Auto Portability - Public Policy
Learn more about retirement savings public policy positions related to Auto Portability.
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.
PLANSPONSOR's Amanda Umpierrez reports on the major findings from the 2019 Aegon Retirement Readiness Survey, which provided a comparative analysis of retirement readiness in countries around the world. Summarizing the key takeaways for employers, Umpierrez turns to Transamerica's Catherine Collison, who suggests "that the U.S. government can require employers to offer auto-enrollment in retirement plans......and can continue efforts to implement retirement plan auto-portability."
In his latest article in Employee Benefit News, 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.
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."
Pensions & Investments' Hazel Bradford reports on the latest EBRI research to examine legislative proposals, including auto-IRAs, that would expand retirement plan coverage. The EBRI study, notes Bradford, finds that "along with mandating that employers with more than 10 workers provide access to auto IRAs and raising the IRS' auto-escalation cap to 15% from the current 10%, EBRI calculated that auto-portability of all defined contribution assets through a clearinghouse would reduce the retirement deficit by 27.1%." Bradford further quotes EBRI Director of Research Jack VanDerhei, who adds: "[w]ith that combination, we can take care of a quarter of the retirement deficit alone for that age cohort."
In her 7/12/19 article, PLANSPONSOR's Rebecca Moore reports on the latest EBRI research to address legislative proposals that expand access to employer-sponsored retirement plans. Once again, the EBRI findings reveal the highly-beneficial, additive impact of auto portability, when considered in tandem with other policy initiatives. The EBRI analysis, which examined various scenarios involving the widespread adoption of auto-IRA programs, found that adding auto portability to the mix resulted in the youngest cohort (35-39) realizing a reduction in their retirement savings shortfall (RSS) of 27.1% under auto portability, vs. 17.3% without the auto portability feature.
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In her 6/10/19 column in The Wall Street Journal, Bailey McCann examines pending regulation from the U.S. Department of Labor on the RCH Auto Portability program, designed to reduce leakage and "help workers bring their retirement accounts with them as they change jobs." McCann quotes RCH founder, President & CEO Spencer Williams, and credits RCH for "develop[ing] the platform that would do the automatic transfers." Also expressing their support are Matthew Drinkwater, Director of Retirement Research at the LIMRA Secure Retirement Institute, and Alicia Munnell, Director of the Center for Retirement Research at Boston College.
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."
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