What's New - October 2015

Index to All Months


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[10/8/15] Employee Benefit Adviser: “5 ways to encourage better health care consumerism

[10/8/15] Internal Revenue Service: “The Time is Here: Reporting Requirements for Applicable Large Employers” [IRS Health Care Tax Tip 2015-62, Oct. 6, 2015]

[10/8/15] USA Today: “Medicare Part B premiums to rise 52% for 7 million enrollees

[10/8/15] Kaiser Family Foundation: Medicare Part D at Ten Years: The 2015 Marketplace and Key Trends, 2006-2015

[10/8/15] The New England Journal of Medicine [Perspective]: “Challenges for Medicare at 50

[10/8/15] Benefit Revolution: “If Governor Brown Signs California Assembly Bill 1305 an Entire Subset of HSAs Will No Longer Qualify As HSAs

[10/8/15] NEPC: NEPC 2015 Defined Contribution Plan & Fee Survey: What a Difference a Decade Makes

[10/8/15] NAPA Net: “How to Plug Leaking DC Plans

[10/8/15] NerdWallet [Blog]: “No 401(k)? Consider a myRA

[10/8/15] Governmental Accounting Standards Board: GASB Understanding Costs and Benefits: Other Postemployment Benefits

[10/7/15] Working In These Times [Blog]: “Central States Pension Fund Prepares To Slash Hundreds of Thousands of Workers’ Pensions

[10/7/15] Chief Investment Officer: “TDFs Take Heat for ‘Risky’ Asset Allocation

[10/7/15] NAPA Net: “5 Reasons Why Your Small Business Should Offer a Retirement Plan

[10/7/15] Principal Financial Group: “Re-Evaluating Your ESOP

[10/7/15] Vanguard Research: “The auto savings generation: Steering millennials to better retirement outcomes

[10/7/15] New Jersey Education Association: “This fall, election action is pension action

[10/7/15] Towers Watson: “U.S. Employers Expect Rate of Increase in Health Care Costs in 2015 to Remain Low but Well Above Inflation

[10/7/15] BenefitsPro: “8 wellness engagement tips -- Best practices from companies with successful employee participation

[10/7/15] Segal Consulting Update: “Restoration of the Health Coverage Tax Credit

[10/7/15] MSN: “Fidelity: Retiree health care costs near $250,000 per couple

[10/6/15] Internal Revenue Service: “Health Coverage Providers: Understanding Minimum Essential Coverage” [IRS Health Care Tax Tip 2015-61, Oct. 1, 2015]

[10/6/15] PlanSponsor: “Employers Shifting Costs and Plan Designs to Avoid Excise Tax

[10/6/15] NPR: “7 Questions To Ask Your Boss About Wellness Privacy

[10/6/15] Kaiser Health News: “Chronically Ill Pay More in Obamacare Plans Than Employer Coverage

[10/6/15] iHealthBeat: “SCOTUS’ Docket Includes Vermont Health Data Collection Law Case

[10/6/15] mHealthIntelligence: “Legislative Barriers the Telemedicine Field Needs to Overcome

[10/6/15] The New York Times: “Congress and Obama Administration Seek Ways to Limit Increase in Medicare Premiums

[10/6/15] Bloomberg BNA: “Foot Locker Ordered to Pay for Pension Cut Coverup

[10/6/15] U.S. Department of Labor Employee Benefits Security Administration: 179th Meeting of the Advisory Council on Employee Welfare and Pension Benefit Plans; Notice of Meeting [as published in the Federal Register on Oct. 6, 2015 - The open meeting will be held on November 3-4, 2015. The purpose of the open meeting on November 3 and the morning of November 4 is for the Advisory Council members to finalize the recommendations they will present to the Secretary. At the November 4 afternoon session, the Council members will receive an update from the Assistant Secretary of Labor for the Employee Benefits Security Administration (EBSA) and present their recommendations. The Council recommendations will be on the following issues: (1) Model Notices and Plan Sponsor Education on Lifetime Plan Participation and (2) Model Notices and Disclosures for Pension Risk Transfers. Organizations or members of the public wishing to submit a written statement may do so by submitting 30 copies on or before October 27, 2015.]

[10/6/15] The Washington Post: “D.C.’s 16-week family leave plan would be most generous in U.S.

[10/5/15] NAPA Net: “September the Worst Month for Stocks -- And 401(k) Balances?

[10/5/15] The Wall Street Journal: “A Bracing Year for Target-Date Funds -- Losses fuel the debate over how these funds should adjust their equity holdings

[10/5/15] CNBC.com: “Why GOP candidates won’t talk about retirement

[10/5/15] USA Today: “How to draw down your retirement savings

[10/5/15] Social Security Administration: “A Multidisciplinary Review of Research on the Distributional Effects of Raising Social Security’s Early Entitlement Age

[10/5/15] Kaiser Health News: “Workplace Wellness Programs: Early Alarm for Workers’ Health Or a Recipe for Over-Testing?

[10/5/15] PlanSponsor: “Employees Need Incentive to Reduce Health Costs

[10/5/15] Smart Business Network: “How a private exchange can balance health care products with cost

[10/5/15] Society for Human Resource Management: “ACA Reporting Requirements: Tips for What’s Ahead in 2016

[10/5/15] The New York Times [Opinion]: “The Candidates on Health Care

[10/2/15] Internal Revenue Service: Retirement News for Employers [Sept. 30, 2015 Edition]

[10/2/15] PlanSponsor: “Why Participation Is Low in K-12 403(b) Plans

[10/2/15] NextAvenue: “How to Keep Savers from Cashing Out of 401(k)s -- Nearly 45 percent of workers extract the money when changing jobs

[10/2/15] The Segal Group: Currents: Noteworthy Developments of Interest to Sponsors of Multiemployer Retirement Plans [Fourth Quarter 2015]

[10/2/15] ThinkAdvisor: “Wagner Bill Halting DOL Fiduciary Rule Passes House Panel

[10/2/15] U.S. Senate Special Committee on Aging: Hearing titled “Pension Advances: Legitimate Loans or Shady Schemes?” [Hearing held Sept. 30, 2015, includes links to witness testimonies]

[10/2/15] JD Supra, LLC: “Fifth Circuit Affirms Dismissal of Claims Involving De-risking of Pension Assets

[10/2/15] AARP: “Know Your Social Security Rules -- New AARP survey shows not knowing details could cost you money

[10/2/15] International Foundation of Employee Benefit Plans: “60% of Employers Will Likely Trigger the Cadillac Tax--Most Will Face the Tax in 2018

[10/2/15] The Wall Street Journal: “Two Substantive Sides to Debate Over Obamacare’s ‘Cadillac Tax’

[10/2/15] Forbes: “Consumer Still Feeling the Pinch: The Next Big Health Care Debate

[10/2/15] Harvard Business Review: “Why Health Care Mergers Can Be Good for Patients

[10/1/15] Health Affairs [Blog]: “Implementing Health Reform: PACE and EACH Acts Pass House; CMS Addresses Consumers Enrolled in Multiple Plans (Updated)

[10/1/15] Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and Urban Institute: Post-Affordable Care Act Trends in Health Coverage for Small Businesses: Views from the Market [Executive Summary]

[10/1/15] Thompson Information Services: “After-tax HSAs may help employers avoid paying the Cadillac tax

[10/1/15] InformationWeek: “Blue Cross CIO: Big Data Can Fix Healthcare Quality, Costs

[10/1/15] Kaiser Family Foundation: Kaiser Health Tracking Poll: September 2015

[10/1/15] Internal Revenue Service: Employee Plans News [Sept. 30, 2015]

[10/1/15] The Wall Street Journal: “The Biggest Reason Workers Don’t Save for Retirement

[10/1/15] NAPA Net: “CITs in 401(k) Plans

[10/1/15] USA Today: “Military retirement reform: Bigger matches, lump-sum payouts

[10/1/15] Urban Institute: Negative Returns: How State Pensions Shortchange Teachers


What's new at EBRI this month:

EBRI 2015 Spring Policy Forum: "Evidence on Defined Contribution Health and Retirement: The Road Ahead" [“gavel-to-gavel” webcast - Prerecorded broadcast available through the International Foundation of Employee Benefit Plans]

EBRI 2014 Fall Policy Forum: “Measured Matters” [“gavel-to-gavel” webcast - Prerecorded broadcast available through the International Foundation of Employee Benefit Plans]

EBRI's Recent Media Coverage

“EBRI Now on Twitter” [EBRI Press Release, 2/6/09]

401(k) Balances and Changes Due to Market Volatility


September 2015 EBRI Issue Brief - "What Does Consistent Participation in 401(k) Plans Generate? Changes in 401(k) Account Balances, 2007-2013"

September 2015 EBRI Notes - "2015 EBRI/Greenwald & Associates Health and Voluntary Workplace Benefits Survey: Most Workers Continue to Give Low Ratings to Health Care System, but Declining Number Report Health Care Cost Increases" and "IRA Asset Allocation, 2013, and Longitudinal Results, 2010-2013"


What's new in employee benefits:

The following items have been added to the Government Accountability Office's Web site in Portable Document (PDF) format:

Retirement Security: Federal Action Could Help State Efforts to Expand Private Sector Coverage. GAO-15-556, September 10. Highlights.

Private Health Insurance: The Range of Premiums and Plan Availability for Individuals in 2014 and 2015. GAO-15-687, August 10. Highlights.

401(K) Plans: Clearer Regulations Could Help Plan Sponsors Choose Investments for Participants. GAO-15-578, August 25. Highlights.

U.S. Savings Bonds: Future of Offering Paper Savings Bonds at Tax Time Is Uncertain, and Lower-Income Households Continue to Face Savings Challenges. GAO-15-563, July 16. Highlights.

Highlights of a Forum: Financial Literacy: The Role of the Workplace. GAO-15-639SP, July 7. Highlights.

Pension Advance Transactions: Questionable Business Practices and the Federal Response, by Stephen Lord, managing director, forensic audits and investigative service, before the Senate Special Committee on Aging. GAO-15-846T, September 30. Highlights.


If a title link above no longer works, click here for the GAO home page and search for the report by keyword or report number. Click here to browse by date, topic, or agency.   Searches for reports can also be conducted in the Government Accountability Office (GAO) Reports Online via GPO Access database.

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Updated 10/8/15