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After all that verbiage ... I'd be happy with a one-word answer :-) - if that's all it takes.

More than one word, but it's worth it, because you have choices. If you have some time on your hands and like to cause trouble, start screaming at Hancock to do a direct transfer of all your funds, however they have them set up, to where you want them, and don't stop screaming until you find someone at Hancock who knows what (s)he's doing. Letters to newspapers and calls to CNBC badmouthing them, with copies to them, can be immensely helpful. So can standing in front of their office with a sandwich board, if that's practical. (I've had lots of fun making scenes in bank lobbies over the years. There's just nothing quite like a top-of-your-lungs "Why won't you give me my money? Have you lost it?" to perk things up in a bank. I digress.

The easy route, but far less emotionally satisfying, is to do a rollover on your own. Do whatever paperwork it takes to get a complete distribution without tax withholding from Hancock. Then, within 60 days, use the complete amount to fund your new account. You'll get a 1099-R from Hancock, which you report as zero taxable on your return with a notation of the rollover. See the instructions for line 15 of the 1040 and IRS Publication 590 for the details.

Phil Marti

Hot off the press! Check out The Motley Fool Investment Tax Guide 2001. It comes complete with a money-back guarantee. (Sorry, the steak knives are extra.)

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