Safe harbor IRA blog posts


Jun
17
2024

Safe-Harbor IRAs Don’t Offer a Long-Term Saving Solution for Plan Participants

Writing in the RCH Consolidation Corner blog, RCH and PSN President & CEO Spencer Williams reflects on the 20-year history of safe harbor IRAs, which were intended to be "a temporary solution to the problem of too many small, stranded accounts in defined contribution plans." Williams provides readers with examples of the dysfunction that has occurred when safe harbor IRAs have failed to act as long-term repositories of savings, or worse, when participants cash out completely. With the advent of auto portability, Williams maintains that the new auto feature will "allow participants to maximize the time retirement savings are invested in their plan accounts—and minimize the time those balances are languishing in underperforming safe-harbor IRAs along the journey to retirement."

Jun
07
2024

The Truth About Old-School Automatic Rollovers

Writing in the Consolidation Corner blog, RCH’s Tom Hawkins takes on “old-school” automatic rollover programs which produce massive amounts of cashout leakage and strand millions of participants’ balances in safe harbor IRAs. While old-school automatic rollovers have one foot in the past, Hawkins writes: “automatic rollovers that incorporate auto portability are the way of the future, with the industry-led Portability Services Network leading the way forward.” For plan sponsors, contends Hawkins, “auto portability delivers all the plan optimization features of old-school automatic rollover programs but goes one key step further” by automatically rolling-in eligible balances for new plan participants.

May
08
2024

Harness the Power of Retirement Savings Consolidation

Consolidation is a powerful force in our world, and when it comes to retirement savings, 401(k) account consolidation is inherently efficient and exerts a protective effect on retirement savings as participants change jobs. Writing in RCH’s Consolidation Corner blog, Tom Hawkins offers readers six key facts about retirement savings consolidation, providing ample evidence on the efficacy of consolidation in improving participants’ retirement outcomes.

Feb
08
2024

A More-Enlightened Approach to Uncashed Distribution Checks

No retirement plan sponsor likes the idea of dealing with uncashed distribution checks, nor do they wish to draw unwanted regulatory attention or to become embroiled in costly litigation. Unfortunately, many plan sponsors place themselves in precisely that spot, becoming unnecessarily over-burdened with unresolved uncashed checks, while inviting unwanted regulatory scrutiny and/or legal challenges by having flawed uncashed check policies. In his 2/8/24 article in RCH's Consolidation Corner blog, Tom Hawkins lays out a "more-enlightened" approach to the problem of uncashed distribution checks, seeking to minimize their numbers, while simultaneously steering clear of the “red flags” that could land them in hot water.

Aug
31
2023

A Perfect Storm is Brewing—But Automated Portability Could Defuse It

RCH and PSN President & CEO Spencer Williams, writing in the Consolidation Corner blog, notes that a rising incidence of hardship withdrawals and 401(k) loans – as reported by Bank of America – combined with a pending increase in the account-balance limit for automatic rollovers effective 12/31/23, could create a “perfect storm” for depleting Americans’ retirement savings. “Fortunately,” writes Williams, “sponsors and recordkeepers have access to a solution that can help them clean up their plans without automatically rolling terminated accounts into safe-harbor IRAs.” Auto portability, continues Williams, is a “capability [that] is more essential than ever, with 401(k) plan enrollment continuing to increase” and could serve to defuse the brewing storm of potential cash-outs.

Aug
11
2023

The Future is Brighter for Small-Balance Retirement Accounts

RCH's Tom Hawkins, writing in the Consolidation Corner blog, describes the "brighter future" emerging for small-balance retirement savings accounts. Hawkins maintains that these accounts, which he associates with an increased incidence of sub-optimal participant outcomes, will fare much better in the future due to "large-scale, industry-led action on auto portability, and more recently, proactive steps being taken by leading providers to consolidate legacy small-balance IRAs."

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.

Dec
13
2022

Webinar Showcases Extraordinary Industry Alignment on Auto Portability

For defined contribution recordkeepers, competition has long been fierce, so it’s extraordinary when industry rivals join forces and align around a common cause. That alignment around auto portability, embodied in the newly launched Portability Services Network (PSN), was on full display in a 12/8/22 Groom Law Group webinar. The event featured representatives from retirement industry titans and founding PSN members Alight Solutions, Fidelity Investments and the Vanguard Group, joined by Retirement Clearinghouse (RCH).

Page: