May
21
2024

Robert L. Johnson Gives Keynote Address at 2024 EBRI Spring Policy Forum

On May 16th, Robert L. (Bob) Johnson, Chairman of The RLJ Companies, Retirement Clearinghouse (RCH) and the Portability Services Network (PSN), delivered the keynote address to the 2024 EBRI Spring Policy Forum, co-hosted by the American Benefits Council. In Johnson’s address, entitled “Helping to narrow the nation’s lingering racial wealth gap” – the legendary Black American entrepreneur gave Forum attendees insight into the businessman’s long, purpose-driven journey to create entrepreneurial solutions to social problems, including his current efforts in the retirement sector, where he’s become laser-focused on leveraging public/private sector solutions that narrow the wealth gap for minorities and women.

Jan
11
2024

Four Retirement Initiatives Vital to Closing the Racial Wealth Gap

Writing in the RCH Consolidation Corner blog, Tom Hawkins examines four retirement initiatives that could help in closing America's racial wealth gap. Leading off the article, Hawkins cites U.S. Treasury research identifying a significant racial wealth gap that has remained essentially unchanged over the past 20 years. In the retirement space, Hawkins identifies expanded access, auto portability, emergency savings and the Saver's Match as key initiatives that will make significant contributions to closing the gap, provided that retirement plan sponsors fully embrace and support them.

Oct
16
2023

No One is Coming to Save You from Missing Participants

Writing in RCH's Consolidation Corner blog, Tom Hawkins provides his views on the dilemma facing plan sponsors who must confront the problem of locating missing plan participants. Despite ongoing efforts petitioning regulatory authorities for clear, bright line guidance, plan sponsors "must take decisive action to avoid being overwhelmed, including implementing effective, common-sense search practices, and pairing those search practices with other actions that will minimize the incidence of missing participants over time." Hawkins also urges plan sponsors to consider embracing retirement savings portability, including auto portability, to assist separated participants in consolidating their retirement savings following a job change.

Jun
16
2023

The 401(k) “House-Cleaning” to Come

The increase in the automatic rollover threshold from $5,000 to $7,000, as provided for in section 304 of the SECURE 2.0 legislation, will become effective for mandatory distributions made after December 31, 2023. What will be the impact of these provisions, if fully embraced by plan sponsors? One thing is certain – on both a one-time and ongoing basis, far more terminated participants will be subject to the automatic rollover provisions of their former-employers’ plans. Writing in the RCH Consolidation Corner blog, Tom Hawkins explores the impact of an increased threshold that, when paired with the advent of auto portability and the operational status of the Portability Services Network (PSN), could mean that small balance terminated participants will finally come out on top.

May
11
2023

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.

Mar
10
2023

A Renaissance for Auto Enrollment

Writing in the RCH Consolidation Corner blog, Tom Hawkins examines the past, present and potential future of automatic enrollment, the popular 401(k) plan feature that has made great strides since 2007, but has faced headwinds in achieving adoption in high-turnover enterprises. Now, thanks to a SECURE 2.0 mandate for new plans, along with the retirement industry's embrace of auto portability, auto enrollment may soon undergo a "renaissance" and enter its final phase of growth, delivering disproportionate benefits to under-saved and under-served workers, including minorities, women and those with lower incomes.

Jan
13
2023

The Big Shift Towards Auto Portability

RCH's Tom Hawkins, writing in the Consolidation Corner blog, asks readers if they've noticed the recent "big shift" towards auto portability. Hawkins writes: "[f]or those accustomed to a glacial pace of change in the world of retirement, you could be forgiven if you’ve missed two very recent, tectonic shifts toward the system-wide adoption of auto portability" occurring in rapid succession in the fourth quarter of 2022. The formation of the Portability Services Network (PSN) in October, quickly followed by SECURE 2.0 legislation that included important auto portability provisions, were both "unprecedented actions" which will continue to reverberate in the retirement industry. "The 'big shift'", Hawkins concludes, "won't be completed overnight, but it's already well underway, and will proceed with a pace that could take many more by surprise."

Dec
20
2022

2022: A Most Consequential Year for Retirement Savings Portability

Last year at this time, Retirement Clearinghouse (RCH) predicted that 2022 would be a pivotal year for retirement savings portability. It turns out we were right, but we confess to being pleasantly surprised at just how consequential (and positive) the year has been, and it’s not over yet. Writing in the Consolidation Corner blog, RCH's Tom Hawkins provides a rundown of key events during 2022 that have helped to positively shape the future of retirement savings portability.

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