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How do waiting periods work on a 401(k) to Roth 401(k) conversion?

When you withdraw monies from a 401(k) plan, pay the taxes, and reinvest the balance into a Roth 401(k), is there a waiting period of five years before the profit is tax free? Also, if you do this yearly, must each conversion amount be held for five years? Or, once the Roth 401(k) is open, is it only one five-year period?

Financial Planning, 401(k), IRAs, Taxes
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4 days ago

There are two five-year rules regarding Roth IRAs or Roth 410(k)s.


1) You must wait five years from the tax year of your first Roth IRA contribution, and you must be age 59 1/2 or older, before you can withdraw earnings from the account tax-free. This five-year clock begins ticking January 1st of the year you made your first account contribution.


2) If you do a Roth conversion, you must wait five years from January 1st of the year you made the conversion, to avoid a 10% penalty on withdrawals made before age 59 /12.

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