Rollover Options for Your 401(k) Retirement Plan: A Comprehensive Guide

Introduction: What is a 401(k) Plan?

A 401(k) plan is a retirement savings plan sponsored by an employer. It allows employees to save and invest a portion of their paycheck before taxes are taken out. The plan is named after Section 401(k) of the Internal Revenue Code, which established these types of employer-sponsored retirement plans in 1978. Over the years, 401(k) plans have become one of the most popular ways for Americans to save for retirement.

Historical Context

The 401(k) plan was introduced in the United States in 1981 as a way to encourage long-term savings. The plan gained rapid popularity due to its tax advantages and the ability for employers to match contributions. Today, it is one of the most common types of employer-sponsored retirement plans, alongside others like 403(b) and 457(b) plans.

Key Statistics

  • Average 401(k) Balances by Age: According to Fidelity Investments, as of the third quarter of 2022, the average 401(k) plan balance was $97,200. The average balance varies by age group, with those in their 60s having the highest average balance of $182,100.
  • Contribution Rates: The average employee 401(k) contribution rate was 13.8% in 2022.
  • Comparison with Other Plans: A 2019 Government Accountability Office study found that nearly 48% of Americans age 55 and older didn’t have any retirement nest egg or traditional pension plan as of 2016.Source: Investopedia

Rollover Options for Diversification and Inflation Protection

401k rollover options

Traditional IRA

Rolling over your 401(k) into a Traditional IRA can offer more investment options and potentially lower fees. It also allows for easier consolidation of multiple retirement accounts.

Roth IRA

A Roth IRA offers tax-free withdrawals in retirement. However, you’ll have to pay taxes on the amount you roll over.

Gold and Silver IRA

Investing in a Gold and Silver IRA can be a good hedge against inflation. These IRAs allow you to invest in physical gold and silver, providing a tangible asset that often moves inversely to the stock market.


Some people choose to roll over their 401(k) into an annuity to provide a guaranteed income stream in retirement.

Real Estate Investment

You can also consider rolling over your 401(k) into a self-directed IRA that allows for real estate investments. This can provide both diversification and a hedge against inflation.

Why Gold and Silver IRAs Can Be a Good Idea

Gold and Silver IRAs offer a way to diversify your retirement portfolio with physical assets. They can act as a hedge against inflation and economic downturns. Moreover, they offer the potential for significant long-term gains.


Rollover options for your 401(k) are plentiful and can offer various benefits, including diversification and protection against inflation. It’s crucial to consult with a financial advisor to determine the best strategy for your individual needs.

Reference Links

  1. Investopedia: The Average 401(k) Balance by Age
  2. IRS: 401(k) Plans
  3. Gold IRA Guide
  4. Annuities and 401(k) Rollovers

The Average 401(k) Balance by Age