An average American worker goes through 10 different jobs till the time they reach 40 years of age. If a person opts the 401k plan at a few of the jobs they have worked at, they get to decide what to do with the 401k assets they hold.

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Many people do not make a decision and choose to leave the funds behind with the former employer's 401k plan. Most plans allow former employees to leave funds in their account if the account contains more than $5,000. If there’s less than $5,000 in the account, the plan sponsor may issue the former employee a check in order to close out the account.

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