Did you know you might be able to take some or all of the money in your 401(k), 403(b), or 457 plan and roll it over into another type of retirement account? Were you aware that you could do this while you are still working for your current employer – without any withholding or early withdrawal penalties?
Let’s look at how these rollovers can happen and the pros and cons of making them.
Some 401(k), 403(b), and 457 plans offer this kind of flexibility. If your plan provides this choice, you must first pay attention to the rules.
To start, some basics. Distributions from 401(k) plans and most other employer-sponsored retirement plans are taxed as ordinary income, and if you take one before age 59½, a 10% federal income tax penalty commonly applies. (The 2020 CARES Act allows some one-time exceptions to penalties this year.) In addition, 20% of the withdrawn amount is withheld for tax purposes. Generally, once you reach age 72, you must begin taking required minimum distributions.1
Now, the fine print. You may be able to take money out of your plan in your fifties or sixties, while still working, via an in-service non-hardship withdrawal by arranging a direct rollover of these assets to an Individual Retirement Account (IRA), avoid both the 10% penalty and the 20% tax withholding in the process.2
An IRA may give you a wider range of investment options than many employer-sponsored retirement plans. If you are dissatisfied with the range of choices your plan presents, this alone may motivate you to make a direct rollover.3
You should certainly speak to a financial professional with the knowledge to help you coordinate a direct rollover (also called a trustee-to-trustee transfer). A direct rollover moves assets from your workplace retirement plan into an IRA without a taxable event.2
Generally, distributions from traditional IRAs must begin once you reach age 72. The money distributed to you is taxed as ordinary income. When such distributions are taken before age 59½, they may be subject to a 10% federal income tax penalty; although, the CARES Act allows some exceptions to these penalties in 2020. You may continue to contribute to a Traditional IRA past age 70½ under the SECURE Act as long as you meet the earned-income requirement.4
The criteria for making in-service non-hardship withdrawals can vary. Some workplace retirement plans simply prohibit them. Others permit them when you have been on the job for at least five years or when assets in your plan have accumulated for at least two years or you are 100% vested in your account.2
In addition, you will want to ask your employee benefits or human resources officer some questions. How long will a direct rollover take? Is there a dollar or percentage limit on how much can be rolled over? Can you withdraw and roll over matching contributions as well as your own account contributions and earnings?
Now take into consideration your health, will taxes be higher in the future? Will benefits be lower in the future? What about market volatility? WHAT ABOUT INFLATION? WHAT GOOD IS MONEY IF YOU CAN’T ACCESS IT WHEN YOU NEED IT?
Weigh the pros and cons. Who knows if your reinvested assets will perform better in an IRA than they did in your company’s retirement plan? Or what about converting to a Roth or a Roth-Like position? Right now, you can put up to $7,000 into an IRA, annually, if you are 50 or older; that pales in comparison to the $26,000 yearly contribution limit on a basic 401(k), 403(b), or 457 plan, or a virtually unlimited contribution to other plans. Lastly, if your employer matches your retirement plan contributions, getting out of the plan may mean losing future matches, which really isn’t your money, it’s the governments. Remember – the money hasn’t been taxed yet.
Jeff Cody may be reached at 855-383-2639 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
This material was prepared by MarketingPro, Inc., and does not necessarily represent the views of the presenting party, nor their affiliates. This information has been derived from sources believed to be accurate. Please note – investing involves risk, and past performance is no guarantee of future results. The publisher is not engaged in rendering legal, accounting or other professional services. If assistance is needed, the reader is advised to engage the services of a competent professional. This information should not be construed as investment, tax or legal advice and may not be relied on for the purpose of avoiding any Federal tax penalty. This is neither a solicitation nor recommendation to purchase or sell any investment or insurance product or service, and should not be relied upon as such. All indices are unmanaged and are not illustrative of any particular investment.
Jeff Cody and Associates is a financial services company that specializes in asset protection and retirement income products and services. Jeffrey A. Cody is the principal owner of Jeff Cody and Associates and only offers insurance products and services in states where licensed to do so. Investment advisory services are offered through First Advisors National, LLC (“FAN Advisors”). FAN Advisors is an investment advisor firm registered pursuant to the regulations of the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). Jeffrey A. Cody is an investment advisor representative of FAN Advisors and is registered to only offer specific advisory services through FAN Advisors. FAN Advisors does not offer insurance services. The FAN Advisors written disclosure document is available upon request; please review it for details regarding advisory services, FAN Advisors and Jeff Cody and Associates are independently owned and operated.
1 – IRS.gov, February 20, 2020
2 – DWC401k.com, May 10, 2020
3 – CNBC.com, April 21, 2020
4 – Investor.Vanguard.com, May 10, 2020
5 – IRS.gov, November 6, 2019