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Should You Roll Over A Retirement Plan Distribution

Special To ETF Trends

This article was originally published on ETFTrends.com.

By Calvin Ebun-Amu, Budget and Invest

Different circumstances arise that call for one to rollover their retirement plan. You may be left with little time and tough decisions to make. The decisions you make on whether you rollover your retirement plan and how you rollover your retirement plan distribution can have profound effects on several areas of your life, including how much you are taxed. Whether or not you rollover your distribution is not a decision to be taken lightly.

A retirement plan distribution rollover can be used to direct the transfer of money in your retirement account to a new plan or IRA. Typically, the IRS gives 60 days for one to rollover to another plan or IRA. One rollover is allowed for every 12-month period from an IRA. However, the limit may not apply to other types of rollovers.

There are different times in your life that determine whether it is a good time to roll over your retirement plan. For example, if you have a retirement plan that has been tax-deferred, you have to start taking distributions after you are seventy and a half.

Retirement Plans to Think Of

Not all retirement plan plans are created equal. There are a lot of retirement plans with significant costs.

A 401(k) does not give many opportunities to get advice and take greater steps in financial planning. Rolling over to an IRA gives opportunities to learn more about the retirement planning landscape. You also get an extra set of eyes to guide you in preparing for retirement.

A 401(k) plan tend to be harder to track. With a self-directed IRA account, you can use ticker symbols and other tools to get a better understanding of your investments. IRA accounts also provide better options to choose a beneficiary. A lot of 401(k) plans may push up your descendants into a higher tax bracket without adequate preparation. An IRA offers better flexibility to plan.

Tax Implications of Retirement Plan Distribution

Most retirement plans are tax-deferred from day one. This means someone has to pay the tax. If you don’t take out distributions you could be hit with a big penalty of up to 50%. At age fifty-nine and a half, you are usually able to take money out of your retirement plan without getting a penalty. However, you may still incur a 10% penalty if you are cashing out the retirement plan distribution.

You may need to also consider the special tax treatments that you benefit from. For example, if you have company stocks invested in through the retirement distribution plan, you could take advantage of favorable tax treatments as it relates to distribution of the stock.

For example, you could be able to rollover $100,000 of the company’s stock and only pay taxes of $50,000 (your contribution) to the stock. The extra $50,000 of growth may be considered as net unrealized appreciation. When you decide to sell the stock, you can benefit from taxes paid at your ordinary income tax rate and qualify from long-term capital gains treatment. Some people may benefit from over 15% but most would benefit from a 15% break.

Benefits of a Rollover IRA

A rollover IRA is a holding account for funds from previous retirement plans. Depending on the type of 401(k), you previously had, you can roll it over into a traditional IRA or you can pay the taxes on it into a backdoor roth. Most retirement plans are eligible for a rollover IRA. These include 401(k)s, roth 401(k)s, and 403(b)s.

A rollover IRA provides certain benefits that you wouldn’t find with most private IRAs. Not only does a rollover IRA give you a broad range of investment choices, but you are also better equipped to diversify your portfolio.

It is easier to take out a loan for a home with an employer-sponsored account. One cannot take out a loan against a home with a rollover IRA. An employer-sponsored plan can offer lower costs.

Supervisory bodies are going to extra lengths to protect retirees. They’re trying to make it easier for people to decide among leaving their present plan, rolling over to an IRA, and other key things.

Costs or Revenue?

There are different fees and costs that should be taken into account when making a decision on a rollover distribution plan. A retirement plan distribution may incur administrative charges and

A retirement plan distribution with a private organization can limit the amount of investments you can benefit from. With a private organization, you are limited to the investment decisions made by  the organization.

It can become a lot easier to manage your distribution if you consolidate all your accounts. This can relieves stress in relation to your retirement plans. It also make it easier for you to make your plans.

The costs of investments should be prioritized when considering plans for your retirement distribution plan. A retail mutual fund, for example can be very high in cost while an index fund or ETF can be lower in cost.

Not everything is about costs. It’s easy to overlook what’s important- net gains. You have to be careful to not let costs blind you from returns that are net of expenses. A lot of people focus so much on costs that they ignore returns which can result in lower progress overall.

Making a Decision

You have to also be aware of the different cost structures. Some opportunities provide better transparency for the success of retirees.

Cashing out a retirement plan distribution early is rarely ever a good idea. Many people choose to cash out after leaving an employer. This may seem like a good idea at the moment but there are better ways of making choices that can open up your opportunities in the future.

You can set up an IRA rollover and do a trust transfer so that there are no tax consequences. You may roll it into a low-cost custodian that gives you more flexibility.

In some cases, it may make sense to leave your retirement savings plan distribution in the retirement plan distribution so it doesn’t negatively impact the tax implications of future roth conversions you make.

This article was republished with permission from Budget and Invest. View the original article here.

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