“IRA Withdrawals, 2011,” and “Employer and Worker Contributions to Health Reimbursement Arrangements and Health Savings Accounts, 2006–2013”

February 2014, Vol. 35, No. 2
Paperback, 24 pp.
PDF, 1,845 kb
Employee Benefit Research Institute, 2014

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Executive Summary

IRA Withdrawals, 2011



  • The EBRI IRA Database, an ongoing project that collects data from IRA plan administrators, contains information for 2011 on 20.5 million accounts with total assets of $1.456 trillion. In this study, only withdrawals from the accounts identified as traditional or Roth IRAs in the database are examined, a total of 15.3 million accounts with $1.11 trillion in assets.
  • Just over 16 percent of traditional and Roth IRA accounts had a withdrawal in 2011, including 20.5 percent of traditional accounts. This percentage was largely driven by activity among traditional IRAs owned by individuals ages 70-½ or older where the individuals were required to make withdrawals from their tax-qualified accounts.
  • Looking at accounts that have both a withdrawal and a rollover, there appeared to be some movement of dollars consistent with a desire to take advantage of differing tax rules between IRAs and employment-based retirement plans; nearly a third (29.5 percent) of those having both a rollover and a withdrawal took a withdrawal at least equal to that of the rollover.
  • While the median withdrawal rates suggest that many individuals are highly likely to maintain the IRA as a source of income throughout retirement, further study is needed to see if these individuals are keeping their withdrawal rates at these levels as they get older.

Employer and Worker Contributions to Health Reimbursement Arrangements and Health Savings Accounts, 2006–2013



  • This report presents findings from the 2013 EBRI/Greenwald & Associates Consumer Engagement in Health Care Survey (CEHCS), as well as earlier surveys, examining the availability of health reimbursement arrangements (HRAs) and health-savings-account (HSA)-eligible plans (consumer-driven health plans, or CDHPs). It also looks at employer and individual contribution behavior.
  • The percentage of workers reporting that their employers contribute to the account increased. Among individuals with employer contributions, the percentage with contributions between $200–$499 and $750–$999 increased while contributions of $1,000 or more fell in 2013.
  • Workers with employee-only coverage dropped their contributions, but those with family coverage kept their contribution levels steady.