Difference Between Rollover and Transfer

There are numerous options available for the transfer of funds. They are either moved between accounts or banks.

Based on the nature of the transaction, there is specific terminology utilized. Rollover implies reinvesting mature funds into a new issue of a similar nature.

A transfer is changing the ownership of the funds.

Rollover vs Transfer

The main difference between a rollover and a transfer is the nature of the account movement. In a rollover, you request the distribution of your retirement plan. The funds paid to the taxpayer are taxable, and even a penalty is applicable if the entire amount is not rollover. In transfer, the transaction occurs between two accounts of different nature. For example, transfer money from the traditional fund from ABC bank to a similar fund at XYZ bank.

Rollover vs Transfer

In a rollover, there is a transfer of funds to another without affecting the tax payment. The rollover occurs when the person reinvests from the mature fund into similar security.

In case it is a direct rollover, the fund gets automatically transferred into a new investment.

In transfer, there is a movement of assets, funds, or ownership rights from one account to another. It may even mean moving the account from one bank into another.

Brokerage, cryptocurrency, loan transfer are a few examples of transfer.

Comparison Table Rollover and Transfer

Parameters of ComparisonRolloverTransfer
TypeRollover occurs between two different types of funds.Transfer occurs between similar types of accounts.
TaxableIn a rollover, it is generally taxable.The transfer is not taxable.
PaymentRollover is paid to the investor.It is directly transferred to the fund.
Time-FrameRollover has a time gap of sixty days to re-invest.It is immediately transferred to a similar fund.
LimitationsYou can have one rollover in a year.In transfers, there are no limits.

What is Rollover?

In a rollover, it is switching over from a contract that is nearing the expiry date and opening a new similar contract. When you want to exit a fund in February and have a new position in March, this process of moving your stance from one month into another is rolling over.

Rollovers help in earning money through immediate income from day trading or tax-saving from a retirement plan. 

Rollover in Retirement Account:

In a direct rollover, the administrator of the retirement plan directly pays the proceeds to another fund. It may be through a cheque payable in the name of the other fund.

There could be a disbursement from the trustee to the trustee transfer. 

In the case of a 60-day rollover, the funds are paid directly to the depositor from the retirement plan. The depositor may invest some or all into another fund within sixty days.

Taxes are applicable only on the sixty-day rollover for the funds not rolled over. 

Rollover in Forex Account:

The forex traders make money from the positive side of the rollover equation. They compute swap points between the spot rate and the forward rate of a specific currency pair. 

The traders compute the swap on a specific date by considering the benefit of lending one currency and borrowing another based on the spot value and the forward delivery date. The trader makes money on the interest rollover payment.

What is Transfer?

A transfer involves the movement of funds, ownership from one account to another. In transfer, along with transfer of ownership, there is a fund exchanged based on the negotiated price like real estate.

In nominal terms, the transfer involves the movement of funds, assets, or new ownership. The word transfer has a different understanding based on the industries. 

Bank Transfer:

When the account holder moves funds between various account options within the bank, salary to saving providing high interest, it is called a transfer. There can be interbank transfer and even cross-border transfer through wire transfer

In case of fund transfer, the account can be in the same bank or any part globally. The fund transfer generally occurs for payment of goods or services, investments options, or even to save money. 

Brokerage Transfer:

An investor may transfer funds from one investment account into another to fund their investment plan. Bonds, mutual funds, shares transfer in-kind between investment accounts.

Asset Title Transfer:

An asset like vehicles, land, or home transfer occurs through a sale or gifting. The owner can transfer the title to anyone, and ownership title changes by transfer by selling the property.

Loan Transfer:

Loans are transferable. For example, a homeowner with a loan can transfer the mortgage to the buyer of the property.

After selling the vehicle, the owner can transfer the title along with the loan.

Main Differences Between Rollover and Transfer

  1. A Rollover occurs between two different types of funds. Transfer occurs between accounts of the same kind.
  2. Rollover is generally taxable for the fund not rolled over. The transfer is not taxable.
  3. Rollover is payable to the taxpayer. In transfer, the fund gets directly transferred to the fund.
  4. Rollover has a time frame of sixty days after distribution to find another fund. In transfer, once the fund reaches the due aggregate, it is transferred to a similar fund.
  5. In a rollover, when it is indirect, there is a limit of only one rollover in a year. In transfer, there is no limit in the number of transfers in a year.
Difference Between Rollover and Transfer


The main difference between transfer and rollovers is taxation. In the indirect rollover, the amount not rolled over is taxable.

In the transfer, the amount gets directly transferred to the other fund. A direct rollover or a transfer is the most utilized fund movement.

It is about maximizing the output with no tax liability.

When it comes to investment, no strategy gets cut for all. Some investors prefer getting money on hand and even if it is for a few days before reinvestment.

It could get used for a short-term opportunity. Some prefer rolling the entire amount or transferring the amount without holding onto a single penny.

Whatever decision gets taken by the investor both, transfer and rollover are profitable. Choosing between the two depends on your financial situation and what suits your best in that specific situation.


  1. https://ieeexplore.ieee.org/abstract/document/6480893/
  2. https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1080/00423114.2017.1321773
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