Auto Portability - Recent Developments
Find the most-recent auto portability media coverage and developments.
In his ongoing "Barry's Pickings" column for PLANSPONSOR, Michael Barry, president of O3 Plan Advisory Services LLC, gives the U.S. Department of Labor an 'A' for its November 2018 issuance of a proposed Prohibited Transaction Exemption (PTE) and an Advisory Opinion on Auto Portability. Barry adds: "as a long-time advocate of the establishment of a clearinghouse, I view this as very good news."
In an article carried in their WISERWoman Fall 2018 newsletter, the Women's Institute for a Secure Retirement (WISER) spreads the "good news" that the U.S. Department of Labor has issued an Advisory Opinion on auto portability, clearing the path for the automatic transfer of small 401(k) balances of $5,000 or less. The WISER article also notes that women are hard-hit by retirement savings cashout leakage, with 2.4 million women cashing out $28 billion per year from 401(k) plans.
PLANSPONSOR's John Manganaro, in this year-end retrospective, runs down the key regulatory developments affecting plan sponsors in 2018. High on Manganaro's list is the U.S. Department of Labor's November Advisory Opinion on the RCH Auto Portability program, which clarified fiduciary roles under the program.
PlanAdviser identifies the most-impactful 2018 regulatory developments that will affect plan advisers and their clients moving into the New Year. The DOL's November 2018 Advisory Opinion on the RCH Auto Portability program, which clarified fiduciary roles under the program, is high atop the list.
In her 12/27/18 article in Employee Benefit Adviser, contributor Sandy Blair, CalSTRS Director of Retirement Readiness, explains why employees should never cash out of their employer-sponsored defined contribution plan. To make her case, Blair cites research on plan participation, job-changing and cashout leakage from Retirement Clearinghouse, EBRI and the American Benefits Council. For job-changers, Blair believes that the option to "roll their retirement plan assets into the new employer's plan" is "hands down, the best option, as having all an employee's retirement funds in one place makes it easier to track and manage them."
In response to the U.S. Department of Labor’s (DOL) Employee Benefits Security Administration’s (EBSA) recent approval of the RCH Auto Portability program, the American Benefits Council commended the agency for its efforts to address the problems of leakage and missing participants. It also suggested that the DOL extend RCH's portability exemption to pre-existing safe harbor IRAs. In a December 20th letter to the DOL, the Council voiced its support, noting that the proposed exemption “appears to include sufficient safeguards for participants, including an extensive set of notice requirements.”
In their online blog, CPA/Consulting firm Bowman & Company LLP analyzes the DOL's advancement of the RCH Auto Portability program -- including Advisory Opinion 2018-01A, and the proposed Prohibited Transaction Exemption. The article examines both actions, identifies the systemic benefits of cashout leakage, and notes a "bonus" for employers -- the increase in plan assets that could result in lower fees from plan service providers.
In his 12/17/18 article in 401kSpecialist, contributor Robert Lawton identifies healthcare savings as one of the biggest threats to a secure retirement, advocating for policies that support greater use of HSAs. In his analysis, Lawton also identifies auto portability and open MEPs as "good ideas to help address perceived deficiencies in existing 401(k) plans."