Investing for retirement is a serious topic – and it’s no surprise that it’s one many people are uncomfortable with in light of the recent turbulence in the financial industry. If you’re thinking about performing a 401k plan rollover, you’ll want to be sure that the account provider you choose meets a number of different criteria. Let’s look at how to choose this company in more detail.
Why Should I Rollover My 401k?
For starters, performing a 401k direct rollover offers a number of different benefits, including a larger range of investment options and a more streamlined retirement investing process. Many corporate 401k plans restrict the number of investment options available to you, making it difficult to match the returns you can earn with an IRA account. Plus, if you perform a direct 401k rollover to IRA, you won’t owe any taxes or penalties on the transfer.
What is the Best 401k Rollover Account Provider?
Well, that’s a tough question to answer – especially since the right IRA custodian for one customer could be the wrong provider for another. Instead, let’s look at a few key features of good 401k rollover account providers:
- Range of Investment Opportunities
Remember that one of the major reasons you’re thinking about doing a 401k rollover is to gain access to a wider range of investment opportunities than your company’s 401k plan, so make sure your IRA provider actually offers these additional options. Ideally, your provider should offer a wide range of stocks, mutual funds, exchange traded funds, bonds and bond funds for you to choose from.
- Company Reputation
A 401k rollover account provider’s reputation can be difficult to ascertain – just look at how many supposedly reputable banks have gone out of business in the last few years! In general, though, your money will be safer at a larger institution than a smaller bank. Ask around for recommendations or contact the Better Business Bureau or other consumer protection agencies to dig up any dirt on the account providers you’re considering. Remember that if something doesn’t feel right, it probably isn’t!
- Look at Your Investment Fees
While you shouldn’t have to pay a fee to rollover your 401k to an IRA, you may encounter additional fees throughout the life of your account. Look for things like account maintenance fees, annual subscription fees or any charges to perform trades within your portfolio. Although you’ll likely have to pay some fees, your total costs will vary greatly from one provider to another.
- Customer Service is Key
If you’re having trouble with your 401k rollover form or any other aspect of your account, you’ll want to be able to talk to a real person, instead of being forced to navigate through a complicated website or automated phone system. Performing a 401k rollover to IRA isn’t complicated, but you may need some assistance throughout the transfer, so call the providers you’re considering ahead of time to get a feel for their customer service processes.