Who’s Leaving Retirement Balances Behind – and Why?

More than a third of Millennials have (already) left a retirement plan balance “behind” in a previous employer plan.

Not that it’s all that unusual – in addition to the 35% of Millennials, 43% of Gen Xers have left those balances behind. On the other hand, only 23% of Boomers have done so.

A plurality of those (30%) said they left it there because they were satisfied with that plan, according to the survey by TIAA, but the report said that others chose not to roll it into an IRA for a variety of reasons, including:

  • 17% didn’t know what they should do.
  • 17% didn’t know they could.
  • 13% don’t have time.
  • 9% think the process is too complicated.

The TIAA survey also found that 28% of Americans who don’t own an individual retirement account (IRA) say they don’t know enough about them to invest in one, and another 17% said IRAs are too complicated.

The good news is that the vast majority (91%) of those who have contributed to an IRA are confident about their retirement savings – compared to 64% of those not contributing to an IRA.

Interestingly enough, nearly four in 10 of those with an IRA (37%) have more than one. Just over half (53%) said that they hold IRAs at different financial institutions to balance risk.

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