Consolidation Corner Blog

Consolidation Corner is the Retirement Clearinghouse (RCH) blog, and features the latest articles and bylines from our executives, addressing important retirement savings portability topics.


Jan
25
2021

New Research on Locating Missing Participants Augments DOL Guidance

On 1/26/21, Retirement Clearinghouse (RCH) released a study that advances the art and science of locating missing 401(k) plan participants. The study – Improving the Effectiveness of Electronic Missing Participant Searches – comes on the heels of U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) guidance on the topic and is highly-useful for plan sponsors who utilize electronic searches, or “e-Searches” -- as they are referenced in the study.

Dec
19
2020

How Sponsors can Facilitate Better Participant Outcomes and Improve Plan Metrics in 2021

Writing in the Consolidation Corner blog, RCH President & CEO Spencer Williams offers 401(k) plan sponsors two New Year's resolutions that could improve participant outcomes and boost plan metrics. Specifically, Williams suggests that plan sponsors 1) implement a robust missing participant search program and 2) eliminate the practice of automatic cash-outs. Fortunately, adds Williams, both of these resolutions can be achieved when plan sponsors embrace an auto portability program.

Dec
01
2020

Three New Year's Resolutions for Plan Sponsors to Consider

Writing in Consolidation Corner, RCH EVP Neal Ringquist offers retirement plan sponsors three New Year's resolutions that, if adopted, will facilitate retirement savings portability and make 2021 a better year for the plan as well as for its participants.

Nov
16
2020

Bringing Sunlight to the Dark Corners of Safe Harbor IRA Fees

Safe harbor IRAs exist due to the success of 401(k) plans, combined with the propensity of America’s mobile workforce to change jobs. While safe harbor IRAs have helped plan sponsors mitigate their cost and risk associated with small accounts, they’ve failed miserably for former participants. In his latest article in RCH’s Consolidation Corner, Tom Hawkins focuses sunlight on the unsavory practice of excessive safe harbor IRA fees, and offers advice to plan sponsors for promoting greater fee transparency and disclosure.

Nov
09
2020

Elections Have Consequences—Elect to Help Participants Keep Their Savings, Instead of Losing Their Savings via Mandatory Distributions

Against the backdrop of uncertainty surrounding the 2020 Presidential election, RCH President & CEO Spencer Williams takes to RCH’s Consolidation Corner to remind us of the real impact other choices can have on people’s lives. For plan sponsors who care about preserving their participants’ retirement benefits, Williams urges them to “elect” auto portability and play a decisive role in helping millions of Americans save more for retirement.

Nov
05
2020

Broadcast Retirement Network Features Segment on ‘Small Account Problem’

On Wednesday, 11/4/20 the Broadcast Retirement Network’s Jeff Snyder interviewed Retirement Clearinghouse (RCH) President & CEO Spencer Williams and Alight Solutions’ Vice President & Head of Research Rob Austin to address the 401(k) system’s small account problem – where high levels of cashout leakage in small balance segments perennially robs millions of participants of a timely or comfortable retirement.

Oct
12
2020

If Timothy Leary Were a 401(k) Plan Sponsor

In the 1960’s, counter-culture guru Timothy Leary urged a generation to “turn on, tune in and drop out.” If Leary were still around and sponsoring a 401(k) plan, he might urge participants to “save up, move on and cash out.” While that sounds contradictory and profoundly ill-advised, it’s exactly what 5 million job-changing 401(k) participants do in the 1st year following separation. In his latest Consolidation Corner blog post, RCH's Tom Hawkins explores the reasons for so many cashouts, and how – with viable solutions now available – plan sponsors should fully-embrace seamless plan-to-plan portability.

Oct
05
2020

The Explosion of Small-Balance IRAs

In his latest post in RCH's Consolidation Corner, RCH's Tom Hawkins examines EBRI's 10/1/20 Fast Facts - Losing Ground Safely: Small IRAs’ Large Stake in Money - which offers new insight into the magnitude of a small-balance IRA “explosion” being fueled by automatic rollovers, as well as the sub-optimal retirement outcomes they produce. EBRI's new information provides yet another data point in favor of 401(k) consolidation via auto portability and could serve to inform future regulatory guidance by expanding auto portability’s mandate to consolidate these previously “stranded” safe harbor IRAs back into our 401(k) system.

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