Can You Rollover an Ira Into a 401k

Yes, you can usually roll over an IRA into a 401(k), allowing you to consolidate your retirement savings into one account. However, there are some important considerations and restrictions to be aware of. For instance, you need to find out if your 401(k) plan accepts rollovers from IRAs. Additionally, there may be tax implications, such as potential taxes on any earnings in the IRA, and you may need to pay an early withdrawal penalty if you’re under age 59½. Therefore, it’s advisable to consult with a financial advisor to guide you through the process and help you make informed decisions.

Traditional IRA to 401(k) Rollovers

A traditional IRA to 401(k) rollover allows you to move funds from a traditional IRA into a 401(k) plan offered by your employer. This can be a beneficial strategy if you want to consolidate your retirement savings or take advantage of lower fees or investment options in your 401(k) plan.


  • You must be an active participant in the 401(k) plan.
  • The 401(k) plan must allow rollovers from traditional IRAs.

Benefits of a Rollover

  • Consolidated Savings: It simplifies retirement planning by combining multiple accounts into one.
  • Lower Fees: 401(k) plans often have lower administrative and investment fees than traditional IRAs.
  • Enhanced Investment Options: 401(k) plans typically offer a wider range of investment options.
  • Employer Matching: If your employer offers matching contributions, you may be able to increase your retirement savings by rolling over to a 401(k).

Tax Implications

Traditional IRA to 401(k) rollovers are generally tax-free. However, there are some exceptions:

  • Prohibited Transactions: If you withdraw funds from the 401(k) and fail to roll them over into another qualified retirement account within 60 days, the distribution may be subject to income tax and a 10% early withdrawal penalty.
  • Roth IRAs: Rolling over funds from a Roth IRA to a 401(k) may trigger taxes and penalties if the Roth IRA was not held for at least five tax years.

How to Roll Over Your IRA to a 401(k)

1. Contact your 401(k) plan administrator and request a rollover form.
2. Fill out the rollover form and provide instructions to your IRA custodian.
3. The IRA custodian will transfer the funds directly to your 401(k) plan.

Traditional IRA to 401(k) Rollover Timeline
Day 1Day 60
Request rollover form from 401(k) plan administrator.Funds must be received in the 401(k) plan or face taxes and penalties.
Complete rollover form and provide instructions to IRA custodian.
IRA custodian transfers funds to 401(k) plan.

Roth IRA to 401(k) Rollovers

Roth IRA to 401(k) rollovers are not directly permitted. However, there are two potential workarounds:

  • Roth IRA to Traditional IRA Rollover, then Traditional IRA to 401(k) Rollover:
  • Qualified Charitable Distribution: Convert a portion of your Roth IRA to a qualified charity, then use that distribution to make a deductible contribution to a Traditional IRA.

Important Notes:

  1. Roth IRA to 401(k) rollovers may trigger taxes and penalties if not done correctly according to IRS rules.
  2. Consult with a qualified financial advisor before attempting a rollover to ensure it aligns with your financial goals and tax implications.
  3. Partial rollovers may be possible depending on your specific situation and plan eligibility.

Table Summarizing Rollover Options:

Rollover TypeEligibilityTax Implications
Roth IRA to 401(k) Direct RolloverNot permittedNot applicable
Roth IRA to Traditional IRA Rollover, then Traditional IRA to 401(k) RolloverRoth IRA account holder meets age and income requirementsTax on Traditional IRA distribution if within 5-year holding period
Qualified Charitable DistributionRoth IRA account holder over age 59½No tax on distribution up to amount of qualified charitable contribution

Tax Implications of IRA to 401(k) Rollovers

Rolling over an Individual Retirement Account (IRA) into a 401(k) can have significant tax implications, depending on the type of IRA and how the rollover is handled. It’s important to understand these implications before making a decision to rollover.

  • Traditional IRA to 401(k) Rollover: This is a tax-free rollover, meaning that the funds transferred from the IRA to the 401(k) are not subject to income tax.
  • Roth IRA to 401(k) Rollover: This is also a tax-free rollover, but the funds transferred are subject to income tax upon withdrawal from the 401(k).
  • Required Minimum Distributions (RMDs): If you are over age 72, you are required to take RMDs from your IRA. If you rollover funds from an IRA into a 401(k), you may be able to delay taking RMDs until you reach age 72 or retire, whichever is later.
  • 10% Early Withdrawal Penalty: If you withdraw funds from a traditional IRA or 401(k) before age 59½, you may be subject to a 10% early withdrawal penalty. This penalty does not apply to Roth IRA withdrawals, but it may apply to funds rolled over from a Roth IRA to a 401(k).
IRA Type401(k) RolloverTax Implications
Traditional IRATax-freeNo income tax on transferred funds
Roth IRATax-freeIncome tax on transferred funds upon withdrawal

Benefits and Drawbacks of IRA to 401(k) Rollovers


  • Lower fees: 401(k) plans often have lower fees than IRAs.
  • Employer matching: Some employers offer matching contributions to their employees’ 401(k) plans, which can boost savings.
  • Simplified account management: Consolidating multiple accounts into a single 401(k) can make managing your retirement savings easier.


  • Limited investment options: 401(k) plans typically offer a limited range of investment options compared to IRAs.
  • Early withdrawal penalties: Withdrawing funds from a 401(k) before age 59.5 may trigger early withdrawal penalties.

Important Considerations:

  • Taxes: Rollovers are generally tax-free, but any non-deductible contributions made to the IRA may be subject to taxes upon distribution.
  • Impact on Required Minimum Distributions (RMDs): The minimum age for required minimum distributions (RMDs) is generally later for IRAs (age 72) than for 401(k)s (age 70.5), so a rollover may delay the start of RMDs.
  • Vesting schedule: If you have a 401(k) plan with a vesting schedule, you may not be able to roll over all of your contributions right away.
FeesVariableTypically lower
Employer matchingNoYes (may be available)
Investment optionsWide rangeLimited
Age for RMDs7270.5
Early withdrawal penaltiesYes (before age 59.5)Yes (before age 59.5)

Hey there, folks! Thanks for hanging out with me today and geeking out on IRAs and 401ks. I hope this article helped clear things up for you. If you’re still scratching your head, don’t worry—head over to our site’s knowledge center for a deeper dive. And remember, I’ll be here waiting to chat with you again soon. Until then, keep saving and investing! Cheers!