It's the same, but diffrent. Both plans ( assuming traditional ,not Roth) are tax deferred untill you withdraw the funds and are subject to Minimum required distributions when you turn 70 1/2.. The 401 , however, is sponsered by an employer ( In this case, Nuveen) which means you are restricted to the fund choices they offer to plan particpants. Also, they have complete controll going forward in terms of changes to the investments, custodian, fees etc. One potential advantage of a 401-k is that it may have a loan provision. If you tranfer your 401 funds to an IRA, you have complete controll over the invetsments choices and fees you pay. You can stay with Nuveen if you like them , self direct the investments through a firm like Scott Trade, Charles Schwab or Fidelity ....or hire a financial advisors. Going with an IRA is a much more flexible option. If you have any more specific question, feel free to reach me at 516.240.6161 or email@example.com Good luck!