Over the course of a career, people often work for multiple employers and may have prior retirement accounts with those former employers. For some people, consolidating these accounts makes tracking and managing easier. If you are in this situation, you may contact a former employer and find out about the process to recover or move your retirement savings.
When you change employers, you have options for how to manage your old retirement account. You may leave it alone in the same account; roll it into an IRA, withdraw it and possibly incur taxes and penalties, or roll it into your new employer’s plan. As a PERA member, you may roll former qualifying accounts into your PERAPlus retirement plans.
Consolidating retirement accounts may make it easier to understand your retirement readiness. Instead of dealing with multiple plans, statements, and account passwords, rolling accounts into one plan allows you to see your complete retirement investments on one statement, use one website and password to monitor investments and speak with one customer care center about your portfolio. You may also gain a more accurate estimate of your retirement income by having all of these investments reflected in one income projection tool.
Some things to consider when moving retirement accounts, include:
- Ease of access to investment monitoring and management of your funds
- Rates of return and, particularly, investment and administrative fees associated with your accounts
- Ability to access accounts for loans (accounts with former employers are not available for loans)
- Simplicity for you and your beneficiaries
- Ability to better manage required minimum distributions at retirement
- Potential tax consequences and penalties for early withdrawals
You may have other considerations and options depending on your personal situation. Consider all of your options before moving money between accounts.
If rolling old accounts into your PERAPlus plan is the right option for you, it’s a simple process of requesting a distribution from your previous plan and completing rollover paperwork. Then you just need to return the paperwork and the check to the address on the form. You can access the forms by logging in at coperaplus.org.
If you need assistance or have questions about rolling previous accounts into your PERAPlus plan, you can get started on coperaplus.org or call 888-737-4480. You can find more information about PERAPlus 401(k) and 457 plans on copera.org.