FAQs

Answers to your most important questions about what we do

The basics

It’s the technical term for the money you transfer from a 401k to another retirement account, like an IRA. It’s what most people choose to do with the money they’ve saved in their 401k account when leaving a job. A rollover is different to a withdrawal, which is when you pull your money out of a 401k and pay taxes on it. A rollover is tax-free because your money stays in a retirement account.

If you recently left a job where you had a 401k account, it can be a good idea to roll over those savings into an IRA or a new 401k. You can also consolidate multiple 401ks or IRAs. That way you can keep track of your retirement assets in one place, and make sure you’re not paying too much in fees. 

A 401k is a type of retirement account that’s provided by companies. You can only get it if your company provides it. Most of the contributions to it are from your paycheck, though sometimes an employer makes ‘matching’ contributions. When you leave the company you lose your ability to make contributions to it.

An IRA is short for “individual retirement account”. It’s a type of account that you can open on your own, and doesn’t depend on your employer. It’s also an account where you can transfer any 401k savings you accumulated at a prior job. Think of it as a big pot that you pour your 401k gold into over time.

That’s where we come in. We manage every step of the rollover process for you, from locating your 401k to opening a new IRA and handling the transfer. 

Try our 401k search tool! We’ve compiled a database of over 60,000 employers and their 401k providers. Start by searching for your employer name to determine your 401k provider. 

If we don’t have your employer on file, our team of rollover experts will help you track it down if you decide to do a 401k rollover with us.

A quick way to find out if you had a 401k is by checking your W-2 forms from previous tax returns. If you contributed to a 401k, you’ll usually see an amount in Box 12 of your W-2 from that employer. 401k contributions will typically show up with letter code D.

You can also try reaching out to someone in the HR department at your previous job to confirm if you had a 401k plan set up.

If you are currently enrolled in a 401k plan then that plan provider might allow you to transfer in old 401k plans. It generally takes longer to do than a rollover into an IRA and you’ll be subject to the fees and investment choices negotiated by your employer.

Everyone’s situation is different, so there’s no one size fits all answer to this question but more people roll over into IRAs than 401ks. You can find more detail here

Taking an early distribution from your 401k is an option, especially if you need money quickly in an emergency. Keep in mind that you’ll likely pay taxes and penalties on your withdrawal, and this decision may negatively impact your financial readiness for retirement. 

Yes, we can help with that! When you sign up for our service, you can add multiple 401ks to rollover. Then, our team will be in touch to guide you through each plan’s rollover process! 

Rollovers from a 401k are generally tax-free. 

The exact processing time of a rollover depends on the 401k institution involved – it can vary from a few days to a few weeks. 

Typically, yes, but the process can vary. It’s important to understand your IRA provider’s requirements before initiating a transfer – we can help track down those requirements and get your rollover processed!

Yes, but the process is a little more complicated than a typical rollover. Moving money from a traditional 401k to a Roth IRA is usually a two-step process: first, you’ll move your Traditional 401(k) to a Traditional IRA. Then, your IRA provider will move your Traditional IRA into a Roth IRA (this is known as a “Roth Conversion”). Keep in mind that most Roth conversions are taxable, so it’s a good idea to talk to a tax professional if you decide to go down this path.

The key difference between Roth and Traditional IRAs is when you get your tax break. In a Traditional IRA, your contributions are tax-free and you won’t pay taxes on the money until the time of withdrawal. In a Roth IRA, it’s the opposite – you’ll pay taxes on your contributions into the account but your withdrawals are tax-free.

Our service

We’re a free, independent platform to roll over your 401k. We manage the entire process – from finding your old 401k to opening a new IRA and dealing with your 401k provider for you.

Absolutely! We’ll start by helping you pick a new rollover IRA, and then we’ll help you transfer each of your old 401ks or IRAs into that new account.

We ask for a little information to locate your old 401k account, like the name of your 401k provider or old employer. We also ask you about your preferences to help compare relevant IRA choices. If you decide to proceed with your rollover then we sometimes have to ask for some personal information, like your date of birth and address, in order to communicate with your 401k provider on your behalf. 

We use criteria like fees, public rating scores (where available), and then our own review of ease of use, customer support, and investment philosophy.

We can still help you transfer your 401k into the IRA you want.

We aren’t set up to help you roll into a new employer’s 401k plan yet, but we’re happy to provide insight on the process! First, you’ll contact your new 401k provider and let them know you’d like to process a rollover. Then, they’ll take you through next steps (which usually involves some paperwork!)

Our business model

If you choose to open up an IRA with one of the providers on our platform then we may be compensated. This helps us keep the service free for users, but none of those providers is ever allowed to impact the content on our site. It also never affects the fees you pay as a customer. If you’ve ever used a site like Nerdwallet, Credit Karma or Lending Tree then you’ll be familiar with this model. Our reputation depends on you feeling like we provide an honest, independent product. 

We started Capitalize to help people take control of their retirement savings. It’s hard to get motivated to do that when there’s so much else going on, particularly when you’re changing jobs or have multiple 401ks lying around. We found that charging people money for help at this juncture just adds another hurdle that prevents them from taking action.

No, Capitalize itself is not a financial or tax advisor. We provide general opinions & financial information that you can use to make decisions. We also act in an administrative capacity to help you with any rollover-related tasks. 

Not sure where your old 401k is? We can help with that.

Don’t lose track of your money. We’ll help you choose a new retirement account, and handle the paperwork, for free.