- Press Releases
- Thought Leadership
- Consolidation Corner
- 401k Consolidation
- Auto Enrollment
- Auto Portability
- Automatic Rollovers
- Cashout Leakage
- DEI, ESG & Social Responsibility
- ERISA Advisory Council
- Lifetime Plan Participation
- Managed Portability
- Missing Participants
- Mandatory Distributions
- Mobile Workforce
- Plan Termination
- Portability Services Network
- Public Policy
- Retirement Income
- Retirement Plan Portability
- Retirement Research
- Safe Harbor IRA
- Uncashed Checks
Automatic rollovers blog posts
Why DEI and ‘Traditional’ Automatic Rollovers Don’t Mix
When it comes to 401(k) diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) initiatives, RCH’s Tom Hawkins observes broad support for expanded access and automatic features, since they “are supportive of increasing participation and asset accumulation across all demographics.” No one, writes Hawkins, points to ‘traditional’ automatic rollovers as facilitating DEI goals, as they “penalize the very demographic segments that DEI initiatives strive to uplift.” Hawkins urges plan sponsors to re-tool ‘traditional’ automatic rollover programs to include education and assistance and to incorporate auto portability – delivering more equitable retirement outcomes for under-saved and under-served participants.
How Consultants Can Miss the Mark on 401(k) Automatic Rollovers
401(k) plan consultants have been forceful advocates for the adoption of best practices at leading retirement plan sponsors. However, when it comes to automatic rollover programs, plan consultants sometimes miss the mark, at least in terms of participant outcomes. RCH's Tom Hawkins, writing in the Consolidation Corner blog, makes the case that 401(k) plan consultants should extend their analysis to emphasize those automatic rollover program components that help participants improve their retirement outcomes by avoiding cashouts, moving their retirement savings forward, and keeping their stay in safe harbor IRAs as brief as possible.
Why Missing Participants Are So Misunderstood
Writing in the Consolidation Corner blog, RCH's Tom Hawkins examines the topic of missing participants, which he states: "is a problem that’s ill-defined and poorly understood, and where fundamental misunderstandings exist, inadequate solutions – paired with the prospect of unwanted regulatory attention or audits – can follow." Hawkins asserts that "taking proactive steps to conduct searches, and turning on plan features that promote retirement savings portability are the key steps required to getting off the missing participant treadmill."
Re-Thinking the Automatic Rollover IRA
Selecting an automatic rollover IRA provider used to be easy. Most 401(k) plan sponsors simply accepted the solution offered through their recordkeeper or TPA. Others performed due diligence, using a limited set of criteria including basic fees, investment options and accountholder service. Few, however, considered the grim realities facing terminated participants forced out into safe harbor IRAs, including excessive cashouts, forgotten accounts, hidden fees, and barriers to exit. Now, it's incumbent upon plan sponsors to fundamentally “re-think” these programs, incorporating five new criteria to ensure that automatic rollover IRA programs are fiduciary-friendly, while dramatically improving participants’ retirement outcomes.
401(k) Portability in Four Movements
RCH's Tom Hawkins examines the experience of a very large (250,000+ participants) 401(k) plan sponsor that has been highly successful in delivering improved participant outcomes by incrementally adopting a full program of retirement savings portability. Looking at four distinct five-year periods that coincided with increasing levels of portability and improved participant outcomes, Hawkins writes that "there’s no finer example of those [improved] outcomes than the multi-year, real-world experience of this plan sponsor, where thousands of participants increased their prospects for a timely and comfortable retirement."
Five Misconceptions About Automatic Rollovers
Most agree -- automatic rollover programs can help retirement plan sponsors deal with many of the problems associated with small-balance accounts. Still, there are important misconceptions that persist about automatic rollovers. In this article, RCH's Tom Hawkins introduces plan sponsors to a video addressing five of the most important misconceptions, and offers constructive suggestions on how sponsors can address them.
How Sponsors can Facilitate Better Participant Outcomes and Improve Plan Metrics in 2021
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.
Bringing Sunlight to the Dark Corners of Safe Harbor IRA Fees
Safe harbor IRAs exist due to the success of 401(k) plans, combined with the propensity of America’s mobile workforce to change jobs. While safe harbor IRAs have helped plan sponsors mitigate their cost and risk associated with small accounts, they’ve failed miserably for former participants. In his latest article in RCH’s Consolidation Corner, Tom Hawkins focuses sunlight on the unsavory practice of excessive safe harbor IRA fees, and offers advice to plan sponsors for promoting greater fee transparency and disclosure.