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Retirement plan portability blog posts
How Auto Portability Serves Participants’ Best Interests - Part 2: An Enhanced Standard of Participant Care
In the second installment of his five-part series "How Auto Portability Serves Participants' Best Interests", RCH's Tom Hawkins examines how auto portability, by extending and enhancing elements of automatic rollovers, establishes a new standard of participant care. Auto portability, writes Hawkins, protects participants by: 1) minimizing time spent in a safe harbor IRA, 2) eliminating the need to cash out balances less than $1,000, 3) enhancing participant communication, 4) formally integrating a robust address location search and 5) establishing a transparent, simple & straightforward fee structure.
How Auto Portability Serves Participants’ Best Interests - Part 1: Dramatically Improved Participant Outcomes
With the announcement of the Department of Labor’s recent actions, auto portability has taken center stage in the retirement industry. While auto portability has been well-known to a relatively small group of industry insiders, its recent, widespread coverage in the media has many asking the question “what is auto portability?” In this article, RCH Senior Vice President Tom Hawkins suggests that the best answer may depend on who's asking the question, but one thing's clear: auto portability is an idea whose time has come.
In this article, RCH's Spencer Williams and Tom Hawkins address an important retirement public policy question: How would a pairing of auto portability with open multiple employer plans (or “open MEPs”) impact the retirement savings of America’s minorities, and particularly, African-Americans?
RCH's Tom Hawkins reveals new research that predicts 401(k) participant outcomes following separation for two balance segments – those above & below $15,000. Using logic developed in the Auto Portability Simulation to track & tally participant outcomes 8 years following separation, the results reveal a startling contrast between the two segments – with participants in the over-$15,000 segment experiencing far-superior outcomes to those in the under-$15,000 segment. To address the disparities, Hawkins advocates for a new “automatic” in the form of auto portability.
Auto portability has become a leading retirement savings public policy initiative due to its proven ability to preserve small-balance defined contribution accounts. Now, research is indicating that, when it comes to women, auto portability could deliver even greater benefits by making it easier for women participants to preserve their 401(k) savings and help to put them on par with men to achieve financial wellness.
Plan sponsors intuitively know that a proliferation of small-balance 401(k) accounts can create problems. But few sponsors are clear on the factors that give rise to small accounts, and fewer still understand how they can utilize portability programs to solve the problem.
At a May 22nd, 2018 Women's Institute for a Secure Retirement (WISER) roundtable, Retirement Clearinghouse (RCH) EVP Tom Johnson debuts new women's 401(k) cashout leakage statistics. This important new data highlights the challenges that women face in preserving their small-balance 401(k) retirement savings when changing jobs, and also points to the promise of auto portability to preserve these savings in order to achieve higher balance levels, where more virtuous behaviors can prevail.