A significant benefit to rolling over your 401(k), Roth 401(k), or other work-sponsored account into a traditional IRA or Roth IRA is the additional investment options that may be available. Also, fees within an IRA or Roth IRA are typically lower than what you’d pay in a 401(k) or Roth 401(k) after leaving your job.
A rollover simply means moving retirement assets from a qualified retirement account or employer-sponsored plan into an IRA or Roth IRA without tax penalty. This becomes available when the accountholder separates from the company who sponsors the retirement plan, and some plans allow for a rollover to occur when you turn 59 ½, even while working for the company.
If the rollover check is made payable to the IRA custodian, there are no tax withholding requirements. But there is a 20% mandatory tax withholding if the employer-sponsored retirement plan funds are made payable to the account holder. The funds must be moved into a qualified IRA within 60 days, or else they face income tax and a 10% early withdrawal penalty if the account holder is under age 59 ½.