Rollover question from an investment illiterate

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radiosilence
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Rollover question from an investment illiterate

Postby radiosilence » Sun Oct 14, 2012 1:39 pm

This is my scenario. A few years ago my employer was sold to another parent company in a bit of a messy deal. That resulted in a new 401(k) account being opened at Fidelity, to which I contribute. I didn't have much in the old 401(k), being a low-wage earner, so I blindly chose to roll the old money into an IRA, thinking I would probably want one. It is labeled by Fidelity as "Rollover IRA" with all of the money invested in one freedom fund. I haven't touched it since then, and it pretty much generates no return.

Question: is this an genuine IRA; should I be contributing to it? Or, do I need to open a real, separate IRA account somewhere to make actual contributions, and to relocate this small sum of money? Fidelity's label "rollover IRA" for that account is what makes me wonder.

LeRainDrop
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Re: Rollover question from an investment illiterate

Postby LeRainDrop » Sun Oct 14, 2012 4:43 pm

I'm not sure of the answer, but it appears Fidelity offers a bunch of resources for you to find out directly from them. Here's their site I found when I searched: https://www.fidelity.com/ira/401k-rollover Also, they provide a phone number to get one-on-one help from one of their "Rollover Specialists": 800-343-3548 Good luck!

Bichon Frise
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Re: Rollover question from an investment illiterate

Postby Bichon Frise » Mon Oct 15, 2012 7:16 am

Yes, it is earmarked as a rollover IRA. This is correct, and the same way Vanguard or anyone else would do it. The rules which apply are the same as any other IRA with 2 notable exceptions (which I would consider to be advantages). 1) Some employers allow rollovers from other plans, in which case a rollover IRA which hasn't been "Tainted" can then be rolled into the 401k plan. 2) there are laws which protect your money in bankruptcy proceedings. I believe it is $1MM for traditional accounts, but 401k's AND rollover IRA's are unlimited.

You can make contributions to your rollover IRA, but you can loose the 2 caveats above.

Not sure how Roth 401k works, as they are blended with any other Roth IRA and have no special account.
Bichon Frise

"If you only have 1 year to live, move to Penn...as it will seem like an eternity."

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stannius
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Re: Rollover question from an investment illiterate

Postby stannius » Thu Oct 18, 2012 1:16 pm

Bichon Frise wrote:1) Some employers allow rollovers from other plans, in which case a rollover IRA which hasn't been "Tainted" can then be rolled into the 401k plan.
...
Not sure how Roth 401k works, as they are blended with any other Roth IRA and have no special account.


Can you roll into a Roth 401(k)? I have a Roth that is entirely comprised of money rolled over from a previous 401(k). But it was a traditional 401(k), so it went through a traditional IRA first, then got converted. Fidelity wouldn't let me do it in one step even though the law had recently (at the time) been changed to allow doing it in one step.

I'm not sure I would ever roll into a 401(k)... it's so rarely worth it, it's not worth doing things different just to preserve that option, IMHO, unless the effort is minimal.

Bichon Frise
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Re: Rollover question from an investment illiterate

Postby Bichon Frise » Thu Oct 18, 2012 1:57 pm

I'm not sure how the Roth funds work.

It is minimal work to preserve the rollover IRA in a form which you can roll it back into a 401k plan which accepts these funds. Pick investments, let it ride, don't put any money into it.

The big advantage, IMO, is if you are near 55 and at place which allows such rollover. You can then rollover into 401k, retire at 55 + 1 day and then the funds are available to you tax and penalty free.
Bichon Frise

"If you only have 1 year to live, move to Penn...as it will seem like an eternity."

avocado wrote:Good to see you back, I was starting to miss your incisive commentary!


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