Can You Partially Rollover an IRA?

Wednesday, July 17th 2024

IRAs are popular retirement savings vehicles in the US. These tax-advantaged accounts help retirees save. Moving cash across accounts may be important when individuals change employment or retirement plans. A rollover transfers money from one retirement account to another. We’ll explore partial IRA rollovers’ pros, cons, and procedures in this post.

Understanding IRA Rollovers (1)

Rollovers transfer money from one retirement account to another, either within the same financial institution or to another. Consolidating accounts, changing investment providers, or moving to a Roth IRA might cause this. Direct and indirect rollovers exist.

Direct rollover: Direct rollovers are when cash is transferred straight from one retirement account the next and without account holders ever taking possession of the money. This is the preferred choice for most individuals, as it avoids incurring taxes or penalties associated with the indirect rollover.

Indirect rollover: An indirect rollover entails the account holder receiving a distribution from their retirement account, and then depositing it into another account within 60 days. If the funds aren’t transferred to a new account in this timeframe the account holder could face taxes and penalties.

Can You Partially Rollover an IRA?

Partial IRA rollovers are possible. A partial rollover transfers a portion of money between IRAs. This may help people manage several accounts or move a specified amount to a different investment provider. This section discusses the pros and cons of partly rolling over an IRA.

Reasons for a Partial Rollover

Benefits of a Partial Rollover

Flexibility: Partially rolling over allows account holders to move funds between accounts as needed and gives them greater control over their investment strategy.

Tax management: By slowly moving from the traditional IRA to one that is a Roth IRA through a partial rollover, individuals can manage their tax burden in a more efficient manner and more efficiently, particularly if they anticipate being in an upper tax bracket in retirement.

Opportunity to compare providers: A partial rollover allows account holders to compare the performance, fees, and customer service offered by various investment providers before making an entire commitment.

Drawbacks of a Partial Rollover

Complexity: Managing the multiple IRA accounts is complex and time-consuming, particularly when you have to track withdrawals, contributions, and Required Minimum Distributions (RMDs).

Higher fees: Certain investment service providers might charge higher fees for accounts that have lower amounts. By partially rolling over an IRA and having accounts in multiple accounts, account holders may be charged higher fees as compared to consolidating their accounts into one account.

Errors and penalties: Running partial rollovers requires careful concentration on every detail, since mistakes can result in taxes and penalties. For instance, if someone accidentally exceeds the 60-day period to roll over an indirect amount they could face tax consequences.

How to Partially Rollover an IRA

The process of performing a partial rollover of an IRA is like the one used for a full rollover, but there are some important variations. Here are the steps involved to perform a partial rolling:

Important Considerations and Potential Pitfalls

Before you attempt a partial rollover take note of the following considerations and the potential dangers:

One-rollover-per-year rule: IRA rollovers are limited to one per year by the IRS (2). One indirect rollover between IRAs each year is allowed under this regulation. The restriction does not apply to direct rollovers or rollovers between other retirement accounts, such as a 401(k) to an IRA.

Taxes and penalties: Partial rollovers and particularly indirect rollovers, may result in penalties and taxes if they are not executed properly. Be sure to understand the tax implications of your partial rollover and adhere to the steps required to avoid negative consequences.

Required Minimum Distributions (RMDs): If you’re over 70-year mark and are subject to RMDs be aware that a rollover can’t be utilized to fulfill an RMD for the entire year. First, you must withdraw the required amount prior to performing a rollover.


In summary, a partial IRA rollover may boost flexibility, tax management, and investment provider comparison. However, it may add complexity, expenses, and the possibility of errors and fines. If you’re contemplating a partial rollover, assess the advantages and drawbacks and contact a financial adviser to make an educated choice that corresponds with your financial objectives and retirement planning approach.

Understanding the reasons for a partial rollover, its advantages and downsides, and the stages required will help you decide whether it’s ideal for your scenario. Being aware of crucial issues and possible traps might help you avoid problems and handle the procedure efficiently. Always get financial counsel from a specialist who understands your needs.

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