Tuesday, July 16, 2024

Can You Have More Than One 401k

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Can I Have More Than One 401 Account

Why STOP at just one 401k? // Side Hustle Double 401k to max retirement plan contributions

The short answer is yes. You can have more than one 401 account as long as the total contributed to those accounts in any given year does not exceed $19,500 .

If youre self-employed or have two jobs, you can contribute to 401 accounts for each one. If you separate from your employer, you have the option of where it is , rolling it over to an IRA, or rolling it into your new 401.

The two most common scenarios for employees who switch jobs are to leave the 401 with the previous employer or roll it over into an IRA. Keep reading to find out more about the pros and cons of each option.

How To Contribute To Multiple 401s Legally


Adding contributions to your 401 or other salary deferral type retirement account can be an effective way of ramping up your retirement nest egg. Consider that for 2018, you can defer up to 100% of your compensation, as long as the amount does not exceed $18,500 for 2018/$19,000 for 2019, plus an additional $6,000 catch-up contribution if you are at least age 50 by the end of the year.

The compound effect of tax-deferred growth potentially tax-free in case of a Roth account- makes savings in these accounts even more attractive. But be careful! While contributing to your 401 account can be beneficial, exceeding the statutory limit could cost you a lot.

So, its important, to make sure that your contributions do not exceed the statutory limits. This is usually easy to do when you have one account to monitor, but becomes a bit challenging when more than one account is involved.

As you wind down your retirement and tax planning tasks for this year, and get ready for the new year, consider the following strategies if you have multiple 401s. For the purpose of this article, use of the term 401 will include 403 and Thrift Savings Plans .

Maximize for Full Employer Match

One of the first rules of deciding how much to contribute to your 401 account, is finding out how much matching contribution you will receive from your employer. The bigger your contribution, the bigger your match, up to a certain amount.

Contributing to More Than One 401

457 Plan Is a Bonus

What Are The Rules Regarding Multiple Iras

The IRS does not set rules about having multipleIRA accounts. However, when you are wondering, Can I have twoIRAs? it is important to understand that the aggregate amount of yourcontributions to all of your individual IRA accounts cannot exceed the maximumfor the year. If you are under age 50, you can contribute a total of $6,000 totraditional or Roth accounts.

If you are age 50 or older, you can contribute anadditional $1,000 per year to your traditional or Roth account for a total of$7,000. This is a total amount, meaning that you cannot contribute that much toeach separate IRA that you own.

Also Check: Can You Transfer 403b To 401k

The Benefits Of Owning Multiple Ira Accounts

There are times when having multiple IRA accounts can be a clear benefit.

Heres some examples:

SIPC or FDIC insurance limits. If you are a fixed income investor, and prefer the safety of banks, there is a $250,000 FDIC insurance limit for bank accounts. If your IRA balances are higher than this, you may need to maintain an IRA at two or more banks. The same is true of SIPC insurance. The limit is $500,000 in cash and securities per account, which includes $250,000 in cash. If your IRA balance exceeds $500,000, you might have more than one account.

You feel safer not having all of your eggs in one basket. Apart from either FDIC or SIPC insurance, you might just feel safer having your retirement assets spread across two or three accounts, rather than in a single account. Even though your funds are insured, the thought of bank or broker default can be unnerving in connection with something as important as your retirement savings.

Diversification into very specific investment accounts. There may be certain investment vehicles that specialize in certain investment types. For example, you may have one thats a low-cost trading account, another thats a family of funds, and still a third that invests in specific sectors, such as real estate or natural resources.

Different types of IRA accounts. As mentioned earlier, you may have a traditional IRA and a Roth IRA. And if youre self-employed, you might also have a SEP IRA. It largely depends upon personal circumstances.

When To Update Your Beneficiary

Can You Have Multiple 401(k) Accounts?

You should update your beneficiary designations any time you have a major life event, such as marriage, divorce, separation, a death in the family or the birth or adoption of a child. Of course, it can be difficult to remember to update paperwork amid major life events. For that reason, its a good idea to make reviewing your 401 beneficiaries something you do annually.

If you do need to update your beneficiary, it will likely take only a few minutes. Most plan custodians allow you to change your beneficiary online in just a few minutes, or print out the paperwork necessary to do so. If you cant find instructions on your plans website, check with the benefits department at your workplace to get the beneficiary designation form and a spousal waiver .

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How Much Salary Can You Defer If Youre Eligible For More Than One Retirement Plan

The amount of salary deferrals you can contribute to retirement plans is your individual limit each calendar year no matter how many plans you’re in. This limit must be aggregated for these plan types:

  • 401
  • SIMPLE plans plans)

If youre in a 457 plan, you have a separate limit that includes both employee and employer contributions.

Make sure you dont exceed your individual limit. If you do and the excess isnt returned by April 15 of the next year, you could be subject to double taxation:

  • once in the year you deferred your salary, and
  • again when you receive a distribution.

Read Also: How Do I Set Up A 401k For My Employees

Can You Have More Than One 401k

Answer by worker76

Of course you can. It’s sort of like having more than one bank account. It’s your investment and up to you how you want to invest it.

Answer by Rasa

Yes, you can. A 401k plan is administered by the company for which you work, so if you change employers, you start a new 401k with the new employer.

Can You Have Multiple 401ks

You HAVE To Do More Than Just Your 401k!

Here’s the deal. Many physicians work for multiple employers or work as an employee and either an independent contractor or a consultant. Many others have a side job of another type. Their incomes are far higher than they require for their current spending needs, but they’re behind on their savings or otherwise have a desire to maximize the amount of money they can put into retirement accounts, especially tax-deferred retirement accounts.

Obviously, these types of accounts minimize tax, maximize returns, increase asset protection, and facilitate estate planning. Who wouldn’t want to get more money into them? However, most of these doctors are surprised to learn that they can have more than one 401. That’s right,

Recommended Reading: How Is A 401k Divided In A Divorce

Two For The Money: Can I Contribute To Two Retirement Plans If I Work Two Jobs

Its a simple question. Can you contribute to two retirement plans if you work two jobs? And lets face it. Its a good question to ask. Perhaps you make a nice salary at a corporate day job and are running a small side business that is starting to generate profits. Take the time to understand the rules when planning your retirement savings: as long as the two businesses you work for have no legal overlap or affiliated relationship, indeed you can contribute to two retirement plans.

As long as the two businesses you work for have no legal overlap or affiliated relationship, then yes you can contribute to two retirement plans.

You can contribute $58,000 per job up to a total of $116,000 contributions each year to your defined contribution plans, including 401 plans, , profit-sharing plans, and 403 plans. So you can, quite literally, double the amount of your contribution. And dont forget retirement contributions can help shelter you income, so money you put away from your successful consulting business can also help reduce your tax bill.

Percent Employer Contributions Limit

If you own your own business, you are limited to putting in 20 percent of net earnings from self-employment into a 401 account. This does include the employee contribution to the retirement account.

Net earnings exclude the amount used for S-Corp distributions since its not considered earned income.

Recommended Reading: Does Employer Match Count Towards 401k Limit

What Taxes Will My Beneficiaries Have To Pay On An Inherited 401

Typically, inheritances arent taxable income as far as the IRS is concerned . But thats not always the case with inherited 401 accounts.

If you have a traditional 401 , then your accounts contributions have not yet been taxed. You funded the account with pre-tax income or employer contributions, and the earnings on those contributions have not been taxed either. As a result, when your beneficiary takes withdrawals from the account, those distributions are considered taxable income, and they will need to pay income tax.

Before Jan. 1, 2020, 401 heirs had the option of stretching payments and thus the related tax bills over their life expectancy. But the Setting Every Community Up for Retirement Enhancement Act changed that now, beneficiaries have to withdraw assets from an inherited 401 within 10 years after the account holders death.

There are some exceptions:

If your beneficiary falls into one of these exception categories, they should talk to a financial advisor or tax professional before withdrawing any funds to ensure to take advantage of any potential tax planning or saving opportunities.

Naming a beneficiary for your 401 might seem like an inconsequential part of saving for retirement, but think carefully about who you want to inherit your account if you pass away unexpectedly then be sure to update your beneficiary forms when things change.

Multiple 401 Rules What To Do With Multiple 401k Accounts

Can I Have More Than One IRA?

I first wrote about multiple 401 accounts back in 2013 in a post entitled Beating the $51K Limit . Well, the $51K limit has since grown into the $58K limit in 2021 thanks to inflation, but all the same principles still apply.

I get tons of questions on multiple employer 401 in our Forum, Podcast, , and Reddit groups, in the comments sections of the posts on this site, and by email. Heck, this post already has over 1,000 comments! Mostly, I wrote this post so I could copy and paste its URL instead of typing the same old stuff over and over again.

Read Also: Does 401k Roll Over From Job To Job

Beneficiary: How It Works And What To Consider When Naming One

Editorial Note: The content of this article is based on the authors opinions and recommendations alone and is not intended to be a source of investment advice. It may not have not been reviewed, commissioned or otherwise endorsed by any of our network partners or the Investment company.

A 401 beneficiary is the person who will receive the money in your retirement account upon your death. That sounds pretty simple, but there are several things about naming a beneficiary that you should know especially if youre married, divorced or considering naming your children as beneficiaries. We will walk you through the ins and outs of picking a beneficiary, as well as what happens if you dont.

Example For Multiple Iras

If you have more than one IRA, here is an example of how to handle RMDs.

Lets use the example of a single woman named Jan who turns 74 in 2022. At the end of 2021, Jan has two tax-deferred IRAs: one worth $700,000 and one worth $25,000.

Under the new Uniform Lifetime Table for 2022, the divisor Jan would use for each account is 25.5. For the $700,000 account, the RMD would be $27,451. For the $25,000 account, the RMD would be $980, which makes for a combined total of $28,431.

Before Jan takes any action in 2022, she needs to consult with her tax adviser, who ideally knows her personal situation and can provide individualized advice about the best way for her to proceed.

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If I Have A 401 Loan Can I Get Another Loan Prior To Repayment

Each 401 plan can make its own rules about participant loans, within certain limits. Many allow participants to take multiple loans, as the availability to dip into the funds if needed may encourage more people to use 401s to save for retirement. However, both your individual plan and the Internal Revenue Service may restrict the amount you can borrow.


  • Read the plan conditions to find out if you can take multiple loans. Even if multiple loans are permitted, you cannot take out more than $50,000 or half the vested balance in loans from any given plan.

What Are The Advantages Of Rolling Over A 401 To An Ira

How IRAs Work And Why They Are More Popular Than 401(k)s

Doing a 401 rollover to an IRA offers perks that can include more diverse investment selections than a typical 401 plan, perhaps cheaper investments and lower account fees. It’s also a way to keep your retirement funds organized and ensure you have easy access to them. And while some 401 plans pass account management fees along to the employees, many IRAs charge no account fees.

In summary, it’s a good way to save money, stay organized and make your money work harder.

Recommended Reading: How To Find My 401k Balance

Can You Have More Than One 401 Account

Yes, you can, but having multiple 401 plans floating around isnt a good idea and should be avoided. Over the 1994-2014 period, 25 million 401 holders separated from an employer and left at least one account behind and several millions of those holders left two or more 401s behind. A combination of limited portability of old 401 funds into new 401 plans, potential for forced-transfer into an IRA account, and automatic enrollment into new 401 plans sets the stage for more and more Americans owning multiple 401 plans throughout their careers.

Should I Have More Than One Financial Advisor

We do believe people should have a financial advisor. Advisors can help you with how much and what type of insurance you may need, planning for your estate, how to invest your money, what you can do to help reduce taxes, and most importantly, how to get the most enjoyment from the money you worked so hard for.

If advisors are great, you might be thinking, Should I have more than one financial advisor? Generally, we do not think this is good idea. The reason is if youre turning to several advisors, you become responsible for what each advisor is doing, as if you were managing your own accounts. Ultimately, it creates more work for you as the go-between and you may be reducing efficiencies in the process.

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Can I Have Two Iras

If you are wondering, Can I have two IRAs? orcan I open multiple Roth IRA accounts? the answer is yes. It ispossible for you to have two or more IRAs. If you are wondering how many IRAscan one person have, the answer is that you can have several. Situations inwhich you might have more than one IRA include if you roll over the savingsfrom a 401k into a traditional IRA and also have a Roth IRA.

Similarly, you might have a SEP or SIMPLE IRA at your joband a Roth IRA outside of your work. If you have multipleIRA accounts, it is important that you understand the rules and howthe contribution limits work.

How Much Can You Contribute

Rules For Having More Than One 401(k) Guess what? You can ...

Once you have your accounts set up, there are a few more questions that need to be answered. What are the limits to how much you can contribute for each account? How often can you contribute, if you have more than one?

First, lets answer the simple question. You can contribute to multiple retirement plans in the same tax year without penalty. If you are working a full-time job and building your own company on the side, that means you can contribute to both your employer-based 401k and also set money aside this year in a Solo 401k. In fact, the IRS even has an example of how much you can contribute to multiple retirement plans on their website.

Now that we know contributions to multiple retirement plans in the same tax year are allowed, lets look at the deferral limits. The IRS provides a detailed breakdown of the formula here. For 2019, the IRS has set the basic limit on paycheck deferrals at either $19,000 for the year or 100 percent of the employees check, whichever is less. Thats $19,000 total, no matter how many jobs or employer-based retirement plans you have.

If you try to defer more than that limit, a red flag goes up and you get penalized. To get a handle on your numbers, check out our contribution calculator. And always work with your CPA to ensure your contributions are calculated correctly. When you contribute to multiple retirement plans, its important not to over contribute and create a potential tax liability.

Read Also: When Can I Draw From My 401k Without Penalty

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