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Greetings, Helter, and welcome.

<<1) No matter how your distribution end up in a Rollover IRA, it will be eligible to be rolled into a qualified plan-your next employer's 40(k) plan, for example - as long as you don't make contributions to the Rollover account.
// my interpretation - you can roll into the next plan as long as you don't add to it// >>

That's correct. As long as the rollover (or "conduit") IRA receives no other monies except those transferred from qualified retirement plans, then the original rollover(s) and all earnings remain eligible for a later transfer to a new employer's qualified retirement plan. The new plan, though, does not have to accept the old money. Such acceptance is an option the plan may or may not adopt within its documents. If you transfer or rollover another IRA that is not exclusively composed of qualified plan monies and earnings (i.e., a "regular" IRA) or make contributions to the "conduit" IRA, then the conduit IRA is considered "tainted" and loses its eligibility for later transfer to a new employer's plan.

<<2) In contrast, if your distribution is deposited into a non-rollover IRA, you lose the ability to roll over the funds into another qualifid plan if you make contributions to the account. You will still be able to make annual contributions to this account.
//my interpretation - you can't roll it into the next plan if you add to it// >>

Essentially correct. See my response above.

<<So, I'm guessing: ADDING TO A ROLLOVER, TURNS IT INTO A STANDARD? and A STANDARD is a ROLLOVER until you add to it??>>

As stated, add anything EXCEPT money from another qualifed retirement plan to a rollover or "conduit" IRA and that IRA becomes tainted forevermore. It changes into a plain ole vanilla, traditional IRA that cannot be transferred to a new employer's qualified retirement plan.

<<What am I missing here? Is there really no such thing as a 'rollover IRA' is it just a term used to describe a traditional IRA that was funded by a rollover that is still eligeable to be rolled into a new employers plan? Any insight would be helpful.>>

A rollover or "conduit" IRA has always been a form of traditional IRA. It's just one that contains money that originated from an old employer's qualified retirement plan and nothing else beyond the earnings on those monies.


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