If you’re changing jobs or retiring, it’s important to know the rules regarding moving funds from your employer-sponsored retirement plan. The wrong move could cost you in income taxes and early withdrawal penalties. You typically have four options, and you may engage in a combination of these options. You can leave the money in your former employer’s plan if permitted. You can also cash out the account value, but you should research the tax implications first.
There are two basic ways to move retirement plan assets from one retirement plan to another with no tax consequence. With a direct rollover, your financial institution or plan directly transfers the payment to another plan or IRA; no taxes are withheld and your account continues to grow tax-deferred.
With an indirect rollover, a check is made payable to you. You have 60 days to deposit it into a Rollover IRA – after that, the entire amount is considered income, and subject to taxes. You could also face a 10% early withdrawal penalty, depending on your age.
And, indirect rollovers are subject to 20% withholding. For example, if you had $10,000 eligible to rollover, your employer would withhold $2000 and you’d get a check for $8,000. The $2000 withheld counts as income taxes paid, but in 60 days you still have to deposit the entire $10,000 in a rollover account – the $8,000 from your employer plus $2000 from your own resources.
To learn more about your retirement plan options, give us a call today.
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