savings

Roll Over Your 401(k)

When you leave your job or retire, you can roll over your 401(k) account to an IRA or to the 401(k) at your new job if it accepts a rollover.

When you leave your job or retire, you can roll over your 401(k) account to an IRA or to the 401(k) at your new job if it accepts a rollover. The process is similar to transferring an IRA.

1. Fill out the required forms from your employer and include account information for the place to which you are transferring your funds. Your benefits department should be able to help you.

2. Authorize an electronic funds transfer. If you must take a check, make sure the check is made out to your new custodian and not to you. Otherwise, your employer will be required to withhold 20% of the balance for taxes, and you must roll over the entire amount of your distribution (including the 20% you didn't receive) within 60 days.

NOTE: Are you younger than 55? Don't cash out your account. If you do, you'll owe state and federal income taxes on the entire distribution, plus a 10% early-withdrawal penalty. And that's no way to save for retirement.

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