wonder if the "second" check will come through now. Got any plans to spend the extra money? LOL.

simonsez

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Re: Vanguard and/or Empower lost my $32K!
« Reply #22 on: October 13, 2021, 10:24:52 AM »
Awesome, kudos for seeing it through to the desired result!  I'm sure that was nerve-wracking!

Timeforfocus

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Re: Vanguard and/or Empower lost my $32K!
« Reply #23 on: October 13, 2021, 06:55:10 PM »
Yay!!

PS. I wonder if the "second" check will come through now. Got any plans to spend the extra money? LOL.

I'm sure I could come up with something :)

I did get two emails today letting me know that they had given me my money back----thanks for that late notice cuz I haven't been checking it obsessively the last few weeks or anything (big eye roll).

iris lily

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Re: Vanguard and/or Empower lost my $32K!
« Reply #24 on: October 17, 2021, 07:37:01 AM »
Yay!!

PS. I wonder if the "second" check will come through now. Got any plans to spend the extra money? LOL.

I'm sure I could come up with something :)

I did get two emails today letting me know that they had given me my money back----thanks for that late notice cuz I haven't been checking it obsessively the last few weeks or anything (big eye roll).

What a relief! Good.