I have a 401(k) with a former employer. I like the investment options in the plan even though the company has been having some rough times financially and was recently acquired by another firm. Should I wait it out or roll over my money to an IRA?
— Anonymous, Via the Internet
You should be proactive, especially if you own stock of your former employer. Change is inevitable when a company is merged or sold. These changes may work in your favor or against you in the long run. The rules governing your retirement plan will now be decided by the controlling company in the takeover. By rolling your funds over now, you won’t have to be concerned about what happens to your former employer. If the new investment choices for your 401(k) or pension plans perform poorly, you will have less money for your retirement.
That’s not to say your own investment choices will perform better, but you’ll have more control over when, where, and how your money is invested. Investigate and weigh your options in the market. Also, bear in mind that you may relocate or change jobs again, or your employer may move to a new location. By rolling over your funds, you reduce the risk of your former employer losing track of you and your money.