Auto Portability - Media Coverage

As a key retirement savings public policy initiative, auto portability is receiving a lot of media attention. Find out who is saying what about auto portability.

401(k) Fridays
Dec
06
2019

401(k) Plans & Auto Portability: Should Your Suite of Auto Plan Features Include Rollovers?

On 12/06/19, RCH Founder, President and CEO Spencer Williams recorded a podcast with Rick Unser of 401(k) Fridays. The hour-long discussion covered the long term impact of automatic enrollment, and the emerging auto concept of Auto Portability. Williams details what Auto Portability is, the retirement challenges it intends to solve, how it differs from today’s auto-cashouts or auto-rollovers and shares how employers or retirement service partners can get involved.

Mar
23
2018

When 401(k) Participants Go Missing: How It Happens, The Impact & What To Do!

RCH Founder, President and CEO Spencer Williams speaks with Rick Unser of 401(k) Fridays, taking on the old problem of missing participants, as well as auto portability, the new solution that may help keep participant information current, prevent cashout leakage and consolidate participants' retirement savings within the 401(k) system.

401k Specialist
Feb
19
2024

A More Enlightened Approach to Uncashed Distribution Checks

No retirement plan sponsor likes the idea of dealing with uncashed distribution checks, nor do they wish to draw unwanted regulatory attention or to become embroiled in costly litigation. Unfortunately, many plan sponsors place themselves in precisely that spot, becoming unnecessarily over-burdened with unresolved uncashed checks, while inviting unwanted regulatory scrutiny and/or legal challenges by having flawed uncashed check policies. In his 2/19/24 opinion piece in 401k Specialist Magazine, RCH's Tom Hawkins lays out a "more-enlightened" approach to the problem of uncashed distribution checks, seeking to minimize their numbers, while simultaneously steering clear of the “red flags” that could land them in hot water.

Jan
18
2024

4 Retirement Initiatives Vital to Closing the Racial Wealth Gap

Writing in 401k Specialist, RCH's Tom Hawkins examines four retirement initiatives that could help in closing America's racial wealth gap. Leading off the article, Hawkins cites U.S. Treasury research identifying a significant racial wealth gap that has remained essentially unchanged over the past 20 years. In the retirement space, Hawkins identifies expanded access, auto portability, emergency savings and the Saver's Match as key initiatives that will make significant contributions to closing the gap, provided that retirement plan sponsors fully embrace and support them.

Dec
26
2023

4 Key Findings from the New Auto Portability Simulation

Writing in 401k Specialist, RCH's Tom Hawkins summarizes the four key findings from the firm's Auto Portability Simulation (APS), a discrete event simulation that models the impacts of auto portability over a 40-year period, and are detailed in a new white paper, Revisiting the Auto Portability Simulation: The Impact of the Portability Services Network, SECURE 2.0 and Expanded Access. Hawkins contends that the new APS analysis has improved the model’s predictive accuracy by incorporating new parameters that reflect “changing realities” driven by three major developments: 1) the advent of the Portability Services Network, 2) the passage of the SECURE 2.0 Act and 3) ongoing progress in expanding access to workplace retirement savings plans. The paper's key findings highlight the growth of the participant population that will be subject to mandatory distributions, as well as auto portability’s effects on reducing cashout leakage, generating incremental retirement wealth, and delivering benefits to minorities and lower-income workers.

Dec
11
2023

Auto Portability: It’s All About the Participants

Writing in 401k Specialist, RCH's Tom Hawkins reminds readers what auto portability is all about -- improving the retirement security of marginalized defined contribution participants. These participants -- comprised largely of minorities, women, younger and lower-income participants -- not only need auto portability the most, but there's solid evidence that they want it as well. To support his claim, Hawkins cites three highly-regarded surveys that have found a strong participant preference for auto portability and for consolidating small balances within the defined contribution system, and believes that recent developments will "augur well for Americans’ retirement security."

Nov
09
2023

Portability Services Network Launches Solution to Reduce Plan Leakage

401k Specialist's Amanda Umpierrez reports on the 11/7/23 announcement from the Portability Services Network (PSN), signaling that the network's auto portability solution is operational and that member recordkeepers will commence rolling out the service to their plan sponsor clients. Umpierrez quotes Retirement Clearinghouse (RCH) and PSN Chairman Robert L. Johnson, who states: "[t]he Portability Services Network is poised to deliver on its core mission to stem the cash-out crisis that harms Black and other under-served and under-saved low-wage workers" including preserving $619 billion in retirement savings for low-wage Black workers and minority communities over the next generation. Johnson also notes the "great interest" expressed thus far by employer plan sponsors.

Oct
24
2023

No One is Coming to Save You From Missing Participants

Writing in 401k Specialist, Tom Hawkins provides his views on the dilemma facing plan sponsors who must confront the problem of locating missing plan participants. Despite ongoing efforts petitioning regulatory authorities for clear, bright line guidance, plan sponsors "must take decisive action to avoid being overwhelmed, including implementing effective, common-sense search practices, and pairing those search practices with other actions that will minimize the incidence of missing participants over time." Hawkins also urges plan sponsors to consider embracing retirement savings portability, including auto portability, to assist separated participants in consolidating their retirement savings following a job change.

Previously featured in RCH's Consolidation Corner

Sep
06
2023

Focus Shifts to Plan Sponsors as Portability Network Set to Go Live

Writing in 401k Specialist, RCH's Tom Hawkins describes the coming "shift" that will occur when the Portability Services Network (PSN) goes live at the beginning of the fourth quarter of 2023. Describing PSN's network-building achievements to date as "nothing short of phenomenal", Hawkins adds that "integration had proceeded apace" and that "plan sponsors will take center stage as they begin to adopt auto portability and witness its tangible results." Plan sponsor adoption will accelerate as auto portability demonstrates its obvious benefits to plans, to participants and to society at large, where adoption will eventually serve as a "positive indicator of a socially responsible enterprise."

Previously featured in RCH's Consolidation Corner

Aug
11
2023

Why the Future is Now Brighter for Small-Balance Retirement Accounts

RCH's Tom Hawkins, writing in 401k Specialist, describes the "brighter future" emerging for small-balance retirement savings accounts. Hawkins maintains that these accounts, which he associates with an increased incidence of sub-optimal participant outcomes, will fare much better in the future due to "large-scale, industry-led action on auto portability, and more recently, proactive steps being taken by leading providers to consolidate legacy small-balance IRAs."

Previously featured in RCH's Consolidation Corner

Jul
28
2023

With Eye on IRAs, Vanguard Expands Relationship with Retirement Clearinghouse

401k Specialist Editor-in-Chief Brian Anderson, reports on Vanguard's announcement of an expanded collaboration with Retirement Clearinghouse (RCH) that will reconnect IRA accountholders with retirement funds they may have lost or forgotten. The initiative extends the existing relationship with RCH, which launched in 2021, as the two companies have collaborated to prepare an auto-portability service to 401(k) plan sponsors and their participants.

Jul
06
2023

Principal Becomes 6th Recordkeeper to Join Portability Services Network

401k Specialist Editor-in-Chief Brian Anderson covers the 7/6/23 announcement by Principal that it has joined the Portability Services Network -- a "consortium of retirement plan service providers focused on helping America’s under-served and under-saved workers improve their retirement outcomes by making it easier to transfer their workplace retirement accounts when changing employers." With the move, reports Anderson, "Principal becomes a board member and one of seven owning members of PSN, which utilizes the auto-portability solution created by Retirement Clearinghouse."

Jul
03
2023

The 401(k) ‘House-Cleaning’ to Come

The increase in the automatic rollover threshold from $5,000 to $7,000, as provided for in section 304 of the SECURE 2.0 legislation, will become effective for mandatory distributions made after December 31, 2023. What will be the impact of these provisions, if fully embraced by plan sponsors? One thing is certain – on both a one-time and ongoing basis, far more terminated participants will be subject to the automatic rollover provisions of their former-employers’ plans. Writing in 401k Specialist, RCH's Tom Hawkins explores the impact of an increased threshold that, when paired with the advent of auto portability and the operational status of the Portability Services Network (PSN), could mean that small balance terminated participants will finally come out on top.

May
24
2023

As Time Passes, the Gains Become Harder

RCH's Tom Hawkins, writing in 401k Specialist, observes that our nearly 45 year-old defined contribution system may face diminishing returns as it tries to generate future growth, and should focus on quality and efficiency as it simultaneously expands access. Using fitness as an analogy, Hawkins offers a "workout plan" for the DC system, including plugging leakage through increased portability and emergency savings, while fostering increased retirement savings consolidation to avoid an explosion in small accounts. When combined with expanded access initiatives, these measures can dramatically increase Americans' retirement security, over and above expanding access alone.

May
04
2023

Cashout Leakage Alert: Highway Through the ‘Danger Zone’

Writing in 401k Specialist, RCH's Tom Hawkins notes that the issue of 401(k) cashout leakage is "once again in the news, with the publication of an alarming study by academics, as well as new data from Fidelity Investments." Hawkins goes on to cite "compelling real-world data that supports the efficacy of retirement savings portability in dramatically reducing unnecessary cashout leakage" -- representing "a much-needed highway through the ‘danger zone’ of unnecessary cashout leakage, increasing retirement security for millions of job-changing 401(k) participants."

Apr
07
2023

Corporate Roundup: TIAA and RCH Consortium, Upwise and Savi Collaboration

Writing in the weekly Corporate Roundup feature for 401k Specialist, Amanda Umpierrez recaps the 4/4/23 announcement from TIAA that it is joining the Portability Services Network (PSN), an industry-led consortium of recordkeepers formed to accelerate the adoption of auto portability. Umpierrez includes quotes from Thasunda Brown Duckett, president & CEO of TIAA, as well as RLJ Companies, PSN and RCH Chairman Robert L. Johnson.

Mar
15
2023

A Renaissance for Auto Enrollment

Writing in 401k Specialist, Tom Hawkins examines the past, present and potential future of automatic enrollment, the popular 401(k) plan feature that has made great strides since 2007, but has faced headwinds in achieving adoption in high-turnover enterprises. Now, thanks to a SECURE 2.0 mandate for new plans, along with the retirement industry's embrace of auto portability, auto enrollment may soon undergo a "renaissance" and enter its final phase of growth, delivering disproportionate benefits to under-saved and under-served workers, including minorities, women and those with lower incomes.

Previously featured in the RCH Consolidation Corner blog

Feb
28
2023

5 Most Meaningful Provisions of SECURE 2.0

Writing in 401k Specialist, Northern Trust's Lee Freitag offers his take on the five most meaningful provisions included in SECURE 2.0 legislation. Making Freitag's top 5 list is auto portability, which he writes will "provide plan sponsors [with] services to effectuate transfers to the employees' new plan, making it less likely workers will forget about balances left behind when they change jobs."

Feb
14
2023

Auto Portability Consortium Adds Empower

401k Specialist Editor-in-Chief Brian Anderson writes that "[t]he fledgling Portability Services Network added another major recordkeeper this week with the news that Empower has joined the consortium in an effort to help accelerate the nationwide adoption of auto-portability with 401(k) accounts." Anderson notes that "adding Empower will bring approximately 17 million more retirement plan participants in more than 70,000 plans" to PSN, and quotes Empower President & CEO Edmund F. Murphy III and Robert L. Johnson, Chairman of The RLJ Companies and Chairman of Portability Services Network and Retirement Clearinghouse.

Feb
02
2023

Dialing Up the Intensity of Missing Participant Searches

Writing in 401k Specialist, RCH's Tom Hawkins helps plan sponsors understand how and when they should increase the intensity of their missing participant searches. When it comes to locating missing retirement plan participants, Hawkins notes that “there’s no substitute for an effective electronic, or ‘e-search.’ However, retirement plan sponsors will inevitably encounter scenarios where periodic e-searches alone will not suffice.” Hawkins provides plan sponsors with six actionable steps to increase search intensity and offers tips on how to minimize the cost & effort associated with missing participants.

Jan
16
2023

The Big Shift Towards Auto Portability

RCH's Tom Hawkins, writing in 401k Specialist, asks readers if they've noticed the recent "big shift" towards auto portability. Hawkins writes: "[f]or those accustomed to a glacial pace of change in the world of retirement, you could be forgiven if you’ve missed two very recent, tectonic shifts toward the system-wide adoption of auto portability" that occurred in rapid succession in the fourth quarter of 2022. The formation of the Portability Services Network (PSN) in October, quickly followed by SECURE 2.0 legislation that included important auto portability provisions, were both "unprecedented actions" which Hawkins asserts will continue to reverberate in the retirement industry. "The 'big shift'", Hawkins concludes, "won't be completed overnight, but it's already well underway, and will proceed with a pace that could take many more by surprise."

Previously featured in RCH's Consolidation Corner blog

Dec
22
2022

2022: A Most Consequential Year for Retirement Savings Portability

Last year at this time, Retirement Clearinghouse (RCH) predicted that 2022 would be a pivotal year for retirement savings portability. It turns out we were right, but we confess to being pleasantly surprised at just how consequential (and positive) the year has been, and it’s not over yet. Writing in 401k Specialist, RCH's Tom Hawkins provides a rundown of key events during 2022 that have helped to positively shape the future of retirement savings portability.

Dec
14
2022

Webinar Showcases Extraordinary Industry Alignment on Auto Portability

For defined contribution recordkeepers, competition has long been fierce, so it’s extraordinary when industry rivals join forces and align around a common cause. That alignment around auto portability, embodied in the newly launched Portability Services Network (PSN), was on full display in a 12/8/22 Groom Law Group webinar. The event featured representatives from retirement industry titans and founding PSN members Alight Solutions, Fidelity Investments and the Vanguard Group, joined by Retirement Clearinghouse (RCH) EVP Neal Ringquist. Watch a video replay of the webinar and read a summary of the event.

Previously featured in RCH's Consolidation Corner

Nov
29
2022

Morningstar Study Analyzes Top Retirement Systems Around the Globe

401k Specialist reporter Amanda Umpierrez reviews breaking research from Morningstar (Going Global: An Evaluation of Retirement Systems Around the World), which compares and contrasts various aspects of retirement savings systems around the world. Umpierrez writes: "[r]egarding auto-portability, each country varied in handling inactive vs. active accounts and employee movement. In Sweden, the U.S. and the U.K., employees must be proactive in changing and moving their accounts themselves."

Nov
04
2022

Auto-Portability Receives Bipartisan Backing with House Bill

401k Specialist's Amanda Umpierrez examines HR 9252, auto portability legislation recently introduced to the House of Representatives by Reps. Brad Schneider (D-IL) and Ron Estes (R-KS). Umpierrez turns to Renee Wilder-Guerin, RCH's EVP, Public Policy, who states: “[w]e hope that it indicates that not only do we have support for auto-portability on the Senate side, but we have support on the House, and that increases the chances of auto-portability language being included in SECURE 2.0.”

Oct
05
2022

Auto Portability’s Big Move: Major Recordkeepers Form Consortium with RCH

The 401k Specialist Magazine's Managing Editor Brian Anderson writes that "401k auto portability took a huge step forward today" with the news that "Fidelity Investments, Vanguard, Alight Solutions and Retirement Clearinghouse (RCH) have established an industry-first consortium to accelerate nationwide adoption" of auto portability. Anderson notes that the group aims to "govern the network as an industry utility designed with the goal of operating at the lowest cost to workers participating in auto portability."

Sep
27
2022

Why DEI and ‘Traditional’ Automatic Rollovers Don’t Mix

When it comes to 401(k) diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) initiatives, RCH’s Tom Hawkins observes broad support for expanded access and automatic features, since they “are supportive of increasing participation and asset accumulation across all demographics.” No one, writes Hawkins, points to ‘traditional’ automatic rollovers as facilitating DEI goals, as they “penalize the very demographic segments that DEI initiatives strive to uplift.” Hawkins urges plan sponsors to re-tool ‘traditional’ automatic rollover programs to include education and assistance and to incorporate auto portability – delivering more equitable retirement outcomes for under-saved and under-served participants.

Sep
16
2022

How 401k Consultants Miss the Automatic Rollover Mark

401(k) plan consultants have been forceful advocates for the adoption of best practices at leading retirement plan sponsors. However, when it comes to automatic rollover programs, plan consultants sometimes miss the mark, at least in terms of participant outcomes. RCH's Tom Hawkins, writing in 401k Specialist, makes the case that 401(k) plan consultants should extend their analysis to emphasize those automatic rollover program components that help participants improve their retirement outcomes by avoiding cashouts, moving their retirement savings forward, and keeping their stay in safe harbor IRAs as brief as possible.

Previously featured in the RCH Consolidation Corner Blog

Also featured in The Wealth Advisor

Sep
07
2022

401k Plans: An Ongoing Public-Private Partnership That Works

In observance of National 401(k) Day on Friday, September 9th, RCH's Tom Hawkins takes the opportunity to reflect on the long-running, highly successful public-private collaboration that has fostered the rapid ascendance of America’s 401(k) system. Writing in 401k Specialist Magazine, Hawkins states that "this partnership will continue to drive innovations that will expand and improve the 401k system for millions of Americans – not only helping them to save more but preserving more of their savings for retirement."

Aug
09
2022

3 Ways 401k Plan Sponsors Can Boost Participant Awareness

Writing in 401k Specialist, RCH's Tom Hawkins draws attention to National Financial Awareness Day, which falls on August 14th. In his piece, Hawkins offers plan sponsors 3 steps they can take to increase financial awareness. Plan sponsors who follow these steps, asserts Hawkins, "won’t simply produce more awareness in the minds of their participants, they’ll generate quantifiable results, coming in the form of decreased cashouts, higher levels of consolidation and average plan balances, as well as a lower incidence of missing participants."

Jul
12
2022

Why Missing 401k Participants Are So Misunderstood

Writing in 401k Specialist, RCH's Tom Hawkins examines the topic of missing participants, which he states: "is a problem that’s ill-defined and poorly understood, and where fundamental misunderstandings exist, inadequate solutions – paired with the prospect of unwanted regulatory attention or audits – can follow." Hawkins asserts that "taking proactive steps to conduct searches, and turning on plan features that promote retirement savings portability are the key steps required to getting off the missing participant treadmill."

Jun
22
2022

SECURE 2.0 Momentum Surges with EARN Act’s Unanimous Committee Approval Today

401k Specialist Managing Editor Brian Anderson covers breaking, retirement-related legislative action in the US Senate, which voted unanimously in the Finance Committee to advance legislation that includes provisions for auto portability. Anderson's piece includes a synopsis of comments by Sen. Ron Wyden (D-OR) on the bill's four major reforms, including auto portability. Regarding auto portability, Anderson quotes Wyden as stating that the EARN Act is going to make portability "a whole lot simpler.”

May
27
2022

5 New Automatic Rollover Criteria for 401k Plan Sponsors

In his latest piece in 401k Specialist, RCH's Tom Hawkins writes that the criteria for selecting an automatic rollover IRA provider have fundamentally changed. In the past, most 401(k) plan sponsors simply accepted the solution offered through their recordkeeper or TPA. While others performed due diligence, they applied a limited set of criteria including basic fees, investment options and accountholder service. Few considered the grim realities facing terminated participants forced out into safe harbor IRAs, including excessive cashouts, forgotten accounts, hidden fees, and barriers to exit. Now, writes Hawkins, it's incumbent upon plan sponsors to fundamentally “re-think” these programs, incorporating 5 new criteria to ensure that their automatic rollover IRA programs are fiduciary-friendly, while dramatically improving participants’ retirement outcomes.

May
20
2022

401k Portability in Four Movements: Case Study

Writing in 401k Specialist, RCH's Tom Hawkins examines the experience of a very large (250,000+ participants) 401(k) plan sponsor that has been highly successful in delivering improved participant outcomes by incrementally adopting a full program of retirement savings portability. Looking at four distinct five-year periods that coincided with increasing levels of portability and improved participant outcomes, Hawkins writes that "there’s no finer example of those [improved] outcomes than the multi-year, real-world experience of this plan sponsor, where thousands of participants increased their prospects for a timely and comfortable retirement."

May
09
2022

How to Address the Achilles’ Heel of State Auto-IRA Programs

RCH's Tom Hawkins, writing in 401k Specialist, offers his view that state-sponsored auto-IRA programs, despite their potential size and strength, suffer from an obvious weakness, or "Achilles’ heel": a lack of retirement savings portability. Hawkins writes: "Without addressing their portability problem, auto-IRA programs could expand, but may never reach their full potential, housing large numbers of churning, small-balance accounts. However, with adequate support for portability both into and out of these programs, they could dramatically increase the odds that they deliver on their promise of building incremental retirement wealth for millions of Americans."

May
03
2022

Key 401k Portability Finding in EBRI’s Retirement Confidence Survey

Writing in 401k Specialist, RCH's Tom Hawkins digs into EBRI's 2022 Retirement Confidence Survey (RCS), locating an interesting and valuable finding not referenced in the organization’s initial report, officially released to the public on Thursday, April 28th. In an excerpt of a report available to survey partners, the survey found that a plurality of job-changing 401(k) plan participants favor automatic plan-to-plan portability over consolidating their savings to an IRA, or to leaving their savings behind in their former employer’s plan. This result comes on the heels of EBRI’s 2021 survey, which found that nearly 9 in 10 participants believed that auto portability would be valuable to them. Hawkins adds that "others -- including the Department of Labor – could find 401(k) participants’ strong preference for plan-to-plan portability compelling."

Apr
13
2022

How to Fill the ‘Leaky’ 401k Bucket

Writing in 401k Specialist, RCH’s Tom Hawkins opines on pending legislation that seeks to expand access for under-served and under-saved demographic segments, but may fall short if it fails to incorporate measures that minimize cashout leakage. Noting that SECURE 2.0’s expanded access provisions seek to benefit women, minorities and lower-income workers – the same demographic segments that cash out their small balance savings at disproportionate rates – Hawkins suggests that legislators consider inclusion of measures that would “spur more rapid adoption” of auto portability “by codifying into law the guidance issued by the Department of Labor and by creating modest tax incentives to encourage more early adoption of the feature.”

Apr
01
2022

401k Auto Portability Featured in Senate HELP Committee Hearing

Writing in 401k Specialist Magazine, Renée Wilder Guerin, RCH’s EVP of Public Policy, examines the 3/29/22 hearing held by the U.S. Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor & Pensions (HELP), which focused on solutions that would enhance retirement security for Americans, particularly those who are under-served and under-saved. Two of the four witnesses, WISER’s Cindy Hounsell and The Aspen Institute’s Ida Rademacher offered testimony highlighting the benefits of auto portability in leveling the playing field for women, minorities, and lower income workers. The latest hearing, writes Wilder Guerin “builds on previous Senate hearings and fuels growing momentum for auto portability among legislators, policymakers, advocacy groups, providers and plan sponsors.”

Mar
17
2022

What 401k Advisors Need to Know About Auto Portability

Writing in 401k Specialist, RCH EVP and Chief Revenue Officer Neal Ringquist speaks directly to financial advisors on auto portability. Ringquist firmly believes that financial advisors will enjoy significant benefits from auto portability, but understands that all advisors may not “be there” yet in terms of fully understanding what auto portability is, how they stand to benefit from it, and how they should assess auto portability’s prospects for success. Ringquist walks advisors through important facts, data and information that should facilitate better understanding of auto portability and how it could positively impact their practices.

Mar
09
2022

Why Account Consolidation is Vital to Reduce 401k Cybersecurity Risk

Writing in 401k Specialist, Retirement Clearinghouse EVP & Chief Operating Officer Ricki Ingalls makes the case for consolidation as a means to reduce cybersecurity risks for the 401(k) system. Appealing to common sense, Ingalls notes that “fraud starts small” and that consolidation of small balance 401(k) accounts achieved via auto portability can effectively minimize the cyber “attack surface” these excess accounts represent. Ingalls continues by describing the robust cybersecurity features that have been incorporated into auto portability.

Mar
04
2022

Toward a Sustainable and ‘Greener’ 401k System

Writing in 401k Specialist, RCH’s Tom Hawkins reacts to the DOL’s 2/14/22 Request for Information (RFI) seeking comment on ways to “protect life savings and pensions from threats of climate-related financial risk.” Hawkins contends that our retirement system itself has significant sustainability problems that are more financially material to future retirees than climate change. Hawkins urges action to address the 401(k) system’s inefficiency and waste, which could “produce more of the ‘green’ that will matter to future retirees.” Hawkins notes the findings of a recent Brookings Institution report on the problem of small retirement accounts, which recommends improvements in “combining accounts” and includes support for auto portability.

Feb
11
2022

How Auto Portability Helps Women, Minorities and Lower-Income Workers

Writing in 401k Specialist, RCH’s Tom Hawkins opines on the release of the ERISA Advisory Council’s latest report – “Gaps in Retirement Savings Based on Race, Ethnicity and Gender.” In that report, Cindy Hounsell, President of WISER, observed that auto portability's benefits would primarily accrue to those with lower incomes, to minorities, and to women. The EAC's final report also included a recommendation to “study the feasibility of a national portability system” – more commonly referred to as auto portability. Hawkins found the EAC’s recommendation “remarkable given the fact that it emanated from a diverse group of 14 industry experts holding a wide range of opinions on practically any topic.”

Feb
03
2022

The ‘Fix’ for Missing 401k Participants and Forgotten Accounts

Auto portability has received a lot of well-deserved attention for its ability to reduce cashout leakage by automatically consolidating small-balance retirement savings, but its effect on preserving participants’ retirement savings is only half of its compelling story. In an opinion piece for 401k Specialist, RCH's Tom Hawkins explores how auto portability can also act as the 'fix' for the related problems of missing participants, uncashed distribution checks and small, forgotten 401(k) accounts.

Jan
24
2022

401k Market Minute: Auto Portability’s Big Boost

In his weekly 401k Market Minute video segment, 401k Specialist Editor-in-Chief John Sullivan leads off his news round-up with the "big boost" obtained by auto portability following its recent endorsements by the nation's two premier civil rights organizations, the NAACP and the National Urban League.

Jan
20
2022

How to ‘Materially Reduce’ Retirement Savings Deficits Across Races

401k Specialist Editor-in-Chief John Sullivan examines the latest Issue Brief from the Employee Benefit Research Institute (EBRI), which assesses the impact of recently-proposed changes to the retirement system and how they could shrink retirement deficits. Sullivan notes that "combining automatic contribution provisions with an enhanced Saver’s Credit in 401ks and DC plans would reduce retirement savings shortfalls by 17% to 26%, depending on race" adding that "the addition of auto portability of retirement accounts resulted in a further double-digit reduction in savings shortfall across all races examined."

Jan
19
2022

National Urban League, NAACP Endorse 401k Auto Portability

Robert L. Johnson, Founder and Chairman of The RLJ Companies and majority owner of Retirement Clearinghouse (RCH), has secured endorsements for auto portability from two premier civil rights organizations – the National Urban League, and the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) – both with over a century of experience advocating for solutions that address the inequities and economic challenges experienced by Black Americans and by other communities of color. Writing in 401k Specialist, RCH's Renée Wilder Guerin, Executive Vice President, Public Policy, summarizes these major developments.

Jan
10
2022

4 Reasons Why 401k Auto Portability is Inevitable

Writing in 401k Specialist, RCH's Tom Hawkins offers an optimistic assessment of the prospects for auto portability. Hawkins, a self-confessed "long-time, unabashed proponent" of auto portability, has recently concluded that the feature's eventual, widespread adoption is "inevitable" and supports his position with four key points.

Dec
16
2021

Solving 401k Portability and Cashout Leakage a Key DOL Priority

On 12/6/21, Kathleen Kennedy Townsend, Special Assistant to the Secretary of Labor for Retirement, served as the keynote speaker at EBRI's 90th Public Policy Forum, and outlined the big-picture, retirement-focused priorities of the DOL. One of the DOL's three priorities is the issue of portability and leakage. Writing in 401k Specialist, RCH's Tom Hawkins examines Townsend's remarks to her EBRI audience, which revealed that she has a clear grasp of the magnitude of the cashout leakage problem, as well as its most-promising solution – enabling plan-to-plan portability.

Dec
15
2021

The Great Resignation Doesn’t Have to Derail 401(k) Savers

Writing in the print edition of 401k Specialist Magazine, Managing Editor Brian Anderson examines the growing concern over the phenomenon known as the 'Great Resignation' and its highly negative, potential impact on the retirement security of millions of job-changing Americans. After examining the problem, Anderson identifies auto portability as the 'antidote' to the Great Resignation -- quoting a prior piece by RCH's Tom Hawkins that stated: "No other program or public policy option even comes close, including the proposed establishment of a retirement savings 'lost and found.'"

Dec
13
2021

3 Resolutions for 401k Plan Sponsors in 2022

Writing in 401k Specialist, RCH EVP Neal Ringquist offers 401(k) plan sponsors his suggestions for three 2022 resolutions that, if acted on, could deliver significant benefits for their plans, for their participants and ultimately for the entire 401(k) ecosystem. Ringquist bases his suggestions on several pivotal events that occurred in 2021, underscoring the need to deploy true plan-to-plan portability to solve the problem of cashout leakage.

Dec
06
2021

A Brief History of 401k Auto Portability (and Why it Matters)

Auto portability is a new “automatic” plan feature rapidly gaining acceptance by large defined contribution recordkeepers. While the feature is relatively new, it’s tempting to view auto portability as an “overnight success.” In fact, auto portability has been a long time in the making. In his latest article in 401k Specialist, RCH's Tom Hawkins examines a “brief history” of auto portability, including an embedded video featured on YouTube.

Nov
19
2021

4 Reasons Why 401k Auto Portability Can’t Wait

Writing in 401k Specialist Magazine, RCH's Tom Hawkins makes the case that auto portability can wait no longer and cites four key reasons that the new "automatic" feature should be adopted. Hawkins' key reasons include: 1) cashout leakage isn't waiting, 2) the "Great Resignation" is accelerating, 3) policy initiatives that expand access to workplace retirement plans require auto portability to realize their intended benefits, and 4) auto portability is here, now and working.

Previously featured in Consolidation Corner

Nov
15
2021

Graff’s Path: The ARA CEO on Bipartisanship, the Coverage Gap and What’s Next for the Organization

To mark the 25th anniversary of his tenure, Brian Graff, CEO of the prestigious American Retirement Association (ARA) sat down with 401k Specialist Editor-in-Chief John Sullivan to discuss a range of topics, including the organization's history of effectively influencing retirement legislation. During the interview, the pair turned to the important topic of addressing 401(k) cashout leakage, where Graff voiced his clear view that auto portability represents the best approach to solving the problem.

Nov
01
2021

401k Cashout Leakage, Auto Portability Featured in Senate Committee Hearing

Writing in 401k Specialist Magazine, RCH's EVP of Public Policy Renee Wilder Guerin breaks down the 10/28/21 hearing held by the Senate Special Committee on Aging -- A Financially Secure Future: Building a Stronger Retirement System for All Americans -- and found it to be highly-focused on solving the problems of cashout leakage, as well as advancing its most promising solution, auto portability. Re-capping key testimony and Q&A from the hearing (including excerpted video), Wilder Guerin concludes that lawmakers are more focused than ever on solving retirement savings problems for under-served and under-saved demographic segments.

Sep
30
2021

Top 5 Misconceptions About 401k Auto-Portability

Auto portability is a new “automatic” plan feature that is rapidly gaining acceptance by large defined contribution recordkeepers serving almost 10 million participants. While the feature is relatively new, it has received a great deal of attention in the media and has also been the beneficiary of definitive regulatory guidance, promulgated by the Department of Labor (DOL). Despite this, significant misconceptions persist about auto portability, and the top five are presented in 401k Specialist Magazine by RCH's Tom Hawkins, including a link to a short video.

Sep
21
2021

401k Auto-Portability Takes ‘Giant Leap Forward’ with Vanguard, RCH Deal

401k Specialist Managing Editor Brian Anderson reports on the "Great Leap Forward" for RCH Auto Portability represented by the 9/21/21 announcement by Vanguard that it will begin providing plan sponsors with the auto portability solution to simplify small-balance 401k rollovers, expected to launch in mid-2022.

Sep
17
2021

401k Auto Portability’s Significant Benefits to Pending Legislation

Writing in 401k Specialist Magazine, RCH's Tom Hawkins recaps a 9/13/21 Employee Benefit Research Institute (EBRI) webinar (The Impact of Proposed Legislative Changes on Retirement Income Adequacy). In the webinar, EBRI Research Director Jack VanDerhei presented an analysis of pending legislative changes, including automatic contribution plans and arrangements (ACPAs), paired with a refundable saver’s credit. Unsurprisingly, the benefits for these policy initiatives were quite large. However, what was truly surprising was the sheer magnitude of incremental benefits delivered by the addition of auto portability, significantly paring retirement shortfalls for 35–39-year-olds, across all race and ethnicity categories.

Sep
06
2021

Does The ‘Great Resignation’ Make Auto-Portability’s Case?

Writing in 401k Specialist Magazine, Editor-in-Chief John Sullivan astutely links the unusually high turnover in labor markets (the "Great Resignation") to the need for auto portability. Disproportionately affecting Black and Hispanic Americans, Sullivan writes that this unprecedented turnover could "potentially wreak havoc with orphaned retirement accounts and missing participants" and further states "[i]f ever there was a time—and need—for auto portability, this may be it."

Sep
02
2021

Beware of Unintended Effects of Retirement Savings Public Policies

Writing in 401k Specialist Magazine, RCH's Tom Hawkins examines the unintended effects that can result from retirement savings public policies that would dramatically expand access to, and participation in, defined contribution plans. While the benefits are impressive, additional undesired consequences can arise that are antithetical to the policies’ original intent, including increased cashout leakage, missing participants, uncashed checks and forgotten/stranded accounts. Understanding these highly predictable "second order" effects, Hawkins identifies plan-to-plan portability as an effective means of addressing them, while significantly boosting the overall policies’ benefits.

Jul
27
2021

Auto-Portability Provider Tops $10B Mark in 401k Account Consolidations

401k Specialist's Brian Anderson covers the 7/27/21 announcement from Retirement Clearinghouse (RCH) that the firm has surpassed $10 billion in retirement savings consolidations. The achievement, noted Anderson, "represents a greater than threefold increase in the amount of retirement account transfers completed on behalf of American workers in just six years" and extensively quotes RCH's President & CEO Spencer Williams.

Jul
16
2021

Auto-Portability Versus Authorized Portability—What’s the Difference?

Writing in 401k Specialist, RCH’s Tom Hawkins examines the positive interplay between auto portability and its nearly-automatic cousin – which he terms “authorized” portability. Authorized portability, writes Hawkins, occurs when a safe harbor IRA account not originating from within the auto portability network is matched to an active account in a plan that’s already adopted auto portability. While the accountholder must provide their consent to consolidate the balance, a frictionless automatic roll-in results, producing a win-win-win for participants, for plan sponsors and for adopting recordkeepers.

Jul
06
2021

New Data Proves Effectiveness of 401k Auto-Portability

Writing in 401k Specialist, RCH’s Tom Hawkins examines new data collected from a large plan sponsor who’s implemented auto portability’s key technology components, but requires affirmative consent from participants in order to consolidate their balances. The data reveals resounding success in the location of active plan accounts, in obtaining participant consent and in executing automated roll-ins -- all of which augur well for the future of auto portability and for consolidation of larger balances.

Jun
15
2021

401k Retirement Savings: More Gone Than Forgotten

Writing in 401k Specialist, Tom Hawkins compares & contrasts the issue of ‘forgotten’ 401(k) accounts to its more problematic relative, 401(k) cashout leakage. In the piece, Hawkins takes the position that recent attention given forgotten accounts – via draft SECURE 2.0 legislation and the release of a drama-laden white paper – have created the mistaken impression that there’s a massive problem with forgotten 401(k) accounts, when in fact ‘forgotten’ 401(k) accounts are dwarfed by 401(k) cashout leakage, in terms of both their size and severity.

Jun
04
2021

The Strong Case for a Retirement Savings ‘Lost and Found’

Writing in 401k Specialist Magazine, RCH's Tom Hawkins takes a deep dive into draft SECURE 2.0 provisions that dramatically expand the purpose, scope and scale of a Retirement Savings Lost & Found. Hawkins contends that the new provisions, as currently written, would create a massive, government-run repository of micro-balance accounts costing taxpayers millions, while failing to boost retirement security. Hawkins encourages Congress to return to an earlier Lost & Found model, while addressing the broader, small-balance account problem through policies that incentivize the adoption of auto portability.

Jun
03
2021

More Than a Trillion Dollars Stuck in ‘Forgotten’ 401ks

Writing in 401k Specialist, Brian Anderson covers the release of a white paper from Capitalize, a new fintech firm that suggests that the problem of "forgotten" 401(k) accounts can be fully-addressed by offering "portability" to an IRA. After touching on the white paper's key findings, which borrow liberally from earlier RCH research, Anderson observes that the "problem is also being addressed by auto portability" by "moving them forward within the defined contribution system following job separations."

May
27
2021

401k Leakage and Auto Portability Featured at Senate Committee Hearing

Writing in 401k Specialist, RCH EVP Tom Johnson reports on the U.S. Senate’s Committee on Health, Education, Labor and Pensions (HELP) 5/13/21 hearing on retirement security. With testimony from a blue-ribbon panel of witnesses, the hearing had a broad focus, but the topic of retirement savings leakage, and its most-promising solution, auto portability, were prominently featured in testimony by EBRI CEO Lori Lucas, and echoed by other witnesses and Committee members.

May
17
2021

A Big Problem: Another Leakage Study Reaches the Same Conclusion

Writing in 401k Specialist Magazine, RCH’s Tom Hawkins examines a retirement savings leakage study from the Joint Committee on Taxation, a nonpartisan committee of the United States Congress. Released with little fanfare on 4/26/21, the study confirms the findings of earlier research on cashout leakage – namely, that cashout leakage is a big problem, is driven by job changing, and is exacerbated by "forced distributions and [a lack of] portability of plans.”

Apr
22
2021

Why the Case for 401k Auto Portability Just Got Stronger

With the 4/22/21 release of EBRI's 31st annual Retirement Confidence Survey (RCS), the case for auto portability just became a whole lot stronger. Why? RCH's Tom Hawkins, writing in 401k Specialist, points readers to the RCS finding that nearly 9 in 10 participants believe that auto portability would be a valuable plan feature. Even more impressive than the overall response, the survey also found that specific demographic segments that benefit the most from auto portability want it even more -- including minorities, younger age groups and lower income segments. Hawkins' piece also includes a link to a new video, The Case for Auto Portability.

Apr
02
2021

Cracking the Code to True 401k Portability

Writing in 401k Specialist, RCH's Tom Hawkins notes that America’s 401(k) system, long plagued by friction, produces $92.4 billion of excessive cash-out leakage annually. However, in recent years and culminating in 2021, the private sector has finally “cracked the code” and is delivering innovative fintech solutions, combined with education and personal assistance to reduce friction and to enable true 401(k) portability.

Mar
19
2021

Consolidating Gains from a 401k Portability Program

Following on to the 2013 study by Boston Research Group (now Boston Research Technologies), a new study released by Retirement Clearinghouse (RCH) revisits a mega plan sponsor’s ongoing experience with a program of 401(k) retirement savings portability, and finds that not only have the benefits of the original program persisted, they’ve grown, with plan participants continuing to realize significant, measurable benefits.

Feb
23
2021

5 Considerations for 401k Sponsors About Missing Participants

Writing in 401k Specialist, RCH's Tom Hawkins offers retirement plan sponsors five important considerations that can help focus their efforts in designing, implementing and administering an effective program of locating missing participants. By staying focused on some key principles, including the adoption of sound search practices and retirement savings portability, plan sponsors can successfully navigate their near-term missing participant problems, while positioning their plan for far fewer problems in the future.

Feb
16
2021

One Simple Trick to Radically Boost Financial Wellness

In an opinion piece for 401k Specialist Magazine, RCH's Tom Hawkins offers 401(k) plan sponsors "one simple trick" -- retirement savings portability -- to radically boost their participants' financial wellness. In the article, Hawkins asserts that "adopting a program of retirement savings portability has never been easier" and the measurable benefits accrue not only to participants, but to the plan, to the retirement system, and even to retirement savings public policy initiatives.

Jan
26
2021

New 401k Missing Participant Research Reinforces DOL Guidance

Writing in 401k Specialist, Tom Hawkins reveals RCH's new missing participant study, Improving the Effectiveness of Electronic Missing Participant Searches, which comes on the heels of Department of Labor (DOL) guidance and is highly-useful for plan sponsors who utilize electronic searches, or “e-Searches” as they are referenced in the study.

Dec
14
2020

​Podcast Episode 15—What’s Wrong With 401k Coverage and Balances? Alicia Munnell from the Center for Retirement Research Explains

In his most recent podcast, John Sullivan interviews Dr. Alicia Munnell, director of the Center for Retirement Research at Boston College, about retirement plan coverage, leakage and other issues currently affecting 401ks. Sullivan poses the question about Auto Portability being the effective solution to the problem of leakage; Munnell's responds stating, "Auto Portability is important because it would reduce cashing out of small amounts." She goes on to mention that "Retirement Clearinghouse has been leading the way on this issue for a long time and it seems now they're poised to make a real difference."

Oct
28
2020

Former EBSA Head Rutledge Offers Favorable View on Auto Portability

In a podcast with 401k Specialist Editor-in-Chief John Sullivan, former DOL & EBSA Assistant Secretary Preston Rutledge offered his views on a variety of topics, including auto portability, stating: “the guidance on auto portability was a good development. It has the potential to make sure that your 401(k) account makes the move from your old employer to your new employer and it may help find missing participants.”

Oct
20
2020

'Auto Portability' Set to Attack

A feature article in 401k Specialist Magazine by Brian Anderson takes a deep dive into RCH's auto portability program, examining a myriad of key aspects of the "newest automatic feature...poised to alleviate the longstanding problem of cash-out leakage." In the piece, Anderson quotes The RLJ Companies Founder & Chairman Robert L. Johnson, RCH President & CEO Spencer Williams and Alight Solutions' EVP Alison Borland.

Oct
13
2020

Far Out: What If Timothy Leary Was a 401k Plan Sponsor?

In the 1960’s, counter-culture guru Timothy Leary urged a generation to “turn on, tune in and drop out.” If Leary was still around and sponsoring a 401(k) plan, he might urge participants to “save up, move on and cash out.” While that sounds contradictory and profoundly ill-advised, it’s exactly what 5 million job-changing 401(k) participants do in the 1st year following separation. In his latest opinion piece in 401k Specialist Magazine, RCH's Tom Hawkins explores the reasons for so many cashouts, and how – with viable solutions now available – plan sponsors should fully-embrace seamless plan-to-plan portability.

Oct
06
2020

How to Handle the Explosion of Small-Balance IRAs

In his opinion piece in 401k Specialist Magazine, RCH's Tom Hawkins examines EBRI's 10/1/20 Fast Facts - Losing Ground Safely: Small IRAs’ Large Stake in Money - which provides new insight into the magnitude of a small-balance IRA “explosion” fueled by automatic rollovers, as well as the sub-optimal retirement outcomes they produce. EBRI's new information provides yet another data point in favor of 401(k) consolidation via auto portability and could serve to inform future regulatory guidance by expanding auto portability’s mandate to consolidate these previously “stranded” safe harbor IRAs back into our 401(k) system.

Sep
30
2020

From Tired to Inspired: A Roadmap for 401k Roll-ins

In his latest article in 401k Specialist Magazine, RCH's Tom Hawkins walks readers through a "roadmap" for the progression of 401(k) roll-ins from ‘tired’ to ‘wired’ and finally, to the ‘inspired’ state that will eventually characterize 401(k) plan-to-plan portability. The article also includes a video providing viewers with the essential points made in the piece.

Sep
17
2020

Automated 401k Portability: An Idea Whose Time Has Come

Writing in 401k Specialist, RCH's Tom Hawkins examines the vital importance of automation in transforming 401(k) portability from an impractical “great idea” into a reality – and not just for small-balance participants, but eventually for the entire 401(k) ecosystem – including participants, plan sponsors and their service providers.

Aug
19
2020

Why ‘Sudden Money’ and Preserving 401k Assets Don’t Mix

Writing in 401k Specialist, Tom Hawkins establishes a strong link between the phenomenon of ‘sudden money’ – where a financial windfall can result in ruinous decisions – and the problem of unnecessary 401(k) cashout leakage. 401(k) plan features that encourage active plan participants to amass long-term retirement savings are a big success, but fail following a job change, when separated participants view their former employer’s balance as a financial windfall. To address the scourge of sudden money and its attendant cashout leakage, Hawkins examines 3 ‘faux’ solutions that fall short, and recommends the application of clearinghouse principles to effectively solve the problem.

Aug
11
2020

The 'Tragicomedy' of 401k Cashout Leakage

In his 8/11/20 article in 401k Specialist, RCH’s Tom Hawkins characterizes the phenomenon of cashout leakage as a “tragicomedy” – incorporating aspects of both a tragedy and a comedy, but ultimately delivering a happy ending. While cashout leakage represents an ongoing tragedy, the term itself is goofy, and tough to take seriously, asserts Hawkins. However, recent events indicate that the widespread adoption of auto portability will finally deliver a happy ending to the problem.

Jul
24
2020

How to Close the Coming COVID-19 Retirement Savings Gap

Writing in 401k Specialist, RCH’s Tom Hawkins foresees the emergence of a COVID-19 retirement savings gap, driven by unprecedented levels of terminated participants and relaxed penalties on withdrawals. To address the problem, Hawkins calls upon the private sector to embrace solutions such as auto portability -- that will begin to close the gap, stem unnecessary cashout leakage and deliver ongoing benefits that will extend well beyond the current crisis.

Jul
14
2020

401k Auto Portability Goes Public in Nationwide Rollout

401k Specialist Editor-in-Chief John Sullivan, who has written extensively about auto portability, covers today's announcement that Alight Solutions -- a leading provider of defined contribution / 401(k) plan recordkeeping services -- will spearhead auto portability's launch and offer the RCH service to its clients.

Apr
29
2020

Extend the Spirit of the CARES Act to Automatic Rollovers

In light of the COVID-19 crisis, RCH's Tom Hawkins examines another burden borne by millions of participants, when they’re furloughed or laid off and become subject to ‘traditional’ automatic rollover IRAs – where they’ll likely face high levels of cashouts, predatory fees and barriers to exit. Now, more than ever, it’s important for sponsors to act and to redress this burden. For sponsors utilizing traditional automatic rollover IRAs, Hawkins urges them to demonstrate their caring through three actions that will help address the problem and will deliver significant societal benefit.

Apr
20
2020

401k Specialist Magazine Features Auto Portability

Issue 2, 2020 of the 401k Specialist Magazine features an article by RCH's Tom Hawkins. In his piece "The New Age of 401(k) Portability", Hawkins identifies clear, across-the-board indications that America's defined contribution (DC) system is entering a "new age" of plan-to-plan portability. Portability, Hawkins contends, is the "missing ingredient" that, when added to 401(k) plans, will resolve the damaging disconnect between America's highly-mobile workforce and their immobile retirement savings.

Feb
28
2020

SECURE Act Impact: 3% Reduction in Retirement Deficit?

401kSpecialist Magazine's Managing Editor Brian Anderson reports on EBRI's 2/21/20 Issue Brief, which examines key provisions of the SECURE Act. In his article, Anderson notes that the overall reduction in the nation's Retirement Savings Shortfall (RSS) directly attributed to the legislation is 3%. However, when EBRI factors in auto portability, Anderson writes that "the overall reduction in retirement savings shortfalls is 10.0%" -- a significant increase over baseline.

Feb
12
2020

401kSpecialist: Socially Conscious Corporations Will Solve 401k Cashout Leakage

Writing in 401kSpecialist, RCH's Tom Hawkins predicts that socially conscious private-sector corporations will soon address the nation's 401(k) cashout leakage crisis by adopting plan-to-plan portability, including auto portability. Driving Hawkins' conclusions are three key developments: 1) a growing understanding of the problem and its societal impacts, 2) access to viable portability solutions and 3) corporate acceptance of the responsibility to act for the benefit of society. Hawkins further notes that this view is now being echoed in retirement research & public policy circles.

Jan
30
2020

The New Age of 401(k) Plan Portability

Writing in 401kSpecialist, RCH's Tom Hawkins identifies clear, across-the-board indications that America's defined contribution (DC) system is entering a "new age" of plan-to-plan portability. Portability, Hawkins contends, is the "missing ingredient" that, when added to 401(k) plans, will resolve the damaging disconnect between America's highly-mobile workforce and their immobile retirement savings.

Nov
04
2019

EBRI: Nation-Wide Auto IRA Program Would Get Huge Boost from Auto Portability

401(k) Specialist Managing Editor Brian Anderson addresses the latest EBRI Issue Brief, which examined two policy initiatives -- the rollout of a hypothetical, nationwide OregonSaves-like auto IRA program, as well as the widespread adoption of 401(k) safe harbor plans. While EBRI found that both policy initiatives could have a substantial impact on the nation's retirement savings shortfall (RSS), combining them with auto portability turbo-charged their results. When combined with auto portability, a nation-wide OregonSaves initiative generated additional, incremental benefits of $303 billion, while adding a whopping $386 billion to the benefits of 401(k) safe harbor plans.

Sep
27
2019

Why 401k Auto Portability is Just the Right Thing to Do

In the fifth installment of his five-part series on 401(k) cashout leakage in 401k Specialist, RCH's Tom Hawkins addresses auto portability, a solution that not only makes sound business sense, but delivers a positive societal impact for the corporations adopting it. Citing the recent "Statement on the Purpose of a Corporation" from members of the Business Roundtable, Hawkins believes that as these socially-conscious corporations examine auto portability, they’ll quickly become convinced that auto portability is both a sound business decision, as well as the right thing to do.

Sep
17
2019

Promising Policies to Reduce 401k Cashout Leakage

In the fourth installment of his five-part series on 401(k) cashout leakage, RCH's Tom Hawkins examines three policy options to address the problem, and finds that policies facilitating portability and addressing financial emergencies have the most promise. Facilitating portability, adds Hawkins, is extensively supported by research -- and in the case of auto portability -- has an already-established regulatory framework with no barriers to widespread adoption.

Aug
22
2019

How Big is the 401k Cashout Leakage Problem (Really)?

In his five-part series in 401k Specialist, RCH's Tom Hawkins sheds light on the problem of cashout leakage, a silent crisis that unnecessarily robs millions of Americans of their retirement security. In his third article in the series, Hawkins examines the magnitude of the 401(k) cashout leakage problem, sharing new statistics recently supplied by EBRI, and offering some interesting comparisons so the reader can fully-grasp the enormity of the problem.

Aug
19
2019

401k Auto Portability ‘Significantly Reduces’ Retirement Savings Gap: EBRI

401k Specialist Editor-in-Chief John Sullivan reviews EBRI's latest Issue Brief, which highlights the problem of 401(k) cashout leakage, while projecting impressive, beneficial impacts of auto portability on addressing the leakage issue. As Sullivan article leads off, "the numbers are in, and solid" and include analysis of auto portability's benefits as a standalone initiative, as well as in tandem with other policy initiatives that expand plan access. Regarding policies that expand access, Sullivan quotes EBRI Research Director Jack VanDerhei, who states “our analysis further suggests that an auto portability initiative that reduces plan leakage can materially augment such efforts.”

Aug
06
2019

DOL Gives 401k ‘Auto Portability’ Major Boost

In his 8/6/19 article, 401k Specialist Editor-in-Chief John Sullivan addresses the DOL's recent guidance for the RCH Auto Portability program, stating that "the auto revolution in retirement plans (auto-enrollment, escalation, deferral) adds another option with the release last week of the U.S. Department of Labor’s (DOL) final Prohibited Transaction Exemption (PTE) for auto portability." Sullivan goes on to quote RCH President & CEO Spencer Williams, who states that published comments from industry trade groups regarding auto portability were “overwhelmingly positive” while also pointing out the "legal protections for plan sponsors to help small-balance participants preserve their savings."

Jul
30
2019

401k Cashout Confusion: Who’s Doing It and Why?

In his five-part series in 401k Specialist, RCH's Tom Hawkins sheds light on the problem of cashout leakage, a silent crisis that unnecessarily robs millions of Americans of their retirement security. In his second article in the series, Hawkins examines the demographics of 401(k) cashout leakage, identifying those segments of the population most impacted by the problem, as well as those who stand to benefit the most from a solution.

Jul
14
2019

5 Positive Retirement Plan Proposals Currently Circling Washington

401k Specialist Editor-In-Chief John Sullivan reports on EBRI's 7/11/19 analysis of DC legislative proposals, including mandatory coverage (auto-IRAs), immediate annuities, open MEPs and changes to required minimum distributions -- all of which deliver significant retirement public policy benefits, as measured by their simulated reduction in the retirement savings shortfall (RSS). Importantly, Sullivan singles out auto portability as providing the most-impressive benefits, noting: "if a full auto portability scenario is assumed on top of all of the aforementioned changes to the retirement system, the average retirement deficit is simulated to decrease by 27.1 percent."

Jul
09
2019

Why 401k Cashout Leakage is a Crisis

In his five-part series in 401k Specialist, RCH's Tom Hawkins sheds light on the problem of cashout leakage, a silent crisis that unnecessarily robs millions of Americans of their retirement security. In his first article, Hawkins addresses the fundamentals of cashout leakage -- defining it, clearing up common sources of confusion, and identifying why the problem continues to persist.

May
31
2019

​401k Auto Portability’s Role in Reducing Cybersecurity Risk

In the 5th installment of his five-part series featured in 401K Specialist on "How Auto Portability Serves Participants' Best Interests", RCH's Tom Hawkins examines how auto portability can mitigate retirement savings cybersecurity risks. Auto portability, writes Hawkins, employs the simple-but-powerful principle of consolidation to lower cyber-risk by 1) reducing the cyber-threat attack surface, 2) minimizing fraud-prone, small-balance retirement savings accounts and 3) securely moving retirement savings forward.

May
29
2019

3 Ways Auto Portability Promotes 401k Financial Wellness

In the 4th installment of his five-part series in 401kSpecialist, RCH's Tom Hawkins examines how a program of auto portability can enhance 401(k) participants' financial wellness. To make his case, Hawkins identifies three ways auto portability promotes financial well-being, including: 1) preventing unnecessary 401(k) cashouts, 2) helping 401(k) participants clear the "$10,000 hurdle" and 3) simplifying retirement planning.

May
06
2019

How 401k Auto Portability is Linked to Higher Efficiency, Lower Expenses

In the third installment of his five-part series on how auto portability serves participants' best interests, RCH's Tom Hawkins examines how auto portability can promote higher plan efficiency and lower plan expenses by 1) reducing small-balance accounts and 2) increasing plan assets. To illustrate these benefits, Hawkins uses the Auto Portability Simulation (APS) to model a hypothetical, 10,000 participant plan over 40 years, with and without auto portability.

Apr
30
2019

401kSpecialist: Where Are We in the Fight For 401k Auto-Portability?

On April 16th, as part of their Strategic Issues Webinar Series, the LIMRA Secure Retirement Institute delivered the webinar Regulatory and Legislative Trends Impacting the U.S. Retirement System, featuring presenter Michael Kreps, Principal, Groom Law Group, and a highly-influential voice in DC on retirement public policy. Kreps provided an insider's update on auto portability, which he characterized as having the potential to deliver “an enormous boost to the industry and to participants in general.”

Apr
15
2019

Auto Portability: A much-needed upgrade for automatic rollover programs

In the 2nd installment of his five-part series in 401k Specialist "How Auto Portability Serves Participants' Best Interests", RCH's Tom Hawkins examines how auto portability, by extending and enhancing elements of automatic rollovers, establishes a new standard of participant care. Auto portability, writes Hawkins, protects participants by: 1) minimizing time spent in a safe harbor IRA, 2) eliminating the need to cash out balances less than $1,000, 3) enhancing participant communication, 4) formally integrating a robust address location search and 5) establishing a transparent, simple & straightforward fee structure.

Mar
20
2019

How Auto Portability Serves the Best Interest of 401k Participants-Part 1

In his five-part series in 401kSpecialist, RCH's Tom Hawkins identifies five key reasons why an auto portability program serves the best interests of plan participants. Part 1 of the series examines the dramatically improved participant outcomes that result from a program of auto portability. Those outcomes, Hawkins contends, demonstrate that plan sponsors who adopt auto portability are acting prudently and solely in the interests of their plan’s participants and beneficiaries.

Feb
21
2019

Auto Portability: Preventer of 401k 'Leakage'

401kSpecialist's Brian Anderson finds a lot to like about auto portability in EBRI's Issue Brief No. 473, which compares outcomes of participants in 401k plans with auto-enrollment against defined benefit plans. The research, says Anderson, shows "how auto-portability in 401k plans could positively impact the retirement security for millions of job-changing Americans by preventing 401k plan leakage before it can occur." Anderson continues, writing: "[t]he concept of auto-portability is a darling of major retirement industry associations, and it’s not hard to see why."

Jan
15
2019

Retirement Industry Associations in Alignment on 401k Auto Portability

401(k) Specialist contributor Tom Hawkins examines the official public comments by large, retirement-focused organizations on the proposed RCH Auto Portability Prohibited Transaction Exemption (PTE), which were posted on 1/7/19. Some distinguished retirement industry organizations weighed in, representing a diverse cross-section of stakeholders, including: retirees, women, businesses, plan sponsors, retirement industry professionals, securities firms, banks, and asset management companies. If their feedback is any indication, then auto portability has a bright future.

Dec
18
2018

401kSpecialist: How to Tame the Biggest Threat to a Secure Retirement

In his 12/17/18 article in 401kSpecialist, contributor Robert Lawton identifies healthcare savings as one of the biggest threats to a secure retirement, advocating for policies that support greater use of HSAs. In his analysis, Lawton also identifies auto portability and open MEPs as "good ideas to help address perceived deficiencies in existing 401(k) plans."

Nov
08
2018

401k Specialist: DOL Wants Your Opinion on Auto Portability

The 401kSpecialist’s Jessa Claeys notes the DOL’s 11/7/18 Employee Benefit Security Administration (EBSA) request for public comment on RCH’s proposed exemption, and advises her readers to comment, if they have strong opinions. The DOL’s exemption, says Claeys, would excuse RCH from ERISA and IRC rules that don’t allow sponsors or fiduciaries to use plan or employee assets for moving a former employee’s retirement savings forward, into their current-employer’s plan.

Aug
16
2018

401k Specialist: A Tale of Two 401(k) Balance Segments

In his August 2018 article in 401k Specialist, RCH's Tom Hawkins reveals new research predicting 401(k) participant outcomes following separation for two balance segments – those above & below $15,000. Using logic developed in the Auto Portability Simulation to track & tally participant outcomes 8 years following separation, the results reveal a startling contrast between the two segments – with participants in the over-$15,000 segment experiencing far-superior outcomes to those in the under-$15,000 segment. To address the disparities, Hawkins advocates for a new “automatic” in the form of auto portability.

Jul
19
2018

401k Specialist Features Recent Retirement Savings Portability Developments

401k Specialist features a July 2018 article by RCH's Tom Hawkins, addressing recent public policy activities on the issue of retirement savings portability. In his article, Hawkins examines three developments, all taking place in late June, and looks ahead to the anticipated delivery of an Advisory Opinion by the Department of Labor on auto portability.

May
23
2018

401k Specialist: Understanding (And Solving) The Problem Of Women’s 401k ‘Leakage’

At a May 22nd, 2018 Women's Institute for a Secure Retirement (WISER) roundtable, RCH EVP Tom Johnson debuts new women's 401(k) cashout leakage statistics. This important new data highlights the challenges that women face in preserving their small-balance 401(k) retirement savings when changing jobs, and also points to the promise of auto portability to preserve these savings in order to achieve higher balance levels, where more virtuous behaviors can prevail.

Apr
02
2018

Are You All-In For A 401k Roll-In?

In his 4/02/18 article for 401k Specialist, Tom Hawkins asks plan sponsors to consider where they stand on encouraging rollovers into their 401(k) plan ("roll-ins") from new participants. Presenting the historical progression of roll-ins from 2012 to present, Hawkins then describes 3 levels of roll-in support that plan sponsors can offer. The most effective, says Hawkins, is Level 3, where plan sponsors adopt a facilitated roll-in service, which makes the process worry- and hassle-free for participants.

Mar
14
2018

401k Specialist: How Bad Is The 401k ‘Missing Participant’ Problem?

In his March 14, 2018 article in 401k Specialist, Editor John Sullivan covers the new, joint survey conducted by Boston Research Technologies (BRT) and RCH on the problem of missing participants. The article quotes RCH Founder, President and CEO Spencer Williams and Sullivan notes that the findings are "another arrow in the quiver for 401k auto portability."

Feb
13
2018

Why We Urgently Need A ‘Sustainable’ 401k Defined Contribution System

In his latest article in 401k Specialist, RCH's Tom Hawkins makes the case for creating a 'sustainable' 401(k) defined contribution system. According to Hawkins, the current 401(k) system is unsustainable due to 1) rampant cashout leakage, 2) an explosion of small-balance accounts and 3) a surge in missing participants. Auto portability, says Hawkins, can address these problems and bring sustainability to our defined contribution system.

Jan
22
2018

2 Important Retirement Plan Initiatives Moving Forward

With "Rothification" in the rear-view mirror in 2017, retirement savings policymakers have begun turning their attention to other, more-promising initiatives in 2018 -- namely, auto portability and missing participants.

Jan
02
2018

401k Specialist: Why Auto Portability Makes Everything Better

Great all by itself, auto portability also makes other retirement savings public policy initiatives a lot better.

Oct
18
2017

What To Do About Missing 401k Participants

RCH's Tom Hawkins examines the American Benefits Council's recent letter to the Department of Labor, pointing out the Council's understanding of the root causes of missing participants.

Sep
25
2017

The ‘Problem’ Of Small 401k Accounts (And What To Do About It)

New research shows that the number of active, small-balance 401(k) accounts is growing, creating problems for plan sponsors and participants.

Aug
17
2017

401k 'Cashout' Craziness Continues

In his 8/17/17 article in 401kSpecialist, RCH's Tom Hawkins delivers an update on RCH's National Retirement Savings Cashout Clock.

Jun
10
2017

401kSpecialist Features Auto Portability Benefits

In his latest article in 401kSpecialist, RCH’s Neal Ringquist identifies the primary beneficiaries of Auto Portability.

May
17
2017

Tick Tock: Introducing The Retirement Savings ‘Cash-Out Clock’

401k Specialist introduces Retirement Clearinghouse's National Retirement Savings Cash Out Clock, which depicts 2017 401(k) cash out leakage in real time.

Apr
24
2017

Why Retirement Savings Need To Be ‘Recycled’

In his 4/24/17 article in 401kSpecialist, RCH's Tom Hawkins explains why we're more environmentally conscious, not fiscally conscious.

Apr
07
2017

401(k) Participants Would Save $2 Trillion With Auto Portability

In his 4/6/17 article in 401kSpecialist, John Sullivan highlights the latest EBRI research that places the value of Auto Portability to 401(k) participants at $2 trillion.

Mar
14
2017

A Stealth Solution to America's 401(k) Savings Crisis

In a March 2017 article in 401kSpecialist Magazine, RCH EVP Neal Ringquist contends that Auto Portability has begun to emerge as a "stealth" solution for the serious problem of 401(k) cashout leakage.

Feb
28
2017

401kSpecialist: Big Changes Coming for Small 401k Accounts

In his 2/28/17 article in 401kSpecialist, RCH's Tom Hawkins addresses the big changes ahead for small 401(k) accounts, driven by Auto Portability.

Feb
17
2017

401kSpecialist: Good Intentions, Bad Outcomes With Small 401(k)s

In 401KSpecialist Magazine, Neal Ringquist takes a hard look at a legislative recommendation to increase the limit for automatic rollovers to $10,000.

Jan
24
2017

RCH in 401KSpecialist: How to Remove 'Friction' from the 401(k) System

In his 1/24/17 article in 401KSpecialist, RCH's Tom Hawkins summarizes the issue of 'friction' in our 401(k) system, focusing on the recent, joint EBRI-RCH testimony before the ERISA Advisory Council by Tom Johnson and Craig Copeland.

Dec
30
2016

RCH in 401(k) Specialist: How Auto Portability Will Bridge the Minority Participation Gap

RCH's Tom Hawkins addresses how Auto Portability will help increase minority 401(k) participation by increasing auto enrollment.

Oct
26
2016

RCH in 401K Specialist Magazine: Is Adoption Of 401k Auto-Enrollment Decreasing?

Tom Hawkins shares with 401k Specialist Magazine, "Why the industry is losing steam?"

Sep
22
2016

Hidden Gem in EBRI-ICI Study: Synthetic Tenure

Neal Ringquist reviews the recent EBRI/ICI study and discovers a hidden gem: synthetic tenure.

Sep
08
2016

Does 401k 'Auto Portability' Really Work? Yes!

Does 401(k) Auto Portability really work? The answer -- according to RCH's Spencer Williams and Neal Ringquist -- is an emphatic "yes." In their joint article in 401KSpecialist, Williams and Ringquist point to the Auto Portability Simulation (APS) model to support their claims.

Aug
23
2016

RCH in 401K Specialist Magazine: Why Small Balance 401k Distributions Are Falling Through The Cracks

Cash-outs are at epidemic levels; Why are small 401(k)s getting swallowed?

Aug
10
2016

RCH in 401kSpecialist Magazine: The Power Of 401K Auto Portability: A Case Study

Closely examining the year-by-year results, we noticed something odd; Does 401(k) auto-portability really pay off?

Aug
04
2016

RCH in 401K Specialist Magazine: How To Curb 401k Cash-Out Leakage

The problem is particularly acute for small-balance 401(k) accounts; Leakage can make a 401(k) go splat.

Aug
01
2016

RCH in 401K Specialist Magazine: 401k Auto Portability Goes To Washington

What happens when participants change jobs? The next big 401(k) issue to hit Washington lawmakers could be auto-portability.

Dec
18
2015

401kSpecialist Highlights Auto Portability, RCH

John Sullivan highlights the rise of Auto Portability as an emerging solution to address the problem of leakage.

401kTV
Aug
10
2023

Addressing Cash-Outs May Help Improve Retirement Readiness

Writing in 401kTV.com, Fred Barstein, Founder & Editor-in-Chief, cites a recent Employee Benefit News opinion piece authored by RCH President & CEO Spencer Williams. Barstein writes that Williams' article "spotlight[s] recent research from the Sauder School of Business that found that 41.4% of employees chose to cash out their 401(k) accounts when they left their employers" while adding that "auto-portability is a viable solution to improve retirement readiness in America and help retain assets in the nation’s retirement system." Barstein closes by imploring employers to "consider auto-portability options to make it easier for employees to take their 401(k) accounts with them when switching jobs."

Oct
13
2022

Portability Services Network Can Help 401(k) Industry

Steff Chalk, Executive Director of The Retirement Advisor University (TRAU), writes in 401kTV.com about the Portability Services Network, the newly-announced, industry-led consortium formed to accelerate the adoption of auto portability. Chalk characterizes the new entity as "a new concept for the retirement plan industry" and that "it is poised to make a big impact on plan sponsors and plan participants." Chalk also writes that RCH President & CEO Spencer Williams "has indicated that there are additional 401(k) industry stalwarts who are planning to join the collaboration."

Jul
15
2022

401(k) Fees Lower than IRA Alternative

Steff Chalk, 401kTV's Managing Editor, informs readers about new Pew Charitable Trust research that finds 401(k) fees can be lower than IRA fees, often by a wide margin. Chalk links the research findings to auto portability, noting that policymakers could act by "furthering auto portability as a way to transfer assets between retirement plans."

May
17
2022

401(k) Auto Portability Can Improve Outcomes

Writing in 401kTV.com, Managing Editor Steff Chalk examines the dual impact that auto portability has on improving participant outcomes, while reducing fiduciary risk for plan sponsors. Chalk notes that auto portability helps address the problem of automatic cash-outs, which can create large volumes of uncashed checks -- resulting in poor outcomes and heightened fiduciary risks. "401(k) auto portability comes to the aid of plan sponsors" writes Chalk, adding: "401(k) auto portability has the potential to help mitigate sponsors’ fiduciary risk and reunite more participants with their hard-earned savings."

Mar
29
2022

Auto Portability May Help Manage Fiduciary Risk

Writing for 401kTV, Steff Chalk, Executive Director of The Retirement Advisor University, examines the perspective offered by RCH President & CEO Spencer Williams, whose recent article in BenefitsPro suggests that the Hughes v. Northwestern University ruling could expose plan sponsors to fiduciary risk related to excess cash-out leakage. Since auto portability acts to preserve retirement savings, Chalk writes that "auto portability may be making a grand entrance" and the recent developments "appear to make auto portability solutions worthy of sponsors’ consideration."

Nov
04
2021

Near Retirement Employees Need Account Consolidation Assistance

Writing for 401kTV.com, Steff Chalk, Executive Director of The Retirement Advisor University (TRAU), notes the dilemma facing Baby Boomers -- how can they "be helped to consolidate their savings all in one place to prepare to spend down those assets in retirement?" To help solve this conundrum, Chalk refers to a recent article in Employee Benefit News authored by RCH President & CEO Spencer Williams, and includes Williams' tips for advisers to help participants get savings consolidated, including the use of an external service. Chalk also cites the 2015 study on mobile workforce behaviors, which found that 93% of participants surveyed considered roll-in assistance to be a “good” or “valuable” benefit.

Sep
28
2021

Auto Portability Breaks New Ground

Writing for 401kTV.com, Steff Chalk, Executive Director of The Retirement Advisor University (TRAU), notes the recent 9/21/21 announcement by Vanguard and states that "[a]uto portability is gaining ground because of its benefits — the ability to proactively impact cash-out leakage, missing participants and abandoned 401(k) accounts. While the Vanguard/RCH auto portability solution is relatively new, it has the potential to help move the industry forward while simplifying plan administration and improving compliance."

Jul
20
2021

Auto Portability Gaining Acceptance

Writing in 401kTV, Managing Editor Steff Chalk observes that "auto portability appears to be gaining some ground as a solution for retirement plans" and can "impact cash-out leakage, missing participants, and forgotten 401(k) accounts" -- adding that nearly 9 of 10 participants value auto portability. "The case for auto portability" says Chalk, "is compelling, and getting stronger" and he further notes that "including auto portability in public policy could help to improve the results" of pending SECURE 2.0 legislation.

Jul
23
2020

Financial Wellness Benefit Looks Different Post-Pandemic

In his 7/23/20 piece for 401kTV, Managing Editor Steff Chalk examines financial wellness programs in light of the COVID-19 pandemic. Chalk states that "the pandemic has wrapped financial wellness benefit programs in a shroud of reality" and that quantifying their results is now more important than ever. For a dose of reality, Chalk turns to RCH President & CEO Spencer Williams, extensively citing his 1/20/20 article in Employee Benefit News. In that article, Williams makes a strong case for auto portability "as a solution to the financial wellness ROI conundrum for employers."

Jun
16
2020

Wellness Benefits Gaining Acceptance and Respect

Writing for 401kTV, Steff Chalk, Executive Director of The Retirement Advisor University, describes the growing employer acceptance of wellness benefits, as they become more readily measurable. Chalk extensively quotes an article previously authored by RCH's Spencer Williams in Employee Benefit News, where Williams itemizes the many real, quantifiable and positive impacts of auto portability on participants' financial wellness.

Jan
13
2020

Financial Wellness Benefits Simplified by Auto-Portability

Picking up on a theme from RCH President & CEO Spencer Williams, 401kTV Managing Editor Steff Chalk examines the quantifiable financial wellness benefits that could be realized by plan sponsors and their participants, via the adoption of auto portability. Linking to an article previously authored by Williams in Employee Benefit News, Chalk runs down the litany of persuasive proof points offered by Williams, concluding: "we couldn't have said it better."

May
09
2019

401kTV Features Auto Portability as Key to Cybersecurity Risk Management

401kTV's Steff Chalk examines the issue of 401(k) cybersecurity, specifically focusing on the benefits of auto portability in the management of cybersecurity risk. Referencing RCH President & CEO Spencer Williams' recent article in Employee Benefit News, Chalk states that "the technology that makes 401k auto-portability possible may also enhance existing industry best practices that protect plan participants’ personal data." Chalk also adds that "plan sponsors [should] embrace 401k auto-portability to lessen the instances of small-balance accounts and missing participants."

Nov
27
2017

401kTV Features Boston Research Technologies' Findings on Auto Portability

401kTV's Robyn Kurdek examines Boston Research Technologies' research on the initial launch of auto portability.

Jun
01
2017

RCH Cash Out Leakage Video Featured on 401kTV

401kTV has featured an RCH video "The Fundamentals of 401(k) Cash Out Leakage."

Apr
06
2017

401kTV: Retirement Plan Portability Important to Every Plan Sponsor

401kTV's Tim Kelly explores Auto Portability, and makes a strong case that it's important to every plan sponsor, due to America's mobile workforce and adverse outcomes at job change. Kelly quotes Spencer Williams and also embeds video from the recent forum in Washington, DC: "Retirement Plan Portability & Public Policy: Unlocking the potential in portability."

Jan
19
2017

RCH Releases Video "The ABCs of Auto Portability"

RCH releases a video entitled "The ABCs of Auto Portability" -- providing viewers with a basic understanding of how 401(k) Auto Portability works.

Nov
07
2016

401KTV Features RCH Video on Plugging 401(k) Leakage

On 11/7/16, 401KTV.com featured the RCH video "What Plan Sponsors Can Do to Plug 401(k) Leakage."

Oct
19
2016

401KTV Features RCH CEO Spencer Williams

In the first of an ongoing series of interviews, 401KTV's Editor in Chief Fred Barstein talks to RCH CEO Spencer Williams about the basics of America's mobile workforce.

Sep
28
2016

401kTV Features "Five Misconceptions About 401(k) Leakage"

401kTV features the educational video "Five Common Misconceptions About 401(k) Leakage, designed to present plan sponsors with the fact and common misconceptions that surround the topic of leakage from the 401(k) system.

401kWire
Sep
29
2023

A Consortium's 1st 3 RKers Are Poised to Plug In, And ...

The 401kWire's Neal Anderson reports on the pending, 10/1/23 "go live" date for auto portability, as delivered by the Portability Services Network, when the "first two recordkeepers are poised to plug their platforms in to the technology." Anderson extensively quotes RCH and PSN president & CEO Spencer Williams, as well as Alight Solutions' Greg Long, head of public policy. In addition to providing his outlook on near-term adoption of the new feature, WIlliams notes that he is "constantly adding to the [RCH] team" to meet the network's future expansion plans, which he projects will accelerate in 2024 and beyond, adding: "[f]or us, the next three to five years will be almost uninterrupted expansion."
* Requires subscription

Apr
11
2023

Why TIAA is Teaming Up With Four Other RKers

The 401kWire's Neil Anderson interviews TIAA spokesperson Lizzie Anderson, who explains why TIAA elected to join the Portability Services Network as the fifth recordkeeping member. Anderson placed the move in the context of closing the retirement savings gap, and indicated that "this industry consortium enabling auto portability is an important step toward helping more Americans hold on to their money during their professional journeys." Anderson also cited EBRI and RCH data indicating the prevalence of job-changing and the lack of seamless plan-to-plan savings portability as key factors driving the need for auto portability.

Apr
04
2023

RCH Brings a 5th RKer Into PSN

The 401kWire's Neal Anderson covers the day's announcement that TIAA, "a giant recordkeeper in the 403(b)" sector, has become the fifth large recordkeeper to join PSN, an industry-led utility that is dedicated to the adoption of auto portability. In his piece, Anderson quotes Thasunda Brown Duckett, president and CEO of TIAA.

* Requires subscription

Feb
14
2023

A $1.2T-AUA RKer Buys into PSN

The 401kWire's Neil Anderson reports on the 2/13/23 announcement from Empower that they are "buying into a new retirement plan industry consortium that focuses on auto-portability" and "boosts PSN to four recordkeepers with 56 million participants, which is more than half of all DC participants." RCH and PSN President & CEO Spencer Williams tells Anderson "it takes critical mass to a new level, we're very happy to have them on board." Looking ahead, Williams notes that PSN is "filling out those board seats nicely. It's a near certainty that our remaining two seats will be filled by our March 31 deadline.

*Requires subscription

Jan
09
2023

RCH's Spencer Williams Among The Retirement Industry's Most Influential in 2022

Spencer Williams, RCH and Portability Services Network (PSN) president & CEO, was ranked among the most influential people in the retirement industry, based on an annual poll conducted by The 401kWire. With over 100 industry influencers to choose from, Williams was ranked #13 by readers. To mark the achievement, 401kWire editor Sean Hanna chronicled Williams' remarkable year, which is the culmination of over a "decade and a half" of advancing portability, a "wave that he finally gets to ride to shore." Hanna notes Williams' key achievements in 2022, which include the launch of the Portability Services Network, as well as passage of SECURE 2.0, which incorporated important provisions for auto portability.

*Subscription required

Oct
05
2022

"We Want All Recordkeepers to Sign Up!"

The 401kWire's Andrew Lusk conducts an extensive interview with Alight Solutions EVP Alison Borland and RCH president & CEO Spencer Williams, who provides their analysis of what the new retirement industry-led consortium means for the go-forward adoption of auto portability. The title of the piece is a direct quote from Borland, who urged other recordkeepers to join the consortium, adding that the auto portability model was "an all-inclusive experience" for clients and represented "a very low lift" in terms of implementation and operation.

**Subscription required

Oct
05
2022

Three Mega-Market RKers and a Rollover Specialist Team Up

401kWire reporter Andrew Lusk covers the announcement of the new industry-led consortium to accelerate the adoption of auto portability, quoting many of the principle players in its formation, including Dave Gray & Kevin Barry (Fidelity), Spencer Williams (RCH), John James (Vanguard) and Alison Borland (Alight Solutions). In an impactful quote, Fidelity's Dave Gray states: "[t]his is the first time in the history of the 401(k) industry that competitors have come together to solve a long-standing problem. We know that this solution will be to the benefit of millions of Americans year-over-year, in perpetuity."

**Subscription Required

Sep
21
2021

In 2022, Vanguard Will Team Up on an Auto Feature

The 401k Wire's Neal Anderson reports on the day's announcement by Vanguard that it plans to introduce RCH's auto portability service for 401(k) sponsor clients and their participants. Anderson also turned to RCH President & CEO Spencer Williams for comment, who stated that "we're extremely happy" with the development, while adding "we don't intend to stop there."

*Requires subscription

Jul
30
2021

From the TSP to RCH

The 401kWire's Neil Anderson reports on RCH's confirmation of Renee Wilder Guerin as EVP of Public Policy, following the retirement of industry veteran Tom Johnson, who will continue in a part-time consulting role with the firm. Reached by Anderson for comment, Wilder Guerin noted RCH's focus on participant account portability and its connection to improved outcomes to minorities and low-income workers as key factors in her taking on the role. The piece further quotes RCH President & CEO Spencer Williams, who states "there is still much to be done" in terms of public policy around "seamless plan-to-plan asset portability."

* Requires subscription

Jul
16
2020

Alight Is the First RKer to Add This Kind of Feature

Reporting on Alight Solutions' 7/14/20 announcement that they will offer RCH Auto Portability to their DC recordkeeping clients, The 401kWire's Lauren Corradi interviews RCH President & CEO Spencer Williams to gain more insight. Williams states that "Alight's adoption sends an 'all clear' signal to all plan sponsors that RCH Auto Portability is a legitimate and beneficial service for their participants." In her piece, Corradi also quotes Alight's EVP Alison Borland.

Subscription required.

Aug
08
2019

DoL Green-Lights a Newer Auto Feature

The 401kWire covers the "long-awaited news from the Department of Labor" which arrived 7/31/19, in the form of a prohibited transaction exemption (PTE) for the RCH Auto Portability program. The publication quotes RCH President & CEO Spencer Williams, who states "it's been a long time in the making, and we're dancing in the streets right now, we're very happy with the final action."

Subscription Required

Nov
26
2018

The 401K Wire: What to Make of Auto-Portability

The 401kWire's Neil Anderson takes the pulse of some key retirement industry figures in his 11/26/18 piece "What to Make of Auto-Portability." Quoting Lew Minsky (DCIIA), Steve Saxon (Groom Law), Lynn Dudley (American Benefits Council) and Tim Rouse (Spark Institute), the consensus is that auto-portability, as well as the DOL's recent actions, represent positive developments for the retirement industry. Finally, Anderson speaks with RCH President & CEO Spencer Williams, who discusses his going-forward initiative to ramp up outreach to recordkeepers.

Nov
19
2018

401k Wire: As the DoL Smiles, a Roll-In Specialist Ramps Up

The 401k Wire's Neal Anderson speaks with Retirement Clearinghouse (RCH) President & CEO Spencer Williams to get the scoop on RCH's industry outreach and alliance-building activities, in the wake of recent favorable actions from the Department of Labor on the RCH auto portability program. Williams highlights some of the key conditions embedded in the Advisory Opinion and proposed transaction exemption, adding "we are thrilled to that we have these opinions" and "we're thrilled that the department recognized the public interest in auto-portability."

Nov
05
2018

$4B and 155,000 Accounts Later: 401kWire Covers RCH Milestone

On Monday, 11/5/18, The 401kWire's article "$4B and 155,000 Accounts Later" covers RCH's announcement (see RCH Press Release from 10/30/18) on crossing the $4 billion milestone for retirement assets consolidated. RCH CEO Spencer Williams and EVP Neal Ringquist are both quoted in the piece, which also addresses the critical role of auto portability in consolidating small-balance accounts, noting its initial implementation in July 2017.

Mar
29
2018

401KWire: What Is Driving the Missing Participant Issue?

In her 3/21/18 article, 401KWire’s Bridget Doyle extensively quotes RCH’s CEO Spencer Williams on the 401(k) industry’s missing participant problem. As Williams explains, there was little or no existing research on the problem, which spurred his decision to conduct a survey and to “do it from the plan participant’s perspective.” The new study, The Mobile Workforce's Missing Participant Problem, was released this month, and revealed that the problem is “very dynamic and growing” according to Williams. As Williams notes, new solutions are likely to emerge, best practices are hard to define -- but account consolidation will play a critical role.

*401KWire requires a subscription to read the article.

Nov
17
2017

How are participants reacting to Auto Portability?

401kWire's Cat Felle reports on the recently-released white paper by Boston Research Technologies.

Jul
26
2017

Retirement Clearinghouse Paves Path to Portability

401kWire's Chelsea Tyson reports on RCH's completion of the "first fully automated, end-to-end transfer of retirement savings from a safe harbor IRA into a participant's active account."

May
03
2017

RCH in 401kWire: Retirement Cashouts? There's a Clock for That

401kWire's Chelsea Tyson reports that Retirement Clearinghouse has recently launched its National Retirement Savings Cash Out Clock.

Alight Solutions
Jun
26
2023

Alight Solutions Releases 2023 Universe Benchmarks Report

Alight Solutions, one of the nation's largest defined contribution recordkeepers and a founding owner member of the Portability Services Network (PSN), released their 2023 Universe Benchmarks report -- the latest in a long line of annual reports that illustrate how workers are saving and investing in defined contribution (DC) plans. The report notes that cashout leakage increased in 2022, where 45% of participants cashed out, compared to 39% in 2021, while adding that the highest leakage levels were observed "almost always [in] small balances." Under the heading of trending topics and considerations, Alight also suggests that plans "add auto-portability" as it can "easily help transfer balances into the plan for new hires."

Direct link to the full 2023 Universe Benchmarks Report

Feb
24
2022

Improving retirement readiness for underrepresented groups

Alight Solutions has released a new research report, entitled "Improving Retirement Readiness for Underrepresented Groups." The new paper identifies six key actions that plan sponsors can undertake to boost retirement savings for historically under-represented groups. In one of those actions, Alight advises employers that "implementing auto-portability can help reduce the number of automatic cash-outs that occur when people change employers" and that auto portability's impact is "most profound for marginalized groups."

Direct link to report (PDF format)

Sep
23
2021

A leap forward for auto portability

Greg Long, industry thought leader and head of Alight Solutions' head of Public Policy & Defined Contribution Public Sector, takes to LinkedIn to provide his viewpoint on auto portability. Citing another major recordkeeper's announcement that it's joining the RCH auto portability network, Long takes stock of that positive development, and uses it to advocate for making auto portability "the standard for all small, terminated accounts."

Sep
23
2021

The impact of 401(k) cash-outs on retirement income

Alight Solutions has released updated research (The impact of small amount cash-outs on retirement income) that addresses the impact of small-balance 401(k) cashout leakage. For those with balances less than $1,000, the study finds that 80% cash out, and with balances between $1,000 and $5,000, nearly two-thirds cash out. The study also observes that "new and innovative ideas, such as auto portability, can help curb this leakage and preserve retirement assets."

Feb
05
2021

Alight 2020 Hot Topics: Most Employers Interested in Auto Portability

In their survey Hot Topics in Retirement and Financial Wellbeing 2021, Alight Solutions finds that "the majority of employers are interested in a clearinghouse service that will automatically roll balances from one employer’s DC plan to another employer’s plan when individuals change jobs."

Oct
06
2020

Alight Solutions Releases New Study on Small-Balance Cashouts

Alight Solutions, a leader in defined contribution plan services, released a new study that addresses the problem of small-balance 401(k) cashouts. The study, The impact of 401(k) cash-outs on retirement income, examines the very high prevalence of small-balance 401(k) cashouts, the low incidence of 401(k) roll-ins and provides illustrations that depict the importance of preserving these small balances for retirement. Finally, the study points to RCH Auto Portability as an important "emerging new tool" in the fight against cashouts, for which Alight is "pleased to be an early adopter."

AOL Finance
Feb
13
2023

Retirement Savings Update: There’s a New, Easier Option To Move 401(k)s When You Change Jobs

Writing in GOBankingRates and syndicated in other media outlets, reporter Selena Fragassi captures the essential points in a 2/10 New York Times article by Ann Carrns, which highlighted the new, industry-led Portability Services Network (PSN) and its focus on accelerating the nationwide adoption of auto portability. Fraggasi's piece characterizes PSN as a "one-stop portal" for moving small-balance retirement savings forward.

Also featured in Yahoo! Finance, Yahoo! Finance Hong Kong and AOL Finance

Aspen Institute
May
22
2023

Rapid Change, Real Momentum: Assessing America’s Progress Toward Inclusive Retirement Savings

In October 2022, policymakers, financial services executives, academics, advocacy leaders, and financial technology innovators gathered for the sixth annual Aspen Leadership Forum on Retirement Savings. An in-person event for the first time since early 2020, this Forum set out to advance solutions to ensure that everyone in America can benefit from our retirement savings system. The just-released report from that meeting identifies retirement plan portability as vital to addressing the problem of job-changing and cashout leakage, and the report heaps superlatives on the newly-formed Portability Services Network, an industry-led consortium dedicated to the adoption of auto portability.

Jan
06
2022

The Aspen Leadership Forum on Retirement Savings

In a publication released 1/6/2022 as part of the Aspen Institute's Financial Security Program, the 2021 Aspen Leadership Forum on Retirement Savings Report is a summary of the April 2021 Aspen Leadership Forum on Retirement Savings. The Forum's report devotes a page to "Six Stats That Tell the Portability Story" which notes the propensity of American workers to change jobs and to cash out. It also mentions two compelling statistics: 1) that 85% of participants like the idea of automatic portability and 2) that 57% of retirement experts supported a government mandate for auto portability, while almost half (48%) believed that automatic portability was feasible without such a mandate.

ASPPA NET
Jan
18
2024

Department of Labor Releases Proposed Auto-Portability Reg

NAPA Net's John Sullivan reports on the Thursday, 1/18/24 issuance of proposed regulation on automatic portability transactions under SECURE 2.0. Sullivan's piece outlines the framework of the new proposal, and includes supportive words American Retirement Association CEO Brian Graff, who states: "We appreciate the guidance provided by the DOL. Anything that reduces the rate of retirement plan leakage results in better outcomes for participants."

Also featured on ASPPA Net

Dec
08
2023

DOL Drops Off Proposed Auto-Portability Exemption at OMB

NAPA Net's Ted Godbout, covering DC's retirement regulatory agency activity, reports forward progress towards the public release of guidance for auto portability, as called for in SECURE 2.0 Act provisions. On December 5th, Godbout reports that the DOL submitted the proposed guidance to the White House Office of Management and Budget for their review. Godbout further observes that "the proposal will now undergo a review at OMB before being released for a public comment period, which shows a target release date of December 2023."

Also featured in ASPPA Net

Nov
27
2023

What’s on Tap for the Next Retirement Plan Policy Bill?

Andrew Remo, the American Retirement Association's (ARA) Director of Federal & State Legislative Affairs, summarizes the ARA's positions on key legislative matters following SECURE 2.0, and contemplates future, "new bipartisan proposals for consideration in the next round of retirement plan policymaking." While Remo addresses multiple legislative initiatives, he identifies Roth IRA rollovers as ARA's top priority. Because workers are currently prohibited from rolling Roth IRA savings into a workplace-based retirement savings plan, Remo believes that legislation removing this limitation could lead to more-effective operation of auto portability, which would facilitate automatic consolidation of these Roth IRA balances into a current-employer's workplace plan, while minimizing duplicative fees.

Also featured in ASPPA Net

Nov
08
2023

LTPT and Auto-Portability Regs Coming Soon, Officials Reiterate

Writing in ASPPA Net, John Iekel covers the Nov. 6 session of the Society for SPARK Forum, where officials from the IRS and the DOL weighed in on their near-term regulatory agenda. In a panel that included DOL Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary Ali Khawar, the topic of auto portability was addressed. Iekel quotes Khawar as stating that auto portability is “an important part of the puzzle” and that "and that the DOL will be issuing guidance that will provide more clarity on what the statutory text says." Iekel adds that "Khawar’s comments were similar to those articulated Oct. 24 at the ASPPA Annual Conference...by Assistant Secretary of Labor Lisa Gomez."

Nov
04
2022

Auto-Portability Secures Bipartisan Backing in the House

NAPA Net reporter Ted Godbout analyzes the recently-introduced Advancing Auto-Portability Act of 2022 (H.R. 9252), which was proposed Oct. 28 by Reps. Brad Schneider (D-IL) and Ron Estes (R-KS), who are both members of the House Ways and Means Committee, where the legislation was referred. As Godbout points out, this companion bill to the previously-introduced Senate proposal of the same name means that auto portability legislative proposals enjoy both bicameral as well as bipartisan support.
Also featured in ASPPA Net

Mar
30
2022

Senate HELP Committee to Act on Retirement Security Legislation

NAPA Net's Ted Godbout covers the 3/29/22 U.S. Senate HELP Committee's hearing on improving retirement security. The hearing featured testimony from Cindy Hounsell, President and Founder of the Women’s Institute for a Secure Retirement (WISER), and Ida Rademacher (The Aspen Institute), who both addressed the need for enhanced retirement savings portability. Hounsell's testimony referenced three interventions that could help, including "auto-portability to help prevent workers who change jobs from cashing out their retirement savings. "

Also featured in ASPPA Net

Mar
19
2022

How to Improve Retirement Readiness in Under-represented Groups

ASPPA Net's Ted Godbout reviews the latest research report from Alight Solutions, entitled "Improving Retirement Readiness for Underrepresented Groups." Reporting on Alight's findings, Godbout highlights the six steps that Alight offers plan sponsors to increase retirement savings for historically under-represented groups. As one of those steps, Alight advises sponsors that "implementing auto-portability can help reduce the number of automatic cash-outs that occur when people change employers" and that auto portability's impact is "most profound for marginalized groups."

Also featured in NAPA Net

Jan
21
2022

EBRI: Auto Features, Saver’s Credit Boost Could Slash Retirement Deficits

NAPA Net reporter Ted Godbout covers the release of EBRI Issue Brief #550, which examined the effects of potential public policy initiatives, including an Automatic Contribution/Plan Arrangement (ACPA), an enhanced saver's credit, a "skinny" 401(k), and a student loan debt employer match. Importantly, the EBRI study also noted the "stacking" effect of auto portability onto the ACPA and Saver's Credit combo, where it reduced retirement deficits by an additional 11% to 14%, depending on race.

Also featured in ASPPA Net


Nov
16
2019

EBRI: IRA Rollovers Often Deviate from 401(k) Asset Allocations

ASPPA Net reporter Ted Godbout examines new EBRI research that finds job-changing 401(k) participants' carefully-crafted asset allocation strategies can become dramatically inconsistent after rolling over balances to IRAs. This issue, the research says, "was particularly acute for small-balance rollovers of less than $5,000, as a large percentage of these assets ended up in MMFs as a default investment in the IRAs." EBRI noted that "facilitating the movement of the IRA assets of those still working back into 401(k) plans, such as through auto portability measures...could help achieve the longer-term asset allocation strategies...developed in 401(k) plans, particularly for accounts with lower balances."

Jul
31
2019

DOL Okays RCH's Auto-Portability Program

NAPA Net's Ted Godbout covers breaking news that the US Department of Labor has granted final approval to Retirement Clearinghouse (RCH) for a Prohibited Transaction Exemption (PTE) for the RCH Auto Portability program. As Godbout states, "the RCH Program seeks to help eliminate duplicative fees and reduce retirement savings leakage by providing individuals who are changing jobs with a way to transfer retirement assets from their prior employers’ plans to their new employers’ plans." Godbout also references the DOL's Advisory Opinion 2018-01A, issued in November 2018, and cites EBRI research indicating that system-wide adoption of auto portability for "smaller accounts alone would save $1.5 trillion."

Also featured in ASPPA Net

May
23
2019

EBRI's VanDerhei Addresses PSCA Conference, Including Auto Portability Update

ASPPA Net's John Iekel covers EBRI Research Director Jack VanDerhei's 5/1/19 presentation before the PSCA National Conference, where VanDerhei provided an update on auto portability's benefits, as calculated in EBRI's Retirement Security Projection Model (RSPM). According to Iekel, VanDerhei asserted that "introducing auto-portability for participants who are Gen Xers reduced retirement savings shortfalls for couples regardless of which dies first, and for single people regardless of gender."

Also Featured in NAPA Net (link)

Nov
29
2018

ASPPA Net: Portability: Past Is Prologue, But Progress Possible

ASPPA Net's John Iekel examines the recent column by J. Mark Iwry, former Senior Advisor to the Secretary of the Treasury, which addresses the recent actions by the DOL in support of the RCH auto portability program. Iwry, says Iekel, offers a unique perspective, having been a long-time proponent of retirement savings portability, and also having witnessed firsthand the difficulties in moving portability policy initiatives forward.

Aug
08
2018

ASSPA Net Reviews RCH Article on 401(k) Cashouts, Missing Participants

On 8/8/18, ASSPA Net's John Iekel reviews the 7/26/18 article in BenefitsPRO by RCH's Tom Hawkins, which draws a comparison between 401(k) missing participants and cashouts. In making the argument that 401(k) cashouts could be "orders-of-magnitude worse" than missing participants, Iekel summarizes Hawkins' logic, including: 1) missing participants have preserved their savings, 2) participants cashing out are far more numerous than those going missing and 3) almost two-thirds of cashouts are unnecessary. Hawkins' answer to address both problems, says Iekel, is the "introduction of auto-portability."

Apr
18
2018

ASPPA Net: Can Automation Help Solve the Missing Participant Problem?

In his 4/13/18 article, ASPPA Net's Ted Godbout examines key findings from the March 2018 RCH / Boston Research Technologies survey "The Mobile Workforce's Missing Participant Problem". Godbout covers the key highlights from the study, including the "remarkable" finding that 1/3 of the respondents had learned about accounts that they didn't realize they had, as well as the high percentage of respondents (60%) who would prefer an automated solution to update their address or consolidate their balances.

Bankrate
May
24
2021

What happens to your 401(k) after you leave a job?

Writing in Bankrate, Karen Roberts and James Royal offer readers 8 things to consider about moving a 401(k) account following a job change or lay off. At the outset, Roberts & Royal acknowledge the difficulties, stating "moving your 401(k) and when to do may be more challenging than you realize." The authors highlight many options participants must keep in mind, underscoring the need for education. For balances under $5,000, they reference the rise of auto portability, writing that "[s]ome companies have recently adopted auto portability, meaning your small balance may automatically transfer to your new employer’s plan" and advise participants to inquire with their HR Department.

Also featured in the South Florida Reporter

Jul
10
2019

8 things to know about your 401(k) when changing jobs

Bankrate's Dana Dratch offers readers a list of 8 key things to know about their 401(k) accounts when changing jobs. While 401(k) accounts "are designed to be portable" Dratch acknowledges that "moving [a] 401(k) is more challenging" than most realize. Dratch provides a solid overview of participants' options, counsels them against cashing out, and cites Retirement Clearinghouse's 2017 research that indicated more than 30% will take this unfortunate action following a job change.

Barron's
Dec
09
2018

Barron's: You Should Combine Your Small 401(k) Accounts. Here’s Why.

In her 12/9/18 opinion piece in Barron's, noted retirement researcher Alicia H. Munnell takes stock of the recent DOL actions on the RCH Auto Portability program, which she characterizes as "good news" and a "win for the 401(k) system." Munnell credits RCH's Spencer Williams and Tom Johnson for the solution, which automatically consolidates small accounts as employees change jobs, addressing the 401(k) system's cashout leakage problem.

Nov
16
2018

Barron's: The 401(k) Turns 40, And Like All Birthdays, There’s Good and Bad

In their feature story marking the 40th anniversary of the 401(k), Barron's reporter Sarah Max takes a look at the past, present and future of the now-legendary plan brought to life by the Revenue Act of 1978. Although the "401(k) has been a huge success" Max identifies leakage as a persistent problem and notes the recent emergence of auto portability as a going-forward solution to the problem.

Nov
16
2018

Barrons: How to Fix the 401(k)

As part of their overall feature "40 Years of the 401(k) - The Good, the Bad and the Future", Barron's reporter Sarah Max examines 5 initiatives that could help "fix" the 401(k). At the top of her list is auto portability, which Max indicates could "reduce leakage that occurs when employees cash out of small plans." Other initiatives also mentioned include multiple employer plans (MEPs), the Automatic Retirement Plan Act of 2017 (ARPA), Guaranteed Retirement Accounts, and Icon.

Oct
10
2018

Barron's Article on 401(k) Leakage Features RCH Research

In her October 10th, 2018 article "Don't Let a 'Leaky' 401(k) Mess Up Your Retirement" Barron's reporter Reshma Kapadia examines the problem of 401(k) cashout leakage. Kapadia cites recent research by Retirement Clearinghouse, which explores the impact on minority savers of pairing savings preservation (via auto portability) with the open MEPs expanded access initiative.

BDO
Sep
19
2023

Safeguarding Retirement Savings: Inside Secure Act 2.0 Key Priorities

BDO Alliance USA, among the industry’s largest associations of accounting and professional service firms, evaluates key priorities contained within recent SECURE 2.0 legislation, and includes an analysis of Section 120 of the act, which addresses auto portability. The piece notes that the auto portability "provision enhances portability by allowing the plan sponsor to now transfer the former employee’s default IRA assets (established at termination) into the participant’s new employer’s plan. The provision both curtails asset leakage from ERISA plans and helps alleviates the missing participant issue." The article also notes a related provision of the legislation -- Section 304 -- that increases the dollar limit for plan sponsors to automatically cash out a former employee’s retirement plan from $5,000 to $7,000, starting in 2024.

Benefits Quarterly
Apr
27
2021

Want to Avoid Legal Jeopardy? Adopt Solutions That Enable Portability for Small Accounts

Writing in Benefits Quarterly magazine, RCH founder, president and CEO Spencer Williams examines the multi-faceted problem of "small accounts" and describes how plan sponsors, providers and recordkeepers can take proactive measures to solve the problem by adopting auto portability. By adopting auto portability, Williams contends that the improved outcomes for participants could "mitigate the risk of 401(k) fee lawsuits and other legal actions down the line."

BenefitsPro
Jan
23
2024

DOL proposes new 401(k) ‘auto-portability’ regulations for job changers

BenefitsPRO's Scott Wooldridge informs readers about "another step forward" for auto portability, when the Department of Labor's Employee Benefits Security Administration (EBSA) released its proposed rules associated with SECURE 2.0. Wooldridge provides a summary of the new rules, and quotes American Retirement Association (ARA) CEO Brian Graff as stating: “We appreciate the guidance provided by the DOL. Anything that reduces the rate of retirement plan leakage results in better outcomes for participants.”

Jan
17
2024

No more 401(k) plan ‘leakage’: SECURE 2.0 auto-portability now in effect

BenefitsPRO's Scott Wooldridge looks ahead in 2024, writing that the year "will mark changes to the retirement savings system, in part due to the new SECURE 2.0 law, that will enable more auto-portability of 401(k) retirement accounts." To support that view, Wooldridge identifies the formation of the Portability Services Network (PSN), and quotes Retirement Clearinghouse (RCH) and PSN Chairman Robert L. Johnson, who sees "great interest from employers" in auto portability. Wooldridge also summarizes key findings from RCH's newly-updated Auto Portability Simulation (APS) model, which indicates greater benefits will be associated with auto portability -- and particularly for minorities -- as a new mandatory distribution limit goes into effect in 2024, and as expanded access initiatives gain momentum.

*Subscription Required

Jan
10
2024

New SECURE 2.0 regulations now in effect in 2024: Is your 401(k) in compliance?

Writing in BenefitsPRO, Jennifer Tanck, Executive Vice President of Pensionmark, informs readers about the key SECURE 2.0 provisions that will affect plan sponsors in 2024. Addressing auto portability, Tanck writes that "[t]he SECURE 2.0 Act now codifies automatic portability" and "permanently approves the negative consent of rollovers of small balances to a terminated employee’s new employer through the Retirement Clearinghouse. The threshold for these rollover amounts has been increased from a maximum of $5,000 to $7,000 for 2024."

*Subscription Required

Nov
17
2022

Is employee demand behind the shift toward portable retirement plans?

BenefitsPRO's Kristen Beckman examines a "new era of 'employee centric' retirement benefits" where "workers now want a plan that follows them from job to job." While Beckman's article mostly focuses on a new, non-401(k) plan that one vendor is promoting, it acknowledges that "other organizations are targeting portability as well" -- citing "a new partnership between 401(k) administrators Fidelity Investments, Vanguard, and Alight Solutions, which represent approximately 43.8 million workers across more than 48,000 employer-sponsored retirement plans" and "will utilize Retirement Clearinghouse (RCH), a service that provides account portability for retirement plans when workers change jobs."

* Requires subscription

Oct
14
2022

Fidelity, Vanguard team up to ease 401(k) portability when workers switch jobs

Scott Wooldridge, writing in BenefitsPRO, examines the "new partnership between 401(k) administrators could preserve more than $1 trillion in retirement savings." Utilizing RCH's auto portability solution, the new industry-led consortium will "particularly [benefit] minorities, women, and low-income workers." Wooldridge also quotes Bob Johnson, RCH Chairman, BET founder and Chair of the new Portability Services Network, praising proposed US Senate legislation, co-sponsored by Sen. Tim Scott (R-SC) and Sen. Sherrod Brown (D-OH).

* Requires subscription

May
26
2022

Press the magic (benefits) button

Writing in BenefitsPRO, Omaha-based benefits consultant Marty Traynor examines the status of technology in today's HR benefits world, and identifies serious shortcomings, writing that "neither employers nor employees think the process supporting employee benefits is as easy to work with as it should be." Building a list of 8 technology-based processes that could bridge the gap, Traynor includes auto portability in the list, envisioning the day "[w]hen an employee changes jobs or retires—auto portability processes...support continuing portable coverages."

Mar
15
2022

Supreme Court ruling highlights an expansive definition of plan fiduciary

Writing in BenefitsPro, RCH President & CEO Spencer Williams examines the U.S. Supreme Court's recent Hughes v. Northwestern University ruling, which underscored the need for plan sponsors to err on the side of more rather than less, when considering the scope of their fiduciary responsibilities. While the case focused on high-cost investment options, Williams suggests that the ruling could expose plan sponsors to fiduciary risk for decisions that produce unnecessarily high levels of cash-out leakage, a risk that could be avoided if plan sponsors were to proactively adopt asset portability solutions, such as auto portability.

Feb
24
2022

What happened to auto-portability?

Writing in BenefitsPro, David Baumann recaps a 1/6/2022 report by the Aspen Institute that identified a compelling need for portability, yet "more than 40 years after a presidential commission recommended making retirement programs more portable, policymakers are still struggling with the issue." Baumann notes that the Aspen Institute's paper cited a number of key factors making the case for auto portability, including: 1) the propensity of American workers to change jobs, 2) to cash out following a job change, and 3) an EBRI survey finding that "85% of retirement savers would find automatic transfers between programs valuable." Baumann also noted that "[a]n Aspen survey of retirement experts found that 57% supported a mandate" for auto portability, while 48% of the same experts believed that auto portability was feasible without a mandate.

Apr
27
2021

Participants still support automatic portability of 401(k)s: survey

Reporting on EBRI's release of their 31st Annual Retirement Confidence Survey (RCS), BenefitsPRO's Alan Goforth highlights the survey's key finding that "nearly nine in 10 employees with access to an employer-sponsored defined contribution plan consider auto-portability to be a valuable benefit" while observing that "those participants who stand to benefit the most from auto-portability — including minorities, younger participants and lower-income workers — want it most." Goforth quotes RCH founder, president and CEO Spencer Williams, as well as EBRI president and CEO Lori Lucas.

Jun
24
2020

Institutionalized 401(k) portability needed now more than ever

Writing for BenefitsPRO, RCH President & CEO Spencer Williams examines the retirement-related circumstances brought about by the COVID-19 crisis, and sets forth a persuasive argument for the systemic adoption, or "institutionalization" of auto portability. By more-effectively coping with large numbers of terminated participants, auto portability will help reduce unnecessary cashouts, including "automatic" cashouts under $1,000, which Williams advises sponsors to avoid completely. During the crisis, when reduced mobility is the norm, Williams further advises sponsors to conduct participant searches to ensure that records are kept up-to-date.

Apr
30
2019

EBRI webinar examines impact of tenure on retirement savings

RCH's Tom Hawkins summarizes the April 10th EBRI webinar Trends in Employee Tenure, which offered EBRI’s latest research examining broad employee tenure trends, and the impact that shorter tenure has on retirement savings. The webinar’s presenters included Craig Copeland, EBRI and Spencer Williams, Retirement Clearinghouse (RCH), and was moderated by Stacy Schaus, Schaus Group LLC. In his portion of the presentation, Williams introduced the concept of “synthetic tenure” – whereby enhancing system-wide portability -- particularly for small accounts -- enables participants to preserve their savings through job changes, mirroring the success of EBRI’s longer-tenured, “consistent participation” population.

Mar
22
2019

Auto-portability: A way to address 401(k) leakage

In his 3/22/19 article in BenefitsPRO, Pentegra's RIchard Rausser advocates for auto portability as a means to address the serious problem of "leakage" from the 401(k) retirement system. Rausser's article first looks to research from the Center for Retirement Research (CRR) and the Government Accountability Office (GAO) to underscore the dimensions of the leakage problem, and goes on to cite EBRI research that demonstrates the positive impact of auto portability. Rausser concludes by referencing the DOL's November 2018 actions on RCH's auto portability program, including the pending prohibited transaction exemption, stating that "others in the industry are strongly in favor of auto-portability."

Feb
19
2019

BenefitsPRO: Auto-portability boosts 401(k) results in new EBRI research

In his 2/19/19 article in BenefitsPRO, RCH's Tom Hawkins examines new research, authored by EBRI Research Director Jack VanDerhei, Ph.D., comparing the retirement income generated by 401(k) plans with auto enrollment against defined benefit (DB) plans. While EBRI's primary objective was to address growing concern over the relative decline of DB plans, the study also identified significant, incremental benefits of auto portability, adding to a growing body of research from EBRI demonstrating that auto portability increases retirement security for 401(k) participants.

Dec
06
2018

BenefitsPRO: What is auto-portability? It depends on who’s asking.

With the announcement of the Department of Labor’s recent actions, auto portability has taken center stage in the retirement industry. While auto portability has been well-known to a relatively small group of industry insiders, its recent, widespread coverage in the media has many asking the question “what is auto portability?” In his December 2018 article in BenefitsPRO, RCH Senior Vice President Tom Hawkins suggests that the best answer may depend on who's asking the question, but one thing's clear: auto portability is an idea whose time has come.

Oct
11
2018

RCH in BenefitsPRO: Pairing Savings Preservation with Expanded Access for Minorities

In their October 11, 2018 article in BenefitsPRO, RCH's Spencer Williams and Tom Hawkins address an important retirement public policy question: How would a pairing of auto portability with open multiple employer plans (or “open MEPs”) impact the retirement savings of America’s minorities, and particularly, African-Americans? The RCH analysis found that expanded access initiatives, such as open MEPs, could serve as a catalyst to increase minority participation in employer-sponsored 401(k) plans, but could fall short in preserving minorities' retirement savings. When combined with auto portability, open MEPs could generate far more wealth at retirement, and deliver greater retirement security for minorities.

Aug
28
2018

RCH in BenefitsPRO: Don't become a 401(k) DIY horror story

In his latest article in BenefitsPRO, RCH EVP Spencer Pringle offers job-changing 401(k) participants important tips on how to avoid becoming a 401(k) DIY “horror story.” Pringle examines three DIY scenarios for participants to avoid, including cashing out, stranding a 401(k) balance at a previous employer and finally, attempting a DIY roll-in. Auto portability, education and assistance, says Pringle, are keys to overcoming the traps.

Jul
26
2018

RCH in BenefitsPRO: 401(k) Truth Bomb: Missing Participants are Bad, 401(k) Cashouts are Worse

In his 7/26/18 article in BenefitsPRO, RCH's Tom Hawkins addresses the dual problems of missing participants and 401(k) cashouts, which both share common causes – a mobile American workforce and a lack of retirement savings portability. While missing participants are bad and have been receiving a great deal of attention, the issue of 401(k) cashouts is actually much worse, as annual cashouts outpace new missing participant accounts by a factor of almost 25-to-1. Fortunately, retirement savings portability, in the form of auto portability, delivers a “two-fer” by providing a strategic solution to both.

Jun
06
2018

RCH in BenefitsPro: 401(k) consolidation: What every plan sponsor should know

Plan sponsors know that an explosion of small-balance 401(k) accounts held by terminated participants can create problems, but few sponsors are clear on the underlying causes, and fewer still understand how they can utilize consolidation programs to solve the problem. In his 6/6/18 article in BenefitsPRO, RCH’s Tom Hawkins offers plan sponsors a framework to understand and address the small account problem, applying proven solutions that promote account consolidation.

Apr
20
2018

America’s modern 'throwaway': 401(k) retirement savings

In his article in BenefitsPro, RCH’s Tom Hawkins draws attention to the modern-day waste that occurs when 401(k) participants change jobs and prematurely cash out their retirement savings. Similar to America’s post-World War II “throwaway” culture which gave rise to modern recycling initiatives, Hawkins argues that the solution to 401(k) cashout leakage is auto portability, and predicts that it will catch on as key stakeholders acknowledge the severity of the problem, accept responsibility for solving it and act collaboratively to hasten auto portability’s widespread adoption.

Mar
16
2018

BenefitsPRO Features RCH Missing Participant Survey

BenefitsPRO's Marlene Satter adds her voice to the retirement industry media covering the ground-breaking Missing Participant Survey (link) by Boston Research Technologies and Retirement Clearinghouse. Satter cites key findings from the survey and quotes executives Warren Cormier and Spencer Williams.

Jul
05
2017

BenefitsPRO: Plug the Leaks Before Expanding Access

In a 7/5/17 article in BenefitsPRO, RCH's Tom Hawkins makes the case that 401(k) cashout leakage should be plugged, prior to expanding access to workplace retirement savings accounts.

Apr
04
2017

The African-American Retirement Crisis: How Auto Portability Can Help

The African-American community faces a retirement crisis. Auto portability may be able to help resolve the crisis by helping to prevent cashouts and move retirement savings balances forward.

Feb
07
2017

BenefitsPRO: Small Step for 401(k) Plans Equals Big Leap for Retirement Readiness

In his 2/6/17 article in BenefitsPRO, RCH EVP Neal Ringquist makes the case for Auto Portability. Ringquist likens Auto Portability to a "small step in the right direction" for 401(k) plans, yet one that produces a highly-positive impact on retirement readiness.

Nov
30
2016

RCH in BenefitsPro: An Infrastructure Project that Saves Trillions

In his 11/30/16 article in BenefitsPro, RCH's Tom Hawkins makes the case that reducing cashout leakage is one of America's most-beneficial infrastructure projects, saving trillions while costing taxpayers nothing.

Oct
17
2016

RCH in BenefitsPro: A different ‘save’ to consider during National Save for Retirement Week

Neal Ringquist and Tom Hawkins discuss how we can save retirement itself for National Save for Retirement Week via BenefitsPRO.

Aug
12
2016

RCH in BenefitsPro: EBRI forum examines causes of retirement plan leakage

Marlene Y. Satter addresses retirement plan leakage, topping the agenda at the 78th EBRI Policy Forum in May.

Aug
11
2016

RCH in BenefitsPro: Study: Here's one way to slow 401(k) plan leakage

Marlene Y. Satter, in her 8/11/16 article in BenefitsPro, takes a deeper look into the study from Boston Research Technologies and RCH.

May
13
2016

BenefitsPro Talks With Spencer Williams on Orphaned Accounts, Auto Portability Simulation

BenefitsPro's Nick Thornton interviews RCH President & CEO Spencer Williams as RCH unveils the Auto Portability Simulation (APS) model at EBRI's annual Policy Forum.

Jan
14
2016

Williams Provides Reaction to Presidential Call for Plan Portability

Spencer Williams provides BenefitsPro's Nick Thornton with his reaction to President Obama's call for retirement plan portability.

Dec
11
2015

RCH in BenefitsPro: Addressing the critical problem of 401(k) cash-outs

BenefitsPro's Nick Thonrton quotes RCH's CEO Spencer Williams on the problem of plan leakage through cash outs.

Black Enterprise
Oct
14
2022

Money, Power, Partnerships: BET Founder Bob Johnson Rallies For Blacks to Build, Preserve, and Pass Down Wealth

Black Enterprise's Derek Major reports on the fireside chat between Robert L. Johnson and Black Enterprise CEO Earl Butch Graves Jr. In the wide-ranging discussion, which is included as video in Major's piece, Johnson and Graves turn to Johnson's role in spurring the formation of the Portability Services Network (PSN), by "teaming up with Fidelity, Vanguard, and Alight Solutions—three of the nation’s largest 401(k) record keepers" to "accelerate the nationwide adoption of auto portability to help America’s underserved workers enhance their retirement finances."

Also featured on Yahoo

Oct
08
2022

BET Founder Bob Johnson to Speak at Black Enterprise's 2022 Black Men XCEL Summit

Fresh from announcing the formation of a new retirement industry-led consortium, Bob Johnson, BET founder and founder and chairman of The RLJ Companies, discloses that he will be one of many prominent speakers at Black Enterprise's 2022 Black Men Xcel Summit, taking place Oct. 12-14 in National Harbor, MD. The article, which promotes the event, also provides numerous details on the Portability Services Network (PSN), which reporter Jeffrey McKinney notes is "expected to launch in the first quarter of 2023, [and] will be improving financial security for individuals and helping them avoid cashing out of their 401(k) accounts early."

Oct
07
2022

BET Founder Rolls Out New Consortium to Help Black Americans Save $619 Billion over a Generation

Jeffrey McKinney, Black Enterprise contributor, reports that "BET founder and business mogul Bob Johnson is taking his biggest plunge to help close or narrow the nation’s lingering racial wealth gap." McKinney interviews Johnson to get the details on news that Retirement Clearinghouse (RCH), an RLJ Company chaired by Johnson, has partnered with Fidelity, Alight Solutions and Vanguard to form the industry's first-ever consortium, the Portability Services Network (PSN), whose aim is "to accelerate the nationwide adoption of auto portability to help America’s underserved and under-saved workers enhance their finances in their golden years." Johnson hails the development as "truly a historic moment" across a number of dimensions, but most notably in its prospects for reducing the minority wealth gap in America.

Nov
26
2020

Billionaire Media Mogul John Malone Invests in BET Founder Bob Johnson's 401(k) Program

Black Enterprise's Jeffrey McKinney examines the "reconnection" between "serial entrepreneur Robert Johnson and media mogul John Malone" -- taking the form of a minority stake investment by Malone in Retirement Clearinghouse (RCH). In the piece, Malone cites RCH's 401(k) auto portability as the kind of practical "inclusive capitalism" that motivated his action. McKinney cites Johnson's economic activism and quotes Johnson, who states that the pair "have a long history of taking on big challenges" and with Malone's guidance, will "do our part to close the wealth gap for America's minority communities."

Jul
15
2020

BET Founder Bob Johnson Addresses Auto Portability in BlackEnterprise.com Interview

The RLJ Companies Founder & Chairman, and RCH majority owner Bob Johnson is interviewed by Black Enterprise's Jeffrey McKinney, discussing the latest developments surrounding RCH Auto Portability's national launch. Citing the many benefits of RCH Auto Portability for minorities, Johnson commends the 7/14/20 announcement by Alight, and adds "there is no reason why the [other] large record keepers should not commence auto portability for the companies whose 401(k) accounts they manage."

Black PRWire
Oct
07
2022

BET Founder Bob Johnson Joins With the Three Largest 401(k) Recordkeepers to Save $619 Billion For Black Americans

Black PRWire covers the 10/5/2022 Announcement that Fidelity, Vanguard and Alight Solutions have teamed with Retirement Clearinghouse (RCH), an RLJ Company, to form the first-ever industry consortium to address the problem of 401(k) cashout leakage, a persistent problem that disproportionately affect women and minorities, but particularly Black Americans. The article includes quotes from Mr. Johnson, RCH's Chairman, BET founder and Chairman of the The RLJ Companies. Johnson hailed the agreement as representing "truly a historic moment for the industry, as well as our country and is the first step to reduce the wealth gap between Black and white households in this country. "

Also featured in Our Weekly

BlackRock DCFocus
Nov
16
2015

RCH EVP Tom Johnson Talks Auto Portability with BlackRock's DCfocus

RCH EVP Tom Johnson sat down with BlackRock's DCfocus publication to discuss Auto Portability.

Bloomberg
Oct
05
2022

Retirement Giants Band Together to Help Job-Switchers Transfer 401(k)s

Bloomberg reporter Suzanne Woolley reports on the "rare collaborative effort" undertaken by Fidelity, Vanguard and Alight to form a retirement industry-led consortium that, along with Retirement Clearinghouse (RCH), aims to accelerate the adoption of auto portability. Woolley quotes Alight Solutions' Alison Borland, Fidelity's Kevin Barry and The Vanguard Group's John James.

Also featured in Bloomberg Law, Employee Benefit News, InvestmentNews and Financial-Planning.com

Jun
10
2022

The Worst 401(k) Mistake You Can Make When You Switch Jobs

Bloomberg's Suzanne Woolley examines the increased phenomenon of "job-hopping" which places workers at an increased risk of "making one of the biggest financial mistakes out there" -- cashing out their 401(k) balances. Woolley references the RCH Cashout Calculator and notes that Vanguard's latest How America Saves report references auto portability as a "solution to cashouts that it will offer plan sponsors within a few months." "That could have a big impact" continues Woolley, citing EBRI's $1.5 trillion savings projection for auto portability.

Also featured in Financial Advisor Magazine

Oct
09
2015

Bloomberg's Steverman Laments Rollover Battle, Lauds RCH Auto Portability

Bloomberg's Ben Steverman describes his personal challenges to rollover his 401(k) account to an IRA.

Bloomberg BNA
May
16
2016

Bloomberg BNA: Auto Portability Key to Preventing Leakage


Bloomberg BNA's Sean Forbes covers the unveiling of the Auto Portability Simulation (APS) model at the 78th EBRI Policy Forum, and likes what he sees.

Bloomberg Law
Feb
03
2023

SECURE 2.0 Law Aims to Reconnect You With Your Long-Lost 401(k)

Bloomberg Law reporter Austin Ramsey examines provisions of SECURE 2.0 legislation that helps "reunite millions of Americans with retirement accounts they lost by switching jobs or leaving the workforce." Focusing on auto portability and the retirement savings lost & found registry, Ramsey turns to industry experts, including RCH and PSN President & CEO Spencer Williams, and Fidelity's Sterling Ingui. Williams cites the complementary aspects of these provisions, stating: “Without auto-portability and these other measures, the expanding access provisions of SECURE 2.0 will be sub-optimal. They wouldn't work." Ingui adds that "provisions for auto-portability...reinforce the work and the mission that brought us together to help the minorities, the women, the low-income earners, and young workers" who frequently change jobs and cash out their retirement savings.

Oct
05
2022

Retirement Giants Band Together to Help Job-Switchers Transfer 401(k)s

Bloomberg reporter Suzanne Woolley reports on the "rare collaborative effort" undertaken by Fidelity, Vanguard and Alight to form a retirement industry-led consortium that, along with Retirement Clearinghouse (RCH), aims to accelerate the adoption of auto portability. Woolley quotes Alight Solutions' Alison Borland, Fidelity's Kevin Barry and The Vanguard Group's John James.

Also featured in Bloomberg Law, Employee Benefit News, InvestmentNews and Financial-Planning.com

Jul
14
2021

Pressure Mounts to Reunite Workers With Old Retirement Accounts

Bloomberg Law reporter Austin Ramsey addresses recent pressure on the federal government to reconnect retirement plan participants with their benefits, including the possible establishment of a retirement savings lost & found. For clarity, Ramsey turns to two experts -- Alicia Munnell, director of the Center for Retirement Research at Boston College, and RCH President & CEO Spencer Williams. Munnell's views underscore the need for consolidation and cites RCH's program of auto portability. Williams then provides Ramsey with an update on RCH's auto portability program, stating that any lost & found "must involve the private sector."

*Access requires paid subscription

Nov
09
2018

Bloomberg Law: Retirement Clearinghouse Could Get Fee Waived on Savings Transfers

Bloomberg Law's Madison Alder covers the Department of Labor's Nov. 6th proposed exemption for Retirement Clearinghouse to make it easier for auto portability, which Alder describes as "the transfer small sums of savings in individual retirement accounts to new ones when employees change jobs."

BNN Breaking
Feb
10
2024

Auto Portability: A Game Changer in Retirement Services

BNN Breaking correspondent Muhammed Jawad writes a highly-supportive piece on auto portability, which he describes as "a digital solution launched by Retirement Clearinghouse." Jawad adds that auto portability "promises to revolutionize the retirement services industry by automating the transfer of small retirement accounts" and will "reduce cash-out leakage, preserve trillions in the retirement system, particularly benefit minority communities....[and] significantly improve the retirement prospects of countless Americans." Jawad notes the recent findings from RCH's Auto Portability Simulation (APS) model, writing that: "nationwide adoption of auto portability is estimated to reduce overall cash-out leakage from the U.S. retirement system by a staggering $355 billion and preserve an additional $1.6 trillion in savings."

Broadcast Retirement Network
Apr
25
2023

Broadcast Retirement News: Set It and Actually Forget It

In Broadcast Retirement News' segment #1257, anchor Jeff Snyder interviews Laura Quinsby, Center for Retirement Research, Boston College. The segment focuses on recent developments that will allow terminated participants to better track and consolidate their retirement savings, including the new SECURE 2.0-mandated lost-and-found registry, as well as auto portability. Snyder mentions the formation of the auto portability "consortium" or the Portability Services Network (PSN) as a positive development, while Quinsby opines that one indicator of auto portability's success will be an eventual decline in the number of terminated, vested defined contribution accounts, brought about by account consolidation.

Business Insider
Apr
05
2023

Call it the Great Cash Out

Business Insider's Jason Lalljee interviews Yanwen Wang, professor at University of British Columbia, and co-author of a cashout leakage study recently featured in the Harvard Business Review. The study, writes Lalljee: "found nearly half of 162,360 employees who left their jobs between 2014 and 2016 at 28 US companies cashed out of workplace retirement plans like 401(k)s that incentivize saving over time." Lalljee cites Wang as advocating for the adoption of auto portability "in which 401(k)s are automatically moved over to a new employer."

CAPTRUST
Dec
15
2023

Episode 59: Auto-Portability with Neal Ringquist

RCH Executive Vice President & Chief Revenue Officer Neal Ringquist joins hosts Jennifer Doss and Audrey Wheat on CAPTRUST's Revamping Retirement podcast, which aired on 12/15/23. In the podcast's discussion on auto-portability, Ringquist emphasizes the advantages and benefits of auto-portability for both the participant and the plan sponsor. These benefits include: increased average account balances, reduced administrative hassles associated with managing multiple accounts, reduced cash-out leakage (especially for individuals with lower incomes) and improved retirement outcomes for participants.

Charlotte Business Journal
Aug
03
2021

Retirement Clearinghouse hits $10B in consolidated retirement assets, pushes forward with automated future

The Charlotte Business Journal's Caroline Hudson speaks with RCH EVP & Chief Sales Officer Neal Ringquist to get an update on RCH's explosive growth, including the firm's recent announcement on surpassing $10 billion in retirement account consolidations. Ringquist offers Hudson a primer on consolidation, addressing the topic from multiple perspectives, and goes on to describe the key drivers of the firm's future growth, including the relationship with Alight Solutions, as well as auto portability.

Nov
15
2018

Charlotte Business Journal: How this Charlotte retirement firm is driving change in 401(k) rollovers

The Charlotte Business Journal's Caroline Hudson covers the innovative direction taken by Charlotte, NC-based Retirement Clearinghouse (RCH) in the development and delivery of its auto portability program, the subject of recent, favorable actions by the U.S. Department of Labor. Hudson interviews RCH EVP and Chief of Sales Neal Ringquist.

City of Charlotte
Aug
11
2020

Retirement Clearinghouse Expands in Charlotte, Adding 300 New Jobs

The City of Charlotte's Cory Burkarth covers the Tuesday, 8/11 announcement that RCH will expand it presence in Charlotte, adding 300 new employees and investing more than $4 million in their headquarters and corporate office. Burkharth reports that RCH will be moving into the Ayrsley development in Steele Creek, adding positions across the board. Burkharth notes that the benefits of RCH's auto portability solution are "staggering" and aligns well with the City's mission to improve economic mobility. The piece quotes RCH President & CEO Spencer Williams, as well as Charlotte mayor Vi Lyles, who lauds the expansion initiative.

Clark.com
Oct
11
2022

Fidelity, Vanguard Working To Prevent 401(k) Leaks

Writing for Clark.com, Christopher Smith first takes the perspective of the participant, noting the difficult challenges they face in consolidating small-balance retirement savings and moving them forward as they frequently jobs. According to Smith, that dynamic produces high levels of cashout leakage, citing the $92.4 billion figure provided by EBRI. That perspective forms the basis for Smith's take that the new industry-led consortium announced 10/5/22 to accelerate the adoption of auto portability, will be a positive development. Smith observes that "instead of having your investments automatically cashed out — or put into cash in an IRA without you realizing it — your investments will follow you."

CNBC
Feb
10
2024

Policy changes look to reduce 401(k) plan ‘leakage’

CNBC Personal Finance Reporter Greg Iacurci takes a comprehensive look at the problem of 401(k) cashout leakage, as well as its most promising solution -- auto portability, as delivered by the Portability Services Network (PSN). In his analysis, Iacurci turns to industry experts, including RCH & PSN president & CEO Spencer Williams, EBRI's Craig Copeland and other researchers and academics. Iacurci quotes Williams as stating that auto portability is essentially a “very large exchange mechanism” within the 401(k) industry, and that the feature has promise in addressing the cashout leakage problem. Iacurci adds: "at 70% market coverage, auto portability is expected to reconnect about 3 million people a year with 401(k) accounts they left behind upon job change."

Also featured in SkyNews, The Adviser Magazine, USA Today News, and at least 30 other media outlets

Oct
06
2022

‘Billions of dollars get left behind’: The 401(k) industry now has a ‘lost and found’ for your old retirement accounts

CNBC personal finance reporter Greg Iacurci examines this week's announcement that a retirement industry-led consortium, collectively accounting for 40% of 401(k) savers, has been formed to accelerate the adoption of auto portability. Iacurci turns to Fidelity's Dave Gray for color on the consortium, and Gray underscores the importance of preserving small balances within the retirement system, growing the consortium's footprint and operating the new entity at a break-even price.

Oct
05
2022

Retirement Clearinghouse teams up with 401(k) recordkeepers for under-served retirement savers

Retirement Clearinghouse (RCH) Chairman Robert L. Johnson appears on CNBC's Squawk Box to disclose breaking news that RCH is collaborating with 3 of the nation's largest 401(k) recordkeepers to create a consortium, Portability Services Network, LLC, to accelerate the nationwide adoption of auto portability. Auto portability, says Johnson, will help address America’s minority wealth gap by assisting under-served and under-saved workers improve their retirement outcomes, while the consortium will ensure that the new feature is not only rapidly adopted, but will be delivered in the most cost-effective manner possible.

Feb
16
2021

Robert L. Johnson Addresses Auto Portability on CNBC's Squawk Box

On 2/16/21, RLJ Companies Chairman and RCH majority owner Robert L. Johnson appears on CNBC's Squawk Box for a wide-ranging interview. During Q&A with host Joe Kernen, Mr. Johnson addresses his ongoing efforts to promote retirement security for minorities via RCH's auto portability initiative, which he indicates would preserve over $180 billion in retirement savings for Black Americans.

Jul
14
2020

Changing jobs? Soon you can transfer 401(k) savings automatically

CNBC Senior Personal Finance Correspondent Sharon Epperson follows on to her morning video segment on CNBC with an article addressing today's key developments for auto portability. Epperson quotes Alight EVP Alison Borland, RLJ Companies Founder & Chairman Bob Johnson and the ARA's Nevin Adams in the piece, and cites key research from Alight on cashout leakage from job-changing participants.

Jul
14
2020

CNBC: How Retirement Clearinghouse is helping employees save for retirement

Appearing on CNBC's Squawk Box, RLJ Companies Founder & Chairman Robert L. Johnson and Alight Solutions EVP Alison Borland jointly address breaking news that Alight Solutions will offer the Retirement Clearinghouse (RCH) auto portability service to its 401(k) recordkeeping clients. Borland noted that "client reaction has been overwhelmingly positive" and that "we expect high adoption and we expect this change in the industry to be able to happen much faster than automatic enrollment happened."

Jul
14
2020

Video: It can be easier to carry 401(k) plans over to a new job—Here’s how

Featured on Squawk Box, CNBC's Senior Personal Finance Correspondent Sharon Epperson reports the news that Alight Solutions LLC is adopting Retirement Clearinghouse's auto portability solution for its 401(k) recordkeeping clients. Epperson sets the stage for the news by citing research supporting the case for auto portability. Epperson's report was quickly followed by an interview with RLJ Companies Founder & Chairman Robert L. Johnson and Alight Solutions EVP Alison Borland.

Dec
31
2019

Why you should consolidate those 401(k)s and IRAs

CNBC personal finance reporter Greg Iacurci takes a look at the millions of Americans changing jobs each year, and concludes that consolidation of retirement savings -- particularly to a new workplace savings account -- is their best move. Stranded accounts, writes Iacurci, can cause a variety of problems, including forgotten savings, cash outs, sub-optimal investment choices and a difficult transition to retirement income. Iacurci quotes RCH President & CEO Spencer Williams, who states that “from a consumer perspective, the default should be 100% of the time to move your money [when changing jobs].”

Sep
12
2019

CNBC Video: Robert L. Johnson Addresses Auto Portability's Importance

In a 9/12/19 interview with CNBC’s Squawk Box, Robert L. Johnson, Founder & Chairman of The RLJ Companies, and majority owner of Retirement Clearinghouse (RCH), goes in-depth on auto portability, praising the Trump administration’s favorable actions, while also noting the ongoing bipartisan support for the new plan feature. Johnson offers the CNBC panel a primer on how auto portability works, it’s significant benefits for Americans’ retirement security -- particularly minorities -- and the importance of gaining rapid adoption to deliver on its promise.

Consolidation Corner / RCH Blog
Feb
08
2024

A More-Enlightened Approach to Uncashed Distribution Checks

No retirement plan sponsor likes the idea of dealing with uncashed distribution checks, nor do they wish to draw unwanted regulatory attention or to become embroiled in costly litigation. Unfortunately, many plan sponsors place themselves in precisely that spot, becoming unnecessarily over-burdened with unresolved uncashed checks, while inviting unwanted regulatory scrutiny and/or legal challenges by having flawed uncashed check policies. In his 2/8/24 article in RCH's Consolidation Corner blog, Tom Hawkins lays out a "more-enlightened" approach to the problem of uncashed distribution checks, seeking to minimize their numbers, while simultaneously steering clear of the “red flags” that could land them in hot water.

Jan
11
2024

Four Retirement Initiatives Vital to Closing the Racial Wealth Gap

Writing in the RCH Consolidation Corner blog, Tom Hawkins examines four retirement initiatives that could help in closing America's racial wealth gap. Leading off the article, Hawkins cites U.S. Treasury research identifying a significant racial wealth gap that has remained essentially unchanged over the past 20 years. In the retirement space, Hawkins identifies expanded access, auto portability, emergency savings and the Saver's Match as key initiatives that will make significant contributions to closing the gap, provided that retirement plan sponsors fully embrace and support them.

Dec
13
2023

Four Key Findings from the New Auto Portability Simulation

Writing in the RCH Consolidation Corner blog, RCH's Tom Hawkins summarizes the four key findings from the firm's Auto Portability Simulation, a discrete event simulation that models the impacts of auto portability over a 40-year period, and are detailed in a new white paper, Revisiting the Auto Portability Simulation: The Impact of the Portability Services Network, SECURE 2.0 and Expanded Access. Hawkins contends that the new APS analysis has improved the model’s predictive accuracy by incorporating new parameters that reflect “changing realities” driven by three major developments: 1) the advent of the Portability Services Network, 2) the passage of the SECURE 2.0 Act and 3) ongoing progress in expanding access to workplace retirement savings plans. The paper's four key findings highlight the growth of the participant population that will be subject to mandatory distributions, as well as auto portability’s effects on reducing cashout leakage, generating incremental retirement wealth, and delivering benefits to minorities and lower-income workers.

Nov
29
2023

Auto Portability: It’s About the Participants

Writing in RCH's Consolidation Corner blog, Tom Hawkins reminds readers what auto portability is all about -- improving the retirement security of marginalized defined contribution participants. These participants -- comprised largely of minorities, women, younger and lower-income participants -- not only need auto portability the most, but there's solid evidence that they want it as well. To support his claim, Hawkins cites three highly-regarded surveys that have found a strong participant preference for auto portability and for consolidating small balances within the defined contribution system, and believes that recent developments will "augur well for Americans’ retirement security."

Oct
16
2023

No One is Coming to Save You from Missing Participants

Writing in RCH's Consolidation Corner blog, Tom Hawkins provides his views on the dilemma facing plan sponsors who must confront the problem of locating missing plan participants. Despite ongoing efforts petitioning regulatory authorities for clear, bright line guidance, plan sponsors "must take decisive action to avoid being overwhelmed, including implementing effective, common-sense search practices, and pairing those search practices with other actions that will minimize the incidence of missing participants over time." Hawkins also urges plan sponsors to consider embracing retirement savings portability, including auto portability, to assist separated participants in consolidating their retirement savings following a job change.

Aug
31
2023

A Perfect Storm is Brewing—But Automated Portability Could Defuse It

RCH and PSN President & CEO Spencer Williams, writing in the Consolidation Corner blog, notes that a rising incidence of hardship withdrawals and 401(k) loans – as reported by Bank of America – combined with a pending increase in the account-balance limit for automatic rollovers effective 12/31/23, could create a “perfect storm” for depleting Americans’ retirement savings. “Fortunately,” writes Williams, “sponsors and recordkeepers have access to a solution that can help them clean up their plans without automatically rolling terminated accounts into safe-harbor IRAs.” Auto portability, continues Williams, is a “capability [that] is more essential than ever, with 401(k) plan enrollment continuing to increase” and could serve to defuse the brewing storm of potential cash-outs.

Aug
30
2023

Focus Shifts to Plan Sponsors as Portability Network Set to Go Live

Writing in the Consolidation Corner blog, RCH's Tom Hawkins describes the coming "shift" that will occur when the Portability Services Network (PSN) goes live at the beginning of the fourth quarter of 2023. Describing PSN's network-building achievements to date as "nothing short of phenomenal", Hawkins adds that "integration had proceeded apace" and that "plan sponsors will take center stage as they begin to adopt auto portability and witness its tangible results." Plan sponsor adoption will accelerate as auto portability demonstrates its obvious benefits to plans, to participants and to society at large, where adoption will eventually serve as a "positive indicator of a socially responsible enterprise."

Aug
11
2023

The Future is Brighter for Small-Balance Retirement Accounts

RCH's Tom Hawkins, writing in the Consolidation Corner blog, describes the "brighter future" emerging for small-balance retirement savings accounts. Hawkins maintains that these accounts, which he associates with an increased incidence of sub-optimal participant outcomes, will fare much better in the future due to "large-scale, industry-led action on auto portability, and more recently, proactive steps being taken by leading providers to consolidate legacy small-balance IRAs."

Jun
20
2023

The New Urgency for Mitigating 401(k) Account Cash-Outs

Findings in a recent study by the Sauder School of Business at the University of British Columbia (UBC) underscore that, despite all of the media articles offering tips for how to save more for retirement, many Americans still make the self-destructive decision to cash out their savings following a job separation. RCH’s Spencer Williams, writing in the RCH Consolidation Corner blog, reminds readers that “there are solutions in place for 401(k) plan sponsors and recordkeepers to help participants avoid the all-too-easy decision to cash out their savings” including auto portability, which is also supported by substantial research demonstrating its efficacy in preventing cashout leakage.

Jun
16
2023

The 401(k) “House-Cleaning” to Come

The increase in the automatic rollover threshold from $5,000 to $7,000, as provided for in section 304 of the SECURE 2.0 legislation, will become effective for mandatory distributions made after December 31, 2023. What will be the impact of these provisions, if fully embraced by plan sponsors? One thing is certain – on both a one-time and ongoing basis, far more terminated participants will be subject to the automatic rollover provisions of their former-employers’ plans. Writing in the RCH Consolidation Corner blog, Tom Hawkins explores the impact of an increased threshold that, when paired with the advent of auto portability and the operational status of the Portability Services Network (PSN), could mean that small balance terminated participants will finally come out on top.

May
11
2023

As Time Passes, The Gains Become Harder

RCH's Tom Hawkins, writing in the Consolidation Corner blog, observes that our nearly 45 year-old defined contribution system may face diminishing returns as it tries to generate future growth, and should focus on quality and efficiency as it simultaneously expands access. Using fitness as an analogy, Hawkins offers a "workout plan" for the DC system, including plugging leakage through increased portability and emergency savings, while fostering increased retirement savings consolidation to avoid an explosion in small accounts. When combined with expanded access initiatives, these measures can dramatically increase Americans' retirement security, over and above expanding access alone.

Apr
28
2023

Highway Through the 'Danger Zone'

Writing in the Consolidation Corner blog, RCH's Tom Hawkins notes that the issue of 401(k) cashout leakage is "once again in the news, with the publication of an alarming study by academics, as well as new data from Fidelity Investments." Hawkins goes on to cite "compelling real-world data that supports the efficacy of retirement savings portability in dramatically reducing unnecessary cashout leakage" -- representing "a much-needed highway through the ‘danger zone’ of unnecessary cashout leakage, increasing retirement security for millions of job-changing 401(k) participants."

Apr
01
2023

Financial Literacy Can Help Close the Minority Wealth Gap for Retirement Savings

In observance of Financial Literacy Month, RCH and PSN President & CEO Spencer Williams offers his perspective on how “members of the retirement services industry have an opportunity to pause and think about how they can help empower more people to achieve a financially secure retirement.” Williams notes that plan sponsors and recordkeepers have a vital role in preventing premature 401(k) cashouts via education about their detrimental effects and through the adoption of auto portability “which can enable them to transport and consolidate their accounts instead.”

Mar
10
2023

A Renaissance for Auto Enrollment

Writing in the RCH Consolidation Corner blog, Tom Hawkins examines the past, present and potential future of automatic enrollment, the popular 401(k) plan feature that has made great strides since 2007, but has faced headwinds in achieving adoption in high-turnover enterprises. Now, thanks to a SECURE 2.0 mandate for new plans, along with the retirement industry's embrace of auto portability, auto enrollment may soon undergo a "renaissance" and enter its final phase of growth, delivering disproportionate benefits to under-saved and under-served workers, including minorities, women and those with lower incomes.

Jan
31
2023

Dialing Up the Intensity of Missing Participant Searches

Writing in RCH’s Consolidation Corner blog, Tom Hawkins helps plan sponsors understand how and when they should increase the intensity of their missing participant searches. When it comes to locating missing retirement plan participants, Hawkins notes that “there’s no substitute for an effective electronic, or ‘e-search.’ However, retirement plan sponsors will inevitably encounter scenarios where periodic e-searches alone will not suffice.” Hawkins provides plan sponsors with six actionable steps to increase search intensity and offers tips on how to minimize the cost & effort associated with missing participants.

Jan
13
2023

The Big Shift Towards Auto Portability

RCH's Tom Hawkins, writing in the Consolidation Corner blog, asks readers if they've noticed the recent "big shift" towards auto portability. Hawkins writes: "[f]or those accustomed to a glacial pace of change in the world of retirement, you could be forgiven if you’ve missed two very recent, tectonic shifts toward the system-wide adoption of auto portability" occurring in rapid succession in the fourth quarter of 2022. The formation of the Portability Services Network (PSN) in October, quickly followed by SECURE 2.0 legislation that included important auto portability provisions, were both "unprecedented actions" which will continue to reverberate in the retirement industry. "The 'big shift'", Hawkins concludes, "won't be completed overnight, but it's already well underway, and will proceed with a pace that could take many more by surprise."

Jan
04
2023

A No-Brainer Benefit that Advisors can Bring to Plan-Sponsor Clients

Writing in the RCH Consolidation Corner blog, Spencer Williams, CEO of Portability Services Network (PSN) and Retirement Clearinghouse (RCH), makes a compelling case for plan advisers to help facilitate the roll-out of auto portability to the plan sponsors and participants they serve. Williams cites two recent headline-grabbing events -- the passage of SECURE 2.0, which incorporates provisions for auto portability, and the October 2022 formation of PSN to function as an industry utility for transferring balances from plan-to-plan. As both participants and plan sponsors stand to realize tremendous benefits from the adoption of auto portability, it "presents an easy opportunity for financial advisors and wealth managers to demonstrate value for their clients—and grow their practices."

Dec
20
2022

2022: A Most Consequential Year for Retirement Savings Portability

Last year at this time, Retirement Clearinghouse (RCH) predicted that 2022 would be a pivotal year for retirement savings portability. It turns out we were right, but we confess to being pleasantly surprised at just how consequential (and positive) the year has been, and it’s not over yet. Writing in the Consolidation Corner blog, RCH's Tom Hawkins provides a rundown of key events during 2022 that have helped to positively shape the future of retirement savings portability.

Dec
13
2022

Webinar Showcases Extraordinary Industry Alignment on Auto Portability

For defined contribution recordkeepers, competition has long been fierce, so it’s extraordinary when industry rivals join forces and align around a common cause. That alignment around auto portability, embodied in the newly launched Portability Services Network (PSN), was on full display in a 12/8/22 Groom Law Group webinar. The event featured representatives from retirement industry titans and founding PSN members Alight Solutions, Fidelity Investments and the Vanguard Group, joined by Retirement Clearinghouse (RCH).

Nov
01
2022

A New Year’s Resolution for Sponsors: Facilitate Automated Plan-to-Plan Portability for Your Participants

Writing in RCH's Consolidation Corner blog, and taking his cue from the 10/5/22 announcement of the industry-led utility (Portability Services Network) to accelerate the nationwide adoption of auto portability, RCH President & CEO Spencer Williams encourages plan sponsors resolve to adopt auto portability in the New Year, for both their participants and for the health of their plans. Williams writes: "[a]s we look ahead to the New Year, plan sponsors can resolve to help their participants increase their retirement savings—and increase key metrics such as average account balance—by adopting auto portability."

Oct
05
2022

BREAKING: Leading 401(k) Providers, RCH Announce National Auto Portability Network

CHARLOTTE, October 5, 2022—Fidelity Investments®, Vanguard, and Alight Solutions announce that they have collaborated with Retirement Clearinghouse, LLC (RCH) to create a consortium of workplace retirement plan recordkeepers, Portability Services Network, LLC, to accelerate the nationwide adoption of auto portability to help America’s under-served and under-saved workers improve their retirement outcomes.

Sep
26
2022

Why DEI and ‘Traditional’ Automatic Rollovers Don’t Mix

When it comes to 401(k) diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) initiatives, RCH’s Tom Hawkins observes broad support for expanded access and automatic features, since they “are supportive of increasing participation and asset accumulation across all demographics.” No one, writes Hawkins, points to ‘traditional’ automatic rollovers as facilitating DEI goals, as they “penalize the very demographic segments that DEI initiatives strive to uplift.” Hawkins urges plan sponsors to re-tool ‘traditional’ automatic rollover programs to include education and assistance and to incorporate auto portability – delivering more equitable retirement outcomes for under-saved and under-served participants.

Sep
15
2022

How Consultants Can Miss the Mark on 401(k) Automatic Rollovers

401(k) plan consultants have been forceful advocates for the adoption of best practices at leading retirement plan sponsors. However, when it comes to automatic rollover programs, plan consultants sometimes miss the mark, at least in terms of participant outcomes. RCH's Tom Hawkins, writing in the Consolidation Corner blog, makes the case that 401(k) plan consultants should extend their analysis to emphasize those automatic rollover program components that help participants improve their retirement outcomes by avoiding cashouts, moving their retirement savings forward, and keeping their stay in safe harbor IRAs as brief as possible.

Sep
07
2022

401(k) Plans: An Ongoing Public-Private Partnership That Works

In observance of National 401(k) Day on Friday, September 9th, RCH's Tom Hawkins takes the opportunity to reflect on the long-running, highly successful public-private collaboration that has fostered the rapid ascendance of America’s 401(k) system. Hawkins writes that "this partnership will continue to drive innovations that will expand and improve the 401(k) system for millions of Americans – not only helping them to save more but preserving more of their savings for retirement."

Aug
31
2022

Every Dollar Saved for Retirement Matters -- So Save More By Avoiding Cash-Outs & Consolidating 401(k) Accounts

RCH Founder, President & CEO Spencer Williams examines the implications of a study from Boston College's Center for Retirement Research, finding that the youngest Baby Boomers, with less access to defined benefit (DB) plans than their predecessors, are drawing down their 401(k)-based retirement savings at much faster rates, with many poised to run out of retirement savings by age 85. These findings underscore the need to preserve more 401(k) savings for younger generations, and according to Williams, the best way to do that is "to consolidate 401(k) savings accounts.....and to avoid making any premature cash-outs." Sponsors, states Williams, "can....help participants save more for retirement, so they don’t outlive their savings, by adopting auto portability.

Aug
09
2022

Three Ways 401(k) Plan Sponsors Can Boost Participants’ Awareness on National Financial Awareness Day

Writing in the RCH Consolidation Corner blog, Tom Hawkins draws attention to National Financial Awareness Day, which falls on August 14th. In his piece, Hawkins offers plan sponsors 3 steps they can take to increase financial awareness. Plan sponsors who follow these steps, asserts Hawkins, "won’t simply produce more awareness in the minds of their participants, they’ll generate quantifiable results, coming in the form of decreased cashouts, higher levels of consolidation and average plan balances, as well as a lower incidence of missing participants."

Jul
12
2022

Why Missing Participants Are So Misunderstood

Writing in the Consolidation Corner blog, RCH's Tom Hawkins examines the topic of missing participants, which he states: "is a problem that’s ill-defined and poorly understood, and where fundamental misunderstandings exist, inadequate solutions – paired with the prospect of unwanted regulatory attention or audits – can follow." Hawkins asserts that "taking proactive steps to conduct searches, and turning on plan features that promote retirement savings portability are the key steps required to getting off the missing participant treadmill."

Jul
01
2022

Newly Proposed Legislation Can Help Resolve America’s Retirement-Savings Gaps

Writing in the RCH Consolidation Corner blog, RCH founder, president & CEO Spencer Williams delves into recently-proposed legislation in the U.S. Senate, making the case that its auto portability-related provisions will make a real difference in the retirement security of millions of hardworking Americans. Citing Vanguard's recently-released How America Saves report, Williams notes that the highly-respected annual report "underscored that premature cash-outs of small 401(k) balances continue to threaten retirement readiness for plan participants, especially those who are younger and have less savings." Williams quotes the Vanguard research as concluding that "[a]uto portability services and revisions to minimum balance rules can help decrease cash out rates." Williams goes on to praise the Senate's bipartisan approach to the bill, adding: "[i}f the legislation is signed into law, the retirement-savings gaps in our society can begin to be filled."

Jun
15
2022

Five Reasons Why New 401(k) Auto Portability Legislation is So Important

Writing in the Consolidation Corner blog, Renee Wilder Guerin, RCH's EVP of Public Policy, offers readers five reasons why a newly proposed U.S. Senate bill addressing auto portability is so important. The Advancing Auto Portability Act of 2022 -- co-sponsored by Senators Tim Scott (R-S.C.) and Sherrod Brown (D-Ohio), would offer tax credits to plan sponsors who implement auto portability, and codify rules for an industrywide auto portability network. The bill is expected to be rolled into the Senate version of the bipartisan Securing a Strong Retirement Act of 2022, which passed the U.S. House of Representatives on March 29 of this year.

May
23
2022

Re-Thinking the Automatic Rollover IRA

Selecting an automatic rollover IRA provider used to be easy. Most 401(k) plan sponsors simply accepted the solution offered through their recordkeeper or TPA. Others performed due diligence, using a limited set of criteria including basic fees, investment options and accountholder service. Few, however, considered the grim realities facing terminated participants forced out into safe harbor IRAs, including excessive cashouts, forgotten accounts, hidden fees, and barriers to exit. Now, it's incumbent upon plan sponsors to fundamentally “re-think” these programs, incorporating five new criteria to ensure that automatic rollover IRA programs are fiduciary-friendly, while dramatically improving participants’ retirement outcomes.

May
16
2022

401(k) Portability in Four Movements

RCH's Tom Hawkins examines the experience of a very large (250,000+ participants) 401(k) plan sponsor that has been highly successful in delivering improved participant outcomes by incrementally adopting a full program of retirement savings portability. Looking at four distinct five-year periods that coincided with increasing levels of portability and improved participant outcomes, Hawkins writes that "there’s no finer example of those [improved] outcomes than the multi-year, real-world experience of this plan sponsor, where thousands of participants increased their prospects for a timely and comfortable retirement."

May
05
2022

Addressing the Achilles’ Heel of Auto IRA Programs

Writing in the RCH Consolidation Corner blog, Tom Hawkins offers his view that state-based Auto IRA programs, despite their potential size and strength, suffer from an obvious Achilles’ heel: a lack of retirement savings portability. Hawkins writes: "Without addressing their portability problem, Auto IRA programs could expand, but may never reach their full potential, housing large numbers of churning, small-balance accounts. However, with adequate support for portability both into and out of these programs, they could dramatically increase the odds that they deliver on their promise of building incremental retirement wealth for millions of Americans."

Apr
27
2022

Key Portability Finding Located in EBRI’s Retirement Confidence Survey

RCH's Tom Hawkins digs into EBRI's 2022 Retirement Confidence Survey (RCS) and finds an interesting and valuable finding not referenced in the organization’s initial report, officially released to the public on Thursday, April 28th. In an excerpt of a report available to survey partners, the RCS has found that a plurality of job-changing 401(k) plan participants favor automatic plan-to-plan portability over consolidating their savings to an IRA, or to leaving their savings behind in their former employer’s plan. This result comes on the heels of EBRI’s 2021 survey, which found that nearly 9 in 10 participants believed that auto portability would be valuable to them, and Hawkins believes "others -- including the Department of Labor – will find 401(k) participants’ strong preference for plan-to-plan portability compelling."

Apr
12
2022

On Filling the Leaky 401(k) Bucket

Writing in the Consolidation Corner blog, RCH’s Tom Hawkins opines on pending legislation that seeks to expand access for under-served and under-saved demographic segments, but may fall short if it fails to incorporate measures that minimize cashout leakage. Noting that SECURE 2.0’s expanded access provisions seek to benefit women, minorities and lower-income workers – the same demographic segments that cash out their small balance savings at disproportionate rates – Hawkins suggests that legislators consider inclusion of measures that would “spur more rapid adoption” of auto portability “by codifying into law the guidance issued by the Department of Labor and by creating modest tax incentives to encourage more early adoption of the feature.”

Apr
05
2022

The Next Area to Tackle for Preserving Retirement Savings: Uncashed Distribution Checks

Writing in the RCH Consolidation Corner blog, RCH President & CEO Spencer Williams examines the ongoing problem of uncashed distribution checks. Worker mobility, as well as the prevalence of automatic cashouts for balances under $1,000, conspire to create an administrative burden as well as a significant fiduciary risk for plan sponsors. Auto portability, writes Williams, can “mitigate this exposure, and help participants increase retirement savings, by significantly reducing the need for automatic cash-outs” while simultaneously minimizing cashouts, a situation that Williams describes as “a win-win.”

Mar
30
2022

Auto Portability’s Key Role Featured in U.S. Senate HELP Committee Hearing

Renée Wilder Guerin, RCH’s EVP of Public Policy, examines the 3/29/22 hearing held by the U.S. Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor & Pensions (HELP), which focused on solutions that would enhance retirement security for Americans, particularly those who are under-served and under-saved. Two of the four witnesses, WISER’s Cindy Hounsell and The Aspen Institute’s Ida Rademacher offered testimony highlighting the benefits of auto portability in leveling the playing field for women, minorities, and lower income workers. The latest hearing, writes Wilder Guerin “builds on previous Senate hearings and fuels growing momentum for auto portability among legislators, policymakers, advocacy groups, providers and plan sponsors.”

Mar
15
2022

What Financial Advisors Need to Know About Auto Portability

In his latest article in the Consolidation Corner blog, RCH EVP and Chief Revenue Officer Neal Ringquist speaks directly to financial advisors on auto portability. Ringquist firmly believes that financial advisors will enjoy significant benefits from auto portability, but understands that all advisors may not “be there” yet in terms of fully understanding what auto portability is, how they stand to benefit from it, and how they should assess auto portability’s prospects for success. Ringquist walks advisors through important facts, data and information that should facilitate better understanding of auto portability and how it could positively impact their practices.

Mar
08
2022

Consolidation is Vital to Reducing 401(k) Cybersecurity Risk

Retirement Clearinghouse EVP & Chief Operating Officer Ricki Ingalls takes to RCH’s Consolidation Corner blog to make the case for 401(k) account consolidation as a means to reduce cybersecurity risks for the 401(k) system. Appealing to common sense, Ingalls notes that “fraud starts small” and that consolidation of small balance 401(k) accounts achieved via auto portability can effectively minimize the cyber “attack surface” these excess accounts represent. Ingalls continues by describing the robust cybersecurity features that have been incorporated into auto portability.

Mar
03
2022

Towards a Sustainable and “Greener” 401(k) System

RCH’s Tom Hawkins, writing in RCH’s Consolidation Corner blog, reacts to the DOL’s 2/14/22 Request for Information (RFI) seeking comment on ways to “protect life savings and pensions from threats of climate-related financial risk.” In his piece, Hawkins contends that our retirement system itself has significant sustainability problems that are more financially material to future retirees than climate change. Hawkins urges action to address the 401(k) system’s inefficiency and waste, which could “produce more of the ‘green’ that will matter to future retirees.” Hawkins notes the findings of a recent Brookings Institution report on the problem of small retirement accounts, which recommends improvements in “combining accounts” and includes support for auto portability.

Feb
10
2022

Auto Portability Featured in ERISA Advisory Council Report

Writing in the Consolidation Corner blog, RCH’s Tom Hawkins reports on the release of the ERISA Advisory Council’s latest report – “Gaps in Retirement Savings Based on Race, Ethnicity and Gender.” In that report, auto portability was specifically referenced multiple times in testimony by Cindy Hounsell, President of WISER, and the final report included a recommendation to “study the feasibility of a national portability system” – more commonly and accurately known as auto portability. Hawkins found the EAC’s recommendation “remarkable given the fact that it emanated from a diverse group of 14 industry experts holding a wide range of opinions on practically any topic.”

Feb
01
2022

The ‘Fix’ for Missing Participants, Uncashed Distribution Checks and Forgotten Accounts

Auto portability has received a lot of well-deserved attention for its ability to reduce cashout leakage by automatically consolidating small-balance retirement savings, but its effect on preserving participants’ retirement savings is only half of its compelling story. In this article in the RCH Consolidation Corner blog, Tom Hawkins explores how auto portability can also act as the 'fix' for the related problems of missing participants, uncashed distribution checks and small, forgotten 401(k) accounts.

Jan
25
2022

The ‘Great Resignation’ Screams for Improved Retirement-Savings Portability

RCH President and CEO Spencer Williams, writing in the RCH Consolidation Corner blog, breaks down the phenomenon known as The Great Resignation. Williams makes a compelling case that -- for defined contribution plans -- seamless plan-to-plan portability, including auto portability, are absolutely vital to preserving affected participants' retirement savings, and in ensuring that their retirement savings balances are moved forward when they re-enter the workforce.

Jan
17
2022

Robert L. Johnson, Majority Owner of Retirement Clearinghouse, Secures Endorsement of Two Civil Rights Organizations for Auto Portability

Robert L. Johnson, Founder and Chairman of The RLJ Companies and majority owner of Retirement Clearinghouse (RCH), has secured endorsements for auto portability from two premier civil rights organizations – the National Urban League, and the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) – both with over a century of experience advocating for solutions that address the inequities and economic challenges experienced by Black Americans and by other communities of color. Renée Wilder Guerin, RCH Executive Vice President, Public Policy, summarizes these major developments in RCH's Consolidation Corner.

Jan
06
2022

Four Reasons Why 401(k) Auto Portability is Inevitable

RCH's Tom Hawkins, writing in the Consolidation Corner blog, offers an optimistic assessment of the prospects for auto portability. Hawkins, who admits to being a "a long-time, unabashed proponent" of auto portability, now believes that the feature's eventual, widespread adoption is "inevitable" and supports his position with four key points.

Dec
13
2021

Kennedy Townsend: Solving Portability and Cashout Leakage are a Key DOL Priority

On 12/6/21, Kathleen Kennedy Townsend, Special Assistant to the Secretary of Labor for Retirement, served as the keynote speaker at EBRI's 90th Public Policy Forum, and outlined the big-picture, retirement-focused priorities of the DOL. One of the DOL's three priorities is the issue of portability and leakage. RCH's Tom Hawkins examines Townsend's remarks to her EBRI audience, which revealed that she has a clear grasp of the magnitude of the cashout leakage problem, as well as its most-promising solution – enabling plan-to-plan portability.

Dec
08
2021

Three New Year’s Resolutions for 401(k) Plan Sponsors

As 2021 comes to a close, RCH EVP Neal Ringquist offers 401(k) plan sponsors his suggestions for three 2022 resolutions that, if acted on, could deliver significant benefits for their plans, for their participants and ultimately for the entire 401(k) ecosystem. Ringquist bases his suggestions on several pivotal events that occurred in 2021, underscoring the need to deploy true plan-to-plan portability to solve the problem of cashout leakage.

Dec
02
2021

A Brief History of Auto Portability

Auto portability is a new “automatic” plan feature rapidly gaining acceptance by large defined contribution recordkeepers. While the feature is relatively new, it’s tempting to view auto portability as an “overnight success.” In fact, auto portability has been a long time in the making. In his latest Consolidation Corner article, as well as in an embedded video, RCH's Tom Hawkins examines a “brief history” of auto portability.

Nov
24
2021

Assessing the State of DC Plans & Retirement Savings, 15 Years After the Pension Protection Act

Marking the 15th anniversary of the Pension Protection Act (PPA), RCH President & CEO Spencer Williams offers readers his views on the unintended consequences of that legislation that “continue to reverberate” for both plan participants and sponsors. Acknowledging that the automatic enrollment feature has been successful in promoting increased plan participation, Williams notes that the feature has also resulted in a “sharp uptick in small, stranded 401(k) savings accounts” that – absent easy plan-to-plan asset portability – has led to increased participant fees as well as higher levels of cash outs. In response, Williams observes that “the private and public sectors have worked together to create solutions” such as auto portability, which can help rectify the PPA’s flaws, and allow Americans to save more for retirement.

Nov
18
2021

Four Reasons Why Auto Portability Can't Wait

Writing in RCH's Consolidation Corner blog, Tom Hawkins makes the case that auto portability can wait no longer and cites four key reasons that the new "automatic" feature should be adopted. Hawkins' key reasons include: 1) cashout leakage isn't waiting, 2) the "Great Resignation" is accelerating, 3) policy initiatives that expand access to workplace retirement plans require auto portability to realize their intended benefits, and 4) auto portability is here, now and working.

Oct
29
2021

Solving Cashout Leakage, Auto Portability Featured in Senate Committee Hearing

RCH Executive Vice President of Public Policy Renee Wilder Guerin examines the 10/28/21 hearing held by the Senate Special Committee on Aging -- A Financially Secure Future: Building a Stronger Retirement System for All Americans -- and found it to be highly-focused on the problems of cashout leakage, as well as its most promising solution, auto portability. Re-capping key testimony and Q&A from the hearing (including excerpted video), Wilder Guerin concludes that lawmakers are more focused than ever on solving retirement savings problems for under-served and under-saved demographic segments.

Sep
29
2021

The Top Five Misconceptions About Auto Portability

Auto portability is a new “automatic” plan feature that is rapidly gaining acceptance by large defined contribution recordkeepers serving almost 10 million participants. While the feature is relatively new, it has received a great deal of attention in the media and has also been the beneficiary of definitive regulatory guidance, promulgated by the Department of Labor (DOL). Despite this, significant misconceptions persist about auto portability. The top five misconceptions are presented here, which includes a link to a short video.

Sep
21
2021

Vanguard Joins the Auto Portability Clearinghouse

Writing in RCH's Consolidation Corner blog, Executive Vice President Neal Ringquist addresses the 9/21/21 press release by Vanguard that it will engage with RCH to introduce the RCH Auto Portability program to their defined contribution plan sponsor clients in mid-2022. Ringquist supplies readers with important perspective, stating: "Vanguard’s announcement is a major milestone in RCH’s ongoing efforts to deliver seamless, plan-to-plan portability to America’s defined contribution system. RCH Auto Portability has now been embraced by two of America’s top ten defined contribution recordkeepers, collectively serving almost 10 million employees."

Sep
15
2021

EBRI Research Reveals Auto Portability’s Massive Incremental Benefits to Pending Legislation

In a 9/13/21 Employee Benefit Research Institute (EBRI) webinar (The Impact of Proposed Legislative Changes on Retirement Income Adequacy), EBRI Research Director Jack VanDerhei presented an analysis of pending legislative changes, including automatic contribution plans and arrangements (ACPAs), paired with a refundable saver’s credit. Unsurprisingly, the benefits for these policy initiatives were quite large. However, what was truly surprising was the sheer magnitude of incremental benefits delivered by the addition of auto portability, significantly paring retirement shortfalls for 35–39-year-olds, across all race and ethnicity categories.

Sep
01
2021

Beware of Second Order Effects for Retirement Savings Public Policies

RCH's Tom Hawkins examines “second order effects” that can occur with retirement savings public policies currently that would dramatically expand access to, and participation in, defined contribution plans. While the benefits are impressive, additional undesired consequences can arise that are antithetical to the policies’ original intent, including increased cashout leakage, missing participants, uncashed checks and forgotten/stranded accounts. Understanding these highly predictable second order effects, Hawkins identifies plan-to-plan portability as a means of addressing them, while significantly boosting the overall policies’ benefits.

Sep
01
2021

Refundable Saver’s Tax Credits Would Significantly Reduce Retirement Savings Shortfall—Especially for Minorities

Writing in RCH's Consolidation Corner, RCH President & CEO Spencer Williams examines pending retirement savings legislation, and focuses upon the benefits of a refundable saver's credit, which would be directly deposited into taxpayers' 401(k) and IRA accounts. Taking his analysis a step further, Williams considers the infrastructure required to transfer these funds to savers, and identifies considerable synergies with the existing technology that supports auto portability.

Aug
02
2021

Senate Hearing Reveals Large Employer Support for Auto Portability

RCH’s newly-appointed EVP of Public Policy, Renée Wilder Guerin finds a lot to like in the 7/28/21 Senate Finance Committee hearing, where lawmakers heard testimony on how to increase retirement savings, including tackling the longstanding problems of cashout leakage, missing participants and “forgotten” retirement savings accounts. Wilder Guerin notes that auto portability was favorably mentioned twice by Aliya Robinson (SVP, Retirement & Compensation Policy for ERIC), as a policy initiative her organization – comprised of the nation’s largest plan sponsors – supports. Coming on the heels of EBRI’s 21st Annual Retirement Confidence Survey, where nearly 9 in 10 participants indicated their preference for the feature, Senate Finance Committee testimony “bodes extremely well for auto portability’s widespread adoption, as well as the enactment of public policies that further enhance it.”

Jul
19
2021

Five Misconceptions About Automatic Rollovers

Most agree -- automatic rollover programs can help retirement plan sponsors deal with many of the problems associated with small-balance accounts. Still, there are important misconceptions that persist about automatic rollovers. In this article, RCH's Tom Hawkins introduces plan sponsors to a video addressing five of the most important misconceptions, and offers constructive suggestions on how sponsors can address them.

Jul
12
2021

So Happy Together: Auto Portability & Authorized Portability

Writing in the Consolidation Corner blog, RCH’s Tom Hawkins examines the positive interplay between auto portability and its nearly-automatic cousin – which he terms “authorized” portability. Authorized portability, writes Hawkins, occurs when a safe harbor IRA account not originating from within the auto portability network is matched to an active account in a plan that’s already adopted auto portability. While the accountholder must provide their consent to consolidate the balance, a frictionless automatic roll-in results, producing a win-win-win for participants, for plan sponsors and for adopting recordkeepers.

Jul
07
2021

Don’t Relegate Lost & Missing Accounts to the Lost & Found—Consolidate Them in the Retirement System

RCH’s President & CEO Spencer Williams, writing in the Consolidation Corner Blog, opines on draft provisions in SECURE 2.0 legislation that call for establishment of a “lost & found” – including housing sub-$1,000 balances for all terminating 401(k) participants. As proposed, Williams observes that simply moving sub-$1,000 balances to the PBGC does little to reduce cashouts or stranded savings and offers auto portability as a “far more constructive method” to reduce cashouts and to promote consolidation of retirement savings.

Jul
01
2021

A Happy Ending for Consenting 401(k) Participants

Writing in the Consolidation Corner blog, RCH’s Tom Hawkins examines the “happy endings” possible for 401(k) participants who give their consent for moving their balances forward to their current-employer’s plan. In the piece, Hawkins reveals new data collected from a large plan sponsor who’s implemented auto portability’s key technology components, but requires affirmative consent from participants in order to consolidate their balances. The data shows resounding success in obtaining participant consent, which augurs well for the future of auto portability and for consolidation of larger balances.

Jun
14
2021

401(k) Retirement Savings: More ‘Gone’ Than ‘Forgotten’

Writing in RCH's Consolidation Corner, Tom Hawkins compares & contrasts the issue of ‘forgotten’ 401(k) accounts to its more problematic relative, 401(k) cashout leakage. In the piece, Hawkins takes the position that recent attention given forgotten accounts – via draft SECURE 2.0 legislation and the release of a drama-laden white paper – have created the mistaken impression that there’s a massive problem with forgotten 401(k) accounts, when in fact ‘forgotten’ 401(k) accounts are dwarfed by 401(k) cashout leakage, in terms of both their size and severity.

Jun
03
2021

Re-Securing the Highest Purpose for a Retirement Savings Lost & Found

In his latest post in RCH’s Consolidation Corner blog, Tom Hawkins takes a deep dive into draft SECURE 2.0 provisions that dramatically expand the purpose, scope and scale of a Retirement Savings Lost & Found. The new provisions, contends Hawkins, would create a massive, government-run repository of micro-balance accounts costing taxpayers millions, while failing to boost retirement security. Hawkins encourages Congress to return to an earlier Lost & Found model, while addressing the broader, small-balance account problem through policies incentivizing the adoption of auto portability.

May
17
2021

Leakage and Auto Portability Featured at Senate HELP Committee Hearing

Writing in RCH's Consolidation Corner, RCH EVP Tom Johnson reports on the U.S. Senate’s Committee on Health, Education, Labor and Pensions (HELP) 5/13/21 hearing on retirement security. With testimony from a blue-ribbon panel of witnesses, the hearing had a broad focus, but the topic of retirement savings leakage, and its most-promising solution, auto portability, were prominently featured in testimony by EBRI CEO Lori Lucas, and echoed by other witnesses and Committee members.

May
12
2021

A Big Problem: Another Leakage Study Reaches the Same Conclusion

RCH’s Tom Hawkins examines a retirement savings leakage study from the Joint Committee on Taxation, a nonpartisan committee of the United States Congress. Released with little fanfare on 4/26/21, the study confirms the findings of earlier research on cashout leakage – namely, that cashout leakage is a big problem, is driven by job changing, and is exacerbated by "forced distributions and [a lack of] portability of plans.”

Apr
29
2021

Auto Portability is an Easily Quantifiable Solution for Helping Participants Achieve Financial Wellness

In his latest article in RCH’s Consolidation Corner, CEO Spencer Williams addresses the conundrum facing employers, who are committed to promoting their employees’ financial wellness, but also face the grim reality of excessive retirement savings leakage, exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic. By adopting auto portability, Williams contends that plan sponsors can “easily quantify their financial wellness efforts” while getting out in front of cashout leakage.

Apr
22
2021

The Case for Auto Portability Gets Stronger

The case for auto portability, the new 401(k) plan default feature that automatically transfers small-balance retirement savings when participants change jobs, has always been strong. Now, with the April 22nd release of EBRI’s 31st Annual Retirement Confidence Survey (RCS), the case has grown even stronger. with nearly 9 in 10 plan participants expressing their preference for the auto portability feature.

Mar
31
2021

Cracking the Code to True 401(k) Portability

America’s 401(k) system, long plagued by friction, produces $92.4 billion of excessive cash-out leakage annually. In recent years and culminating in 2021, the private sector has finally “cracked the code” and is delivering innovative fintech solutions, combined with education and personal assistance to reduce friction and to enable true 401(k) portability.

Mar
22
2021

What’s Missing from Many Plans? Current Addresses for Participants

Writing in RCH's Consolidation Corner blog, RCH President & CEO cautions plan sponsors to be wary of an increased incidence of missing participants arising from COVID-19 related migration patterns. To make the case, Williams links 2020 migration data with recent address location research conducted by RCH. Taken together, these data points suggest that sponsors could soon be faced with a higher-than-expected incidence of "hidden" stale addresses. In response, Williams suggests that sponsors consider a program of "robust missing participant search techniques" including the use of more-reliable, "optimized" electronic searches.

Mar
17
2021

Consolidating the Gains from a Program of Retirement Savings Portability

Following on to the 2013 study by Boston Research Group (now Boston Research Technologies), a new study released by Retirement Clearinghouse (RCH) revisits a mega plan sponsor’s ongoing experience with a program of 401(k) retirement savings portability, and finds that not only have the benefits of the original program persisted, they’ve grown, with plan participants continuing to realize significant, measurable benefits.

Feb
22
2021

Auto Portability Is, And Always Will Be, A Bipartisan Solution

RCH President & CEO Spencer Williams, writing in Consolidation Corner, addresses the consistent bipartisan support that auto portability has enjoyed in DC. This support, writes Williams, transcends party affiliation, extending across multiple Presidential administrations as well as both legislative branches of the U.S. Congress, and falls squarely in-line with policy initiatives that advance the interests of minority and low-income workers. Williams provides readers with an impressive, years-long list of actions & endorsements that reflect auto portability's broad-based support, which culminated last year with the nationwide rollout of the program.

Feb
12
2021

This One Simple Trick Radically Boosts Financial Wellness!

Writing in RCH's Consolidation Corner, Tom Hawkins offers 401(k) plan sponsors "one simple trick" -- retirement savings portability -- to radically boost their participants' financial wellness. Best of all, writes Hawkins, "adopting a program of retirement savings portability has never been easier" and the measurable benefits accrue not only to participants, but to the plan, the retirement system and even to retirement savings public policy initiatives.

Feb
08
2021

Missing Participants: Five Important Considerations for Plan Sponsors

Writing in RCH's Consolidation Corner, Tom Hawkins offers retirement plan sponsors five important considerations that can help focus their efforts in designing, implementing and administering an effective program of locating missing participants. By staying focused on some key principles, including the adoption of sound search practices and retirement savings portability, plan sponsors can successfully navigate their near-term missing participant problems, while positioning their plan for far fewer problems in the future.

Dec
19
2020

How Sponsors can Facilitate Better Participant Outcomes and Improve Plan Metrics in 2021

Writing in the Consolidation Corner blog, RCH President & CEO Spencer Williams offers 401(k) plan sponsors two New Year's resolutions that could improve participant outcomes and boost plan metrics. Specifically, Williams suggests that plan sponsors 1) implement a robust missing participant search program and 2) eliminate the practice of automatic cash-outs. Fortunately, adds Williams, both of these resolutions can be achieved when plan sponsors embrace an auto portability program.

Nov
09
2020

Elections Have Consequences—Elect to Help Participants Keep Their Savings, Instead of Losing Their Savings via Mandatory Distributions

Against the backdrop of uncertainty surrounding the 2020 Presidential election, RCH President & CEO Spencer Williams takes to RCH’s Consolidation Corner to remind us of the real impact other choices can have on people’s lives. For plan sponsors who care about preserving their participants’ retirement benefits, Williams urges them to “elect” auto portability and play a decisive role in helping millions of Americans save more for retirement.

Nov
05
2020

Broadcast Retirement Network Features Segment on ‘Small Account Problem’

On Wednesday, 11/4/20 the Broadcast Retirement Network’s Jeff Snyder interviewed Retirement Clearinghouse (RCH) President & CEO Spencer Williams and Alight Solutions’ Vice President & Head of Research Rob Austin to address the 401(k) system’s small account problem – where high levels of cashout leakage in small balance segments perennially robs millions of participants of a timely or comfortable retirement.

Oct
12
2020

If Timothy Leary Were a 401(k) Plan Sponsor

In the 1960’s, counter-culture guru Timothy Leary urged a generation to “turn on, tune in and drop out.” If Leary were still around and sponsoring a 401(k) plan, he might urge participants to “save up, move on and cash out.” While that sounds contradictory and profoundly ill-advised, it’s exactly what 5 million job-changing 401(k) participants do in the 1st year following separation. In his latest Consolidation Corner blog post, RCH's Tom Hawkins explores the reasons for so many cashouts, and how – with viable solutions now available – plan sponsors should fully-embrace seamless plan-to-plan portability.

Oct
05
2020

The Explosion of Small-Balance IRAs

In his latest post in RCH's Consolidation Corner, RCH's Tom Hawkins examines EBRI's 10/1/20 Fast Facts - Losing Ground Safely: Small IRAs’ Large Stake in Money - which offers new insight into the magnitude of a small-balance IRA “explosion” being fueled by automatic rollovers, as well as the sub-optimal retirement outcomes they produce. EBRI's new information provides yet another data point in favor of 401(k) consolidation via auto portability and could serve to inform future regulatory guidance by expanding auto portability’s mandate to consolidate these previously “stranded” safe harbor IRAs back into our 401(k) system.

Sep
29
2020

From Tired to Inspired: A Roadmap for 401(k) Roll-Ins

In his latest article in RCH's Consolidation Corner, RCH's Tom Hawkins walks readers through a "roadmap" for the progression of 401(k) roll-ins from ‘tired’ to ‘wired’ and finally, to the ‘inspired’ state that will eventually characterize 401(k) plan-to-plan portability. The article also includes a video providing viewers with the key points made in the article.

Sep
17
2020

Every Dollar Counts in Today’s Zero-Interest-Rate Environment

In his latest piece for the RCH Consolidation Corner blog, RCH President & CEO Spencer Williams analyzes the phenomenon of low interest rates and its long-term effects on retirement savers. Williams observes that, in a low interest rate environment, more savings are required to generate an equivalent amount of retirement income, so avoiding unnecessary cashout leakage is paramount. To achieve this goal, Williams urges plan sponsors to adopt auto portability, a technology solution that's "available to help sponsors make every dollar count for participants during these extraordinary times."

Sep
16
2020

Automated 401(k) Portability: An Idea Whose Time Has Come

Writing in the RCH Consolidation Corner blog, Tom Hawkins examines the vital importance of automation in transforming 401(k) portability from an impractical “great idea” into a reality – and not just for small-balance participants, but eventually for the entire 401(k) ecosystem – including participants, plan sponsors and their service providers.

Aug
17
2020

‘Sudden Money’ and Preserving 401(k) Savings Don’t Mix

Writing in RCH’s Consolidation Corner blog, Tom Hawkins establishes a strong link between the phenomenon of ‘sudden money’ – where a financial windfall can result in ruinous decisions – and the problem of unnecessary 401(k) cashout leakage. 401(k) plan features that encourage active plan participants to amass long-term retirement savings are a big success, but can suddenly fail following a job change, when separated participants can view their former employer’s balance as a financial windfall. To address the scourge of sudden money and its attendant cashout leakage, Hawkins examines 3 ‘faux’ solutions that fall short, and recommends the application of clearinghouse principles to effectively solve the problem.

Aug
11
2020

The Tragicomedy of Cashout Leakage

In his 8/11/20 article in RCH’s Consolidation Corner, RCH’s Tom Hawkins characterizes the phenomenon of cashout leakage as a “tragicomedy” – incorporating aspects of both a tragedy and a comedy, but ultimately delivering a happy ending. While cashout leakage represents an ongoing tragedy, the term itself is goofy, and tough to take seriously, asserts Hawkins. However, recent events indicate that the widespread adoption of auto portability will finally deliver a happy ending to the problem.

Aug
06
2020

How to Mitigate COVID-19’s Potentially Catastrophic Impact on Americans’ Retirement Readiness

Writing in RCH's Consolidation Corner blog, RCH President & CEO Spencer Williams addresses the urgent need to mitigate the impact of COVID-19 on Americans' retirement readiness. Williams observes that the surge in pandemic-driven unemployment, the relaxed restrictions on withdrawals, along with a pre-existing propensity to cash out -- spells trouble for retirement security. To help address the growing threat, Williams urges sponsors and recordkeepers to adopt auto portability, which he states will "discourage participants from cashing out, but also eliminate the need for automatic cash-outs."

Jul
23
2020

Closing the Coming COVID-19 Retirement Savings Gap

Writing in Consolidation Corner, RCH’s Tom Hawkins foresees the emergence of a COVID-19 retirement savings gap, driven by unprecedented levels of terminated participants and relaxed penalties on withdrawals. To address the problem, Hawkins calls upon the private sector to embrace solutions that will begin to close the gap, stem cashout leakage and deliver ongoing benefits that will extend well beyond the current crisis.

Jul
14
2020

Alight Solutions to Lead Nationwide Launch of Auto Portability

In a press release issued Tuesday, July 14th, Retirement Clearinghouse (RCH) announced that Alight Solutions will lead the nationwide launch of the RCH Auto Portability program.

Jun
02
2020

COVID-19 Pandemic Demonstrates the Need for Institutionalized Portability

Writing in Consolidation Corner, RCH President & CEO Spencer Williams examines the disruptive effects of the COVID-19 pandemic on America's retirement savers, and makes a persuasive case for the systemic, institutional adoption of auto portability as a means to help rebuild and to preserve retirement savings over the long-term. In the near-term, Williams observes that reduced participant mobility make this an opportune time for sponsors to update participant addresses.

Apr
28
2020

Let’s Extend the Spirit of the CARES Act to Automatic Rollover IRAs

In light of the COVID-19 crisis, RCH's Tom Hawkins examines another burden borne by millions of participants, when they’re furloughed or laid off and become subject to ‘traditional’ automatic rollover IRAs – where they’ll likely face high levels of cashouts, predatory fees and barriers to exit. Now, more than ever, it’s important for sponsors to act and to redress this burden. For sponsors utilizing traditional automatic rollover IRAs, Hawkins urges them to demonstrate their caring through three actions that will help address the problem and will deliver significant societal benefit.

Mar
20
2020

How Does Auto Portability Work? Watch the Video

Looking for a quick primer on how auto portability works? Watch the video embedded in this RCH Consolidation Corner article, which walks you through the four-step process. The video also introduces you to the key elements of participant communication that occur along the way. Enjoy!

Mar
16
2020

The Institutionalization of Portability is Key to Reducing Cash-Out Leakage

In his latest article in Consolidation Corner, RCH President & CEO Spencer Williams identifies plan-to-plan portability as a vital feature to prevent cashout leakage. Similar to the progress that's been made over the past decade in reducing plan fees, Williams makes the case that the inevitable "institutionalization" of portability will dramatically reduce cashout leakage and maximize participants' retained savings. Williams advocates for the adoption of a dual portability model, comprised of auto portability for small balances and a consent-based, concierge service for participants with larger balances.

Feb
24
2020

New Research Confirms Clear Shift Towards Plan-to-Plan Portability

In his latest article in RCH's Consolidation Corner, RCH's Neal Ringquist observes that 401(k) plans have become more-and-more “institutionalized" -- yet the benefits of that increased institutionalization are being lost to large numbers of participants who cash out their 401(k) balances when they change jobs. Now, there’s clear evidence that plan sponsors understand the value of plan-to-plan portability in preserving 401(k) plans’ institutional benefits, and that a shift towards already-available portability solutions is underway.
Feb
20
2020

Video: Is Auto Portability the Next 401(k) ‘ESG’ Initiative?

The 401(k) cashout leakage crisis has significant, negative societal consequences -- impacting all Americans, but affecting minorities, women and lower-income segments the most. 401(k) plan sponsors, already familiar with Environmental, Social & Governance (ESG) initiatives, could finally be waking up and taking action to solve the cashout leakage problem, within the framework of corporate social responsibility. Plan-to-plan portability -- specifically auto portability -- is the most promising solution, and could become the next 401(k) ESG initiative.

Feb
10
2020

How Socially Responsible Corporations Will Solve the 401(k) Cashout Crisis

Writing in the Consolidation Corner blog, RCH's Tom Hawkins makes the case that socially conscious private-sector corporations will soon solve the nation's 401(k) cashout leakage crisis by fully-embracing plan-to-plan portability, including auto portability. Three key developments drive Hawkins' conclusions, including 1) a growing understanding of the problem and its societal impacts, 2) access to a viable solution and 3) clear acknowledgment of a responsibility to act for the benefit of society. Hawkins further notes that this view is being echoed in retirement research & public policy circles.

Feb
05
2020

How Sponsors Can Help Minorities Save More for Retirement

In his latest byline in the Consolidation Corner blog, RCH President & CEO Spencer Williams addresses the cashout leakage crisis, which disproportionately affects minorities, including African-Americans and Hispanics. Auto portability, says Williams, can make all the difference in solving the crisis, but requires that "sponsors themselves, as well as their recordkeepers, take the next step by implementing....auto portability" -- an action which he characterizes as being completely consistent with a recent public statement by the Business Roundtable, and endorsed by 181 CEOs of the nation's largest corporations.

Jan
02
2020

Auto Portability 2019: The Year in Review

At the outset of a new decade, RCH EVP & Chief Sales Officer Neal Ringquist pauses to reflect upon the highlights of a momentous year for auto portability, addressing key 2019 developments in regulation, research & public policy, webinars and media coverage, as well as providing readers with his forward-looking predictions for 2020.

Dec
24
2019

A Financial Wellness Program You Can Actually Measure

In his latest Consolidation Corner article, RCH President & CEO Spencer Williams examines the current state of financial wellness programs, and the challenges plan sponsors face in quantifying their benefits. Facilitating retirement savings portability, writes Williams -- whether through auto portability for small balances or an assisted roll-in program for larger balances -- can overcome this challenge by offering sponsors a financial wellness initiative that preserves participants' retirement savings and is easily quantifiable.

Nov
19
2019

The Surprising Migratory Patterns of Job-Changing Participants

In his latest Consolidation Corner article, RCH President & CEO Spencer Williams utilizes EBRI data to examine the migratory patterns of job-changing participants. Looking specifically at the size of their former employers' plans (expressed in terms of numbers of participants) compared to the size of their most-recent active plan, Williams finds that the vast majority (82.98%) of these participants go to an employer with a plan equal in size, or larger than, their former employer’s plan. Only 17.02% of participants go to employers with smaller plans, and a mere 1.9% leave employers with large plans to go to an employer with a small plan (less than 100 participants). This data, says Williams, should significantly allay industry concerns that the adoption of auto portability for small balances could result in harmful participant outcomes.

Oct
21
2019

Safe-Harbor IRAs are Supposed to be Temporary

Writing in RCH's Consolidation Corner blog, RCH President & CEO Spencer Williams observes that safe-harbor IRAs -- created by the EGTRRA-mandated automatic rollover process -- were never intended to be "permanent retirement savings vehicles." Too often, argues Williams, the relief plan sponsors realize from automatic rollovers comes at the expense of participant outcomes -- who experience high levels of cashouts, low investment returns and savings-depleting fees. With the advent of auto portability, participants will spend less time in a safe harbor IRA, and "plan sponsors no longer have to consider trading participant outcomes for administrative convenience."

Sep
27
2019

The Auto Portability Imperative

In the fifth installment of his five-part series on 401(k) cashout leakage, RCH's Tom Hawkins addresses auto portability, a solution that not only makes sound business sense, but delivers a positive societal impact for the corporations adopting it. Citing the recent Statement of Purpose from members of the Business Roundtable, Hawkins believes that as these socially-conscious corporations examine auto portability, they’ll quickly become convinced that auto portability is both a sound business decision, as well as the right thing to do.

Sep
16
2019

The Most Promising Policies to Reduce 401(k) Cashout Leakage

In his five-part series in Consolidation Corner, RCH's Tom Hawkins sheds light on the problem of cashout leakage, a silent crisis that unnecessarily robs millions of Americans of their retirement security. In his fourth article in the series, Hawkins addresses policies with the most promise to reduce the 401(k) cashout leakage problem.

Sep
10
2019

Cash-Out Leakage is Still Too High—and Auto Portability can Help

In his latest article, RCH President & CEO Spencer Williams takes on cash-out leakage -- which remains a big problem for the U.S. retirement system. Citing research that examines auto portability in tandem with various legislative proposals to help Americans save more for retirement, Williams makes the case that, with auto portability, millions of participants will no longer find cashing out to be the easiest option when they switch jobs, and will preserve their retirement savings instead.

Aug
21
2019

The Magnitude of the 401(k) Cashout Leakage Problem

In his five-part series in Consolidation Corner, RCH's Tom Hawkins sheds light on the problem of cashout leakage, a silent crisis that unnecessarily robs millions of Americans of their retirement security. In his third article in the series, Hawkins examines the magnitude of the 401(k) cashout leakage problem, sharing new statistics recently supplied by EBRI, and offering some interesting comparisons so the reader can fully-grasp the enormity of the problem.

Aug
20
2019

The Safe-Harbor IRA: Friend or Foe?

In his latest Consolidation Corner blog post, RCH President & CEO Spencer Williams draws much-needed attention to the downside of traditional safe harbor IRAs. While plans can benefit by practices that remove small-balance accounts, Williams argues that this benefit may be illusory, as former plan participants will likely cash out or become “stuck” with multiple accounts that deplete their savings – both scenarios that could expose sponsors to potential liability. Auto portability, says Williams, can reverse this dysfunctional dynamic, achieving better outcomes for plans and participants alike.

Jul
31
2019

An Important Milestone: The DOL Issues Final Prohibited Transaction Exemption for Auto Portability

In his 7/31/19 article in Consolidation Corner, RCH Founder, President & CEO Spencer Williams addresses the latest action by the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL), issuing the final Prohibited Transaction Exemption (PTE) to Retirement Clearinghouse (RCH) for the RCH Auto Portability program, completing the regulatory framework and clearing the way for auto portability’s widespread adoption

Jul
26
2019

The Demographics of 401(k) Cashout Leakage

In his five-part series in Consolidation Corner, RCH's Tom Hawkins sheds light on the problem of cashout leakage, a silent crisis that unnecessarily robs millions of Americans of their retirement security. In his second article in the series, Hawkins examines the demographics of 401(k) cashout leakage, identifying those segments of the population most impacted by the problem, as well as those who stand to benefit the most from a solution.

Jul
16
2019

What’s Missing from the SECURE Act? A Provision to Plug Cash-Out Leakage

In his latest article in Consolidation Corner, RCH President & CEO Spencer Williams identifies a key, missing element in pending retirement legislation: provisions to plug cash-out leakage. Citing both the SECURE Act of 2019 and the Automatic Retirement Plan Act of 2017 (ARPA), Williams applauds their commendable goals to expand coverage, but takes them to task for failing to incorporate provisions that plug leakage. To make his case, Williams cites two recent EBRI studies, both finding that auto portability – when combined with legislative proposals that expand access – vastly improves their public policy benefits by stemming leakage and by dramatically reducing the nation’s retirement savings shortfall.

Jun
28
2019

Spotlight on Cashout Leakage: The Fundamentals

In his five-part series in Consolidation Corner, RCH's Tom Hawkins sheds light on the problem of cashout leakage, a silent crisis that unnecessarily robs millions of Americans of their retirement security. In his first article, Hawkins addresses the fundamentals of cashout leakage -- defining it, clearing up common sources of confusion, and identifying why the problem continues to persist.

May
30
2019

How Auto Portability Serves Participants’ Best Interests: Part 5

In the 5th installment of his five-part series on "How Auto Portability Serves Participants' Best Interests", RCH's Tom Hawkins examines how auto portability can mitigate retirement savings cybersecurity risks. Auto portability, writes Hawkins, employs the simple-but-powerful principle of consolidation to lower cyber-risk by 1) reducing the cyber-threat attack surface, 2) minimizing fraud-prone, small-balance retirement savings accounts and 3) securely moving retirement savings forward.

May
23
2019

How Auto Portability Serves Participants’ Best Interests: Pt 4 Auto Portability Enhances Participants’ Financial Wellness

In the 4th installment of his five-part series on "How Auto Portability Serves Participants' Best Interests", RCH's Tom Hawkins examines how a program of auto portability can enhance 401(k) participants' financial wellness. To make his case, Hawkins identifies three ways auto portability promotes financial well-being, including: 1) preventing unnecessary 401(k) cashouts, 2) helping 401(k) participants clear the "$10,000 hurdle" and 3) simplifying retirement planning.

May
07
2019

A Plan Metric Every Sponsor Should Track: Participant-Retained Retirement Savings

In his latest article in Consolidation Corner, RCH President & CEO Spencer Williams advises retirement plan sponsors to consider tracking the average percentage of retirement savings that participants retain during their tenure. Auto portability, says Williams, can enable participants to preserve their small-balance savings through job changes. Going further, Williams encourages plan sponsors and consultants to apply the all-important “participant-retained savings” lens when evaluating automatic rollover programs, including metrics such as cash-out rates, median safe harbor IRA account duration and provider support for consolidation.

Apr
24
2019

LIMRA Webinar Features Michael Kreps’ Update on Auto Portability

On April 16th, as part of their Strategic Issues Webinar Series, the LIMRA Secure Retirement Institute delivered the webinar Regulatory and Legislative Trends Impacting the U.S. Retirement System, featuring presenter Michael Kreps, Principal, Groom Law Group, and a highly-influential voice in DC on retirement public policy. Kreps provided an insider's update on auto portability, which he characterized as having the potential to deliver “an enormous boost to the industry and to participants in general.”
Apr
23
2019

EBRI Webinar Examines Impact of Tenure on Retirement Savings

RCH's Tom Hawkins summarizes the April 10th EBRI webinar Trends in Employee Tenure, which offered EBRI’s latest research examining broad employee tenure trends, and the impact that shorter tenure has on retirement savings. The webinar’s presenters included Craig Copeland, EBRI and Spencer Williams, Retirement Clearinghouse (RCH), and was moderated by Stacy Schaus, Schaus Group LLC. In his portion of the presentation, Williams introduced the concept of “synthetic tenure” – whereby enhancing system-wide portability -- particularly for small accounts -- enables participants to preserve their savings through job changes, mirroring the success of EBRI’s longer-tenured, “consistent participation” population.

Apr
22
2019

America's 401(k) System is Unsustainable - Let's Fix It

On Earth Day 2019, as we focus on creating a sustainable and eco-friendly environment, it's worth considering how the application of similar principles would benefit our retirement system. America’s 401(k) system is unsustainable – urgently requiring an upgrade to effectively deliver on its intended goal – helping millions of Americans enjoy a timely and comfortable retirement. The good news is that we're beginning to see important signs of action that could ultimately address the problem.

Apr
15
2019

How Auto Portability Serves Participants’ Best Interests - Part 3: Auto Portability Could Lower Plan Expenses

In the 3rd installment of his five-part series on "How Auto Portability Serves Participants' Best Interests", RCH's Tom Hawkins examines how a program of auto portability can serve to lower plan expenses by 1) reducing small-balance accounts and 2) increasing plan assets. To illustrate these benefits, Hawkins uses the Auto Portability Simulation (APS) to model a hypothetical, 10,000 participant plan over 40 years, with and without auto portability.

Apr
08
2019

Cybersecurity is Augmented by Auto Portability

In his latest column in Consolidation Corner, RCH President & CEO Spencer Williams examines the positive effect that auto portability could have on minimizing the cybersecurity threat to America's retirement system. As Williams observes, the scope and scale of cyber-attacks are escalating, and the retirement system is mobilizing to increase protections. Fortunately, says Williams, the same solution designed to address the industry's proliferation of small, stranded accounts -- auto portability -- can augment cybersecurity efforts through consolidation processes that utilize best security practices, leaving participants and their savings more secure.

Mar
27
2019

Tax Day is Coming—Encourage Millennial Participants to Incubate Saver’s Credits

With Tax Day (April 15) just around the corner, RCH's Spencer Williams advises plans and their participants to take advantage of the Saver's Credit, a tax credit that rewards eligible IRA and plan contributions. Nurturing these contributions not only promotes savings, says Williams, but also makes participants less-likely to cash out their 401(k) balances as they change jobs. Turning to Millennials, Williams addresses the Financial Independence, Retire Early (FIRE) movement, cites the latest research from EBRI indicating that Millennials' retirement prospects are significantly improved by auto portability, and provides several illustrations to make the point.

Mar
23
2019

EBRI Webinar Extends Auto Portability’s Benefits to Young Millennials

In their March 20th webinar "Achieving Retirement Income Equivalency Between Final-Average-Pay Defined Benefit Plans and Automatic Enrollment 401(k) Plans in the Private Sector", the Employee Benefits Research Institute (EBRI) revealed more research supporting the case for auto portability, with their finding that auto portability could dramatically improve defined contribution plan performance for young Millennials.

Mar
11
2019

How Auto Portability Serves Participants’ Best Interests - Part 2: An Enhanced Standard of Participant Care

In the second installment of his five-part series "How Auto Portability Serves Participants' Best Interests", RCH's Tom Hawkins examines how auto portability, by extending and enhancing elements of automatic rollovers, establishes a new standard of participant care. Auto portability, writes Hawkins, protects participants by: 1) minimizing time spent in a safe harbor IRA, 2) eliminating the need to cash out balances less than $1,000, 3) enhancing participant communication, 4) formally integrating a robust address location search and 5) establishing a transparent, simple & straightforward fee structure.

Feb
25
2019

5 Ways to Check if Your ARO Program Needs an Upgrade

RCH Founder, President & CEO Spencer Williams offers plan sponsors a five-point checklist for automatic rollover programs, shining light on features that may require attention, particularly in light of the recent DOL guidance on auto portability.

Feb
22
2019

How Auto Portability Serves Participants’ Best Interests - Part 1: Dramatically Improved Participant Outcomes

Plan sponsors considering the adoption of auto portability must determine that, by participating in the auto portability program, they are acting prudently and solely in the interests of their plan’s participants and beneficiaries. In this series, RCH's Tom Hawkins identifies five key reasons why an auto portability program serves the best interests of plan participants. Part 1 of the series examines the dramatically improved participant outcomes that will result from a program of auto portability.

Feb
13
2019

Auto Portability Boosts 401(k) Plan Results in New EBRI Research

RCH's Tom Hawkins examines new research, authored by EBRI Research Director Jack VanDerhei, Ph.D., comparing the retirement income generated by 401(k) plans with auto enrollment against defined benefit (DB) plans. While EBRI's primary objective was to address growing concern over the relative decline of DB plans, the study also identified significant, incremental benefits of auto portability, adding to a growing body of research from EBRI demonstrating that auto portability increases retirement security for 401(k) participants.

Jan
29
2019

Want to Help Minority Participants Save More for Retirement? Adopt Auto Portability

In his latest article in Consolidation Corner, RCH President & CEO Spencer Williams acknowledges the

headwinds facing minorities in saving more for their retirement, including significantly higher rates of job turnover and cash-out leakage. Building on statements by RCH Chairman Robert L. Johnson at a December 2018 White House event, Williams makes the case that – for minority savers – auto portability could preserve up to $1.4 trillion in retirement savings, over a generation. Williams concludes that auto portability represents the “best, and easiest, way for sponsors and their service providers” to address the problem.

Jan
22
2019

Sidecar Accounts Can Plug Some 401(k) Leakage—But Not Most Leakage

In his latest article in Consolidation Corner, RCH President & CEO Spencer Williams examines the impact of "sidecar" accounts, which he views as a positive trend and a feature that could serve as a useful tool in the struggle to curtail leakage of savings from defined contribution plans. Williams also contends auto portability will be essential to plugging the biggest hole in the retirement system’s "bucket" -- cashout leakage -- which represents 89% of the overall leakage problem.

Jan
14
2019

Retirement Industry Associations Weigh in on Auto Portability

At the end of 2018, major retirement industry organizations were asked to comment on the DOL’s proposed prohibited transaction exemption (PTE) for the Retirement Clearinghouse (RCH) auto portability program. After a brief delay brought about by the partial federal government shutdown, all official comments have been publicly posted. If the views of these organizations are any indication, auto portability has a bright future.

Nov
28
2018

What is Auto Portability? It Depends on Who’s Asking.

With the announcement of the Department of Labor’s recent actions, auto portability has taken center stage in the retirement industry. While auto portability has been well-known to a relatively small group of industry insiders, its recent, widespread coverage in the media has many asking the question “what is auto portability?” In this article, RCH Senior Vice President Tom Hawkins suggests that the best answer may depend on who's asking the question, but one thing's clear: auto portability is an idea whose time has come.

Nov
26
2018

Auto Portability is Like Bacon—It Makes Everything Better

In his monthly column in Consolidation Corner, RCH President & CEO Spencer Williams explains to readers why auto portability is like bacon -- by making everything better for all parties in America’s retirement system.

Nov
12
2018

Department of Labor Issues Auto Portability Advisory Opinion

The Department of Labor (DOL) has issued Advisory Opinion 2018-01A on RCH Auto Portability, which can be accessed on the DOL’s website at this link. The DOL’s Advisory Opinion states that defined contribution plan sponsors who accept automatic rollover contributions under auto portability will not be a fiduciary with respect to those contributions. This fiduciary “safe harbor” represents an important step to facilitate auto portability’s widespread adoption by plan sponsors, as well as their recordkeepers.

Oct
22
2018

Is Your Missing-Participant Program a Ford Model T or 2018 BMW?

In today’s day and age, what is considered a state-of-the-art program today could easily become obsolete tomorrow, rendering a plan’s missing participant program vulnerable to fiduciary liability.

Sep
27
2018

Pairing 401(k) Savings Preservation and Expanded Access for America’s Minorities

In this article, RCH's Spencer Williams and Tom Hawkins address an important retirement public policy question: How would a pairing of auto portability with open multiple employer plans (or “open MEPs”) impact the retirement savings of America’s minorities, and particularly, African-Americans?

Aug
16
2018

A Tale of Two 401(k) Balance Segments

RCH's Tom Hawkins reveals new research that predicts 401(k) participant outcomes following separation for two balance segments – those above & below $15,000. Using logic developed in the Auto Portability Simulation to track & tally participant outcomes 8 years following separation, the results reveal a startling contrast between the two segments – with participants in the over-$15,000 segment experiencing far-superior outcomes to those in the under-$15,000 segment. To address the disparities, Hawkins advocates for a new “automatic” in the form of auto portability.

Aug
09
2018

The Next Big Advancement for the 401(k)

In November, we will celebrate an important milestone in the history of the 401(k)—the 40th anniversary of the enactment of the Revenue Act of 1978, which added Section 401(k) to the Internal Revenue Code. Section 401(k) allowed employees to defer compensation without being taxed, and gradually popularized the concept of the employer-sponsored defined contribution plan.

Jul
25
2018

401(k) Truth Bomb: Missing Participants are Bad, 401(k) Cashouts Are Worse

It may surprise many to learn that there’s another problem that’s orders-of-magnitude worse, which silently devastates millions of Americans’ prospects for a timely or comfortable retirement every year. I’m referring to 401(k) cashouts, and it’s time we took serious action to address them head-on.

Jul
17
2018

Regulators and Policy Advocates Focus on Retirement Savings Portability

The most important portability development on the horizon is the DOL’s auto portability Advisory Opinion, which will provide guidance for plan sponsors on the automatic roll-in of small account balances previously forced-out into safe harbor IRAs.

Jul
06
2018

Auto Portability’s Role in Helping Women Save More for Retirement

Auto portability has become a leading retirement savings public policy initiative due to its proven ability to preserve small-balance defined contribution accounts. Now, research is indicating that, when it comes to women, auto portability could deliver even greater benefits by making it easier for women participants to preserve their 401(k) savings and help to put them on par with men to achieve financial wellness.

May
31
2018

401(k) Consolidation: What Every Plan Sponsor Should Know

Plan sponsors intuitively know that a proliferation of small-balance 401(k) accounts can create problems. But few sponsors are clear on the factors that give rise to small accounts, and fewer still understand how they can utilize portability programs to solve the problem.

May
23
2018

Understanding and Solving the Problem of Women’s 401(k) Cashout Leakage

At a May 22nd, 2018 Women's Institute for a Secure Retirement (WISER) roundtable, Retirement Clearinghouse (RCH) EVP Tom Johnson debuts new women's 401(k) cashout leakage statistics. This important new data highlights the challenges that women face in preserving their small-balance 401(k) retirement savings when changing jobs, and also points to the promise of auto portability to preserve these savings in order to achieve higher balance levels, where more virtuous behaviors can prevail.

Apr
17
2018

DC Plan Sponsor Priorities Should Include Plugging Leakage, Enabling Auto Portability

As we continue to make our way through the second quarter of 2018, now is a good time to reflect on defined contribution (DC) plan sponsor priorities for this year.

Mar
30
2018

Are you all-in on roll-in? Encourage new hires to rollover old 401(k) balances into your plan

Over the past six years, there has been a steady drumbeat pointing the way to increased portability and in-plan consolidation (roll-ins) as the next big strategic focus for 401k plans.

Mar
22
2018

No Plan is an Island

Just as no man is an island, no employer-sponsored retirement plan is an island. New hires who join a plan all come from other companies, where they were likely enrolled in their former-employer 401(k) plans. Similarly, participants who leave a plan when they change employers have accrued 401(k) savings that they will likely want to take with them.

Mar
13
2018

New Insights into the Problem of Missing Participants

Today, Boston Research Technologies (BRT) and Retirement Clearinghouse (RCH) issued a joint press release announcing the key findings from a survey examining the retirement industry’s missing participant problem. The survey, The Mobile Workforce’s Missing Participant Problem, is the first to examine the problem from the perspective of the participant and offers unique insights into its various dimensions.

Feb
23
2018

A New Solution to Tackle the Old Problem of Missing Participants

The problem of missing participants has taken on a new sense of urgency in light of widespread reports that the Department of Labor is focusing heavily on missing participants when auditing plan sponsors and record-keepers.

Jan
11
2018

Two Retirement Public Policy Initiatives Moving Forward in 2018

Two retirement savings public policy initiatives – auto portability and the problem of missing participants – are very likely to see significant progress in 2018. Both initiatives enjoy strong bipartisan support, promise to streamline and strengthen America’s defined contribution system, and will preserve the retirement savings of millions of Americans by ensuring that their savings move forward when they change jobs.

Dec
28
2017

The Most Urgent New Year’s Resolutions for Plan Sponsors

RCH President & CEO Spencer Williams offers plan sponsors 3 crucial resolutions for 2018, including: 1) ending automatic cash-outs, 2) offering roll-ins as part of a financial wellness program, and 3) engaging all participants on crucial decision-making.

Dec
28
2017

Auto Portability Makes Everything Better

In his December 2017 Consolidation Corner blog post, Tom Hawkins writes about auto portability's special qualities. Great all by itself, auto portability also makes a lot of other retirement savings public policy initiatives a lot better.

Dec
11
2017

The Best Blueprint for Improving Retirement Security

RCH President & CEO addresses a blueprint for improving retirement security, incorporating the widespread adoption of auto portability.

Nov
15
2017

The Results Are In: Auto Portability is a Winner!

On 11/7/17, Warren Cormier of Boston Research Technologies published a white paper “Making the Right Choice the Easiest Choice: Eliminating Friction and Leaks in America’s Defined Contribution System.” The key findings of the research confirm that auto portability is a winner, with significant pent-up demand in our defined contribution system.

Nov
01
2017
Oct
25
2017

In Search Of: Guidance for Locating Missing Participants

This article focuses on the American Benefits Council’s specific recommendations to the DOL as set forth in their October 2nd, 2017 letter. The Council’s recommendations, if adopted, could establish a more complete, consistent and reasonable framework for plans to address the missing participant problem, going forward.

Oct
13
2017

Bringing Clarity to the Murky Problem of Missing Participants

The American Benefits Council delivered a letter to the Department of Labor (DoL), urging the DoL to act on the problem of unresponsive or missing participants.

Sep
18
2017

The Massive Explosion of Small 401(k) Accounts

The Growing Problem of Small Accounts and How to Defuse It

Aug
30
2017

The Exit Bonus Employers Never Intended to Pay

Without seamless plan-to-plan portability in place to preserve retirement savings when a participant changes jobs, many employers are unwittingly paying “exit bonuses” to terminated employees that they may never have intended to pay.

Aug
16
2017

The Cashout Clock is Still Ticking: Let’s Stop It!

On May 12th, Retirement Clearinghouse announced the National Retirement Savings Cashout Clock, a virtual clock that calculates 2017 year-to-date cashout leakage from America’s defined contribution system in real time.

Aug
09
2017

Small Accounts: The Root of Many Problems

Auto Portability is the Most Effective Weed Killer

Jul
25
2017

A Big Step Forward for Auto Portability

Auto portability is now live in America's defined contribution system, implemented by Retirement Clearinghouse and Conduent HR Services for the benefit of a mega plan sponsor's participants.

Jul
20
2017

Washington Recognizes Need for Retirement Plan Portability Solutions – Part 2

Senator Scott Letter, auto portability received an endorsement during a hearing on Capitol Hill this week.

Jul
05
2017

Rising Healthcare Costs Necessitate Healthy Retirement-Saving Habits

If you think of retirement savings as a key part of a healthy retirement, then anyone who has prematurely cashed out 401(k) savings during their working life has suffered a compound fracture that will require several stages of therapy to fully rehabilitate. But a cash-out isn’t the only impediment to a financially secure retirement for these hardworking Americans.

Jun
29
2017

Plug the Leaks Before Expanding Access to Defined Contribution Plans

In recent months, our attention has been drawn to some deserving public policy initiatives that would dramatically expand access to workplace retirement savings accounts and address the “access gap” encountered by millions of American workers who are presently offered no such option.

Jun
08
2017

Auto Portability: Who Will Benefit?

The ultimate beneficiary of Auto Portability is America’s mobile workforce – the qualified plan participants whose retirement savings are preserved.

Jun
01
2017

The Fundamentals of 401(k) Cashout Leakage

This video presentation provides viewers with the latest data characterizing the problem of 401(k) cashout leakage, a major challenge that faces 401(k) participants when they change jobs.

May
22
2017

The Rallying Cry for Improving Financial Wellness: ‘Eradicate Cash-Out Leakage In Our Time!

RCH President and CEO Spencer Williams exhorts the American retirement system to eradicate the scourge of 401k leakage, which deprives millions of Americans of a timely or comfortable retirement.

May
17
2017

EBRI Policy Forum Delivers Latest Research on Auto Portability (Video)

Watch video of the 80th EBRI Policy Forum, where the latest research on auto portability is delivered by Jack VanDerhei and Spencer Williams.

May
12
2017

Announcing the National Retirement Savings Cash Out Clock

Retirement Clearinghouse has now launched a National Retirement Savings Cash Out Clock, focusing attention on the problem of 401k leakage.

May
04
2017

80th EBRI Policy Forum to Address Key Retirement Policy Issues

On Thursday, May 11th, the Employee Benefit Research Institute (EBRI) will conduct their 80th Policy Forum, sponsored by the EBRI Education and Research Fund (ERF). Hosted at the 20 F Street, NW Conference Center, the Forum is scheduled from 8:30am to 12:30pm.

Apr
26
2017

Automatic Cash-Outs Undermine Efforts to Enhance Financial Wellness

In the spirit of Financial Literacy Month, retirement plan sponsors are to be commended for their commitment to enhance financial wellness among participants.

Apr
24
2017

Why America’s Retirement Savings Needs Recycling

On Earth Day 2017, we’re seeing encouraging signs that the problem of retirement savings cash out leakage will finally get the attention that it deserves.

Apr
19
2017

New EBRI Research Finds $2T Saved From Automated Portability

As much as $2 trillion could be retained in the U.S. retirement systems if Auto Portability were fully implemented, according to new research by the Employee Benefit Research Institute (EBRI).

Apr
06
2017

Financial Wellness Requires Mending Fractured Retirement Savings

With millions of Americans suffering from fractured retirement savings, plan sponsors should take the initiative—and fulfill their fiduciary duty—by providing restorative care to their participants and eliminating obstacles to seamless retirement savings portability.

Mar
23
2017

March 30th Washington DC Forum to Showcase Retirement Plan Portability & Public Policy

RCH EVP Tom Johnson previews the upcoming 3/30/17 event "Retirement Plan Portability & Public Policy" to be hosted by the Financial Services Roundtable.

Mar
02
2017

Auto Portability Helps Everybody, and Hurts Nobody

Best of all, it can be implemented across the entire retirement system voluntarily, with little cost—and significant upside—to the private sector.

Feb
27
2017

Big Changes Coming for Small 401(k) Accounts

The pace of change in the world is fast, but slow in the retirement industry. All that is about to change in the world of small 401(k) accounts, where Auto Portability is getting serious attention from DC policymakers and centers of influence.

Feb
17
2017

Incubate Small Retirement Accounts, Don’t Throw Them Away

Neal Ringquist, RCH EVP, addresses the US Chamber of Commerce's legislative recommendation to increase the Automatic Rollover limit to $10,000.

Feb
02
2017

One Small Improvement for 401(k) Plans, One Giant Leap for Retirement Readiness

Today, America faces a different, more down-to-earth challenge: delivering our citizens a comfortable and timely retirement. And similar to the moon landing – a ‘small step’ in the right direction can have a huge impact on the course of our lives.

Jan
24
2017

How to Remove 'Friction' from the 401(k) System

To illustrate the types of situations that participants can encounter, as well as the value of a facilitated roll-in service continue reading Part 3.

Jan
24
2017

Auto Portability Simulation (APS)

This video presentation is designed to give the viewer a basic understanding of the Auto Portability Simulation (APS), which models the operation and benefits of Auto Portability.

Jan
19
2017

The ABCs of Auto Portability

This video presentation is designed to give the viewer a basic understanding of Auto Portability.

Jan
18
2017

LIMRA's Secure Retirement Institute Features Auto Portability Research

RCH's EVP Tom Johnson notes LIMRA's research and support of Auto Portability.

Dec
19
2016

Awash in a Sea of Small Accounts

APS is a robust, quantitatively-based simulation that measures the size, characteristics and behaviors of America’s increasingly mobile workforce.

Nov
30
2016

Preventing retirement plan leakage: An infrastructure project that saves trillions

The recent U.S. Presidential election brought renewed focus upon large infrastructure projects: massive, capital-intensive efforts required to rebuild America’s roads, bridges, railways and airports. Desperately needed, these projects could cost taxpayers hundreds of billions, perhaps even trillions of dollars.

Nov
15
2016

What is Synthetic Tenure, and Why is it Important?

The easiest way for a plan participant to achieve lifetime participation in the U.S. retirement system is to work for the same employer for 40 years or more.

Nov
04
2016

What Plan Sponsors Can Do to Plug 401(k) Plan Leakage

This video presentation is designed to provide qualified retirement plan sponsors with an overview of key actions that they can take in order to help reduce 401(k) plan leakage.

Oct
25
2016

New Research Suggests Auto Portability Will Boost Auto Enrollment

When it comes to the 401(k) plan feature known as automatic enrollment, most industry observers seem to agree that it’s a good thing.

Oct
25
2016

All Aboard the Retirement Train

It’s ironic that, as we observe another “National Save for Retirement Week,” the retirement system we have in this country isn’t really a “system” at all.

Oct
17
2016

A Different ‘Save’ to Consider During ‘National Save for Retirement Week’

As we prepare to observe National Save for Retirement Week (also known as “National Retirement Security Week”), scheduled for October 16-22, it’s a great opportunity to remember why we, as individuals, need to save for our retirement. But the sobering reality is that we are all being called upon to save retirement itself—by rescuing a retirement system that doesn’t work for millions of hardworking Americans.

Sep
27
2016

Five Misconceptions About 401(k) Leakage

This video presentation is designed to provide qualified retirement plan sponsors with an understanding of the facts and popular misconceptions surrounding the topic of 401(k) plan leakage.

Sep
22
2016

The One Solution Everyone in DC Agrees Upon: We Need Consolidation

There is one topic that everyone in Washington, D.C. seems to agree upon: the importance of consolidation in protecting Americans' retirement security.

Sep
13
2016

Consolidation: Make the Smart Decision the Easiest Decision

"Make the smart decision the easiest decision" seems like an obvious goal for plan sponsors when designing participant-directed retirement plans, and it's certainly driven the rapid adoption of the autos auto enrollment, auto deferral escalation, and auto investment options, such as target-date funds and managed accounts.

Sep
07
2016

Why retirement portability should become employers' next big focus

Time Sensitive! Open Immediately! A significant majority (65%) of participants will make their distribution decision within the first 365 days of their termination from their former employer.

Aug
09
2016

Why Small Balance Cash Outs Are Falling Through the Cracks

According to the recently released 2016 Willis Towers Watson U.S. Retirement Governance Survey, a major trend in retirement plan governance is the growing concern employers have for employees' retirement benefit adequacy and financial well-being.

Jul
28
2016

First Half of 2016: A Look-Back at the Headlines Driving a New "Auto" for 401(k) Plans

In the first half of 2016, not only has the retirement industry awakened to the problem of cashout leakage, but it's begun to acknowledge its root cause: a lack of retirement savings portability. At the same time, Auto Portability has emerged as the only viable solution to cashout leakage, delivering portability for the small-balance (less than $5,000) job-changer, automatically moving their balances forward when they change jobs and enroll in a new plan. Let's look-back at the first half of 2016 and see how Auto Portability may now be poised to become an "overnight success" in the not-too-distant future.

Jul
11
2016

Embracing A New Source of Plan Growth

In the wake of the Fiduciary Rule, providers of all stripes are broadly reevaluating their strategies for the participant and asset retention that is essential to growing their retirement plan businesses. Over the past two decades, providers have primarily looked to capture IRA rollovers as a means to grow retirement assets. The Department of Labor's new Fiduciary Rule creates challenges to that model. However, there is another, largely untapped, pool of assets within providers' reach that can fuel growth premature cash-outs. Auto portability, and portability solutions in general, represent a new and unique way to tap that potential source of growth.

Jul
01
2016

When it Comes to Saving for Retirement, Millennials Can Learn from Baby Boomers' Mistakes

In his 6/30/16 MarketWatch article, RCH President and CEO Spencer Williams suggests an inter-generational dialogue on the pitfalls to avoid when saving for retirement.

Jun
30
2016

RCH and EBRI Present Consolidated Testimony on Auto Portability before the ERISA Advisory Council

On June 8th, 2016 Retirement Clearinghouse (RCH) and the Employee Benefit Research Institute (EBRI) teamed up to present consolidated testimony to the ERISA Advisory Council on Auto Portability, the automation of plan-to-plan transfers for small accounts, when participants change jobs.

Jun
21
2016

Calls for Portability Solutions to Curb Cash Out Leakage Growing Louder

Cash out leakage, the premature withdrawal of retirement savings for non-retirement expenses, is a persistent problem in the retirement industry, and growing more pervasive as employee mobility increases.

Jun
16
2016

Interesting Finding Emerges from the Auto Portability Simulation

When the Auto Portability Simulation (APS) model was recently unveiled at EBRI's 78th Policy Forum, a lot of attention was paid to the "marquee" numbers, and rightly so. I am referring here to the $154 billion reduction in cashout leakage, as well as the $115 billion increase in plan-to-plan roll-ins that occur under the adoption of Auto Portability.

Jun
09
2016

Fast & Slow Leakage Produce a Flood of Outflows

First, let's review the definition of "leakage." If we think of total 401(k) savings as a bucket of water, "leakage" refers to those retirement savings that, like water in a leaky bucket, are withdrawn from the U.S. retirement system every year. There are three holes in the bucket: cash-outs at the point of job change, hardship withdrawals, and loan defaults. According to the U.S. Government Accountability Office, one of these holes is much bigger than the other two combined nearly 89% of all leakage is attributed to cash-outs that occur when a participant changes jobs. Hardship withdrawals and loan defaults together account for the remaining 11%.

Jun
06
2016

Advice college graduates won't hear at commencement: "Strive for 25"

As they set out into the working world, RCH President & CEO Spencer Williams counsels the Class of 2016 on the importance of developing good saving habits from the very beginning. Using the phrase "Strive for 25" Williams notes that the $25,000 retirement savings threshold is a critical milestone that all graduates should target.

May
20
2016

Auto Portability Simulation Model Unveiled at 78th EBRI Policy Forum

On May 12th, Retirement Clearinghouse President & CEO J. Spencer Williams unveiled the Auto Portability Simulation (APS) at the Employee Benefit Research Institute's 78th Policy Forum. The APS was developed by Retirement Clearinghouse in conjunction with Dr. Ricki Ingalls, Chair of Computer Information Systems at Texas State University, and Principal at Diamond Head Associates, Inc.

Apr
28
2016

Say What? The Arcane Lingo of Retirement Savings Portability

In virtually any area of specialty, a unique jargon evolves that is highly-specific to that field. To insiders using the lingo every day, it seems familiar and perfectly normal. To outside observers, it can feel like a foreign language -- with words, terms and acronyms that make no sense.

Apr
22
2016

For Earth Day: Consider How "Recycling" Could Apply to Our Retirement System

As we observe the 46th annual Earth Day this April 22nd, we appreciate the awareness that this event has brought to the need to protect our environment, the urgency that it is instilled in all of us, and the tangible results that have been achieved in so many important areas. Although we have much work to do, we have clearly come a long way since the "throwaway" culture that emerged following World War II.

Mar
15
2016

America’s Modern Throwaway – 401(k) Retirement Savings

When trying to shape our future, it is often helpful to understand our past.

Jan
13
2016

Washington Recognizes Need for Retirement Plan Portability Solutions

Clearly, Washington DC is now "getting it" when it comes to retirement plan portability. In November 2015, Senator Patty Murray and other influential members of Congress delivered a letter to Department of Labor Secretary Perez urging action on Auto Portability. Now, we have strong comments from President Obama in his final State Of The Union address on the need for more portable retirement savings.

Jan
04
2016

Auto Enrollment: The Unintended Consequences, Part II (Research)

In his December 1, 2015 article (The unintended consequence of 401(k) auto-enrollment), RCH CEO Spencer Williams exposes the linkage between auto enrollment and lower average account balances. Based on Form 5500 data, Williams' analysis presents some excellent examples of industries where average balances are significantly lower in plans that have adopted auto enrollment compared to plans that have not. RCH's Tom Hawkins follows up that article with his own analysis, extending Williams' earlier work.

Dec
15
2015

As 401(k) Cash Out Leakage Grows, So Does Need for Auto Portability

In his December 11th article in BenefitsPro (Addressing the Critical Problem of 401(k) Cash Outs), Nick Thornton draws much-needed attention to the magnitude of the 401(k) cash out leakage issue, due to the frictions associated with account portability when plan participants switch jobs. Thornton's article rightly emphasizes the need for automated portability similar to automatic enrollment and deferral increases - to effectively address the cash out problem.