IRA: Rollover Rules & Conditions

 

This information is for general educational purposes only.  Individuals should consult with their financial adviser or legal counsel to determine how rollover regulations affect their unique situations.

Generally, an IRA rollover is a tax-free distribution to you of cash or other assets from one retirement plan that you contribute to another retirement plan.  The contribution to the second retirement plan is called a rollover contribution.

This article outlines the types of IRA rollover transactions, rules and conditions, IB's Rollover Certification form, and rollover transaction details.  Select from list below for details:

Rules & Conditions

Rollover Certification

Eligible Rollover Transactions

Ineligible Transactions

  

Rules & Conditions

Prior to completing an IRA Rollover transaction, we recommend that you review the rules and conditions surrounding eligibility.  Interactive Brokers can accept as a tax-free transaction an eligible rollover distribution as defined under the Internal Revenue Code.  Included in this article is information about eligible transactions, as well as the Interactive Brokers  IRA Rollover Certification form.

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IRA Rollover Certification

Before accepting an IRA rollover transaction into an Interactive Brokers LLC IRA, we require that you review your eligibility for the rollover and certify your understanding of the rollover rules and conditions.  The IRA Rollover Form includes the IRA Rollover Certification

The Transfer Funds page within the Client Portal lets you notify IB of an IRA Rollover deposit of funds into your account. From the Transfer & Pay menu select Transfer Funds and then Make a Deposit.  Select one of the saved deposit instructions and follow the prompts on the screen or create a new deposit instruction by selecting the Currency of the deposit from the drop-down menu. Click Connect or Get Instructions for the method you will use to transfer funds. And finally follow the remaining instructions provided to initiate the transfer with your bank.

 

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Rollover Transactions

Two types of IRA rollover transactions exist with different guidelines and delivery methods:

  1. Direct Rollover - a transfer of assets from an employer-sponsored retirement plan directly to an eligible IRA.  If you choose to receive the distribution first, then you may roll over the funds to the IRA within 60 days.
  2. Indirect Rollover - a distribution from an IRA paid to you, followed by a rollover into another IRA within 60 days.  The IRS allows an indirect rollover of each IRA's funds once during a twelve-month period.

(Note:  A distributions directly from one IRA trustee to another IRA trustee is a Trustee-to-Trustee transfer.  It is not affected by the twelve-month waiting period.)

For additional information about rollovers, visit Understanding Rollovers.  See also IRS Publication 590-A, Contributions to Individual Retirement Arrangements (IRAs) for more specific guidelines on moving retirement plan assets.

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Eligible Rollover Transactions

Almost any distribution from a qualified plan can be rolled over to an IRA.  Your retirement account may be eligible for one of the following eligible rollover transactions.

Traditional IRA or SIMPLE IRA to Traditional IRA Rollover

  • Funds or property deposited less than 60 days of receipt by the IRA owner from the previous IRA
  • During the preceding 12 months, no other distributions from the distributing IRA were rolled over
  • The assets involved in the transaction have not been rolled over in the past 12 months
  • Required Minimum Distribution satisfied (if over 72)
  • For SIMPLE IRAs, after two years from the first contribution

Roth IRA to Roth IRA Rollover

  • Funds or property deposited less than 60 days of receipt by the IRA owner from the previous IRA
  • During the preceding 12 months, no other distributions from the distributing IRA were rolled over
  • The assets involved in the transaction have not been rolled over in the past 12 months

Rollover or Direct Rollover from Qualified Plan into a Traditional IRA

  • Eligible participant (participant, spouse beneficiary, or former spouse due to divorce)
  • Funds or property deposited less than 60 days of receipt by the participant from the previous plan
  • Funds received from an eligible qualified retirement plan
  • Required Minimum Distribution satisfied (if over 72)
  • Consists of funds, property, or proceeds from the sale of property distributed from the qualified plan
  • All of the funds are eligible to be rolled over

Roth IRA to Roth IRA Rollover

  • Funds or property deposited less than 60 days of receipt by the IRA owner from the previous IRA
  • Required Minimum Distribution satisfied (if over 72)

Ineligible Rollover Transactions

Some funds distributed from a retirement plan are not eligible for rollover into an IRA.  The following transactions are not eligible rollover transactions.

  • Any portion of a distribution from a retirement plan not rolled over
  • Required Minimum Distributions
  • Distribution of excess contributions and related earnings
  • Retirement plan loan treated as a distribution
  • Hardship distributions
  • Distributions part of substantially equal payments (72-t)
  • Dividends on employer securities
  • Non-spousal death benefit distributions
  • The cost of life insurance coverage

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Click here to return to the Retirement Account Resource page.

Disclaimer:  IB does not provide tax advice. These statements are provided for information purposes only, are not intended to constitute tax advice which may be relied upon to avoid penalties under any international, federal, state, local or other tax statutes or regulations, and do not resolve any tax issues in your favor. We recommend that you consult a qualified tax adviser or refer to the U.S. Internal Revenue Service.

Cost Basis Reporting

 

1099 Reporting

Year End Reports

Account Transfers

 

1099 Reporting 

Statement and Year End Reporting for US persons and entities comprises the following:

1.  Cost Basis:  While the required reporting schedule was staggered, the primary cost basis that will be reported to the IRS includes equities bought and sold after December 31, 2010.  This includes the adjusted cost basis resulting from wash sales and corporate actions.

The future phase-in period for broker reporting includes the assets sold on or after the following dates:

--- Mutual Funds and  ETFS - 1/1/2012

--- Simple debt instruments (i.e. treasuries, fixed-rate bonds & municipal bonds) and options,  - 1/1/2014

--- Other debt instruments - 1/1/2016

2.  Tax Basis Method:  Brokers are required to use the method first in, first out (FIFO), unless given other instructions by an investor.  Changes to your tax basis method may be submitted through the Tax Optimizer.  The Tax Optimizer is launched from within Account Management and is available for stock, option, bond, warrant and single-stock future trades.  

IB offers multiple  tax basis methods, including three basic options:

●        First In, First Out (FIFO) - This is the default option.  FIFO assumes that the oldest security in inventory is matched to the most recently sold security.

●         Last In, First Out (LIFO) - LIFO assumes that the newest security acquired is sold first.

●         Specific Lot - Lets you see all of your tax lots and closing trades, then manually match lots to trades. Specific Lot is not available as the Account Default Match Method.

Tax Optimizer also lets you select the following additional derivatives of the specific identification method.

●        Highest Cost (HC), Maximize Long-Term Gain (MLTG), Maximize Long-Term Loss (MLTG), Maximize Short-Term Gain (MSTG), and Maximize Short-Term Loss(MSTL).


For complete instructions on using the Tax Optimizer and details on the lot-matching algorithms for each method, see the Tax Optimizer Users Guide.

Note:  Changing your tax basis is effective immediately.  The basis selected will be applied to all subsequent trades on the account statements and tax reports.  Updates will not affect previously closed trades nor the TWS profit and loss data displayed.


3.  Gain & Loss Categories:  An additional requirement to the cost basis reporting is the capital gain or loss category.  The gain or loss category of equities is determined by the length of time in which the security was held, known as the "holding period." 

●         Short-Term - Holding periods of one year or less are categorized as "short-term."

●         Long-Term  - Holding periods over one year are categorized as "long-term."

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Year End Reports

The following statements and reports display cost basis information that will be reported on Form 1099-B for eligible accounts.

  • Monthly Account Statements
  • Annual Account Statements 
  • Worksheet for Form 8949

For a complete review of the tax information and year end reporting available, click here.

Note:  Unlike the Account Statements, the Gain & Loss Worksheet for Form 8949 may consolidate sell trades.  The cost basis will be adjusted, as required for 1099-B reporting.

 

Asset Transfers

U.S. legislation from 2008 included new guidelines for tax reporting by U.S. financial institutions.  Effective January 2011, U.S.  Brokers are required to report cost basis on sold assets, whether or not a gain/loss is short-term (held one year or less) or long-term (held more than one year).   U.S. brokerage firms, Interactive Brokers LLC (IB) included, implemented changes to comply with the legislation.

For more information on cost basis with asset transfers, see Cost Basis & Asset Transfers.

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Disclaimer:  IB does not provide tax advice. These statements are provided for information purposes only, are not intended to constitute tax advice which may be relied upon to avoid penalties under any international, federal, state, local or other tax statutes or regulations, and do not resolve any tax issues in your favor. We recommend that you consult a qualified tax adviser or refer to the U.S. Internal Revenue Service.

ACATS Transfer Guide (US brokerage account transfers)

ACATS Transfer Guide

Introduction

ACATS Transfer Benefits

Navigating The Process

Incoming Or Outgoing

Initiating Your Transfer

What To Expect

Who To Contact For Help

 

Introduction

Understanding the basic facts about transferring accounts between US brokerage firms can be help to avoid delays.  Through this article and other Knowledge Database resources, Interactive Brokers seeks to assist with your incoming and outgoing ACATS requests.

US brokerage firms utilize a standardized system to transfer customer accounts from one firm to another.  Known as the Automated Customer Account Transfer Service or ACATS, the process allows assets to move seamlessly between  brokerage firms in a unified time frame.   ACATS transfers are facilitated by a third party, the National Securities Clearing Corporation (NSCC), to assist participating members with timely asset transfers.

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ACATS Transfer Benefits

The majority of assets may be transferred between US brokerage firms and some banks through ACATS.  This standardized system includes stocks, US corporate bonds, listed options, unit investment trusts, mutual funds, and cash.  Information on assets eligible for transfer is provided at "Assets Eligible..."  Though impacted by multiple factors and time constraints, the accepted or rejected transfers finalize within 10 business days in most cases.

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Navigating The Process

4 simple steps of the ACATS process will help you understand the flow and minimize delays.  Familiarizing yourself with the transfer process helps to ensure a successful transition.

1.  Incoming or Outgoing

2.  Initiating Your Transfer

3.  What to Expect

4.  Who to Contact For Help 

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 1. Incoming or Outgoing

 

Incoming ACATS Transfers

The financial institution that is receiving your assets and account transfer is known as the "receiving firm."  Investors always work with and through the "receiving firm" to move full or partial account assets into a new broker. 

Contact the "receiving firm" (Interactive Brokers) to review the firm's trading policies and requirements.  You should verify that your assets are eligible for trading at the "receiving firm" before initiating the transfer request.   Not all ACATS transferable assets are acceptable for trading at every brokerage firm.

Outgoing ACATS Transfers

All outgoing ACATS transfers, full or partial, must be approved by the "delivering firm."  Investors, however, should work with and through the "receiving firm" in order to begin the the transfer process or to status the progress of the request.      

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2. Initiating Your Transfer

Investors must always begin the ACATS transfer with the "receiving firm."  An ACATS transfer form or Transfer Initiation Form (TIF) must be submitted.  The "receiving firm" takes your reqeust and communicates with the "delivering firm" via ACATS.  The process begins with this request for transfer of the account. 

For your Interactive Brokers Account, the transfer is usually submitted online.  Video instruction on submitting the transfer is provided at "How to deposit funds via a full ACATS/ATON Transfer."  or through Step-by-step instructions.

Note: Outgoing account transfers from your IB account should be directed to the other broker.  Your request will be submitted to IB from the other broker through the ACATS electronically.

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3. What to Expect

Your Account

Brokers ensure the safety and security of transfer requests by only authorizing requests between open accounts that meet the following criteria:

  • Same Account Title
  • Same Tax ID Number
  • Same Account Type

Transfer Approval

Ultimately responsible for validating the transfer,  the "delivering firm" may accept  information from the "receiving firm" correcting data originally entered.  Approved or validated requests result in the delivery of positions to the "receiving firm" for their acceptance.   Assets may not be accepted by the "receiving firm" for the following:

  • Non-marginable or Margin (credit) violation
  • Not Tradable
  • DTC Chill

Note: The most common reasons for ACATS rejections are outlined by clicking here.

Processing Time-frame

The processing time for each transfer request is fixed.  In general, approved transfers complete within 4 to 8 business days.  Almost all transfers complete within 10 business days.  Each firm is required to perform certain steps at specific intervals in the process.  Feel free to review the Full ACATS transfer process flow.

 

Fees

While Interactive Brokers does not charge a fee to transfer your account via ACATS, some brokers do apply a fee for full and partial transfers. Prior to initiating your transfer, you should contact the "delivering firm" to verify any charge.

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4.  Who To Contact For Help

Interactive Brokers Customer Service stands poised to assist with your incoming ACATS transfer reqeust.  Click here for Customer Service contact resources.

Note:  Outgoing or ACATS transfers sending accounts to another broker should be directed to the "receiving firm."  Their Account Transfer Group will work with Interactive Brokers directly to complete your outgoing request.

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How to Deposit Funds Via a Full ACATS/ATON Transfer

How to deposit funds to your Interactive Brokers account via a full ACATS/ATON Transfer

For information on how to initiate a partial ACATS/ATON transfer/ please click here

For Interactive Brokers tradeable products please visit the Contract Search Engine

For a detailed description of the Full ACATS/ATON process flow please click here 

For a list of the most common causes for ACATS/ATON rejects, please click here

 

 

European Assets Transfers

Overview: 

European Position Transfers

IB can accommodate transfers in the following countries on a manual basis:

  • Belgium: options, futures
  • France: stocks, options, futures
  • Germany: stocks, warrants, options, futures
  • Italy: options, futures
  • The Netherlands: stocks, options, futures
  • Spain: stocks, options, futures
  • Switzerland: stocks, options, futures
  • United Kingdom: stocks, options, futures
  • Austria: stocks
  • Sweden: stocks, options, futures

Customers wishing to transfer positions to an IB account must fill out the Interactive Brokers Transfer of Assets in Europe form and provide the following additional information:

  • customer contact information (phone number and e-mail address)
  • delivering broker contact information (contact person, phone number and e-mail address)
  • approximate value of the securities to be transferred
  • desired settlement date of the transaction(s)

The request is to be made either

  • by attaching the form to a Ticket via the Message Center in Account Management.
  • or by fax at +41-41-726-9599.

Upon receipt of the Transfer of Assets form, IB will verify the request to insure that we are able to support the transfer.

Once done, we will send a confirmation to the customer. And if we are able to support the transfer, we will thereafter contact the customer’s clearing broker to organize it.

Please note the following points:

  • All transfers to an IB account from another clearing broker must be delivered free of payment, FOP.
  • Interactive Brokers only accepts products that are available for trading on the IB system. Certain products cannot be held in your IB account including: money market deposits, many bonds and similar fixed income instruments, many mutual funds, limited partnership units and certain classes of stock. IB holds all positions in the firm accounts in non-registered form. We do not support individual registration of positions. Positions in registered shares will be converted to non-registered form by default.
  • For initial account funding, your transfer must meet our Minimum Initial Deposit requirements or the transfer will be rejected.
  • You will not be able to withdraw any funds or transfer any assets to another broker for ten business days after an account transfer is received.

 

Free of Payment (FOP) Transfers

Overview: 

Free of Payment (FOP) is term used by IB to refer to a process of transferring long US securities between IB and another financial institution (e.g. bank, broker or transfer agent) through the Depository Trust Company (DTC).

The FOP transfer method is often used when:

1. The delivering form is not a DTC ACAT (Automated Customer Account Transfer) Participant.

2. The customer would like to expedite the delivery of their securities.   The processing time frame for securities transferred via FOP may, in certain instances, be less than that associated with an ACATS transfer.

The following steps are to be followed in order to create a FOP notice:

1. Log into Account Management.

2. Select Funding or Funds Management and then Position Transfers.

3. From the drop-down list, select the Transfer Method: Free of Payment.

4. Select the applicable transaction Type: Deposit or Withdraw.

5. In the case of a FOP Withdrawal, the steps are as follows:

    - Select the Destination to whom the securities are being transferred.

    - Enter your account number of the Third Party Broker Acount Information.

    - Specify the security (Stock, Warrants or US Bonds).

    - Enter the Symbol, Shares and the Exchange (optional) and click Add.

    - Provide your electronic signature authorizing the transfer request and clicking on the Continue button.

    - Verify your identity by entering your password and clicking on the Confirm Request button;

    - If your account is enrolled in the Secure Transaction Program (STP), the processing of your request   will take place once you enter your confirmation code and click on the Confirm Request button.  If not STP enrolled, your request will be subject to security verification, requiring that you contact our Customer Service Center to validate your identity and request.

6. In the case of a FOP Deposit, the steps are as follows:

    - Select the Source to whom the securities are being transferred.

    - Enter your account number of the Third Party Broker Acount Information.

    - Specify the security (Stocks, Warrants or US Bonds).

    - Enter the Symbol, Shares and the Exchange (optional) and click Add.

    - Provide your electronic signature authorizing the transfer request and clicking on the Continue button.

    - A printable version of the FOP request is made available should your transferring firm require an authorization form.

7. Transfer requests are typically completed within five business days.

 
IMPORTANT NOTE:

While IB does not assess a fee to process FOP transfers, other firms may and we therefore recommend that you confirm with the contra-firm their policies in this regard prior to submitting a request.  In the event a contra-firm does charge a fee to IB, the fee will be passed to the IB account holder.

 

Glossary terms: 

What is a partial ACATS transfer and what is the typical timeframe for its completion?

A partial ACATS transfer exists when the customer elects to transfer only a select group of assets from one broker to another rather than the entire account. As this type of transfer requires that the customer specify those assets to IB, the Account Management interface through which notification is provided precludes the entry of any security not eligible to be carried by IB. This effectively minimizes the need for an asset review and accommodates a transfer time frame ranging from 2 to 4 business days.

 

 

Glossary terms: 

What is the typical timeframe for completion of a full ACATS transfer request?

A full ACATS transfer request will generally be completed or settled anywhere between from 4 to 7 business days. The actual time which any one request may take depends upon a number of factors, most notably being the speed at which the delivering broker responds to the initial request, the ability of the two brokers to successfully corroborate the customer’s account details (e.g., account title, account number, taxpayer identification number, etc.), whether the list of account assets requires adjustment due to the inclusion of securities not eligible to be carried by the receiving broker, and/or if the effect of the transfer would be to violate the receiving broker’s credit policy (i.e., create a margin deficiency).

 

Withdrawal restrictions applicable to assets transferred via ACATS

Assets transferred to IBKR via ACATS are subject to a withdrawal hold period of up to 30 days, the count of which begins the day after the transfer has settled and ends at midnight of the 30th day thereafter. Note that assets are often credited to an account holder’s equity and made available for trade prior to transfer settlement. The date at which a given ACATS deposit is eligible for withdrawal may be determined through the Transaction History function within Client Portal.

Assets eligible to be transferred through ACATS

Instruments handled by the ACATS system include the following asset classes: equities, options, corporate bonds, municipal bonds, mutual funds and cash. It should be noted; however, that ACATS eligibility does not guarantee that any given security will transfer as each receiving broker maintains its own requirements as to which asset classes as well as securities within a particular asset class it will accept.

Account holders are encouraged to use the Contract Search link on IB’s homepage to assess transfer eligibility prior to initiating a full account transfer request.  In the case of mutual funds, please click here for a list of fund families and funds offered by IB.

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