What's New - July 2017

Index to All Months

______________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

SIGN UP FOR: EBRIef, a weekly update featuring both current and past EBRI research, testimony and presentations, as well as ASEC activities, and research and news from across the employee benefit industry. Sign up here.

EBRIef archives:

Visit EBRI's Blog!

_____________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

[7/21/17]  U.S. Senate Committee on the Budget:  Discussion Draft - Better Care Reconciliation Act (BCRA) -- [Note: This Discussion Draft includes a link to the draft updated on July 20, 2017, as well as links to the June 26 and July 13 drafts of the BCRA.]

[7/21/17]  The Segal Group [Infographic]:  State Employee Health Benefits Costs and Cost Sharing Increasing

[7/21/17]  Kaiser Health News:  “Trump Plan Might Cut Expenses For Some Insured Patients With Chronic Needs

[7/21/17]  Urban Institute:  Workers Gaining Health Insurance Coverage Under the ACA

[7/21/17]  Center for State & Local Government Excellence Issue Brief:  “State and Local Pension Plans Funding Sputters in FY 2016” [Note: The full report may be downloaded at the website.]

[7/21/17]  PwC:  Pension/OPEB 2017 Assumption and Disclosure Study

[7/21/17]  NBC News:  “Higher Pay Is Still Elusive, but at Least 401(k) Benefits Are Improving

[7/21/17]  IonTuition:  Student Debt: A Growing Problem for All Employees [Note: The full report can be downloaded at the website.]

[7/21/17]  NerdWallet [Blog]:  “Avoiding the Stock Market May Cost Millennials $3.3 Million

[7/21/17]  Retirement Income Journal:  “Why We Need Randomized Modeling for Retiree Income Strategies” [Note: A subscription may be required to view the full article.]

[7/20/17]  Deloitte’s Health Care Current:  “HSAs Can Help Offset Future Health Costs, but Funding Them Is a Struggle for Some

[7/20/17]  International Foundation of Employee Benefit Plans [Blog]:  “Tracking EEOC Rules for Wearables in Wellness Programs

[7/20/17]  Kaiser Family Foundation Issue Brief:  “The Facts on Medicare Spending and Financing

[7/20/17]  PlanAdviser:  “DOL Secretary Urged to Review Auto-Portability -- Lawmakers requested that the DOL issue an advisory opinion or other appropriate guidance regarding application of ERISA to auto-portability of retirement savings.

[7/20/17]  Center for Retirement Research at Boston College Issue in Brief:  “Social Security’s Financial Outlook: The 2017 Update in Perspective

[7/20/17]  Natixis Global Asset Management:  2017 Global Retirement Index -- An in-depth assessment of retirement security in the developed world

[7/19/17]  Willis Towers Watson Insider:  “Shifts in Benefit Allocations Among U.S. Employers -- How can employers better deliver the benefits their employees want?

[7/19/17]  The Alliance:  “HDHP Launch Nets 54 Percent of Employees at Woodward Communications

[7/19/17]  LPL Financial:  The Small Business Retirement Savings Challenge

[7/19/17]  National Center for Employee Ownership:  “ESOPs by the Numbers” [Updated March 2017]

[7/19/17]  Chief Investment Officer:  “Even the Most Fiscally Fit States Have Pension Problems

[7/19/17]  Mercer:  Bold Ideas for Mending the Long-Term Saving Gap [Note: The full report can be downloaded at the website.]

[7/18/17]  Jason Zweig:  “How Much of Your Company’s Stock Is Too Much?

[7/18/17]  Principal Financial Group:  “Younger Generations of ‘Super Savers’ Crushing Retirement Goals -- Small sacrifices today helps them better prepare for tomorrow

[7/18/17]  Morningstar Advisor:  “4 HSAs With the Best Investment Menu Designs -- Diversification with minimal overlap is the best recipe for HSA investment menus.

[7/18/17]  The Commonwealth Fund:  Mirror, Mirror 2017: International Comparison Reflects Flaws and Opportunities for Better U.S. Health Care

[7/17/17]  Benefits Magazine:  “The Rise of the Mobile Devices -- Putting Benefit Communication in Your Participants’ Hands

[7/17/17]  Holland & Knight:  “Senate’s Updated Draft Better Care Reconciliation Act Changes Provisions Affecting Employers

[7/17/17]  Gallup:  “More in U.S. Say Healthcare Is the Most Important Problem

[7/17/17]  401(k) Specialist:  “The Real Cost of HSA Investment Fees -- Cheaper is not always better

[7/17/17]  Bloomberg BNA:  “Can UPS Proposal Fix Pension Crisis? Some Think It Can

[7/14/17]  U.S. Senate Committee on the Budget:  Discussion Draft - Better Care Reconciliation Act (BCRA)

[7/14/17]  NAPA Net:  “HSAs Staying Alive in Senate GOP’s Revised Health Care Measure

[7/14/17]  Kaiser Health News:  “GOP Seeks To Sweeten Health Savings Account Deals. Will Consumers Bite?

[7/14/17]  American Academy of Actuaries Issue Brief:  “Assessing Pension Plan Health: More Than One Right Number Tells the Whole Story

[7/14/17]  Social Security and Medicare Boards of Trustees:

[7/13/17]  NAPA Net:  “3 Tips to Boost Your Retirement Plan Expert Reputation

[7/13/17]  American Enterprise Institute Working Paper:  How Hard Should We Push the Poor to Save for Retirement?

[7/13/17]  Lincoln Financial Group:  2017 Financial Focus: Goals and Reflections of Today’s Consumer: Part 1 -- Looking Forward [Conducted by Lincoln Financial Group with PSB Research]

[7/13/17]  Human Resource Executive Online:  “A Wary Welcome -- Many employers applauded President Trump’s proposal for a national standard for parental leave, but some worry his plan could end up costing them money.

[7/13/17]  International Foundation of Employee Benefit Plans:  Employer Pulse Check: The Future of ACA

[7/11/17]  PlanSponsor:  “Employees Want a Full Suite of Benefits -- This is prompting employers to ask their benefits brokers for new and innovative solutions.

[7/11/17]  Mercer:  “Executive Order on HDHPs Would Boost Appeal

[7/11/17]  The Commonwealth Fund:  Getting to the Root of High Prescription Drug Prices -- Drivers and Potential Solutions

[7/11/17]  Congressional Research Service:  Comparison of the American Health Care Act (AHCA) and the Better Care Reconciliation Act (BCRA)

[7/11/17]  Gallup:  “US Uninsured Rate Rises to 11.7%

[7/11/17]  Guardian Life Insurance Company of America:  Part-Time Nation: The “Gig Economy” Leaves Some Working Americans Financially Vulnerable -- The Guardian Workplace Benefits Study [4th Annual]

[7/11/17]  Defined Contribution Institutional Investment Association:  A Financial Wellness Primer: Why Financial Wellness?

[7/11/17]  Investment Company Institute:  “Americans Trust in Their 401(k) Plans

[7/11/17]  Investor’s Business Daily:  “How Millennials Are Building Better 401(k) Accounts Than Older Workers

[7/11/17]  NAPA Net:  “What’s Wrong with Automatic Enrollment?

[7/11/17]  Human Resource Executive Online:  “Rethinking Telecommuting -- IBM and other high-profile companies have rescinded or scaled back their remote-work policies. Should other companies follow their lead?

[7/7/17] Center for Retirement Research at Boston College’s Squared Away Blog: “IRAs Fall Short of Original Goal

[7/7/17] Cammack Retirement Group: “The Importance of Retirement Investing Over Saving for Older Employees

[7/7/17] International Foundation of Employee Benefit Plans: “55 Wellness Initiatives for Your Workplace

[7/7/17] The Commonwealth Fund Issue Brief: “The Better Care Reconciliation Act: Economic and Employment Consequences for States

[7/6/17] Milliman White Paper: 2016 Employer Stop-Loss Market: A Milliman Survey

[7/6/17] HealthLeaders Media: “Health Plans Scrambling to Upgrade, Keep Up with Changes

[7/6/17] TIAA Institute: Financial Communications and Asset Allocation Decisions: The Effects of Reading Style, Financial Knowledge, and Individual Differences

[7/6/17] NAPA Net: “Perceived Costs, Resources Top Reasons for Not Offering Retirement Plan

[7/6/17] Social Security Administration: Earnings and Employment Data for Workers Covered Under Social Security and Medicare, by State and County, 2014

[7/6/17] Human Resource Executive Online [Blog]: “More Independent Workers Are Taking Regular Jobs

[7/5/17] DataPath Administrative Services: “HRA Plan Primer: Facts about Qualified Expenses, Taxes and More

[7/5/17] Human Resource Executive Online: “Radical Transparency in Healthcare Benefits

[7/5/17] Frenkel Benefits [Blog]: “Take Advantage of Health Insurer Cherry Picking

[7/5/17] NAPA Net: “Small Businesses Increasingly Using Best-in-Class Design Features

[7/5/17] PlanAdviser: “More Employers Make Roth 401(k) Matching Contributions -- Among employers offering Roth 401(k) savings programs, 40% now offer matching contributions.
___________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

What's new at EBRI this month:

EBRI's Recent Media Coverage

Change in Average Account Balances (by Age and Tenure)

Publications:

July 12, 2017 EBRI Issue Brief - "The Impact of Offering Free Coverage on Enrollment Choice and Risk Selection in an HSA-eligible Health Plan"

July 11, 2017 EBRI Issue Brief - "Trends in Health Savings Account Balances, Contributions, Distributions, and Investments, 2011-2016: Statistics from the EBRI HSA Database"

May 25, 2017 EBRI Issue Brief - "Consumer Engagement in Health Care: Findings from the 2016 EBRI/Greenwald & Associates Consumer Engagement in Health Care Survey"

May 16, 2017 EBRI Notes - "Importance of Individual Account Retirement Plans and Home Equity in Family Total Wealth"

April 27, 2017 EBRI Notes - "Consumer Engagement in Health Care and Choice of Health Plan: Differences Among Millennials, Baby Boomers, and Generation X Have Implications for Plan Sponsors"

April 18, 2017 EBRI Notes - "Value of Workplace Benefits: Findings from the 2016 Health and Voluntary Workplace Benefits Survey"

March 23, 2017 EBRI Issue Brief - "Health Plan Switching: A Case Study--Implications for Private- and Public-Health-Insurance Exchanges and Increased Health Plan Choice"

March 21, 2017 EBRI Issue Brief - "The 2017 Retirement Confidence Survey: Many Workers Lack Retirement Confidence and Feel Stressed About Retirement Preparations"

Feb. 27, 2017 EBRI Notes - "Retirement Policy Directions in 2017 and Beyond"

Feb. 23, 2017 EBRI Notes - "Health Experts Consider a Post-ACA World"

Feb. 21, 2017 EBRI Notes - "Geographic Variation in Spending Among Older American Households"

Feb. 8, 2017 EBRI Issue Brief - "How Does the Level of Household Savings Affect Preference for Immediate Annuities?"

Jan. 31, 2017 EBRI Notes - "Savings Medicare Beneficiaries Need for Health Expenses: Some Couples Could Need as Much as $350,000"

Jan. 17, 2017 EBRI Issue Brief - "Individual Retirement Account Balances, Contributions, Withdrawals, and Asset Allocation Longitudinal Results 2010-2014: The EBRI IRA Database"

______________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

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
Older Workers: Phased Retirement Programs, Although Uncommon, Provide Flexibility for Workers and Employers. GAO-17-536: Published June 20, 2017; Publicly Released July 20, 2017.

Private Health Insurance: In Most States and New Exchanges, Enrollees Continued to be Concentrated among Few Issuers in 2014. GAO-16-724, September 6, 2016; Reissued on February 14, 2017.

Retirement Security: Improved Guidance Could Help Account Owners Understand the Risks of Investing in Unconventional Assets.
GAO-17-102: Published Dec. 8, 2016; Publicly Released Jan. 9, 2017.

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.  

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.

______________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

 

Updated 7/21/17