April 15 is just around the corner. While many Americans dread Tax Day, April 15 presents defined contribution plan sponsors with an opportunity to demonstrate their value as fiduciaries, and as financial wellness advocates.
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 their March 20th webinar "Achieving Retirement Income Equivalency Between Final-Average-Pay Defined Benefit Plans and Automatic Enrollment 401(k) Plans in the Private Sector", the Employee Benefits Research Institute (EBRI) revealed more research that supports the case for auto portability.
In this series, I identify five key reasons why an auto portability program serves the best interests of plan participants.
Previously, in Part 1, I examined the dramatically improved participant outcomes that will result from a program of auto portability.
In Part 2, I describe how auto portability, by enhancing and extending automatic rollover programs, represents an enhanced standard of care for participants.
The long-awaited Department of Labor (DOL) guidance on the legal and regulatory framework for auto portability has cleared the way for plan sponsors to further enhance and optimize their automatic rollover programs. By explicitly recognizing auto portability’s potential benefits to retirement savers, the DOL acknowledges that existing ARO programs have flaws which auto portability can fix.
Plan sponsors considering the adoption of auto portability must determine that, by participating in the auto portability program, they are acting prudently and solely in the interests of their plan’s participants and beneficiaries.
Much has been written about America’s retirement-savings shortfall. Much has also been written about one of the major reasons for this shortfall—the lack of technology and operating standards to make seamless plan-to-plan savings portability easy for America’s highly mobile workforce. The cumbersome and costly nature of DIY portability has made prematurely cashing out small-balance 401(k) savings accounts, or stranding them in former employers’ plans, the easiest options for many participants after they change jobs.
“Not having enough emergency savings for unexpected expenses” is the No. 1 financial concern for Millennials and members of Generation X, and the No. 2 financial concern among Baby Boomers, after retirement security. These findings from a PwC Employee Financial Wellness Survey released last year shouldn’t surprise members of the retirement services industry, since too many defined contribution plan participants dip into their 401(k) savings—through loans, hardship withdrawals, or cash-outs upon changing jobs—to fund emergency expenses.
On 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.