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When should I …roll over a retirement account?

When Should I ...?

If you’re retiring and have an employer-sponsored retirement plan such as a 401(k), rolling into an IRA can help preserve the tax-advantaged wealth you have accumulated.

But tax advantages come with tax rules, so rollovers can get complicated. What is in your best interest depends on your individual circumstances.

For instance, if you retire between age 55 and 59½, you may be eligible to withdraw money from the 401(k) plan of the employer you retired from without incurring early-withdrawal penalties.

Reasons to roll into an IRA include when the fees, investment choices and services offered are better than staying in the 401(k), if that is an option. Most 401(k)s don’t allow investments in individual stocks or bonds.

Likewise, if you are switching jobs and can enroll in your new employer’s retirement plan, compare fees and investment options to see whether you should roll your old 401(k) into the new one or into an IRA.

IRAs and 401(k)s have varying rules on contributions, loans, withdrawals, protection from creditors and other details, so weigh your considerations.

Contributing: Paige Radke

Learn more
Moving on, Rolling over, by Paige Radke
For Internal Revenue Service rules on rollovers, please click here.
“Smart 401(k) Investing – Moving Your 401(k),” from the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority
Rolling over retirement plans, by Kyle Tetting

As our financial lives evolve, we often wonder at what point or how frequently to take certain actions toward our long-term goals. In an ongoing feature, investment advisors from Landaas & Company provide answers.
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(initially posted June 28, 2017)

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