GAO Report on IRA Rollovers

Periodically I will be posting information or materials from external resources, such as government agencies, that I think will be useful. This is the first of those posts. These materials will be linked on the blog to the “External Resources” page of the blog.

The GAO just issued a report on IRA rollovers. The title is: “401(k) PLANS: Labor and IRS Could Improve the Rollover Process for Participants.” You can find a copy of the 71-page report here.

While the GAO Report recommends a number of changes to improve the rollover process and experience for participants, it is remarkable for the comments that it makes about the IRA rollover services of some providers. For example, at one point, it states: “Plan participants are often subject to biased information and aggressive marketing of IRAs when seeking assistance and information regarding what to do with their 401(k) plan savings when they separate or have separated from employment with the plan sponsor. In many cases, such information and marketing comes from plan service providers.” Look at the portion of the linked report beginning on page 22.

Based on this report and on the response by the DOL, it seems almost certain that the fiduciary advice proposal (that is due in July 2013) will contain provisions that further regulate the IRA rollover process.

Fred Reish (



The views expressed in this article are the views of Fred Reish, and do not necessarily reflect the views of Faegre Drinker.