What's New - April 2015

Index to All Months

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[4/24/15] Milliman 100 Pension Funding Index: “Milliman analysis: Funded status drops by $6 billion in March”

[4/24/15] Military.com: “House GOP Backs 401(k)-Like Military Retirement Plan, More Pay and BAH

[4/24/15] NAPA Net: “Custom TDFs: When to Use Them and Why

[4/24/15] Sunshine State News: “Florida Senate Passes Plan to Shore up Local Pensions

[4/24/15] HealthLeaders InterStudy [Blog]: “Broad reach of Cadillac Tax could have significant impact on employers

[4/24/15] Buck Consultants’ FYI® Alert: “Long-Awaited EEOC Wellness Regulations Released

[4/24/15] Employee Benefit Adviser: “Incentives becoming the major push for wellness programs

[4/24/15] Health Affairs [Blog]: “Implementing Health Reform: As King Decision Looms, GOP Senators Introduce Transition Plans

[4/24/15] Fox Business: “Survey: Out-of-Pocket Costs for Health Care Up 11%

[4/24/15] CBS MoneyWatch: “Insurance you’ll still need in retirement

[4/23/15] Federal Reserve Board FEDS Notes: “Defined-Contribution Pension Plans for State and Local Government Employees in the Financial Accounts of the United States

[4/23/15] Ibbotson Associates: Ibbotson Target-Date Report 1Q 2015

[4/23/15] TIME: “Why Gen Xers May Be More Prepared for Retirement Than Boomers

[4/23/15] Towers Watson Insider: “IRS Okays Transfer of 401(h) Surplus Assets After Pension Settlement

[4/23/15] Health Enhancement Research Organization (HERO): Exploring the Value Proposition for Workforce Health -- Business Leader Attitudes about the Role of Health as a Driver of Productivity and Performance

[4/23/15] National Center for Policy Analysis Policy Report No. 365: “New Drug Plan Regulations Protect Pharmacies, Harm Consumers

[4/23/15] Kaiser Health News: “What’s At Stake in the Supreme Court Obamacare Case

[4/23/15] BenefitsPro: “Many older Americans die with little

[4/22/15] Forbes: “4 Reasons Workers Need a Retirement Reality Check

[4/22/15] CBS MoneyWatch: “Many plan on working forever, but few actually do

[4/22/15] PIMCO DC Dialogue: “Who’s Misbehaving?” [“In this PIMCO DC Dialogue, we speak with world-renowned behavioral economist Professor Richard Thaler about his forthcoming book Misbehaving and how human behavior may affect retirement plans.”]

[4/22/15] PlanSponsor: “Sponsors’ Approach to Loans Affects Retirement Plan Leakage

[4/22/15] MainStreet: “Why Target Date Funds Are Disliked by Financial Advisors

[4/22/15] NAPA Net: “Case of the Week: Investment Advice Fiduciary

[4/22/15] San Antonio Business Journal: “Bills could shift pension fund control from state to cities

[4/22/15] Kaiser Health News: “Few Consumers Are Using Quality, Price Information to Make Health Decisions

[4/22/15] Forbes: “Healthcare: The Biggest Front in the Coming Jobs War

[4/22/15] Towers Watson: “Retiree Medical Plan Sponsors: Reducing Risk While Keeping the Promise

[4/22/15] Seeking Alpha: “Spending Typically Declines As We Age

[4/21/15] NAPA Net: “Having a Retirement Plan Trumps Having a Plan for Retirement

[4/21/15] USA Today: “One-third have almost no retirement savings

[4/21/15] PlanAdviser: “Using Participants to Help Participants

[4/21/15] McDermott Will & Emery: Challenges Facing “Narrow” Provider Networks on the ACA Health Care Insurance Exchanges

[4/21/15] CFO.com: “Specialty Drugs to Fuel 10% Pharmacy Cost Hike in 2016

[4/21/15] Brookings: “How mobile apps will empower health care consumers

[4/21/15] Kaiser Family Foundation: Kaiser Health Tracking Poll: April 2015

[4/21/15] Human Resource Executive Online: “The PTO Debate Takes Off

[4/20/15] Equal Employment Opportunity Commission: Amendments to Regulations Under the Americans With Disabilities Act; Proposed rule [as published in the Federal Register on April 20, 2015 -- Excerpt: “The EEOC (or “Commission”) is issuing a proposed rule that would amend the regulations and interpretive guidance implementing Title I of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) as they relate to employer wellness programs. The proposed rule amends the ADA regulations to provide guidance on the extent to which employers may use incentives to encourage employees to participate in wellness programs that include disability-related inquiries and/or medical examinations. Comments regarding this proposal must be received by the Commission on or before June 19, 2015.”]

[4/20/15] NAPA Net: “EEOC Offers Rx to Keep Wellness Programs Out of Trouble

[4/20/15] U.S. Department of Labor Employee Benefits Security Administration: FAQs about Affordable Care Act Implementation (Part XXV) [Wellness Programs]

[4/20/15] Guardian Life Insurance Company of America: What’s Working and Not Working for 401(k) Small Plan Participants: The Guardian Small Plan 401(k) RetireWell Study 2.0

[4/20/15] PlanAdviser: “Participant Knowledge Gap Suggests Other Problems

[4/20/15] Wealth Daily: “Municipalities Face Bankruptcy -- Is Chicago Next?

[4/20/15] U.S. Department of Labor Employee Benefits Security Administration: Definition of the Term “Fiduciary”; Conflict of Interest Rule--Retirement Investment Advice; Notice of proposed rulemaking and withdrawal of previous proposed rule [as published in the Federal Register on April 20, 2015 - Submit written comments on the proposed regulation on or before July 6, 2015.] - [See also DOL’s webpage, Conflicts of Interest Proposed Rule, which includes links to all DOL documents relating to DOL’s definition of “fiduciary” and conflict of interest in retirement advice proposed rulemaking.]

[4/20/15] nwitimes.com (The Times of Northwest Indiana): “Why lifetime jobs are rare

[4/17/15] Kaiser Health News: “EEOC Proposal on Wellness Program Earns Business Praise, Consumer Concerns

[4/17/15] Towers Watson: 2015 Emerging Trends in Health Care Survey

[4/17/15] NAPA Net: “New TDF Rating: Beyond Performance

[4/17/15] Forbes: “Do a Retirement Dress Rehearsal Now So You Don’t Blow It Later

[4/17/15] The Cheat Sheet: “6 Big Mistakes Too Many People Make When Saving for Retirement

[4/17/15] MassLive.com: “State employee early retirement bill approved by Massachusetts Senate

[4/17/15] Las Vegas Review-Journal: “PERS reform bill author touts alternative to pensions

[4/17/15] Financial Accounting Standards Board: Accounting Standards Update No. 2015-04, Compensation--Retirement Benefits (Topic 715): Practical Expedient for the Measurement Date of an Employer’s Defined Benefit Obligation and Plan Assets [April 2015]

[4/17/15] CNBC: “Leave your money to your heirs--not Uncle Sam

[4/17/15] The Washington Post [Fact Checker]: “Will the Lee-Rubio proposal cut taxes for 90 percent of Americans?

[4/16/15] Employee Benefit Adviser: “Employers to Congress: Five Years in, the ACA is a burden

[4/16/15] ADP: 2015 ADP Annual Health Benefits Report [Note: The full report can be downloaded at the website.]

[4/16/15] KPBS: “Is That Corporate Wellness Program Doing Your Heart Any Good?

[4/16/15] NAPA Net: “Financial Incentives Play Key Role in Wellness Expansion

[4/16/15] The Wall Street Journal: “Public vs. Private Health Insurance on Controlling Spending

[4/16/15] Insured Retirement Institute: “Closing the Retirement Health Care Planning Gap

[4/16/15] Bank of America Merrill Lynch: 2015 Workplace Benefits Report: Helping Employees Live Their Best Financial Lives

[4/16/15] U.S. Department of Labor Employee Benefits Security Administration: Conflicts of Interest Proposed Rule [This webpage includes links to all DOL documents relating to DOL’s definition of “fiduciary” and conflict of interest in retirement advice proposed rulemaking.]

[4/16/15] PlanAdviser: “Fiduciary Wording Invokes Storm of Comments

[4/16/15] National Tax-deferred Savings Association: “In the State House: N.C., Maine Look at Retirement-Related Bills

[4/15/15] Benefits Quarterly: “Amping Up DC Participant Outcomes Through Financial Wellness Initiatives

[4/15/15] BenefitsPro: “401(k)s unlikely to see much of Americans’ tax refunds

[4/15/15] The Huffington Post: “When I’m 64, or Maybe 63? Public Views About Retirement Age

[4/15/15] NAPA Net: “DOL Issues ‘Conflicted Advice’ Proposal

[4/15/15] CNBC: “Does anyone recall the myRA retirement savings plan?

[4/15/15] PlanSponsor: “A Plan Sponsor Injects Fun Into Employee Wellness

[4/15/15] U.S. House Committee on Ways & Means, Subcommittee on Health: Hearing on the Individual and Employer Mandates in the President’s Health Care Law [Hearing held April 14, 2015, includes links to witness testimonies]

[4/15/15] U.S. House Committee on Education & the Workforce, Subcommittee on Health, Employment, Labor, and Pensions: Hearing titled “Five Years of Broken Promises: How the President’s Health Care Law is Affecting America’s Workplaces” [Hearing held April 14, 2015, includes links to witness testimonies]

[4/15/15] Kaiser Health News: “FAQ: Congress Passes a Bill to Fix Medicare’s Doctor Payments. What’s In It?

[4/15/15] Towers Watson Insider: “Paid Sick Leave Laws Gain Momentum, White House Urges Federal Mandate

[4/14/15] Insured Retirement Institute: Boomer Expectations for Retirement 2015: Fifth Annual Update on the Retirement Preparedness of the Boomer Generation

[4/14/15] Towers Watson Insider: “Asset Allocations: How American Workers Are Investing Their Retirement Savings” [The report can be downloaded at the website.]

[4/14/15] NAPA Net: “Retirement Legislation Springing Forth in Massachusetts

[4/14/15] Internal Revenue Service: Correcting Plan Errors [webpage]

[4/14/15] Gallup: “In U.S., Uninsured Rate Dips to 11.9% in First Quarter

[4/14/15] Altarum Institute: “Hospitals and Prescription Drugs Leading Health Spending Acceleration

[4/14/15] Human Resource Executive Online: “Declining HSA Contributions Connected to ACA?

[4/14/15] The Washington Post: “This is one of the easiest ways to reduce health costs -- and more Americans are finally catching on

[4/14/15] The Wall Street Journal: “Senate Wrangles Over Medicare-Payments Fix

[4/14/15] Kaiser Family Foundation Issue Brief: “Medigap Enrollment Among New Medicare Beneficiaries -- How many 65-year-olds enroll in plans with first dollar coverage?

[4/13/15] Mercer/Signal: US Health Care Reform: “Employers Unaware of Full Implications of King vs. Burwell” by Paul Fronstin, EBRI [Paul Fronstin’s post kicks off a new series written by leading thinkers, experts, and policy makers from across the nation’s capital.]

[4/13/15] U.S. News & World Report: “Study Finds Health Care Getting More Expensive and Disparate

[4/13/15] TechCrunch: “Venture Capital Is Trying to Heal the Healthcare System

[4/13/15] Congressional Research Service: Health Coverage Tax Credit

[4/13/15] Nationwide® and Harris Interactive: 2015 Nationwide Retirement Institute Small Business Owners Survey

[4/13/15] PlanSponsor: “Is Auto-Portability the Next Big Thing?

[4/13/15] Towers Watson: Lifetime Income: Making Your 401(k) Last a Lifetime, by John Haley, Chairman & CEO

[4/13/15] USA Today: “Social Security is based on life expectancy

[4/10/15] CNBC: “Retirement savings last on most Americans’ to-do lists

[4/10/15] Schwartz Center for Economic Policy Analysis, The New School: Are U.S. Workers Ready for Retirement? Trends in Plan Sponsorship, Participation, and Preparedness

[4/10/15] CBS MoneyWatch: “Can your retirement survive a financial shock?

[4/10/15] Detroit Free Press: “Mich. Supreme Court upholds law on teacher pensions

[4/10/15] NAPA Net: “For 401(k) Investors, Good News on TDF Returns, Fees

[4/10/15] Retirement Income Journal: “Secrets of Tax-Efficient Drawdown” [Subscription may be required]

[4/10/15] Human Resource Executive Online: “Is Wal-Mart Revolutionizing Healthcare?

[4/10/15] Benz Communications and Quantum Workplace: “Americans are Confident Health Care Consumers, but Ignore Cost in Care Decisions

[4/10/15] U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics Monthly Labor Review: “The National Compensation Survey and the Affordable Care Act: Preserving Quality Health Care Data

[4/10/15] American Institute of CPAs: “IRS Issues Additional PPACA Guidance on Identifying Full-Time Employees

[4/9/15] Newsmax.com: “TD Ameritrade Survey: 66 Percent of Americans Have Seen Retirement Plans Disrupted

[4/9/15] American Institute of CPAs: “Outliving Money is Top Retirement Concern According to New AICPA Survey of CPA Financial Planners” [Press Release]

[4/9/15] BenefitsPro: “TDF growth fell to single digits in 2014

[4/9/15] WealthManagement.com: “Millennials Passive When Picking Investments

[4/9/15] Associated Press (via ABC News): “Path to Finalizing Pension Deal Still Faces Hurdles” [Rhode Island’s public pension system]

[4/9/15] American Health Policy Institute: An Introduction to The Health Care Black Box

[4/9/15] Fox 8 WVUE TV: “Sun Life Wake Up Summit provides insights to help employers take control of their health care benefits

[4/9/15] PlanSponsor: “Executives Feel Wellness Programs Boost Productivity

[4/9/15] Alston & Bird LLP: “IRS Notice 2015-16: Planning for the So-Called Cadillac Plan Tax

[4/9/15] Gallup: “Americans Slightly More Positive Toward Affordable Care Act

[4/8/15] Transamerica Center for Retirement Studies: A Compendium of Findings About American Employers: 15th Annual Transamerica Retirement Survey

[4/8/15] BenefitsPro: “TDFs leave young participants vulnerable

[4/8/15] FiduciaryNews: “Why Isn’t 401k Fee Disclosure Working?

[4/8/15] Vanguard: Global trends in DB and DC plans: Key themes from our multi-national client survey

[4/8/15] PlanSponsor: “Plan Sponsors Look to Change Investment Lineup

[4/8/15] Chicago Tribune: “Family finances: Uncle Sam takes aim at savings

[4/8/15] Accenture: “Private Health Insurance Exchange Enrollment Doubled from 2014 to 2015

[4/8/15] Prudential: Accident Insurance: Helping employees cope with out-of-pocket non-medical and medical expenses stemming from accidental injuries

[4/8/15] Politico: “’Cadillac tax’ the next big Obamacare battle

[4/8/15] The Wall Street Journal: “Why Low Growth in Health Costs Still Stings

[4/7/15] Milliman 2015 Pension Funding Study: “December 31, 2014, funded ratio declines to 81.7%: Discount rate decrease of 75 basis points to 4.00% overwhelms robust 10.9% investment gain

[4/7/15] Treasury & Risk: “How Companies Are Managing Pension Plan Assets

[4/7/15] Associated Press (via ABC News): “Kansas Lawmakers OK Plan to Use Bonds for Pension System

[4/7/15] Forbes: “Should Employers Default Workers 401(k)s Into Annuities?

[4/7/15] USA Today: “Working couples: How to manage two 401(k)s

[4/7/15] The Segal Group: Trends: Noteworthy Developments of Interest to Sponsors of Public Sector Health Plans [Second Quarter 2015]

[4/7/15] Kaiser Health News: “High-Deductible Health Plans Can Ruin Finances

[4/7/15] International Business Times: “Health Savings Accounts Grow in Popularity, Even As Employees and Employers Put Aside Less

[4/7/15] Congressional Research Service: Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA): Resources for Frequently Asked Questions [Updated March 27, 2015]

[4/7/15] The Wagner Law Group: “Federal Judge Stops DOL’s Enforcement of New FMLA Same-sex Spouse Rule

[4/3/15] Kaiser Health News: “Consumers Contributing Less to Health Savings Accounts, Study Finds

[4/3/15] The Segal Group: Trends: Noteworthy Developments of Interest to Employers that Sponsor Health Plans [Second Quarter 2015]

[4/3/15] Liebert Cassidy Whitmore: “The Affordable Care Act’s Cadillac Tax -- What Employers Need to Know

[4/3/15] Aon Hewitt: 2014 Lump-Sum Windows: Update on Plan Sponsor Experience [March 2015]

[4/3/15] AccountingToday.com: “IRS Eases Automatic Enrollment in 401(k) Plans

[4/3/15] Internal Revenue Service: Retirement News for Employers [April 2, 2015]

[4/3/15] Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation: Multiemployer Plans; Electronic Filing Requirements; Proposed rule [as published in the Federal Register on April 3, 2015 - Comments must be submitted on or before June 2, 2015.]

[4/3/15] S.324: “To amend the Internal Revenue Code of 1986 to modify the rules relating to loans made from a qualified employer plan, and for other purposes.” [Introduced in the Senate of the United States, January 30, 2015]

[4/2/15] NAPA Net: “HSA Contributions Drifting Lower: EBRI

[4/2/15] TIME: “How to Surgically Reduce Health-Care Costs

[4/2/15] Peterson-Kaiser Health System Tracker: Health Spending Explorer [“This interactive tool provides up-to-date information on U.S. health spending by federal and local governments, private companies, and individuals. It was developed by analysts at the Kaiser Family Foundation using data from the National Health Expenditure Account and will be updated annually with each data release. A short tutorial video provides instructions for using the tool.”]

[4/2/15] Spencer Fane’s Benefits in Brief: “Another Court Enforces DOL’s Electronic SPD Rules

[4/2/15] National Alliance on Mental Illness: A Long Road Ahead: Achieving True Parity in Mental Health and Substance Use Care

[4/2/15] Internal Revenue Service: Employee Plans News [April 1, 2015]

[4/2/15] Vanguard Research Note: “Maximizing the match in DC plans

[4/2/15] Human Resource Executive Online: “New Leave Laws for New Dads

[4/1/15] NAPA Net: “457s: More Coverage Than You Think

[4/1/15] PlanSponsor: “Report Finds ESOPs Have Outperformed S&P 500

[4/1/15] TIAA-CREF: TIAA-CREF IRA Survey: Executive Summary

[4/1/15] Voya Financial: The Voya Retire Ready Index™ -- Measuring the retirement readiness of Americans

[4/1/15] U.S. Department of Labor, Employee Benefits Security Administration: Group Health Plans Report: Abstract of 2012 Form 5500 Annual Reports Reflecting Statistical Year Filings

[4/1/15] Society for Human Resource Management: “CDHP Cost-Savings Maintained over Time, Researchers Find

[4/1/15] Brookings: “Will employer-sponsored health insurance fade away?” [Opinion]

[4/1/15] The Wall Street Journal: “Americans Don’t Feel the Slowdown in Health Costs

[4/1/15] Health Affairs [Blog]: “Growth and Dispersion of Accountable Care Organizations in 2015

[4/1/15] Marsh & McLennan Agency Special Alert: “FMLA Changes Definition of Spouse

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What's new at EBRI this month:

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

EBRI 2013 Fall Policy Forum: “Employee Benefits: Today, Tomorrow, and Yesterday” [“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

Publications:

April 2015 EBRI Issue Brief - "The 2015 Retirement Confidence Survey: Having a Retirement Savings Plan a Key Factor in Americans' Retirement Confidence"

April 2015 EBRI Notes - "A Look at the End-of-Life Financial Situation in America" and "Measured Matters: The Use of 'Big Data' in Employee Benefits"

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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:

Reports
Private Health Insurance: Early Evidence Finds Premium Tax Credit Likely Contributed to Expanded Coverage, but Some Lack Access to Affordable Plans. GAO-15-312, March 23. Highlights.

Private Pensions: Participants Need Better Information When Offered Lump Sums That Replace Their Lifetime Benefits. GAO-15-74, January 27. 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.

If your computer does not already have the free Adobe Acrobat viewer software to read PDF files, click here for the one-time download necessary to read PDF publications.

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Updated 4/24/15