Can You Roll Traditional Ira Into 401k

You can consolidate your retirement savings by rolling over funds from a traditional IRA into a 401(k) plan. Both accounts offer tax-deferred growth, but 401(k)s have higher contribution limits and may offer more investment options. To initiate a rollover, contact your 401(k) provider and request a rollover form. Complete the form and provide it to your IRA custodian. The funds will be transferred directly into your 401(k) account, preserving their tax-advantaged status. It’s important to consider any fees or tax implications associated with the rollover before proceeding.

Determining Eligibility for 401(k) Rollover

Rolling over funds from a Traditional IRA into a 401(k) can be a strategic move for retirement savings. However, not everyone is eligible for this type of rollover. Here are the key factors to consider when determining your eligibility:

  • 401(k) Plan Eligibility: You must be an active participant in a 401(k) plan that allows rollovers from IRAs.
  • Traditional IRA Account Type: Only funds from Traditional IRAs can be rolled over into a 401(k).
  • Age Limit: There is no age limit for rolling over Traditional IRA funds into a 401(k).
  • Previous Rollovers: You can only roll over funds from a Traditional IRA into a 401(k) once per 12-month period.
  • Employer Restrictions: Some employers may restrict their 401(k) plans from accepting IRA rollovers.
Eligibility Requirements
Active 401(k) ParticipationYes
Traditional IRA Account TypeYes
Age LimitNo
Previous RolloversOne per 12-month period
Employer RestrictionsCheck with your employer

It’s important to note that rolling over Traditional IRA funds into a 401(k) may have tax implications. Consult with a financial advisor or tax professional to fully understand the potential tax implications before making a decision.

Traditional IRA to 401(k) Rollover

Consolidating your retirement accounts can simplify your finances and potentially lower fees. Rolling over a traditional IRA into a 401(k) is one option to consider. However, there are important tax implications to be aware of.

Tax Implications

Unlike Roth IRA rollovers, traditional IRA rollovers are generally taxable events. This means you will owe income tax on the amount you roll over.

The following table summarizes the tax implications of a traditional IRA-to-401(k) rollover:

Type of IncomeTax Treatment
Pre-tax contributionsTaxable
After-tax contributionsNon-taxable
Investment earningsTaxable

For example, say you roll over $10,000 from a traditional IRA into a 401(k). $8,000 of the rollover is pre-tax contributions and $2,000 is after-tax contributions. You will owe income tax on the $8,000 of pre-tax contributions.

  • Note: If you are under age 59½, you may also have to pay a 10% early withdrawal penalty on the taxable portion of the rollover.


There are two main exceptions to the taxability of IRA-to-401(k) rollovers:

  1. Direct rollover: If you have your IRA custodian send the funds directly to your 401(k) plan, the rollover is not taxable.
  2. Qualified reservist distribution: If you are a member of the military reserves, you may be able to roll over your IRA funds into a 401(k) without paying taxes or penalties.


Rolling over a traditional IRA into a 401(k) can be a smart move for some people. However, it is important to be aware of the tax implications before you make a decision.

Steps to Roll Over a 401(k) to an IRA

Rolling over a 401(k) to an IRA is a straightforward process that can be completed in a few easy steps. Here’s how to do it:

  • Choose an IRA provider. You can select an IRA provider online or through a financial advisor.
  • Open an IRA account. Look for an IRA provider that meets your financial needs and offers the investment options you want.
  • Contact your 401(k) administrator. They will provide you with the paperwork you need to initiate the rollover.
  • Complete the rollover form. Choose the amount you want to roll over and provide the contact information for your new IRA provider.
  • Send the form to your 401(k) administrator. They will process the request and send the funds to your new IRA.

Important Considerations

  • Tax Implications: IRA rollovers are not taxable events, meaning you won’t pay taxes on the funds being transferred.
  • Time Limits: You have up to 60 days to complete an IRA rollover from the date you receive the funds from your 401(k) plan.
  • Multiple Rollovers: You can make up to one rollover per year from each 401(k) account you have.

Benefits of Rolling Over

  • More Investment Options: IRAs offer a wider range of investment options than 401(k) plans.
  • Lower Fees: IRAs often have lower fees than 401(k) plans.
  • Greater Control: IRAs give you more control over your investments and how your money is managed.

Benefits and Considerations of an IRA-to-401(k) Rollover

Rolling over a traditional IRA into a 401(k) can offer several benefits but also involves important considerations. Here’s an overview:


  • Convenience: Consolidating retirement accounts into a single 401(k) can make it easier to manage investments and track your progress.
  • Lower fees: 401(k) plans often have lower fees than traditional IRAs, resulting in potential cost savings over time.
  • Access to employer matching: If your employer offers a 401(k) with matching contributions, you may be eligible to receive free money toward your retirement savings.
  • Investment options: 401(k) plans typically offer a wider range of investment options compared to traditional IRAs.


  • Tax consequences: Rolling over a traditional IRA into a 401(k) is generally not a taxable event, but it can have tax implications in certain situations, such as if you have taken any non-qualified withdrawals from the IRA.
  • Contribution limits: 401(k) plans have lower annual contribution limits than traditional IRAs, which may limit your ability to save aggressively for retirement.
  • Vesting requirements: Employer matching contributions may be subject to vesting requirements, meaning you may not have immediate access to these funds.
  • Age restrictions: Traditional IRAs do not have required minimum distributions (RMDs) until age 72, while 401(k)s require RMDs starting at age 73 (age 75 if you were born before July 1, 1949), which could result in higher taxes if you are not yet ready to draw down your retirement savings.
Summary of Key Differences between Traditional IRAs and 401(k)s
Traditional IRA401(k)
Contribution limits$6,500 ($7,500 if age 50 or older for 2023)$22,500 ($30,000 if age 50 or older for 2023)
Investment optionsMutual funds, stocks, bonds, ETFsWide variety of investment options determined by employer
Employer matchingNot availableAvailable in some plans
FeesVary depending on custodianTypically lower than traditional IRAs
Age restrictions for RMDsAge 72Age 73 (age 75 if born before July 1, 1949)

Well, there you have it, folks! Now you know all about rolling over your traditional IRA into a 401(k). It’s not always a straightforward process, but it can be done. By following the steps I outlined, you can make sure your retirement savings are working for you in the best way possible.

Thanks for reading! If you have any more questions, feel free to drop me a line in the comments below. And be sure to check back soon for more awesome retirement planning tips and advice.