Northwestern Mutual

Changing Jobs? Options for Your 401(k)

New job? Consider the options for your 401(k) - learn about the different options for our 401(k) when you're changing jobs.

You got a new job? That’s great news!

As you make the move to your new job, don’t forget about your 401(k). What are you going to do with that money? Leave it? Roll it over?

You’ve got options. You could do nothing. Your former employer may let you keep your 401(k) right where it is. And that might be a good choice if you’re happy with its current performance and investment options.

If you decide to take your money with you, your new employer may allow you to roll your old 401(k) into your new retirement savings plan. This could be a good option if your new company's plan has more or better investment options, or if you just want the convenience of having all your accounts in one place.

You could roll your 401(k) directly into an individual retirement account (or IRA) and get similar tax benefits. With an IRA, you get more control in where the money is invested: In mutual funds, an annuity or even in a money market savings account.

Now, if money is tight, you may be tempted to cash out your 401(k). But if you do, it'll cost you. First, you'll have to pay income taxes on a good chunk of that money. Then, you’ll likely have to pay a 10 percent penalty if you take the money out before you’re eligible.

So, those are the options for your 401(k). But there’s a lot to consider with each one. Talk to a Northwestern Mutual financial professional who can help you make the right decision for your personal situation.