Auto enrollment blog posts


Focus Shifts to Plan Sponsors as Portability Network Set to Go Live

Writing in the Consolidation Corner blog, RCH's Tom Hawkins describes the coming "shift" that will occur when the Portability Services Network (PSN) goes live at the beginning of the fourth quarter of 2023. Describing PSN's network-building achievements to date as "nothing short of phenomenal", Hawkins adds that "integration had proceeded apace" and that "plan sponsors will take center stage as they begin to adopt auto portability and witness its tangible results." Plan sponsor adoption will accelerate as auto portability demonstrates its obvious benefits to plans, to participants and to society at large, where adoption will eventually serve as a "positive indicator of a socially responsible enterprise."


A Renaissance for Auto Enrollment

Writing in the RCH Consolidation Corner blog, Tom Hawkins examines the past, present and potential future of automatic enrollment, the popular 401(k) plan feature that has made great strides since 2007, but has faced headwinds in achieving adoption in high-turnover enterprises. Now, thanks to a SECURE 2.0 mandate for new plans, along with the retirement industry's embrace of auto portability, auto enrollment may soon undergo a "renaissance" and enter its final phase of growth, delivering disproportionate benefits to under-saved and under-served workers, including minorities, women and those with lower incomes.


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.


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.


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.


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.


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.


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.