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I have a 401K of over $10K (so I can let it sit there until retirement) earned while working at my former job. Now I'm considering transferring these funds to my Vanguard IRA. I've done this a few times as I've changed jobs over the years and each time the previous employer's 401k administrator has worked with Vanguard to make that transfer happen directly (trustee-to-trustee) without sending me a check that I would need to send in to Vanguard myself.

Now with my last job, they are telling me that they don't do in-kind distributions and that I would need to sell my shares and buy them back. They're telling me they'll send me the check. Now I'm asking them why they can't work with Vanguard to just make that transfer happen (transferring the money and repurchasing shares) and they keep just repeating that they don't do in-kind distributions.

I am a little green but I don't understand why not being able to do in-kind distributions goes hand-in-hand with having to mail me a check. Am I missing something?
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