I am leaving my current job at a company owned by a corporation. This same corporation also owns the company where my next job will be.

My 401k has not yet vested - the cliff is about a year away. We are currently finalizing negotiations, and the 401k has not come up yet.

Is it reasonable to ask/insist that they transfer the unvested 401k and credit my time towards their own vesting schedule? The 401k plans are the same. The parent corporation has all systems and plans the same between the companies it owns.

2 Answers 2


It is most definitely reasonable to ask and insist. However, they may also say "no", and you must decide for yourself whether it is a deal-breaker for you.

  • 2
    If they say no, and depending on your negotiating position, ask for the unvested amount as a hiring bonus at the new company. Of course you don't get the tax advantaged treatment, but it's better than losing it completely.
    – Todd
    Jun 16, 2014 at 16:44

It is reasonable and has occurred at several other companies with a similar structure. If they are unable to compensate you for loyalty, then ask for cash compensation.

  • How is this related to compensating OP for his/her time? That's what the paycheck was for. Vesting periods are about compensating for loyalty.
    – JohnFx
    Jun 15, 2014 at 19:25
  • Good point. Edited.
    – RohitJ
    Jun 15, 2014 at 19:31

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