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Transferring an account to another firm is relatively easy. The first step is to open an account at the new firm. Then sign an account transfer form, which will be provided by the new firm. A representative at the new firm should be able to provide assistance if you encounter any difficulties. The transfer should be completed within two weeks.George Riles, First Vice President and Resident Manager, Merrill Lynch, Albany, GA
In a transfer, a 401(k) or IRA custodian or trustee moves the assets in your existing account directly to the custodian or trustee of your new account.
With a transfer, you don't risk failing to deposit the full amount of your withdrawal within the 60-day deadline for rollovers. And, in the case of a transfer from a 401(k) or similar retirement savings plan, nothing is withheld for income taxes.
In contrast, if you handle the rollover yourself, your employer must withhold 20% of the account value.
When securities are sent to a transfer agent for reregistration of the ownership name, this process is also known as a transfer.
Securities may be registered in the actual, or beneficial, owner's name, or in the name of a nominee, known as street name. Most stocks that are held by brokerage firms for their clients are registered in nominee name on the transfer agent's books.