* Ask your new employer whether you can roll your balance into the new company’s plan. If you can, arrange a direct transfer between plans. You may have to complete a probationary period before you can join your new company’s plan.
* Explore whether you can leave your balance in the old plan, at least for a while. That removes the pressure for an immediate decision.
* Roll over your balance into an individual retirement account (IRA). This avoids immediate taxes and lets your savings continue to grow tax-deferred. It also gives you maximum flexibility for future investments. You even have the flexibility to later convert into a Roth IRA. Be sure to ask for a "trustee-to-trustee" transfer to avoid any short-term tax risk.
A word of caution: If part of your account is invested in company stock, get details on the tax issues before you withdraw or roll over funds.
The bottom line: Do all you can to keep your savings in a tax-favored account. You’ll be glad you did when you reach retirement age. Please call our office if you’re facing this situation. We’ll be happy to advise you on your options.