Mobile workforce (or job-changing participants) blog posts


As Time Passes, The Gains Become Harder

RCH's Tom Hawkins, writing in the Consolidation Corner blog, observes that our nearly 45 year-old defined contribution system may face diminishing returns as it tries to generate future growth, and should focus on quality and efficiency as it simultaneously expands access. Using fitness as an analogy, Hawkins offers a "workout plan" for the DC system, including plugging leakage through increased portability and emergency savings, while fostering increased retirement savings consolidation to avoid an explosion in small accounts. When combined with expanded access initiatives, these measures can dramatically increase Americans' retirement security, over and above expanding access alone.


Addressing the Achilles’ Heel of Auto IRA Programs

Writing in the RCH Consolidation Corner blog, Tom Hawkins offers his view that state-based Auto IRA programs, despite their potential size and strength, suffer from an obvious Achilles’ heel: a lack of retirement savings portability. Hawkins writes: "Without addressing their portability problem, Auto IRA programs could expand, but may never reach their full potential, housing large numbers of churning, small-balance accounts. However, with adequate support for portability both into and out of these programs, they could dramatically increase the odds that they deliver on their promise of building incremental retirement wealth for millions of Americans."


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."


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.


A Brief History of Auto Portability

Auto portability is a new “automatic” plan feature rapidly gaining acceptance by large defined contribution recordkeepers. While the feature is relatively new, it’s tempting to view auto portability as an “overnight success.” In fact, auto portability has been a long time in the making. In his latest Consolidation Corner article, as well as in an embedded video, RCH's Tom Hawkins examines a “brief history” of auto portability.


Assessing the State of DC Plans & Retirement Savings, 15 Years After the Pension Protection Act

Marking the 15th anniversary of the Pension Protection Act (PPA), RCH President & CEO Spencer Williams offers readers his views on the unintended consequences of that legislation that “continue to reverberate” for both plan participants and sponsors. Acknowledging that the automatic enrollment feature has been successful in promoting increased plan participation, Williams notes that the feature has also resulted in a “sharp uptick in small, stranded 401(k) savings accounts” that – absent easy plan-to-plan asset portability – has led to increased participant fees as well as higher levels of cash outs. In response, Williams observes that “the private and public sectors have worked together to create solutions” such as auto portability, which can help rectify the PPA’s flaws, and allow Americans to save more for retirement.


Four Reasons Why Auto Portability Can't Wait

Writing in RCH's Consolidation Corner blog, Tom Hawkins makes the case that auto portability can wait no longer and cites four key reasons that the new "automatic" feature should be adopted. Hawkins' key reasons include: 1) cashout leakage isn't waiting, 2) the "Great Resignation" is accelerating, 3) policy initiatives that expand access to workplace retirement plans require auto portability to realize their intended benefits, and 4) auto portability is here, now and working.


Missing Participants: Five Important Considerations for Plan Sponsors

Writing in RCH's Consolidation Corner, Tom Hawkins offers retirement plan sponsors five important considerations that can help focus their efforts in designing, implementing and administering an effective program of locating missing participants. By staying focused on some key principles, including the adoption of sound search practices and retirement savings portability, plan sponsors can successfully navigate their near-term missing participant problems, while positioning their plan for far fewer problems in the future.