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Retirement Clearinghouse (RCH) is an innovator in the retirement services industry, developing and introducing industry best practices that are moving retirement forward by delivering retirement portability for millions of job-changing Americans. RCH is proud to showcase our thought leadership, as well as other public policy makers and industry leaders whose positions are consistent with our own views and practices.
Alight Solutions, a leader in defined contribution plan services, released a new study that addresses the problem of small-balance 401(k) cashouts. The study, The impact of 401(k) cash-outs on retirement income, examines the very high prevalence of small-balance 401(k) cashouts, the low incidence of 401(k) roll-ins and provides illustrations that depict the importance of preserving these small balances for retirement. Finally, the study points to RCH Auto Portability as an important "emerging new tool" in the fight against cashouts, for which Alight is "pleased to be an early adopter."
In his latest article in 401k Specialist Magazine, RCH's Tom Hawkins walks readers through a "roadmap" for the progression of 401(k) roll-ins from ‘tired’ to ‘wired’ and finally, to the ‘inspired’ state that will eventually characterize 401(k) plan-to-plan portability. The article also includes a video providing viewers with the essential points made in the piece.
In her latest column for Forbes, Angela Antonelli, executive director of Georgetown University's Center for Retirement Initiatives (CRI), makes clear her advocacy for solving the nation's cashout leakage problem through the application of auto portability. Antonelli, a noted retirement researcher and public policy expert, details the negative societal impact of cashout leakage, before making a strong case for the adoption of auto portability, a solution that she believes will deliver particular benefits to minorities. Antonelli concludes with a clear call to action, stating that "we have a solution and it is time to get it done."
The Savings Preservation Working Group (SPWG), a DC-based coalition seeking to promote best practice retirement policies, announced the release of its first Issue Brief. Entitled "Cashing Out: The Systemic Impact of Withdrawing Savings Before Retirement" -- the report examines a range of recent research and data to quantify the vast scope of leakage from the defined contribution retirement system, and "represents the most complete review of retirement leakage data to date." Critically, the SPWG analysis determines that cashout leakage amounts to between $60 billion and $105 billion annually, impacting 4.5 to 6.4 million participants. The group's website is located at PreservingSavings.org.
In his capacity as Head of US Defined Contribution and Financial Wellness Research, Mercer's Neil Lloyd notes the recent emergence of serious industry dialogue on plan-to-plan retirement savings portability. Long a proponent of portability, Lloyd recognizes the inherent problems associated with holding multiple retirement saving accounts. In his piece, Lloyd strongly advocates for auto portability, stating that it "might be the solution to less efficient small-balance accounts." Lloyd goes further, opining that auto portability should be considered a legislative priority, writing that "SECURE ACT 2 will be vastly improved if provisions further supporting auto-portability are included."
Expanding on research comparing DB plans vs. 401(k) plans with auto enrollment, on 2/14/19 EBRI released an infographic revealing the beneficial effect of auto portability on Milliennials. When auto portability is added to 401(k) plans, Millennials -- both male and female, for all years of eligibility, and for all income quartiles -- experience significant improvements in their 401(k) plan performance, as measured by equivalent break-even DB plan accrual rates. The latest EBRI analysis adds to a considerable body of evidence that auto portability is a leading retirement savings public policy initiative.
Examining the 2/7/19 EBRI Research Brief comparing DB vs. DC plans, PlanAdviser's John Manganaro cites the study as finding that DB break-even accrual rates required for equivalency to their 401(k) counterparts are "rarely less than 1.5% of final pay." Under a scenario where auto portability is combined with the 401(k) plans, the DB break-even accrual rates increase further to deliver equivalency, with auto portability's impact "greatest among the lowest income quartile."
In the January 2019 edition of PLANSPONSOR magazine, Groom Law Group's Stephen Saxon welcomes the U.S. Department of Labor's (DOL) November 2018 guidance on the RCH auto portability program. The DOL, says Saxon, "clarifies important questions about the fiduciary implications for plan sponsors" and provides "much welcome comfort" to plan fiduciaries considering the program. Saxon concludes his analysis by stating that "auto-portability will have a positive, long-term impact on the U.S. retirement system by reducing leakage and enabling American workers to consolidate their small retirement balances on an efficient basis."
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