Working Topics

The Savings Preservation Working Group’s current discussion topics include the following:


  1. How much leakage occurs, what are the primary causes, and why do estimates vary so much on the effect of leakage on the system?  In answering this question, we will (i) examine the data sources and methods for examining leakage and the limitations of these sources and methods, (ii) create a hierarchy of the types of leakage that are most detrimental to account preservation, and (iii) look at why people cash out their savings more generally.

  2. Is there a proliferation of small accounts, and does that affect account preservation (e.g., by causing more leakage, higher fees, and less optimum asset allocation)? 

  3. Does the lack of emergency savings contribute to leakage?  The answer to this question will include a discussion of whether providing participants with additional liquidity (e.g., rainy day funds) could improve account preservation. 

  4. What impact does financial fraud have on account preservation?

  5. How do loans and hardship withdrawals affect account preservation? The question could include a discussion of the efficacy of the 10% penalty and potential changes.


For each of these topics, the Working Group will (i) catalog current challenges that undermine the goal of preserving retirement savings, (ii) review existing policy proposals, (iii) identify research gaps and develop and implement a strategy to close that gap, and (iv) consider potential solutions, which may include legal and/or regulatory changes as well as industry best practices. 

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