Lump Sum Distributions from Pension Plans: Recent Evidence and Issues for Policy and Research
10 Pages Posted: 19 Jul 2014
Date Written: September 1999
We examine preretirement lump sum distributions (LSDs) from pension plans, which have grown significantly in recent years. Most LSD recipients do not roll over the funds into qualified accounts, but the likelihood of rollover rises for larger distributions. We find evidence suggesting that tax penalties imposed in 1986 on nonrollovers by people younger than 55 raised the likelihood of rollovers among this group, but had much less effect on the likelihood that such households saved the funds, where saving includes investing in taxable assets and paying off debt. We estimate that cashouts reduce annual retirement income by up to $1,000-3,000.
Keywords: lump sum distributions, pensions, retirement planning
JEL Classification: J26
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation