What's New - December 2016

Index to All Months


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[12/9/16] DataPath, Inc.: “2017 Contribution Limits for FSAs and HSAs

[12/9/16] Transamerica Center for Health Studies® Survey: Employer Attitudes Toward the Employer Mandate and the ACA

[12/9/16] Xerox Corporation: “Open Enrollment: Offering Opportunities for Health Insurers to Forge Deeper Connections with Members

[12/9/16] Nationwide: “Nationwide Survey: Health Care Costs Are a Top Retirement Worry, But Few Have a Plan on How to Pay Them” [Note: The survey results can be downloaded at the website.]

[12/9/16] Kaiser Health News: “Retired Coal Miners At Risk Of Losing Promised Health Coverage And Pensions

[12/9/16] Milliman 100 Pension Funding Index: “Milliman Analysis: Corporate pension funded status improved by $71 billion in November

[12/9/16] Congressional Budget Office: Options for Reducing the Deficit: 2017 to 2026

[12/9/16] National Institute on Retirement Security Issue Brief: “The United Kingdom’s New Retirement Savings Program

[12/8/16] U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics Beyond the Numbers: Pay & Benefits: “Defined contribution retirement plans: who has them and what do they cost?

[12/8/16] CFO.com: “How to Optimize a 401(k) Plan for Employer, Employees -- It’s not just about making a DC plan look more like a DB plan; take a look at market-return cash balance plans.

[12/8/16] Gallup: “Cost Edges Access as Most Urgent U.S. Health Problem

[12/8/16] Business Insider: “The US can’t cut healthcare spending

[12/8/16] Bloomberg View: “Chicago’s Model Health-Care Fix

[12/8/16] Marsh Consulting Group: “Reference-Based Pricing: The New Frontier of Cost Control?

[12/8/16] DataPath, Inc.: “Portability and 9 Other Important Things to Know About an HSA

[12/8/16] PlanAdviser: “Aggressive Saving Needed to Meet Retirement Health Care Costs -- The average expected future retirement health care premiums for Medicare and supplemental insurance for a healthy woman retiring this year and living to 89 are projected to be $235,526.

[12/8/16] Kaiser Health News: “Senate Approves Landmark Mental Health Bill As Part Of 21st Century Cures Act

[12/7/16] PlanSponsor: 2016 PLANSPONSOR Defined Contribution Survey [Provider Ratings]

[12/7/16] Prudential Financial: Impact Investing: What Role for Defined Contribution Plans?

[12/7/16] TIAA Institute and Center for State & Local Government Excellence: 2016 Retirement Confidence Survey of the State and Local Government Workforce

[12/7/16] Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation: “Present Value of PBGC Maximum Guarantee

[12/7/16] Russell Investments [Fiduciary Matters Blog]: “The DOL Rule: Tension at the heart of the fiduciary standard

[12/7/16] Bloomberg BNA: “White House Opposes Bill Creating Newfangled Pension Plan

[12/7/16] PlanSponsor: “HSA Usage Continues Growth -- HSAs with investments had higher account balances than those that do not offer investments.

[12/7/16] Urban Institute: Implications of Partial Repeal of the ACA through Reconciliation [Note: The full report can be downloaded at the website.]

[12/7/16] Health Affairs [Blog]: “Taking Stock Of Health Reform: Where We’ve Been, Where We’re Going

[12/7/16] Willis Towers Watson: “EEOC Provides Important Clarifications on Incentive Limits in Wellness Programs

[12/7/16] Morning Consult: “Court Agrees to Temporary Delay of GOP Obamacare Lawsuit

[12/5/16] Health Affairs: “National Health Spending: Faster Growth In 2015 As Coverage Expands And Utilization Increases

[12/5/16] Kaiser Health News: “HSA Balances Climb But Benefits Reward Wealthier Consumers Most

[12/5/16] HealthPayerIntelligence: “How Health Payers Could Help Reduce High Out-of-Pocket Costs

[12/5/16] Thomson Reuters’ EBIA Weekly Newsletter: “How Do Health FSA Carryovers Affect HSA Eligibility?

[12/5/16] FiveThirtyEight: “What Trump May Have In Store For Americans’ Health Care

[12/5/16] Xerox Corporation FYI®: “Mental Health Parity Update

[12/5/16] NAPA Net: “Legislation Would Amend Section 401 Nondiscrimination Rules

[12/5/16] National Institute on Retirement Security Issue Brief: “10 Years After the Pension Protection Act: Effects on DB and DC Plans

[12/5/16] PlanSponsor: “Plan Sponsors Would Benefit From Better Rollover Practices -- The current structure of the rollover process does little to minimize or mitigate several key concerns.

[12/5/16] 401(k) Specialist: “Poor Marks For 401k Participants’ Retirement Readiness

[12/5/16] Groom Law Group Benefits Brief: “U.S. Supreme Court Agrees to Hear Church Plan Appeals

[12/5/16] PlanSponsor: “Barry’s Pickings Online: Auto IRA -- Not Dead Yet -- Michael Barry discusses why he thinks automatic IRA legislation still has a chance to be passed.

[12/5/16] Center for Retirement Research at Boston College’s Squared Away Blog: “Retirees’ Tax Puzzle: Pay Now or Later?

[12/2/16] PlanAdviser: “DC Advisers Cite Fewer Go To Providers -- Advisers recommend an average of just 2.2 plan providers to prospective clients, a new report suggests.

[12/2/16] American Century Investments® [Blog]: “Issues in Target-Date Fund Evaluation and Selection

[12/2/16] PlanSponsor: “Nearly Half of Corporate Pensions Considering Lump-Sum Payouts

[12/2/16] NAPA Net: “What’s Up With Consistent 401(k) Balances in November?

[12/2/16] CNN Money: “How do I turn my 401(k) into reliable retirement income?

[12/2/16] Social Security Office of Retirement and Disability Policy: “A Comparison of Free Online Tools for Individuals Deciding When To Claim Social Security Benefits

[12/2/16] 401(k) Specialist: “HSAs Gain (Serious) Traction In Retirement Planning -- Current projections show $50 billion in assets by 2018

[12/2/16] PlanSponsor: “Employees Express Concern About Adequacy of Health Benefits -- In addition, many do not know what they are paying for health insurance, a survey finds.

[12/2/16] Aegis Risk, LLC (via International Society of Certified Employee Benefit Specialists): Aegis Risk Medical Stop-Loss Premium Survey

[12/2/16] Xerox Corporation FYI®: “Wellness Programs: Regulatory and Litigation Update

[12/2/16] Employers Council on Flexible Compensation: “House Passes 21st Century Cures Act with HRA Provisions

[12/2/16] Vox.com: “The biggest health reform bill since Obamacare, explained in 600 words

[12/2/16] Kaiser Health News: “GOP Embraces Repeal-Now, Replace-In-Three-Years Strategy On Health Law

[12/2/16] Vox.com: “The true story of America’s sky-high prescription drug prices

[12/2/16] Federal News Radio: “Make your health plan a money maker

[12/1/16] Money Magazine: “Why You Really Shouldn’t Ignore a Flexible Spending Account

[12/1/16] Willis Towers Watson: “10 Investment Actions for DB Plans in 2017

[12/1/16] Prudential Financial: 2016 Retirement Preparedness Survey Findings

[12/1/16] CNBC: “How to gum up your 401(k) without even knowing it -- Half of target-date fund investors have their dollars in other funds

[12/1/16] NAPA Net: “Plan Eligibility, Vesting Focus of GAO Report

[12/1/16] InsuranceNewsNet: “Kansas Judge Rejects DOL Rule Injunction” [Market Synergy v. DOL]

[12/1/16] NAPA Net: “5 Things the DOL Wants You to Know About TDFs -- That You May Have Overlooked

[12/1/16] Human Resource Executive Online: “Fiduciary Rule in Limbo? Experts weigh in on the likelihood of a repeal or delay of the new fiduciary rule under a Trump administration -- and what it means for employers.

[12/1/16] Social Security Bulletin: “Employment at Older Ages and Social Security Benefit Claiming

[12/1/16] The Motley Fool (via USA Today): “8 facts you didn’t know about retirement


What's new at EBRI this month:

EBRI 2016 Spring Policy Forum: "Employee Engagement in Health and Retirement Challenges and Reforms" [“gavel-to-gavel” webcast - Prerecorded broadcast available through the International Foundation of Employee Benefit Plans]

EBRI's Recent Media Coverage

Change in Average Account Balances (by Age and Tenure)


Nov. 29, 2016 EBRI Issue Brief - "Health Savings Account Balances, Contributions, Distributions, and Other Vital Statistics, 2015: Estimates from the EBRI HSA Database"

Oct. 19, 2016 EBRI Notes - "Workers Like Their Benefits, Are Confident of Future Availability, But Dissatisfied With the Health Care System and Pessimistic About Future Access and Affordability"


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:

401(K) Plans: Effects of Eligibility and Vesting Policies on Workers' Retirement Savings.
GAO-17-69: Published Oct. 21, 2016; Publicly Released Nov. 21, 2016. Highlights.

Social Security: Improvements to Claims Process Could Help People Make Better Informed Decisions about Retirement Benefits.
GAO-16-786, Sept. 14, 2016. Highlights.

401(k) Plans: DOL Could Take Steps to Improve Retirement Income Options for Plan Participants.
GAO-16-433: Published August 9, 2016; Publicly Released September 8, 2016. 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.  

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Updated 12/9/16