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Roll Your 401(k) Over to an IRA: The Best Providers

401(k), Brokers, Investing, IRA, Retirement Planning

When leaving a job, many people also leave their most valuable retirement asset behind: their 401(k), which sits where it is until retirement, quietly amassing fees.

But you can — and in most cases should — take it with you. Depending on your plan, 401(k) fees can be high. You’ll likely save money and open yourself to a wider range of investment options by rolling it over to an IRA.

The toughest part usually is choosing an IRA account provider. That’s where we come in. Here are NerdWallet’s picks for the best IRA providers for your IRA rollover.

Best IRA brokers for “do-it-yourself” investors

With these providers, investors build a portfolio of individual investments of their own choosing.

NerdWallet rating

Fees

$6.95

per trade

Account minimum

$0

Promotion

$100-$600

in cash bonus with a qualifying deposit

The bottom line

Merrill Edge offers high-quality customer service, robust research, low commissions and fees -- all with no account minimum for IRA investors. Customers of parent company Bank of America will love the seamless, thoughtful integration, with a single login to access both accounts.

Show pros & cons

Pros

  • No account minimum to access first-rate customer service.

  • Robust third-party research.

  • Ongoing promotions for opening and funding a qualified IRA account.

Reader favorite

Cons

  • No commission-free ETFs for IRA investors.

  • Minimum balance requirement for day trading platform.

Read full review
NerdWallet rating

Fees

$6.95

per trade

Account minimum

$0

Promotion

Up to $600

in cash bonus with a qualifying deposit

The bottom line

Retirement investors will find a lot to love with E-Trade’s IRA offering, including a large line-up of no-trading-fee mutual funds and an extensive library of retirement advice and tools. Plus, there’s no minimum account balance.

Show pros & cons

Pros

  • No minimum balance for IRAs

  • Extensive research and tools

  • 156 commission-free ETFs

  • 4,400+ no-transaction-fee (NTF) mutual funds

Reader favorite

Cons

  • $19.99 cost for trading non-NTF mutual funds

  • Higher trading fees for low-volume ETF and stock traders

Read full review
NerdWallet rating

Fees

$4.95

per trade

Account minimum

$0

Promotion

$50-$3,500

in cash bonus with a qualifying deposit

The bottom line

Ally Invest’s low commissions, no annual fee and no account minimum make it a good choice for IRA investors. For investors who want to be more active, the broker also offers a solid suite of research and tools, but IRA customers may be put off by closure and transfer-out fees.

Show pros & cons

Pros

  • Low commissions

  • No account minimum

  • No IRA annual fee

  • Strong web-based platform

  • Robust research and tools

Reader favorite

Cons

  • IRA closure fee of $25

  • IRA transfer out fee of $50

Read full review

Want more options? Here are the rest of our category winners for do-it-yourself investors:

Best IRA robo-advisors for “manage it for me” investors

These providers will assemble and manage a custom IRA portfolio for you, all for a modest price.

NerdWallet rating

Fees

0.25%

management fee

Account minimum

$500

Promotion

$5,000

amount of assets managed for free

The bottom line

Wealthfront takes the hassle out of IRA investing. The robo-advisor manages accounts by constructing portfolios out of low-cost ETFs, with a flat and low-cost fee structure that appeals to to investors seeking a hands-off approach. What’s more, the company has built client trust by offering free management on the first $5,000 invested (for NerdWallet readers).

Show pros & cons

Pros

  • Low-cost, hassle-free approach to IRA investing.

  • First $5,000 managed free (for NerdWallet readers).

  • Automatic rebalancing.

  • Free automated tax-loss harvesting.

Reader favorite

Cons

  • No large-balance discounts.

  • No access to human advisors.

Read full review
NerdWallet rating

Fees

0.25%

management fee

Account minimum

$0

Promotion

Up to 1 year

of free management with a qualifying deposit

The bottom line

With its low-cost ETFs, automatic rebalancing, extensive tax strategies and retirement advice, Betterment is a strong bet for retirement investors. Betterment’s planning tools include advice on “asset location” — which types of investments are best for different types of accounts — and investors can sync outside accounts, as well.

Show pros & cons

Pros

  • No account minimum

  • Extensive tax strategies

  • Robust goal-based tools

  • Free automated tax-loss harvesting

Reader favorite

Cons

  • Limited investment options

Read full review

» Not sure where to start? See our guide to 401(k)-to-IRA rollovers.

Best IRA providers for a 401(k) rollover

Broker
Best
for
Highlights
Commissions
Promotion
Account minimum
Start investing

Merrill Edge

Merrill Edge
No account minimum
First-rate customer service
$6.95
per trade
Up to $600 cash bonus and 300 free trades with a qualifying deposit
$0

E*Trade

E*Trade
No account minimum
Waives $500 account minimum for IRAs
$6.95
per trade; volume discounts
Up $600 cash bonus with a qualifying deposit
$0

Ally Invest

Ally
Active traders
Competitive commissions, no account minimum
$4.95
per trade
90 days of free trades with a qualifying deposit
$0

TD Ameritrade

Overall
Commission-free:
290+ ETFs, 4,100+ funds
$6.95
per trade
Trade commission-free for 60 days and up to $600 cash bonus with qualifying deposit
$0

Betterment

Betterment
Hands-off investors
Offers phone access to human advisors for a higher fee
0.25%-0.40% of account balance
per year
Up to one year of free management with qualifying deposit
$0

Wealthfront

Wealthfront
Hands-off investors
Manages first $5,000 for free
0.25% of account balance
per year
$5,000 managed free (for NerdWallet readers)
$500

Charles Schwab

Charles Schwab
Overall
Commission-free:
240+ ETFs, 4,300+ funds
$4.95
per trade
$100 referral award for first-time clients
$1,000 (waived with $100 monthly auto-investment)

Interactive Brokers

Active traders
Discounts for frequent traders; among best platforms
$0.005
per share;
min. $1, max. 0.5% of trade value
Special terms for clients 25 and younger
$5,000

Fidelity

Fidelity Investments IRA

Low cost
Commission-free: 91 ETFs,
3,700+ funds
$4.95
per trade
Up to 500 free trades with a qualifying deposit
$0

Vanguard

Vanguard
Low cost
Commission-free: 70 ETFs, 2,800 funds
$2 to $20 per trade depending on account balance
None
$0