Simple IRA rollovers may sound complicated, but they’re actually quite easy to manage, as long as you select a good account provider. In fact, there are three things you’ll want to consider when choosing a new provider to handle your Simple IRA rollover. Keeping these factors in mind will help you make the best choices for your Simple IRA rollover process and long term retirement goals.
The Reputation of Your Account Provider
The first thing you’ll want to consider is the reputation of the institution that will be managing and holding your new Simple IRA. Unfortunately, the size and the age of the institution no longer offer any guarantees as to the stability of a financial institution. Both state and federal agencies regulate financial institutions and will be happy to provide information on any current investigations or pending cases about an institution with which you’re considering doing business.
Another way to check the reputation of a Simple IRA plan provider is to inquire as to what professional organizations they have membership in and whether they’re in good standing with these groups. Any institution that doesn’t want to tell you what professional organizations they hold membership in should be avoided. Of course, membership in professional organizations isn’t a guarantee of quality, but it will give you access to some of the standards and practices that financial organizations must adhere to, as well as giving you a place to register a complaint for any situations that don’t rise to the level of illegality.
Evaluating Customer Service Records
The next thing you’ll want to evaluate when it comes to Simple IRA plans is customer service. What you’re purchasing with your money is, in essence, not only the judgment of the provider, but how well they serve you and your needs. If you cannot find current customers who can give you a good report on the habits of these institutions, you should view them very, very carefully. After all, you shouldn’t have a reasonable expectation that you’ll be treated differently than existing customers.
Understanding the Simple IRA Provider’s Investment Strategies
When you go in to speak with an account representative at a potential provider, you’ll want to ask what type of investment strategies the Simple IRA plan provider uses. You need to make sure that their investment strategies are in line with both your short term and your long term goals. Don’t rely solely on their promotional materials or sales pitches. Instead, ask to see a copy of their current financial statements and/or information on a current account with customer names removed.
While knowing past fund performance could be a good indicator, as any competent and ethical manager will tell you, past performance is no guarantee of future returns. It is the other, more reliable indicators outlined here that can give you a feel for the competency and the professionalism of the Simple IRA provider you’re considering doing business with.
In your final analysis, keep in mind that even a relatively secure investment like a Simple IRA has a certain level of risk. It’s up to you to determine the best location for your investments.