Bulletin
Investor Alert

New York Markets After Hours

The RetireMentors

Retirement advice from experts in the business

Dec. 31, 2016, 5:16 p.m. EST

Changing jobs in 2017? Take your retirement savings with you

Roll in previous employer retirement accounts into your new plan

new
Watchlist Relevance
LEARN MORE

Want to see how this story relates to your watchlist?

Just add items to create a watchlist now:

or Cancel Already have a watchlist? Log In

By Spencer Williams

About Spencer

J. Spencer Williams is president and CEO of Retirement Clearinghouse where he applies more than 25 years of experience in starting, building and leading businesses in the financial services industry. Under his leadership, Retirement Clearinghouse introduced new industry best practices, been recognized for innovation and improved the operations of thousands of retirement plans. Follow Spencer on Linkedin and read his company blog.

/conga/retirementors/bios/williams_spencer.html 342111
The RetireMentors is powered by

Continued from page 1
Page 1 Page 2

The human resources department at your current employer, or a third-party provider of roll-in services, can help you track down your stranded accounts.

If old employer accounts have been rolled over to safe-harbor IRAs, get them out

If, in the process of contacting record-keepers for your former-employer plans, you discover that one or more of your stranded accounts have been rolled over to safe-harbor IRAs, act quickly and begin moving them to your current-employer plan.

Safe-harbor IRAs aren’t always “safe” investment vehicles for storing your retirement savings. The money market funds that these accounts are required to invest in generate negligible interest, which is often surpassed by their annual fees.

To avoid the ongoing decay of your retirement savings in a safe-harbor IRA, begin the roll-in process as soon as you can.

Rolling in your prior-employer accounts on an ongoing basis, as you change jobs, prevents you from losing assets over time in a safe-harbor IRA—and from having to keep track of multiple accounts and contact numerous record-keepers as you move between employers and/or homes.

Always avoid the temptation to cash out

This tip applies to all of you, regardless of whether or not you are changing jobs in the near future. Prematurely cashing out your retirement savings account is perhaps the worst mistake you can make along the journey of saving for retirement.

Reinforcing the importance of never cashing out takes on a new urgency in December and January, when all of us accrue bills related to the holiday season. Prematurely cashing out a retirement account may help pay your holiday bills in the short term, but cash-outs hurt you twice: through higher taxes and penalties (federal and state taxes, 10% early withdrawal penalty) in the short term, and they threaten your retirement readiness over the long term.

Best of luck to all of you as you save for retirement in 2017.

Spencer Williams is President and CEO of Retirement Clearinghouse, a portability solutions provider.

Page 1 Page 2

Story Conversation

Commenting FAQs »

Partner Center

Link to MarketWatch's Slice.