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Thinking of rolling over your employer-sponsored retirement plan to a Rollover IRA?

If you have a workplace retirement plan from a former employer, consider all your choices. You may be able to roll over to a traditional IRA or Roth IRA, move to a new employer's plan, leave the account where it is or take a lump-sum distribution. Each has different advantages and disadvantages in terms of investments, fees, withdrawal rules, required minimum distributions, taxes and protection from creditors. As you evaluate your choices, carefully review the information provided to find the one that best fits your retirement goals. Learn more about the Merrill Rollover IRA.
Call us 24/7 at 888.637.3343 to speak with a Merrill rollover specialist.

Account Management & Investment
Choices

Can you consolidate your accounts?

Traditional IRA
Yes
Roth IRA
Yes
Move to New Employer's Plan
Varies by plan
Stay in Former Employer's Plan
Varies by plan

What is the range of investment choices?

Traditional IRA
May offer more investment choices than an employer-sponsored plan — including stocks, bonds, options, ETFs, mutual funds (when investing online) and managed portfolios (available through Merrill Guided™ InvestingFootnote *)
Roth IRA
May offer more investment choices than an employer-sponsored plan — including stocks, bonds, options, ETFs, mutual funds (when investing online) and managed portfolios (available through Merrill Guided™ InvestingFootnote *)
Move to New Employer's Plan
Varies by plan, but may be limited
Stay in Former Employer's Plan
Varies by plan, but may be limited

Can you make "in kind" transfers of investments from current plan?

Traditional IRA
Varies by plan and investment type
Roth IRA
Varies by plan and investment type
Move to New Employer's Plan
Varies by plan and investment type
Stay in Former Employer's Plan
Varies by plan and investment type

Can you work with an advisor to get investment guidance?

Traditional IRA
Yes, Merrill Financial Solutions Advisors
Roth IRA
Yes, Merrill Financial Solutions Advisors
Move to New Employer's Plan
Varies by plan
Stay in Former Employer's Plan
Varies by plan

Is there access to additional online tools and resources?

Traditional IRA
Yes
Roth IRA
Yes
Move to New Employer's Plan
Varies by plan
Stay in Former Employer's Plan
Varies by plan

Taxes

Is growth tax-advantaged?

Traditional IRA
Yes
Roth IRA
YesFootnote 1
Move to New Employer's Plan
Yes
Stay in Former Employer's Plan
Yes

Can you make new tax-advantaged contributions?

Traditional IRA
Possibly, depending on the IRA holder's (and his or her spouse's) modified adjusted gross income and access to a workplace retirement plan
Roth IRA
Roth contributions are made on an after-tax basis, and the ability to contribute is subject to modified adjusted gross income limitations
Move to New Employer's Plan
Yes
Stay in Former Employer's Plan
No

Is there special tax treatment for appreciated company stock?

Traditional IRA
Yes
Roth IRA
Yes
Move to New Employer's Plan
Yes
Stay in Former Employer's Plan
Certain assets may be eligible for Net Unrealized Appreciation (NUA) tax treatment when distributed from a former employer's plan; consult your tax advisor for details

Withdrawals

Can you roll over into an employer's plan at a future date?

Traditional IRA
Yes, subject to employer plan rules
Roth IRA
No
Move to New Employer's Plan
Yes, subject to employer plan rules
Stay in Former Employer's Plan
Yes, subject to employer plan rules

Can you take a loan from the account?

Traditional IRA
No
Roth IRA
No
Move to New Employer's Plan
Varies by planFootnote 2
Stay in Former Employer's Plan
Generally, no

Is there an additional tax for early withdrawals?

Traditional IRA
Yes, 10% before age 59½
Roth IRA
Yes, 10% before age 59½ on earningsFootnote 3
Move to New Employer's Plan
Yes, 10% before age 59½
Stay in Former Employer's Plan
Yes, 10% before age 59½

Are there any exceptions to the additional tax for early withdrawals?

Traditional IRA
Yes, for example, for qualifying home purchases or college expenses
Roth IRA
Yes, for example, for qualifying home purchases or college expenses
Move to New Employer's Plan
Yes, if a plan's rules allow hardship distributions, then some forms of distribution may qualify for an exception to the early withdrawal additional tax; for example, qualifying home purchases or college expenses
Stay in Former Employer's Plan
Yes, if a plan's rules allow hardship distributions, then some forms of distribution may qualify for an exception to the early withdrawal additional tax; for example, qualifying home purchases or college expenses

Can you withdraw without paying the early withdrawal tax once you are 55?

Traditional IRA
No
Roth IRA
No
Move to New Employer's Plan
Yes, if the payment is made after you left your new job and you attained at least age 55 in the year you terminated employment
Stay in Former Employer's Plan
Yes, if the payment is made after you left your old job and you attained at least age 55 in the year you terminated employment

Are there required minimum distributions (RMDs) starting at your required beginning date for taking RMDs?Footnote 6

Traditional IRA
Yes
Roth IRA
Not if you are the original account holder
Move to New Employer's Plan
Generally not, if you are still workingFootnote 4
Stay in Former Employer's Plan
Yes

Fees

What are the fees?Footnote 5

Traditional IRA
Online Investing and Trading (Self-Directed Investing)
No annual account fee for online investing and trading accounts, but account closure, transaction and investment fees may apply

Merrill Guided Investing
A 0.45% annual program feeFootnote 5 for the Merrill Guided Investing account; other fees may applyFootnote *

Merrill Edge Advisory Account
A 0.85% annual program fee for a Merrill Edge Advisory Account portfolio. Other fees may apply.
Roth IRA
Online Investing and Trading (Self-Directed Investing)
No annual account fee for online investing and trading accounts, but account closure, transaction and investment fees may apply

Move to New Employer's Plan
Varies by plan
Stay in Former Employer's Plan
Varies by plan

Other

Are assets protected from creditors?

Traditional IRA
In federal bankruptcies, but state laws vary
Roth IRA
In federal bankruptcies, but state laws vary
Move to New Employer's Plan
Yes
Stay in Former Employer's Plan
Yes

Is there an account minimum?

Traditional IRA
No
Roth IRA
No
Move to New Employer's Plan
Varies by plan
Stay in Former Employer's Plan
Varies by plan

What about a lump-sum distribution?

You may also consider taking a lump-sum distribution from your old employer-sponsored plan if you're facing extraordinary financial circumstances, but this option comes at a high price. Any pretax contributions and associated earnings will be taxed as ordinary income, plus you may be subject to an early withdrawal tax of 10% if you are under age 59½ (unless an exception applies). Your distribution generally will also be subject to a mandatory 20% federal income tax withholding.
Help when you want it
Turn to us for step-by-step guidance when you have questions or need help getting the most out of your investing experience. Meet with a local Merrill Financial Solutions Advisor to help you get on track and stay on track.
Call 24/7 888.637.3343
to speak with a Merrill rollover specialist

Important disclosures

Please review the applicable Merrill Guided Investing Program Brochure (PDF) or Merrill Guided Investing with Advisor Program Brochure (PDF) for information including pricing, rebalancing, and the details of the investment advisory program. Your recommended investment strategy will be based solely on the information you provide to us for this specific investment goal and is separate from any other advisory program offered with us. If there are multiple owners on this account, the information you provide should reflect the views and circumstances of all owners on the account. If you are the custodian of this account for the benefit of another person, please keep in mind that these assets will be invested for the benefit of the other person. Merrill Guided Investing is offered with and without an advisor. Merrill, Merrill Lynch, and/or Merrill Edge investment advisory programs are offered by Merrill Lynch, Pierce, Fenner and Smith Incorporated ("MLPF&S"). MLPF&S and Managed Account Advisors LLC ("MAA") are registered investment advisers. Investment advisor registration does not imply a certain level of skill or training.
For full fee details, please see the Merrill Edge Advisory Account ADV brochure. Program fees include portfolio management and trading costs. In addition to the annual program fee, funds within each portfolio have their own expenses, as would individual securities. Other fees may include those mandated by the SEC; transfer, exchange and fund-redemption fees; conditional deferred sales charges; and markups or markdowns.
Merrill, its affiliates, and financial advisors do not provide legal, tax, or accounting advice. You should consult your legal and/or tax advisors before making any financial decisions.
Footnote 1 Earnings are generally not subject to federal income tax if a 5-year holding period requirement is met and the account owner is at least 59½ at the time such distribution is made.
Footnote 2 Loans must usually be repaid within 60 days of leaving your job to avoid treatment of the loan as a distribution and subjecting it to federal income tax, and potentially a 10% early withdrawal additional tax.
Footnote 3 The early withdrawal tax does not apply to withdrawals of contributions to a Roth IRA. However, there is a 10% additional tax if earnings are withdrawn before the end of a 5-year holding period even if you are over age 59½.
Footnote 4 Dependent on plan terms.
Footnote 
Merrill Guided Investing and Merrill Guided Investing with Advisor have an annual program fee of 0.45% and 0.85%, respectively, based on the assets held in the account. This fee is charged monthly in advance. In addition to the annual program fee, the expenses of the investments will vary based on the specific funds within each portfolio. Actual fund expenses will vary; please refer to each fund's prospectus. To learn more about pricing, visit the Merrill Guided Investing Program Brochure (PDF) or the Merrill Guided Investing with Advisor Program Brochure (PDF).
Footnote 
If you were age 70½ or older as of 12/31/2019, you would be required to take an required minimum distribution ("RMD") for 2019. Effective 1/1/2020, in accordance with new legislation, the required beginning date for RMDs for individuals who turn age 70½ on or after 1/1/20 is age 72. You may defer your first RMD until April 1st in the year after you turn age 70½ or 72, as applicable, but then you'd be required to take two distributions in that year.
Immediate tax consequences will apply to some of these distribution options. You may also be subject to a 10% additional tax if you take a withdrawal prior to attaining age 59½.
Footnote * Sales are subject to a transaction fee of $0.01 to $0.03 per $1,000 of principal. There are costs associated with owning ETFs as well as mutual funds. Annual program fees include portfolio management and trading costs, as well as ongoing support. In addition to the annual program fee, the mutual funds and ETFs within each program have their own expenses, as would individual securities. Other fees not included in the annual program fee may include those mandated by the SEC; transfer, exchange and fund-redemption fees; conditional deferred sales charges; and markups or markdowns. For full fee details, please refer to the ADV brochure for the relevant program available at either merrilledge.com/guided-investing-program-brochure or merrilledge.com/advisory-account-program-brochure. Where possible, institutional mutual fund class shares are used to minimize expenses.
Investing in securities involves risks; there is always the potential of losing money when you invest in securities.
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