Job Changers and Retirees Seek Advice for Plan Distributions

August 8, 2006 ( - Most job changers and retirees consulted at least one individual when making decisions regarding retirement plan distributions, according to findings of a study from LIMRA International.

Only 20% of job changers and 11% of retirees surveyed by LIMRA said they consulted no one about their decisions. Family members, friends and associates were consulted by 41% of job changers and 36% of retirees, according to the study report. Financial professionals as a group, including financial planners, investment advisors and full-service stock brokers, were consulted by 44% of job changers and 64% of retirees.

One-third of job changers said that family members, friends and associates had the greatest influence on their plan distribution decisions, while financial planners were the most influential for about 30% of retirees.

Employer-provided consultants, such as HR representatives, outplacement counselors, and call center representatives from the plan provider, tend to have the greatest influence among those choosing to leave their money in their retirement plan or among retirees choosing to annuitize their assets, the study found. Financial professionals had the greatest influence among those who rolled their money to IRAs.

Nearly all job changers and retirees surveyed sought information from one or more sources in order to help them reach distribution decisions, with former employers cited as the most common supplier of this information. Employer-provided benefits booklets were used by 46% of job changers and 57% of retirees, while other written materials from employers were used by 34% of job changers and 47% of retirees. Face-to-face meetings with financial planners or investment advisors were used by 32% of job changers and 50% of retirees to aid them in their benefits decisions.

Survey respondents tended to use a limited number of information sources – on average, job changers used two of the 17 information sources listed by LIMRA and retirees used three.

When asked whether they felt they had received sufficient financial advice before making their decisions, 84% of job changers and 92% of retirees indicated they had. Additionally, more than 80% of job changers and 90% of retirees would make the same decisions regarding the money in their retirement plans if they had to repeat the process.

More information can be found at .