Auto Portability - Recent Developments
Find the most-recent auto portability media coverage and developments.
Writing for BenefitsPRO, RCH President & CEO Spencer Williams examines the retirement-related circumstances brought about by the COVID-19 crisis, and sets forth a persuasive argument for the systemic adoption, or "institutionalization" of auto portability. By more-effectively coping with large numbers of terminated participants, auto portability will help reduce unnecessary cashouts, including "automatic" cashouts under $1,000, which Williams advises sponsors to avoid completely. During the crisis, when reduced mobility is the norm, Williams further advises sponsors to conduct participant searches to ensure that records are kept up-to-date.
Writing for 401kTV, Steff Chalk, Executive Director of The Retirement Advisor University, describes the growing employer acceptance of wellness benefits, as they become more readily measurable. Chalk extensively quotes an article previously authored by RCH's Spencer Williams in Employee Benefit News, where Williams itemizes the many real, quantifiable and positive impacts of auto portability on participants' financial wellness.
Writing in Employee Benefits News, RCH President & CEO Spencer Williams examines the disruptive effects of the COVID-19 pandemic on America's retirement savers, and makes a persuasive case for the systemic, institutional adoption of auto portability as a means to help rebuild and to preserve retirement savings over the long-term. In the near-term, Williams observes that reduced participant mobility make this an opportune time for sponsors to update participant addresses.
In their latest "Inside Angle" column featured in the April-May 2020 PLANSPONSOR Magazine edition, Groom Law Group's Steve Saxon and George Sepsakos advise fiduciaries on the "pluses of portability" -- specifically addressing the improvements auto portability confers upon the 15 year-old automatic rollover (ARO) feature. Auto portability, writes the authors, "is consistent with the DOL’s broader view that plan fiduciaries have an obligation to locate missing participants and to pay benefits." To this end, they urge sponsors & fiduciaries -- when reviewing their ARO programs -- to consider incorporating auto portability in order to best meet these core fiduciary requirements.
In light of the COVID-19 crisis, RCH's Tom Hawkins examines another burden borne by millions of participants, when they’re furloughed or laid off and become subject to ‘traditional’ automatic rollover IRAs – where they’ll likely face high levels of cashouts, predatory fees and barriers to exit. Now, more than ever, it’s important for sponsors to act and to redress this burden. For sponsors utilizing traditional automatic rollover IRAs, Hawkins urges them to demonstrate their caring through three actions that will help address the problem and will deliver significant societal benefit.
Covering breaking news, P&I's Washington, DC reporter Brian Croce informs readers about the pending departure of Preston Rutledge, assistant secretary of labor for the Employee Benefits Security Administration (EBSA). With no official announcement by the DOL, Croce turns to Michael Kreps, a principal at Groom Law Group, for comment. Kreps states in an email that "Preston is a dedicated public servant, and his legacy at the department includes important work on pooled retirement plans and auto portability" with Croce adding that auto portability "has a goal of significantly reducing plan leakage and missing participants."
Issue 2, 2020 of the 401k Specialist Magazine features an article by RCH's Tom Hawkins. In his piece "The New Age of 401(k) Portability", Hawkins identifies clear, across-the-board indications that America's defined contribution (DC) system is entering a "new age" of plan-to-plan portability. Portability, Hawkins contends, is the "missing ingredient" that, when added to 401(k) plans, will resolve the damaging disconnect between America's highly-mobile workforce and their immobile retirement savings.
Looking for a quick primer on how auto portability works? Watch the video embedded in this RCH Consolidation Corner article, which walks you through the four-step process. The video also introduces you to the key elements of participant communication that occur along the way. Enjoy!