What is an IRA rollover?
firstname.lastname@example.org | 10/29/2013, 4:17 p.m.
You are able to roll over assets from an employer-sponsored plan to a traditional IRA or a Roth IRA. Because there are no longer any income limits on Roth IRA conversions, everyone is eligible for a Roth IRA conversion; however, eligibility to contribute to a Roth IRA phases out at higher modified gross income levels. Keep in mind that ordinary income taxes are owed (in the year of the conversion) on all tax-deferred assets converted to a Roth IRA.
An IRA can be tailored to your particular needs and goals and can incorporate a variety of investment vehicles, as opposed to the limited number of options available in many employer-sponsored retirement plans. In addition, tax-deferred retirement savings from multiple employers can later be consolidated.
Over time, IRA rollovers may make it easier to manage your retirement savings by consolidating your holdings in one place. This can help cut down on paperwork and give you greater control over the management of your retirement assets.
Distributions from traditional IRAs are taxed as ordinary income and may be subject to a 10 percent federal income tax penalty if taken prior to reaching age 59½. Just as with employer-sponsored retirement plans, you must begin taking required minimum distributions from a traditional IRA each year after you turn age 70½.
Qualified distributions from a Roth IRA are free of federal income tax (under current tax laws) but may be subject to state, local, and alternative minimum taxes. To qualify for a tax-free and penalty-free withdrawal of earnings, a Roth IRA must meet the five-year holding requirement and the distribution must take place after age 59½ or due to death, disability, or a first-time home purchase ($10,000 lifetime maximum). The mandatory distribution rules that apply to traditional IRAs do not apply to original Roth IRA owners; however, Roth IRA beneficiaries must take mandatory distributions.
(Charles Sims Jr. is president/ CEO of The Sims Financial Group. Contact him at 901-682-2410 or visit www.SimsFinancialGroup.com.)