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I moved to the US at the beginning of January to start a permanent job here. My new employers have what my colleagues say is a very good retirement benefits programme - a 403(b) where I have to put in 2.5% or more and they contribute a fixed 9%. I get to choose where the money is invested, although only between funds from Prudential, Fidelity and TIAA-CREF. Any load is also paid by my employer. I'm just at the point of having to decide how much to contribute beyond the 2.5%, or whether to use some other foolish savings method.

I'd be interested in other fools' comments - what are my other options, and how do I work out which is best? I've read the 13 Steps to Retiring which helped me understand some of the differences to UK "retirement language".

Some background: I'm single and mid-30s, and already have some pension provision from my previous UK employer (this will pay something like 1 months salary per year in todays money, and is linked to UK inflation). Right now I have no idea how long I'll stay in the US - maybe forever and retire here, maybe I won't get a Green Card so will have to leave in a few years time. I reckon I can save 10% of my salary and maybe more at this stage, and I intend to stash away as much as I reasonably can. I'd be interested in any comments on the international aspect too - for example if I move back to the UK, would I be able to transfer IRA funds to a UK pension scheme, or would that incur a penalty?

- Andrew
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