With a defined contribution plan, you decide how you want your money to be invested. Your employer will provide a plan that offers a set number of investments to choose from. If you leave your job while your contribution plan is active, you will still maintain ownership of your account and all contributions.
Many employers pay a matching contribution to your plan, often set at 50 cents for every dollar you put in. For example, if over a year you contribute $4,000 to your plan, your employer will contribute $2,000.