(MoneyWatch) Drive through town these days and you’re almost certain to see ads and billboards advising the following: If you quit your job, take that 401(k) balance and roll it over to an IRA.
The implicit message is that your former employer just changed from being the source of your regular paycheck to an enterprise you want nothing to do with. Some financial institutions are even going after 401(k) account holders while they’re still employed — that’s because once you reach age 59-1/2, many 401(k) plans let you roll your accounts out from your current employer’s 401(k).
So is it a good idea to roll over your 401(k)? Better think twice. Your best bet may be to leave it with your employer.