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With an increased focus on retirement income, employers are now turning their attention to how their workers are using their defined contribution plan assets after terminating employment. To help organizations better evaluate the distribution decisions people make when they leave employment, Alight Solutions analyzed the post-termination behavior of more than 2 million DC participants from 2008–2017.
Data from this report can help employers benchmark their plan’s data and answer the following questions about what workers do with their retirement savings after they leave employers.
In answering these questions, particular attention was paid to individuals who were at least 60 years old at the time of termination, since they were most likely to be considered “retired”—and DC plans at their heart are retirement plans.
A deep dive into post-termination behavior, 2008–2017
This research analyzed more than 2 million participants who terminated between 2008 and 2017. Together, these individuals had account balances in excess of $100 billion. Activity was measured as of December 31, 2017 on both an asset-weighted and headcount-weighted basis to analyze the number of participants and dollars that:
Individuals who kept their assets in the plan but took installment payments were analyzed separately.
Rollovers were examined in two ways:
The methodology section at the end provides additional detail on how individuals were categorized.