With tech hiring on the rise, here’s what to know about your retirement plan when changing jobs

Job growth in the tech industry has been at a fever pitch for nearly a quarter century and still is today. However, as companies compete for top talent, IT professionals have the opportunity to enhance their career paths.

But when you leave one company for another, especially if you have been there for a long time, you will inevitably have to tie up loose ends related to your employment. One of the most crucial to address is your employee’s retirement plan, be it a 401 (k) or an IRA.

The transition to a new job is always a hectic time. But it is also a principal it’s time to prepare for a winning retirement. So what can you do to be successful?

Veteran financial expert Ty J. Young, CEO of Ty J. Young Wealth Management, you have some ideas about your choices and the best ways to go.

4 retirement plan options when you change jobs

When you’re organizing your exit from your old job, Young says you generally have four options for what to do with your old IRA.

Cash withdrawal

It is possible to withdraw your 401 (k) plan from your former employer and get your funds reimbursed by check. If your account balance is less than $ 1,000, you should be able to withdraw the funds (although it may take 60 days to get the check).

But if the balance is more than $ 1,000, your former employer may not be able to pay you. Whatever happens, your withdrawal will be taxable, even if the balance is less than $ 1,000.

Charging early on larger 401 (k) balances can also carry severe penalties. For example, if you resign from the company before the year you turn 55 and have not turned 59½, you will face a 10% early retirement fee. plus taxes.

Stick with your old plan

If your 401 (k) balance with your old employer is more than $ 5,000, you can choose to keep it active even when you switch to a new company. But rarely (if ever) is it a good idea.

By leaving your old retirement plan in effect, you have few options for managing your account. It also relies on investment income to grow – you can’t contribute above a certain amount, and your former employer is no longer contributing anything.

If your old retirement plan balance is between $ 1,000 and $ 5,000, you may not even have the option to stay in it. It is quite possible that the company will move your funds into a separate IRA in your name.

Go to the new employer plan

You might consider simply transferring the balance from your old plan to your new one 401 (k) plan or employer IRA. In some cases, a rollover may seem like the best possible outcome. But it has potential drawbacks.

Your new employer may not let transfers from an old 401 (k). If they do, you may need to fill out a pile of paperwork. There are many red tape to go through, depending on how much you are transferring, your account history, tax status, and the investment options you have in the new organization.

There is also the very real possibility that your new employer’s retirement plan will have higher rates than your old one.

Transfer to your own IRA account

The fourth option is to transfer the funds from your former employer to a separate IRA in your name. As mentioned above, this option might be your only option if your previous IRA balance is between $ 1,000 and $ 5,000.

However, that could be the better choice. With full control over your investment strategy and allocations, a self-managed IRA gives you the freedom to map out your financial planning in the way that works best for you. As a result, you have unlimited options and a real opportunity to create a winning retirement.

Maximize the value of the IRA

The best practice to get the most value out of your IRA, Young says, is to “use winning strategies that are common to your portfolio.” He strongly suggests framing the IRA around a set of goals called “Three Legged Stool”:


In retirement, having a diverse number of sources of income is the key to success. Therefore, your IRA must have income streams from a wide variety of funds and commodities in various sectors.


Living expenses during retirement are subject to cost of living increases and inflation. Therefore, your IRA must be driven by a consistent and solid strategy for growth to continue to keep pace.


Investment markets are always susceptible to “fixes,” economic events that can ruin your hard-earned income. But an IRA can survive those system shocks with a plan to protect growth.

Will your IRA rates change when I leave the company?

You may face different fees when changing companies. This is because each company has a different investment strategy. Depending on the scope and breadth of your new company’s IRA plan, your rates may go up or down.

“However, (the rates) should remain the same if you keep the same plan,” Young says. “The high rates will continue to be high; low rates will remain low. “

The best way to handle this problem is to learn as much as possible about the new company’s IRA before accepting an offer. Then the human resources department of the prospective company should be able to answer that question in its entirety.

Fundamentals to consider before switching to a new company

Young says to think of a few essential principles before accepting a new job, whatever choice you make. These principles will go a long way toward ensuring a winning retirement.

Use the three-legged stool

Diversify income, focus on growth, and protect your wealth.

Stick with a tax-deferred plan

Keep contributions to your IRA account tax-free while you are employed. If your old employer had a tax-deferred plan, it’s best to keep that option when switching to a new one.

Have a 50/50 investment strategy

Winning retirement portfolios combine wealth-building opportunities with fundamentals that manage risk and protect income. Allocate half of your IRA to income instruments like ETFs and overlay plans and reserve the other half for capital protection products.

Image credit: Monstera; Pexels; Thanks!

Deanna ritchie

Deanna ritchie

Editor-in-chief at ReadWrite

Deanna is the managing editor for ReadWrite. Previously, she worked as the editor-in-chief of Startup Grind and has over 20 years of content management and content development experience.


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