To permit tax-free transfers of retirement savings from one type of investment to another, as well as to increase the portability of qualified plan rights for employees moving from one job to another, Congress included a complicated web of rollover provisions in ERISA. These provisions cover transfers from one IRA to another, transfers from qualified pension, profit-sharing, stock bonus, and annuity plans to IRAs, and transfers from IRAs to qualified plans. An IRA may also, under limited circumstances, make a rollover distribution to a health savings account (HSA). In other words, if you receive a distribution from a qualified plan, you might decide to put some or all of the distribution amount into an IRA. The IRA that receives the qualified plan distribution is called a rollover IRA.

Can I rollover funds from a Traditional IRA to another Traditional IRA?

A distribution from an IRA to the individual for whose benefit the account or annuity is maintained is not taxable to the recipient if reinvested within 60 days in another IRA (other than an endowment contract) for the benefit of the same individual. The rule operates on an all-or-nothing basis. The entire amount received from the old IRA must be transferred to the transferee IRA. If anything is held back, the rollover rule does not apply, and everything received from the old IRA, including any amount transferred to another IRA, is treated as a taxable distribution. However, the distribution from the old IRA need not include the taxpayer's entire interest. An IRA can be split, for example, by rolling a portion of it into a new IRA.

If property other than money is received from the old IRA, that property, not substitute property of equal value or the cash proceeds of the property's sale, must be included in the transfer to the new IRA. According to the Tax Court, the rollover contribution must be of cash if the distribution is in cash.

The privilege of rolling over from IRA to IRA may be exercised only once in a 12-month period

Can I rollover funds from a qualified plan (401(k) Plan) to a Traditional IRA?

Very generally, a qualified plan or annuity participant can roll over any distribution other than a distribution that is part of a series of payments over the distributee's life or life expectancy or over a fixed period of at least 10 years, a distribution required by the minimum distribution rules of Internal Revenue Code Section 401(a)(9) , or a hardship distribution. An employee's surviving spouse may also roll over a similar distribution received on account of the employee's death.

Please contact one of our IRA Experts at 800-472-1043 for more information.