In order to reduce my 2005 taxes a little, I decided to throw some of my self employment income into a SEP IRA. The great thing about SEP IRAs is that I can invest above and beyond the normal contribution limit for Traditional and Roth IRAs as well as beyond the employer 401(k) plan offered by my full-tim employer.
Unfortunately, TIAA-CREF doesn’t take applications for these types of accounts online, so I had to print out a form and send it in through snail-mail. The application was received on April 3, and my instructions were to automatically debit (via ETF) the funds from one of my ING Direct savings accounts on April 7.
That should have provided enough time for the account to be funded, even taking into consideration that tax season is an especially busy time of year for them.
By last Monday, I did not see my account online and the ING Direct website showed that no money had been debited. I called TIAA-CREF to follow up and the representative said — after I was hung up upon and I called back — that everything would be in order within a few days.
Sure enough, my account was listed online the following day, but it had still not yet been funded. During this time I was preparing for both my last day at my current job and my vacation, so I couldn’t follow up as closely as I would have liked.
This morning, more than one week after my initial call, I checked online again. The SEP IRA has still not yet been funded. I called the customer service department who tried to research the case, but he couldn’t get a hold of the group that handles electronic funds transfers. Apparently, Illl receive a follow-up email at some point.
I was assured that my contribution will still be considered for the 2005 tax year. This isn’t the first time I’ve had problems with TIAA-CREF this year; hopefully everything will be sorted out quickly. Once this happens, I’ll write about my choice of funds for the SEP IRA.
Today, I’ll be making the trip from South Lake Tahoe to Orange County. It will be an all-day car trip, so I won’t be online until tomorrow. Enjoy your Tuesday!
Updated February 6, 2012 and originally published April 18, 2006.