A just-released report by the Government Accountability Office on rollovers foreshadows what one of the more controversial aspects of the Department of Labor's revised fiduciary rule may look like, industry officials say. 

In its 76-page report, "401(k) Plans: Labor and IRS Could Improve the Rollover Process for Participants," GAO urges the DOL and the Internal Revenue Service to take steps to ensure that plan-to-plan rollovers are more efficient, and to provide more information to plan participants about their distribution options when leaving an employer's plan, as GAO says the current rollover process favors distributions to individual retirement accounts.

GAO said in its report that DOL and IRS should reduce the waiting period to roll over into a 401(k) plan and improve the asset verification process, as such actions could help make staying in a 401(k) plan "a more viable option, allowing participants to make distribution decisions based on their financial circumstances rather than on convenience."

Complete your profile to continue reading and get FREE access to BenefitsPRO, part of your ALM digital membership.

  • Critical BenefitsPRO information including cutting edge post-reform success strategies, access to educational webcasts and videos, resources from industry leaders, and informative Newsletters.
  • Exclusive discounts on ALM, BenefitsPRO magazine and BenefitsPRO.com events
  • Access to other award-winning ALM websites including ThinkAdvisor.com and Law.com

© 2024 ALM Global, LLC, All Rights Reserved. Request academic re-use from www.copyright.com. All other uses, submit a request to [email protected]. For more information visit Asset & Logo Licensing.

Melanie Waddell

Melanie is senior editor and Washington bureau chief of ThinkAdvisor. Her ThinkAdvisor coverage zeros in on how politics, policy, legislation and regulations affect the investment advisory space. Melanie’s coverage has been cited in various lawmakers’ reports, letters and bills, and in the Labor Department’s fiduciary rule in 2024. In 2019, Melanie received an Honorable Mention, Range of Work by a Single Author award from @Folio. Melanie joined Investment Advisor magazine as New York bureau chief in 2000. She has been a columnist since 2002. She started her career in Washington in 1994, covering financial issues at American Banker. Since 1997, Melanie has been covering investment-related issues, holding senior editorial positions at American Banker publications in both Washington and New York. Briefly, she was content chief for Internet Capital Group’s EFinancialWorld in New York and wrote freelance articles for Institutional Investor. Melanie holds a bachelor’s degree in English from Towson University. She interned at The Baltimore Sun and its suburban edition.