401k missing participants blog posts


New Research on Locating Missing Participants Augments DOL Guidance

On 1/26/21, Retirement Clearinghouse (RCH) released a study that advances the art and science of locating missing 401(k) plan participants. The study – Improving the Effectiveness of Electronic Missing Participant Searches – comes on the heels of U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) guidance on the topic and is highly-useful for plan sponsors who utilize electronic searches, or “e-Searches” -- as they are referenced in the study.


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.


Three New Year's Resolutions for Plan Sponsors to Consider

Writing in Consolidation Corner, RCH EVP Neal Ringquist offers retirement plan sponsors three New Year's resolutions that, if adopted, will facilitate retirement savings portability and make 2021 a better year for the plan as well as for its participants.


Broadcast Retirement Network Features Segment on ‘Small Account Problem’

On Wednesday, 11/4/20 the Broadcast Retirement Network’s Jeff Snyder interviewed Retirement Clearinghouse (RCH) President & CEO Spencer Williams and Alight Solutions’ Vice President & Head of Research Rob Austin to address the 401(k) system’s small account problem – where high levels of cashout leakage in small balance segments perennially robs millions of participants of a timely or comfortable retirement.


‘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.


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.


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.


The Playbook for Conducting Diligent Missing Participant Searches

Writing for RCH’s Consolidation Corner blog, EVP Neal Ringquist coaches plan sponsors on a winning strategy to address the problem of missing participants. Ringquist offers sponsors a four-part playbook for success, including: 1) understanding the problem, 2) taking proactive measures, 3) adopting best search practices and 4) engaging a search service provider. With participants’ benefits on the line, sponsors who follow the Ringquist playbook for conducting diligent missing participant searches will be playing to win.