By timestaff
June 18, 2013

I’m 59, and I just got a new job. Should I move my IRA to the 401(k) plan or keep it separate? — Louis, Houston

Are the fees lower in your 401(k) than in your IRA? Would you like all your retirement dollars in one pot? Do you prefer your 401(k)’s investment options?

If the answers are yes, yes, and yes, a roll-in could make sense, says Kevin O’Fee, a defined-contribution management executive at Fidelity.

First, find out if your plan permits it; about half do. (You can’t add a Roth IRA, though.) Then think about when you want to get at the money.

You can make penalty-free withdrawals from a traditional IRA starting at age 59½; not all 401(k)s let current employees do that.

On the flip side, if you plan to work longer, a roll-in could pay. After age 70½, you must take yearly withdrawals from your IRA; your 401(k) probably won’t require that until you retire.

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