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Auto Portability - Recent Developments
Find the most-recent auto portability media coverage and developments.
In the third installment of his five-part series on how auto portability serves participants' best interests, RCH's Tom Hawkins examines how auto portability can promote higher plan efficiency and lower plan expenses by 1) reducing small-balance accounts and 2) increasing plan assets. To illustrate these benefits, Hawkins uses the Auto Portability Simulation (APS) to model a hypothetical, 10,000 participant plan over 40 years, with and without auto portability.
RCH's Tom Hawkins summarizes the April 10th EBRI webinar Trends in Employee Tenure, which offered EBRI’s latest research examining broad employee tenure trends, and the impact that shorter tenure has on retirement savings. The webinar’s presenters included Craig Copeland, EBRI and Spencer Williams, Retirement Clearinghouse (RCH), and was moderated by Stacy Schaus, Schaus Group LLC. In his portion of the presentation, Williams introduced the concept of “synthetic tenure” – whereby enhancing system-wide portability -- particularly for small accounts -- enables participants to preserve their savings through job changes, mirroring the success of EBRI’s longer-tenured, “consistent participation” population.
On April 16th, as part of their Strategic Issues Webinar Series, the LIMRA Secure Retirement Institute delivered the webinar Regulatory and Legislative Trends Impacting the U.S. Retirement System, featuring presenter Michael Kreps, Principal, Groom Law Group, and a highly-influential voice in DC on retirement public policy. Kreps provided an insider's update on auto portability, which he characterized as having the potential to deliver “an enormous boost to the industry and to participants in general.”
In his 4/29/19 article, P&I's Brian Croce addresses the deliberate pace of guidance offered by the Department of Labor (DOL) over the last two years. The article notes that the DOL's advisory opinion "issued for Retirement Clearinghouse LLC over expansion of its auto portability program to reduce plan leakage" was one of two issued thus far, and the only advisory opinion issued in 2018. The article also highlights the ongoing emphasis of the DOL on enforcement & recovery activities with regard to missing participants, a topic of concern for plan sponsors.
In an April 2019 article in The Leader's Edge Magazine, Zach Ewell examines the emerging concept of synthetic tenure, originated by Retirement Clearinghouse and an important by-product of auto portability. Ewell acknowledges the potential of synthetic tenure to reduce cashout leakage and to preserve retirement savings, and also suggests that employers who facilitate synthetic tenure via portability could realize additional benefits -- demonstrating that they care about employees and in so doing, potentially increasing "real tenure."
In his latest column in Employee Benefit News, RCH President & CEO Spencer Williams examines the positive effect auto portability could have on minimizing the cybersecurity threat to America's retirement system. As Williams observes, the scope and scale of cyber-attacks are escalating, and the retirement system is mobilizing to increase protections. Fortunately, says Williams, the same solution designed to address the industry's proliferation of small, stranded accounts -- auto portability -- can augment cybersecurity efforts through consolidation processes, leaving participants and their savings more secure.
On Earth Day 2019, as we focus on creating a sustainable and eco-friendly environment, it's worth considering how the application of similar principles would benefit our retirement system. America’s 401(k) system is unsustainable – urgently requiring an upgrade to effectively deliver on its intended goal – helping millions of Americans enjoy a timely and comfortable retirement. The good news is that we're beginning to see important signs of action that could ultimately address the problem.