What's New - September 2014

Index to All Months

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[9/23/14] Ascensus: “IRS Notice Allows Splitting Pretax and After-Tax Amounts by Direct Rollover

[9/23/14] Towers Watson: “New IRS Regulations Address Cash Balance Plan Requirements -- Final and Proposed IRS Regulations on Hybrid Pension Plans

[9/23/14] PIMCO: “Designing Balanced DC Menus: Considering Capital Preservation Strategies” [“Third in a series of articles exploring diversifying asset strategies, including fixed income, real assets, capital preservation and equities.”]

[9/23/14] ConsumerAffairs.com: “Retirement and debt usually don’t mix -- But retiring with mortgage and other debt is becoming the norm

[9/23/14] U.S. House Committee on Small Business, Subcommittee on Health and Technology: Hearing titled “An Update on the Small Business Health Options Program: Is It Working for Small Businesses?” [Hearing held Sept. 18, 2014, includes links to witness testimonies]

[9/23/14] Towers Watson: 2014 Health Care Changes Ahead Survey: Emerging Factors Influencing Employer-Sponsored Health Care Benefits

[9/23/14] Bottom Line Publications: “3 Things Employees Need to Know about HSAs

[9/23/14] Health Affairs [Blog]: “Reference Pricing and Network Adequacy Standards: Conflict Or Concord?

[9/23/14] Davis Wright Tremaine LLP: “ERISA Litigation Review” [in 2014]

[9/23/14] Congressional Research Service: Social Security Reform: Legal Analysis of Social Security Benefit Entitlement Issues

[9/19/14] Milliman’s Retirement Town Hall: “PBGC variable rate premium: Should plans make the switch?

[9/19/14] Manning & Napier: The QDIA Decision: Does Your Strategy Align with Plan Goals and Demographics?

[9/19/14] NAPA Net: “Solutions, Not Bailouts: Congressional Hearing Probes Solutions for Frozen, Multiemployer DBs

[9/19/14] HartfordBusiness.com: “Who’s getting rich off the stock market?

[9/19/14] Internal Revenue Service: Guidance on Allocation of After-Tax Amounts to Rollovers [Notice 2014-54]

[9/19/14] Internal Revenue Service: Additional Rules Regarding Hybrid Retirement Plans; Final regulations [as published in the Federal Register on Sept. 19, 2014]

[9/19/14] Internal Revenue Service: Transitional Amendments to Satisfy the Market Rate of Return Rules for Hybrid Retirement Plans; Notice of proposed rulemaking and notice of public hearing [as published in the Federal Register on Sept. 19, 2014]

[9/19/14] Internal Revenue Service: Removal of Allocation Rule for Disbursements from Designated Roth Accounts to Multiple Destinations; Notice of proposed rulemaking [as published in the Federal Register on Sept. 19, 2014]

[9/19/14] Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and Urban Institute: Year-to-Year Variation in Small-Group Health Insurance Premiums: Double-Digit Annual Increases Have Been Common Over the Past Decade

[9/19/14] Forbes: “What Can Employers Do to Reduce the Cost of Obamacare?

[9/18/14] LifeHealthPro: “Individual health gains as group health shrinks

[9/18/14] HRMorning.com: “Employers pumping the brakes on dependent health coverage

[9/18/14] The Economist: Measuring Wellness: From Data to Insights

[9/18/14] Extend Health [Blog]: “Wellness Programs and the Challenge of Pinning Down ROI

[9/18/14] USA Today: “Top retirement expense: Your home

[9/18/14] Fortune: “401(k) fail: Expert sees ‘totally unexpected’ drop in accounts

[9/18/14] Plan Sponsor: “New DC Thinking Based on DB Best Practices

[9/18/14] BenefitsPro: “Congress begins to tackle retirement -- Multiple employer plans for small and midsized businesses could be expanded

[9/18/14] U.S. House Committee on Ways & Means, Subcommittee on Select Revenue Measures: Hearing on “Private Employer Defined Benefit Pension Plans” [Hearing held Sept. 17, 2014, includes links to witness testimonies]

[9/18/14] NAPA Net: “The $1 Million IRA Question

[9/17/14] U.S. Census Bureau:

[9/17/14] Groom Law Group (via Bloomberg BNA’s Pension & Benefits Reporter): “View from Groom: Looking Ahead to the ACA’s ‘Cadillac Tax’ on High-Cost Health Coverage

[9/17/14] Bipartisan Policy Center: Building Better Health: Innovative Strategies from America’s Business Leaders [A Report from the CEO Council on Health and Innovation]

[9/17/14] Gallup and Healthways: State of Global Well-Being and State of American Well-Being [Note: The reports can be downloaded at the website.]

[9/17/14] Plan Sponsor: “Municipal Pensions’ Funding Up in FY 2013

[9/17/14] Prudential: Reducing Pension Risk: The Five Myths Holding Back Plan Sponsors

[9/17/14] Center for Retirement Research at Boston College: “401(k)/IRA Holdings in 2013: An Update from the SCF

[9/17/14] U.S. Senate Committee on Finance: Hearing titled “Retirement Savings 2.0: Updating Savings Policy for the Modern Economy” [Hearing held Sept. 16, 2014, includes links to witness testimonies]

[9/17/14] The Fiscal Times: “A Bold New Plan to Fix the Retirement Savings Mess

[9/17/14] Social Security Administration: “Agency Resumes Mailing Social Security Statements -- Encourages People to Create a Secure my Social Security Account to Obtain Their Statement Online, Anytime” [Press Release]

[9/16/14] LIMRA: “LIMRA Study Finds Employers Interested in Offering Voluntary Benefits

[9/16/14] Miller Johnson: “Annual Notice Requirements for Employer Group Health Plans for 2015

[9/16/14] Kaiser Family Foundation: “The Federal Courts’ Role in Implementing the Affordable Care Act

[9/16/14] BenefitsPro: “Employers still hesitant to move to private exchanges

[9/16/14] Bloomberg BNA: “Employer Health Costs Rise at Moderate Clip, But Workers’ Share Increasing More Quickly

[9/16/14] Center on Budget and Policy Priorities: “Understanding the Census Bureau’s Upcoming Health Insurance Coverage Estimates

[9/16/14] Congressional Research Service: Legislative Actions to Repeal, Defund, or Delay the Affordable Care Act [Sept. 12, 2014]

[9/16/14] Forbes: “Retirement Health Costs: Planning for the Wild Card

[9/16/14] TIAA-CREF Institute Research Dialogue: “Do Required Minimum Distributions Matter? The Effect of the 2009 Holiday on Retirement Plan Distributions

[9/16/14] Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation: PBGC Open Government Plan 3.0

[9/16/14] NAPA Net: “Stripped of Prudence Presumption, Lehman Stock Case Gets Another Look

[9/16/14] The ESOP Association: “ESOP Companies Report Economic Growth in 2013

[9/15/14] Internal Revenue Service: Guidance on Pension Funding Stabilization under the Highway and Transportation Funding Act of 2014 (HATFA) [Notice 2014-53]

[9/15/14] Buck Consultants FYI®: “DOL Issues RFI on Use of Brokerage Windows

[9/15/14] CBS Money Watch: “401(k)s: Why ‘set it and forget it’ can be a disaster

[9/15/14] Plan Sponsor: “States Moving to Fill Private-Sector Retirement Plan Void

[9/15/14] McDermott Will & Emery: “New Money Market Fund Rules Require Review by Retirement Plan Sponsors

[9/15/14] Kaiser Family Foundation: “Premiums and Worker Contributions Among Workers Covered by Employer-Sponsored Coverage, 1999-2014

[9/15/14] The Wall Street Journal [Blog]: “In Employer Health Insurance Costs, Stability Is the New Normal

[9/15/14] Treasury & Risk: “All-out Attack on Healthcare Costs -- CFOs are trying to get their annual cost increases below CPI in preparation for the 2018 excise tax.

[9/12/14] U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics: “Employer Costs for Employee Compensation -- June 2014” [News Release]

[9/12/14] Bryan, Pendleton, Swats & McAllister, LLC: Implementing an Effective Benefits Communication Campaign

[9/12/14] Segal Consulting Bulletin: “GASB Exposure Drafts Propose New Disclosures for Other Postemployment Benefits (OPEB)

[9/12/14] LifeHealthPro: “Retirement priorities in U.S. comparable to levels worldwide

[9/12/14] Morningstar: “Want Help with the Big Social Security Decision?

[9/12/14] The Huffington Post: “Employee Health Insurance Costs Barely Increased This Year

[9/12/14] Plan Sponsor: “Are Health Care Exchanges the Answer for Employers?

[9/12/14] Ogletree Deakins: “Governor Brown Signs California’s Mandatory Paid Sick Leave Law

[9/12/14] Sibson Consulting’s Capital Checkup: “First Guidance Published on Contraceptive Coverage Cases

[9/12/14] Proskauer’s ERISA Practice Center Blog: “Mental Health Parity Act: A Litigation Update

[9/11/14] Kaiser Family Foundation: 2014 Employer Health Benefits Survey [Overview]

[9/11/14] Becker’s Hospital Review: “The changing healthcare world: 7 trends to watch

[9/11/14] Aflac: 2014-2015 Benefits Open Enrollment Guide for Employers

[9/11/14] Washington Business Journal: “ACA will raise employer costs and spur trade-offs

[9/11/14] Plan Adviser: “Now’s the Time to Help Clients Plan for Health Care Costs

[9/11/14] Journal of Occupational and Environmental Medicine: “Do Workplace Health Promotion (Wellness) Programs Work?

[9/11/14] Human Resource Executive Online: “Court Time for HR” [Excerpt: “The United States Supreme Court often decides cases with potential impact on HR policy. The same holds true for 2014. Yet, while there are no blockbusters, there are a handful of cases - decided and yet to be decided - that touch employers.”]

[9/11/14] PIMCO DC Dialogue: “Employers Serve as Trusted Intermediaries to Retirement Success” [“In this PIMCO DC Dialogue, we speak with Professor Jeff Brown, William G. Karnes professor of finance at the University of Illinois in Urbana-Champaign, about improving the defined contribution system.”]

[9/11/14] TIAA-CREF: TIAA-CREF Advice Matters Survey - Executive Summary

[9/11/14] Fidelity Investments: “A Portfolio Plan for Life - Research suggests you may need a significant amount of stocks as you enter retirement.

[9/11/14] Consumer Financial Protection Bureau: Financial Wellness at Work -- A Review of Promising Practices and Policies

[9/11/14] The Wall Street Journal: “Despite Curve Balls, Most Retirees Manage

[9/9/14] Milliman 100 Pension Funding Index: “Milliman analysis: Corporate pension funded status drops by $22 billion in August as discount rates fall below 4% and reach an all-time low

[9/9/14] InsuranceNewsNet: “Survey: 401(k) Investors Engage More with Advisors

[9/9/14] Plan Adviser: “Demand for Advice Among Retirees Is Growing

[9/9/14] Plan Sponsor: “Which Findings About Retirement Readiness Are Right?

[9/9/14] Society for Human Resource Management: “Employers Get Aggressive to Control Health Costs

[9/9/14] Human Resource Executive Online: “A New Trend in Wellness

[9/9/14] The Hill: “Week ahead: Congress returns to new HealthCare.gov worries

[9/9/14] Social Security Administration: OASDI Beneficiaries by State and Zip Code, 2013 [“This annual publication focuses on the Social Security beneficiary population at the Zip Code level. It presents basic program data on the number and type of beneficiaries and the amount of benefits paid in each state, Social Security Administration field office, and Zip Code. It also shows the number of beneficiaries aged 65 or older.”]

[9/8/14] Bloomberg Businessweek: “California Workers Get Ready to Start the Paid Sick-Leave Era

[9/8/14] Buck Consultants FYI®: “More Cities to Require Paid Sick Leave

[9/8/14] The Washington Post: “Companies race to adjust health-care benefits as Affordable Care Act takes hold

[9/8/14] Kaiser Family Foundation Issue Brief: “Analysis of 2015 Premium Changes in the Affordable Care Act’s Health Insurance Marketplaces

[9/8/14] Internal Revenue Service: Retirement Plan Reporting and Disclosure

[9/8/14] NAPA Net: “Fed Report Finds Participation Flat, Retirement Balances Up ‘Substantially’

[9/8/14] WIFR.com: “Illinois Pension Case Might Head to Supreme Court

[9/8/14] Financial Planning: “SEC Urged to Move on Uniform Fiduciary Rule

[9/5/14] Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and Urban Institute: Little Evidence of the ACA Increasing Part-Time Work So Far

[9/5/14] The New York Times: “How People Feel About Their Employer-Sponsored Health Plans

[9/5/14] Insurance News Net: “Employers Not Seeing Uptick in Health Benefits Buying; AIS Newsletter Examines Why

[9/5/14] Business Roundtable: Driving Innovation in the Health Care Marketplace: A CEO Report

[9/5/14] Prudential’s Pension Analyst Compliance Bulletin: “Many Defined Contribution Plan Sponsors Must Annually ‘Notice’ Their Participants

[9/5/14] Towers Watson Insider: “Retirement in Transition for the Fortune 500: 1998 to 2013

[9/5/14] Strategic Benefit Services: “Automatic Features in Defined Contribution Plans

[9/5/14] J.P. Morgan Asset Management: Using Re-enrollment to Improve Participant Investing and Provide Fiduciary Protections [White Paper]

[9/5/14] Insurance News Net: “Recession Took Bite of Gen X Retirement

[9/5/14] Stanford Center on Longevity: Foundations in Research for Regulatory Guidelines on the Design & Operation of Retirement Income Solutions in DC Plans [Note: The full report can be downloaded at the website.]

[9/5/14] Federal Reserve Bulletin: “Changes in U.S. Family Finances from 2010 to 2013: Evidence from the Survey of Consumer Finances

[9/4/14] Journal of Accountancy: “ERISA: 40 Years Later” [“The landscape of retirement security has changed dramatically since ERISA was enacted 40 years ago, as the three-legged stool of pensions, savings, and Social Security has broken down.”]

[9/4/14] Internal Revenue Service: Employee Plans News [Sept. 2, 2014]

[9/4/14] Pensions & Investments & Towers Watson: “The World’s 300 Largest Pension Funds - Year-End 2013” [Note: The full report can be downloaded at the website.]

[9/4/14] Plan Adviser: “White Labeling DC Plan Investments May Offer Advantages

[9/4/14] The Motley Fool: “Will My Pension Cut My Social Security Payments?

[9/4/14] Bloomberg BNA: “Court Allows Contract Breach Claims Alleging Failure to Defend Stock-Drop Case

[9/4/14] Health Affairs: “National Health Expenditure Projections, 2013-23: Faster Growth Expected with Expanded Coverage and Improving Economy

[9/4/14] Kaiser Health News: “Five States to Get Early Access to Small Business Health Insurance Marketplace

[9/4/14] SCOTUSblog: “Delay on health care subsidies case

[9/4/14] Social Security Administration: SSI Annual Statistical Report, 2013 [“This annual report describes the SSI program and who receives benefits. The tables present data on such topics as recipient characteristics, disability and work incentives, applications, awards, and denials.”]

[9/3/14] Internal Revenue Service: “Questions and Answers on Reporting of Offers of Health Insurance Coverage by Employers (Section 6056)

[9/3/14] Health Affairs [Blog]: “Implementing Health Reform: Tax Form Instructions

[9/3/14] Investment News: “Small businesses still ailing in wake of Affordable Care Act

[9/3/14] Yahoo! Finance: “Is a health savings account an IRA in disguise?

[9/3/14] Forbes: “Five Ways ACA and Employers Shift Costs This Open Enrollment Season

[9/3/14] Marsh Consulting Group: “October 15th Deadline for Medicare Part D Creditable Coverage Notices

[9/3/14] U.S. News & World Report: “How to Navigate the Complicated World of 401(k) Fees

[9/3/14] Center for Retirement Research at Boston College Brief: “The Financial Status of Private Sector Multiemployer Pension Plans

[9/3/14] Seyfarth Shaw: “Employer Has No Claim Against Multiemployer Trustees for Mismanagement

[9/3/14] U.S. Department of Labor, Employee Benefits Security Administration: 173rd Meeting of the Advisory Council on Employee Welfare and Pension Benefit Plans; Notice of Teleconference Meeting [as published in the Federal Register on Sept. 3, 2014 - Note: The open meeting of the Advisory Council will be held as a teleconference on Sept. 29; statements due Sept. 22] - [Excerpt: “The purpose of the open meeting is to discuss reports/recommendations for the Secretary of Labor on the issues of (1) PBM Compensation and Fee Disclosure, (2) Outsourcing Employee Benefit Plan Services, and (3) Issues and Considerations around Facilitating Lifetime Plan Participation.”]

[9/2/14] NAPA Net: “Class of ‘74

[9/2/14] Plan Sponsor: “Staying Flexible: American Football and the Future of Employee Benefits

[9/2/14] Business Insurance: “Congress faces pressure to resolve multiemployer pension woes

[9/2/14] Life & Health Advisor: “Disability Insurance: The Biggest Benefit is Education

[9/2/14] The Motley Fool: “5 Unpleasant Ways Employers Are Cutting Back on Healthcare Costs

[9/2/14] Kaiser Health News: “Health Law May Benefit More Small Businesses in the Fall

[9/2/14] The New York Times: “High Health Plan Deductibles Weigh Down More Employees

[9/2/14] On Wall Street: “Are Health Care Costs in Retirement Really So High?

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What's new at EBRI this month:

EBRI 2014 Spring Policy Forum: “’Crisis’ Management: Uncertainty and the Workplace” [“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:

September 2014 EBRI Issue Brief - "Quality of Health Care After Adopting a Full-Replacement, High-Deductible Health Plan With a Health Savings Account: A Five-Year Study"

September 2014 EBRI Notes - "How Does Household Expenditure Change With Age for Older Americans?" and "2014 Health and Voluntary Workplace Benefits Survey: Most Workers Continue to be Satisfied With Their Own Health Plan, but Growing Number Give Low Ratings to Health Care System"

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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
Health Prevention: Cost-effective Services in Recent Peer-Reviewed Health Care Literature. GAO-14-789R, August 11.

401(K) Plans: Improvements Can Be Made to Better Protect Participants in Managed Accounts. GAO-14-310, June 25. Highlights.

Private Health Insurance: Early Effects of Medical Loss Ratio Requirements and Rebates on Insurers and Enrollees. GAO-14-580, July 10. Highlights.

Private Pensions: Targeted Revisions Could Improve Usefulness of Form 5500 Information. GAO-14-441, June 5. Highlights.

Pension Advance Transactions: Questionable Business Practices Identified. GAO-14-420, June 4. Highlights.

Testimony
Statement for the Record: Individual Retirement Accounts: Preliminary Information on IRA Balances Accumulated as of 2011, by James R. McTigue, director, strategic issues, and Charles A. Jeszeck, director, education, workforce, and income security issues, to the Senate Committee on Finance. GAO-14-878T, September 16. Highlights.

Older Americans: Inability to Repay Student Loans May Affect Financial Security of a Small Percentage of Retirees, by Charles A. Jeszeck, director, education, workforce, and income security, before the Senate Special Committee On Aging. GAO-14-866T, September 10. 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 9/23/14