In 1990, 10.8 million employees took $125.8 billion in lump-sum distributions from their pension plans, according to the Employee Benefit Research Institute (EBRI). The number of employees taking such payments declined from 11.4 million in 1987. But the dollar amount increased from the 1987 level of $80.3 billion.
Of those who received lump-sum distributions in 1990, 29 percent rolled over at least part of their payout into an Individual Retirement Account (IRA) compared with 23 percent in 1987.
"Recipients' rollover decisions [are] an issue of growing importance," says Dallas Salisbury, president of the EBRI.
Of the funds paid out in 1990, 38 percent were distributions before the recipient reached age 59 1/2.