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401(k) cash out leakage blog posts
Writing in RCH's Consolidation Corner, Tom Hawkins compares & contrasts the issue of ‘forgotten’ 401(k) accounts to its more problematic relative, 401(k) cashout leakage. In the piece, Hawkins takes the position that recent attention given forgotten accounts – via draft SECURE 2.0 legislation and the release of a drama-laden white paper – have created the mistaken impression that there’s a massive problem with forgotten 401(k) accounts, when in fact ‘forgotten’ 401(k) accounts are dwarfed by 401(k) cashout leakage, in terms of both their size and severity.
Writing in RCH's Consolidation Corner, RCH EVP Tom Johnson reports on the U.S. Senate’s Committee on Health, Education, Labor and Pensions (HELP) 5/13/21 hearing on retirement security. With testimony from a blue-ribbon panel of witnesses, the hearing had a broad focus, but the topic of retirement savings leakage, and its most-promising solution, auto portability, were prominently featured in testimony by EBRI CEO Lori Lucas, and echoed by other witnesses and Committee members.
RCH’s Tom Hawkins examines a retirement savings leakage study from the Joint Committee on Taxation, a nonpartisan committee of the United States Congress. Released with little fanfare on 4/26/21, the study confirms the findings of earlier research on cashout leakage – namely, that cashout leakage is a big problem, is driven by job changing, and is exacerbated by "forced distributions and [a lack of] portability of plans.”
Auto Portability is an Easily Quantifiable Solution for Helping Participants Achieve Financial Wellness
In his latest article in RCH’s Consolidation Corner, CEO Spencer Williams addresses the conundrum facing employers, who are committed to promoting their employees’ financial wellness, but also face the grim reality of excessive retirement savings leakage, exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic. By adopting auto portability, Williams contends that plan sponsors can “easily quantify their financial wellness efforts” while getting out in front of cashout leakage.
America’s 401(k) system, long plagued by friction, produces $92.4 billion of excessive cash-out leakage annually. In recent years and culminating in 2021, the private sector has finally “cracked the code” and is delivering innovative fintech solutions, combined with education and personal assistance to reduce friction and to enable true 401(k) portability.
Following on to the 2013 study by Boston Research Group (now Boston Research Technologies), a new study released by Retirement Clearinghouse (RCH) revisits a mega plan sponsor’s ongoing experience with a program of 401(k) retirement savings portability, and finds that not only have the benefits of the original program persisted, they’ve grown, with plan participants continuing to realize significant, measurable benefits.
RCH President & CEO Spencer Williams, writing in Consolidation Corner, addresses the consistent bipartisan support that auto portability has enjoyed in DC. This support, writes Williams, transcends party affiliation, extending across multiple Presidential administrations as well as both legislative branches of the U.S. Congress, and falls squarely in-line with policy initiatives that advance the interests of minority and low-income workers. Williams provides readers with an impressive, years-long list of actions & endorsements that reflect auto portability's broad-based support, which culminated last year with the nationwide rollout of the program.
In his latest post on RCH’s Consolidation Corner, President & CEO Spencer Williams examines the potential applicability of “nudge theory” by plan sponsors to promote 401(k) account consolidation and to discourage premature cashouts. Nudges, which are “easy and cheap” interventions, could include simple and subtle messages to participants that Williams asserts “can make a big difference to the retirement preparedness, and overall financial health, of their plan participants.”