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Consolidating 401k ira

Once you leave the second job, that 401(k) gets rolled over into its own IRA, and now you have three IRAs.Sometimes multiple IRAs develop based on the various incentives that are offered by individual IRA account managers, similar to the reasons why people often maintain savings and checking accounts with multiple banks.

Now that it’s so common for people to have several — often many — jobs over the course of a lifetime, having a “collection” of retirement plans is pretty much the norm.

Sometimes that’s an advantage, you may have different retirement plans set up in various accounts with different trustees in a way that just works for you.

You should be able to merge old 401(k) plans into a new employer plan as long as it is permitted by the new employer plan.

And since the dollar amounts involved in 401(k) plans are often considerably larger than what they are for IRAs, it’s doubly important that you use the direct transfer method to avoid tax problems.

This is especially true when you are merging like-kind retirement plans.

Just as is the case with employer-sponsored retirement plans, it’s pretty easy to reach the point you have more than one IRA account.

Of greater consideration perhaps, is whether or not you even should merge 401(k) accounts.

While it may be more convenient to merge prior 401(k) accounts with your current employer plan, it’s not always the best strategy.

Before deciding on merging 401(k) plans into your current plan, consider the following: Where merging 401(k) plans is concerned, it’s important to understand that all 401(k) plans are not equal.

Some are better than others, and you can hurt your retirement efforts significantly by making convenience the primary criteria in choosing which 401(k) plan you’re going to merge the others into.

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