More than half of workers who elected to receive a lump sum from their 401(k) in 2014 rolled their money directly into a tax-qualified individual retirement account, according to new research.
Aon-Hewitt discloses this finding in a new survey, “2014 Lump Sum Windows,” that analyzes plan sponsors’ experience related to 70 terminated vested lump-sum windows implemented during 2014, the windows covering approximately 290,000 plan participants. The report details experience on terminated vested lump-sum windows implemented in 2014 and best practices for plan sponsors looking to implement future lump-sum windows.
The report reveals that 55 percent of the workers who opted to receive a lump sum distribution from their employer-sponsored 401(k) plan rolled their money directly into a tax-qualified account. The average lump-sum election rate in 2014 was 58 percent.
Rollovers as a percentage of lump sum distributions increase in tandem with the size of the lump. At lump sums topping $100,000, the rollover percentage is about 80 percent. This compares with just over 60 percent on lump sums varying between $50,000 and $99,000.
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“Activity [connected with lump sum windows] increased in 2014 as a confluence of events — new mortality expectations, increased [Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation] premiums, improved funded status, movement in interest rates, extended funding relief, and additional focus on managing pension risk — encouraged many plan sponsors to move forward with lump-sum windows,” the report states. “We expect plan sponsor interest in lump-sum windows to continue.”