What's New - October 2010

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As a research site, EBRI.org maintains old listings in the “What’s New” page, even though some of the older links may no longer function.  If you reach a bad link, go back to the main site by deleting everything after “.com” or “.org” or ".gov" or “.net” in the address. Since we maintain www.ebri.org/ as a research and education resource, and not current news, we hope you will understand our policy and the use for which it is maintained.  We apologize for any inconvenience.

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What's new at EBRI this month:

New EBRI Blog Is Now Live! [March 23, 2010]

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

401(k) Balances and Changes Due to Market Volatility

Publications:

October 2010 EBRI Issue Brief - "Employment-Based Retirement Plan Participation: Geographic Differences and Trends, 2009"

October 2010 EBRI Notes - "Retirement Savings Shortfalls for Today's Workers" and "The Impact of the COBRA Premium Subsidy on Coverage"

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Sixth Edition of EBRI's Fundamentals of Employee Benefit Programs Is Now Available

New Survey Released March 19, 2008: Preparing for Their Future: A Look at the Financial State of Gen X and Gen Y - Press Release

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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:

Correspondence
Medicare Advantage: CMS Actions Regarding Plans' Health Reform Communications.  GAO-10-953R, September 20.

Reports
Social Security Administration:  Management Oversight Needed to Ensure Accurate Treatment of State and Local Government Employees.  GAO-10-938, September 29. Highlights.

State and Local Government Pension Plans:  Governance Practices and Long-term Investment Strategies Have Evolved Gradually as Plans Take On Increased Investment Risk.  GAO-10-754, August 24. 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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The U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) has established a National Call Center to serve its customers.  By calling 1-866-4-USA-DOL, America's employees and employers can find answers to questions on a range of employment issues.  This toll-free service offers live operator assistance and is a central access point for all DOL services and programs.  It serves both English and Spanish speaking callers.  The Call Center can assist workers and employers with questions about job loss, business closures, pay and leave, workplace injuries, safety and health, pension and health benefits, and reemployment rights for reservists. 

Additional Department of Labor toll-free numbers to call for questions regarding specific issues are listed below:

  •  1-877-US-2JOBS     Job Loss, Layoffs, Business Closures, Unemployment Benefits and Job Training

  •  1-866-4-US-WAGE     Pay, Overtime, Leave and Child Labor

  •  1-800-321-OSHA     Workplace Safety and Health

  •  1-877-889-5627     TTY number for all Department of Labor Questions


The Internal Revenue Service has announced that technical or procedural questions relating to retirement plans are answered at the EP Customer Account Services site.  Answers to many questions may already be available under Retirement Plans Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs).  If not:

Call:   TE/GE Customer Account Services at (877) 829-5500 (toll-free number).
           The call center is open 8:00am to 6:30pm Eastern Time.

Write:   Internal Revenue Service
              TE/GE Division, Customer Service
              P.O. Box 2508
              Cincinnati, OH 45201

Email:   RetirementPlanQuestions@irs.gov
              Note: All questions submitted via e-mail must be responded to via telephone,
              so please remember to include your phone number in your message.


[10/29/10]  Internal Revenue Service:  “IRS Announces Pension Plan Limitations for 2011” [News Release]

[10/29/10]  Plan SponsorMaximum Benefit Contributions Limit for 2001-2011 [As Published by the Internal Revenue Service]

[10/29/10]  Social Security Administration:  OASDI and SSI Program Rates & Limits - 2011

[10/29/10]  Chicago Tribune:  “Put a Reality Check on Those Retirement Fears

[10/29/10]  The Segal Company Compliance Alert:

[10/29/10]  Milliman, Inc.:  2010 Group Health Insurance Survey

[10/29/10]  Population Health Management:  “Impact of the Prevention Plan on Employee Health Risk Reduction

[10/29/10]  Council for Affordable Health Insurance:  Health Insurance Mandates in the States 2010

[10/28/10]  Aon Hewitt:  IRS Issues Final and Proposed Hybrid Plan Regulations

[10/28/10]  Drinker Biddle:  DOL Proposed Regulation Would Broaden the Definition of ERISA Fiduciary

[10/28/10]  ConsumerAffairs.com:  “Nursing Home Costs a Big Factor in Retirement Adequacy Deficit

[10/28/10]  Urban Institute:  Retirement Account Balances (Updated 10/10) – Accumulations in Retirement Accounts, 2005 to 2010

[10/28/10]  Plan Sponsor:  “AARP Revamps Retirement Calculator

[10/28/10]  Employee Benefit News:  “Tax Break on Tuition Benefits Remain Up in the Air

[10/27/10]  Employee Benefit News:  “DOL Requires 401(k) Fee Disclosure in 2012

[10/27/10]  Kiplinger.com:  “Home Healthcare and Nursing-Home Costs Add to Retirement Burden

[10/27/10]  TIAA-CREF Institute Trends and Issues:  “Lessons Learned from the 2010 K-12 Retirement Confidence Survey

[10/27/10]  Buck Consultants FYI:  “ERRP Claims Submission Process Goes Live

[10/27/10]  Milliman Healthcare Reform Briefing Paper:  Healthcare Reform and Employers: Next Steps

[10/27/10]  U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics:  “Consumer-Driven Health Care: What Is It, and What Does It Mean for Employees and Employers?

[10/26/10]  The SPARK Institute Compliance Alert:  “Roth 401(k) and 403(b) In-Plan Conversions - Plan Sponsors Beware

[10/26/10]  The New York Times:  “Americans Aren’t Saving Enough for Retirement, Study Finds

[10/26/10]  USA Today:  “Roth vs. Traditional IRA: Roths Have (most of) the Advantage

[10/26/10]  Congressional Research Service:  Saving Rates in the United States: Calculation and Comparison

[10/26/10]  Congressional Budget Office:  CBO’s 2010 Long-Term Projections for Social Security: Additional Information

[10/26/10]  HR Policy Association:

[10/26/10]  Kaiser Family Foundation:  Health Reform Poll Watch: “A roundup of surveys from the Kaiser Family Foundation and others assessing public attitudes and experiences over time related to the health reform law”

[10/26/10]  The Washington Post:  “Health Insurance Law Covers People with Preexisting Medical Conditions

[10/25/10]  U.S. House Committee on Ways and Means:

[10/25/10]  National Center for Health Statistics:  Health Insurance Coverage: Early Release of Estimates from the National Health Interview Survey, January-March 2010

[10/25/10]  Kaiser Family Foundation:  Health Reform Implementation Timeline [a new interactive tool that allows the user to see by year when provisions take effect and to filter the selection by topic area (such as employers, financing/taxes, Medicare, etc.)]

[10/25/10]  The Washington Post:  “Employers Looking at Health Insurance Options

[10/25/10]  Congressional Research Service:


[10/25/10]  MassMutual Financial Group:  The New World of 403(b) Retirement Plans: A Guide to Best Practices for Plan Fiduciaries

[10/25/10]  The Dallas Morning News:  “New Law Allows You to Track 401(k) Fees

[10/25/10]  Principal Financial Group:  New Fee Disclosure Rules for Retirement Plan Service Providers: What Financial Professionals Need to Know

[10/22/10]  Nationwide Retirement Solutions:  National Save for Retirement Week, October 17-23, 2010

[10/22/10]  Internal Revenue Service:

[10/22/10]  Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation:  “PBGC Announces Maximum Insurance Benefit for 2011” [News Release]

[10/22/10]  U.S. Department of Labor Employee Benefits Security Administration:

[10/22/10]  Investment Company Institute:

[10/22/10]  Center for Retirement Research at Boston College:  The Impact of Public Pensions on State and Local Budgets

[10/18/10]  The New York Times:  “Fewer People Choose Cobra Subsidy Option

[10/18/10]  CNBC.com:  “Working in Retirement: Act Two! What Now?

[10/18/10]  Pensions & Investments:  “Auto Enrollment, Escalation Key to Increasing 401(k) Savings

[10/18/10]  Wolters Kluwer:  “Baucus Introduces New Extenders Bill with Pension Technical Corrections

[10/18/10]  Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation:  Section 4062(e) Event Notice

[10/18/10]  Kaiser Family Foundation:

[10/18/10]  Genworth Financial:  Beyond Dollars: The True Impact of Long Term Caring

[10/15/10]  USA Today:  “401(k) Fees, Choices to Soon Become More Transparent

[10/15/10]  U.S. Department of Labor Employee Benefits Security Administration:

[10/15/10]  National Conference of State Legislatures:  Pensions and Retirement Plan Enactments in 2010 State Legislatures

[10/15/10]  The Los Angeles Times:

[10/15/10]  The White House:  “President Obama Announces More Key Administration Posts” [to the President’s Advisory Council on Financial Capability]

[10/14/10]  Business Insurance:

[10/14/10]  U.S. Department of Labor Employee Benefits Security Administration:  FAQs About the Affordable Care Act Implementation Part III

[10/14/10]  Bureau of Labor Statistics Program Perspectives -- Fee-for-Service Plans:  “Features and Associated Costs of Fee-for-Service Medical Plans

[10/14/10]  Profit Sharing/401k Council of America [Blog]:  “Baby Boomers, 401(k) and Social Security

[10/14/10]  American Academy of Actuaries Issue Brief:  “Raising the Retirement Age for Social Security

[10/14/10]  Congressional Research Service:

[10/13/10]  Milliman, Inc.:  Monthly Benefit News and Developments [October 2010]

[10/13/10]  Internal Revenue Service:

[10/13/10]  U.S. Department of Labor Employee Benefits Security Administration:  FAQs About the Affordable Care Act Implementation Part II

[10/13/10]  TIAA-CREF Institute Trends and Issues:  “Retirement Prospects Among State and Local Government Workers: The 2010 Public Sector Retirement Confidence Survey

[10/13/10]  Society of Actuaries:  Segmenting the Middle Market: Retirement Risks and Solutions -- Phase II Report

[10/13/10]  Fort Worth Star-Telegram:  “Seniors Must Work Longer - If They Can Find a Job

[10/13/10]  Congressional Research Service:

[10/12/10]  Congressional Research Service:

[10/12/10]  Aon Hewitt:  Up Next: Retirement Reform -- Does Anyone Care About the Financial Security of American Workers in Retirement?

[10/12/10]  TheStreet.com:  “Retirement ‘Deficit’ Measured in Trillions

[10/12/10]  Milliman 100 Pension Funding Index:  Milliman Analysis: Volatile year for corporate pensions continues in September, this time with a positive swing: Funded status increased by $67 billion during September

[10/12/10]  Families and Work Institute and Sloan Center on Aging and Work at Boston College:  Working in Retirement: A 21st Century Phenomenon

[10/12/10]  Towers Watson Insider:  “Tax Recommendations from President’s Advisory Board Would Affect Retirement, Health Accounts

[10/8/10]  CNNMoney.com:  “America’s $4.6 Trillion Retirement Hole

[10/8/10]  Pensions & Investments:  “It’s Automatic -- Increases Aid Post-Retirement Income, Study Says

[10/8/10]  USA Today:  “Calculate How Much You Can Spend in Retirement

[10/8/10]  Insurance News Net:  “A Little-Known Employee Benefit Can Go the Extra Mile -- New Survey Indicates Companies that Offer Voluntary Benefits Have the Competitive Edge

[10/8/10]  The New York Times:  “Judge Rules Health Law Is Constitutional

[10/8/10]  Kaiser Health News:  “Reminding Ourselves What Has Gone Right with the Health Law,” by Tom Daschle

[10/8/10]  National Institute for Health Care Reform:  Comparative Effectiveness Research and Innovation: Policy Options to Foster Medical Advances

[10/8/10]  The Commonwealth Fund:  Starting on the Path to a High Performance Health System: Analysis of the Payment and System Reform Provisions in the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act of 2010 [Revised September 2010]

[10/7/10]  U.S. Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions:  “Full Committee Hearing - The Wobbly Stool: Retirement (In)security in America” [Hearing held Oct. 7, 2010, includes links to testimonies]

[10/7/10]  San Francisco Chronicle:  “Big Changes in Flexible Spending Accounts

[10/7/10]  Gallup:  “In U.S., New High of 26.3% Have Government Healthcare

[10/7/10]  The New York Times:  “Waivers Address Talk of Dropping Health Coverage

[10/6/10]  Consumer Reports Magazine:  “Will You Have Enough to Retire?

[10/6/10]  Towers Watson:  Retirement Attitudes -- Part II: Employee Attitudes Toward Risk

[10/6/10]  The Washington Post:  “Amid Backlash and Budget Deficits, Government Workers’ Pensions Are Targets

[10/6/10]  University of Michigan Retirement Research Center:

[10/6/10]  U.S. Department of Labor Office of Inspector General

[10/6/10]  MetLife:  The MetLife Study of Global Health & Wellness: A Look at How Multinational Companies Are Responding to the Need for a Healthier Workforce

[10/5/10]  Internal Revenue Service:  New Law Allows In-Plan Rollovers to Designated Roth Accounts

[10/5/10]  MetLife Mature Market Institute:  The MetLife Report on Early Boomers: How America’s Leading Edge Baby Boomers Will Transform Aging, Work & Retirement

[10/5/10]  The Segal Group:

[10/5/10]  Kaiser Family Foundation:  Medicare Part D Spotlight: Part D Plan Availability in 2011 and Key Changes Since 2006

[10/4/10]  Financial Engines:  The Financial Engines National 401(k) Evaluation -- Who Benefits from Today’s 401(k)?

[10/4/10]  Profit Sharing/401k Council of America [Blog]:  “401(k) In-Plan Roth Conversions, Too Late for 2010?

[10/4/10]  U.S. Department of Health & Human Services:  “Statement on the application of medical loss ratio standards to certain health plans under the Affordable Care Act” [News Release]

[10/4/10]  Kaiser Family Foundation:

[10/1/10]  National Association of Government Defined Contribution Administrators:  National Save for Retirement Week: October 17-23, 2010

[10/1/10]  Prudential’s Pension Analyst Compliance Bulletin:  “Many Defined Contribution Plan Sponsors Must Annually ‘Notice’ Their Participants

[10/1/10]  The New York Times:  “Deadline for Returning to a Traditional IRA

[10/1/10]  Milliman’s Client Action Bulletin:  “Rollovers to 401(k), 403(b), and 457(b) Designated Roth Accounts Newly Permitted

[10/1/10]  Employee Benefit News:  “Annuities Could Get Boost from Small Biz Legislation

[10/1/10]  U.S. Department of Health & Human Services:  Claims Ineligible for Reimbursement under the Early Retiree Reinsurance Program

[10/1/10]  The Commonwealth Fund:  Health Insurance Exchanges and the Affordable Care Act: Eight Difficult Issues

[10/1/10]  AARP Bulletin:  “Social Security: A Look at Three Options

Updated 10/29/10