Medallion Signature Guarantee (MSG)

What is it?

A Medallion Signature Guarantee is a special certification stamp that guarantees a signature that authorizes a financial transaction. Parties will generally require a Medallion Signature Guarantee when an owner wants to sell or transfer retirement assets such as cash or investments.

Where to obtain one?

If a financial institution is not a member of a recognized Medallion Signature Guarantee Program, it will not be able to provide the stamp. The best source of a medallion signature guarantee is a bank, savings and loan association, brokerage firm, or credit union with which you do business. You will need to appear in person, show valid ID and sign in-front of the representative providing the MSG. Some banks and institutions may charge a fee for this service. If you are un-sure if your banking institution provides this service, you should give them a call in advance.

Why do I need one?

The Medallion Signature Guarantee Program protects you by making it harder for people to steal your identity or forge your signature. Some financial institutions insist on medallion signature guarantees because they are an added layer of protection for their clients and the client’s assets.

There are rules regarding the movement of funds between various types of retirement accounts. The most obvious are prohibitions on movement of non-Roth IRA funds into Roth IRAs. There are also timing restrictions on the movement of other funds, such as the 1-rollover rule for most IRAs and the two-year wait on movement of funds moving in or out of Simple IRAs. The chart below from the IRS illustrates the basic rules.

Want to learn more?

You can find more detail at these IRS web pages:

Rollover Chart

Rollovers of Retirement Plan & IRA Distributions