3. The vesting schedule
“Vesting” is simply a fancy word for letting employees know when the money in their retirement plans is actually theirs to keep. Some companies require you to be employed for one or two years before they’ll allow employer contributions to vest, meaning if you leave the company within six months of starting, you’ll lose any amounts that your employer contributed to the plan. Many employers tend to allow money that you’ve contributed directly to vest completely and immediately, and often have stringent vesting of employer-contributed money. The best advice here is to simply know the schedule, and know what’s expected of you in order to keep the money that’s been earmarked for you. If you’re in line for sizable vested amounts by simply staying at the company for another few months, that needs to be included in any stay-or-go calculation.