I was a freelancer for several years and started a 401k plan and at the beginning of this year I took a full-time position. I would like to switch my current 401k plan to my new employer's 401k program. Is there typically a penalty for doing that? If so, is there anyway to avoid that penalty?
As long as you are no longer employed by that previous employer you can roll over your 40l(k) — either into the new employer’s plan, or into an IRA rollover. (If you roll into an IRA, you won’t be able to borrow from it — but you shouldn’t be doing that anyway!! But a40l(k) does let you use the money — up to $10,000 penalty free — for a first home purchase or college expenses.)
Ask your current employer’s plan administrator for help doing the rollover. You don’t want to take the money and deposit it, for risk of paying taxes and penalties. Or call Fidelity or Vanguard or T. Rowe Price to handle the move into an IRA rollover . They will help you with investment choices.