A recent analysis by Charles Schwab found that 43% of the 401(k) assets held by workers who left their jobs in the first quarter of 2008 still remains in the old plans. Leaving your assets on autopilot in your old employer’s plan may not be the smart thing to do.
Assets left in an old employer’s 401(k) plan are at risk of becoming “out of sight, out of mind”. If you neglect those assets, your overall asset allocation could become out of balance.
Get educated on your options, which typically include a rollover to an IRA, move the assets into your new employers plan, or take a cash distribution (may be subject to penalties).
An IRA rollover offers some potential advantages, especially if your 401(k) fund options are limited. Another factor to consider is the potential to convert your rollover IRA to a Roth IRA. In 2010 the Roth IRA conversion income limits are eliminated.