What Are the Best 401k Rollover Options?

Changes in your current work circumstances may be prompting you to make some adjustments to your retirement plans. If you are accepting a new job or exiting the workforce to enter retirement, you have some choices to make with regard to the handling of your 401k savings plan.

What Are the Best 401k Rollover Options When Changing Jobs?

Most working professionals today receive 401k retirement plans from their employers. If you accept work with a new company, you have some choices to make about what to do with your existing retirement plan.  

If permitted, you may be able to keep your retirement plan with your prior employer. If you have accrued a sufficient amount of savings and you are happy with the plan’s performance, it may be one of the best 401k rollover options to keep the plan where it is. A possible downside is that you won’t be able to continue to add to the savings plan as you are choosing to allow it to sit and grow on its own momentum. 

Stick with the Old Retirement Plan or Opt for Something New?

When assessing the best 401k rollover options when changing jobs, you can also consider moving your existing retirement plan to your new employer’s plan. When rolling from one retirement plan to another, you avoid paying taxes on the account (though administration fees may apply). In most situations, the process of rolling over your 401k from one employer to another is fairly straightforward.

Additionally, by consolidating 401k retirement plans, you only have one to manage. This can save you time and work down the road as sometimes retirement plans left with former employers can be forgotten. Optimally, you would want to sit down and compare the benefits of each plan to determine the best 401k rollover options. The new plan may or may not have more robust investment opportunities that you can take advantage of.

Can I Rollover a 401k to a Traditional IRA?

Yes, you can rollover a 401k to a traditional IRA for several reasons, including changing jobs or approaching retirement. Maybe you’re getting a new job and you want to move your old 401k into a traditional IRA so that you have more control over your plan. If you are getting closer to retirement age, rolling a 401k into a traditional IRA may enable you to invest more conservatively or have more options than your former employer’s plan. The traditional IRA also comes with the added benefit of professional management, which Symmetry Financial Advisors can provide.

If you are going to move your 401k to an IRA, just make sure to opt for a direct rollover. This way, taxes are still deferred until you cash out and you have no tax consequences until that time.

Can I Rollover a 401k to a Roth IRA?

Can I Rollover a 401k to a Roth IRA?

If you are changing jobs or entering retirement, one of the best 401k rollover options may be to move the 401k plan to a Roth IRA account. Doing so allows your retirement funds (contributions and their earnings) to grow tax-free. However, you will be required to pay taxes when you withdraw the money.

In addition, you may have more investment choices with a Roth IRA plan compared to an employer-sponsored plan. Such a move may give you more freedom and control over what to do with your savings. The downside is that a Roth IRA plan may have higher administration fees. For these reasons, you may want to consult with a financial planner to help you determine the best 401k rollover options.

How Long Do I Have to Rollover My 401k?

This is a commonly asked question by investors, but the general rule of thumb is you have 60 days to rollover your 401k from the date when you receive your distribution. Otherwise, you may be subject to taxes and penalties. 

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