By Thomas Hawkins | September 2, 2016

Why should plans care about roll-in contributions?

Establishing a program that encourages participant rollover contributions (or “roll-ins”) is one of the most beneficial programs that a plan can implement.

For participants, roll-ins:

  1. Consolidate retirement savings
  2. Reduce fees from holding multiple retirement accounts
  3. Simplify retirement planning
  4. Are proven to decrease the incidence of cashouts

For plans, roll-ins:

  1. Increase average balances
  2. Enhance financial wellness metrics
  3. Reduce the number of small accounts
  4. Improve the effectiveness of in-plan retirement income solutions

What steps can a plan take to support roll-ins?

  1. Make sure that the plan accepts roll-ins. This should be clearly-identified in the plan document, in the section addressing plan contributions.
  2. Clearly communicate the plan’s roll-in feature to participants, particularly at initial eligibility and during annual enrollment.

Example forms of communication include

- Printed materials

- Participant E-Mails

- Internal benefits website

Be sure to emphasize:- Saving the participant time & money

- Un-complicating participants’ lives
- Improving the participant’s retirement readiness

  1. Offer essential roll-in support, including instructions and easy access to the required contribution forms

Will my plan’s recordkeeper do a good job of supporting roll-ins?

It depends.

  • Roll-ins can be complex transactions, with many variations. Most recordkeepers are more-familiar with high-volume, repetitive transactions.
  • The nature of the roll-in process requires a “workflow” orientation, vs. a simple transactional approach.

To effectively support your roll-in program, we suggest that plans consider a facilitated roll-in service provider that specializes in supporting roll-in programs.

What should plans look for in a facilitated roll-in service provider?

Look for a firm that’s unbiased and can effectively work with you, your recordkeeper and your participants.

The best roll-in service providers should:

  • Operate on a fee-for-service basis. All participants -- regardless of balance -- can be encouraged to take advantage of the roll-in program.
  • Offer fees that can be structured on either a “participant-pay” or a “plan-pay” basis.
  • Qualify as a permissible plan expense, if paid for by the plan.
  • Have a proven track record of success in performing plan-to-plan roll-ins.

What results should plans expect from an effective program of roll-ins?

Based on our five years of experience with a mega plan sponsor, we believe that you can expect that:

  1. Around 15%+ of new participants will decide to transfer qualified assets into the plan.
  2. Average balances can increase substantially. In our mega plan sponsor, they increased over 57%.
  3. Participant experiences and overall satisfaction with the roll-in process will improve dramatically.

Where can I get additional information?

For more information on roll-ins, visit:

For more information on the roll-in case study, visit: