One concern about the changing retirement landscape is the increased burden this places on individuals: more jobs translates to more retirement accounts, creating scope for mismanagement or neglect of saved
retirement funds. Failing to take required minimum distributions (RMDs) is costly. If the account owner has not done so by age 70.5, the account is subject to heavy penalties (50% of the required distribution) and the account value could quickly dissipate. While the issue appears widespread, there is no consensus about how many people or how many funds are impacted. This study estimates the extent of unclaimed retirement funds, both from 401(k) accounts and pensions…..


This project builds on the authors’ prior year research, Frictions in Saving and Claiming: An Analysis of Unclaimed Retirement Accounts. A brief and working paper are available.