Younger workers are more likely to cash out retirement planswhen changing employers, and are less likely to regret doingso—perhaps not realizing what it will cost them at retirement.

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Read: 5 questions retirement plan sponsors mustask

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So finds a new study from the Defined Contribution InstitutionalInvestment Association, which looked at the psychology underlyingplan leakage—the money that leaves workers’ retirement plans beforethey ever hit retirement age.

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According to the study, while a sizeable percentage of workerscashed out at least once prior to retirement, younger generationsare more likely to do so.

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Read: Fewer DC plan choices equal moresavings

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Nearly a quarter of boomers did so at least once during theircareers, but a third of GenXers and millennials pulled out thecash.

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An alarming possibility is that the majority of those who cashedout have the least saved toward retirement.

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Although the behavior happens at all income levels, more than 40percent of workers with less than $25,000 in household retirementsavings cashed out at least once in their working lifetime,compared to only 23 percent of workers with more than $150,000 inretirement savings.

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Read: 5 signs of employee financialstress

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In addition, about 75 percent of cashouts involved accounts withassets of less than $20,000, suggesting that small amounts ofsavings might be considered not worth the effort required to rollthem over into a new employer’s DC plan.

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Read: Should plan sponsors restrict access to401(k) loans?

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And among those who don’t roll over plan assets into a newemployer’s plan, about 20 percent of respondents across allgenerations cited such rollover barriers as not knowing how to rollover assets, not having time to do so, or not prioritizing theissue.

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Another scary trend among millennials is the increasinglikelihood that they’ll use such cashouts to fund non-emergencyexpenses, like weddings or cars—42 percent said they had doneso—while less than 25 percent of GenXers said they’d used the moneyfor something that wasn’t an emergency.

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Millennials are also more likely to say they plan to cash out acurrent plan before retirement (20 percent, compared with just 7percent of boomers) and are less likely to express regret over acashout (36 percent of millennials said they were sorry they’d doneso, compared with nearly half of GenXers and boomers).

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