401(k) cash out leakage blog posts


Key Portability Finding Located in EBRI’s Retirement Confidence Survey

RCH's Tom Hawkins digs into EBRI's 2022 Retirement Confidence Survey (RCS) and finds an interesting and valuable finding not referenced in the organization’s initial report, officially released to the public on Thursday, April 28th. In an excerpt of a report available to survey partners, the RCS has found that a plurality of job-changing 401(k) plan participants favor automatic plan-to-plan portability over consolidating their savings to an IRA, or to leaving their savings behind in their former employer’s plan. This result comes on the heels of EBRI’s 2021 survey, which found that nearly 9 in 10 participants believed that auto portability would be valuable to them, and Hawkins believes "others -- including the Department of Labor – will find 401(k) participants’ strong preference for plan-to-plan portability compelling."


On Filling the Leaky 401(k) Bucket

Writing in the Consolidation Corner blog, RCH’s Tom Hawkins opines on pending legislation that seeks to expand access for under-served and under-saved demographic segments, but may fall short if it fails to incorporate measures that minimize cashout leakage. Noting that SECURE 2.0’s expanded access provisions seek to benefit women, minorities and lower-income workers – the same demographic segments that cash out their small balance savings at disproportionate rates – Hawkins suggests that legislators consider inclusion of measures that would “spur more rapid adoption” of auto portability “by codifying into law the guidance issued by the Department of Labor and by creating modest tax incentives to encourage more early adoption of the feature.”


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.


Auto Portability Featured in ERISA Advisory Council Report

Writing in the Consolidation Corner blog, RCH’s Tom Hawkins reports on the release of the ERISA Advisory Council’s latest report – “Gaps in Retirement Savings Based on Race, Ethnicity and Gender.” In that report, auto portability was specifically referenced multiple times in testimony by Cindy Hounsell, President of WISER, and the final report included a recommendation to “study the feasibility of a national portability system” – more commonly and accurately known as auto portability. Hawkins found the EAC’s recommendation “remarkable given the fact that it emanated from a diverse group of 14 industry experts holding a wide range of opinions on practically any topic.”


The ‘Great Resignation’ Screams for Improved Retirement-Savings Portability

RCH President and CEO Spencer Williams, writing in the RCH Consolidation Corner blog, breaks down the phenomenon known as The Great Resignation. Williams makes a compelling case that -- for defined contribution plans -- seamless plan-to-plan portability, including auto portability, are absolutely vital to preserving affected participants' retirement savings, and in ensuring that their retirement savings balances are moved forward when they re-enter the workforce.


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.


Four Reasons Why 401(k) Auto Portability is Inevitable

RCH's Tom Hawkins, writing in the Consolidation Corner blog, offers an optimistic assessment of the prospects for auto portability. Hawkins, who admits to being a "a long-time, unabashed proponent" of auto portability, now believes that the feature's eventual, widespread adoption is "inevitable" and supports his position with four key points.


Kennedy Townsend: Solving Portability and Cashout Leakage are a Key DOL Priority

On 12/6/21, Kathleen Kennedy Townsend, Special Assistant to the Secretary of Labor for Retirement, served as the keynote speaker at EBRI's 90th Public Policy Forum, and outlined the big-picture, retirement-focused priorities of the DOL. One of the DOL's three priorities is the issue of portability and leakage. RCH's Tom Hawkins examines Townsend's remarks to her EBRI audience, which revealed that she has a clear grasp of the magnitude of the cashout leakage problem, as well as its most-promising solution – enabling plan-to-plan portability.