If you’re ready to make a new home for the assets in a former employer’s 401(k) plan, you stand to extract serious value from the transaction — we’re talking upward of $1,000, $2,000, even $3,000 for sizable accounts.
Why bother rolling over an old 401(k) plan into an IRA? Doing so could help you sidestep the tax penalties you’d otherwise incur on a 401(k) distribution — penalties that could seriously set back your retirement plan.
Many of the top brokers for rollover clients charge low fees and commissions or even waive them entirely. And, all else being equal, it’s easier to manage fewer accounts.
Best IRA Rollover Promotions
These are the best IRA rollover promotions available to U.S. investors right now. Read each closely and follow up with a careful review of each platform’s disclosures, offer restrictions, account fees, and general terms and conditions.
And bear in mind that offer terms and availability are subject to change at any time and at platforms’ sole discretion — meaning it pays to act as soon as you’re ready. Already, we’ve seen attractive IRA rollover offers from Merrill Edge (a Bank of America subsidiary) disappear from the market.
Open a new self-directed IRA account with Ally Invest by Sept. 30, 2021, and make a qualifying deposit of new money or assets — including a qualifying transfer or rollover into a traditional IRA, Roth IRA, or SEP IRA with Ally Invest — to earn up to $3,000 bonus cash.
The bonus thresholds are:
- $100 Bonus: Deposit $10,000 to $24,999 in new funds or assets.
- $250 Bonus: Deposit $25,000 to $99,999 in new funds or assets.
- $300 Bonus: Deposit $100,000 to $249,999 in new funds or assets.
- $600 Bonus: Deposit $250,000 to $499,999 in new funds or assets.
- $1,200 Bonus: Deposit $500,000 to $999,999 in new funds or assets.
- $2,000 Bonus: Deposit $1,000,000 to $1,999,999 in new funds or assets.
- $3,000 Bonus: Deposit $2,000,000 or more in new funds or assets.
Fund the account within 60 days of opening and keep the combined bonus and qualifying deposit (minus any trading losses) in the account for 300 days from the rollover effective date to ensure that Ally Invest does not revoke the bonus.
You must fund the new account with a minimum qualifying rollover of $10,000 or more in non-Ally funds to qualify for the minimum bonus amount.
The bonus is not available to current Ally Invest account holders or Ally Invest account holders who closed their accounts within 90 days of applying. Account holders must be based in the United States.
For more information about this platform’s low-cost ETFs and stocks, read our Ally Invest review. Check out other opportunities for new account holders with Ally Invest on our list of the top brokerage account promotions.
And learn more about Ally Bank, which owns Ally Invest, from our Ally Bank review.
Roll over a qualifying employer-sponsored retirement plan with a participating brokerage into a new M1 Finance IRA for the opportunity to earn up to $2,500 in bonus cash. The bonus thresholds are:
- $100 Bonus: Roll over an account worth $20,000 to $100,000.
- $250 Bonus: Transfer an account worth $100,000.01 to $250,000.
- $500 Bonus: Transfer an account worth $250,000.01 to $500,000.
- $1,000 Bonus: Transfer an account worth $500,000.01 to $1,000,000.
- $2,500 Bonus: Transfer an account worth more than $1,000,000.01.
You must initiate the rollover or transfer by Dec. 31, 2021, and maintain your account balance (minus any losses due to market volatility or trading) equal to or greater than the initial funding amount for 60 days following the rollover.
This offer does not apply to ACH deposits, wire transfers, IRA transfers (traditional, Roth, or SIMPLE — in other words, non-employer-sponsored plan transfers), internal transfers, or direct account transfers. You should receive your bonus within 90 days of completing the rollover.
To learn more, read our M1 Finance review.
3. TD Ameritrade — Up to $2,500 Rollover Bonus
Open a new TD Ameritrade rollover IRA and roll over a qualifying balance to earn a bonus worth up to $2,500. You must open your account by the stated offer end date (currently Sept. 30, 2021) to receive the bonus.
TD Ameritrade’s bonus thresholds are as follows:
- $350 Bonus: Roll over $250,000 to $499,999.99.
- $700 Bonus: Roll over $500,000 to $999,999.99.
- $1,500 Bonus: Roll over $1 million to $1,999,999.99.
- $2,500 Bonus: Roll over $2 million or more.
This opportunity also applies to other types of retirement accounts and to nonretirement accounts (taxable brokerage accounts) as well.
Once you’re an account holder, you’ll enjoy access to TD Ameritrade’s full suite of commission-free ETFs, mutual funds, stocks, and other instruments.
To learn more, read our TD Ameritrade review.
Get up to one year managed free when you open a traditional IRA, Roth IRA, or SEP IRA with Betterment and make a qualifying deposit — including a qualifying rollover — within 45 days of account opening.
The bonus thresholds are:
- One Month Free: Fund your account with $15,000 to $99,999 within the qualification period.
- Six Months Free: Fund your account with $100,000 to $249,999 within the qualification period.
- 12 Months Free: Fund your account with $250,000 or more within the qualification period.
Betterment is a low-cost robo-advisor whose management fees range from 0.25% of assets under management (AUM) to 0.40% AUM annualized, depending on the plan.
As such, the value of this promotion increases proportionally to your account value. An account worth an average of $100,000 during the first six months qualifies for a minimum of $125 in waived management fees. An account worth an average of $500,000 during the first year qualifies for a minimum of $1,250 in waived management fees.
This offer is available to U.S. residents only and can’t be combined with any other offers. For more about Betterment’s benefits, check out our lists of the best high-yield savings accounts and cash management accounts on the market today.
To learn more, read our Betterment review.
5. Charles Schwab — Up to $500 Bonus for Referrals
If you have a friend, family member, or colleague with an existing Charles Schwab account, ask them to refer you to the platform ahead of your planned IRA rollover. Depending on how much you roll over, you could qualify for a referral bonus as great as $500.
To get started, simply ask your contact to send you their unique referral code and use it to open a new IRA rollover account with Schwab. You must roll over at least $25,000 within 45 days of your account opening date to receive the bonus.
Your actual haul will depend on your total deposit amount:
- $100: Roll over $25,000 to $49,999.99.
- $300: Roll over $50,000 to $99,999.99.
- $500: Roll over $100,000 to $499,999.99.
- $1,000: Roll over $500,000 or more.
You should receive your bonus within one week after the end of the 45-day qualifying period.
Moving forward, take advantage of Schwab’s commission-free trades and interest-bearing bank account (cash account) for money that’s not currently in the market.
6. Firstrade — Up to $200 in Transfer Fee Rebates
If your existing brokerage charges a transfer fee for outbound account transfers (ACATS), Firstrade promises to reimburse the first $200 — enough to cover most online brokers’ account transfer fees.
This offer applies to most common types of investment accounts, including rollover IRAs, with balances greater than $2,500 (excluding mutual funds and fixed-income products). To qualify, do the following:
- Set up your transfer as a full account transfer. Partial transfers aren’t eligible.
- Within 60 days of the account transfer, email Firstrade a copy of a statement from your previous broker showing the transfer charge.
- Keep your new account open with Firstrade for at least 12 months following the transfer.
- Maintain the minimum required asset value for the entire 12-month period. If your account balance falls below $2,500 due to withdrawals or outgoing transfers, you may forfeit the reimbursement.
You should receive your transfer fee credit within 30 days of confirming the charge to Firstrade.
Moving forward, enjoy Firstrade’s commission-free investment options. One perk of doing business here: Unlike many brokerage firms, Firstrade doesn’t charge commissions on any mutual fund trades.
Before initiating a rollover to a new brokerage account or robo-advisor, contact the original plan’s sponsor to confirm that your qualified plan is in fact eligible for an IRA rollover.
A 401(k) plan generally can be rolled over, but this isn’t necessarily the case for more restrictive employer-sponsored qualified plans such as 457(b) plans for governmental employees. If you’re at all uncertain about how to proceed, consult a licensed financial planner or financial advisor (CFP, CFA, or equivalent) to discuss your options.
Also, be sure to familiarize yourself with the basic differences between IRAs and 401(k)s to confirm that the rollover is in your best interest financially. IRAs — especially those offered by the platforms on this list and other reputable providers like Merrill Edge — often carry lower management fees and expenses than employer-sponsored retirement plans.
But that’s not always true. Some employer favorites, including Vanguard and Fidelity, are renowned for super-low expenses and fees. And since opening or rolling over a retirement account is a process you should have to do as rarely as possible, it does no harm to double-check.