When you leave an employer, should the...


When you leave an employer, should the money in your 401(k) retirement account go with you?

Not necessarily, says Stuart Kessler, senior tax partner at Goldstein Golub Kessler & Co., a New York accountinbg firm. It probably pays to leave it behind.

Here's why:

If you take the money with you and roll it into an individual retirement account, you often will be charged a yearly maintenance fee (which can range from $35 to $70) by the company that manages the IRA. But if you leave the money behind your former employer must pay all administrative costs.

If you declaare personal bankruptcy, the assets in your 401 (k) is protected.

Trying to pick a new investment can be frustrating, as well as risky. If your 401 (k) investments have done well. why change?

Though you are not required to leave your money behind, the law says your former employer must offer you that option. However, Mr. Kessler says, some companies may discourage you from doing so.

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