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.

Where do you send the money?

If you've already initiated the rollover process, we make it easy to deposit your money with us. See how

  • 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 5 out of 5 by Very helpful Very knowledgeable and helpful. Staff was friendly. Didn't make me feel stupid for not understanding everything July 25, 2016
Rated 4 out of 5 by New rollover IRA I am pleased with the advice and assistance I received for my rollover IRA account. I opened my IRA account 5 months ago and am pleased with my options and service. I decided to open a Fidelity Rollover IRA because of my satisfaction with my Fidelity Brokerage Account. July 25, 2016
Rated 5 out of 5 by convenient and simple I rolled an employer 401k over by calling fidelity and then while on the phone we called the previous financial institution and the two reps figured all of the logistics out. All I had to do was provide various identifying information. Very easy and simple. July 25, 2016
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Rated 5 out of 5 by Fast and convenient Thank you for the valuable advice on my rollover. This past year and a half has been hectic sometimes. With your help this task was much easier. Thank you very much. July 19, 2016
Rated 5 out of 5 by My IRA rollover Fidelity staff members are courteous and make me feel very comfortable the way they have been helping me with my accounts, whenever I ask a question they are right there with the answers or options I have with the choices I have made since my retirement. I have participated in some of the training session and webinars and they have been terrific. July 19, 2016
Rated 5 out of 5 by I am happy with my decisions When my company got acquired and I was faced with rolling my money over to another institution, I was unsure of what to do. I liked the service at Fidelity and after talking with the other institution about rolling my money into their 401K, I was not impressed. They were very basic and uncaring. I chose instead to roll my money into a Fidelity IRA. Not knowing what to do with it, I let it sit a while, then called Fidelity for advice. I was given options by some of the most patient and mild mannered people. I really appreciated their concern. I got the education I needed to make an informed decision about my money and feel good about it. Kudos!! July 19, 2016
Rated 5 out of 5 by Effective and Efficient I worked with a fidelity representative before I retired to work out a plan to convert my retirement portfolio to a rollover IRA. The representative was very knowledgable understanding of how to maximize my income in retirement while conserving my assets for estate planning purposes. July 18, 2016
Rated 5 out of 5 by Easy and convenient to manage Excellent services from Fidelity overall. I was allowed a set of free trades in the first year which made the deployment of my IRA assets easy. The web view of the account is very easy to read. July 18, 2016
Rated 5 out of 5 by Secure and reliable I have had problems with this account, It has always been my fault for forgetting to do what I need to do. July 18, 2016
Rated 5 out of 5 by Secure and reliable Fidelity does a great job managing my IRA account, and I have easy access to my funds. July 18, 2016
Rated 5 out of 5 by Convenient, easy to access and many products to choose from. I find my rollover IRA very easy to use as a hands-off investor who wishes to "invest and forget" for the long term. Also, I like the many types of products I can choose to invest in, as well as the support I receive from my account representative. July 18, 2016
Rated 5 out of 5 by Rollover IRA This is a great option, you get a lot of flexibility and it couldn't have been easier to make trades. The customer service person I spoke with was very polite and helpful and he was able to teach me how to trade in just a few minutes. This is exactly what I was looking for. July 15, 2016
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Rated 5 out of 5 by Easy to Manage, Lots of Features I was contacted by Fidelity when I left my previous employer. They suggested that I roll over my Fidelity 401k to a Fidelity IRA. I can't say for sure that it was the right or wrong thing to do however I can say that there are a lot of available choices and my IRA survived Brexit pretty well. The adviser assigned to me was very helpful although I haven't heard from them for a while. July 11, 2016
Rated 5 out of 5 by Ease of use of site. Since joining Fidelity, I have been able to quickly learn and navigate your customer online site. It is clear and understandable. If I do need assistance, representatives are quick to respond with their thoughts and suggestions on moving forward. July 11, 2016
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Rated 5 out of 5 by Switching from a 401K to an IRA the folks at Fidelity made the transition easy and understandable. Can't ask for more. July 6, 2016
Rated 5 out of 5 by Easy Process and Investment Tools I rolled an early buyout pension into a Fidelity Rollover IRA. I couldn't be more pleased, with everything from the process of the rollover with the assistance from my Fidelity representative, to the variety of options in my investment portfolio. I have additional Fidelity accounts and am pleased with all of them, and particularly all of the tools that are offered to make me a more informed investor. July 6, 2016
Rated 1 out of 5 by Unable to do rollover I am trying to process a rollover from my former employer's 401(k). When I go through Fidelity's Transfer of Assest, I am met with the following error: System Error Sorry, but we were unable to complete this request. Please try again. If you continue to experience this error, please contact us at 800-396-8982. All I need to know is who they should make the rollover check out to. July 1, 2016
Rated 4 out of 5 by Reliable Transferred from my 401K administered by Fidelity due to certain restrictions on my 401K. Transfer was done efficiently and has been very helpful in maintaining my finances. June 20, 2016
Rated 4 out of 5 by Convenient I worked through a Fidelity local agent. He helped set up the online stuff. The rest came easy. Moved 4 external accounts to my one Fidelity Rollover account. Simplified everything. June 20, 2016
Rated 5 out of 5 by comfortable and trustworthy Because our life style and financial needs are very simple at this stage of our life it is very satisfying to be able to meet all our needs with people in person and conveniently located. The roll over of our IRA into Fidelity was very simple.t. June 17, 2016
Rated 5 out of 5 by Happy Retiree I am very pleased with the ease of rollover and the selection of a Minium Required Distribution format. The over the phone staff were very helpful as was the on site review by my assigned councilor. June 14, 2016
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Rated 4 out of 5 by Excellent service Fidelity service is excellent from the local branch personnel to the call in number personnel however I do not find the online services as user friendly or as comprehensive as I had expected. June 13, 2016
Rated 4 out of 5 by 6 Months Only 6 months of my investments being in this 401 account, I have been able to review the account with ease. Not enough me to evaluate it's value. June 13, 2016
Rated 4 out of 5 by IRA As a newcomer to managing my own investment, I really need training, consultation and mentoring. The resources and tools available are good but it is overwhelming and information over load. June 13, 2016
Rated 5 out of 5 by customer service and new accounts Needed easier access to retirement accounts. Customer service and account reps are knowledgable, curtious and very helpful in transferring assets to Fidelity. I now have access to my accounts that suit me. June 10, 2016
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