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My current employee offers a 403(b) with a Roth option. I also have a Roth IRA.

The Roth IRA has a lower annual contribution limit than the 403(b).

I have some questions regarding contributions.

  1. Should I stop contributing to my Roth IRA since I can contribute more to my 403(b)?
  2. When I leave my current organization, and I rollover my 403(b) to my Roth IRA, is there a limit? Can I rollover everything?
  3. If I can rollover everything, and I contribute to my 403(b) more than what the Roth IRA allows, does this mean that I would be able to make up a bit for contributing to my Roth IRA late (in my 30s)?

    • I don't get any employer matching
    • I wouldn't mind investing in both products or any combination thereof
  • @Russell - What are your choices of investments inside the 403(b)? – JTP - Apologise to Monica Aug 5 '14 at 17:53
  • @JoeTaxpayer I can invest through Fidelity Investments and TIAA-CREF. I think they offer annuities and mutual funds. – Russell Aug 5 '14 at 20:25
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You need to determine:

  • if in your situation you want to contribute to a Roth account.
  • If the answer is yes, then you need to decide on the split between Roth and non-Roth.
  • Then you need to determine the split between company and non-company accounts. This is related to the amount of matching funds you get. But it also includes the cost of the funds and the types of funds available under the company plan.

  • Now you have to allocate the different types of investments (index, non-index, bonds, international, Real-estate...) between the 4 Roth/non-Roth and company/non-company buckets.

Regarding rollovers: If you decide that you want to rollover funds when you leave your employer, your options will depend on if the target is the new-employer or external to any employer. An employer may not have a Roth option, or may limit the types of rollovers they will accept.

The rollover amounts aren't included in your annual maximum for contributions. If you aren't changing from a non-Roth to a Roth, they don't impact your taxes. There are paperwork and procedures that need to be followed but the source and the target organizations can work with you.

To clarify 'like to like' rollovers are the following :

  • Roth 403B --> Roth IRA
  • Non-Roth 403B --> Regular IRA

These avoid tax issues.

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