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Auto Portability - Public Policy
Learn more about retirement savings public policy positions related to Auto Portability.
Writing in Employee Benefit News, RCH President and CEO Spencer Williams breaks down the phenomenon known as The Great Resignation. Williams makes a compelling case that -- for defined contribution plans -- seamless plan-to-plan portability, including auto portability, are absolutely vital to preserving affected participants' retirement savings, and in ensuring that their retirement savings balances are moved forward when they re-enter the workforce.
Writing in 401k Specialist, RCH’s Tom Hawkins opines on the release of the ERISA Advisory Council’s latest report – “Gaps in Retirement Savings Based on Race, Ethnicity and Gender.” In that report, Cindy Hounsell, President of WISER, observed that auto portability's benefits would primarily accrue to those with lower incomes, to minorities, and to women. The EAC's final report also included a recommendation to “study the feasibility of a national portability system” – more commonly referred to as auto portability. Hawkins found the EAC’s recommendation “remarkable given the fact that it emanated from a diverse group of 14 industry experts holding a wide range of opinions on practically any topic.”
NAPA Net's Ted Godbout covers the release of the ERISA Advisory Council's report, entitled "Gaps in Retirement Savings Based on Race, Ethnicity and Gender.” The report makes five key recommendations, including the need to "address fragmentation" within the retirement system. It is within this recommendation that Godbout notes that the report advises taking up the investigation of auto portability, framing it as "studying the feasibility of a national portability system to encourage and facilitate account consolidation and retirement savings preservation for individuals with small account balances in several plans."
PLANSPONSOR's DJ Shaw reports on the growing body of research indicating that auto portability can help close the wealth gap for lower-income workers and minorities. Citing research from Alight Solutions, Shaw walks readers through system-wide leakage statistics and provides an illustration of the high cost of cashing out small balances. Shaw turns to RCH President & CEO Spencer Williams, who provides a primer on RCH's Auto Portability service, followed by RCH EVP of Public Policy, Renée Wilder Guerin, who refers to the minority wealth gap, stating “in today’s world of growing interest in diversity, equity and inclusion, auto-portability is a solution that is measurable—you can measure the impact of someone keeping their retirement account going.”
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 an opinion piece for 401k Specialist, RCH's 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.
PLANSPONSOR reporter Noah Zuss covers EBRI's 1/20/22 Issue Brief #550, which examined the impact of four recent policy proposals upon the nation's retirement deficits, including their impact on racial and ethnic demographic segments. While all proposals reduced retirement savings shortfalls, the combination of ACPAs and an enhanced saver's credit produced the best results. Importantly, when auto portability was added to both the ACPA and saver's credit, overall retirement savings shortfalls further decreased by 10.8% to 14.3%, depending on race/ethnicity.
In his weekly 401k Market Minute video segment, 401k Specialist Editor-in-Chief John Sullivan leads off his news round-up with the "big boost" obtained by auto portability following its recent endorsements by the nation's two premier civil rights organizations, the NAACP and the National Urban League.
NAPA Net reporter Ted Godbout covers the release of EBRI Issue Brief #550, which examined the effects of potential public policy initiatives, including an Automatic Contribution/Plan Arrangement (ACPA), an enhanced saver's credit, a "skinny" 401(k), and a student loan debt employer match. Importantly, the EBRI study also noted the "stacking" effect of auto portability onto the ACPA and Saver's Credit combo, where it reduced retirement deficits by an additional 11% to 14%, depending on race.