Can You Roll a 529 Into a Roth IRA?

One option would be to name another family member or yourself as beneficiary for your plan, with funds left in it to grow over time or transferred directly into a Roth IRA.

Another option would be to transfer the account into an ABLE account, which provides tax benefits for people with disabilities; however, this process typically takes 15 years before you can complete.

State-sponsored plans

Although many Americans lack access to employer-sponsored retirement savings plans, state-run automated savings programs may be useful tools in starting saving for employees who struggle with it on their own. Financial education tools and resources may also play a part in encouraging saving regularly – according to Cerulli’s new report.

California, Illinois and Oregon all offer state-run auto-IRA plans with substantial participation rates and net flows; these three state programs – CalSavers in California, Secure Choice in Illinois and OregonSaves in Oregon – have attracted significant participation rates and net flows; however they present unique challenges due to high costs, no fiduciary responsibilities for employers and fewer tax advantages compared with private plans. Therefore businesses should carefully consider all their options prior to implementing any state plan; be sure to consult an advisor in financial, tax or any other area before making decisions that involve state plans – it may provide numerous tax advantages or tax advantages that private plans do.

Private plans

Student debt has reached trillions of dollars, prompting families to look for ways to assist their children pay for college. One solution may be investing in a private 529 plan with low fees and multiple investment options administered by individual states that can pay for any type of higher education (community colleges and trade schools included).

Withdrawals from 529 accounts may generally be tax-free when used to cover qualified educational expenses, and don’t count against family assets when determining federal aid eligibility.

Prior to 2024, beneficiaries who completed their education but had unutilized account balances had limited options available to them when it came time to withdraw the money or withdraw it and pay a 10% penalty. But now with the 2022 tax law change, unused balances may now be transferred into a Roth IRA instead.

Roth IRAs

Roth IRAs allow investors to withdraw investment earnings tax-free under certain conditions, although an early withdrawal penalty and taxes may apply if earnings are withdrawn before age 59 1/2 or not used to meet one of these criteria: first home purchase, qualified higher education expenses, health insurance premiums while unemployed, disability-related expenses, having a child, adoption or damage from natural disaster.

Considering your expected tax bracket upon retirement, converting from traditional IRA or employer plan account to Roth IRA may make sense. By doing so, taxes won’t have to be paid upon withdrawal – potentially saving thousands over time! But it’s important to carefully consider its impact on current income; NerdWallet suggests doing partial conversions over multiple years or at lower income times in order to limit its effects on your tax bracket.


If your child receives a scholarship, investing in the 529 plan may make sense. Withdrawals from this account can be made as necessary to cover qualified expenses such as tuition fees, books, school supplies and room and board costs.

If you wish to change the beneficiary of your 529 account for another purpose, be aware that this may trigger state tax deduction clawback or penalty fees in certain states; an experienced financial advisor can assist with this strategy.

Rolling your 529 funds over into a Roth IRA may also be an option, though due to certain restrictions it should only be done as a last resort once your student graduates.

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