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Can I rollover my IRA to my 403(b) so as not to take RMD amounts?

Last Updated December 17, 2015

Question: 

 

I am 70 years old and participate in a 403(b) plan that is sponsored by an employer  which I still work for.  I would like to defer taking distributions until I retire. Can I rollover my traditional IRA to my 403(b) account and defer taking required minimum distributions (RMD) from the entire account, including the amount rolled over from the IRA?
Answer: 

 

Yes, providing the 403(b) plan permits such rollovers. Since you are still employed by the 403(b) sponsor, you need not take RMD amounts from the 403(b) account until you retire.  If you rollover your traditional IRA to your 403(b) account, the IRA amount will be subject to the same provisions.
Caution:
  • If you are 70 ½ this year, then you must take your RMD for this year from the traditional IRA before completing the rollover. An exception applies to 2009, as RMDs for traditional IRAs have been waived for this year. As such, if the rollover is completed in 2009, you can rollover the entire traditional IRA balance to your 403(b) account regardless of your age. For more on the RMD waiver for 2009, see the article Waiver of Required Minimum Distribution for 2009
  • Only the pre-tax amounts held in the Traditional IRA can be rolled over. Any after-tax amounts in the traditional IRA cannot be rolled over to your 403(b). The sources of after-tax amounts are nondeductible contributions to the IRA and rollover of after-tax amounts from qualified plans and 403(b) accounts.
  • Amounts that are not eligible to be credited to the IRA cannot be rolled over. For instance any  excess contributions made to the IRA cannot be rolled over.

Question answered by by Denise Appleby