The majority of 401(k) participants choose lump-sum cash payouts when changing jobs instead of rolling over money into their new employer's plans or IRAs, according to a study by Hewitt Associates, a management consulting firm in Lincolnshire, Ill.

The findings contradict an earlier study by American Century Investments of Kansas City, Mo., that found that most job-changers would rather roll their 401(k) assets into another retirement plan than cash out of their plans.

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