What happens to my pension money if leave work and take another job?

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Jeffrey Johnson is a legal writer with a focus on personal injury. He has worked on personal injury and sovereign immunity litigation in addition to experience in family, estate, and criminal law. He earned a J.D. from the University of Baltimore and has worked in legal offices and non-profits in Maryland, Texas, and North Carolina. He has also earned an MFA in screenwriting from Chapman Univer...

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Written by Jeffrey Johnson
Insurance Lawyer Jeffrey Johnson

UPDATED: Jul 16, 2021

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If you were completely or partially vested, your pension money will always be yours. What you can do with it will depend on the type of pension plan and the provisions in the plan document. Many plans offer you several alternatives:

(1) You can leave it in the former employer’s plan until you retire;

(2) You may be able to transfer your pension money from your old employer to your new Employer’s qualified plan;

(3) You may be able to “roll it over” into an Individual Retirement Account (“IRA”);

(4) You may be able to take a distribution directly (although this last option may subject you to a penalty tax).



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