Tuesday, 30 September 2014

Bureaucrats at Fidelity Investments aargh!

If you have followed my blog you will remember that I recently spent time at the Sarasota Office of Fidelity Investments with a view to rolling over my "low income" Tax Sheltered Annuity to a "better income" producing Investment Retirement Account.

This is partly because when I reach 70 1/2 (this November) the I.R.S. will mandate that I take "Minimum Required Distributions" each year.

The IRS estimates my life expectancy to be 27 years, so my MRD's  each year will be the principal divided by 27.

My principal is very modest, but I have the vague hope that the yearly earnings will at least keep pace with the mandated withdrawals.

None of this is of great financial import - my retirement savings are not huge, but I'd like them to outstrip inflation.

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ALL WELL AND GOOD, except that when an advisor at the SRQ branch of Fidelity Investments entered my Social Security # into his system it came up with the name of one "M-ry G-lligan".  I've never heard of her.

When I log on to Fidelity using the same Social Security #  it opens up my account.

When  the Church Pension Fund, through whom I opened the account  (sometime in the 1980's) enters my Social Security # -  it leads directly to me and my account.

Thus, this problem of wrong identity is clearly rooted in some error on the part of Fidelity.

The "Operations"  Division at Fidelity asked to see a copy of my Social Security Card so that they could (?) rectify the error.

I could not find that card  (issued in 1976), but I was able to submit a photocopy of my Medicare Card -  which includes my Social Security #.

American readers will understand that I could not possibly have a Medicare Card if I were not enrolled in Social Security.   That's common sense.

But the rules of common sense have no place in the systems of the Fidelity Investment bureaucrats.

They refuse to rectify THIER ERROR until they see a copy of the Social Security Card itself.

(And you thought that slavish bureaucracy was exclusive to the public sector!)

I responded very strongly (and politely)  to the local/SRQ Fidelity advisor when he gave me this information today.  I made it clear that my "beef" was not with him, but with the Fidelity bureaucrats.

I also let him know that I would take my small pot away from their management if their bureaucracy trumps my best interests.

(PLEASE  NOTE  -  the staff members at the Church Pension Fund are well aware of this problem/issue and are doing their best to set it right with Fidelity).

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