Note: Resist the temptation to cash out your retirement plan when changing employers!
Not only will it set back your retirement savings, but you'll have to pay a 10% early withdrawal penalty, plus income tax on the full amount.
Do you have a retirement plan from a previous employer? Did you know you may be able to transfer―or rollover—those funds into your MERS Defined Contribution, Hybrid or 457 account?
Why Rollover Your Former Plan to MERS?
- Convenience – Consolidating your retirement savings under one plan makes it easier to track your investments and manage your account.
- Account growth – MERS low average investment fees mean more of your money stays invested in your account.
- Investment options – With a $9 billion portfolio of assets under our management, MERS provides you with access to select investment funds that aren't available to the public.
- Tax deferred - You do not have to pay any federal income tax on the amount you roll over. Your money will continue to grow tax-deferred until you start to make withdrawals.
- Access - Rolling over your account doesn't restrict your options; any balance transferred from your previous account will remain available for you to withdraw according to the terms of your original plan.
For example: Pre-tax funds rolled over from a previous 457(b) account can still be withdrawn, penalty-free, at any time.
Is Your Plan Eligible for Rollover?
The following plans may be eligible for rollover into your MERS account:
- Distributions from a qualified plan (401[a], 401[k] etc.)
- A tax sheltered annuity contract (403[b]); offered by nonprofit organizations, such as school systems or hospitals
- Eligible deferred compensation plans (457[b])
- An individual retirement account (408[a], 408[b], Traditional, or SIMPLE IRA)
Our Rollover Guide can help you determine if your plan can rollover into your MERS account.
You Can Always Keep Your Plan with MERS
When you leave your current employer or retire, you can keep your account with MERS and continue to enjoy the perks of your MERS membership, including:
- Online access to view portfolio balances, track performance and reallocate your investments through your MyMERS account
- Access to ongoing retirement planning education seminars and resources such as our Full Picture report builder and financial resource center
- A streamlined investment menu of carefully selected and risk-adjusted investment options that are rebalanced quarterly
- A staff of well-trained service representatives ready to answer your questions weekdays at 800.767.MERS (6377)