Posted by: Nicole Nelson
By: Ben Rooney
NEW YORK (CNNMoney.com) -- Nearly half of U.S. workers who left their job last year cashed out their 401(k) accounts, according to a study released Wednesday, despite ongoing efforts to dissuade Americans from doing so.
Hewitt Associates, a global human resources consulting firm, said 46% of employees who left their job last year took a cash distribution from their 401(k) plan.
The "alarmingly high" number, which was based on a study of 170,000 401(k) participants, has remained virtually unchanged since 2005, the group said.
Pamela Hess, Hewitt's director of retirement research, said employers and policymakers need to work together to change employee behaviors and reduce 401(k) cash-out rates.