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!The state plan earns only 4% compounded annually -
!yuck! I'll probably leave the 401(k) where it is
!(which they'll let me do), but can I move the money
!in the state retirement plan to my new employer's

You'd best check on that state plan to see what the details are. You may find that your only option is to take out your own contributions (i.e. give up any gains that were credited to the account) in lieu of some retirement annuity indexed to your salary. If it turns out to be a 457 plan, I'm not sure if you can even do that; no roll-overs on the 457, just the ability to convert it into an annuity at retirement.

If anybody has contrary information, I'd love to hear about it. My wife is stuck with both a non-elective state plan (in MA) and an optional 457. At least the 457 has tolerable investment options compared to that 4%, but the state plan is total cr*p and its annuity would be reduced by the amount of any Social Security income.

Once you know what your rollover options really are, I'd suggest you evaluate the investment options you have in your 401(k) versus what your options might be in an IRA. I'd be surprised if you can roll anything into the 403(b) except another 403(b), and generally the 403(b) investment options are more limited. Don't forget to watch out for that whacko MEA calculation on the 403(b); if you over-contribute both you and your employer will get fined by the IRS.

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