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Is a 401(k) rollover right for you?

When you left your old job, did you leave your retirement savings behind? Give your money a fresh start by rolling it over into an IRA.

What you gain from a 401(k) rollover

Get more flexibility with your investments

With an IRA, you have the freedom to select from a wider range of investments than most employer-sponsored plans typically offer.

See your entire retirement picture in a single view

When all of your retirement savings are in one place, it's easier to manage your accounts and monitor your progress.

Keep your retirement savings tax-advantaged

Just like your 401(k), 403(b), or other retirement plan, an IRA offers important tax benefits.

Ready to get started on your 401(k) rollover?

Want to make sure a 401(k) rollover is your best choice?

Understand and compare these and other factors before deciding what's best for you:

  • Investment options.
  • Fees and expenses.
  • Withdrawal requirements and potential penalties.
  • Tax consequences.
  • Account services.
  • Protection from creditors.


Layer opened.

Explore your options and weigh the pros and cons

Roll over to an IRA


Typically a wider range of investment options, including mutual funds and ETFs (exchange-traded funds) as well as individual stocks, CDs (certificates of deposit), and bonds.

Additional contributions allowed.

Option to move assets to a future employer's plan.


No loans.

Certain 401(k) investments may not be available.

Remain in your 401(k) or other employer-sponsored plan


Access to certain investments that may not be available outside of your 401(k).


Limited to the plan's investment options.

Additional contributions restricted or not allowed.

$5,000 minimum balance typically required to remain in plan.

Transfer to another employer-sponsored plan


Loans may be allowed.


Limited to the plan's investment options.

Possible waiting period before transfer can take place.

Cash out your 401(k) account


Money immediately available to cover current expenses.


20% withheld for income taxes.

10% early withdrawal penalty if you're under age 59½.*

Loss of future tax-advantaged growth.

footnote*Distributions received before you're age 59½ may not be subject to the 10% federal penalty tax if the distribution is due to your disability or death; is distributed by a reservist who was ordered or called to active duty after September 11, 2001, for at least 180 days; is part of a series of substantially equal periodic payments taken under IRS guidelines; or is for certain unreimbursed medical expenses, an IRS levy, or if you left your job during or after the year you turned age 55.

There are important factors to consider when rolling over assets to an IRA or leaving assets in an employer retirement plan account. These factors include, but are not limited to, investment options in each type of account, fees and expenses, available services, potential withdrawal penalties, protection from creditors and legal judgments, required minimum distributions, and tax consequences of rolling over employer stock to an IRA.

You may wish to consult a tax advisor about your situation.