“Trends in Health Coverage for Part-Time Workers, 1999–2012,” and “Take it or Leave it? The Disposition of DC Accounts: Who Rolls Over into an IRA? Who Leaves Money in the Plan and Who Withdraws Cash?”

May 2014, Vol. 35, No. 5
Paperback, 24 pp.
PDF, 2,521 kb
Employee Benefit Research Institute, 2014

Download Notes PDF pdf

Executive Summary

Trends in Health Coverage for Part-Time Workers, 1999–2012



  • The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act of 2010 (PPACA) requires that employers with 50 or more full-time workers pay a penalty if they fail to provide health coverage to full-time workers in 2014. Although enforcement has been delayed by the Obama administration, it has raised concern that employers may respond by cutting back on health coverage for part-time workers or by increasing the proportion of part-time workers employed.
  • The recent recession has already resulted in an increased use of part-time workers. However, since enactment of PPACA there has been a slight drop in the use of part-time workers.
  • Part-time workers have experienced a much larger decline in coverage than full-time workers. While PPACA may affect whether part-time workers get coverage through their job, and employers may adjust the mix of full-time and part-time workers in the future, unemployment rates and the strength of the economy may play a larger role on workforce patterns than PPACA.

Take it or Leave it? The Disposition of DC Accounts: Who Rolls Over into an IRA? Who Leaves Money in the Plan and Who Withdraws Cash?



  • A worker’s disposition of his or her DC retirement account balances at the point of separation from a previous employer is one of the most important decisions a DC plan participant faces, but there is very little documented evidence of what they decide to do with their assets. This study uses HRS data to analyze the disposition of DC accounts for a group of workers aged 50 or above.
  • Leaving the money in the prior plan was the most common outcome for those who remain in the labor force after leaving a job. A decision to take a cash withdrawal of accumulated savings declined with higher account balances, higher incomes, existing ownership of an IRA account, and higher financial wealth. The decision to take a cash withdrawal also rose with debt levels.
  • The decision to rollover those DC distributions to an IRA is the mirror image of the characteristics influencing cash withdrawals. Rollover decisions increased with higher account balances, higher incomes, previous ownership of an IRA account, and greater financial wealth. They also declined with higher debt.