Wealth Market Reports

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The Million Dollar Participant

The defined contribution 401(k) market has existed for over 25 years and some participants have been able to accumulate almost $1 million in their defined contribution account.  While this is not a common occurrence, in many cases, a participant may also harbor assets in IRA accounts from prior employers that were never rolled over into their existing 401(k) or other defined contribution plan.

This report focuses on individuals that have accumulated $1 million or more in retirement accounts including their employer sponsored defined contribution and their IRA accounts.  Research will be conducted with defined contribution participants and individuals who are already retired.  The goal of the research is to focus on the following issues:

  • Did or will the participant use an advisor outside of the plan at the time of the rollover?  If so, how did the individual find that advisor?
  • Did the participant use an outside advisor to manage assets while they were in the plan?
  • What percentage of total assets of the household is represented by the retirement accounts?
  • How did the participant achieve this balance?  Did he or she specifically choose an aggressive investment strategy?  Or did he or she invest conservatively?  Moderately?
  • What types of communication has the participant had with the provider for the plan?  Did he or she rely upon materials provided by the plan provider when making investment choices?  If so, what materials were especially helpful?
  • Does the participant have a relationship with the plan provider outside of the assets in the plan?
  • What other type of retirement planning has or did the participant engage in?  What services does he or she wish were available from the plan provider?

Spectrem will survey 400 respondents who have at least $800,000 in qualified plan balances and/or over $1 million in total retirement assets (which includes IRAs). 


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