Auto Portability - Recent Developments
Find the most-recent auto portability media coverage and developments.
SHRM's Stephen Miller reports on recent actions by the Treasury Department (affecting hardship withdrawals) and the Labor Department, seeking comment on the Retirement Clearinghouse (RCH) auto portability program. The DOL's proposal, says Miller, "might keep retirement savings intact when an employee finds a new job" and added that "automatically transferring 401(k) accounts could leave departing participants with larger nest eggs since they would be less likely to cash out retirement funds."
Employee Benefit News reporter Lee Conrad includes the U.S. Labor Department's guidance on auto portability in his daily roundup of retirement news, referencing Anne Tergesen's article in The Wall Street Journal. According to Conrad "analysts say that the guidance will help minimize 401(k) cash-outs of employees who switch jobs" and cites a quote in the article by Morningstar's Aron Szapiro.
The Women's Institute For A Secure Retirement (WISER) has posted an article to their website (www.wiserwomen.org), indicating support for the U.S. Department of Labor's recent actions on auto portability. The highly-influential organization -- dedicated to education and advocacy that will improve the long-term financial quality of life for women -- notes that "this news is especially good for women who often hold smaller account balances" and could stand to benefit disproportionately from auto portability.
PlanAdviser reports on the Department of Labor's issuance of an advisory opinion letter in response to a request by Retirement Clearinghouse (RCH), for their opinion on the fiduciary status of parties as part of RCH’s Auto-Portability Program. The article notes that plan sponsors have a fiduciary responsibility for selecting and monitoring the auto portability program, but once assets are transferred to a default IRA under the program, the plan sponsor of the former employer's plan is no longer a fiduciary.
PLANSPONSOR's Rebecca Moore reports on the U.S. Department of Labor's (DOL) issuance of an advisory opinion letter, focusing on plan sponsors' responsibilities as identified by the DOL. Moore notes that plan sponsors have a fiduciary responsibility for selecting and monitoring the auto portability program, but once assets are transferred to a default IRA under the program, the plan sponsor of the former employer's plan is no longer a fiduciary.
NAPA Net's Ted Godbout reports on the U.S. Department of Labor's (DOL) recent issuance of an advisory opinion regarding Retirement Clearinghouse's (RCH) auto portability program, occurring "mere days after publishing a request for comments on a proposed exemption." Godbout examines specific aspects of the advisory opinion, including the creation of a safe harbor for plan sponsors who accept automated transfers, as well as the fiduciary status of RCH in deciding to transfer default IRA funds.
The Wagner Law Group, specialists in ERISA and employee benefits law, summarize the recent DOL actions on auto portability, including their Advisory Opinion and proposed exemption, both for the Retirement Clearinghouse (RCH) auto portability program. The authors examine both actions, summarizing their findings, and identify the potential considerations and fiduciary implications for plan sponsors considering participation in an auto portability program.
In her 11/12/18 article in The Wall Street Journal, reporter Anne Tergesen addresses the pair of recent DOL actions that give Retirement Clearinghouse (RCH) a green light to move forward with its auto portability program. In support of the DOL's actions, Tergesen cites industry statistics on 401(k) leakage for job-changing participants, quoting industry figures from Morningstar, Boston College's Center for Retirement Research and former U.S. Treasury official Mark Iwry. Tergesen turns to RCH Chief Executive Spencer Williams, who addresses RCH's objectives in obtaining DOL guidance, as well as RCH's views on the benefits of the auto portability program.