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Auto Portability - Public Policy
Learn more about retirement savings public policy positions related to Auto Portability.
In PLANSPONSOR's March-April online magazine, reporter Debbie Carlson chronicles the key regulatory developments that have provided employees with greater workplace retirement savings plan access. Carlson devotes a section to auto portability, providing readers with a timeline of key events dating back to 2001, when EGTRRA spawned automatic rollovers, as well as more contemporary developments surrounding the formation of the Portability Services Network (PSN). Carlson turns to RCH executives Spencer Williams and Neal Ringquist, who supply projections for the expansion of PSN's network. Also supporting auto portability's efficacy in stemming cashout leakage is Morningstar's Jack VanDerhei, a respected retirement researcher and formerly of EBRI.
NAPA Net's staff covers breaking news that "TIAA has joined Retirement Clearinghouse, LLC (RCH) alongside Empower, Fidelity, Vanguard and Alight linking up with the Portability Services Network, LLC (PSN)." NAPA Net's article reference's TIAA's press release, and also notes the inclusion of provisions for auto portability in the recently enacted SECURE 2.0 Act of 2022.
In the March-April edition of the Employee Benefit Plan Review, Katrina Berishaj and Megan Stamm collaborate to perform an extensive legal analysis of the provisions for auto portability included in the recent SECURE 2.0 Act. Their analysis dives deep into the detail of those provisions, including the primary processes and fiduciary responsibilities that are encompassed by the legislation.
Taking part in a SECURE 2.0 panel at the 3/8/23 DCIIA Innovation Forum, Alight Solutions' Greg Long took the opportunity to inform and educate attendees about auto portability and the new Portability Services Network. Long offered a primer on auto portability -- how it addresses long-standing portability and cashout leakage issues within America's defined contribution system -- and how the formation of the new Portability Services Network will rapidly advance the availability and adoption of the new feature. Long's comments begin at the 21:25 mark.
The editors of NAPA Net examine a Senate bill proposed by Sens. Hickenlooper and Tillis (Retirement Savings for Americans Act) that they contend would effectively establish a federally-sponsored multi-employer (MEP) plan that would compete with private plans. The article cites auto portability as one of several initiatives in the private sector that shows responsiveness to the needs of the under-saved, and obviating the need for such over-reaching federal legislation.
The New York Times' Charlotte Cowles examines the problem facing millions of Americans who'll change jobs, leaving behind retirement savings at their former employer, or worse -- cashing out their savings altogether. Cowles turns to Vanguard's Steve Holman, who characterizes auto portability as the easiest, default solution, stating: “[a] participant doesn’t even have to do anything. You go to a new job, open a new plan, and the Portability Services Network will automatically find your old account and transition those assets in short order.” Holman also expresses confidence that "over time, we’ll have broad adoption across the industry" of auto portability.
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.
Writing in Employee Benefit News, 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" who will be "able to demonstrate value for their clients – and, in the process, grow their practices."