Automatic rollovers blog posts


‘Sudden Money’ and Preserving 401(k) Savings Don’t Mix

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.


COVID-19 Pandemic Demonstrates the Need for Institutionalized Portability

Writing in Consolidation Corner, RCH President & CEO Spencer Williams examines the disruptive effects of the COVID-19 pandemic on America's retirement savers, and makes a persuasive case for the systemic, institutional adoption of auto portability as a means to help rebuild and to preserve retirement savings over the long-term. In the near-term, Williams observes that reduced participant mobility make this an opportune time for sponsors to update participant addresses.


Let’s Extend the Spirit of the CARES Act to Automatic Rollover IRAs

In light of the COVID-19 crisis, RCH's Tom Hawkins examines another burden borne by millions of participants, when they’re furloughed or laid off and become subject to ‘traditional’ automatic rollover IRAs – where they’ll likely face high levels of cashouts, predatory fees and barriers to exit. Now, more than ever, it’s important for sponsors to act and to redress this burden. For sponsors utilizing traditional automatic rollover IRAs, Hawkins urges them to demonstrate their caring through three actions that will help address the problem and will deliver significant societal benefit.


The Safe-Harbor IRA: Friend or Foe?

In his latest Consolidation Corner blog post, RCH President & CEO Spencer Williams draws much-needed attention to the downside of traditional safe harbor IRAs. While plans can benefit by practices that remove small-balance accounts, Williams argues that this benefit may be illusory, as former plan participants will likely cash out or become “stuck” with multiple accounts that deplete their savings – both scenarios that could expose sponsors to potential liability. Auto portability, says Williams, can reverse this dysfunctional dynamic, achieving better outcomes for plans and participants alike.


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.


A Plan Metric Every Sponsor Should Track: Participant-Retained Retirement Savings

In his latest article in Consolidation Corner, RCH President & CEO Spencer Williams advises retirement plan sponsors to consider tracking the average percentage of retirement savings that participants retain during their tenure. Auto portability, says Williams, can enable participants to preserve their small-balance savings through job changes. Going further, Williams encourages plan sponsors and consultants to apply the all-important “participant-retained savings” lens when evaluating automatic rollover programs, including metrics such as cash-out rates, median safe harbor IRA account duration and provider support for consolidation.


How Auto Portability Serves Participants’ Best Interests - Part 2: An Enhanced Standard of Participant Care

In the second installment of his five-part series "How Auto Portability Serves Participants' Best Interests", RCH's Tom Hawkins examines how auto portability, by extending and enhancing elements of automatic rollovers, establishes a new standard of participant care. Auto portability, writes Hawkins, protects participants by: 1) minimizing time spent in a safe harbor IRA, 2) eliminating the need to cash out balances less than $1,000, 3) enhancing participant communication, 4) formally integrating a robust address location search and 5) establishing a transparent, simple & straightforward fee structure.


5 Ways to Check if Your ARO Program Needs an Upgrade

RCH Founder, President & CEO Spencer Williams offers plan sponsors a five-point checklist for automatic rollover programs, shining light on features that may require attention, particularly in light of the recent DOL guidance on auto portability.