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.


Sep
16
2020

Automated 401(k) Portability: An Idea Whose Time Has Come

Writing in the RCH Consolidation Corner blog, Tom Hawkins examines the vital importance of automation in transforming 401(k) portability from an impractical “great idea” into a reality – and not just for small-balance participants, but eventually for the entire 401(k) ecosystem – including participants, plan sponsors and their service providers.

Sep
02
2020

401(k) Plan Terminations Could Produce New Wave of Cashout Leakage

In his latest article in Consolidation Corner, RCH’s Tom Hawkins draws attention to the coming surge in COVID-19 related terminating 401(k) plans, which Hawkins predicts could result in a flood of cashout leakage. Participants of these terminating plans, when given an ultimatum to act, will cash out far too often, unless they are provided with sufficient education and consolidation assistance. In their final act of fiduciary responsibility, Hawkins urges sponsors of terminating plans to insist on these measures to stem unnecessary cashout leakage and to protect their participants’ retirement security.

Aug
17
2020

‘Sudden Money’ and Preserving 401(k) Savings Don’t Mix

Writing in RCH’s Consolidation Corner blog, Tom Hawkins establishes a strong link between the phenomenon of ‘sudden money’ – where a financial windfall can result in ruinous decisions – and the problem of unnecessary 401(k) cashout leakage. 401(k) plan features that encourage active plan participants to amass long-term retirement savings are a big success, but can suddenly fail following a job change, when separated participants can view their former employer’s balance as a financial windfall. To address the scourge of sudden money and its attendant cashout leakage, Hawkins examines 3 ‘faux’ solutions that fall short, and recommends the application of clearinghouse principles to effectively solve the problem.

Aug
11
2020

The Tragicomedy of Cashout Leakage

In his 8/11/20 article in RCH’s Consolidation Corner, RCH’s Tom Hawkins characterizes the phenomenon of cashout leakage as a “tragicomedy” – incorporating aspects of both a tragedy and a comedy, but ultimately delivering a happy ending. While cashout leakage represents an ongoing tragedy, the term itself is goofy, and tough to take seriously, asserts Hawkins. However, recent events indicate that the widespread adoption of auto portability will finally deliver a happy ending to the problem.

Aug
06
2020

How to Mitigate COVID-19’s Potentially Catastrophic Impact on Americans’ Retirement Readiness

Writing in RCH's Consolidation Corner blog, RCH President & CEO Spencer Williams addresses the urgent need to mitigate the impact of COVID-19 on Americans' retirement readiness. Williams observes that the surge in pandemic-driven unemployment, the relaxed restrictions on withdrawals, along with a pre-existing propensity to cash out -- spells trouble for retirement security. To help address the growing threat, Williams urges sponsors and recordkeepers to adopt auto portability, which he states will "discourage participants from cashing out, but also eliminate the need for automatic cash-outs."

Jul
23
2020

Closing the Coming COVID-19 Retirement Savings Gap

Writing in Consolidation Corner, RCH’s Tom Hawkins foresees the emergence of a COVID-19 retirement savings gap, driven by unprecedented levels of terminated participants and relaxed penalties on withdrawals. To address the problem, Hawkins calls upon the private sector to embrace solutions that will begin to close the gap, stem cashout leakage and deliver ongoing benefits that will extend well beyond the current crisis.

Jul
14
2020

Alight Solutions to Lead Nationwide Launch of Auto Portability

In a press release issued Tuesday, July 14th, Retirement Clearinghouse (RCH) announced that Alight Solutions will lead the nationwide launch of the RCH Auto Portability program.

Jun
19
2020

401(k) Cashout Leakage: A Reality, Not a “Narrative”

In his latest article in Consolidation Corner, RCH's Tom Hawkins provides his take on the topic of 401(k) cashout leakage, examining a recent study by the Investment Company Institute (ICI). Hawkins writes that the ICI study -- while using an innovative approach to mine 2010 tax data -- fell short in providing accurate or timely estimates of 401(k) cashout leakage levels, which are best-reflected in research conducted by EBRI, by large recordkeepers and summarized by the Savings Preservation Working Group.

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