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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.


Dec
28
2017

The Most Urgent New Year’s Resolutions for Plan Sponsors

Three 2018 ResolutionsHow are you hoping to improve yourself in 2018?

The most common New Year’s resolutions usually have to do with personal appearance, health, or behavior—losing weight, exercising more, dieting, quitting smoking, etc. Popular polls indicate that many of us are after a slimmer, fitter body for ourselves after each New Year’s Day.

Similarly, defined contribution plan sponsors are likely thinking about how they can make their plans more attractive and streamlined in 2018.

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Mar
14
2017

The Stealth Solution to America’s Retirement Savings Crisis

Auto Portability Radar ScreenOver the past year, the Department of Labor’s Fiduciary Rule has been highly-visible, presenting major ramifications for the retirement industry and looming large on the radar screens of retirement services providers.  

The underlying rationale for the rule, as stated by the Obama administration in an April 6, 2016 press briefing, was to save retirement investors $17 billion per year in lost retirement savings that result from conflicts of interest in retirement advice. Certainly, anything that protects $17 billion in retirement savings is a worthy goal, if it helps more Americans meet their retirement income needs.
However, there’s a larger hole in our retirement system – cash-out leakage – that inflicts far greater harm to American retirement savers, yet this threat continues to fly beneath our collective radar.   

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Feb
16
2017

Incubate Small Retirement Accounts, Don’t Throw Them Away

Auto Portability Win-Win SolutionOn February 3rd, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, the world’s largest business federation representing the interests of more than 3 million businesses, released Securing America’s Retirement, their legislative roadmap aimed at strengthening the U.S. retirement system.

The Chamber’s goals are admirable.

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Aug
09
2016

Why Small Balance Cash Outs Are Falling Through the Cracks

Market Share by NumbersAccording to the recently released 2016 Willis Towers Watson U.S. Retirement Governance Survey, a major trend in retirement plan governance is the growing concern employers have for employees’ retirement benefit adequacy and financial well-being. To address this concern, sponsors indicated plans to increase monitoring of participant behaviors, using metrics such as plan participation and contribution rates, as well as carefully tracking the performance of their plans’ investment managers.

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Oct
27
2015

Force Outs: Recycle v. Landfill

Safe Harbor IRA Landfill vs. RCH Recycle 401k Consolidation Auto PortabilityEvery day, we’re reminded that recycling is the responsible thing to do:  from the recycling bins we walk by, to the paper we use, and the cans and bottles that we drink from.   All of us would agree that conservation of our precious resources is critical, so we gladly pitch in and do our part.

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Sep
29
2015

A Blueprint for Lifetime Participation in Plans

Employee Benefit NewsHow many of us will be so fortunate as to participate in an employer-sponsored retirement plan every day of our working careers? Or, for an even more uncommon scenario, how many of us will work for the same company for 30 or 40 years? Yet, as has been amply established by the Employee Benefit Research Institute (EBRI), those who can raise their hands and respond “yes” to either of these questions routinely show up in the top decile of savers who are well-prepared for retirement—and these participants provide a clear blueprint for retirement-saving success.

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Sep
21
2015

Deadlines for Year-End Plan Terminations, Mandatory Distributions Fast Approaching

At Retirement Clearinghouse (RCH), the 4th quarter is the busiest time of the year, as many plan sponsors look to complete plan terminations and mandatory distributions before the end of the year. However, to follow appropriate communication timeframes, deadlines to initiate the necessary communications process needed to complete these year-end plan initiatives are fast approaching.

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Sep
02
2015

One Solution to Three Costly Retirement-Saving Mistakes

MarketWatchIn his September 2nd, 2015 MarketWatch article One Solution to Three Costly Retirement-Saving Mistakes, RCH’s CEO Spencer Williams provides insight as to why a majority of Americans are not very confident in their retirement readiness. Three costly mistakes consistently plague retirement savers:  1) leaving 401(k) accounts behind when changing jobs, 2) prematurely cashing out and 3) not informing prior employers’ retirement plan record-keepers about address changes.

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Aug
11
2015

Automatically Moving Mandatory Distributions Forward

The Case for Automatically Moving Mandatory Distributions Forward

The mandatory distribution-to-Safe Harbor IRA plan feature as commonly utilized today was conceived in 2001 and launched in 2005 with good intentions, and for valid reasons. A mobile workforce, combined with a lack of retirement savings portability, had created a burgeoning problem for plan sponsors: an explosion of small-balance (less than $5,000) accounts left “stranded” in-plan, resulting in rampant cashouts, missing participants, uncashed distribution checks and the like. These problems only accelerated with the widespread adoption of auto enrollment, beginning in 2009.  

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Jun
16
2015

How to Make Mandatory Distributions More Fiduciary Friendly

Employee Benefit NewsMandatory distributions from employer-sponsored plans are a creation of regulation—specifically, a section of ERISA that allows plan sponsors to distribute accounts with less than $5,000 out of a qualified plan and into a safe harbor IRA. If plan sponsors follow the rules, they are protected from legal recourse, and the rules are simple: act in a fiduciary manner when choosing a provider for their program. However, that word—“fiduciary”—is often hard to define and can be interpreted in many ways, so it begs the question: “How does a sponsor best fulfill that responsibility in the context of a mandatory distribution program?”

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