Author: Trevor Bush
The decision on whether or not to perform a 401(k) rollover often involves more variables than most people realize. The first question people should ask themselves is why they would be doing this. Is it to have more control over their retirement assets? Perhaps less? Is it to have lower fees or perhaps more investment options?
There are just as many reasons for rolling over a 401(k) to an IRA as there are to retain the funds at the 401(k). Reaching out to a fiduciary who can advise on all issues, including tax implications, and who has your best interests in mind, should be the first step when exploring 401(k) rollover options.
What should you know about how to roll over a 401(k) to an IRA? First of all, you should be aware that if you are currently employed by the company offering the 401(k) plan, there are some circumstances in which you may not be able to roll over the funds into an IRA at all. Two ages that generally may allow you to take action even if you still are employed by the company which holds your 401(k) are 55 and 59½. The elections that can be made will be discussed in a follow-up article.
Secondly, even if you are able to roll over your 401(k) there are a few reasons why you may want to reconsider. Things like creditor protection, the ability to take loans, certain tax consequences and access to conciliatory services may be good reasons for someone to take no current action. As for how to roll over a 401(k) from a previous employer—if one leaves his or her job, there are usually very few restrictions to rolling over one’s 401(k) to an individual IRA. In these cases, one would simply have to open an account and request the assets be moved over to that newly created IRA.
<H2>Drawbacks of 401(k) Rollover</H2>
Because of the many items to consider before rolling money from a 401(k) to an IRA, consulting a wealth advisor can be a wise decision. Protection from possible lawsuits, fees, taxes and your personal needs to access the funds all play roles. So does the reality that moving funds to your own self-administered IRA will effectively make you your own pension manager. Likewise, if you choose someone else to hold that responsibility, it would be in your best interest to ensure that the person/firm you work with is acting as a fiduciary at all times. Please feel free to reach out to me and my colleagues at EP Wealth Advisors with your questions about obtaining objective advice. Evaluating rollovers is just one of the many ways we are prepared to help you achieve your retirement planning goals.
Information presented is general in nature and should not be viewed as a comprehensive analysis of the topics discussed. It is intended to serve as a tool containing general information that should assist you in the development of subsequent discussions. Content does not involve the rendering of personalized investment advice nor is it intended to supplement professional individualized advice. Please consult a professional Financial Advisor, CPA, Tax Professional and/or attorney before implementing any of the approaches or strategies made referenced directly or indirectly in this report.
As applicable, please contact your current or former employer’s Human Resources Department, Plan Administrator, and other similar professionals to better understand the benefits available in a company sponsored retirement plan. Hiring a qualified advisor and/or financial planner does not guarantee investment success, and does not ensure that a client or prospective client will experience a higher level of performance or results. All investment strategies have the potential for profit or loss.
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