Auto Portability - Recent Developments
Find the most-recent auto portability media coverage and developments.
Writing in Lexology.com, the law firm Eversheds Sutherland LLP addresses notable 2019 ERISA guidance promulgated by the Department of Labor, including Advisory Opinions, Field Assistance Bulletins and Prohibited Transaction Exemptions (PTEs). For the 7 PTEs finalized in 2019, they single out RCH and auto portability, stating: "One exemption broke new ground. PTE 2019-02 granted relief for RCH’s auto-portability program, with respect to certain fees charged in connection with the transfer of accounts to the plan of a participant’s new employer."
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."
Writing in Employee Benefit News, 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 -- by adopting auto portability for small balances or implementing an assisted roll-in program for larger balances -- can easily overcome this challenge by offering sponsors financial wellness initiatives that not only deliver excellent results, but can be readily measured.
Forbes contributor Rick Unser, a 401(k) plan consultant and host of the 401(k) Fridays podcast, looks to the future and predicts four key 401(k) automation features he believes will deliver significant benefits for participants. Citing job-changing as "one of the single most significant threats to a secure retirement" -- Unser identifies auto portability as an "emerging solution (that) will help with...the challenge" and "will move your retirement savings from your retirement plan at your old company to the retirement plan at your new one."
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."
PLANSPONSOR's Lee Barney reports on the Savings Preservation Working Group's recent analysis (link) of the problem of 401(k) cashout leakage, estimated to be between $60 billion and $105 billion per year, and affecting 33% to 47% of job-changing participants. The report -- the most-comprehensive analysis of cashout leakage to date -- represents a meta-analysis of studies conducted by EBRI, large recordkeepers, the Government Accountability Office (GAO), Boston Research Technologies and RCH's own Auto Portability Simulation. The SPWG's conclusions were reviewed and validated by a team of industry experts, trade associations and advocacy groups, and specifically acknowledges the contributions of RCH's Spencer Williams, Tom Johnson and Tom Hawkins.
PLANSPONSOR reporter Lee Barney joins the chorus of media coverage of the EBRI Issue Brief examining 2 policy initiatives -- a nationwide expansion of an OregonSaves-like program, as well as the adoption of 401(k) safe harbor plans. While the EBRI analysis found that both initiatives delivered significant benefits in the form of reductions to the nation's retirement deficit, the addition of auto portability delivered even more-dramatic benefits to both by reducing the amount of cashout leakage experienced by job-changing participants.
Following the release of a 10/31 EBRI Issue Brief and its 11/4 coverage in 401(k) Specialist, NAPA Net's Ted Godbout reports on EBRI's findings that auto portability, when paired with 2 policy initiatives -- a nationwide OregonSaves program and adoption of 401(k) safe harbor plans -- dramatically improves their benefits, as measured by projected reductions in the nation's retirement savings shortfall (RSS).