If you have a retirement plan account with a former employer, you have choices for what to do with the assets, including:1
Each has different advantages and disadvantages in terms of investments, fees, withdrawal rules, required minimum distributions, taxes and protection from creditors. A Merrill Lynch Wealth Management Advisor can review these choices with you in the context of your goals and financial situation to help you decide what might be appropriate for you.
Ultimately, your choice depends on your financial situation, goals and priorities. A Merrill Lynch Wealth Management Advisor can help you understand how your choice can help meet your retirement goals.
Our financial advisors are committed to putting your investing needs and priorities first. Here’s how you can get started with an advisor:
Asset allocation, diversification and rebalancing do not ensure a profit or protect against loss in declining markets.
You have choices for what to do with your 401(k) or other type of plan-sponsored accounts. Depending on your financial circumstances, needs and goals, you may choose to rollover to an IRA or convert to a Roth IRA, rollover a 401(k) from a prior employer to a 401(k) at your new employer, take a distribution, or leave the account where it is. Each choice may offer different investment options and services, fees and expenses, withdrawal options, required minimum distributions, tax treatment, and provide different protection from creditors and legal judgments. These are complex choices and should be considered with care.
2 If any portion of your employer plan account balance is eligible to be rolled over and you do not elect to make a direct rollover (a payment of the amount of your employer plan benefit directly to an IRA), the plan is required by law to withhold 20% of the taxable amount. This amount is sent to the Internal Revenue Service as federal income tax withholding. State tax withholding and a 10% early-withdrawal additional tax also may apply. If you timely complete an indirect rollover, you can work with your tax advisor to obtain a refund from the IRS when you file your tax return for the taxable year.
3 A Required Minimum Distribution (RMD) is the minimum amount the account holder of a traditional IRA or qualified retirement plan must withdraw annually. If you are age 70½ or older as of December 31, 2019 you are required to take an RMD for the 2019 tax year. Effective January 1, 2020, in accordance with new legislation, the required beginning date for RMDs is now raised to age 72. The RMD can be taken any time during the year but no later than December 31st. You may defer your first RMD until April 1st of the year after you turn age 70½ or 72, as applicable, however you will then be required to take two distributions within that year. Failure to take all or part of a RMD results in a 50% additional tax applicable to the amount of the RMD not withdrawn.
4 Under the CARES Act, all 2020 RMDs have been waived. There are no coronavirus eligibility requirements associated with this change. For 2020 distributions that were RMD payments prior to the law change, the following relief is available to restore these funds to a plan or IRA: 2019 RMDs that were not taken before January 1, 2020 and that were required to be taken by April 1, 2020 are also waived; distributions received as RMDs in 2020 are eligible for rollover; the 60 day rollover period for distributions that would have been RMDs but for the CARES Act waiver taken after December 31, 2019 and prior to July 2, 2020 has been extended to August 31, 2020; distributions taken after July 1, 2020 are subject to the regular 60 day rollover rule; for IRAs, waived RMDs taken from beneficiary accounts may be recontributed to the distributing inherited IRA account by August 31, 2020. The one-rollover-per-year rule applicable to IRAs does not apply to the repayments of these RMDs to the distributing account by August 31, 2020. Consult your tax advisor for more information on your personal circumstances.
5 Distribution subject to immediate 20% federal tax withholding, plus applicable state tax and possibly a 10% early-withdrawal additional tax if you are under age 59½ or under age 55 and separated from service. You may owe additional taxes when you file your income tax return with the IRS.
8 Distributions from a Roth IRA are not subject to federal income tax, provided you have satisfied a five-year holding period and at least one of the following applies: (i) you are 59½ or older; (ii) you are a qualified first-time home buyer (lifetime limit of $10,000); (iii) you are disabled; or (iv) the distribution is a payment after your death to your beneficiary or estate.
9 Original Roth IRA account owners are exempt from taking Required Minimum Distributions (RMDs). Beneficiaries are required to take RMDs from inherited IRAs. A spouse beneficiary may elect to treat an inherited Roth IRA as his or her own and would not have an RMD requirement during his or her lifetime.
This material does not take into account a client’s particular investment objectives, financial situations or needs and is not intended as a recommendation, offer or solicitation for the purchase or sale of any security or investment strategy. Merrill offers a broad range of brokerage, investment advisory (including financial planning) and other services. There are important differences between brokerage and investment advisory services, including the type of advice and assistance provided, the fees charged, and the rights and obligations of the parties. It is important to understand the differences, particularly when determining which service or services to select. For more information about these services and their differences, speak with your Merrill Lynch Wealth Management Advisor.
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.
If you open an Individual Retirement Account (IRA) with us, depending on the services you choose, Merrill Lynch, Pierce, Fenner & Smith Incorporated will act in the capacity as an investment advisor or a broker, and our role and obligations will vary as a result.
Merrill Lynch, Pierce, Fenner & Smith Incorporated (also referred to as “MLPF&S” or “Merrill”) makes available certain investment products sponsored, managed, distributed, or provided by companies that are affiliates of Bank of America Corporation (“BofA Corp.”). MLPF&S is a registered broker-dealer, registered investment adviser, Member SIPC and a wholly owned subsidiary of BofA Corp.
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