money funneling down drain Insome cases, plan rules worked against workers in requiring minimumwithdrawals that were higher than they needed. (Photo:Shutterstock)

Although as of 2017, retirement plans and IRAs in the U.S. heldnearly $17 trillion, a new Government Accounting Office reportfinds that in 2013, workers across several generations, aged 25 to55, removed money from their retirementsavings. How much? The GAO said “at least $69 billion (+/- $3.5billion).”

Obviously, that's not good news for the retirement picture inthe U.S. As a result, GAO was asked to research the number andamount of early withdrawals, and find out why people might bedraining their retirement savings prior to retirement, as well asfind ways to discourage them from doing so.

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Marlene Satter

Marlene Y. Satter has worked in and written about the financial industry for decades.