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Get the Basics

What is a rollover IRA?

A rollover IRA is when you take an account you already have—like an existing IRA or 401(k)—and roll it over into a new IRA . This might make sense when you change to a new job and want to rollover your 401(k) into an IRA, or if you decide you want to consolidate multiple accounts into one IRA. You may be able to choose from two kinds of IRAs for your rollover: a Traditional IRA or a Roth IRA
Rollover Options

Know your rollover options1

What you do with the money in your old retirement plan can significantly impact tomorrow's income.
Keep it where it is You can leave your money where it is. Take it with you You can transfer your money into your new employer’s plan. Roll it into an IRA You can roll it into an IRA. Cash it out You can take a cash withdrawal.
Things To Consider

IRA rollover basics and rules

When you roll over savings from one retirement account to another, the easiest way is to transfer the money directly between institutions.
You may also choose to receive a check for your rollover, but you’ll need to make sure you complete the rollover within 60 days.
If the rollover is not completed in time, you may be faced with tax withholding and/or penalties.
Either way you decide to take your funds, there is no limit on how much money you can roll over.2
Why Rollover

Why rollover and what are the benefits

  • When you consolidate3 your retirement accounts into one, it's easier to avoid overlaps and gaps in your investment mix.

  • It will make it easier to track progress toward your goals and give you simplified management of your account.

  • TIAA IRAs have no fees, come with a wide array of low4 and no fee investment choices—plus, advice and support at no additional cost.
How It Works

How to rollover an IRA

  1. Start your online IRA application and choose between a Roth or Traditional IRA

  2. Fund your IRA by rolling over money from your previous retirement account (by direct transfer or check)

  3. Review the investment options and choose the ones that are right for you

  4. Log in to your account and track your progress

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1 Prior to rolling over, consider your other options. You may also be able to leave money in your current plan, withdraw cash or roll over the assets to your new employer’s plan if one is available and rollovers are permitted. Compare the differences in investment options, services, fees and expenses, withdrawal options, required minimum distributions, other plan features, and tax treatment. Speak with a TIAA consultant and your tax advisor regarding your situation. Learn more.
2 You may only complete one 60-day rollover between any of your IRAs in any 365 day period.  This IRS rule does not impact direct trustee to trustee transfers between IRAs.  For more information please visit,
Before consolidating assets, be sure to carefully consider the benefits of both the existing and new product. There will likely be differences in features, costs, surrender charges, services, company strength and other important aspects. There may also be tax consequences or other penalties associated with the transfer of assets. Indirect transfers may be subject to taxation and penalties. Speak with a TIAA consultant and your tax advisor regarding your situation.
4 *Source: Morningstar Direct, June 30, 2020.73% of our mutual funds and variable annuities have expense ratios that are in the bottom quartile (or 95.41% below the median) of their respective Morningstar categories. TIAA-CREF mutual fund and CREF variable annuity products are subject to various fees and expenses, including but not limited to management, administrative, and distribution fees; our variable annuity products have an additional mortality and expense risk charge.  
This material is for informational or educational purposes only and does not constitute fiduciary investment advice under ERISA, a securities recommendation under all securities laws, or an insurance product recommendation under state insurance laws or regulations. This material does not take into account any specific objectives or circumstances of any particular investor, or suggest any specific course of action. Investment decisions should be made based on the investor’s own objectives and circumstances.