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How do I roll over other retirement accounts to my Guideline 401(k)?
How do I roll over other retirement accounts to my Guideline 401(k)?

This guide shares step-by-step instructions to complete an inbound rollover to transfer other retirement funds to your Guideline 401(k).

Updated over a week ago

If you have other eligible retirement plans or IRAs, you may be able to rollover those funds into your active Guideline 401(k) account. Consolidating your retirement savings into one place can make it easier to keep track of your retirement progress and may help lower overall account fees.*

You can start the inbound rollover process in your Guideline dashboard, but you’ll also need to work with your prior service provider to complete the request.

When to start your inbound rollover

You can initiate the request to rollover your fund to Guideline any time after the plan’s start date (for newly established plans) and once you’ve created your account. Starting a rollover before these steps occur could result in processing delays or returned funds.

We’ll send you an email after your first contribution with the plan to let you know it’s time to rollover your funds. You can also check your employer’s plan start date on the Plan Details page of your Guideline dashboard.

How to initiate a transfer to Guideline

Step 1: Start the process

After logging into your Guideline account, click on the Transfers button in the main menu of your dashboard and navigate to Move funds to Guideline.

In the rollover page, select the “+ Add a rollover” button.

Step 2: Add your previous account details

Enter the requested information regarding the account type and balances you would like to roll over to Guideline. If any info changes, you will be able edit the details later.

We’ll need to know:

  • Previous brokerage firm: Financial institution where your funds are currently held

  • Account type: IRA, 401(k), 403b, 457b, defined benefit, etc.

  • Pre-tax balance: Total pre-tax amount to roll over, including employer contributions

  • Roth balance: Total Roth amount to roll over, including employer contributions

    • Roth basis: The total contributions made to your the Roth 401(k), excluding earnings or losses

The workflow will request both the pre-tax and Roth amounts. If you are only rolling over one type of contribution, enter $0 in the other to allow submission of the request.

If you’re rolling over from an IRA, we’ll also need to know the account type, such as SIMPLE, SEP, or traditional. Please note that you cannot rollover Roth IRA assets into a 401(k) plan. Learn which types of retirement accounts are eligible for a rollover.

401(k) plans at Guideline also cannot accept non-Roth after-tax contributions in an eligible retirement plan or non-deductible contributions held in a traditional IRA.

Step 3: Review rollover instructions and contact prior provider

Once you have completed the process, instructions for requesting the rollover from your previous provider and sending the funds to Guideline will be displayed. You will also receive a confirmation of your request and a copy of the rollover instructions in your email.

You will be able to see the rollover instructions again and view, edit, and track the status of your rollover from the “Move funds to Guideline” page at any time.

Request a check from your prior provider

At this point, you must contact your previous provider to request a release of the funds via check. Guideline does not support rollovers via a wire or ACH transfer at this time. Additionally, Guideline cannot accept in-kind rollovers where the investments are not liquidated before being rolled over.

Typically, you can request the funds be sent either directly to Guideline or to your address with a check made payable to BTC/Guideline for your benefit.

You may also request an indirect rollover where the check will be made payable to you or deposited directly into your personal bank account. However, indirect rollovers have mandatory tax withholding as well as strict time constraints and require additional steps.

When working with your previous provider, please share with them the following information:

  • Checks should be made payable to “BTC for GDL FBO [your full name]” (this stands for "Benefit Trust Company* for Guideline for the benefit of [your full name]"). Please note that ​Benefit Trust Company (BTC) is the name of the custodian where all Guideline account funds are held.

  • Include your Guideline account ID on the check. This can be on a memo line, the check payable line, or in an attached check stub or statement. Failure to include your account ID may lead to a processing delay or the check being rejected and returned to the sender.

  • Checks should be mailed directly to the custodian, Benefit Trust Company, at the address outlined within the rollover instructions. To view the address, locate the email you received after initiating the request or access the Move funds to Guideline page and click "View Instructions."

    Checks mailed directly to Guideline may experience significantly longer processing times, as they will require rerouting to the correct department before processing can begin.

In the event your previous provider mails the check directly to you, we recommend making copies of it for your financial records. Then, mail the check and all supporting documents to the custodian at the address above. Please do not endorse or sign the check before sending it.

Inbound rollover processing timeline

It typically takes about 7-10 business days for mail to reach the custodian if sent via USPS. You will be notified by email within 5-7 business days, when BTC has received your check.

Funds will be attributed to your Guideline 401(k) account within 10 business days after receipt of your rollover check. The funds will appear in your dashboard under “Recent Transactions” in the Activity tab once the rollover has completed.

Please note, there may be delays in processing if specific information is not included and, therefore, must be verified. In cases where we cannot verify the information or when required information is missing or incorrect, the rollover check may be returned.

* This information is provided for illustrative purposes only, and is not intended to be taken as investment or tax advice. The average investment expense of plan assets for 401(k) plans with 25 participants and $250,000 in assets is 1.60% of assets, according to the 23rd Edition of the 401k Averages Book, with data updated through September 30, 2022, and is inclusive of investment management fees, fund expense ratios, 12b-1 fees, sub-transfer agent fees, contract charges, wrap and advisor fees or any other asset based charges. Guideline’s managed portfolios have blended expense ratios ranging from 0.064% to 0.067% of assets under management. When combined with an assumed account fee of 0.15%.), the estimated total AUM fees for one of Guideline’s managed portfolios can be under 0.22%. Alternative account fee pricing is available ranging from 0.15% to 0.35%. Expense ratios for custom portfolios will vary. These expense ratios are subject to change by and paid to the fund(s). View full fund lineup.

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