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Retirement plan portability blog posts
401(k) Plans: An Ongoing Public-Private Partnership That Works
In observance of National 401(k) Day on Friday, September 9th, RCH's Tom Hawkins takes the opportunity to reflect on the long-running, highly successful public-private collaboration that has fostered the rapid ascendance of America’s 401(k) system. Hawkins writes that "this partnership will continue to drive innovations that will expand and improve the 401(k) system for millions of Americans – not only helping them to save more but preserving more of their savings for retirement."
Every Dollar Saved for Retirement Matters -- So Save More By Avoiding Cash-Outs & Consolidating 401(k) Accounts
RCH Founder, President & CEO Spencer Williams examines the implications of a study from Boston College's Center for Retirement Research, finding that the youngest Baby Boomers, with less access to defined benefit (DB) plans than their predecessors, are drawing down their 401(k)-based retirement savings at much faster rates, with many poised to run out of retirement savings by age 85. These findings underscore the need to preserve more 401(k) savings for younger generations, and according to Williams, the best way to do that is "to consolidate 401(k) savings accounts.....and to avoid making any premature cash-outs." Sponsors, states Williams, "can....help participants save more for retirement, so they don’t outlive their savings, by adopting auto portability.
Why Missing Participants Are So Misunderstood
Writing in the Consolidation Corner blog, RCH's Tom Hawkins examines the topic of missing participants, which he states: "is a problem that’s ill-defined and poorly understood, and where fundamental misunderstandings exist, inadequate solutions – paired with the prospect of unwanted regulatory attention or audits – can follow." Hawkins asserts that "taking proactive steps to conduct searches, and turning on plan features that promote retirement savings portability are the key steps required to getting off the missing participant treadmill."
Newly Proposed Legislation Can Help Resolve America’s Retirement-Savings Gaps
Writing in the RCH Consolidation Corner blog, RCH founder, president & CEO Spencer Williams delves into recently-proposed legislation in the U.S. Senate, making the case that its auto portability-related provisions will make a real difference in the retirement security of millions of hardworking Americans. Citing Vanguard's recently-released How America Saves report, Williams notes that the highly-respected annual report "underscored that premature cash-outs of small 401(k) balances continue to threaten retirement readiness for plan participants, especially those who are younger and have less savings." Williams quotes the Vanguard research as concluding that "[a]uto portability services and revisions to minimum balance rules can help decrease cash out rates." Williams goes on to praise the Senate's bipartisan approach to the bill, adding: "[i}f the legislation is signed into law, the retirement-savings gaps in our society can begin to be filled."
Five Reasons Why New 401(k) Auto Portability Legislation is So Important
Writing in the Consolidation Corner blog, Renee Wilder Guerin, RCH's EVP of Public Policy, offers readers five reasons why a newly proposed U.S. Senate bill addressing auto portability is so important. The Advancing Auto Portability Act of 2022 -- co-sponsored by Senators Tim Scott (R-S.C.) and Sherrod Brown (D-Ohio), would offer tax credits to plan sponsors who implement auto portability, and codify rules for an industrywide auto portability network. The bill is expected to be rolled into the Senate version of the bipartisan Securing a Strong Retirement Act of 2022, which passed the U.S. House of Representatives on March 29 of this year.
401(k) Portability in Four Movements
RCH's Tom Hawkins examines the experience of a very large (250,000+ participants) 401(k) plan sponsor that has been highly successful in delivering improved participant outcomes by incrementally adopting a full program of retirement savings portability. Looking at four distinct five-year periods that coincided with increasing levels of portability and improved participant outcomes, Hawkins writes that "there’s no finer example of those [improved] outcomes than the multi-year, real-world experience of this plan sponsor, where thousands of participants increased their prospects for a timely and comfortable retirement."
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."