Options for consolidating your retirement accounts
If you’ve changed jobs a few times, you may have workplace retirement accounts in multiple locations. It can be hard to monitor your progress when you have several accounts. Have you considered rolling them into an IRA or into your current employer’s plan? Having one account can make your life simpler. But which should you choose?
The best choice is the one that's right for you
The best choice for you depends on your personal situation, your goals and the investment options, fees and other details of your current employer’s plan.
|Greater oversight||More investment choices|
|Potentially lower fees||Independence|
|Access to loans||Potential access to your money|
Advantages of workplace retirement plans
Here are some potential advantages of rolling your accounts into your current workplace plan.
- Oversight. Fiduciaries of employer-sponsored plans are responsible for choosing an investment lineup that’s in the best interest of their employees.
- Potentially lower fees. Thanks to institutional pricing, investment fees and other expenses in employer-sponsored plans may be lower than those in IRAs. Fee disclosure rules for workplace retirement plans also make it easy to compare the costs against what you’d pay in an IRA.
- Access to loans. Workplace retirement plans often allow you to take loans from your savings while you’re employed by the company. Keep in mind that taking a loan from your retirement savings can really cut into your progress toward your goals.
Advantages of IRAs
If these statements apply to you, you may want to consider rolling your plan balances to an IRA.
You want more investment choices. Perhaps you feel limited by your workplace plan’s investment choices and are willing to pay potentially higher fees in exchange for more flexible investing options. Most IRAs have a wider variety of investment options than a workplace plan.
You value independence. You’d like some of your retirement savings to be independent of your employer. You can invest in an IRA directly through financial services groups, like Lincoln Financial, or through a bank.
- Potential access to your money. The IRS permits IRA account owners to withdraw their funds penalty-free under certain circumstances, such as qualified education expenses or a first-time home purchase. Standard income taxes still apply to these types of withdrawals.