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Lump Sum Distributions from Pension Plans: Recent Evidence and Issues for Policy and Research

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  • Burman, Leonard E.
  • Coe, Norma B.
  • Gale, William G.

Abstract

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.

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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by National Tax Association in its journal National Tax Journal.

Volume (Year): 52 (1999)
Issue (Month): n. 3 (September)
Pages: 553-62

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Handle: RePEc:ntj:journl:v:52:y:1999:i:n._3:p:553-62

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  1. James M. Poterba & Steven F. Venti, 2001. "Preretirement Cashouts and Foregone Retirement Saving: Implications for 401(k) Asset Accumulation," NBER Chapters, in: Themes in the Economics of Aging, pages 23-58 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  2. Christopher D. Carroll & Wendy E. Dunn, 1997. "Unemployment Expectations, Jumping (S,s) Triggers, and Household Balance Sheets," NBER Working Papers 6081, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  3. Olivia S. Mitchell, 1999. "New Evidence on the Money's Worth of Individual Annuities," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 89(5), pages 1299-1318, December.
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Cited by:
  1. Barbara A. Butrica & Gordon B.T. Mermin, 2006. "Annuitized Wealth and Consumption at Older Ages," Working Papers, Center for Retirement Research at Boston College wp2006-26, Center for Retirement Research, revised Dec 2006.
  2. Jason S. Seligman & Jeffrey B. Wenger, 2005. "Asynchronous Risk: Unemployment, Equity Markets, and Retirement Savings," Upjohn Working Papers and Journal Articles 05-114, W.E. Upjohn Institute for Employment Research.
  3. Burman, Leonard E. & Coe, Norma B. & Dworsky, Michael & Gale, William G., 2012. "Effects Of Public Policies On The Disposition Of Pre-Retirement Lump-Sum Distributions: Rational And Behavioral Influences," National Tax Journal, National Tax Association, vol. 65(4), pages 863-87, December.
  4. Engelhardt, Gary V., 2003. "Reasons for job change and the disposition of pre-retirement lump-sum pension distributions," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 81(3), pages 333-339, December.
  5. Hurd, Michael & Panis, Constantijn, 2006. "The choice to cash out pension rights at job change or retirement," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 90(12), pages 2213-2227, December.
  6. Engelhardt, Gary V., 2002. "Pre-Retirement Lump-Sum Pension Distributions and Retirement Income Security: Evidence from the Health and Retirement Study," National Tax Journal, National Tax Association, vol. 55(4), pages 665-85, December.

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