I am in the midst of managing the same transaction for my wife, whose new employer will not allow her to join the 401k plan for about a year. We are having her assets removed by the plan manager from the plan of the prior employer and placing it directly into a "rollover IRA" with Fidelity. There are very picky rules that must be followed in doing this, but they largely revolve around preserving a clear audit trail for the IRS and any future 401k plan manager, demonstrating what happened to ALL of the funds from the old 401k, and prove that no additional (that is, no improper) funds were introduced into the "rollover IRA" or into any subsequent 401k. Fidelity has a whole department dedicated to handling these transactions, and we have other funds there, so for the sake of simplicity, we are using them. I am very happy with their professionalism, accessibility and courtesy, as well as their knowledge of the details. We are setting my wife's new IRA up to be self-directed. I imagine they have other options. It was a little intimidating at first, but we got good support and it turns out not to be such a big deal. Bon chance!
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