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Should I Roll Over My 401(k)?

Individual Retirement Accounts > Rollover IRA > Should I roll over my 401(k)?

Thinking of rolling over your employer-
sponsored retirement plan to a Rollover IRA?

If you have a workplace retirement plan from a former employer, consider all your choices. You may be able to roll over to a traditional IRA or Roth IRA, move to a new employer's plan, leave the account where it is or take a lump-sum distribution. Each has different advantages and disadvantages in terms of 体育平台apps, fees, withdrawal rules, required minimum distributions, taxes and protection from creditors. As you evaluate your choices, carefully review the information provided to find the one that best fits your retirement goals. Learn more about the Merrill Rollover IRA.
Traditional IRA Roth IRA Move to New Employer's Plan Stay in Former Employer's Plan
Account Management & Investment Choices
Can you consolidate your accounts? Traditional IRA or Roth IRA Yes Move to New Employer's Plan or Stay in Former Employer's Plan Varies by plan
What is the range of 体育平台app choices? Traditional IRA or Roth IRA May offer more 体育平台app choices than an employer-sponsored plan — including stocks, bonds, options, ETFs, 体育平台app (when investing online) and managed portfolios (available through Merrill Guided InvestingFootnote asterisk *) Move to New Employer's Plan or Stay in Former Employer's Plan Varies by plan, but may be limited
Can you make "in kind" transfers of 体育平台apps from current plan? Any of the choices Varies by plan and 体育平台app type
Can you work with an advisor to get 体育平台app guidance? Traditional IRA or Roth IRA Yes, Merrill Financial Solutions Advisors Move to New Employer's Plan or Stay in Former Employer's Plan Varies by plan
Is there access to additional online tools and resources? Traditional IRA or Roth IRA Yes Move to New Employer's Plan or Stay in Former Employer's Plan Varies by plan
Taxes
Are taxes deferred on 体育平台app earnings Traditional IRA Yes Roth IRA YesFootnote 1 Move to New Employer's Plan or Stay in Former Employer's Plan Yes
Can you make new tax-advantaged contributions? Traditional IRA Possibly, depending on the IRA holder's (and his or her spouse's) modified adjusted gross income and access to a workplace retirement plan Roth IRA Roth contributions are made on an after-tax basis, and the ability to contribute is subject to modified adjusted gross income limitations Move to New Employer's Plan Yes, subject to potential eligibility waiting periods for new employeesFootnote 1 Stay in Former Employer's Plan No
Is there special tax treatment for appreciated company stock? Traditional IRA or Roth IRA or Move to New Employer's PlanNoFootnote 2 Stay in Former Employer's Plan Certain assets may be eligible for Net Unrealized Appreciation (NUA) tax treatment when distributed from a former employer's plan; consult your tax advisor for detailsFootnote 2
Traditional IRA Roth IRA Move to New Employer's Plan Stay in Former Employer's Plan
Withdrawals
Can you roll over into an employer's plan at a future date? Traditional IRA Yes, subject to employer plan rules Roth IRA No Move to New Employer's Plan or Stay in Former Employer's Plan Yes, subject to employer plan rules
Can you take a loan from the account? Traditional IRA or Roth IRA No Move to New Employer's Plan Varies by planFootnote 3 Stay in Former Employer's Plan Generally, no
Is there an additional tax for early withdrawals if an exception does not apply? Traditional IRA Yes, 10% before age 59½ Roth IRA Yes, 10% before age 59½ on earningsFootnote 4 Move to New Employer's Plan or Stay in Former Employer's Plan Yes, 10% before age 59½
Are there any exceptions to the additional tax for early withdrawals? Traditional IRA or Roth IRA Yes, for example, for qualifying home purchases or college expenses Move to New Employer's Plan or Stay in Former Employer's Plan Yes, if a plan's rules allow hardship distributions, then some forms of distribution may qualify for an exception to the early withdrawal additional tax; for example, qualifying home purchases or college expenses
Can you withdraw without paying the early withdrawal tax once you are 55? Traditional IRA or Roth IRA No Move to New Employer's Plan Yes, if the payment is made after you left your new job and you attained at least age 55 in the year you terminated employment Stay in Former Employer's Plan Yes, if the payment is made after you left your old job and you attained at least age 55 in the year you terminated employment
Are there required minimum distributions (RMDs)Footnote 7 Traditional IRA Yes Roth IRA Not if you are the original account holder Move to New Employer's Plan Generally not, if you are still workingFootnote 5 Stay in Former Employer's Plan Yes
What about a lump-sum distribution? You may also consider taking a lump-sum distribution from your old employer-sponsored plan if you're facing extraordinary financial circumstances, but this option comes at a high price. Any pretax contributions and associated earnings will be taxed as ordinary income, plus you may be subject to an early withdrawal tax of 10% if you are under age 59½ (unless an exception applies). Your distribution generally will also be subject to a mandatory 20% federal income tax withholding.
Fees
What are the fees? 体育平台app® Self-Directed
Unlimited $0 online stock, ETF and option trades with no trade or balance minimumsFootnote double asterisk **
Option contract and other fees may applyFootnote asterisk *

Merrill Guided Investing
A 0.45% annual program feeFootnote 6 for the Merrill Guided Investing account; other fees may applyFootnote asterisk *

Merrill Guided Investing with an Advisor
A 0.85% annual program feeFootnote 6 for a Merrill Guided Investing with an Advisor account; other fees may applyFootnote asterisk *
Move to New Employer's Plan or Stay in Former Employer's Plan Varies by plan
Other
Are assets protected from creditors? Traditional IRA or Roth IRA In federal bankruptcies, but state laws vary Move to New Employer's Plan or Stay in Former Employer's Plan Yes
Is there an account minimum? Traditional IRA or Roth IRA No Move to New Employer's Plan or Stay in Former Employer's Plan Varies by plan
Make the most of your assets in a former employer's retirement plan.
Footnote asterisk * Sales are subject to a transaction fee of $0.01 to $0.03 per $1,000 of principal. There are costs associated with owning ETFs as well as 体育平台app. Annual program fees include portfolio management and trading costs, as well as ongoing support. In addition to the annual program fee, the 体育平台app and ETFs within each program have their own expenses, as would individual securities. Other fees not included in the annual program fee may include those mandated by the SEC; transfer, exchange and fund-redemption fees; conditional deferred sales charges; and markups or markdowns. For full fee details, please refer to the ADV brochure for the relevant program available at either Merrill Guided Investing program brochure (PDF) or 体育平台app Advisory Account Program brochure (PDF). Where possible, institutional mutual fund class shares are used to minimize expenses.
Help when you want it
Turn to us for step-by-step guidance when you have questions or need help getting the most out of your investing
experience. Meet with a local Merrill Financial Solutions Advisor to help you get on track and stay on track.
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Call 24/7
888.637.3343
to speak with a Merrill
rollover specialist
Merrill, its affiliates, and financial advisors do not provide legal, tax, or accounting advice. You should consult your legal and/or tax advisors before making any financial decisions.
Footnote 1 Earnings are generally not subject to federal income tax if a 5-year holding period requirement is met and the account owner is at least 59½ at the time such distribution is made.

Footnote 2 If you held company stock in your former employer's plan, you must take a lump sum distribution of the entire account balance to be eligible for special "net unrealized appreciation" ("NUA") tax treatment. Your company stock will not be eligible for NUA treatment if it is rolled over to a Traditional IRA, Roth IRA or New Employer's Plan. However, you may roll over the non-company stock portion of your account to an IRA, Roth IRA or a new employer's plan to preserve tax deferral for these amounts and take a taxable distribution of the company stock. You should consult your legal and/or tax advisors before making any financial decisions.

Footnote 3 Prior to 2018, outstanding loan balances were required to be repaid within 60 days of leaving your job in order to avoid treatment of the balance as a taxable distribution. Effective January 1, 2018, the deadline for repaying outstanding loan balances (or rolling them into an IRA or new employer's plan) was extended to the date of your tax filing deadline (including extensions) for the year you terminate employment. If an outstanding loan balance is not repaid or rolled over by the applicable deadline, the taxable portion of the balance will be included for federal income tax purposes, and a 10% additional federal tax may apply unless there is an applicable exception.

Footnote 4 The early withdrawal tax does not apply to withdrawals of contributions to a Roth IRA. However, there is a 10% additional tax if earnings are withdrawn before the end of a 5-year holding period even if you are over age 59½.

Footnote 5 If you own 5% or more of the company, you will not be able to delay required minimum distributions beyond your required beginning date for taking RMDs, even if you continue to work past this age. Review the terms of your employer's plan for the rules governing required minimum distributions from your account.

Footnote 
Merrill Guided Investing and Merrill Guided Investing with Advisor have an annual program fee of 0.45% and 0.85%, respectively, based on the assets held in the account. This fee is charged monthly in advance. In addition to the annual program fee, the expenses of the 体育平台apps will vary based on the specific funds within each portfolio. Actual fund expenses will vary; please refer to each fund's prospectus. To learn more about pricing, visit the Merrill Guided Investing Program Brochure (PDF) or the Merrill Guided Investing with Advisor Program Brochure (PDF).
Footnote 7 If you were age 70½ or older as of 12/31/2019, you would be required to take an required minimum distribution ("RMD") for 2019. Effective 1/1/2020, in accordance with new legislation, the required beginning date for RMDs for individuals who turn age 70½ on or after 1/1/20 is age 72. You may defer your first RMD until April 1st in the year after you turn age 70½ or 72, as applicable, but then you'd be required to take two distributions in that year.

Investing in securities involves risks; there is always the potential of losing money when you invest in securities.

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