Of significant importance to me is Age 55 -- I can leave (or get shit-canned from) my job in the calendar year I turn 55 and still take 401(k) withdrawals from the retirement account associated with the job I left without having to pay the 10% penalty tax, according to IRS Code
72(t)(2)(A)(v). If I roll my 401k into an IRA, I have to wait until I'm 59 1/2 years old.
(t) 10-percent additional tax on early distributions from qualified retirement plans
(1) Imposition of additional tax
If any taxpayer receives any amount from a qualified retirement plan (as defined in section 4974 (c)), the taxpayer’s tax under this chapter for the taxable year in which such amount is received shall be increased by an amount equal to 10 percent of the portion of such amount which is includible in gross income.
(2) Subsection not to apply to certain distributions
Except as provided in paragraphs (3) and (4), paragraph (1) shall not apply to any of the following distributions:
Distributions which are—
(v) made to an employee after separation from service after attainment of age 55….
NOTE TO SELF: If I change jobs between now and when I turn 55, assuming that my new company's 401k is not completely craptastic, it would appear that rolling my 401k into my new company's 401k plan would be a better strategy than rolling it into an IRA.