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  • Jan 27, 2014, 02:24 PM
    401k name change
    I got a 401k distribution check for rollover. The IRA company wants a new check because my first name is not the same. My name changed due to citizenship.

    Can I deposit the original check to my personal bank account and send my IRA a check with the same amount or do I have to send the original check back to my old 401k company, change name, and get a new check?

    I am not so sure about sending a live check with a large sum amount back to an old 401k company...

    Thank you
  • Jan 27, 2014, 02:54 PM
    The check from the 401(k) is made out to you? That's a bit unusual - what most people do (and I would have advised) is a direct rollover from the 401(k) to the IRA. The IRA company would have handled all the details. But now that you actually have a check made out to you - yes, you can deposit it and then write a check to the IRA company, However, be aware that IRS rules requires that the total elapsed time from the date the 401(k) distribution is made to the date your new account is funded must be less then 60 days. So be aware that the time interval to deposit the check in your account, have it clear, you write the check to the IRA and mail it, the post office delivers it, the new account is set up, your personal check deposited against it, and your check clears must all happen in those 60 days. If the time interval is exceeded the IRS will consider the distribuition from your 401(k) as being taxable to you.

    My advice is call the IRA and ask about this plan - see whether they might suggest another plan of attack. For example, if you can make an electronic transfer from your checking account to the IRA that would eliminate several of these steps. Also - have any taxes been withheld from the distribution you received? I hope the answer is "no" because if "yes" you will have to add in additional cash to the IRA rollover to avoid tax consequences. Post back and I can walk you through what some of those implications are.
  • Jan 27, 2014, 03:17 PM
    Thank you for your response. The check was made out to my IRA company name fbo and my name.

    I just checked with the IRA company that they will accept the personal check with a proper form that they require me to fill out. They weren't sure whether I could deposit the check to my checking account since the pay to the order includes their name.
  • Jan 27, 2014, 03:26 PM
    Good - I'm glad it's resolved. It's unlikely your bank would let you deposit the check given that the IRA company name is listed as payee.

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