How to Calculate the Surrender Charge for an IRA

If you want to cash our your IRA, you might have to pay surrender charges on the investment items in the account. A surrender charge is a fee assessed against you for taking money out of an investment before its maturity. Surrender charges vary by investment type and provider. The IRA provider is not the entity charging the surrender fee. The rules for each investment in your IRA determine your surrender fees.

Review your most recent IRA statement. Note the total balance and any assessed charges.

Determine which investments in the IRA have surrender charges. Look over your statement or plan papers for the information. Common investment vehicles with surrender charges include mutual funds, certificates of deposit and annuities.

Calculate fixed surrender charges. Find investments with fixed charges on your statement or plan paperwork. A fixed surrender charge is a set amount you'll pay. For example, a certificate of deposit might have two or three months' worth of interest as a surrender charge if cashed out early. Add together the fixed charges for your IRA investment items that have set surrender fees.

Find fees for investment items that have percentages showing for surrender charges in your plan papers or statement. For example, a mutual fund might have a 5 percent surrender charge. Multiply the percentage for each investment item by the IRA amount you're withdrawing. Add the results together.

Add the fixed charged total to the percentage charge total. The result is your total surrender charge for the IRA.


  • You might owe federal taxes and incur a tax penalty if you cash your IRA out early.

About the Author

Anna Assad began writing professionally in 1999 and has published several legal articles for various websites. She has an extensive real estate and criminal legal background. She also tutored in English for nearly eight years, attended Buffalo State College for paralegal studies and accounting, and minored in English literature, receiving a Bachelor of Arts.