Is it Better to Rollover to a 401k Or an IRA?

Is it better to rollover to a 401k or an IRA

Typically, investing your money in an IRA is the smart move. An IRA provides access to thousands of investments with lower fees (particularly with brokers offering no trading commissions) and greater control.

Consolidating your retirement savings may make things simpler, yet there are numerous factors to take into account before making a decision.


When shifting retirement assets between workplace plans, it’s essential to take fees into account. High fees can significantly diminish returns – for instance a 26-year-old saver switching their savings from an 401(k) with fees of 0.9% to an IRA with charges of 1.24% will have $64,647 less at age 66 according to research from Pew.

For optimal cost control, choose direct rollover. This method involves having your current provider send a check directly to your new IRA institution within 60 days – this also avoids early-withdrawal penalties! There are numerous brokerages and robo-advisors offering low-cost funds such as no-load mutual funds and commission-free ETFs with this approach. IRA providers who charge annual advisory fees of 0.25% or lower may provide even better deals as these plans typically offer key perks like employer matches and loan provisions than traditional plans do!


Contributing money to a 401(k) is tax-deductible, so your employer will deduct it before income taxes are calculated on it. Furthermore, investments held within a 401(k) grow tax-deferred; you only pay taxes when withdrawing at age 59+1/2 from it.

Withdrawals from an IRA are subject to your ordinary income rate and there’s a 10% penalty if made before age 59+1/2. Some retirement plans require you to begin taking required minimum distributions at age 70.5 or sooner.

Financial professionals can help you determine which option is the most suitable option for your situation. While an IRA typically doesn’t offer company matching contributions like workplace retirement accounts do, they often provide more investment flexibility and choices than 401(k). An expert in financial matters will be available to guide you towards making this decision.

Investing options

Investors with an IRA gain access to hundreds of mutual funds, while most 401(k) plans provide only a handful of them. Furthermore, fees associated with an IRA tend to be significantly lower due to economies of scale as employers pool workers into one retirement plan and negotiate better prices from fund providers for all.

Rollover IRAs allow you to consolidate all of your retirement accounts into one, making it easier to track and manage them together as one account, while providing more options for beneficiaries after your death.

After leaving their job, many may want to cash out their 401(k). Unfortunately, this can often be a bad decision as this constitutes a taxable distribution and could incur income and penalty taxes; to maximize retirement savings while minimizing taxes owed, transferring your 401(k) funds into a rollover IRA is the better solution. It will consolidate all your retirement funds and prevent unnecessary tax payments in one convenient package.


Consolidating old 401(k)s may help streamline management while simultaneously lowering fees and eliminating duplicate investments. IRAs usually charge significantly less than employer plans and offer access to an array of professionally managed investment vehicles not found within traditional 401(k) plans.

Consolidating accounts also reduces errors as people often forget which account holds what, or may lose track of multiple accounts when switching jobs. If you haven’t reached age 59 1/2 yet, rolling over an IRA into another plan without incurring an early withdrawal penalty of 10% can also save time and effort in transition.

Investors should consult a financial professional when considering consolidating their 401(k) accounts, in addition to considering the three factors outlined above. Investors should take into account how consolidating would affect their investment choices and fees as well as whether managing an IRA would become too complex in retirement. They should also take into account company stock that has appreciated and how that might impact their tax bill in future.

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