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One other thing, though - I also remember that the Hancock people told me I could not touch a Conversion Roth for 5 years. I believe they meant I could not get a distribution from it, even if I wanted to (penalties included).

Are they right, and does that include the type of rollover you are talking about?

As Mr. Clinton might say, it depends on what the meaning of "touch" is. Oops, I didn't really think about the double meaning of that one before I saw it in print. Oh, well.

Anyway, you can touch anything you like in any way you like any time you like. Contrary to what the people at Hancock may think, it remains your money even though you've entrusted them with it. If you take a distribution from your Roth IRA within 5 years of your first Roth contribution, it's not a qualified distribution, which means that all or part of it may be subject to tax or penalty. A rollover such as you contemplate is not a distribution. (For the sake of completeness, I'll mention that all qualified Roth distributions meet the 5-year rule, but not all distributions that meet the 5-year rule are qualified.)

Phil Marti

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