John Malone Turns into Minority Proprietor of Bob Johnson’s 401 (Okay) Program

Bob Johnson

Serial entrepreneur Robert Johnson and media mogul John Malone reconnect.

The two American businessmen partnered in the cable business decades ago when Malone made a $ 500,000 investment to help Johnson launch Black Entertainment Television (BET). Johnson sold BET to Viacom for $ 3 billion and later founded RLJ Cos., A portfolio of companies that includes Retirement Clearinghouse LLC (RCH). Malone and Johnson stated that Malone acquired a minority stake in RCH.

“I invested alongside Bob when he started Black Entertainment Television. When Bob reached out to me to talk about his work with 401 (k) Auto Portability, I saw an opportunity to expand that work into practical ways to achieve inclusive capitalism, ”Malone said. You can find more of his comments here.

Malone is the CEO of Liberty Media Corp., which, according to its website, has interests in a wide range of media, communications, and entertainment companies.

The news comes after it was announced in July that Retirement Clearinghouse's Auto Portability program is now available for 401 (k) records to large organizations. Alight Solutions will lead the national launch of the program. The plan makes it easier for American workers to move 401 (k) assets from one employer plan to another. This will help reduce early payouts, preserve retirement assets and improve financial well-being, according to a press release. Automatic portability protects retirement plans for employees who are most vulnerable to payouts, especially black and Hispanic workers.

Alight Solutions, a 401 (k) record holder, will offer automatic portability to its customer base of 185 defined contribution plan sponsors, who will serve nearly 5 million employees by the end of this year. Workers who change jobs are paying off their 401 (k) plans and paying taxes and fines totaling $ 92 billion annually, reports the non-partisan Employee Benefit Research Institute.

Johnson, founder and chairman of the RLJ Cos. And majority owner of Retirement Clearinghouse, has been a leading proponent of closing the black-whites' wealth gap, with automatic portability being one of the ways to achieve this. He told Black Enterprise in July that the big 401 (k) record holders, including Vanguard and Fidelity, would advocate automatic portability, which would bring $ 191 billion in retirement savings to 20 million black workers across a generation.

He commented on Malone's new investment in the press release.

“I'm excited to be working with John again to improve the competitive environment for minorities. With automatic portability nearing mainstream adoption, our nation has a promising opportunity to finally close the retirement-saving gap for blacks and other minorities. John and I have a long history of taking on great challenges, as we did when we founded Black Entertainment Television, the first black-owned company to go public on the New York Stock Exchange. With his guidance, we can change the status quo and do our part to fill the wealth gap for America's minority communities. "