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What Plans Can I Rollover My Retirement Plan To?

When you rolloverhave a retirement plan, or many different types of retirement plan, you may be faced with decision-points when it would be helpful to rollover one plan into another plan. But do you know which type of plan I can rollover my retirement plan into?

What follows is a description of the types of accounts that you can rollover each particular source account into, along with the restrictions for some of those accounts. The IRS also has a handy rollover chart which describes these rollovers in a matrix.  

Traditional IRA or SEP-IRA

A traditional IRA or SEP-IRA can be rolled over into:

  • Another traditional IRA or SEP-IRA (once per year unless trustee-to-trustee transfer)
  • A Roth IRA (amount rolled over must be included in income)
  • A 401(k), 403(b), 457(b) (governmental retirement plan) profit sharing, defined benefit pension plan, or other qualified retirement plan (pre-tax only)

Roth IRA

A Roth IRA can be rolled over only into another Roth IRA, and then only once per year unless it’s a trustee-to-trustee transfer

401(k), 403(b), 457(b) or other Qualified Retirement Plan

A 401(k), 403(b), 457(b) or other qualified retirement plan (QRP) is eligible to rollover the pre-tax amounts into all of the same destination accounts as a traditional IRA, with exactly the same restrictions.

Additionally, these plans’ pre-tax amounts may also be rolled over into a Roth 401(k), Roth 403(b) or Roth 457(b) within the same plan, and the amount rolled over must be recognized as income in the year of the transfer.

The post-tax amounts in these accounts can be rolled over into a Roth IRA after having left employment.

SIMPLE IRA

A SIMPLE IRA can be rolled over into all of the same accounts as a traditional IRA, with the same restrictions, plus the fact that the SIMPLE IRA must have been established for at least two years before it can be rolled over.

In addition, a SIMPLE IRA can be rolled over into another SIMPLE IRA without the 2-year restriction, however the once-per-year restriction applies unless the rollover is a trustee-to-trustee transfer.

Roth 401(k), Roth 403(b) or Roth 457(b)

These designated Roth accounts can be rolled over into a Roth 401(k), Roth 403(b), or Roth 457(b) account of another employer, only as a direct trustee-to-trustee transfer. These accounts can also be rolled over into a Roth IRA with no tax consequences.

4 Comments

  1. […] if you mistakenly made a rollover transfer of Traditional IRA funds to a SEP or SIMPLE (which is not allowed), you can recharacterize those amounts back into a Traditional […]

  2. Firman A. Yoder says:

    can you rollover your social security into your 401k plan?

    1. jblankenship says:

      There are two parts to this answer:

      1) Since Social Security is not an account per se, there is no way to rollover a lump sum amount into any other account. This includes IRAs or 401ks.
      2) Since Social Security benefits are not wage income, you would not be eligible to contribute Social Security benefits to a 401k plan.

      Effectively the answer to your question is no – the explanation was just more complex than the question seemed.

  3. Mark Zoril says:

    Good information and good post presented in a concise manner. This comes up frequently since so many people accumulate assets in different locations.

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