401(k) cash out leakage blog posts


A Critical Time to Protect the Vulnerable

Writing in Consolidation Corner, RCH's Tom Hawkins addresses the need to protect newly-terminated, vulnerable participants during the COVID-19 crisis. Hawkins points out that these participants are particularly vulnerable to financial emergencies, or in many cases, simply to poor decision-making. Hawkins urges sponsors to take additional steps to listen, to educate and to protect these participants -- not only during the crisis, but beyond.


To Show Participants You Care, Help Them Avoid Cashing Out Post-CARES Act

As participants affected by the COVID-19 crisis consider whether or not to withdraw retirement savings under provisions of the CARES Act, RCH’s Spencer Williams offers plan sponsors constructive advice for engaging them.Writing in RCH’s Consolidation Corner, Williams acknowledges the need for millions to have a “financial lifeline” but suggests that sponsors remind participants via email communications and digital content “that their retirement savings should be considered a last resort for meeting emergency expenses, especially during the present crisis.”


Think Twice Before Tapping Your 401(k) for Short-Term Needs

Responding to the Wall Street Journal's 3/20/20 article “The Emergency 401(k) Button” with a letter to the Editor, RCH President & CEO Spencer Williams urges 401(k) savers to exercise caution when considering whether or not to cash out their savings. A hasty decision could result in "the loss of years of compound interest and investment growth that won't be there for retirement" writes Williams, citing a hypothetical 30-year-old, who cashes out $5,000, but stands to lose $52,000 in retirement earnings. Borrowing now, says Williams, is easier than borrowing in retirement, and your "70-year-old self will thank you" for your restraint.


The Institutionalization of Portability is Key to Reducing Cash-Out Leakage

In his latest article in Consolidation Corner, RCH President & CEO Spencer Williams identifies plan-to-plan portability as a vital feature to prevent cashout leakage. Similar to the progress that's been made over the past decade in reducing plan fees, Williams makes the case that the inevitable "institutionalization" of portability will dramatically reduce cashout leakage and maximize participants' retained savings. Williams advocates for the adoption of a dual portability model, comprised of auto portability for small balances and a consent-based, concierge service for participants with larger balances.


How Socially Responsible Corporations Will Solve the 401(k) Cashout Crisis

Writing in the Consolidation Corner blog, RCH's Tom Hawkins makes the case that socially conscious private-sector corporations will soon solve the nation's 401(k) cashout leakage crisis by fully-embracing plan-to-plan portability, including auto portability. Three key developments drive Hawkins' conclusions, including 1) a growing understanding of the problem and its societal impacts, 2) access to a viable solution and 3) clear acknowledgment of a responsibility to act for the benefit of society. Hawkins further notes that this view is being echoed in retirement research & public policy circles.


How Sponsors Can Help Minorities Save More for Retirement

In his latest byline in the Consolidation Corner blog, RCH President & CEO Spencer Williams addresses the cashout leakage crisis, which disproportionately affects minorities, including African-Americans and Hispanics. Auto portability, says Williams, can make all the difference in solving the crisis, but requires that "sponsors themselves, as well as their recordkeepers, take the next step by implementing....auto portability" -- an action which he characterizes as being completely consistent with a recent public statement by the Business Roundtable, and endorsed by 181 CEOs of the nation's largest corporations.


A Financial Wellness Program You Can Actually Measure

In his latest Consolidation Corner article, RCH President & CEO Spencer Williams examines the current state of financial wellness programs, and the challenges plan sponsors face in quantifying their benefits. Facilitating retirement savings portability, writes Williams -- whether through auto portability for small balances or an assisted roll-in program for larger balances -- can overcome this challenge by offering sponsors a financial wellness initiative that preserves participants' retirement savings and is easily quantifiable.


Safe-Harbor IRAs are Supposed to be Temporary

Writing in RCH's Consolidation Corner blog, RCH President & CEO Spencer Williams observes that safe-harbor IRAs -- created by the EGTRRA-mandated automatic rollover process -- were never intended to be "permanent retirement savings vehicles." Too often, argues Williams, the relief plan sponsors realize from automatic rollovers comes at the expense of participant outcomes -- who experience high levels of cashouts, low investment returns and savings-depleting fees. With the advent of auto portability, participants will spend less time in a safe harbor IRA, and "plan sponsors no longer have to consider trading participant outcomes for administrative convenience."