401k missing participants blog posts


May
16
2022

401(k) Portability in Four Movements

RCH's Tom Hawkins examines the experience of a very large (250,000+ participants) 401(k) plan sponsor that has been highly successful in delivering improved participant outcomes by incrementally adopting a full program of retirement savings portability. Looking at four distinct five-year periods that coincided with increasing levels of portability and improved participant outcomes, Hawkins writes that "there’s no finer example of those [improved] outcomes than the multi-year, real-world experience of this plan sponsor, where thousands of participants increased their prospects for a timely and comfortable retirement."

Feb
01
2022

The ‘Fix’ for Missing Participants, Uncashed Distribution Checks and Forgotten Accounts

Auto portability has received a lot of well-deserved attention for its ability to reduce cashout leakage by automatically consolidating small-balance retirement savings, but its effect on preserving participants’ retirement savings is only half of its compelling story. In this article in the RCH Consolidation Corner blog, Tom Hawkins explores how auto portability can also act as the 'fix' for the related problems of missing participants, uncashed distribution checks and small, forgotten 401(k) accounts.

Dec
08
2021

Three New Year’s Resolutions for 401(k) Plan Sponsors

As 2021 comes to a close, RCH EVP Neal Ringquist offers 401(k) plan sponsors his suggestions for three 2022 resolutions that, if acted on, could deliver significant benefits for their plans, for their participants and ultimately for the entire 401(k) ecosystem. Ringquist bases his suggestions on several pivotal events that occurred in 2021, underscoring the need to deploy true plan-to-plan portability to solve the problem of cashout leakage.

Sep
01
2021

Beware of Second Order Effects for Retirement Savings Public Policies

RCH's Tom Hawkins examines “second order effects” that can occur with retirement savings public policies currently that would dramatically expand access to, and participation in, defined contribution plans. While the benefits are impressive, additional undesired consequences can arise that are antithetical to the policies’ original intent, including increased cashout leakage, missing participants, uncashed checks and forgotten/stranded accounts. Understanding these highly predictable second order effects, Hawkins identifies plan-to-plan portability as a means of addressing them, while significantly boosting the overall policies’ benefits.

Aug
02
2021

Senate Hearing Reveals Large Employer Support for Auto Portability

RCH’s newly-appointed EVP of Public Policy, Renée Wilder Guerin finds a lot to like in the 7/28/21 Senate Finance Committee hearing, where lawmakers heard testimony on how to increase retirement savings, including tackling the longstanding problems of cashout leakage, missing participants and “forgotten” retirement savings accounts. Wilder Guerin notes that auto portability was favorably mentioned twice by Aliya Robinson (SVP, Retirement & Compensation Policy for ERIC), as a policy initiative her organization – comprised of the nation’s largest plan sponsors – supports. Coming on the heels of EBRI’s 21st Annual Retirement Confidence Survey, where nearly 9 in 10 participants indicated their preference for the feature, Senate Finance Committee testimony “bodes extremely well for auto portability’s widespread adoption, as well as the enactment of public policies that further enhance it.”

Mar
22
2021

What’s Missing from Many Plans? Current Addresses for Participants

Writing in RCH's Consolidation Corner blog, RCH President & CEO cautions plan sponsors to be wary of an increased incidence of missing participants arising from COVID-19 related migration patterns. To make the case, Williams links 2020 migration data with recent address location research conducted by RCH. Taken together, these data points suggest that sponsors could soon be faced with a higher-than-expected incidence of "hidden" stale addresses. In response, Williams suggests that sponsors consider a program of "robust missing participant search techniques" including the use of more-reliable, "optimized" electronic searches.

Feb
08
2021

Missing Participants: Five Important Considerations for Plan Sponsors

Writing in RCH's Consolidation Corner, Tom Hawkins offers retirement plan sponsors five important considerations that can help focus their efforts in designing, implementing and administering an effective program of locating missing participants. By staying focused on some key principles, including the adoption of sound search practices and retirement savings portability, plan sponsors can successfully navigate their near-term missing participant problems, while positioning their plan for far fewer problems in the future.

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.

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