Auto Portability - Recent Developments
Find the most-recent auto portability media coverage and developments.
On 10/11/19, NAPA Net released results of a reader survey addressing the problem of cashout leakage and yielding valuable perspectives on retirement savings portability. Regarding plan-to-plan portability, a theme “echoed repeatedly” was the “complex, manual process that requires significant form completion and coordination.” The poll further found that 82% of respondents had plan sponsor clients who would be interested in a program that automatically consolidated balances. Specifically referencing auto portability, 81% of respondents indicated that they would introduce such a program to a plan, with 75% opining that such a program would make it easier for participants to manage their retirement savings.
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.
Writing in WealthManagement.com, Ed McCarthy chronicles the rising anticipation this summer, as industry observers expected the DOL to issue a final transaction exemption for RCH Auto Portability program. That guidance, McCarthy observes, occurred on 7/31/19, but not before the RCH program had already proven its value. McCarthy, speaking with RCH President & CEO Spencer Williams, draws attention to the prior deployment of the auto-portability technology in "pilot mode" for a large plan sponsor, where it has already located and matched over 6,000 accounts belonging to active participants in the plan. According to Williams, the combination of the DOL's guidance and the successful deployment of the technology will now allow RCH to "push [auto-portability} out into the market on a wholesale basis."