Why can't you rollover a retirement account into another one that you no longer work at?

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StraightEdge
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Why can't you rollover a retirement account into another one that you no longer work at?

Post by StraightEdge » Wed May 16, 2018 11:44 am

Let me preface this by saying that I don't know much about retirement accounts.

I worked at Job A from 2009-2014 and I had a 403B retirement plan with them that has $40,000 in current value right now. In 2014, I got a new job with Job B from 2014-2017 that also had a 403B retirement plan and it has $6,000 in current value with them right now. I never rolled over my retirement plan from Job A into Job B and now I have two retirement plans with two different companies.

I really wanted to have just one retirement account so just now, I tried contacting Job A's retirement company about rolling over the funds from Job B into it. (Because Job A's retirement account is much more). They said I couldn't do it because I no longer work at Job A and the only way to do it would be to change my retirement account into an individual retirement account in which case then I could roll over Job A into Job B (which I don't know what that means or how complicated that is so I don't think I want to.)

So I'm just frustrated because now I'm stuck with two retirement accounts. I don't currently have another job but I assume once I get a new job and a new retirement account, then I can just roll over Job A and Job B's retirement accounts into Job C correct?

Does most average people just roll over their previous retirement accounts into the new job to always just keep one retirement account? The idea of having more than one just seems too complicated.

delamer
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Re: Why can't you rollover a retirement account into another one that you no longer work at?

Post by delamer » Wed May 16, 2018 11:50 am

Not sure why it matters that you can’t do a rollover from Job B to Job A. If you can’t, you can’t.

Why not roll the Job A account into the Job B account? What difference does it make that the Job A account is larger? The Job A account gave you an option to do the rollover. It just isn’t that complicated.

Or just leave things as they are. It isn’t clear why having two accounts is so stressful.

StraightEdge
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Re: Why can't you rollover a retirement account into another one that you no longer work at?

Post by StraightEdge » Wed May 16, 2018 11:55 am

I don't think you are understanding correctly.

I don't work at Job B anymore either. So I can't roll over Job A's account into Job B's account for the same reason I can't rollover Job B's account into Job A's account.

livesoft
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Re: Why can't you rollover a retirement account into another one that you no longer work at?

Post by livesoft » Wed May 16, 2018 11:56 am

I think many people just rollover all their employer-provided plans into self-controlled IRAs. While there are some reasons to not to do that, most of the time it is a good idea.

So you have two plans A and B. You could move A to IRA and B to the same IRA. That way, you have one plan which is what you want. It is not complicated to do these rollovers.

It is not correct that you would always be able to rollover to new job C's retirement plan. Some employers do not allow for such things, but some do. Furthermore, employer C could have a craptacular plan, so you wouldn't want to roll anything into it anyways.

But you confessed a bit of uncertainty, doubt, and lack of knowledge. Get some knowledge and get rid of the doubt and uncertainty.
Last edited by livesoft on Wed May 16, 2018 11:58 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Watty
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Re: Why can't you rollover a retirement account into another one that you no longer work at?

Post by Watty » Wed May 16, 2018 11:58 am

You can likely roll both of them into an IRA so you would just have one account. You might even get better options and costs.

You can contact the IRA company, like Vanguard, and they will walk you through what you need to do.

N10sive
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Re: Why can't you rollover a retirement account into another one that you no longer work at?

Post by N10sive » Wed May 16, 2018 11:58 am

I think that is typical with most company plans if you are no longer working at the company in either situation.

Either roll it into a new 401k with your new company if your working or open an account somewhere and roll into an IRA.

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Re: Why can't you rollover a retirement account into another one that you no longer work at?

Post by PFInterest » Wed May 16, 2018 11:59 am

StraightEdge wrote:
Wed May 16, 2018 11:44 am
Let me preface this by saying that I don't know much about retirement accounts.

I worked at Job A from 2009-2014 and I had a 403B retirement plan with them that has $40,000 in current value right now. In 2014, I got a new job with Job B from 2014-2017 that also had a 403B retirement plan and it has $6,000 in current value with them right now. I never rolled over my retirement plan from Job A into Job B and now I have two retirement plans with two different companies.

I really wanted to have just one retirement account so just now, I tried contacting Job A's retirement company about rolling over the funds from Job B into it. (Because Job A's retirement account is much more). They said I couldn't do it because I no longer work at Job A and the only way to do it would be to change my retirement account into an individual retirement account in which case then I could roll over Job A into Job B (which I don't know what that means or how complicated that is so I don't think I want to.)

So I'm just frustrated because now I'm stuck with two retirement accounts. I don't currently have another job but I assume once I get a new job and a new retirement account, then I can just roll over Job A and Job B's retirement accounts into Job C correct?

Does most average people just roll over their previous retirement accounts into the new job to always just keep one retirement account? The idea of having more than one just seems too complicated.
You can't because those are the rules.
Having two accounts is not a problem.
Once you get a new job, and if the options are good, and they accept your old plans, then you can move them.

You can move them to an IRA but do you need to do a backdoor rIRA? And are the options better in your 403?

Dottie57
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Re: Why can't you rollover a retirement account into another one that you no longer work at?

Post by Dottie57 » Wed May 16, 2018 11:59 am

1. Only active members of the employer can put money into 401k. Ex employees are no longer active in the plan.
2. Plan may require only money from paycheck can be put into 401k. (Employee - subset of reason 1).


Everything is governed by plan documents (look for a copy of your ex-employers plan summary document).

delamer
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Re: Why can't you rollover a retirement account into another one that you no longer work at?

Post by delamer » Wed May 16, 2018 12:01 pm

StraightEdge wrote:
Wed May 16, 2018 11:55 am
I don't think you are understanding correctly.

I don't work at Job B anymore either. So I can't roll over Job A's account into Job B's account for the same reason I can't rollover Job B's account into Job A's account.

My mistake — I read too quickly and thought you were still at Job B.

mega317
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Re: Why can't you rollover a retirement account into another one that you no longer work at?

Post by mega317 » Wed May 16, 2018 12:03 pm

It costs money/resources to hold your retirement money. Why would someone who has no relationship with you (Job A) want to help you out by accepting and holding more money?

It is rather annoying to have money spread about in many accounts. This bothers some people more than others. I don't know if one could speak to "most average people"--there are a range of possibilities. Many people, myself included, will leave an old retirement account alone if it has better investment options than at a new job. I believe some employers won't even accept rollovers of old plans. An IRA is another good option. I think the things you need to think about first are 1) complicating the back door Roth, and 2) differences in legal status of 401k vs IRA.

infotrader
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Re: Why can't you rollover a retirement account into another one that you no longer work at?

Post by infotrader » Wed May 16, 2018 12:06 pm

I think the best option is to rollover the balance of both accounts to an IRA account. You will have total control of the account, have more investment options, and it usually costs you less.

There are tons of people want to move money out of active accounts, I don't see the point of moving money into another employer-sponsored plan.

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Re: Why can't you rollover a retirement account into another one that you no longer work at?

Post by Silk McCue » Wed May 16, 2018 12:11 pm

infotrader wrote:
Wed May 16, 2018 12:06 pm
Eventually, you will have more than 1 retirement account.
I think the best option is to rollover the balance to an IRA account. You will have total control of the account, have more investment options, and it usually costs you less.
+1

Perfect time to move to a low cost provider. Vanguard is certainly an option. They are likely to have more investing options at lower costs than any 403b plan.

Cheers

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Re: Why can't you rollover a retirement account into another one that you no longer work at?

Post by Katietsu » Wed May 16, 2018 12:17 pm

I would wait until I got a new job. Then, decide whether it is best to:
1) Roll the funds from plan A and B into the new plan C.
Or
2) Roll the plans from A and B into a personal IRA at a low cost provider like Fidelity, Vanguard, or Schwab.

The advantage of (1) is that you would have just one account. You might have access to some very low cost funds or a really good stable value account.

But, plan C might not allow you to move outside money into it. Or it might have high cost bad choices in it that are inferior to what is available in an IRA.

Another factor is that money in an IRA can be withdrawn at any time in an emergency, albeit with tax and penalties. But once you roll the money into plan C, it is likely inaccessible until you leave that employer. Depending on your point of view, this is an advantage or a disadvantage.

Mega317 has pointed out some additional differences.

StraightEdge
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Re: Why can't you rollover a retirement account into another one that you no longer work at?

Post by StraightEdge » Wed May 16, 2018 12:20 pm

I don't know what IRA accounts are or what a Roth IRA is so I'm hesitant to rollover Job A and Job B's accounts into Job A's IRA. Job A's retirement is through Empower Retirement and Job B is called Milliman. Because if I did that...could I then rollover an IRA into a traditional 401K with Job C if I wanted to?

Why are some of you saying if I leave Job A and Job B's retirement accounts as is that I might not be able to roll them over into Job C's 401k or 403b? That worries me...

Looking4Answers
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Re: Why can't you rollover a retirement account into another one that you no longer work at?

Post by Looking4Answers » Wed May 16, 2018 12:42 pm

Let me preface this by saying that I don't know much about retirement accounts.
This was not your question, but I would say at this point don't worry about not being able to roll over the accounts. Just be glad that you've been able to save them and take your time to educate yourself on retirement accounts. Later on you may have a 401k that is better than the ones you've had and you may wish you had not rolled your former accounts into an IRA, because once you do that it cannot be undone. My husband and I were quick to rollover a former 401k into a IRA. Later wished we had left those funds where they were because it was a plan that had funds that were closed to new investors, and later we were in a situation where it would have benefited us to have that money in a new employer's plan because then we would have been able to take out a 401k loan. (401ks also give a few other protections that IRAs don't, but thankfully we have never had those issues.) Some things to consider: How good or bad are the choices in your accounts? What are the fees? If the fees are high, it probably would be best to go ahead and move to an IRA. Yes, it is good to simplify, but take your time before you make any decisions.

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greg24
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Re: Why can't you rollover a retirement account into another one that you no longer work at?

Post by greg24 » Wed May 16, 2018 12:45 pm

StraightEdge wrote:
Wed May 16, 2018 12:20 pm
I don't know what IRA accounts are or what a Roth IRA is so I'm hesitant to rollover Job A and Job B's accounts into Job A's IRA. Job A's retirement is through Empower Retirement and Job B is called Milliman. Because if I did that...could I then rollover an IRA into a traditional 401K with Job C if I wanted to?

Why are some of you saying if I leave Job A and Job B's retirement accounts as is that I might not be able to roll them over into Job C's 401k or 403b? That worries me...
I suggest you call Schwab or Fidelity to open a Rollover IRA. They can guide you through the process, and do much of the leg work, to rollover Job A funds and Job B funds into your new Rollover IRA.

In this new Rollover IRA, you'll (most likely) have a wider array of investing options than the 403bs that they were previously in.

Then you'll have one account going forward. You'll be able to roll Job C into it at some point in the future, if/when you leave that job.

Our local wiki has a good summation:
https://www.bogleheads.org/wiki/IRA_rol ... _transfers

Rupert
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Re: Why can't you rollover a retirement account into another one that you no longer work at?

Post by Rupert » Wed May 16, 2018 12:56 pm

StraightEdge wrote:
Wed May 16, 2018 12:20 pm
I don't know what IRA accounts are or what a Roth IRA is so I'm hesitant to rollover Job A and Job B's accounts into Job A's IRA. Job A's retirement is through Empower Retirement and Job B is called Milliman. Because if I did that...could I then rollover an IRA into a traditional 401K with Job C if I wanted to?

Why are some of you saying if I leave Job A and Job B's retirement accounts as is that I might not be able to roll them over into Job C's 401k or 403b? That worries me...
You wouldn't be rolling them over into "Job A's IRA." You'd be rolling them over into your personal IRA opened at the vendor of your choosing.

Job C's plan might not accept rollovers from other plans. You won't know if you can do that until you actually get Job C and ask them. So if you want to do something with the old accounts now, opening your own rollover IRA is the way to go.

StraightEdge
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Re: Why can't you rollover a retirement account into another one that you no longer work at?

Post by StraightEdge » Wed May 16, 2018 1:05 pm

Rupert wrote:
Wed May 16, 2018 12:56 pm
StraightEdge wrote:
Wed May 16, 2018 12:20 pm
I don't know what IRA accounts are or what a Roth IRA is so I'm hesitant to rollover Job A and Job B's accounts into Job A's IRA. Job A's retirement is through Empower Retirement and Job B is called Milliman. Because if I did that...could I then rollover an IRA into a traditional 401K with Job C if I wanted to?

Why are some of you saying if I leave Job A and Job B's retirement accounts as is that I might not be able to roll them over into Job C's 401k or 403b? That worries me...
You wouldn't be rolling them over into "Job A's IRA." You'd be rolling them over into your personal IRA opened at the vendor of your choosing.

Job C's plan might not accept rollovers from other plans. You won't know if you can do that until you actually get Job C and ask them. So if you want to do something with the old accounts now, opening your own rollover IRA is the way to go.
Why wouldn't I be rolling them over into Job A's IRA? Because the guy on the phone with Job A's retirement account made it seem like the IRA would be through them which is Empower Retirement?

Again, I'm just not sure what an IRA is compared to a 401K/403B so I'm hesitant to do it. Plus I don't even know if later on you can transfer an IRA into a new 401K account with a future employer or not?

Not sure why Job C's plan might not accept rollovers from other plans? Why wouldn't it? That worries me.

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Re: Why can't you rollover a retirement account into another one that you no longer work at?

Post by The Wizard » Wed May 16, 2018 1:09 pm

I'll just mention that after I retired, I did some part-time work one year and was able to roll my IRA funds at Vanguard into my 403(b) from my former employer, thus clearing the way to do a backdoor Roth contribution.

So sometimes an employer plan can be rolled into after you separate from service...
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Re: Why can't you rollover a retirement account into another one that you no longer work at?

Post by TravelGeek » Wed May 16, 2018 1:13 pm

delamer wrote:
Wed May 16, 2018 11:50 am
Not sure why it matters that you can’t do a rollover from Job B to Job A. If you can’t, you can’t.
I don't know about the OP, but I tend to be interested in not only knowing the rules, but also understanding the rationale behind the rules. Even if I cannot change them.
mega317 wrote:
Wed May 16, 2018 12:03 pm
It costs money/resources to hold your retirement money. Why would someone who has no relationship with you (Job A) want to help you out by accepting and holding more money?
But isn't there also the "economy of scale" argument? In other words, wouldn't a larger overall 401(k) plan be able to negotiate lower fees, to the benefit of current employees and former employees alike? I guess I should look at my employer's plan and try to figure out how much the company spends on the plan (vs. fees from the account holders).

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neurosphere
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Re: Why can't you rollover a retirement account into another one that you no longer work at?

Post by neurosphere » Wed May 16, 2018 1:14 pm

StraightEdge wrote:
Wed May 16, 2018 1:05 pm
Why wouldn't I be rolling them over into Job A's IRA? Because the guy on the phone with Job A's retirement account made it seem like the IRA would be through them which is Empower Retirement?
A company like Empower (or Vanguard or Fidelity, etc) can provide accounts to both businesses and individuals. So you may have a 401k with Fidelity, and I may have an IRA with Fidelity, even though I have nothing to do with your employer. If you want to have an IRA too, you can choose Fidelity, and move your 401k money from your EMPLOYER's Fidelity account to YOUR IRA at Fidelity. But you can move your 401k to an IRA at any company you want. It's never your "employer's" IRA.

My employer has their business account at Chase. I have my checking account at Chase. When my employer pays me, I can have that go to my Chase checking account if I wish. Or any other bank checking account. But if I ask Chase "what's the best bank to open a checking account to direct deposit my paycheck?" they will answer "Chase". Same with Empower "yes, you can certainly move your 401k monies into an Empower IRA, we can do that today!". :D
If you have to ask "Is a Target Date fund right for me?", the answer is "Yes".

delamer
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Re: Why can't you rollover a retirement account into another one that you no longer work at?

Post by delamer » Wed May 16, 2018 1:32 pm

TravelGeek wrote:
Wed May 16, 2018 1:13 pm
delamer wrote:
Wed May 16, 2018 11:50 am
Not sure why it matters that you can’t do a rollover from Job B to Job A. If you can’t, you can’t.
I don't know about the OP, but I tend to be interested in not only knowing the rules, but also understanding the rationale behind the rules. Even if I cannot change them.
mega317 wrote:
Wed May 16, 2018 12:03 pm
It costs money/resources to hold your retirement money. Why would someone who has no relationship with you (Job A) want to help you out by accepting and holding more money?
But isn't there also the "economy of scale" argument? In other words, wouldn't a larger overall 401(k) plan be able to negotiate lower fees, to the benefit of current employees and former employees alike? I guess I should look at my employer's plan and try to figure out how much the company spends on the plan (vs. fees from the account holders).
In many situations, I’d also want to know the “why.” But in this case, It seems like the best use of the OP’s mental energy is to figure out what do do next.

Rupert
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Re: Why can't you rollover a retirement account into another one that you no longer work at?

Post by Rupert » Wed May 16, 2018 1:53 pm

StraightEdge wrote:
Wed May 16, 2018 1:05 pm
Rupert wrote:
Wed May 16, 2018 12:56 pm
StraightEdge wrote:
Wed May 16, 2018 12:20 pm
I don't know what IRA accounts are or what a Roth IRA is so I'm hesitant to rollover Job A and Job B's accounts into Job A's IRA. Job A's retirement is through Empower Retirement and Job B is called Milliman. Because if I did that...could I then rollover an IRA into a traditional 401K with Job C if I wanted to?

Why are some of you saying if I leave Job A and Job B's retirement accounts as is that I might not be able to roll them over into Job C's 401k or 403b? That worries me...
You wouldn't be rolling them over into "Job A's IRA." You'd be rolling them over into your personal IRA opened at the vendor of your choosing.

Job C's plan might not accept rollovers from other plans. You won't know if you can do that until you actually get Job C and ask them. So if you want to do something with the old accounts now, opening your own rollover IRA is the way to go.
Why wouldn't I be rolling them over into Job A's IRA? Because the guy on the phone with Job A's retirement account made it seem like the IRA would be through them which is Empower Retirement?

Again, I'm just not sure what an IRA is compared to a 401K/403B so I'm hesitant to do it. Plus I don't even know if later on you can transfer an IRA into a new 401K account with a future employer or not?

Not sure why Job C's plan might not accept rollovers from other plans? Why wouldn't it? That worries me.
An IRA is an "individual retirement account." IRAs are not sponsored by employers. So you have misunderstood what the guy on the phone said, or he gave you incorrect information. Job A cannot make you use any particular IRA vendor. It's 100% your choice. The law allows you to transfer rollover IRA money into a new employer's 403b or 401k, but your new employer may not. Rollovers into a plan are a bit of an administrative hassle that increase the costs of running a plan, so some employers choose not to permit them.

Rupert
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Re: Why can't you rollover a retirement account into another one that you no longer work at?

Post by Rupert » Wed May 16, 2018 1:57 pm

TravelGeek wrote:
Wed May 16, 2018 1:13 pm
delamer wrote:
Wed May 16, 2018 11:50 am
Not sure why it matters that you can’t do a rollover from Job B to Job A. If you can’t, you can’t.
I don't know about the OP, but I tend to be interested in not only knowing the rules, but also understanding the rationale behind the rules. Even if I cannot change them.
mega317 wrote:
Wed May 16, 2018 12:03 pm
It costs money/resources to hold your retirement money. Why would someone who has no relationship with you (Job A) want to help you out by accepting and holding more money?
But isn't there also the "economy of scale" argument? In other words, wouldn't a larger overall 401(k) plan be able to negotiate lower fees, to the benefit of current employees and former employees alike? I guess I should look at my employer's plan and try to figure out how much the company spends on the plan (vs. fees from the account holders).
I'm on my employer's plan committee. We have a legal obligation to communicate certain information to all persons who have money invested in our retirement plan. It is a complete pain in the butt to have to track down former employees to send those communications to them. Former employees tend not to regularly update their names and addresses with former employers. That's why former employers love to kick money belonging to former employees out of a plan. The law actually allows us to do that (kick the money out) if the former employee's account balance is below a specific threshold.

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Re: Why can't you rollover a retirement account into another one that you no longer work at?

Post by soccerrules » Wed May 16, 2018 2:06 pm

StraightEdge-
lots of voices coming at you and I think the most difficult part is that you don't really have a good understanding of the investment vehicles. (as you stated). It is going to be hard to understand the advice if you don't understand the vehicles, how they work and other basics.

I would read the wiki's and several of the general investment guide books. The more you read the more you will understand.

This site can be a valuable tool and resource, but you need to obtain a certain level of understanding before moving forward.

Welcome to the forum and to us all improving our financial learning. :sharebeer
Don't let your outflow exceed your income or your upkeep will be your downfall.

TravelGeek
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Re: Why can't you rollover a retirement account into another one that you no longer work at?

Post by TravelGeek » Wed May 16, 2018 2:11 pm

Rupert wrote:
Wed May 16, 2018 1:57 pm

I'm on my employer's plan committee. We have a legal obligation to communicate certain information to all persons who have money invested in our retirement plan. It is a complete pain in the butt to have to track down former employees to send those communications to them. Former employees tend not to regularly update their names and addresses with former employers.
I can imagine that this can be costly/difficult.

I have seen it from the other side recently, though: I wanted to change the address on my wife’s old 401(k) account, but Fidelity wouldn’t allow that online and said only the (former) employer can make the change. So she had to figure out who the right person at her old employer was to make the change. And it took a few email reminders to get it done.

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Re: Why can't you rollover a retirement account into another one that you no longer work at?

Post by ofckrupke » Wed May 16, 2018 2:26 pm

Some rules/restrictions are specific to the breed (403b,401k, etc) of retirement plan; these are usually based on statute or federal regulation.

Other rules/restrictions are imposed by and specific to the particular employer's particular plan - and many these could be subject to revision at some point in the future when the plan sponsor (employer) opts to change them for reasons known best to them.

And then there are provider-specific rules/restrictions, inside plans that offer more than one investment provider. Some of these could be driven by the plan sponsor, others could be driven by the provider - either "we just don't do that" or "if you want us to do all this record-keeping for such and such expense to you and so-and-so expense to the participants, then you have to freeze future workplace contributions to other providers in this plan (although law keeps us or you from forbidding future inflows to the other provider(s) via rollovers, darn it all...)".
___

So plan A won't let you roll in after you've separated from employment by A.
As far as we can tell though, you haven't determined whether B has the same restriction.

But almost certainly you can roll out from both A and B into one IRA, or multiple IRAs.

And then there's (future?) plan C. Most likely it will allow inbound rollovers from an IRA, but it's not absolutely certain.
Likewise with inbound rollovers directly from old plans A/B.
And if plan C is a different breed than A&B, then it might get more complicated in the sense of conditions inherited from the original source breed (403b)....or not.

If employment and eligibility under plan C is imminent, then it's probably better to leave funds in A and B rather than rolling them out to an IRA, until you have explored the plan-specific rules/restrictions for inbound rollovers to C. It might be more advantageous under C's rules to roll in directly from A/B than from an IRA, and you know already that once the money has left plan A, it can't come back in for the purpose of subsequent direct transfer to C. If it turns out that rolling into C from an IRA is preferable to rolling in directly from A/B, then you can take the extra steps of rolling A and B through an IRA.

As mentioned upthread, the Empower guy is trying to get (trick by wordcraft) you to think you need to set up an IRA with them for any plan A money, so the money and its management fees stay in house, whether or not he has actually lied outright to you by saying it's the only choice. Just keep in mind that not having your best interest at heart, they may mal-advise you on anything, including absolutely unnecessary and undesirable withholding of a portion for taxes, if rolling it out to an IRA you set up elsewhere.

Lastly, often it's best to leave money in an ex-employer's plan if it was a great plan with a good menu of super-low-expense funds and you have enough in the plan for the savings associated with those super-low expenses to justify the extra storage in your file drawer and/or spreadsheet and/or brain. But it doesn't sound like plan A is one of these.

StraightEdge
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Re: Why can't you rollover a retirement account into another one that you no longer work at?

Post by StraightEdge » Wed May 16, 2018 4:06 pm

I think some of you are confused. I never said that the guy from Empower Retirement (Job A's retirement account) said I have to transfer my 403B into an IRA or that I could only do it through him.

He said if I wanted to convert my account into an IRA with them I could and that way I could have a single account and then I could transfer Job B's retirement account into it? If I didn't, then I could transfer the funds from Job B into Job A's retirement account.

I guess I just don't know the difference between an IRA and a regular retirement account (like a 401K or 403B). And what it means to transfer one into a IRA account and if you can later transfer that IRA account into a 401k or 403b if you want to down the road.

lotusflower
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Re: Why can't you rollover a retirement account into another one that you no longer work at?

Post by lotusflower » Wed May 16, 2018 8:29 pm

StraightEdge wrote:
Wed May 16, 2018 4:06 pm
I guess I just don't know the difference between an IRA and a regular retirement account (like a 401K or 403B). And what it means to transfer one into a IRA account and if you can later transfer that IRA account into a 401k or 403b if you want to down the road.
401k and 403b are sponsored/managed by employers and IRAs are not. They are both tax-advantaged in the same way (income deposited is not taxed, withdrawals in retirement are taxable income to you). You are not going to get anywhere in this decision process until you understand IRAs, but read up and ask more specific questions.

You cannot transfer IRA money back into a 401k.

The major difference is that if you are planning an early retirement you can get 401k fund starting at age 55 (as long as you are not working), but once you convert them to in IRA, you can't withdraw the money until age 70.5. Note that I am not a financial professional so you should not construe this as advice.

jacoavlu
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Re: Why can't you rollover a retirement account into another one that you no longer work at?

Post by jacoavlu » Wed May 16, 2018 10:21 pm

lotusflower wrote:
Wed May 16, 2018 8:29 pm

You cannot transfer IRA money back into a 401k.
This is not true. Many 401k plans will accept an IRA rollover.

Alan S.
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Re: Why can't you rollover a retirement account into another one that you no longer work at?

Post by Alan S. » Wed May 16, 2018 10:49 pm

Be aware that the following are just ballpark guesses:

1) The IRS rules allow all qualified plans to accept IRA rollovers.
2) Perhaps 60% accept IRA rollovers of all IRAs
3) Perhaps 80% accept IRA rollovers only of rollover IRAs (formerly "conduit IRAs")
4) That leaves 20% that will not accept any IRA rollovers
2-4 above apply to rollovers while still in service
Once separated from service the above figures would dramatically drop with perhaps 95% not accepting IRA rollovers. The TSP is a major exception to this.

Generally, a qualified plan that accepts IRA rollovers also allows in service distributions of those rollovers and their earnings.

*** No plans can accept IRA basis (non deductible contributions made to an IRA)
*** A designated Roth account can ONLY accept rollovers from other designated Roth accounts and only via direct transfer. A Roth IRA can never be rolled into a designated Roth account.

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Re: Why can't you rollover a retirement account into another one that you no longer work at?

Post by Spirit Rider » Wed May 16, 2018 11:42 pm

You would not want rollover your other 403b to Empower even if you could. You certainly should not rollover from the Empower 403b to an Empower IRA. That would be like; “jumping from the frying pan into the fire.”

Empower is a wholly owned subsidy of Great-West Life & Annuity Insurance Company (GWL&A). Both the Empower 403b and Empower IRA have very high cost investment options. An important rule of Bogleheads is to never invest with insurance companies.

You need to rollover both 403b plans to a rollover IRA. I suggest Fidelity, Schwab or Vanguard as your best low cost options. Do it now.

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Earl Lemongrab
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Re: Why can't you rollover a retirement account into another one that you no longer work at?

Post by Earl Lemongrab » Thu May 17, 2018 12:22 pm

An active plan doesn't even have to allow rollovers in. It's common to allow them from old 401(k)s, but the law only permits it. A recent change to Megacorp's plan was to allow rollovers in even after you separate from service.

There's really no reason to obsess about it. There's nothing you can do. Leave it or roll it over to an IRA are your options.
This week's fortune cookie: "Your financial life will be secure and beneficial." So I got that going for me, which is nice.

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David Jay
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Re: Why can't you rollover a retirement account into another one that you no longer work at?

Post by David Jay » Thu May 17, 2018 12:33 pm

Earl Lemongrab wrote:
Thu May 17, 2018 12:22 pm
An active plan doesn't even have to allow rollovers in. It's common to allow them from old 401(k)s, but the law only permits it. A recent change to Megacorp's plan was to allow rollovers in even after you separate from service.

There's really no reason to obsess about it. There's nothing you can do. Leave it or roll it over to an IRA are your options.
But NOT Empower. You will want to select a low-cost custodian for your IRA (if you choose to do a roll over), most frequently recommended around here are Vanguard, Fidelity and Schwab.
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