Study Finds Market Opportunity for High-Balance Rollovers

Research from Spectrem Group found high-balance retirement plan participants aren’t showing much loyalty to their plan providers when rolling over their money.

Just 25% of plan participants who performed a rollover of $200,000 or more since mid-2008 rolled all or some of the funds into an account held by their existing plan provider, according to the report “High Balance Rollover 2010.” In addition, less than two-thirds (59%) of high-balance participants used an adviser in the rollover process.  

Spectrem Group estimates the high-balance IRA rollover market, which includes both high-balance rollovers and the consolidation of IRA accounts totaling $200,000 or more, consists of more than 935,000 individuals with assets of $365 billion, according to a press release.  

The research found 53% of high-balance participants rolled over at least part of their balance to firms where they held other investments, and 39% transferred funds to firms where they had an existing IRA.  Of those who did not use an adviser during the rollover process, 22% requested a hard-copy rollover application directly from their providers and 19% handled the process online.  

The Spectrem report, available at, is based on an online survey conducted in July 2010 of 650 individuals who rolled over or consolidated balances of at least $200,000 from employer-sponsored retirement plans within the prior two years.