Last Updated on November 22, 2023 by David Harnold

Tax-advantaged retirement funds like 401(k)s and IRAs function differently from one another. Employers sponsor 401(k) plans, which sometimes have few alternatives for investments.

IRAs are not work or employer unrelated. They provide a greater range of investment options and may be opened with any brokerage house or other financial institution, but they need more active management.

Since 401(k)s are provided by employers, you will need to decide what to accomplish with yours in the event that you quit your employment. Among your choices are:

  • Keep it in the game.
  • Transfer to a fresh 401(k).
  • Switch to an IRA.

These alternatives have many benefits and drawbacks, so let us examine when it would be wise for you to roll over your company 401(k) into an IRA. To read a full review of an IRA broker, Goldco, you can follow the link and check out the reviews and other actual customer interaction data. 

It is important to be certain that any broker you choose to work with has been fully transparent about the process, and that you understand any financial risks that you may be taking by investing your funds with their firm. 

If you have any doubts about the processes or need help deciding on a brokerage firm, you may consult a professional financial advisor to get an opinion on transferring any retirement funds you have to other self-appointed retirement accounts. 

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When should you convert a 401(k) to an IRA?

Only in the event that your company terminates your 401(k) plan, or you are leaving your present position is it feasible to roll over your 401(k) into an IRA. It is a substitute for:

  • Keeping your funds allocated to your current 401(k).
  • Transferring to the 401(k) plan of your new employment.
  • Taking money out of your 401(k), unless you are 59 1/2 or older, in which case there would be a 10% penalty.

A rollover (to an IRA or a new 401(k)) has no tax ramifications. If you rolled over your funds into a Roth IRA, this would not happen. You can select the brokerage where you want your retirement savings to be held when you roll over your 401(k) into an IRA. It could be the best option if:

  • The same 401(k) plan and plan administration are not offered by your new company.
  • You are unable to maintain your investments in your present workplace plan due to the plan’s discontinuation or because the administrator of your 401(k) will not let you do so for any other reason (for example, an inadequate balance).
  • The 401(k)-plan offered by your new job has high costs, a small selection of investments, and other disadvantages. If you are not comfortable with investing your money for any reason, by all means, find a self-funded plan. 
  • You would rather have more alternatives when it comes to investing.

There are a few drawbacks to consider, though: 

  • You may borrow from your retirement assets with 401(k) loans, but not with an IRA.
  • Transferring corporate stock may be tricky; if you have company stock in your 401(k) plan that you have just left or that you got from your departing employer, learn more about the “NUA strategy“—it might save you quite a bit of money.

The next thing to do is to figure out the best way to roll your retirement savings plan to an IRA if these drawbacks do not scare you.

Plans for Employee Stock Ownership (ESOP)

Worker benefits that are paid in business shares are known as employee stock ownership plans (29 CFR § 2550.407d-6 – Definition of the term “employee stock ownership plan”. | Electronic Code of Federal Regulations (e-CFR) | US Law | LII / Legal Information Institute (, or ESOPs.

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401(k) rollover instructions for an IRA

It is simple to roll over a 401(k) onto an IRA. Simply complete the next five steps:

Select a reliable brokerage to manage your account.

The pricing (seek for a brokerage with zero trading commissions and minimal or nonexistent additional expenses, such as IRA custodian fees), investment availability, customer support, usability, and research tools are all important factors to consider. 

Inquire about the transfer procedure with your 401(k) administrator and the brokerage.

It could be necessary for you to initially open an IRA and make arrangements for your employer to transfer money, or you might get a check that you must submit yourself.

Fill out the necessary documents.

To make arrangements for the money to be moved, you will likely need to fill out some paperwork with your 401(k) administrator. Any investments you hold will typically be sold during the rollover procedure, and money will be sent to your new account.

Invest as soon as possible in your new IRA.

You must deposit the funds into your new IRA within 60 days of your 401(k)-administrator notifying you of the move to avoid paying early withdrawal penalties. 

Invest the money you just placed.

To ensure that your money grows in your new IRA, you will need to choose investments. Considering your age, be sure to keep a proper asset allocation and take your risk tolerance into account. 

Finally, after opening a new IRA, be sure to educate yourself on typical IRA errors to avoid, such as neglecting to take required minimum distributions, failing to name beneficiaries, and engaging in excessive trading inside the account.


Gold has long been regarded as a reliable medium of exchange and a safe place to save and safeguard money. Individuals may now diversify their assets and lessen the impact of inflation on their retirement savings by investing in gold through individual retirement accounts (IRAs). 

The advisors on staff appoint two Goldco Precious Metals Business Executives to each of their customers, so you will always have someone to talk to who is knowledgeable about your account and vested in your success. While they do not believe in high-pressure sales tactics, they do believe in providing excellent customer care. They are here to safeguard your future with gold.