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4Q19: Auto-Porting 401(k) Account Balances

Fourth Quarter 2019 
By Fred Reish

As 401(k) plans mature and Baby Boomers are retiring, the government is focusing on ways to ensure participants get the retirement plan accounts they left behind when they switched jobs.


Fred Reish is an ERISA attorney whose practice focuses on fiduciary responsibility, retirement income, and plan operational issues. He has been recognized as one of the “legends” of the retirement industry by both PLANADVISER magazine and PLANSPONSOR magazine.


For example, several years ago Congress passed legislation that allows plan sponsors to transfer account balances from terminated defined contribution plans to the PBGC—the Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation. The PBGC is a federal entity that holds benefits for terminated plans.

In the past few years, the Department of Labor (DOL) has begun investigating plans to see if they are keeping track of former employees who still have account balances in their plans. In some cases, the DOL investigators are asserting fiduciary breaches for failure to diligently search for those former employees.



The views expressed here are those of Fred Reish. They should not be construed as investment advice or as the views of Hartford Funds or the employees of Hartford Funds. They are based on available information and are subject to change without notice. The information above is intended as general information and is not intended to provide, nor may it be construed as providing, tax, accounting or legal advice. As with all matters of a tax or legal nature, please consult with your tax or legal counsel for advice. This material and/or its contents are current at the time of writing and may not be reproduced or distributed in whole or in part, for any purpose, without the express written consent of Fred Reish.

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