Auto Portability - Public Policy
Learn more about retirement savings public policy positions related to Auto Portability.
The Savings Preservation Working Group (SPWG), a DC-based coalition seeking to promote best practice retirement policies, announced the release of its first Issue Brief. Entitled "Cashing Out: The Systemic Impact of Withdrawing Savings Before Retirement" -- the report examines a range of recent research and data to quantify the vast scope of leakage from the defined contribution retirement system, and "represents the most complete review of retirement leakage data to date." Critically, the SPWG analysis determines that cashout leakage amounts to between $60 billion and $105 billion annually, impacting 4.5 to 6.4 million participants. The group's website is located at PreservingSavings.org.
In his 10/28/19 article in Pensions & Investments, reporter Brian Croce examines the "critical turn toward acceptance" that the Retirement Clearinghouse (RCH) auto portability program has made, following the "green light" the program received from the U.S. Department of Labor. In the piece, Groom Law Group's Michael Kreps characterizes the DOL's actions as the "starting gun", while RCH's Spencer Williams and Neal Ringquist provide important updates on progress-to-date with 401(k) recordkeepers. Tim Rouse, executive director of SPARK, an industry group representing recordkeepers, voices his support for auto portability, while ERIC's Aliya Robinson states that "once [auto portability] hits critical mass I think it's something we'll see pretty widely across the retirement system."
In an article appearing in legal intelligence site JDSupra.com, Ballard Spahr LLP's Edward Wegerson examines the impact of the DOL's recent actions towards the RCH Auto Portability program. Wegerson provides some historical background by noting prior, related regulatory initiatives over the last several years, and concludes by stating that "for many employers and participants in high turnover industries, [auto portability] will serve to preserve retirement accounts that will provide more participants with a more secure retirement with minimal effort."
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.
ThinkAdvisor's Michael S. Fischer examines the latest Employee Benefit Research Institute (EBRI) research on auto portability, and finds a lot to like. First addressing the magnitude of the 401(k) cashout leakage problem, Fischer notes EBRI's finding that $92.4 billion leaked in 2015, and that each year, 4 in 10 plan participants who leave their jobs will cash out 15% of plan assets. Fischer goes on to highlight auto portability's effectiveness in plugging cashout leakage, accounting for $1.5 trillion in benefits as a standalone policy initiative. Fischer further cites auto portability's benefits to specific demographic segments, and concludes by noting its incremental, beneficial effects when combined with other legislative initiatives that expand access to workplace retirement plans.
In his latest byline in Employee Benefit News, 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.
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.
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.