Can I Convert a 529 Plan to a Roth IRA? Understanding the New Rules for 2024

Recent changes in financial planning impact education and retirement savings. Starting in 2024, a major rule change allows moving funds from a 529 plan to a Roth IRA. This new option lets savers turn education savings into retirement funds, a much-anticipated change.

What is a 529 Plan?

A 529 plan is a state-sponsored, tax-advantaged plan for education savings. Named after Section 529 of the Internal Revenue Code, it encourages saving for future education costs.

The Roth IRA Advantage

A Roth IRA is a retirement account with tax-free growth and withdrawals. Contributions are after-tax, and earnings and withdrawals remain tax-free under certain conditions.

The New 2024 Rule: Converting 529 to Roth IRA

Starting January 1, 2024, you can transfer up to $35,000 from a 529 plan to a Roth IRA without penalties or taxes. This is ideal for those with unused 529 funds.  The 529 plan must be at least 15 years old.  Funds rolled over from a Roth count as an annual contribution.  Prior to April 15, 2024 some of those funds could be a 2023 contribution.  The cap of $35,000 is a lifetime cap.  For 2023 the contribution cap for a Roth is $6,500 or $7,500 if you are 50+  For 2024 the Roth contribution cap is $7,000 with a $1,000 catch-up contribution for those 50+.

Key Conditions for the Conversion

– Lifetime Limit:** The rollover cap is $35,000 per beneficiary.
– Beneficiary’s Roth IRA:** The rollover must go into the 529 plan beneficiary’s Roth IRA.
– Tax and Penalty Free:** The transfer avoids the usual 10% penalty and taxes.

Who Benefits from This Change?

Parents and students with excess 529 funds benefit the most. For example, leftover funds due to scholarships can now boost retirement savings.

Planning Ahead

This rule is a new tool for managing education and retirement savings. It’s wise to consult a financial advisor for personalized planning.


This overview is not financial advice. For specific guidance, consult a financial professional. Contact us at uDirect IRA Services for self-directed inquiries: