If you’ve ever broken a bone, it doesn’t take long before the pain signals that you need to go see a doctor — the sooner the better. The friction encountered while moving a retirement savings account from an old-employer plan to a current-employer plan when changing jobs sends similar pain signals through most participants. With the Employee Benefit Research Institute indicating that the average participant will have 7.4 jobs in their adult working career, the risk of participants incurring a fracture in their retirement savings is very high.
Given the complex and time-consuming nature of DIY plan-to-plan portability, it’s no wonder so many Americans find cashing out or stranding their 401(k) accounts to be the easiest option when they change jobs. According to Boston Research Technologies’ 2015 Mobile Workforce research study, a majority of participants responded that it would take more than 10 hours of their personal time to complete a roll-in, and they valued that time at well over $500.
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