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Our Criteria

We evaluated rollover IRA accounts from brokerage firms that are available in all 50 states, ultimately only featuring those that fit our strict criteria. To be included on this list, providers must:

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Have at least $1 trillion in assets under management if offering a self-directed account.

financial connection

Have at least $20 billion in assets under management if offering a robo-advisor account.

Understanding Our Methodology

To choose the best rollover IRA providers in 2023, Annuity.org’s independent editorial team carefully considered rollover IRA offerings from the top brokerage firms in the country.

Annuity.org uses a strict and fact-based methodology to determine which companies qualify for our rankings. To be considered, a provider must offer an IRA account specifically designed for rolling over an existing retirement plan.

We also considered other factors, including account minimums, fees, tools and resources available to investors and the variety of investment options offered.

Learn more about our broader Editorial Guidelines.

Rollover IRAs are a valuable financial planning tool that allow individuals to transfer funds from an existing retirement account into a new IRA. Rollover IRAs maintain the tax-advantaged status of the original account and allow the transferred funds to continue to grow without immediate taxation. 

Rollover IRAs generally occur after a ‘triggering’ event. Two common examples are a change of employers and retirement, when retirees want more control over their retirement savings plan assets.

This article thoroughly reviews the best rollover IRA providers for different investor needs.

Editor’s Choice: Best Overall

GREAT FOR: INVESTMENT VARIETY, TONS OF FREE RESOURCES AND NO FEES

Best Self-Directed: Fidelity Investments

Fidelity Logo

Provider Details

Fidelity Investments is one of the largest financial services firms in the nation with over $3 trillion in assets under management. Fidelity serves more than 40 million individual investors in America and nine other countries.

Pros & Cons

Pros

  • No account or advisory fees
  • Over 10,000 fund choices, including index funds with no expense ratio
  • Robust planning tools, calculators, reporting features and other resources

Cons

  • Does not offer futures trading

Our Take

Fidelity is our top choice for a self-directed rollover IRA. The account comes with no maintenance or advisory fees, and you can build your portfolio with a variety of investment choices, including stocks, bonds, mutual funds, ETFs and options. Fidelity even offers proprietary index funds with no expense ratio.

If you’ve always had your retirement plan managed by your employer and are new to IRAs, Fidelity has plenty of tools and resources to help you manage your retirement with confidence. You can access calculators, reporting features, chatbot support and even take four-week virtual courses on trading basics.

GREAT FOR: CUSTOMIZABLE ROBO-ADVISING WITH LOW ACCOUNT MINIMUM

Best Robo-Advisor: Wealthfront

Wealthfront Logo

Provider Details

Wealthfront is an automated investment service company, commonly referred to as a “robo-advisor.” Wealthfront’s mission is to make investing easier, better and more accessible by offering software-based financial planning solutions designed to automate investing.

Pros & Cons

Pros

  • Low account minimum
  • Hundreds of funds to choose from, including crypto exposure
  • Can choose portfolios designed for socially conscious investing

Cons

  • 0.25% management fee
  • Technical support only, no investment or financial planning advice available

Our Take

Wealthfront is the most accessible of the robo-advisors we evaluated, with an account minimum of just $500. The 0.25% management fee is typical amongst robo-advisor IRAs.

Where Wealthfront really shines is in the level of customization it offers, allowing investors to be as hands-on or hands-off as they like. You can choose from hundreds of investment options in 17 asset classes or choose a portfolio curated by Wealthfront’s experts, including socially responsible portfolios geared towards sustainability, diversity and equity.

Best for No Fees

GREAT FOR: ACCESSING A WIDE RANGE OF INVESTMENT CHOICES WITH NO FEES

Best Self-Directed: Charles Schwab

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Provider Details

In the fifty years since its founding, Charles Schwab has built a reputation for excellence as a brokerage firm. The corporation was named one of the Best Online Brokers of 2022 and Most Trusted Financial Companies of 2022 by Investor’s Business Daily.

Pros & Cons

Pros

  • No account opening or maintenance fees
  • $0 commission on stock, options and ETF trades
  • Over 2,000 ETFs and 7,000 mutual funds to choose from
  • Award-winning 24/7 customer service support

Cons

  • No crypto assets to invest in
  • Higher margin rates

Our Take

Charles Schwab is a well-known player in the brokerage industry for its customer satisfaction — it scored the highest in overall investor satisfaction in J.D Power’s 2023 Full-Service Investor Satisfaction Study. Schwab’s rollover IRA has no account or maintenance fees and no commission on most online trades.

Investors can build their IRA portfolio with a wide selection of options, including over 2,000 ETFs across a range of asset classes and about 7,000 mutual funds. Schwab also offers a range of over two dozen Schwab ETFs with expense ratios as low as 0.03%.

GREAT FOR: A ROBO-ADVISOR WITH NO MANAGEMENT FEES AND ADJUSTABLE RISK PROFILES

Provider Details

Schwab Intelligent Portfolios® is the robo-advising subsidiary of Charles Schwab. Schwab’s robo-advisor selects ETFs for investors’ portfolios based on how the investor answers questions about their goals, risk tolerance and investment timeline.

Pros & Cons

Pros

  • No advisory or management fees
  • Three investment strategies and six risk profiles to choose from
  • 24/7 live support

Cons

  • $5,000 account minimum
  • Automatic tax-loss harvesting only for clients with balances of $50,000 or more

Our Take

Schwab Intelligent Portfolios® stands out from other robo-advisors because it doesn’t charge any advisory or management fees. When you open an account, you can choose your risk profile from conservative to aggressive growth and investment strategies that are U.S.-focused, global or income-focused.

Schwab’s robo-advisor chooses from a diversified portfolio of over 50 low-cost ETFs to create strategies that align with each investor’s individual needs. The only major drawbacks to using this provider are the $5,000 account minimum and that tax-loss harvesting is only available on balances of $50,000 or more.

Best for Low-Risk Portfolios

GREAT FOR: ACCESSING THOUSANDS OF LOW-COST INDEX AND MUTUAL FUNDS

Best Self-Directed: Vanguard

Vanguard Logo

Provider Details

Founded by legendary business magnate John Bogle, Vanguard stands as the largest investment firm in the nation today. The company is best known for its selection of low-cost index and mutual funds.

Pros & Cons

Pros

  • Low average expense ratio (0.09%)
  • $0 commission for stocks, ETFs and Vanguard mutual funds
  • 160 Vanguard mutual funds have no transaction fee
  • Over 3,000 mutual funds to choose from

Cons

  • Most Vanguard mutual funds require a minimum investment of $3,000
  • Trading platform lacks tools and interactive features
  • $20 annual account fee, can be waived by signing up for e-delivery of account updates

Our Take

Vanguard’s low-cost funds are some of the best on the market, and their rollover IRA lets investors build their portfolio with 160 proprietary mutual funds that have no transaction fees. These Vanguard funds might require a high minimum investment, but there is no minimum amount required to open an account.

A Vanguard IRA could be a good choice for investors who just want to “set it and forget it” without paying for a robo-advisor. The trading platform doesn’t have the robust tools and analytics of other providers, but if all you’re doing is tucking away retirement money in low-risk, low-cost funds, you won’t need all those bells and whistles anyway.

GREAT FOR: HANDS-OFF INVESTING IN LOW-COST MUTUAL FUNDS

Best Robo-Advisor: Vanguard Digital Advisor

Vanguard Digital Advisors Logo

Provider Details

Vanguard Digital Advisor is a robo-advisor offered by the Vanguard Group. Vanguard Digital Advisor builds custom portfolios based on investors’ current savings, risk assessment and investment timeline.

Pros & Cons

Pros

  • Customized investment portfolios of mutual funds and ETFs
  • Automatically adjusts asset mix for tax efficiencies and financial goals
  • No advisory fees for first 90 days

Cons

  • $3,000 account minimum
  • 0.20% advisory fee
  • Cannot have non-Vanguard mutual funds or individual bonds in portfolio

Our Take

With Vanguard Digital Advisor, your rollover IRA portfolio will be filled with Vanguard’s own mutual funds and ETFs, renowned in the industry for their low expense ratios. The Digital Advisor’s algorithms will choose investments based on how you describe your risk assessment, current savings and investment timeline.

Vanguard Digital Advisor has a $3,000 account minimum and a typical advisory fee of 0.20%. However, new customers pay no advisory fees for the first 90 days of the account to help you start off right.

Best for Hands-On Investors

GREAT FOR: ACTIVE TRADERS WHO WANT ROBUST INVESTING RESOURCES
Provider Details

TD Ameritrade is a brokerage providing online stock trading, investing and retirement planning services to over 11 million customers. The company has since been acquired and is currently being integrated into Charles Schwab.

Pros & Cons

Pros

  • $0 commission for ETFs, stocks and mutual funds
  • Wide variety of investment options including 13,000+ mutual funds
  • Interactive tools, third-party research resources, personalized reporting and analysis

Cons

  • All accounts will move to Charles Schwab after acquisition

Our Take

For investors who want to actively manage their portfolios, a rollover IRA from TD Ameritrade comes with tons of resources to boost your trading knowledge and confidence. The company’s suite of interactive investing tools includes a retirement calculator, a Compare Funds tool, an X-Ray tool to evaluate mutual fund holdings, personalized screeners, technical analysis and third-party research provided by top firms like Morningstar.

Hands-on investors will also enjoy TD Ameritrade’s varied range of investment options, including stocks, bonds, ETFs, annuities, futures and over 13,000 mutual funds. When considering a rollover IRA from TD Ameritrade, customers should note that the company’s recent acquisition by Charles Schwab means that all investment accounts will eventually be moved over to Schwab.

Best for Varied Investment Options

GREAT FOR: ACCESSING A HUGE VARIETY OF INVESTMENT CHOICES FOR YOUR PORTFOLIO
Provider Details

E*TRADE is an online brokerage firm that pioneered online investment trading for consumers in the early 1980s. The global financial services firm Morgan Stanley acquired E*TRADE in 2020.

Pros & Cons

Pros

  • No account fees and no commissions on stocks, ETFs or mutual funds
  • Over 6,500 mutual funds and 50,000+ bond and CD offerings

Cons

  • $1 per bond charge for online secondary market trades ($10 minimum)
  • $0.50 to $0.65 charge per contract for options trading

Our Take

Those looking for the greatest variety of investment options might prefer a rollover IRA from E*TRADE. You can choose investments such as U.S.-listed stocks, ETFs, mutual funds and options trades, all without paying commissions or account fees. With over 6,500 mutual fund options, you can craft a portfolio that’s perfect for your goals and risk tolerance.

An E*TRADE rollover IRA might be especially attractive for investors with a conservative risk tolerance. The provider offers over 50,000 bond and CD offerings to build a portfolio designed with as little risk as desired.

Best for Integrating With Your Bank

GREAT FOR: STREAMLINING IRA CONTRIBUTIONS WITH LINKED CHECKING ACCOUNT
Provider Details

Merrill Edge is an online investment trading platform owned by Bank of America. Merrill’s offerings include self-directed and guided investment accounts including IRAs.

Pros & Cons

Pros

  • No annual account fees
  • No commission on stock, ETF or options trades
  • Can connect to a linked Bank of America account

Cons

  • Not as wide a variety of investment options as other brokerages

Our Take

Merrill Edge’s rollover IRA has no fees, no commission on stock, options or ETF trades, and a decent variety of mutual funds to build your portfolio. However, where Merrill Edge stands out is its ability to integrate with Bank of America accounts.

If you have a Bank of America checking account, for example, you can view balances and information about both your checking account and your Merrill IRA with a single mobile login. Merrill even allows you to transfer funds directly from your Bank of America account to your Merrill IRA instantly.

How Does a Rollover IRA Work?

A rollover IRA works by moving the funds from an employer-sponsored retirement plan into an individual retirement account, also known as an IRA. To be eligible for a rollover, the owner of the retirement plan must experience a distribution event; most of the time, this means that they are no longer employed at the company that sponsored their existing retirement plan.

A retirement plan can be rolled over into a traditional or a Roth IRA. The annual contribution and income limits for an IRA do not apply to rollover IRAs. You can roll over the entire value of your 401(k) or other employer-sponsored retirement plan into a rollover IRA in the same year. You can even contribute to a separate IRA that year up to the annual contribution limit ($6,500 in 2023).

The rules for withdrawals and required minimum distributions (RMDs) apply to rollover IRAs the same as other IRAs. For all IRAs, you’ll be subject to income taxes and a penalty if you withdraw funds from the account before you turn 59 1/2. Once you turn 73, you must withdraw a certain amount of money from your rollover IRA and any other IRAs each year.

Who Is a Rollover IRA Best Suited For?

A rollover IRA is best suited for someone who wants to move control over their retirement plan from their former employer to themselves. Usually, this means that you’ve left a job that has a 401(k) or similar tax-deferred plan, such as a 403(b), 457(b) or Thrift Savings Plan (TSP).

You might also consider a rollover IRA if an old employer goes out of business, dissolving the retirement plan you had with them. On a similar note, some people turn to rollover IRAs if their current IRA provider shuts down.

Finally, some people choose rollover IRAs to simplify their retirement savings. Even if you have a good relationship with a former employer, sometimes it’s just easier to have all your retirement savings in one place. By rolling over your old account into an IRA, you can continue contributing to that same account year after year.

Frequently Asked Questions About Rollover IRAs

What investment options do rollover IRAs typically have?

Rollover IRAs typically have the same investment options as other IRAs, including stocks, bonds, mutual funds and ETFs.

What fees are common for rollover IRAs?

Common rollover IRA fees include expense ratios, transaction fees and management or advisory fees.

What plans can you rollover into an IRA?

You can roll over employer-sponsored retirement plans, such as a 401(k) or a 403(b), into a rollover IRA.

Please seek the advice of a qualified professional before making financial decisions.
Last Modified: May 14, 2024
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