How to Withdraw Money From a 401(k) Plan & Move It to an IRA Benefit Account

Moving your nest egg from one account to another requires paperwork.
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When you change jobs, you might wonder what to do with your 401(k) account. One option is to roll it over to an IRA. Making a direct transfer is your wisest choice, as it allows you to sidestep any question of tax liability and any worry over timing of the transfer. If you do elect to take a distribution from the 401(k) and deposit it to the IRA yourself, be sure to complete the transaction within 60 days.

Step 1

Contact your 401(k) plan administrator and say you want to make a direct transfer to an IRA. You'll likely need to fill out a distribution form with your name, address and 401(k) account number, as well providing the institution name and account number of the IRA you are transferring the money into.

Step 2

Sign the forms and deliver them to the plan administrator. If there are any fees required, the administrator will let you know.

Step 3

Check with the IRA trustee to be sure the transaction was completed.

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