Auto Portability in the News
Browse the most comprehensive collection of articles in the media that feature auto portability.
Following the release of a 10/31 EBRI Issue Brief and its 11/4 coverage in 401(k) Specialist, NAPA Net's Ted Godbout reports on EBRI's findings that auto portability, when paired with 2 policy initiatives -- a nationwide OregonSaves program and adoption of 401(k) safe harbor plans -- dramatically improves their benefits, as measured by projected reductions in the nation's retirement savings shortfall (RSS).
401(k) Specialist Managing Editor Brian Anderson addresses the latest EBRI Issue Brief, which examined two policy initiatives -- the rollout of a hypothetical, nationwide OregonSaves-like auto IRA program, as well as the widespread adoption of 401(k) safe harbor plans. While EBRI found that both policy initiatives could have a substantial impact on the nation's retirement savings shortfall (RSS), combining them with auto portability turbo-charged their results. When combined with auto portability, a nation-wide OregonSaves initiative generated additional, incremental benefits of $303 billion, while adding a whopping $386 billion to the benefits of 401(k) safe harbor plans.
A 10/31/19 EBRI Issue Brief -- What if OregonSaves Went National: A Look at the Impact on Retirement Income Adequacy -- examines the impact of a nationwide roll-out of a hypothetical "national" OregonSaves plan, as well as the nationwide adoption of 401(k) safe harbor plans by employers not currently offering a DB or DC plan. Not surprisingly, EBRI finds that the increased access to workplace retirement savings plans generated by these programs produces substantial reductions in EBRI's all-important metric, the Retirement Savings Shortfall (RSS). However, when each program is further paired with auto portability, their benefits are dramatically increased -- from $459 billion to $759 billion for OregonSaves, and from $645 billion to $1.0 trillion for 401(k) safe harbor plans.
In his 10/28/19 article in Pensions & Investments, reporter Brian Croce examines the "critical turn toward acceptance" that the Retirement Clearinghouse (RCH) auto portability program has made, following the "green light" the program received from the U.S. Department of Labor. In the piece, Groom Law Group's Michael Kreps characterizes the DOL's actions as the "starting gun", while RCH's Spencer Williams and Neal Ringquist provide important updates on progress-to-date with 401(k) recordkeepers. Tim Rouse, executive director of SPARK, an industry group representing recordkeepers, voices his support for auto portability, while ERIC's Aliya Robinson states that "once [auto portability] hits critical mass I think it's something we'll see pretty widely across the retirement system."
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."
On 10/11/19, NAPA Net released results of a reader survey addressing the problem of cashout leakage and yielding valuable perspectives on retirement savings portability. Regarding plan-to-plan portability, a theme “echoed repeatedly” was the “complex, manual process that requires significant form completion and coordination.” The poll further found that 82% of respondents had plan sponsor clients who would be interested in a program that automatically consolidated balances. Specifically referencing auto portability, 81% of respondents indicated that they would introduce such a program to a plan, with 75% opining that such a program would make it easier for participants to manage their retirement savings.
In an article appearing in legal intelligence site JDSupra.com, Ballard Spahr LLP's Edward Wegerson examines the impact of the DOL's recent actions towards the RCH Auto Portability program. Wegerson provides some historical background by noting prior, related regulatory initiatives over the last several years, and concludes by stating that "for many employers and participants in high turnover industries, [auto portability] will serve to preserve retirement accounts that will provide more participants with a more secure retirement with minimal effort."
In the fifth installment of his five-part series on 401(k) cashout leakage in 401k Specialist, 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 on the Purpose of a Corporation" 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.