401(k) Rollover to an IRA

With access to a wide range of investment options, no annual account fees, and one-on-one guidance as needed, we can help you reach your retirement goals.

Need help? Call 800-343-3548
 
A Rollover IRA may be appropriate for

Individuals who have changed jobs or retired and have left savings in a former employer's workplace savings plan (i.e., 401(k), 403(b), governmental 457 (b)).

Fees

No fee to open or maintain your account.* Standard trading fees up to $4.95 per online U.S. equity trade will apply.

* There is no cost to open and no annual fee for Fidelity's Traditional, Roth, SEP, and Rollover IRAs. A $50 account close out fee may apply. Fund investments held in your account may be subject to management, low balance and short term trading fees, as described in the offering materials. For all securities, see the Fidelity commission schedule (PDF) for trading commission and transaction fee details.

Investment options

Get access to a wide range of investment options, see them here.

Withdrawals

10% early withdrawal penalty may apply for withdrawals taken prior to age 59½ if no exceptions apply. Penalty-free withdrawals for qualifying first-time home purchase and certain college expenses. Minimum required distributions (MRDs) starting at age 70½.

Support and guidance

We offer one-on-one guidance—in person, online, or over the phone. Plus, our research and tools can help you choose investments and create a long-term plan.

A few simple steps

Use our Rollover Assistant Tool as a guide to help initiate and complete your rollover. The steps are:

1. Open an IRA that suits your needs
We offer a wide range of Fidelity and non-Fidelity funds, plus stocks, bonds, ETFs and more. We can even help you choose.

2. Fund your account
Our tool will help you identify the information needed by your former employer's plan administrator.

3. Choose your investments
Our tool will send you an alert when your rollover arrives. At that time you can start choosing your investments. We are here to help if needed.

How it works

Rolling over your retirement assets (5:45)
Watch this video to learn the three simple steps involved in the rollover process - as well as which type of Fidelity IRA is right for you.

Learn how to make out your rollover check and where to send it, for deposit into your Fidelity account

  • What is a Rollover IRA?

    A Rollover IRA is a Traditional IRA that is often used by those who have changed jobs or retired and have assets accumulated in their employer-sponsored retirement plan, such as a 401(k).

    Eligible distributions from such plans can be rolled over directly into a Fidelity Rollover IRA without incurring any tax penalties and assets remain invested tax-deferred. Consolidating multiple employer-sponsored retirement plan accounts into a single Rollover IRA can make it easier to allocate and monitor your retirement assets.

  • What do I need to do to roll over my retirement plan assets to a Fidelity IRA?

    A rollover takes three steps:

    1. Open the appropriate IRA.*
    2. Move your money to Fidelity—to do this, you will need to initiate a rollover from your former employer’s plan.
    3. Choose your investments in the Rollover IRA.

    Call 800-343-3548 and a rollover specialist will help you every step of the way. They can answer your questions, plus help you initiate the distribution and complete any paperwork that may be required.

    *Note that if you have an existing IRA at Fidelity, you can roll your assets into that account (see the next question).

  • Can I roll over assets into my Traditional IRA?

    Yes, you can but it's important to be aware that if you do roll pre-tax 401(k) funds into a traditional IRA, you may not be able to convert those funds back into an employer-sponsored retirement plan. Contact your tax advisor for more information.

  • Will I owe taxes on my rollover?

    Generally, there are no tax implications if you complete a direct rollover and the assets go directly from your employer-sponsored plan into a Rollover or Traditional IRA via a trustee-to-trustee transfer.

    However, if you choose to convert some or all of your savings in your employer-sponsored retirement plan directly to a Roth IRA, the conversion would be subject to ordinary income tax. Contact your tax advisor for more information.

    If you withdraw the assets from your former employer‑sponsored retirement plan, the check is made payable to you, and taxes are withheld, you may still be able to complete a 60-day rollover. Within 60 days of receiving the distribution check, you must deposit the money into a Rollover IRA to avoid current income taxes.

    If taxes were withheld from the distribution, you would have to replace that amount if you want to roll over your entire distribution to your Fidelity IRA. If you hold the assets for more than 60 days, your distribution will be subject to current income taxes and a 10% early withdrawal penalty if you are under age 59½.

  • Can I move an existing IRA from another institution to Fidelity?

    Yes, visit IRA Transfers for a quick overview of the online process.

  • What should I do if my former employer's 401(k) was recordkept by Fidelity?

    If you would like to roll over a former employer's retirement savings plan that is recordkept by Fidelity, please call a rollover specialist at 800-343-3548 for assistance.

  • Can I roll my money into a Roth IRA?

    Most people are eligible to convert their 401(k) to a Roth IRA; however, it is important to be aware of the potential tax implications. If you have money in a designated Roth 401(k), you can roll it directly into a Roth IRA without incurring any tax penalties. However, if the 401(k) funds are pre-tax, then converting to a Roth IRA will be a taxable event. Nevertheless, a conversion has the potential to help minimize future taxes and maximize retirement savings. There are several factors to consider when deciding if converting to a Roth IRA may be right for you. Call Fidelity for more information about converting your savings to a Roth IRA.

  • I already received a check made payable to me, and 20% was withheld. If I roll over my money now, can I get that 20% back?

    You’ll have to replace the 20% that was withheld with your own savings if you want to roll over your entire distribution to your Fidelity IRA—all within 60 days of receiving the distribution. If you do, the 20% that was withheld is credited toward your income tax liability when you file your tax return. However, if you don’t have the cash to make up for the 20% withheld, the IRS will consider that 20% as a distribution, making it subject to taxes and a possible 10% early withdrawal penalty if you are under age 59½.

  • How do I know if I am eligible for a rollover?

    Generally there must be a distributable event. The most common eligibility event is when an individual leaves the service of their employer. Other reasons may include attainment of age 59½, death, or disability. Please contact your plan to determine whether or not you are eligible for a distribution and, therefore, a rollover.

  • Can I add more money to my IRA later?

    Yes, you can add money to your IRA with either annual contributions or you can consolidate other former employer-sponsored retirement plan assets or IRAs. Some people choose to make their annual contributions to their IRA so that they only have to keep track of one account. This may be right for you if you have no desire to roll these assets back to a qualified retirement plan at a future employer. Assets can be commingled and still be eligible to roll into another employer plan in the future; however, it is at the discretion of the receiving plan to determine what type of assets can be rolled over.

  • Can I leave my former employer-sponsored retirement plan assets in my current plan indefinitely?

    No, generally, you must begin to take withdrawals, known as minimum required distributions (MRDs), from all your retirement accounts (excluding Roth IRAs) no later than April 1 of the year following the year in which you turn age 70½.

    Check with your plan administrator to see if there are any other rules that may require the money to be taken out prior to you turning age 70½. For example, many plans require that accounts smaller than $5,000 be cashed out or rolled over. Learn more about MRDs.

  • Can I leave a portion of my 401(k) in an old employer's plan and roll the remaining amount to an IRA?

    Plans have different rules and requirements for 401(k) assets. Some 401(k) plans offer equal flexibility to both current and former employees while others place restrictions on withdrawal types and frequency. For example, some plans may allow partial withdrawals while others may require that you either leave all the funds in the plan or perform a full rollover or cash payout. Please check the plan's rules for more information.

  • Can I roll over my existing 401(k) assets into an IRA while I'm still working?

    Generally, you cannot roll over funds from your active 401(k), but there are some exceptions. For example, some plans allow for "in service" withdrawals at age 59½. If you are under age 59½, or if your plan does not have that withdrawal provision, you may be able to withdraw (or roll over) specific types of contributions. For example, if in the past you rolled money directly from an old 401(k) into your current plan, you may be able to move that money out of your plan into an IRA.

  • Can I roll over an old 401(k) that has both pre-tax and after-tax money in it?

    You can, but it is important to select the right IRA for your needs. A Traditional (or Rollover) IRA is typically used for pre-tax assets because savings will stay invested on a tax-deferred basis and you won't owe any taxes on the rollover transaction itself. However, if you roll pre-tax assets into a Roth IRA, you will owe taxes on those funds. For after-tax assets, your options are a little more varied. You can roll the funds into a Roth IRA tax-free. You also have the option of taking the funds in cash or rolling them into an IRA along with your pre-tax savings. If you choose the latter option, it is important that you keep track of the after-tax amount so that when you start taking distributions, you'll know which funds have already been taxed. IRS Form 8606 is designed to help you do just this. Before making a decision, please consult with a tax advisor about your specific situation.

  • If I leave my current employer, can my vested participation in a defined benefit plan be rolled into an IRA?

    The answer depends on the rules of your defined benefit plan, and the type of defined benefit plan. Defined benefit plans, often called pension plans, are qualified accounts, meaning that they contain money that has not been taxed as income. Historically, such plans do not allow this type of transfer until you officially retire, whether or not you were an active employee at the time of retirement. However, as the workforce environment and IRS rules have changed over time, many pension plans now afford greater flexibility.

    If your defined benefit plan offers the proper type of distribution, you could roll it over to an IRA or to a new employer's plan, if the plan allows. You should check with your current employer to determine if they will accept a rollover of this type. However, before making a decision, consider that a pension can be a great source of guaranteed income in retirement and should not be dismissed unless you have a specific plan for generating enough income without the pension payments.

  • What is Net Unrealized Appreciation (NUA)?

    Net unrealized appreciation is the difference between the price you initially paid for a stock (its cost basis) and its current market value.

  • When is a Net Unrealized Appreciation (NUA) strategy favorable?

    For retirement plan participants who own employer stock that has grown in value from its original cost, it may be beneficial to adopt an NUA strategy for the employer stock. Generally, from a tax perspective, it is more favorable for participants to roll over their retirement plan assets to an IRA or new employer-sponsored plan rather than take a lump-sum distribution. However, for participants who have large amounts of appreciated company stock, it may be more beneficial to take a lump-sum distribution of company stock instead because it allows them to pay taxes now at a lower rate. Consult your tax advisor for more information.

    Hypothetical examples:

    • An individual owns 1,000 shares of company stock with a current fair market value of $200,000.
    • An individual paid $40 per share for a cost basis of $40,000.
    • An individual's Net Unrealized Appreciation is $160,000 ($200,000 – $40,000).

    If an individual adopts an NUA strategy and takes a lump-sum distribution of the employer stock, he will owe income tax on the $40,000. Assuming the participant is over age 59½ and in the third highest federal income tax bracket (28%), his or her federal income tax liability would be $11,200 (28% times $40,000) in the year the stock is distributed in-kind from the plan. If he or she were to immediately liquidate the shares, and assuming there were no further increases or decreases in share value, then federal income taxes owed on the NUA would be $24,000 ($160,000 x 15%). There would be no 10% penalty on this NUA, regardless of the participant's age.

    If the individual elected to liquidate the stock in the plan and take a cash distribution, or roll that stock over to a Rollover IRA and then withdraw the entire balance in cash, the entire market value of the stock would be taxed at the federal level at the ordinary income tax rate. In this example, we're assuming a 28% federal ordinary income tax rate on $200,000, for a hefty bill of $56,000. (Keep in mind that those taxes could go higher depending on your federal income tax bracket and any applicable early withdrawal penalties.)

    NUA guidelines

    In order to qualify for NUA, you must meet all of the criteria listed below:

    1. You must distribute your entire vested balance in your plan within one tax year (though you don't have to take all distributions at the same time).
    2. You must distribute all assets from all qualified plans you hold with the employer, even if only one holds company stock.
    3. You must take the distribution of company stock as actual shares. You may not convert them to cash before the distribution. Not all companies allow in‑kind distributions, so be sure to check whether it's an option in your plan.
    4. You must experience one of the following:
      • Separation from service from the company whose plan holds the stock (except in the case of self-employed workers)
      • Reaching age 59½
      • Total disability (for self-employed workers only)
      • Death

    Of course, there are a number of other factors to consider before deciding to use NUA treatment, such as your overall capital gains situation, your estate plan, and charitable giving, before taking any course of action. A tax professional and financial advisor can help you determine whether the NUA rule applies to your individual circumstances, and if so, how best to deploy it.

    Note: The current tax rate is used in this example and is subject to change.

Four options for your old 401(k)

Learn about rollovers and other choices for your old 401(k) when you retire or change jobs. Be sure to consider all your available options and the applicable fees and features of each before moving your retirement assets.

For additional info, read our Fidelity Viewpoints® article weighing the pros and cons of your options.

Need help?

Our rollover specialists can help with anything from quick questions to guiding you through each step of the rollover process.

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Rated 4 out of 5 by Timing glitch in hindsight My Fidelity representative did a good job by pointing out that the limited options in my former employer's 401(k) plan, though managed through Fidelity, were OK but not particularly great options. The one thing I wrestled with at that time over rolling into a Traditional IRA was the extra protection against creditors 401(k) offers. My representative pointed out that our family umbrella policy provided more that adequate protection, so I initiated the rollover which went smoothly. A couple of months later, I opted to take a normal distribution from my IRAs. At that point I realized that the rollover had significantly reduced the percentage of my IRAs in which I had a basis. This resulted in a larger tax bill than if I had delayed the rollover to a later year. October 24, 2016
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Rated 2 out of 5 by My rollover experience Doing a rollover is a very complicated experience. I was assisted quite well with the whole process except where I was supposed to get the rebate for doing this rollover. Someone dropped the ball in making sure I got that. So I had to track it myself and backtrack to get this taken care of. October 10, 2016
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Rated 4 out of 5 by Modern and efficient It was an efficient process to rollover my account. The customer service reps were patient and answered several of my calls to properly prepare and educate myself before I did so, as well. October 3, 2016
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Rated 5 out of 5 by Friendly and easy. When inquiring about my GM 401(k) account, I was advised that I had substantial after-tax contributions in my account. I was advised that I could roll them over to a Roth IRA if I also rolled-over the untaxed related earnings on all after-tax contributions. Therefore, I established a roll-over Roth IRA and a roll-over (tax-deferred) roll-over IRA. It was easy and quick with Fidelity. October 2, 2016
Rated 5 out of 5 by Easy to work with I rolled $ from my work 401K, which had limited choices for investment, into a rollover, where I direct the investments. This is a meaningful capability for me. October 2, 2016
Rated 3 out of 5 by Secure and reliable but frustrating too. I am investment illiterate and while I understand no customer service agent can recommend a particular action but I need all the guidance I can get. I am not at all happy with the result so far. September 27, 2016
Rated 5 out of 5 by Easy to understand and manage My Fidelity IRA has been easy to understand and manage since the rollover. The features at the Fidelity site, the reporting, and the tools all contribute to a clear view and understanding of the account. The webinars help illuminate the features and options available to the investor. September 27, 2016
Rated 5 out of 5 by Really Happy with it I rolled over my 401K after changing jobs and am very happy with both the products available and the service. September 22, 2016
Rated 5 out of 5 by Reliable website I like the Fidelity website as well as the news items that pertain to my holdings September 21, 2016
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Rated 2 out of 5 by myword I just find it difficul to maneuver through the system September 14, 2016
Rated 5 out of 5 by Great I am very satisfied with the service i am given and the professional advise . Thank You September 14, 2016
Rated 5 out of 5 by Anyone can do it The wife and I had 403b accounts with Fidelity for 35 years. At retirement, we rolled to the Fidelity Rollover IRA. We're very happy that we did. We can manage our investments with ease. We've configured automatic deposits of dividends to our checking account. We can fund retirement without making a career of it. Love it! September 13, 2016
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Rated 5 out of 5 by Great Resources Have no issues with online capabilities and reference resources; however, I had attended a bonds seminar in the Shrewsbury, NJ office over a month ago and thought I would have heard back about my wanting a meeting to discuss the bonds in my portfolio. September 7, 2016
Rated 3 out of 5 by Rollover (after) Even though my old 401K was with Fidelity I still found the rollover very easy to accomplish. Everything went very smoothly and in the time frame indicated. It is after the rollover I am having some difficulty. The resources available are not as easy to navigate. There are plenty of options but they don't flow well and I feel I have to dig deep to find what I want. I also have part of the rollover that didn't match any of the IRA funds just sitting in cash. I will have to call to figure out what assistance I can get to invest that portion. September 6, 2016
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Rated 5 out of 5 by Completely satified with investments made and customer service provide to me Very satisfied with my decision to choose Fidelity to manage my portfolio September 5, 2016
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