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.

Rated 4.4 out of 5 by 910 reviewers.
Rated 5 out of 5 by Compedent I have held accounts with Fidelity for many years so when it came time to roll our 401k plans to IRAs I didn't hesitate and am so glad I did it. June 9, 2016
Rated 5 out of 5 by Very happy with the customer service I was a bit apprehensive when I needed to rollover my 401k but the Fidelity representatives have made the process amazingly simple. They gave been patient and helpful. June 8, 2016
Rated 5 out of 5 by customer service very courteous know job well, but sometime you don't get that return call they promise have not had a lot of business transaction with the company, but am very pleased with the service I have received. May 31, 2016
Rated 5 out of 5 by Safe & Happy Very pleased with Fidelity. Your account reps have listened to me and responded with very favorable service. May 31, 2016
Rated 5 out of 5 by ira very well done, great support, easy transition, good result May 30, 2016
Rated 5 out of 5 by Layout I also use Fidelity Active Trader Pro which I like very much except the account summary page in my regular Fidelity account is much better. Would it be possible to add or set-up this page in Fidelity Active Trader Pro? May 23, 2016
Rated 5 out of 5 by IRA Rollover Everything was handled nicely and loved the financial incentive to roll with Fidelity May 16, 2016
Rated 5 out of 5 by A good choice I switched from another investment company to Fidelity last year. I like the fact that they have a local office that I can go in and talk to an actual person when I have a question or concern. The customer service over the phone has also been very helpful and friendly. this was a good choice for me. May 16, 2016
Rated 5 out of 5 by Seemingly Secure and mostly reliable My representative helped me when we rolled my 401k to an IRA and did a good job. I like personal contact and unfortunately that is last and only time I've heard from him. He his collected his commission and that was it ! I only require a call every couple of months for a few minutes but without them I cannot rate your customer service as highly as I could. May 16, 2016
Rated 5 out of 5 by Very Helpful When rolling over my IRA to my current employer's 401(k) plan, the folks at Fidelity couldn't have been more helpful and courteous. My nervousness was all for naught as the process was more delightful than I could've ever imagined. May 12, 2016
Rated 5 out of 5 by Who needs a bank? Having had investment accounts and banking functions in separate institutions for my entire career, both have now been consolidated under the Fidelity umbrella. Fidelity's customer service, easy to navigate website, and its educational resources are all top-notch. May 10, 2016
Rated 4 out of 5 by Easy to access, no work required The rollover process was easy, the account has been managed well. I had to call a few times to ensure that the account didn't stay in a "cash" status and was actually invested into an account, but everyone was nice when I called. May 10, 2016
Rated 5 out of 5 by safe and reliable Fedility is a great company. They have every thing at your fingertips to help you. If you need to go into there offices they are very helpful. There customer service is number one. May 9, 2016
Rated 5 out of 5 by great service The representative was helpful, considerate, and explained all the information thoroughly . and gave us information and options .We were asked our needs in handling investment and worked with us to reach our goals. May 9, 2016
Rated 5 out of 5 by My IRA Fidelity needs to upgrade their scheduler. The scheduler needs to be able to know days of the week. Example: deposit my IRA dividends to my checking acct on the 2nd Wednesday. Currently the Fidelity scheduler can only use numeric calender days, example the 10th ( which may fall on a weekend ). May 2, 2016
Rated 4 out of 5 by secure I have invested in Fidelity mutual funds and other mutual funds for a number of years and believe Fidelity provides an acceptable array of options with acceptable returns. May 1, 2016
Rated 5 out of 5 by No effort on my part My son set this up for me and he monitors it. I just look at it from time to time. April 26, 2016
Rated 5 out of 5 by easy to use A very good account with no hassles, it keeps me informed and up todate of what is availiable. April 25, 2016
Rated 5 out of 5 by Easy It was easy to get this years distribution. I just made a phone call. Thank you. April 21, 2016
Rated 5 out of 5 by Reliable The people is what I have found makes Fidelity Strong. April 18, 2016
Rated 4 out of 5 by good response and very professional good reliable folks to use and deal with to do business April 17, 2016
Rated 4 out of 5 by Some data not up to date The search categories seem to broad. The mutual fund data is sometimes more than a quarter out of date. April 12, 2016
Rated 4 out of 5 by Trustworthy with excellent resources The Fidelity team are customer focused with an array of outstanding on line resources to assist with planning your objectives. April 12, 2016
Rated 4 out of 5 by Easy to use Lots of helpful content across the website. Friendly and knowledgable staff when calling with questions. April 11, 2016
Rated 5 out of 5 by Very Knowledgeable employees My husband have been with Fidelity from 2002 and they have been very professional doing business with April 11, 2016
Rated 5 out of 5 by Dependable I have had my Fidelity accounts since 86, both IRA's and taxable Brokerage. They have always been accurate and up to date. Their call in support has been accurate and knowledgeable. I have always felt confident with their handling of my accounts. April 11, 2016
Rated 5 out of 5 by Easy and Secure Rolling my 401-k plan into this IRA was easy. The customer service provided by Fidelity was great. April 11, 2016
Rated 5 out of 5 by Easy to roll over Fidelity made it easy to roll over funds from two previous employers and went above and beyond the call to assist me. The site is very easy to use. April 6, 2016
Rated 5 out of 5 by easy user friendly, easy process, customer service are good. April 6, 2016
Rated 5 out of 5 by MRDs Love that you have a convienent link to what MRD is required and that I can go back to previous years. It was great when I did our taxes. April 6, 2016
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