So you’re interested in transferring your IRA assets.
When you change jobs or retire, you can roll your 401(k) assets into another 401(k) plan, if available, or an IRA.
There are two ways you can do this.
First, you can make a direct rollover. This means the check goes directly from your current plan to your new plan. Because you never touch the money, taxes aren’t withheld.
A direct rollover is a good idea if it’s available, because the other option—an indirect rollover—can get tricky. With an indirect rollover, the check goes from your current plan to you, and you send it to your new plan. The problem is, your plan withholds 20 percent of your money and sends it to the IRS. The remaining 80 percent, which you receive, must be deposited into a qualified retirement plan within 60 days, or it’s subject to a 10 percent penalty. The good news: If you do put the remaining 80 percent in a qualified retirement plan, you can recover the 20 percent sent to the IRS by submitting a special form with your next tax return. When you get the 20 percent back, however, it also has to be deposited in a qualified retirement account within 60 days, or—you guessed it—it’s subject to a 10 percent penalty.
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