The short answer is No. The 401k and the IRA are both accounts or arrangements which hold funds intended for retirement and have the same tax benefits. But typically the 401k is more restrictive in the investment options since it is provided by your place of employment and usually limits your investment options. For this reason the IRA may be a better option if you do not like the choices provided by your particular 401k. One benefit of a 401k is that IRAs are not as well protected against lawsuits as are funds in a 401k.