A Transfer is when you move assets directly from one custodian to another custodian without taking receipt of the funds. For example, Sandra (age 36) had a 401(k) plan with a previous employer. After leaving the company she wants to take those 401(k) funds, move them to an IRA account, and manage the IRA herself. Sandra directs the 401(k) administrator to move the funds directly from her old 401(k) account to her new custodian. She never receives or has any control over those funds. This is what is known as a “trustee-to-trustee” transfer.
A Rollover is when you take receipt of your assets for up to 60 days before reinvesting in a new retirement plan. For example, John (age 40) has a traditional IRA. He takes $30,000 of those funds, payable to himself, and places the money into his personal bank account. Within 60 days he finds a custodian that he wants to work with and writes a check from his personal account to them and establishes a new IRA rollover account.
A Contribution is when you don’t have an existing IRA or 401(k) account. You create a new precious metals IRA account and contribute new funds to it. For 2016, total contributions to all of your traditional and Roth IRAs cannot exceed $5,500 ($6,500 if you are age 50 or older).
Need help with the process? Just call one of our IRA experts. 800-701-3546