An IRA rollover or transfer could help you take control of your retirement goals.

IRA Rollover: Help Take Control Over Your Retirement

It’s perfectly understandable to feel anxious when you think about whether you’re doing the right things with your retirement funds. Whether you’re four years from retirement or 40, it can be daunting to consider the many choices you have when it comes to investing for retirement.

So let’s try to reduce the confusion by simplifying things a bit. Check out these statements:

  •  I contribute to a 401(k) plan where I work.
  •  I have funds in a 401(k) plan with a previous employer.
  •  I have an existing Roth IRA.
  •  I have an existing traditional IRA.

If any of these are true, you’ve taken the first step to setting aside funds for your retirement using the most common tax-advantaged types of investment plans or accounts. Now, consider a few more statements:

  • I have trouble keeping track of my retirement accounts.
  • I’m not entirely sure what my funds are invested in.
  • I couldn’t tell you my overall investment return on my retirement accounts.
  • It would be easier if I could consolidate these accounts, but I just don’t know how to go about it.

If any of these are true, you could have difficulty determining whether you’re saving enough for retirement, or whether your investments really fit with your retirement goals.

If any of the statements above apply to you, you might want to consider transferring or rolling over your IRAs or 401(k)s from a previous employer into a single IRA. In general, you could transfer or roll over traditional IRAs and pre-tax 401(k)s into a traditional IRA, and a Roth IRA and Roth 401(k) into a Roth IRA.

Rollover and Transfer Rules

You are allowed to transfer retirement funds directly from one trustee (such as a 401(k) plan or IRA) to another as often as you like; however, you are only allowed one indirect rollover per year. An indirect rollover is when the funds are distributed to you from one trustee, and you later place the funds (or roll them over) into another account.

Rolling over or transferring can give you access to all of your retirement funds in a single place. That could make it easier for you to keep track of your retirement portfolio and identify when it might make sense to make changes. Rolling over at Scottrade means you would have access to most U.S. stocks, bonds, mutual funds and exchange-traded funds.

How many different retirement accounts do you have today?

Next Steps: If you’re considering rolling over your retirement accounts into a Scottrade retirement account, here is how to transfer or roll over an IRA or 401(k) at Scottrade in three easy steps:

1.       If you do not have an existing account, you will have to create a new account. Select Individual Retirement Account (IRA) as the type of account, and then highlight the type of IRA (Roth or traditional, for example) on the new account form. 

2.       Fill out the Account Transfer Form. If you are rolling over a 401(k) or other qualified plan, the plan administrator may require you to complete additional paperwork.

3.        Submit the completed Account Transfer Form, along with the most recent account statement for your 401(k) or IRA, to us. You can mail, fax or drop off your documents at your local branch.

That’s all there is to it. Once the rollover is complete, you could feel more at ease about gaining control over your retirement funds.

Before making any rollover decisions, investors should research and consider all available retirement options carefully. Your decision should reflect consideration of various factors, including the benefits and penalties involved. Some of these factors include, but are not limited to, investment or account related fees and expenses, differing levels of service available, withdrawal penalties, creditors and legal protections, required minimum distributions, and factors related to owning employer stock. The importance of these factors will vary depending on your individual needs and circumstances.  Tax consequences may vary depending on state law and your individual situation.

Scottrade does not provide tax advice.  This material is for informational purposes only and Scottrade is not responsible for any errors or omissions. The information is subject to change without notice and should not be construed as a recommendation or investment advice. Investors should fully research any security or strategy before making an investment decision. Please consult your tax or legal advisor(s) for questions concerning your personal tax or financial situation. 

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