Can I make 401k contributions to a 401k managed by a former employer?

Question: Can I make contributions to a 401k that’s managed by a former employer?

I want to keep investing in my Fidelity 401k. However, I’m changing employers and my new employer does not offer a 401k. Can I contribute to my old Fidelity 401k out of my own pocket?

Answer:

Most companies will not allow you to do this. What you should do is rollover your 401k into an IRA so you can manage the money that’s invested and continue making contributions. The standard IRA contribution limits would apply though rather than the 401k contribution limits.┬áTherefore, you would only be able to contribute up to $5,000 in the year 2012, unless you are at least 50-years-old in which case you would be able to contribute a maximum of $6,000. A 401k has the advantage of allowing you to contribute up to $17,000, so it’s unfortunate that your new employer does not offer a 401k. I would recommend contributing the maximum to an IRA.

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