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So, you’ve landed your dream job with greater income, your desk is packed and, you’re ready to embark on this fabulous new chapter in your life.  However, you forgot about one detail.  How will you handle your 401(k) rollover?

Check out Our Step-by-Step Guide to assist You with Your 401(k) Rollover


Does Your New Employer offer a Retirement Plan?

While your new employer may offer a retirement plan, it is important to verify if the plan that is offered allows you to “rollover” your funds from your existing plan with your previous employer.  If your new place of employment’s plan accepts rollovers from an existing 401(k), you’re good to proceed to the next step.

Start Contributing Now

Contact your previous employer and request the appropriate documentation that allows you to elect how you would like for your existing 401(k) to be disbursed.  Some of the available options include transferring the funds into a new plan, allow it to remain in place, or roll it over into an IRA (Individual Retirement Account).   Be sure to completely understand all possible implications when transferring your funds to another plan.

Proceed with Caution: 

You will not be taxed if you roll over your contributions into another plan.  However, you will be taxed and penalized 10% for taking a direct distribution prior to retirement.

Watch for the Check

When requesting a 401(k) rollover into a new 401(k) plan or into an IRA, the check will be made out to the new plan’s custodian, such as in the cases of Ubiquity and Matrix, which use Charles Schwab and TD Ameritrade respectively as those plans’ custodians.  The custodian is the financial institution that protects your investments from the risk of theft or loss and holds your money until you retire.  If the check is payable to your name when you did not request direct distribution, contact your previous employer’s plan custodian.

If you requested a direct distribution, but after much reconsideration wished you had rolled the funds over into another plan, the good news is that you still can, even in spite of the check being made payable to you.  Do not deposit or cash the check distributed to you.  You now have time to reconsider your retirement options that do not incur fees or taxes.

Make the Switch

Once you receive the check that’s been made payable to your new plan’s custodian, talk with the appropriate person at your place of employment regarding the status of your rollover.  The provider of the new plan will need to notify your new employer that your funds will be deposited into your new account.  If they are not aware when this happens, the deposit might not be approved.  Now, you can either mail the check to the new plan’s custodian or have your employer handle it.

Think About Changing Investments

Think of your 401(k) rollover as a fresh start – new funds, new contributions.

Follow this quick step-by-step guide to ensure that you’re on course with reaching your retirement dreams.  It is a wise investment to rollover your 401(k) so that you do not lose out on saving or jeopardize compound interest.


If you’re confident that you can handle your 401(k) rollover your own, you can certainly save some time and money. If, however, you feel unsure and would like to have a financial professional assist with your rollover, call the professionals at TheLunsfordAgencyDirect at (740) 779-0246 during normal business hours, or you can contact us through our website at your convenience.