Most retirement plans let you take vested benefits with you if you change jobs before you retire. However, unless your old employer's retirement benefit is paid directly to your IRA or to your new employer's plan, 20% of your funds can be withheld for Federal taxes. As a result, you may not have the necessary funds on hand to affect a tax-free rollover of the amount withdrawn from the plan. Without a rollover, up to 50% of the funds may be needed to pay taxes and penalties.
Be sure that your retirement benefits are properly transferred, and consider all of your options when you change jobs.