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Direct transfer

A method to move funds from one Individual Retirement Account (IRA) or Keogh plan to another. You can also use this method to move money from a company retirement plan such as a 401(k) to an IRA. With a direct transfer, you order one sponsor to transfer the money directly to your new IRA; you do not take possession of the funds. There is no limit on the number of times you can move your money via direct transfer. However, if you take possession of the funds and personally deposit them in the new IRA, the switch is considered a rollover. You can use the rollover method only once each year for each IRA account you own. The direct transfer method must be used to move funds from a company retirement plan to an IRA, or else 20 percent of the money withdrawn from the company plan will be withheld for the IRS, even if no taxes are due.