“Make the smart decision the easiest decision” seems like an obvious goal for plan sponsors when designing participant-directed retirement plans, and it’s certainly driven the rapid adoption of the autos—auto enrollment, auto deferral escalation, and auto investment options, such as target-date funds and managed accounts.
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.
In his most recent article in MarketWatch, "Are you still feeling luck, 401(k) saver?" RCH’s Spencer Williams reprises last year’s 7/10/15 article where he channeled Clint Eastwood’s iconic movie hero “Dirty Harry” Callahan. Just like the movie villains whose luck ran out at the hands of Dirty Harry, retirement savers who strand their 401(k) accounts must run a gauntlet of decidedly unlucky outcomes – including involuntary cashouts, automatic rollovers and savings-depleting fees.
With the advent of the Department of Labor's Fiduciary Rule, more employers are looking to promote lifetime plan participation and encourage participants to consolidate retirement assets in their current, active 401(k) plan. The plan feature to enable consolidation in the active 401(k) plan is the roll-in contribution. Retirement Clearinghouse is the recognized thought leader in roll-in facilitation. We have prepared this video - The ABCs of Roll-Ins -- as a resource for plan sponsors who are considering a formal roll-in program, as well as offering a roll-in facilitation service for their plan participants.
Any day now, the Department of Labor will issue the final version of the long-awaited “Fiduciary Rule” which will redefine the term “fiduciary” under ERISA. Much has been written about the impact on advisors and broker-dealers, given their service models to retirement plans.
In his March 3rd column in MarketWatch, RCH President & CEO Spencer Williams establishes an important link between the board games we played as children (ex. – Candy Land, Trivial Pursuit and Snakes & Ladders) and the “games” we can play in adulthood, while managing our retirement savings. The children’s games are harmless, fun and instructive, but the adult retirement games (ex. – Cashing Out, Stranding Accounts, and Not Updating Your Address) are anything but.
In a previous post, Tales from the Roll-In Front Lines, Part I, we described a roll-in transaction gone awry: a comedy of errors that occurs all too often when service providers are unfamiliar with consolidating retirement savings from one plan into another.
In previous articles, we’ve discussed the many benefits that occur when participants roll in multiple retirement savings accounts into their current employer’s 401(k) account. Participants benefit from reduced cash outs, lower investment fees and simplified retirement planning. A program of facilitated roll-ins delivers positive results for plans as well, including increased average balances, lower recordkeeping costs and improved retirement readiness metrics.
In his 1/20/16 MarketWatch column (Four New Year’s Resolutions for Retirement Savers), Retirement Clearinghouse CEO Spencer Williams offers four New Year’s resolutions that all 2016 job-changers should take to heart, including:
In his December 1, 2015 article (The unintended consequence of 401(k) auto-enrollment), RCH CEO Spencer Williams exposes the linkage between auto enrollment and lower average account balances. Based on Form 5500 data, Williams’ analysis presents some excellent examples of industries where average balances are significantly lower in plans that have adopted auto enrollment compared to plans that haven’t.