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<<You have me wondering now also and will be interested in the responses to your post. My opinion is; assuming the 401 and new IRA are both to be tax deferred the advantage to the 401 comes from the fact many employers make contributions for the employee in the 401. You would lose this I imagine. It doesn't seem likely that an employer would let you move those funds back into the 401 after they had been outside for a time.
Hope others will respond to this!>>

It would be most unusual for an employer to continue a match to the 401k account of a former employee. It just wouldn't happen. As far as losing any of the matching money already in the account, it's possible if the employee wasn't fully vested in that match on the day he/she left that job. Nope, the advantage comes from the ability to move the money back into a 401k if the new plan allows it and if you want to do so. As I said in my response to the original post, Fools believe the funds can be invested for a better return outside of rather than within most 401k plans anyway, so that's not a major advantage to us. Nevertheless, it never hurts to keep your options open. Maybe someday you will want to have it in a new employer's plan.

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