As a Nurse, What are my options with my “old” 401(k) or 403(b)

Changing jobs and looking for new opportunities is all part of an evolving working career but what should be done with the retirement plan that was left behind with the existing employer? 

 We will cover many options that are available for most nurses.


The option that might be the easiest is to do nothing and leave the 401(k) with the old employer.

This option means that the money will stay with the former employers retirement account and it will stay invested as it was before.

You will always have the option to move it away from this account even if you initially left it there.


Another option would be to roll your funds into an Individual Retirement Account

Moving a traditional 401(k) or 403(b) into traditional IRA allows you to continue to grow the money on a tax deferred basis just like if you left it with the old plan but it will give you more investment options and give you some more control around what and how you want to invest your money.


A third option would be to transfer your money into your new employer’s 401(k) plan.

This is only an option if the new plan allows for this transfer.

If you choose this option make sure that you understand the investment options that are available inside of the new plan.


Finally you could take out your money as a lump sum but very often this is not a very ideal option as it in most cases will trigger penalty (dependent on age) as well as income tax liabilities.


There is no right or wrong way to treat your existing retirement plan but it is always very important to understand where and how your money is being invested and get a good understanding of the pros and cons for each option in regards to your specific situation.


Written By CreativeNurse Team 2016-17379 Exp. 1/18