Auto Portability - Public Policy
Learn more about retirement savings public policy positions related to Auto Portability.
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.
EBRI CEO Lori Lucas, testifying on retirement security before the U.S. Senate's Health, Education, Labor and Pensions (HELP) Committee on 5/13/21, targets "reducing plan leakage" as a key policy initiative, and identifies auto portability as a solution that could dramatically lower cashout leakage levels. Lucas points to EBRI research that quantifies auto portability's projected benefits of $2.0 trillion when applied to all balances, $1.5 trillion when applied to balances less than $5,000, and its ability to significantly boost the benefits of other policy initiatives, such as open MEPs.
InvestmentNews retirement and insurance reporter Emile Halez covers testimony before the U.S. Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor & Pensions (HELP), which convened for the first time since 2013 to discuss retirement security. Halez notes that the focus of the committee included emergency savings and student loans, but also addressed the promise of auto portability as a means to addressing excessive cashout leakage. EBRI CEO Lori Lucas carried the auto portability banner before the HELP Committee, telling the legislators that "open multiple-employer plans with automatic account portability between employers could reduce the money flowing out early from 401(k)s by an estimated 26%."
On 4/26/21, The Joint Committee on Taxation, a nonpartisan committee of the United States Congress, released the report "Estimating Leakage from Retirement Savings Accounts." Taking a novel approach, the report examines tax data to calculate a "leakage ratio" that represents the ratio of net distributions to net contributions for participants 50 or younger. The study clearly identified job-changing as the chief cause of leakage, finding that the leakage ratio is 26% in the "year of the event" but remaining high in years 2-5 that follow. The report further concludes that the use of "forced distributions and portability of plans likely affect leakage."
Writing in an opinion piece in Employee Benefit News, RCH President & CEO Spencer Williams 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.
In a Senate Finance subcommittee hearing held on 12/9/20 (Investigating Challenges to American Retirement Security) expert witness Michael P. Kreps offered testimony highlighting the problem of cashout leakage and pointing to auto portability as a near-term solution for "millions of plan participants early next year." Following Kreps testimony, strong bipartisan support for auto portability was voiced by Sen. Sherrod Brown (D-OH), Sen. James Lankford (R-OK) and Sen. Catherine Cortez-Masto (D-NV).
PRESS RELEASE - John Malone Partners with Bob Johnson to Help Minorities Increase Retirement Savings
Citing a “meeting of like minds,” John C. Malone, Chairman of Liberty Media Group, and Robert L. Johnson, Chairman of the RLJ Companies and the majority owner of Retirement Clearinghouse LLC (RCH), announced today that Mr. Malone has purchased a minority stake in RCH.
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.