As featured in The Wall Street Journal, Money Magazine, and more!


This article was written by in Investing. 4 comments.

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.

Email Email Print Print
About the author

Luke Landes is the founder of Consumerism Commentary. He has been blogging and writing for the internet since 1995 and has been building online communities since 1991. Find out more about Luke Landes and follow him on Twitter. View all articles by .

{ 4 comments… read them below or add one }

avatar 1 Anonymous

Good luck Flexo, I think as long as all the postmarks are within the deadline you should be alright but dealing with these things is such a pain.

Reply to this comment

avatar 2 Anonymous

yes.. I believe Jim is right-on. TIAA-CREF will apply your money per your instructions as a 2005 contribution even if it occurred after 4/15. However, just make sure you keep a record of what occurred in case you get audited by the IRS… that is the only time you will be asked to justify the date discrepancy. Weather is great down here in SoCal!

Reply to this comment

avatar 3 Anonymous

Same mess up, they cashed my cheque a month ago but my SEP IRA does not show up online.

Reply to this comment

avatar 4 Anonymous

The TIAA-CREF operations and website seems to be in a state of near meltdown. For more than six weeks I have been unable to get my BALANCE from the website. What if a bank did this? My guess is that the FDIC would have real issues.

Reply to this comment

Leave a Comment

Note: Use your name or a unique handle, not the name of a website or business. No deep links or business URLs are allowed. Spam, including promotional linking to a company website, will be deleted. By submitting your comment you are agreeing to these terms and conditions.