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What to Know About Rolling Over Retirement Accounts


Employees should fastidiously consider the choices for his or her retirement savings when leaving a job, including leaving it within the old employer’s plan. The fees in that plan could also be lower, but you would need to compare. (Some employers is not going to let you permit your money behind if the balance is small.)

Listed here are some questions and answers about rolling over retirement balances:

Typically, you will discover a fund’s expense ratio, often labeled “total annual fund operating expenses,” on its management company’s website or within the fund’s prospectus.

The Financial Industry Regulatory Authority, a personal group that regulates brokerage firms, offers a web based fund analyzer that enables you to compare details about different funds, including expenses.

Administrators of 401(k) plans are required to reveal fund fees, but research from the Government Accountability Office suggests many participants have difficulty using the data.

Ask for the reasoning behind the recommendation, because advisers may earn fees from managing your money in an I.R.A. As of July 1, advisers must provide written documentation explaining why a really useful rollover is in your best interest, said Nevin E. Adams, a spokesman for the American Retirement Association, an industry group. The mandate is an element of rules recently adopted by the Department of Labor.

You can not contribute to a former employer’s 401(k) plan, said Heather Winston, director of monetary planning and advice at Principal Financial Group. So if you happen to leave it behind, it’s best to contribute to a latest account to maintain your retirement savings on course. Sticking to an employer plan means you’re limited to the corporate’s menu of investments, she said, while an I.R.A. may offer more options.

Also, it might be difficult to maintain track of multiple accounts if you happen to change jobs several times, said Michael J. Garry, founder and chief executive of Yardley Wealth Management. Consolidating them in an I.R.A. could make it easier to be certain that funds are accurately allocated amongst various kinds of investments.

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