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How do I transfer or rollover other retirement accounts to my Guideline IRA?
How do I transfer or rollover other retirement accounts to my Guideline IRA?

This guide shares step-by-step instructions to complete an inbound rollover to move other retirement funds to your Guideline IRA.

Updated over a week ago

If you have other IRAs or eligible retirement plans, you may be able to transfer or rollover those funds into your Guideline Individual Retirement Account (IRA). 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.¹

You’ll want to ensure that you have an open IRA with Guideline prior to initiating a rollover from another provider.²

Once you have an active account, you can start the inbound rollover process in your Guideline IRA dashboard. You’ll also need to work with your prior service provider to complete the request.

How to initiate the rollover request with Guideline

Step 1: Start the process

After logging into your Guideline IRA, click on your name in the main menu and select Inbound rollovers. You will choose this option even if you are requesting an IRA-to-IRA transfer.

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.

  • Current balance: Amount to be rolled over

If you are rolling over a 401(k) or other employer-sponsored plan, you’ll be able to input both pre-tax and Roth amounts, if applicable.

If you’re rolling over from another IRA, we’ll need to know the account type, such as Roth, SIMPLE, SEP, or traditional.

Learn which types of retirement accounts are eligible for a rollover.

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 can view, edit, and track the status of your rollover and see the instructions again from the Inbound rollover page at any time.

Requesting a check from your prior provider

At this point, you must contact your previous provider online or through their customer support channels to request a release of the funds via check. Guideline does not support rollovers or transfers via a wire or ACH transfer at this time. Additionally, Guideline cannot accept in-kind rollovers or transfers where the investments are not liquidated before being moved 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. This is considered a trustee-to-trustee transfer even if the check is mailed to you, and there will be no tax withholding or 1099-R issued.

You may also request a rollover where the check will be made payable to you or deposited directly into your personal bank account. However, with these rollovers, there are strict time constraints and additional steps required. You can also elect tax withholding on these rollovers, which means you will receive a 1099-R.

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 Inbound rollovers 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.

Processing timeline

It typically takes around 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 IRA account approximately 5-7 business days after receipt of your rollover or transfer check. There may be delays in processing if all required information is not included.

You’ll receive email confirmations throughout the process with updates on the rollover status. Once the rollover is completed, the funds will appear in your dashboard under “Transaction History” in the Activity tab.

¹ See our Form ADV 2A Brochure for more information on our fees

² This is for informational purposes only. It should not be used as a substitute for specific tax, legal and/or financial advice. You are advised to consult a qualified financial adviser or tax professional for further details and guidance specific to your situation.

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