Auto Portability - Recent Developments
Find the most-recent auto portability media coverage and developments.
P&I's Brian Croce reports on the new EBRI study examining the impacts of auto portability, finding that the plan feature "would significantly reduce plan leakage" -- estimated by EBRI at $92.4 billion per year. Croce recaps the impressive benefits projected for auto portability under EBRI's RSPM model, and notes the recent actions by the U.S. Department of Labor, who "gave Retirement Clearinghouse the green light to expand its auto-portability program, which is expected to reduce plan leakage and missing participants."
NAPA Net's Ted Godbout reports on a new EBRI study, released 8/15/19, that assesses the impact of auto portability on the nation's 401(k) system. Godbout highlights the benefits of auto portability to the entire system and to specific demographic groups, as well as the benefits of the feature when considered in tandem with other policy initiatives. Godbout concludes by noting that "these latest findings come on the heels of Retirement Clearinghouse receiving final approval from the Department of Labor granting relief from ERISA’s prohibited transaction restrictions to receive fees in relation to its auto-portability program, allowing the firm to move forward."
On 8/15/19, the Employee Benefit Research Institute (EBRI) published a comprehensive Issue Brief addressing the impact of auto portability on preserving retirement savings lost to 401(k) cashout leakage. Authored by Jack VanDerhei, EBRI's Director of Research and announced in an EBRI press release, the analysis utilizes EBRI's Retirement Savings Projection Model (RSPM) to quantify auto portability's impressive benefits 1) as a standalone policy initiative, 2) for specific demographic segments and 3) in tandem with other policy initiatives that expand access to workplace retirement savings plans. Critically, the Issue Brief also highlights the ongoing severity of the 401(k) cashout leakage problem, which their model estimates at $92.4 billion per year as of 2015, and "representing a serious problem that affects the potential of 401(k) plans to produce adequate income replacement in retirement."
Mercer's Law and Policy Group reports on the finalized prohibited transaction exemption (PTE) obtained by Retirement Clearinghouse from the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) for the RCH Auto Portability program. The article also addresses the broader regulatory framework, including Advisory Opinion 2018-01A, which identified certain fiduciary responsibilities of plan sponsors and of RCH.
The 401kWire covers the "long-awaited news from the Department of Labor" which arrived 7/31/19, in the form of a prohibited transaction exemption (PTE) for the RCH Auto Portability program. The publication quotes RCH President & CEO Spencer Williams, who states "it's been a long time in the making, and we're dancing in the streets right now, we're very happy with the final action."
SHRM's Stephen Miller reports on the ramifications of the DOL's 7/31/19 finalized prohibited transaction exemption (PTE) for RCH's Auto Portability program. Quoting RCH President & CEO Spencer Williams, the new guidance, when paired with the prior November 2018 Advisory Opinion, provides 401(k) plan sponsors with "guardrails they need to safely adopt auto portability." Miller's piece also quotes Jan Jacobson, senior counsel for the American Benefits Council, who states that auto portability "could significantly lessen the problems plan sponsors face in trying to locate missing 401(k) plan participants."
In his 8/06/19 article, Ignites reporter Emile Hallez addresses the US Department of Labor's "green light" to the RCH Auto Portability program, in the form of a final prohibited transaction exemption (PTE), issued 7/31/19. Hallez extensively quotes RCH President & CEO Spencer Williams, who emphasizes the importance of the PTE to the adoption of auto portability, as well as helping to "cure the missing participant problem" which he further characterizes as "a subject of intense interest among plan sponsors and recordkeepers." RCH EVP Tom Johnson is also quoted, offering his historical perspective on regulatory efforts and ongoing engagement with large recordkeepers.
In his 8/6/19 article, 401k Specialist Editor-in-Chief John Sullivan addresses the DOL's recent guidance for the RCH Auto Portability program, stating that "the auto revolution in retirement plans (auto-enrollment, escalation, deferral) adds another option with the release last week of the U.S. Department of Labor’s (DOL) final Prohibited Transaction Exemption (PTE) for auto portability." Sullivan goes on to quote RCH President & CEO Spencer Williams, who states that published comments from industry trade groups regarding auto portability were “overwhelmingly positive” while also pointing out the "legal protections for plan sponsors to help small-balance participants preserve their savings."