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Do I have to leave my company 401(k)?

I am getting close to retiring. When I do, am I required to take my money out of the company 401(k) plan, or can I leave it there while I take distributions?

Jun 25, 2015 by Steve in  |  Flag
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Hello Steve,

You are not required to take your money out of your 401k as far as the IRS or DOL is concerned. However you may check with your plan's administrator to see what your plan's governing document states, some 401(k) plans will force out you out upon your retirement, your age of 70 1/2 or never at all. I will say that distributions are typically easier to automate in an IRA as opposed to a 401k where processing time may be an issue.

Best regards,

Comment   |  Flag   |  Jun 25, 2015

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Michael Baker Level 7

Steve,

Congratulations on your upcoming retirement! You certainly are not required to take your money out of the company 401(k) plan, however I'd strongly encourage you to roll it into an IRA. Employer plans tend to have higher fees which negatively impact your long-term performance. In addition the limited investment options in most company plans don't always offer the best opportunity for those after retirement.

Rolling your 401(k) into an IRA doesn't trigger any taxes and it opens up your investment universe exponentially in most cases. If you're not comfortable managing the assets in your IRA, working with an advisor would allow you to come up with a financial game plan that takes your unique circumstance into consideration and will put you in a great position to enjoy a more comfortable retirement.

Hope this helps!

Comment   |  Flag   |  Jun 25, 2015

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You can leave it there or roll it over into an IRA. Some companies have plans with reasonable fees and investment choices, but some do not. Rolling it into an IRA will give you the most investment options. You need to make sure that you roll it over carefully as not doing it correctly could result it counting as a taxable distribution.

In general, it's best to roll it over directly to the new company rather than have a check issued to you for your deposit into another financial firm. That check could count as a taxable distribution if you failed to deposit the funds in a qualified IRA account within 60 days. Having the IRA Rollover account set up first before the distribution will help reduce this risk.

Comment   |  Flag   |  Jun 25, 2015 from Austin, TX

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