What's New - January 2015

Index to All Months

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[1/23/15] Harvard Business Review: “Who Has Paid Sick Leave, Who Doesn’t, and What’s Changing

[1/23/15] Reuters: “New Senate bill would overturn Obamacare’s individual mandate

[1/23/15] Kaiser Health News: “Once, Same-Sex Couples Couldn’t Wed; Now, Some Employers Say They Must

[1/23/15] U.S. Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions: Hearing titled “Examining Job-Based Health Insurance and Defining Full-Time Work” [Hearing held Jan. 22, 2015, includes links to witness testimonies]

[1/23/15] Gallup: “Americans See Healthcare, Low Wages as Top Financial Problems

[1/23/15] Milliman and Partnership for Workplace Mental Health™: Employer Guide for Compliance with the Mental Health Parity and Addiction Equity Act [January 2015, 2nd Edition]

[1/23/15] Plan Sponsor: “Cost of Retirement Income Jumped in 2014

[1/23/15] Chief Investment Officer: “Target Risk Funds: A Substitute for TDFs?

[1/23/15] Plan Adviser: “How to Assess Providers of Lifetime Income

[1/23/15] NAPA Net: “401(k) Fee Suit Defendant Filing Bucks the Odds” [Tibble vs. Edison International]

[1/22/15] Society for Human Resource Management: “Call to Limit 401(k) Contributions by ‘Wealthy’ Is Contentious

[1/22/15] Brookings: “Retirement Security a Priority in the 2015 State of the Union

[1/22/15] U.S. Senate Committee on Finance: “Hatch, Wyden Launch Bipartisan Finance Committee Tax Reform Working Groups

[1/22/15] U.S. Department of Labor Employee Benefits Security Administration: “Issues and Considerations Surrounding Facilitating Lifetime Plan Participation” [A report produced by the Advisory Council on Employee Welfare and Pension Benefit Plans]

[1/22/15] Appleby Retirement Consulting: Employer Retirement Plans Comparison Table for Small Businesses-2015 Plan Year

[1/22/15] BenefitsPro: “Edison asks Supreme Court to dismiss 401(k) case

[1/22/15] Journal of Accountancy: “GASB pension changes: Are you ready? New rules affect state and local government preparers and auditors--and pension plans.

[1/22/15] USA Today: “How working can impact Social Security in retirement

[1/22/15] BloombergView: “The Next Big Health-Care Shift Is Coming

[1/22/15] The Commonwealth Fund Issue Brief: “What’s Behind Health Insurance Rate Increases? An Examination of What Insurers Reported to the Federal Government in 2013-2014

[1/21/15] The White House: “FACT SHEET: A Simpler, Fairer Tax Code That Responsibly Invests in Middle Class Families” [Note: The President’s retirement tax reform plan appears toward the end.]

[1/21/15] NAPA Net: “Case of the Week: 2015 Retirement-Related Tax Proposals

[1/21/15] J.P. Morgan Asset Management: “Managing Defined Contribution Plan Investment Policy Statements,” an article by Fred Reish

[1/21/15] Morningstar: “Is My Target-Date Fund Layering on Extra Fees?

[1/21/15] Gallup: “One in Five Investors Have Tapped Into 401(k) Prematurely

[1/21/15] Investment Company Institute: American Views on Defined Contribution Plan Saving

[1/21/15] The Motley Fool: “Half of Americans Are Facing a Tough Retirement. Don’t Be One of Them

[1/21/15] BenefitsPro: “State retirement programs face big hurdles

[1/21/15] Segal Consulting Newsletter: “Time to Take Another Look at Stop-Loss Insurance

[1/21/15] Government Executive: “Would Obama’s Paid Sick Leave Proposal Actually Work? Look to San Francisco.

[1/20/15] NAPA Net: “White House Unveils Sweeping Retirement Proposals

[1/20/15] Buck Consultants’ FYI® Alert: “DOL: Annual Funding Notice Redo Not Needed for HATFA

[1/20/15] BenefitsPro: “401(k) automation may have peaked

[1/20/15] Morningstar: “Retirement Plans for Young People: Know Your Choices

[1/20/15] USA Today: “Powell: How to invest in new state-sponsored retirement plans

[1/20/15] Bloomberg BNA: “GM Wins Pension Benefit Challenge; Split Sixth Circuit Finds No ERISA Plan

[1/20/15] Health Populi: “People in consumer-directed health plans are -- surprise! -- getting more consumer-directed

[1/20/15] ADP: “One in Two Large Employers Unprepared to Fully Comply with the Affordable Care Act

[1/20/15] U.S. Department of Health & Human Services: “Final 2016 Actuarial Value Calculator Methodology

[1/20/15] Segal Consulting’s Capital Checkup: “How Contributing to a Multiemployer Plan Protects an Employer from the Affordable Care Act’s Employer Shared Responsibility Penalty

[1/20/15] Towers Watson Insider: “Appropriations Deal Addresses Expatriate Health Plans and PPACA Funding

[1/20/15] Families USA: Health Reform 2.0: A Call to Action

[1/16/15] United Benefit Advisors: “United Benefit Advisors Reveals 2014 Industry Trends Among Employer Sponsored Health Plans

[1/16/15] The Wall Street Journal [Blog]: “Harvard and Growth in Health-Care Cost Sharing

[1/16/15] Kaiser Family Foundation: “Medical Debt Among Insured Consumers: The Role of Cost Sharing, Transparency, and Consumer Assistance

[1/16/15] CBS News: “Will boomers really be able to work past 65?

[1/16/15] Vanguard: “Automatic enrollment: The power of the default

[1/16/15] Society for Human Resource Management: “Attraction of myRAs Explained

[1/16/15] U.S. Department of Labor Employee Benefits Security Administration: Field Assistance Bulletin No. 2015-01: ERISA’s Annual Funding Notice Requirements Following the Highway and Transportation Funding Act of 2014

[1/16/15] NAPA Net: “7th Circuit Stakes Out Partial Plan Termination Boundaries

[1/16/15] Buck Consultants’ FYI®: “New Pension Paradigm for Substantial Cessation of Operations

[1/16/15] Plan Adviser: “Fees, Rollovers Still SEC Exam Priorities for 2015

[1/15/15] USA Today: “Obama to propose paid sick leave for American workers

[1/15/15] The Institute for HealthCare Consumerism [The Private Exchange Blog]: “Three Predictions for Private Exchanges: Version 2015

[1/15/15] The Commonwealth Fund Issue Brief: “The Rise in Health Care Coverage and Affordability Since Health Reform Took Effect: Findings from the Commonwealth Fund Biennial Health Insurance Survey, 2014

[1/15/15] Bloomberg: “Lavish ‘Cadillac’ Health Plans Dying as Obamacare Tax Looms

[1/15/15] Politico: “Obamacare’s little secret

[1/15/15] Kaiser Family Foundation: The Rising Cost of Living Longer: Analysis of Medicare Spending by Age for Beneficiaries in Traditional Medicare

[1/15/15] Investor’s Business Daily: “Retirement Plans: Young Workers Do Like Stocks

[1/15/15] U.S. News & World Report: “How to Avoid Being Forced Out of Your 401(k)

[1/15/15] NAPA Net: “Rep. Van Hollen’s ‘Action Plan’ Includes Financial Transaction Tax

[1/15/15] Prudential: Financial Planning Considerations for Same-Sex Couples After Windsor [January 2015 Update]

[1/14/15] USA Today: “Retirement: What the new Congress has in store

[1/14/15] Insured Retirement Institute: Consumer Preferences for Lifetime Income Estimates on 401(k) Statements

[1/14/15] NAPA Net: “6 Things 401(k) Participants Need to Know

[1/14/15] The Motley Fool: “How Much Money Should You Save Every Year? Our Retirement Experts Weigh In

[1/14/15] Fiduciary News: “401k Plan Sponsor Fiduciary Alert: Conflicts-of-Interest More Important than Mutual Fund Expense Ratios

[1/14/15] Buck Consultants’ FYI®: “Multiemployer Pension Reform Act of 2014

[1/14/15] Altarum Institute: “Fast, Easy, Low-Cost: How Will Market Disruptors Change Health Care Delivery

[1/14/15] Littler® Workplace Policy Update: “House Approves New ACA Amendment

[1/14/15] The New York Times: “New Analysis Challenges Arguments for Repealing Tax on Medical Devices

[1/14/15] Calpensions: “Brown plan to eliminate retiree health care debt

[1/13/15] Newsmax: “Employers Increasingly Pushing ‘Wellness or Else’ Plan

[1/13/15] Reuters: “Supreme Court rejects new challenge to Obamacare law

[1/13/15] Ballard Spahr LLP: “Expatriate Plans Exempted from Many Affordable Care Act Provisions

[1/13/15] Human Resource Executive Online: “The ACA and International Assignees

[1/13/15] The Wall Street Journal [Blog]: “High Health-Care Prices: More Talk Than Action

[1/13/15] Russell Investments: “De-branding the 401(k) fund menu

[1/13/15] The Motley Fool: “The Typical American Has This Much in Retirement Savings. How Do You Compare?

[1/13/15] Plan Sponsor: “Phased Retirement Can Benefit Workers and Employers

[1/13/15] Bankrate.com [Retirement Blog]: “Congress wrangling over Social Security

[1/12/15] Plan Sponsor: “House Votes to Change ACA Definition of Full-Time Employee

[1/12/15] The Los Angeles Times: “Obamacare penalties, payouts ahead for many tax filers

[1/12/15] Osler, Hoskin & Harcourt LLP: “Are You Selling or Downsizing a U.S. Business? Congress Reins in the PBGC

[1/12/15] Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation: Submission of Information Collection for OMB Review; Comment Request; Payment of Premiums; Notice of request for OMB approval of revised collection of information [as published in the Federal Register on Jan. 12, 2015 - Comments must be submitted by Feb. 11, 2015.]

[1/12/15] CNBC: “Quite a dilemma: Too young to retire, too old to rehire

[1/12/15] Boston ERISA Law Blog: “What Does Spano v. Boeing Foretell About the Future of Excessive Fee Litigation (and about the Future Ruling in Tibble As Well)?

[1/9/15] Internal Revenue Service: Application of Retroactive Increase in Excludable Transit Benefits [Notice 2015-2]

[1/9/15] NAPA Net: “Did the Great Recession Lock in Higher 401(k) Loan Volumes?

[1/9/15] The Motley Fool: “The Retirement of the Traditional Retirement

[1/9/15] BenefitsPro: “Avon faces class-action ‘stock-drop’ suit

[1/9/15] The Segal Group: Trends: Noteworthy Developments of Interest to Employers that Sponsor Health Plans [First Quarter 2015]

[1/9/15] Politico: “House starts its Obamacare repeal march

[1/9/15] Congressional Budget Office: “H.R. 30, Save American Workers Act of 2015” [Cost Estimate]

[1/9/15] National Association of Worksite Health Centers: The Landscape of Onsite Health Centers: Results of the 2014 NAWHC Benchmarking Survey of Employer-Sponsored Onsite and Near-Site Health Centers

[1/9/15] Prudential: Financial Wellness: The Next Frontier in Wellness Programs

[1/9/15] U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics Beyond the Numbers: Pay & Benefits: “Access to dependent care reimbursement accounts and workplace-funded childcare

[1/8/15] The Los Angeles Times: “Workers paying more for health insurance, but getting fewer benefits

[1/8/15] The Commonwealth Fund Issue Brief: “State Trends in the Cost of Employer Health Insurance Coverage, 2003-2013

[1/8/15] Gallup: “In U.S., Uninsured Rate Sinks to 12.9%

[1/8/15] NAPA Net: “Case of the Week: Don’t Forget Retirement Plan Tax Credits for 2014

[1/8/15] Milliman 100 Pension Funding Index: “Milliman analysis: 2014 ends almost as badly as 2012

[1/8/15] Plan Sponsor: “Considerations for DB Investing in 2015

[1/8/15] Morningstar News: “The routine 401(k) move that sabotages your savings

[1/8/15] Urban Institute’s Public Pension Project: Reforming Government Pensions to Better Distribute Benefits: What Are the Options?

[1/8/15] Groom Law Group Benefits Brief: “Major Changes in ‘Shutdown’ Liability Under ERISA Section 4062(e)

[1/8/15] Associated Press (via The New York Times): “House GOP Forcing 2016 Debate on Social Security’s Finances

[1/7/15] BenefitsPro: “Double-digit gains for many 401(k) accounts

[1/7/15] The Washington Post: “2014 was a terrible year for private pensions

[1/7/15] MSN: “Illinois Introduces Automatic Retirement Savings Program, a First for the Nation

[1/7/15] Towers Watson: “PPACA Prompts Employers to Consider New Alternatives for Pre-65 Retiree Medical Benefits

[1/7/15] Society for Human Resource Management: “Consumer-Driven Plans Show Increased Employee Involvement

[1/7/15] Altarum Institute: “Medical Costs over the Long Run: 1850-2050

[1/7/15] Buck Consultants FYI® In-Depth: “ERISA@40: GenZ & the Workplace of 2054 -- No Longer Science Fiction” [“This is the eighth in a multi-part series of articles celebrating the 40th birthday of the Employee Retirement Income Security Act. Forty years from now - on ERISA’s 80th birthday - Generation Z will begin retiring. By 2054, the workplace and employee benefits will have adapted to a new generation’s knowledge and assumptions, expectations and behavior, and ways of learning, working, and exiting the workforce. The workplace and employee benefits will also have adapted to social influences, new legislation, and technological advances. With all these influences, there is little doubt that the workplace of the future will be a different, and exciting, place.”]

[1/6/15] Roll Call: “House Races Toward a Vote on Changing Employer Health Insurance Coverage Threshold

[1/6/15] Center on Budget and Policy Priorities: Health Reform Not Causing Significant Shift to Part-Time Work -- But Raising Threshold to 40 Hours a Week Would Make Sizeable Shift Likely

[1/6/15] Buck Consultants FYI® In-Depth: “Health FSAs/HRAs/HSAs -- Similarities and Differences

[1/6/15] SHRM Foundation’s Effective Practice Guidelines Series: Evaluating Worksite Wellness: Practical Applications for Employers [Sponsored by Wellpoint]

[1/6/15] Forbes: “U.S. Healthcare Spending on Track to Hit $10,000 Per Person This Year

[1/6/15] Plan Sponsor: “Illinois Establishes Retirement Plan for Private-Sector Workers

[1/6/15] NAPA Net: “5 Things Plan Sponsors Should Know

[1/6/15] Seacoastonline.com: “Start your 2015 financial planning checklist

[1/6/15] Plan Adviser: “Supreme Court Sets Date for Tibble Arguments” [401(k) fee litigation case]

[1/6/15] Fiduciary Matters Blog: “Another Court Finds Church Affiliated Hospital Pension Plan Subject to ERISA

[1/5/15] U.S. Departments of the Treasury (IRS), Labor (EBSA), and Health & Human Services: Summary of Benefits and Coverage and Uniform Glossary; Notice of proposed rulemaking [as published in the Federal Register on Dec. 30, 2014 - Comments are due on or before March 2, 2015.]

[1/5/15] Small Business Trends LLC: “How Employer-Sponsored Health Insurance Differs at Big and Small Businesses

[1/5/15] CFO.com: “Costs Slow as Health Care Consumerism Grows

[1/5/15] USA Today: “Small businesses use part-time to meet health law

[1/5/15] SCOTUSBlog: “U.S. opposes Oklahoma plea on health care” (Updated)

[1/5/15] U.S. Census Bureau: Summary of the Quarterly Survey of Public Pensions for 2014:Q3 -- Pensions Experience First Quarter of Negative Earnings Since Third Quarter 2012 [Released December 2014]

[1/5/15] McGuireWoods LLP: “’Cromnibus Act’ Changes for Multiemployer and Single Employer Defined Benefit Pension Plans

[1/5/15] ThinkAdvisor: “Employees Not Planning for Longer Life Spans

[1/5/15] Forbes: “What the Best 401(k)s Have in Common

[1/5/15] Epoch Times: “Retirement Readiness on the Rise … for Some

[1/5/15] TIAA-CREF: Deciding what is reasonable: Assessing fees using value and outcomes

[1/5/15] NAPA Net: “IRS Says it Might Be Time for a Retirement Plan Checkup

[1/5/15] The Motley Fool: “4 Critical Things to Know About Your 2015 IRA Contribution Limits

[1/5/15] NAPA Net: “MyRA Takes Shape, Raises New Questions

[12/24/14] Society for Human Resource Management: “ACA Outlook: What Will 2015 Hold for Employers? -- An overview of coverage and reporting requirements for the year ahead

[12/24/14] Politico: “ACA employer mandate: Not as bitter in better economy

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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:

December 2014 EBRI Issue Brief - "401(k) Plan Asset Allocation, Account Balances, and Loan Activity in 2013"

December 2014 EBRI Issue Brief - "Findings from the 2014 EBRI/Greenwald & Associates Consumer Engagement in Health Care Survey"

December 2014 EBRI Notes - "What to Expect During Open-Enrollment Season: Findings from the SHRM/EBRI 2014 Health Benefits Survey" and "History of the Employee Benefit Research Institute, Part 1"

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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
401(K) Plans: Greater Protections Needed for Forced Transfers and Inactive Accounts. GAO-15-73, November 21. Highlights.

Private Health Insurance: Concentration of Enrollees among Individual, Small Group, and Large Group Insurers from 2010 through 2013. GAO-15-101R, December 1.

Individual Retirement Accounts: IRS Could Bolster Enforcement on Multimillion Dollar Accounts, but More Direction from Congress Is Needed. GAO-15-16, October 20. Highlights.

Small Business Health Insurance Exchanges: Low Initial Enrollment Likely due to Multiple, Evolving Factors. GAO-15-58, November 13. 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.
["This statement was amended on October 22, 2014, to revise the estimated individual retirement account and defined contribution plan accumulations for our illustrative contribution scenarios with balances invested in an S&P 500 portfolio. The original estimates used a price index that did not include reinvested dividends. Table 2 and the text on page 8 have been updated to reflect total returns on the investments."]

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 1/23/15