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For 40 years, The Entrust Group has provided account administration services for self-directed retirement and tax-advantaged plans. Entrust can assist you in purchasing alternative investments with your retirement funds, and administer the buying and selling of assets that are typically unavailable through banks and brokerage firms.

What's the Difference Between a Transfer and Rollover? (Transfer vs. Rollover)

What's the Difference Between a Transfer and Rollover? (Transfer vs. Rollover)

Estimate reading time: 2 minutes

If you are one of the many individuals who wants alternative investment choices for your retirement plan, assets like real estate, precious metals, and notes, not typically offered by other firms—the Entrust Group’s record keeping services are for you.

It starts by moving your retirement savings assets to a Self-Directed IRA at The Entrust Group.

But how you move the assets—transfer, rollover, or direct rollover—makes a big difference.

These transactions may sound similar, but they are distinctly different. Using the incorrect term and not understanding the rules associated with each may cause delays and possibly tax consequences.

Let’s go over each type of transaction.


IRA Transfer

A transfer is the term used when the same type of retirement plan is moved from one firm to another.

An example would be moving your Traditional IRA from Oak Bank to another Traditional IRA at Maple Brokerage.

This is the same for Roth IRAs and SIMPLE IRAs. Transfers are not reported to the IRS. They are not taxable because assets were never made payable or distributed to the taxpayer.


IRA Rollover

You can also move retirement funds from one firm to another using a rollover. In a rollover, you request a distribution of your retirement plan assets. In a distribution, because the funds are made payable to the taxpayer, the assets are generally taxable and subject to an early distribution penalty if you don’t roll the funds over to an account at another IRA provider.

You have 60 days after the distribution to find another firm, like Entrust, willing to accept what was distributed. Rolling over the assets will keep them tax-deferred. 


Direct Rollover?

Moving assets out of an employer-sponsored plan (such as a 401(k), 403(b), or governmental 457(b) plan) to an IRA is called a direct rollover.

If you formerly participated in an employer-sponsored plan, you may direct your previous employer to send your retirement funds to an IRA administrator such as The Entrust Group. 

A direct rollover is different from a transfer because it involves two different types of plans.

If you choose to take a distribution from your employer plan and rollover the assets, the transaction must be completed within 60 days.


How to Transfer Your 401(k)

Get in touch with us if you're ready to roll over or transfer your 401(k). The Entrust Group makes it easy to open a Self-Directed IRA online in less than 10 minutes


Transfers vs. Rollovers Webinar

John Paul Ruiz, Director of Professional Development at The Entrust Group explains every detail in the video below, including a 25-minute Q&A at the end of the webinar.



Transfers vs. Rollovers FAQs

What is a direct rollover IRA?

A direct rollover IRA is the transfer of cash and/or other assets from a retirement account that is not an IRA to an IRA account. It is also tax free!

What are the benefits of a rollover IRA?

There are many benefits of having a direct rollover IRA. Most importantly it gives the individual lower fees, more investment options, and is tax free!

What is a transfer IRA?

A transfer IRA is when the same type of retirement plan is moved from one account to another.

Is a direct rollover the same as a transfer?

No, they are not the same. A direct rollover is just the transfer of cash/other assets from a retirement account to a different retirement account. A transfer IRA is when the same type of retirement account is moved to a different account.

What is the difference between a traditional ira and a rollover ira?

A traditional IRA and rollover IRA are the same thing, but only funds from the previous plan are held in the account for a rollover IRA. This ensures that the funds can be “rolled over” into a 401(k) plan if the individual would like.

Can I transfer my IRA to another bank?

Yes, this is very common. You just need to call your bank and request a “trustee to trustee transfer” which will allow for the transfer of the IRA tax free.

Self-Directed IRAs:
The Basics Guide

Learn about your investment options, Self-Directed IRA rules, and much more!

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