What's New - July 2012

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[7/31/12]  U.S. Department of Labor Employee Benefits Security Administration:  162nd Meeting of the Advisory Council on Employee Welfare and Pension Benefit Plans; Notice of Meeting [as published in the Federal Register on July 30, 2012].  The three-day open meeting will be held on August 28-30, 2012; the purpose of the meeting is for the Advisory Council members to hear testimony from invited witnesses and to receive an update from the Employee Benefits Security Administration (EBSA).  Organizations or members of the public wishing to submit a written statement may do so on or before August 14.  The Advisory Council is studying the following issues:

  • Managing Disability Risks in an Environment of Individual Responsibility
  • Current Challenges and Best Practices Concerning Beneficiary Designations in Retirement and Life Insurance Plans
  • Examining Income Replacement During Retirement Years in a Defined Contribution Plan System


[7/31/12]  Investment Company Institute:  The IRA Investor Profile: Traditional IRA Investors’ Withdrawal Activity, 2007 and 2008

[7/31/12]  Plan Sponsor:  “401(k) Loans Spike in Summer

[7/31/12]  Investor’s Business Daily:  “Pros and Cons of Borrowing from Your 401(k) Account

[7/31/12]  National Business Group on Health:  Perceptions of Health Benefits in a Recovering Economy: A Survey of Employees

[7/31/12]  The New York Times:  “Insurance Rebates Seen as Selling Point for Health Law

[7/30/12]  U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics:  Employee benefits in private industry and state and local government, March 2012

[7/30/12]  U.S. Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor, & Pensions:  The Retirement Crisis and a Plan to Solve It

[7/30/12]  DesMoinesRegister.com [Blog]:  “Harkin unveils plan to fend off country’s impending retirement crisis

[7/30/12]  Investment Company Institute:  Defined Contribution Plan Participants’ Activities, First Quarter 2012

[7/30/12]  Sibson Consulting Bulletin:  “New Law Provides Pension Funding Stabilization and PBGC Premium Increases

[7/30/12]  Plan Sponsor:

[7/27/12]  Deloitte Center for Health Solutions & Deloitte Consulting:  2012 Deloitte Survey of U.S. Employers: Opinions about the U.S. Health Care System and Plans for Employee Health Benefits

[7/27/12]  America’s Health Insurance Plans:  “AHIP Releases Report on Health Savings Accounts and Account-Based Plans

[7/27/12]  Aon Hewitt:  Creating a Competitive Marketplace: How the Corporate Exchange Can Help Employers Break Away from the Health Care Trend

[7/27/12]  The Commonwealth Fund Issue Brief:  “State Health Insurance Exchange Laws: The First Generation

[7/27/12]  National Institute on Retirement Security:  The Pension Factor 2012: The Role of Defined Benefit Pensions in Reducing Elder Economic Hardships

[7/27/12]  Milliman PERiScope [Public Employee Retirement Systems]:  “Setting the Discount Rate for Valuing Pension Liabilities

[7/26/12]  U.S. Senate Special Committee on Aging:  Hearing titled “Enhancing Women’s Retirement Security” [Hearing held July 25, 2012, includes links to archived webcast and written testimonies]

[7/26/12]  Plan Sponsor:

[7/26/12]  Center for State & Local Government Excellence and the TIAA-CREF Institute:  2012 Retirement Confidence Survey of the State and Local Government Workforce

[7/26/12]  PricewaterhouseCoopers HRS Insight:  “What employers need to know about medical loss ratio rebates

[7/26/12]  Deloitte Issue Brief:  “A look around the corner: Health care CEOs’ perspectives on the future

[7/25/12]  The Los Angeles Times:  “Nearly 10% of employers to drop health benefits, survey finds

[7/25/12]  Congressional Budget Office:  Estimates for the Insurance Coverage Provisions of the Affordable Care Act Updated for the Recent Supreme Court Decision

[7/25/12]  The Segal Group:  Trends: Noteworthy Developments of Interest to Sponsors of Multiemployer Health Plans [Third Quarter 2012]

[7/25/12]  Plan Sponsor:  “Great Integrations: PLANSPONSOR’s 2012 TRO Buyer’s Guide

[7/25/12]  Center for Retirement Research at Boston College:  Who Claimed Social Security Early Due to the Great Recession?

[7/25/12]  Consumer Federation of America and Certified Financial Planner Board of Standards, Inc.:  Household Financial Planning Survey

[7/24/12]  Human Resource Executive Online:  “The Play-or-Pay Decision for Employers

[7/24/12]  Rockford Register Star:  “Private sector offered flexibility on pensions

[7/24/12]  The Vanguard Group:  “TDFs: Prevalent in plans, possibly game-changing

[7/24/12]  Society for Human Resource Management:  “401(k) Match: ‘Thresholds’ Drive Participation More than Rates

[7/24/12]  Plan Sponsor:  “Half of Those with a Financial Plan on Track to Meet Goals

[7/24/12]  October Three:  “Tax reform and 401(k) fairness

[7/23/12]  Plan Sponsor:  “Young Investors Have the Power of Compounding

[7/23/12]  Kravitz:  2012 National Cash Balance Research Report

[7/23/12]  Fidelity Investments:  2012 Fidelity Millionaire Outlook: Key Insights Into the Millionaire Mind

[7/23/12]  Internal Revenue Service:  Questions and Answers for the Additional Medicare Tax

[7/20/12]  Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services:  CCIIO Technical Guidance (CCIIO 2012--0005): Questions and Answers Regarding the Medical Loss Ratio Reporting and Rebate Requirements

[7/20/12]  U.S. Department of Health and Human Services:  Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act; Data Collection to Support Standards Related to Essential Health Benefits; Recognition of Entities for the Accreditation of Qualified Health Plans; Final rule [as published in the Federal Register on July 20, 2012]

[7/20/12]  Center for Studying Health System Change Issue Brief:  “Small Employers and Self-Insured Health Benefits: Too Small to Succeed?

[7/20/12]  Plan Sponsor:  “DC Participants Want to Save More, Need Education and Help

[7/20/12]  MetLife:  Fiduciary Assessment Quiz [“How well do you understand your fiduciary responsibilities as a plan sponsor?”]

[7/20/12]  AdvisorOne:  “Housing Starts Rise, but Watch for Housing Stops - Survey of older Americans shows transition from owning to renting kicks in at 75

[7/19/12]  Transamerica Center for Retirement Studies:  The Cracked Nest Egg: The Retirement Outlook of the Unemployed & Underemployed -- The 13th Annual Transamerica Retirement Survey

[7/19/12]  CNBC.com [Blog]:  “Are Company Cutbacks Helping or Hurting Pension Plans?

[7/19/12]  The Los Angeles Times:  “Pension funds seriously underfunded, study finds

[7/19/12]  State Budget Crisis Task Force:  Report of the State Budget Crisis Task Force

[7/19/12]  Plan Sponsor:  “Most Employees Not Given a Choice of Health Plans

[7/19/12]  Fox Business:  “Get Health Insurance with a Part-Time Job

[7/18/12]  U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics:  “Employee Benefits in the United States--March 2012” [News Release]

[7/18/12]  Navigant Economics:  401(k) Loan Defaults: How Big Is the Leakage and What Can Policymakers Do to Preserve Americans’ Nest Eggs?

[7/18/12]  Associated Press (via Fox News):  “New law gives US companies a break on pensions

[7/18/12]  Financial Planning:  “Advisors Really Do Offer Value: Survey

[7/18/12]  The Commonwealth Fund:  Oceans Apart: The Higher Health Costs of Women in the U.S. Compared to Other Nations, and How Reform Is Helping

[7/18/12]  Center on Budget & Policy Priorities:  “Health Reform Law Makes Clear That Subsidies Will Be Available in States with Federally Operated Exchanges

[7/17/12]  The Los Angeles Times:  “Defaults on 401(k) loans reach $37 billion a year

[7/17/12]  CBS News:  “The secret to a successful retirement

[7/17/12]  Kaiser Health News:  “Ten Things You Didn’t Know Were in the Affordable Care Act

[7/17/12]  USA Today:  “Few will pay more under health care law

[7/17/12]  AARP:  Health Law Guide: Learn How the Health Care Law Benefits You, Now and Later

[7/13/12]  Plan Sponsor:  “PPACA Presents Special Challenge Concerning Part-time Workers

[7/13/12]  WebMD Health Services:  “What If? The Push to Consumer-Driven Health Plans

[7/13/12]  Internal Revenue Service:  Health Insurance Premium Tax Credit; Correction to final regulations [as published in the Federal Register on July 12, 2012]

[7/13/12]  Principal Financial Group:  “Face-to-Face Education Drives Better Retirement Savings Behavior

[7/13/12]  Huffington Post:  “5 Myths About Public Employee Pensions

[7/13/12]  Multnomah Group:  Making Sense of Fee Disclosures: A Participant’s Perspective [White Paper]

[7/12/12]  U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics:  Employee Benefits in the United States – March 2012 [News Release]

[7/12/12]  Internal Revenue Service:  Notice requirements under section 101(j) of ERISA for funding-related benefit limitations in single-employer defined benefit pension plans [Notice 2012-46]

[7/12/12]  USA Today:  “GM, Ford hope lump-sum pensions ease obligations

[7/12/12]  Plan Sponsor:  “Automatic Features Leading to Greater Retirement Readiness

[7/12/12]  Lincoln Financial Group (in partnership with Retirement Made Simpler™):  Paradigm Shift Ahead: Retirement plan communication in an auto features world [White Paper]

[7/12/12]  CBS News:  “Reduce your odds of needing long-term care

[7/11/12]  Milliman 100 Pension Funding Index:  “Milliman analysis: Pension funded status drops by $57 billion in June, $186 billion in second quarter of 2012

[7/11/12]  Center for Retirement Research at Boston College:  401(k) Plans in 2010: An Update from the SCF

[7/11/12]  LifeHealthPro:  “A Combo Plan for Boomers

[7/11/12]  USA Today:  “Working until 70 could ease retirement finances

[7/11/12]  Bloomberg:  “Wall Streeters Lose $2 Billion in 401(k) Bet on Own Firms

[7/11/12]  U.S. House Committee on Ways and Means:  Hearing on the “Tax Ramifications of the Supreme Court’s Ruling on the Democrats’ Health Care Law” [Hearing held July 10, 2012, includes links to written testimonies]

[7/10/12]  Society for Human Resource Management:  “President Signs Pension Funding Relief Measure

[7/10/12]  USA Today:  “New law to give companies a break on pensions

[7/10/12]  The Los Angeles Times:  “Anxious investors day trading with retirement accounts

[7/10/12]  Plan Sponsor:  “Employers Admit to Waiting for the Health Care Decision

[7/10/12]  Urban Institute:  Will Health Reform Lead to Job Loss? Evidence from Massachusetts Says No

[7/6/12]  Buck Consultants FYI:  “2012 Pension Plan Funding Stabilization Finally a Reality

[7/6/12]  Associated Press (via The Washington Post):  “Looking to limit investment costs? Read new 401(k) disclosures, starting with these 4 items

[7/6/12]  Kaiser Family Foundation Focus on Health Reform:  “A Guide to the Supreme Court’s Affordable Care Act Decision

[7/6/12]  Sibson Consulting Bulletin:  “Implications of the U.S. Supreme Court’s Decision on the Affordable Care Act for Employers That Provide Health Coverage

[7/5/12]  Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services, Center for Consumer Information and Insurance Oversight:  Essential Health Benefits: List of the Largest Three Small Group Products by State [July 3, 2012]

[7/5/12]  Kaiser Family Foundation Focus on Health Reform:  “Health Insurance Market Reforms: Guaranteed Issue

[7/5/12]  Smart Business Network:  “How to use self-funded insurance to lower costs and tailor health plans to your employees

[7/5/12]  Towers Watson:  2012 Global Medical Trends

[7/5/12]  Workforce.com:  “Savers Credit Plan Is an Underutilized Aid for Employee Retirement Funds

[7/5/12]  Plan Sponsor:  “408(b)(2) Disclosures -- Nonmonetary compensation may count!

[7/3/12]  Plan Sponsor:

[7/3/12]  PIMCO Viewpoint:  “Focusing on Capital Preservation: Stable Value and Possible Alternatives

[7/3/12]  USA Today:  “Fact Check: On keeping your current health plan

[7/3/12]  Kaiser Family Foundation:  Kaiser Health Tracking Poll: Early Reaction to Supreme Court Decision on the ACA

[7/3/12]  The Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget:  Options for Controlling Federal Health Care Costs

[7/3/12]  Senior Housing News:  “Forbes: Can a Nursing Home Stay ‘Ruin’ an Individual’s Finances?

[7/2/12]  CQ.com:  “Implementing the Health Care Law” [Includes major provisions currently in effect and timeline of future provisions]

[7/2/12]  Milliman Insight:  “Ten strategic considerations of the Supreme Court upholding PPACA

[7/2/12]  The Los Angeles Times:

[7/2/12]  AISHealth:  “Despite the type of health coverage they have, Americans complain of difficulty in accessing health care services

[7/2/12]  Plan Sponsor:

[7/2/12]  CBS Money Watch:  “Will an inheritance bail out your retirement?

[6/29/12]  Kaiser Health News:  “The Supreme Court Rules: The Individual Mandate Survives as a Tax, Justices Find Fault with Medicaid Expansion

[6/29/12]  Mercer:  “Supreme Court’s decision puts pressure on employers to implement health law or face penalties

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What's new at EBRI this month:

EBRI 2012 Spring Policy Forum:  “’After’ Math: The Impact and Influence of Incentives on Benefit Policy” [“gavel to gavel” webcast - Prerecorded broadcast available through the International Foundation of Employee Benefit Plans]

EBRI 2011 Fall Policy Forum: “Innovations in Employment-Based Health Benefits: Lessons Learned for Public Policy” [“gavel to gavel” webcast - Prerecorded broadcast available through the International Foundation of Employee Benefit Plans]

Visit EBRI's Blog!

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:

July 2012 EBRI Issue Brief“Private Health Insurance Exchanges and Defined Contribution Health Plans: Is It Déjà Vu All Over Again?”

July 2012 EBRI Notes“Own-to Rent Transitions and Changes in Housing Equity for Older Americans” and “Health Plan Choice: Findings from the 2011 EBRI/MGA Consumer Engagement in Health Care Survey”

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What's new in employee benefits:

  • HR News Online -- a daily update from the Society for Human Resource Management

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

Reports
Retirement Security: Women Still Face Challenges. GAO-12-699, July 19. Highlights.

Financial Literacy: Overlap of Programs Suggests There May Be Opportunities for Consolidation. GAO-12-588, July 23. Highlights.

Children's Health Insurance: Opportunities Exist for Improved Access to Affordable Insurance. GAO-12-648, June 22. Highlights.

Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act: IRS Managing Implementation Risks, but Its Approach Could Be Refined. GAO-12-690, June 13. Highlights.

Mental Health and Substance Use: Treatment Exclusions in Employers' Health Insurance Coverage. GAO-12-761R, May 31.

401(k) Plans: Increased Educational Outreach and Broader Oversight May Help Reduce Plan Fees. GAO-12-325, April 24. Highlights. Related Product: 401(k) PLANS: Survey of 401(k) Plan Sponsors on Fees (GAO-12-550SP, April 2012), an E-supplement to GAO-12-325. GAO-12-550SP, April 24.

Small Employer Health Tax Credit: Factors Contributing to Low Use and Complexity. GAO-12-549, May 14. Highlights.

Testimonies
Retirement Security: Older Women Remain at Risk, by Barbara D. Bovbjerg, managing director, education, workforce, and income security, before the Senate Special Committee on Aging. GAO-12-825T, July 25.

Delphi Bankruptcy: Termination of Delphi Pension Plans, by A. Nicole Clowers, director, financial markets and community investment issues, before the Subcommittee on TARP, Financial Services and Bailouts of Public and Private Programs, House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform. GAO-12-909T, July 10. Highlights.

Unemployed Older Workers: Many Face Long-Term Joblessness and Reduced Retirement Security, by Charles A. Jeszeck, Director, Education, Workforce, and Income Security, before the Senate Special Committee on Aging. GAO-12-724T, May 15.

 

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 7/31/12