FAQ – Individual Retirement Accounts

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Can you still work at the school that you're employed at and roll your 403(b) plan into an outside IRA? One that isn't on the approved list? When can you re-enter the 403(b) to make deposits again?

In most cases, you cannot take money out of your 403(b) plan to roll into an IRA if you are still employed by the district offering the 403(b) plan, unless you are at least age 59 ½. In-service distributions (those allowed while you are still working) are limited to those age 59 ½ or older, in certain hardship cases or through loans. Once you leave employment, or if you reach age 59 ½ while still employed, you may be able to roll your 403(b) balance into an IRA. If you choose, you can stop making contributions to your district's 403(b) plan and direct the money you would have used for future 403(b) contributions into an IRA. Keep in mind, however, that the contribution limits for an IRA are much lower than for a 401(k) (in 201​5, $5,500 vs. $1​8,​000 if you are under age 50). You might also consider opening an IRA in addition to contributing to your 403(b).

Note that the district does not approve IRA vendors. If you decide you want to re-enter your 403(b) plan, the rules depend on the district. However, generally there are no restrictions. You can choose to participate in the plan whenever you choose. Consult your district for more information.

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