Auto enrollment blog posts


Mar
03
2022

Towards a Sustainable and “Greener” 401(k) System

RCH’s Tom Hawkins, writing in RCH’s Consolidation Corner blog, reacts to the DOL’s 2/14/22 Request for Information (RFI) seeking comment on ways to “protect life savings and pensions from threats of climate-related financial risk.” In his piece, Hawkins contends that our retirement system itself has significant sustainability problems that are more financially material to future retirees than climate change. Hawkins urges action to address the 401(k) system’s inefficiency and waste, which could “produce more of the ‘green’ that will matter to future retirees.” Hawkins notes the findings of a recent Brookings Institution report on the problem of small retirement accounts, which recommends improvements in “combining accounts” and includes support for auto portability.

Jan
17
2022

Robert L. Johnson, Majority Owner of Retirement Clearinghouse, Secures Endorsement of Two Civil Rights Organizations for Auto Portability

Robert L. Johnson, Founder and Chairman of The RLJ Companies and majority owner of Retirement Clearinghouse (RCH), has secured endorsements for auto portability from two premier civil rights organizations – the National Urban League, and the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) – both with over a century of experience advocating for solutions that address the inequities and economic challenges experienced by Black Americans and by other communities of color. Renée Wilder Guerin, RCH Executive Vice President, Public Policy, summarizes these major developments in RCH's Consolidation Corner.

Nov
24
2021

Assessing the State of DC Plans & Retirement Savings, 15 Years After the Pension Protection Act

Marking the 15th anniversary of the Pension Protection Act (PPA), RCH President & CEO Spencer Williams offers readers his views on the unintended consequences of that legislation that “continue to reverberate” for both plan participants and sponsors. Acknowledging that the automatic enrollment feature has been successful in promoting increased plan participation, Williams notes that the feature has also resulted in a “sharp uptick in small, stranded 401(k) savings accounts” that – absent easy plan-to-plan asset portability – has led to increased participant fees as well as higher levels of cash outs. In response, Williams observes that “the private and public sectors have worked together to create solutions” such as auto portability, which can help rectify the PPA’s flaws, and allow Americans to save more for retirement.

Sep
01
2021

Beware of Second Order Effects for Retirement Savings Public Policies

RCH's Tom Hawkins examines “second order effects” that can occur with retirement savings public policies currently that would dramatically expand access to, and participation in, defined contribution plans. While the benefits are impressive, additional undesired consequences can arise that are antithetical to the policies’ original intent, including increased cashout leakage, missing participants, uncashed checks and forgotten/stranded accounts. Understanding these highly predictable second order effects, Hawkins identifies plan-to-plan portability as a means of addressing them, while significantly boosting the overall policies’ benefits.

Feb
08
2021

Missing Participants: Five Important Considerations for Plan Sponsors

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.

Nov
05
2020

Broadcast Retirement Network Features Segment on ‘Small Account Problem’

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.

Feb
24
2020

New Research Confirms Clear Shift Towards Plan-to-Plan Portability

In his latest article in RCH's Consolidation Corner, RCH's Neal Ringquist observes that 401(k) plans have become more-and-more “institutionalized" -- yet the benefits of that increased institutionalization are being lost to large numbers of participants who cash out their 401(k) balances when they change jobs. Now, there’s clear evidence that plan sponsors understand the value of plan-to-plan portability in preserving 401(k) plans’ institutional benefits, and that a shift towards already-available portability solutions is underway.
Jul
16
2019

What’s Missing from the SECURE Act? A Provision to Plug Cash-Out Leakage

In his latest article in Consolidation Corner, RCH President & CEO Spencer Williams identifies a key, missing element in pending retirement legislation: provisions to plug cash-out leakage. Citing both the SECURE Act of 2019 and the Automatic Retirement Plan Act of 2017 (ARPA), Williams applauds their commendable goals to expand coverage, but takes them to task for failing to incorporate provisions that plug leakage. To make his case, Williams cites two recent EBRI studies, both finding that auto portability – when combined with legislative proposals that expand access – vastly improves their public policy benefits by stemming leakage and by dramatically reducing the nation’s retirement savings shortfall.

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