As Americans move between jobs and careers with greater frequency, retirement plans will become more portable, according to Spencer Williams, president and CEO of Retirement Clearinghouse (RCH), a retirement plan-oriented fintech based in Charlotte, N.C.

Back in 2007, Williams first noticed the problem of retirement plan portability when working with employees of a large, national health-care company whose workforce was highly mobile and shifted jobs frequently.

“People with small account balances were cashing out of their plans at incredibly high rates,” he said. “Whatever you may think of people’s decisions around that, they were shooting themselves in the retirement savings foot: The money was gone, they were paying taxes, and they were losing the opportunity for earnings.”

Williams said that people with 401(k) balances less than $5,000 cash out of their plans 70% to 80% of the time, according to EBRI data, which also estimated that stopping the leakage from retirement plans due to small accounts could add as much as $1.5 trillion in present value to Americans’ retirement savings.

To date, moving a small retirement account between plans or in a rollover is usually done on an ad-hoc, do-it-yourself basis, and still often requires phone  calls, physical forms and signatures – and Williams says that a lot of people don’t even bother.

At that time, RCH was focused on providing a rollover service to service the small, terminated accounts from retirement plans with automatic rollovers—a service which, while useful, still sometimes put the account holders at a disadvantage because the account holder might have difficulty taking responsibility for their own investment choices, or worse, might not be able to locate their rollover or realize that it even existed.

The light bulb came on for Williams in 2013 when that same health-care company asked RCH to build a concierge service to roll money into their company 401(k) and RCH began to service moving retirement accounts both into and out of plans.

“We did some research and found that about 86 out of every 100 people who change jobs go to an employer with a 401(k), and about 15 million people a year with a 401(k), changed jobs,” said Williams. “Why not see if we can build a service that is highly technological and automated, and enables us to locate and match a worker’s old accounts with their new account?”

The question created a new fundamental principle behind RCH’s business: Build a business that allows people to preserve their savings by moving their retirement accounts.

Moving towards enabling plan-to-plan portability required Williams and RCH to reach out to the U.S. Department of Labor and receive a green light to allow the movement of small balances on a negative consent basis, which they received. The DOL also clarified that, for the purpose of plan-to-plan movement, retirement plan sponsors and advisors are not fiduciaries. If RCH exercises its opt-out or negative consent option, it becomes the fiduciary.

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