PNC IRA Review (ROTH IRA Rates and Fees)

PNC Roth IRA, Traditional IRA, Rollover IRA (individual retirement accounts) review. PNC IRA CD rates and fees. Is PNC IRA a safe way to invest?

PNC IRA Account

PNC has been providing banking services since 1845 and is placed among the top ten banking institutions in the U.S. There is a long list of financial products available at PNC, including retirement accounts.

Keep reading to learn more about PNC’s Traditional and Roth IRAs.

PNC IRA Availability

PNC offers two types of individual retirement accounts: Traditional IRA and Roth IRA. Each option comes with unique benefits, features, and management options.

Traditional Vs. Roth IRAs at PNC

Depending on your goals and retirement strategy, either option could be a good fit, but knowing their differences is good. PNC’s Roth IRA is a tax-advantaged account that allows investors to pay taxes when withdrawals are made. The Traditional IRA option uses after-tax money.

Traditional IRAs can potentially boost your account size over time since a larger starting balance produces interest and capital gains. However, there are still questions about how tax laws will change over time and which tax bracket you expect to be in when making withdrawals.

Roth IRAs remove some of the tax uncertainties because they are funded with after-tax money. Capital gains and interest payments are also tax-free in Roth IRAs. Roth IRAs benefit investors expecting to be in a higher tax bracket during retirement since they don’t have to pay higher rates on distributions. However, there are some income limitations for Roth accounts.

Here is some more specific information about PNC’s retirement accounts.

Account Management Options

Whichever PNC IRA you choose, there are two different ways to manage your IRA account. You can use a financial advisor or a self-directed investment account.

PNC Brokerage Plus

Investors looking to be more in control will likely select the Brokerage Plus option as it allows for a more hands-on approach to asset management.

Trades within the Brokerage Plus account are commission-free, but some small fees from regulatory organizations and exchanges do exist. Regarding available investment vehicles, you can trade stocks, ETFs, mutual funds, annuities, and bonds.

PNC Advisor Account

If you are not interested in managing your own investments, PNC can do it for you. By signing up with the advisor account, ongoing professional guidance and a full suite of research tools are available. With them, your portfolio will always align with PNC’s strategies, your risk tolerance, and the goals you set while setting up the account.

PNC IRA Fees and Commissions

Your choice and stage of account determine the types of assets you have access to. There are different investment options for self-directed accounts than for advisement accounts. There is also a separate list of securities available before and during retirement.

PNC doesn’t charge anything for placing stock and ETF trades in the self-directed investing account, but other fees exist.

Here is a short list of the most common trade-related fees:

Capital Directions (advisor service) – Fees range from 0.7% to 2% annually. The percentage is based on a tiered system, with larger accounts paying less.

PNC Directions (advisor service) – Fees are set at 1% per year, although there is also an $80 annual minimum.

Portfolio Directions (non-discretionary advisor service) – Fees range from 0.7% to 2% annually. The percentage is based on a tiered system, with larger accounts paying less.

Annuities (fixed and variable) – Many annuities are available, each with its commission breakdown. Here are the details.

Fixed Annuities

pnc fixed annuities

Equity Indexed Annuities

pnc equity indexed annuities

Income Annuity

pnc Income annuities

Variable Annuities

pnc Variable annuities

Equities, Mutual Funds, ETFs, and Closed-End Funds – Based on a tiered fee structure, commissions for these securities ranges from 1.5% to 3%. Commissions apply to broker-assisted trades and transactions in a managed account.

Here are some notable administrative fees:

Annual Service Fee - $75
Account Closure - $125
Account Transfer - $125
Wire Transfer - $15

Tools and Services

PNC uses its many resources to provide tools to investors. An investment newsletter, access to news and economic data, a webpage for portfolio management, and a handy retirement calculator are just a few examples.

Retirement Calculator

PNC’s retirement calculator can be found here.

By inputting factors like starting age, retirement age, annual income, percentage of income to save, and several others, you can see at a glance what your savings will look like under different conditions.

pnc Retirement Calculator

Customer Service

Accessing customer service is not always a quick experience at PNC. A phone number (1-888-762-2265) is available for on-demand issues and questions, and there is limited online chat support in some areas. Sending requests by email is also an option, but getting a response can take up to a day from when the original request is sent.

In short, customer service is there when you need them, but the support systems could be more efficient—especially considering the size and reputation of the bank.


PNC provides many positive attributes that investors can easily benefit from. However, there are also some quirks that some may not like.

- Advisor services are suitable for investors seeking a hands-off retirement savings strategy.

- PNC’s age (nearly 200 years) helps establish the financial institution as a stable and dependable place to park cash.

- Besides retirement accounts, PNC offers several other banking services such as loans, checking accounts, custodial accounts, and more.

- No commissions for online trades on standard securities.


- Rates for the advisor IRA account are on the high side. Fees can diminish the positive impact of earned interest.

- The self-directed brokerage account lacks features. If you want to invest in a retirement account actively, there are better options to consider.

- Account management only occurs in person or over the phone.

PNC IRA Recommendation

PNC Retirement accounts are quite competitive regarding fees, available asset classes, and portfolio options. The bank’s approach to building investment strategies is also a strong point.

It is important to note that PNC retirement accounts are brokerage accounts, but PNC is first a bank, then a broker. Some traders may find the PNC brokerage wing to be a bit limiting, depending on the type of brokerage they are used to.

Bank Competitors

PNC's rates on IRAs are about average by the industry's standards. CIT Bank, for example, pays 4.20% APY on a completely liquid account and 4.60% APY on an 18-month CD.

CIT Bank 18 Month CD

Updated on 3/13/2023.

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