Safe harbor IRA blog posts


Safe-Harbor IRAs are Supposed to be Temporary

Writing in RCH's Consolidation Corner blog, RCH President & CEO Spencer Williams observes that safe-harbor IRAs -- created by the EGTRRA-mandated automatic rollover process -- were never intended to be "permanent retirement savings vehicles." Too often, argues Williams, the relief plan sponsors realize from automatic rollovers comes at the expense of participant outcomes -- who experience high levels of cashouts, low investment returns and savings-depleting fees. With the advent of auto portability, participants will spend less time in a safe harbor IRA, and "plan sponsors no longer have to consider trading participant outcomes for administrative convenience."


The Auto Portability Imperative

In the fifth installment of his five-part series on 401(k) cashout leakage, RCH's Tom Hawkins addresses auto portability, a solution that not only makes sound business sense, but delivers a positive societal impact for the corporations adopting it. Citing the recent Statement of Purpose from members of the Business Roundtable, Hawkins believes that as these socially-conscious corporations examine auto portability, they’ll quickly become convinced that auto portability is both a sound business decision, as well as the right thing to do.


The Most Promising Policies to Reduce 401(k) Cashout Leakage

In his five-part series in Consolidation Corner, RCH's Tom Hawkins sheds light on the problem of cashout leakage, a silent crisis that unnecessarily robs millions of Americans of their retirement security. In his fourth article in the series, Hawkins addresses policies with the most promise to reduce the 401(k) cashout leakage problem.


The Safe-Harbor IRA: Friend or Foe?

In his latest Consolidation Corner blog post, RCH President & CEO Spencer Williams draws much-needed attention to the downside of traditional safe harbor IRAs. While plans can benefit by practices that remove small-balance accounts, Williams argues that this benefit may be illusory, as former plan participants will likely cash out or become “stuck” with multiple accounts that deplete their savings – both scenarios that could expose sponsors to potential liability. Auto portability, says Williams, can reverse this dysfunctional dynamic, achieving better outcomes for plans and participants alike.


A Plan Metric Every Sponsor Should Track: Participant-Retained Retirement Savings

In his latest article in Consolidation Corner, RCH President & CEO Spencer Williams advises retirement plan sponsors to consider tracking the average percentage of retirement savings that participants retain during their tenure. Auto portability, says Williams, can enable participants to preserve their small-balance savings through job changes. Going further, Williams encourages plan sponsors and consultants to apply the all-important “participant-retained savings” lens when evaluating automatic rollover programs, including metrics such as cash-out rates, median safe harbor IRA account duration and provider support for consolidation.


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.


What is Auto Portability? It Depends on Who’s Asking.

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.


Auto Portability is Like Bacon—It Makes Everything Better

In his monthly column in Consolidation Corner, RCH President & CEO Spencer Williams explains to readers why auto portability is like bacon -- by making everything better for all parties in America’s retirement system.