Consolidation Corner Blog

Consolidation Corner is the Retirement Clearinghouse (RCH) blog, and features the latest articles and bylines from our executives, addressing important retirement savings portability topics.

Thomas Hawkins

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As Senior Vice President of Marketing & Research, Tom Hawkins manages RCH's marketing and research initiatives, including development of original content, RCH's internet presence, digital marketing and industry research.
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Recent Posts


Retirement Industry Associations Weigh in on Auto Portability

Retirement Industry Associations Weigh in on Auto PortabilityOn 11/7/18, the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) proposed a Prohibited Transaction Exemption (PTE) for Retirement Clearinghouse’s (RCH) auto portability program, allowing for public comments by 12/24/18. On 1/7/19, after a brief delay triggered by the partial federal government shutdown, all official public comments were posted.

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What is Auto Portability? It Depends on Who’s Asking.

AP_definitionWith the announcement of the Department of Labor’s recent actions, auto portability has taken center stage in the retirement industry. While auto portability has been well-known to a relatively small group of industry insiders, its recent, widespread coverage in the media has many asking the question “what is auto portability?”

With so many different -- and important -- perspectives on the matter, the best answer will depend on who’s asking the question. 

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It’s The Final Countdown for 2018 401(k) Plan Terminations

Term_plan_final_countdown_2018As we enter the 4th quarter of 2018, many plan sponsors – for a variety of reasons – are faced with the prospect of a 401(k) plan termination.  For most, this will be the first -- and only -- time that they’ll undertake this important project. 

If you’re facing a plan termination in the 2018 calendar year, time is not on your side.  A properly-conducted plan termination can take up to 2-3 months from start-to-finish, and requires significant planning, flawless execution and lots of attention to detail. 

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Three Unique 401(k) Hacks for National 401(k) Day

Three 401k HacksIn observance of National 401(k) Day, we’ve compiled three unique 401(k) “hacks” – simple but clever tips for managing your retirement savings more easily and efficiently.

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A Tale of Two 401(k) Balance Segments

A Tale of Two 401k Balance SegmentsIt was the best of times, it was the worst of times. 

For job-changing 401(k) participants with balances greater than $15,000, it was the spring of financial wellness, as the bulk of their retirement savings would remain intact.  For less-aristocratic 401(k) savers with balances below $15,000, it was the winter of despair, as most of their savings would be lost on the cashout chopping block or forcibly exiled to a safe harbor IRA, where more savings would perish.

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401(k) Truth Bomb: Missing Participants are Bad, 401(k) Cashouts Are Worse

This Way to Your Next JobThe problem of missing participants continues to receive a great deal of attention from plan sponsors, industry advocates, regulators and politicians.  All parties are keen to address the negative outcomes that result when job-changing 401(k) participants leave behind their accounts with former employers, relocate and fail to update their address.

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Regulators and Policy Advocates Focus on Retirement Savings Portability

Retirement Savings PortabilityResearch has conclusively demonstrated that retirement savings portability dramatically reduces 401(k) cashout leakage, preserves retirement savings and reduces the incidence of missing participants. With that in mind, it’s not surprising that recent retirement public policy activities are increasingly focused on various aspects of portability.

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RCH Releases New Video “Addressing the Problem of Missing Participants”

Addressing the Problem of Missing Participants
Retirement Clearinghouse (RCH) has released a new video “Addressing the Problem of Missing Participants.” The video integrates new research findings from the March 2018 study “The Mobile Workforce’s Missing Participant Problem” and provides viewers with the most-complete and factual summary of the problem, including:

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The Missing Piece in 401(k) Retirement Income: Consolidation

Missing piece in retirement income: consolidation

As Baby Boomers begin to retire in record numbers, they’re shifting their attention from saving for retirement to the process of decumulation, or converting their 401(k) savings into retirement income.

For many Boomers, their current-employer’s 401(k) plan wants to come to the rescue, offering them a dizzying array of retirement income solutions. Unfortunately, as these solutions begin to encounter reality, Boomers are finding that one simple, yet critical element is missing that prevents them from working as intended – the consolidation of their retirement savings.

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401(k) Consolidation: What Every Plan Sponsor Should Know

Plan sponsors intuitively know that an explosion of small-balance 401(k) accounts held by terminated participants can create problems.  Unfortunately, few sponsors are clear on the factors that give rise to small accounts, and fewer still understand how they can utilize consolidation programs to solve the problem.

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