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401k missing participants blog posts
RCH’s newly-appointed EVP of Public Policy, Renée Wilder Guerin finds a lot to like in the 7/28/21 Senate Finance Committee hearing, where lawmakers heard testimony on how to increase retirement savings, including tackling the longstanding problems of cashout leakage, missing participants and “forgotten” retirement savings accounts. Wilder Guerin notes that auto portability was favorably mentioned twice by Aliya Robinson (SVP, Retirement & Compensation Policy for ERIC), as a policy initiative her organization – comprised of the nation’s largest plan sponsors – supports. Coming on the heels of EBRI’s 21st Annual Retirement Confidence Survey, where nearly 9 in 10 participants indicated their preference for the feature, Senate Finance Committee testimony “bodes extremely well for auto portability’s widespread adoption, as well as the enactment of public policies that further enhance it.”
Writing in RCH's Consolidation Corner, Tom Hawkins offers retirement plan sponsors five important considerations that can help focus their efforts in designing, implementing and administering an effective program of locating missing participants. By staying focused on some key principles, including the adoption of sound search practices and retirement savings portability, plan sponsors can successfully navigate their near-term missing participant problems, while positioning their plan for far fewer problems in the future.
On 1/26/21, Retirement Clearinghouse (RCH) released a study that advances the art and science of locating missing 401(k) plan participants. The study – Improving the Effectiveness of Electronic Missing Participant Searches – comes on the heels of U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) guidance on the topic and is highly-useful for plan sponsors who utilize electronic searches, or “e-Searches” -- as they are referenced in the study.
Writing in the Consolidation Corner blog, RCH President & CEO Spencer Williams offers 401(k) plan sponsors two New Year's resolutions that could improve participant outcomes and boost plan metrics. Specifically, Williams suggests that plan sponsors 1) implement a robust missing participant search program and 2) eliminate the practice of automatic cash-outs. Fortunately, adds Williams, both of these resolutions can be achieved when plan sponsors embrace an auto portability program.
Writing in Consolidation Corner, RCH EVP Neal Ringquist offers retirement plan sponsors three New Year's resolutions that, if adopted, will facilitate retirement savings portability and make 2021 a better year for the plan as well as for its participants.
On Wednesday, 11/4/20 the Broadcast Retirement Network’s Jeff Snyder interviewed Retirement Clearinghouse (RCH) President & CEO Spencer Williams and Alight Solutions’ Vice President & Head of Research Rob Austin to address the 401(k) system’s small account problem – where high levels of cashout leakage in small balance segments perennially robs millions of participants of a timely or comfortable retirement.
Writing in RCH’s Consolidation Corner blog, Tom Hawkins establishes a strong link between the phenomenon of ‘sudden money’ – where a financial windfall can result in ruinous decisions – and the problem of unnecessary 401(k) cashout leakage. 401(k) plan features that encourage active plan participants to amass long-term retirement savings are a big success, but can suddenly fail following a job change, when separated participants can view their former employer’s balance as a financial windfall. To address the scourge of sudden money and its attendant cashout leakage, Hawkins examines 3 ‘faux’ solutions that fall short, and recommends the application of clearinghouse principles to effectively solve the problem.
Writing in Consolidation Corner, RCH's Tom Hawkins addresses the need to protect newly-terminated, vulnerable participants during the COVID-19 crisis. Hawkins points out that these participants are particularly vulnerable to financial emergencies, or in many cases, simply to poor decision-making. Hawkins urges sponsors to take additional steps to listen, to educate and to protect these participants -- not only during the crisis, but beyond.