I retired at end of Q1 2013 at age 64. I immediately started drawing monthly distributions from my 401(k) plan.

Would it be possible to transfer the balance of this 401(k) to another 401(k) or some other form of retirement plan?

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Most 401(k) plans do not accept rollovers from participants that are not active employees. You can contact the plan administrator for a distribution form that will allow you to open an IRA or another qualified account and roll the funds directly into that account. If you open an account with Fidelity or Vanguard, they can help you with the paperwork.

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  • +1 But, it is usually better to ask the custodian of the destination IRA to start the process of getting the 401(k) money rolled over into the IRA; they know all the ropes. Asking the 401(k) plan administrator often leads to a lot of foot-dragging and what sometimes feels like deliberate obfuscation. This is perfectly natural: the IRA custodian is eager to get its hands on the money and will do everything in its power to grease the skids, while the 401(k) custodian is not eager to show that it had an outflow from funds under its control; looks bad on the quarterly report! – Dilip Sarwate Apr 10 '17 at 13:58

As Nathan mentioned, you can transfer to an IRA.There are a number of reasons to do this, a partial transfer also being an option.

  • Greater variety of investment options
  • ability to convert to Roth IRA
  • ability to control tax withholding on withdrawals

Regarding the last point, consider, in 2017, taxable income for a couple, $75,900 (implying gross of $96,700) would be taxed at $10,452. But the mandatory 401(k) withhold is 20% or $19,340. Easy to use the IRA, take withdrawal during the year, and just withhold tax in December, when you can estimate tax burden to the nearest $100.

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