What's New - April 2013



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

EBRIef archives

Visit EBRI's Blog!


Index to All Months                                                                                                    Return to Current Month


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.


[4/30/13] Securian Financial Group: Retirement Time Bomb: Mortgage Debt -- Securian Research Reveals Growing Burden for Boomers and Retirees

[4/30/13] Maritz Research: “Fact Sheet: New Research Shows True Retirement Confidence Starts at $500,000

[4/30/13] New York Post: “Obama’s budget clipping 401(k)s: Eyes $2.7M lifetime limit on contributions

[4/30/13] The Georgetown Public Policy Review: “Employer-Sponsored Health Insurance: Is the Subsidy Necessary Post-ACA?

[4/30/13] HR Policy Association: “Debate Over Part-Time ACA Exemption Intensifies

[4/30/13] The Washington Post [WonkBlog]: “Will Obamacare end medical bankruptcies? Probably not

[4/29/13] Plan Sponsor: “Employers Fail to Communicate Benefits

[4/29/13] Buck Consultants FYI® Roundup: “Retirement Plans Spring Recap

[4/29/13] The Washington Post: “Kitchen Table Economics: Dallas Salisbury

[4/29/13] Investment Company Institute: Defined Contribution Plan Participants’ Activities, 2012

[4/29/13] Boston Research Group: Eliminating Friction and Leaks in America’s Defined Contribution System

[4/29/13] Chief Investment Officer: “Preferential ‘Treatment’” [From aiCIO magazine’s April issue: a column by Nevin Adams on tax treatments of 401(k) plans]

[4/29/13] MetLife: The MetLife Study of Gen X: The MTV Generation Moves into Mid-Life

[4/29/13] The Commonwealth Fund: Insuring the Future: Current Trends in Health Coverage and the Effects of Implementing the Affordable Care Act

[4/26/13] Aflac: Aflac WorkForces Report [“An annual employee benefits study, the Aflac WorkForces Report examines the issues impacting benefits trends and attitudes. We surveyed American workers and business decision-makers to identify their perceptions and understanding of benefits in the workplace.”]

[4/26/13] Sibson Consulting’s Capital Checkup: “Proposed Rule on the Affordable Care Act’s 90-Day Waiting Period Provides Flexibility for Employers

[4/26/13] Kaiser Family Foundation Issue Brief: “Medicare Spending Limits: Issues and Implications” [Prepared by Chapin White, Center for Studying Health System Change]

[4/26/13] Center for State & Local Government Excellence: Survey Findings: State and Local Government Workforce: 2012 Trends

[4/26/13] Plan Sponsor:

[4/26/13] The Motley Fool: “Don’t Be One of These Statistics: How to Plan for Retirement

[4/26/13] Russell Investments: Fiduciary Matters: “What is a ‘neutral’ view on interest rates?”

[4/26/13] Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland: “Household Financial Position -- Households are paying down their debt, spending cautiously, and expecting the economy to get worse” [Includes data on personal savings rate]

[4/25/13] U.S. Department of Labor: FAQs about the Affordable Care Act Implementation Part XIV -- Summary of Benefits and Coverage

[4/25/13] Small Business Administration: “7 Key Terms in the Affordable Care Act that Small Businesses Should Know

[4/25/13] MobiHealthNews: “Consumer-driven health plan members are richer, healthier, educated, but not younger

[4/25/13] Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation: “PBGC Updates Finding a Lost Pension

[4/25/13] TIAA-CREF: Prepared for a Lifetime: Managing Your Plan to Drive Retirement Readiness

[4/25/13] Investment Company Institute: “Expenses and Fees Paid on Mutual Funds in 401(k) Plans

[4/25/13] Employee Benefit Adviser: “PBS special slams 401(k)s

[4/25/13] Plan Sponsor:

[4/24/13] Internal Revenue Service: Relief from the Anti-cutback Requirements of § 411(d)(6) for Certain ESOP Amendments [Notice 2013-17]

[4/24/13] Plan Sponsor:

[4/24/13] LifeHealthPro: “How (and why) to bring better retirement planning to the worksite

[4/24/13] Northwestern Mutual®: Planning & Progress 2013: “Best Financial Decisions”

[4/24/13] The Pew Charitable Trusts Stateline: “Lack of Competition Might Hamper Health Exchanges

[4/24/13] Deloitte: “2013: What’s around the corner for the health care industry?

[4/23/13] Department of Health & Human Services, Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services: Early Retiree Reinsurance Program; Notice [as published in the Federal Register on April 23, 2013]

[4/23/13] Kaiser Family Foundation:

[4/23/13] USA Today: “Retirement and health care: Concerns are off the charts

[4/23/13] Milliman 100 Pension Funding Index: “Milliman analysis: Funded status improves by $29 billion in March

[4/23/13] Plan Sponsor: “Cash Balance Plans Could Overtake 401(k)s

[4/23/13] Allianz Life Insurance Company of North America: The Allianz Women, Money, and Power Study: Empowered and Underserved [The white paper can be downloaded at the website]

[4/22/13] Office of Congressman Charles Boustany: “Boustany Introduces Bill Lowering Costs of Healthcare for Millions of Americans

[4/22/13] U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics: “Beyond the numbers: Retirement and medical benefits: Who has both?

[4/22/13] American Society of Pension Professionals & Actuaries: Distributional Analysis and Pension Tax Provisions

[4/22/13] Center for Retirement Research at Boston College: Subsidies vs. Nudges: Which Policies Increase Saving the Most?

[4/22/13] Seeking Alpha: “Obama’s Proposed IRA Cap: Sending the Wrong Message?

[4/22/13] MarketWatch: “Tax benefits of retirement savings in jeopardy -- Commentary: Decreasing savings could endanger U.S. economy

[4/19/13] General Re Life Corporation: U.S. Group Disability and Group Term Life Market Survey: 2012 Summary of Results

[4/19/13] Plan Sponsor: “More Employers Tying Premiums to Wellness

[4/19/13] Families USA: Help Is at Hand: New Health Insurance Tax Credits for Americans

[4/19/13] Bipartisan Policy Center: A Bipartisan Rx for Patient-Centered Care and System-Wide Cost Containment

[4/19/13] Bloomberg Businessweek: “To Boost Retirement Savings, Stop Giving Tax Breaks on 401(k)s

[4/19/13] U.S. News & World Report: “Why 4 Percent Annual Withdrawals Are Still Safe

[4/19/13] Advisory Council on Employee Welfare and Pension Benefit Plans (via The SPARK Institute): Current Challenges and Best Practices Concerning Beneficiary Designations in Retirement and Life Insurance Plans

[4/19/13] U.S. House Committee on Ways & Means, Subcommittee on Social Security: Hearing on the “President’s and Other Bipartisan Entitlement Reform Proposals” [Hearing held April 18, 2013, includes links to written testimonies]

[4/18/13] Prudential Retirement: Seventh Annual Study of Employee Benefits Today & Beyond: Insight into the Next Generation of Employee Benefits

[4/18/13] U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics: Employee Contributions to Medical Care Benefits Costs

[4/18/13] FierceHealthPayer: “Dependent young adults cost insurers extra $2M, research shows

[4/18/13] MarketWatch: “Retiree medical costs vastly underestimated

[4/18/13] Workforce Benefits: “More Employees Driven to Auto-Enroll for Retirement Plans

[4/18/13] The Wall Street Journal: “Big 401(k) Mistakes … and How You Can Avoid Them

[4/17/13] Workforce: “More Employers Looking to Impose Wellness Program Nonparticipation Penalties in 2014

[4/17/13] Bloomberg Businessweek: “Cutting Health-Care Costs for Aging Employees

[4/17/13] Kaiser Health News: “Five Ways The President’s Budget Would Change Medicare

[4/17/13] Plan Sponsor: “PBS Documentary May Raise Plan Questions

[4/17/13] MarketWatch: “Best retirement move almost nobody makes -- Experts say more savers should roll plans into their new job’s 401(k)

[4/17/13] Daily Herald (Provo, UT): “Savvy Senior: Women retirement planning resources

[4/16/13] PricewaterhouseCoopers HRS Insight: “Major Changes Proposed for Employer-Provided Benefits

[4/16/13] NBCNews.com: “Experts: Obama’s IRA cap would impact upper middle class

[4/16/13] Plan Sponsor: “Budget Proposals for Retirement Savings--A Deterrent or Not?

[4/16/13] OregonLive.com: “Time to rethink retirement as Social Security and Medicare define it

[4/16/13] The Washington Post: “Republicans embrace Obama’s offer to trim Social Security benefits

[4/16/13] iOMeChallenge: “iOMe Challenge is a national effort to engage young people to think about their future--40 years from now. iOMe challenges college students to change the world by investing now in their own lifelong financial security.” Following are links to the winning essay and video - Think, Plan, Save - from the 2012-2013 iOMe Challenge:

[4/15/13] California Healthline: “Study: Health Care Costs Higher for Young Adults Newly Covered by ACA

[4/15/13] LifeHealthPro: “Young adult coverage used most for pregnancy, substance abuse

[4/15/13] Sibson Consulting’s Capital Checkup: “HIPAA/HITECH Comprehensive Final Rule Issued

[4/15/13] The Wall Street Journal: “Will the Government Shrink Your IRA?

[4/15/13] Fox Business: “How to Invest Leading Up To--and In--Retirement

[4/15/13] Plan Sponsor:

[4/12/13]  The Wall Street Journal’s Washington Wire:  “Young Adults on Parents’ Health Plans Cost More

[4/12/13]  Plan Sponsor:  “Adult Dependent Coverage Bumps Up Employer Cost

[4/12/13]  Employee Benefit News:  “A walk-through on full-time vs. part-time for PPACA

[4/12/13]  The Segal Company:  2012 Study of State Employee Health Benefits

[4/12/13]  MetLife Mature Market Institute and Center for Healthy Aging:  On the Critical List? A MetLife Report on the Health Status of the 40+ Population

[4/12/13]  U.S. Department of the Treasury (via The SPARK Institute):  General Explanations of the Administration’s Fiscal Year 2014 Revenue Proposals [retirement-related proposals]

[4/12/13]  Bloomberg:  “Maybe Past Performance Does Predict Your Savings’ Future

[4/12/13]  Vanguard Blog:  “Retirement: the married/single divide

[4/11/13]  Robert Wood Johnson Foundation:  State-Level Trends in Employer-Sponsored Health Insurance: A State-by-State Analysis

[4/11/13]  International Foundation of Employee Benefit Plans:  “International Foundation Survey Reveals Growing Confidence in Employer-Sponsored Health Care -- Majority of Employers to Continue Providing Employer-Sponsored Health Care in 2014

[4/11/13]  Society for Human Resource Management:  “Fewer Health Plans Retain Grandfathered Status

[4/11/13]  Credit Union Times:  “Retirement Industry Looks Askance at $3 Million IRA Cap in Obama Budget

[4/11/13]  Forbes:  “Could Obama’s Plan to Curb the Boss’ Tax Breaks Hurt Workers’ Retirements?

[4/11/13]  Plan Sponsor:  “Solutions Exist for Easier Plan-to-Plan Rollovers

[4/11/13]  PIMCO DC Dialogue™:  “Revolutionary Ideas for Canada” [“In this PIMCO DC Dialogue™, we talk with Becky West, leader of Aon Hewitt’s defined contribution practice in Canada, about the Canadian retirement system.”]

[4/10/13]  The Washington Post:  “Obama to unveil $3.77 trillion spending plan

[4/10/13]  Plan Sponsor:  “Savings Cap Could Affect Up to 5% of Participants

[4/10/13]  LIMRA:  “LIMRA: Relationships Key to Success in the Rollover Market” [News Release]

[4/10/13]  401khelpcenter.com:  “Frontline to Critique 401k Plans” [“’The Retirement Gamble’ is set to air on April 23rd and will raise ‘troubling questions about how America’s financial institutions protect our retirement savings’.”]

[4/10/13]  The Coloradoan:  “Watt: Survey shows faltering confidence in a comfortable retirement

[4/9/13]  U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics:  “Employment-based health benefits in small and large private establishments

[4/9/13]  The Segal Group:  Trends: Noteworthy Developments of Interest to Sponsors of Multiemployer Health Plans [Second Quarter 2013]

[4/9/13]  Plan Sponsor:  “Most DB Plans Remain Underfunded

[4/9/13]  T. Rowe Price:  Getting Beyond Ordinary--Managing Plan Costs in Automatic Programs

[4/9/13]  Insured Retirement Institute:  “Baby Boomers’ Retirement Planning Confidence Trending Downward” [Press Release]

[4/9/13]  New Haven Register:  “Connecticut Money: Workers face big obstacles saving for retirement

[4/8/13]  The Los Angeles Times:  “The numbers behind the decline in workplace benefits

[4/8/13]  Manning & Napier:  Helping Employers and Employees Navigate the Health/Wealth Convergence [A White Paper by Manning & Napier]

[4/8/13]  Plan Sponsor:

[4/8/13]  Aon Hewitt:  “Aon Hewitt Urges U.S. Employers and Providers to Encourage Workers to Keep Retirement Dollars in the Employer-Provided System” [News Release]

[4/8/13]  The Vanguard Group:  “Have lump-sum windows closed for DB plan sponsors?

[4/8/13]  The Wall Street Journal:  “The Case for Spending It -- After All, There’s More to Life Than Amassing Assets

[4/5/13]  Forbes:  “Millions of Americans Can Cut Their 2012 Tax Bills--And Don’t Know It

[4/5/13]  Towers Watson Insider:  “DOL Offers Tools for Health Care Reform and HIPAA Compliance

[4/5/13]  Sibson Consulting Health Care Reform Insights:  “How Health Reimbursement Arrangements Will Work Under the Affordable Care Act in 2014 and Beyond

[4/5/13]  Employee Benefit Adviser:  “What advisers need to know about GAO’s 401(k) report

[4/5/13]  Principal Financial Group:  The Principal Financial Well-Being Index: American Workers -- 1st Quarter 2013 [“The economic outlook brightens as more American workers report feeling secure about the state of the U.S. economy.  Despite the increasingly positive view of the economy, American workers remain cautious when assessing their expectations for the next year.  Workers also report planning for retirement and share what they plan to do with their tax refunds.”]

[4/5/13]  Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation:  Reportable Events and Certain Other Notification Requirements; Proposed rule [as published in the Federal Register on April 3, 2013]

[4/5/13]  The Vanguard Group:  “Retirement readiness a best practice--not an obligation

[4/5/13]  New America Foundation [Blog]:  “The Case for Expanding Social Security

[4/4/13]  Workforce:  “High-Deductible Health Plans Gaining Employer Support

[4/4/13]  The Washington Post:

[4/4/13]  New America Foundation:  Expanded Social Security: A Plan to Increase Retirement Security for All Americans

[4/4/13]  Fidelity Investments:  Fidelity® Five Years Later Research: Executive Summary

[4/4/13]  Plan Sponsor:  “Middle Class in Need of Financial Advice

[4/4/13]  MarketWatch:  “Boomers’ retirement confidence sinks

[4/3/13]  Internal Revenue Service:  Section 401(k) Compliance Check Questionnaire -- Final Report [March 2013]

[4/3/13]  The Washington Post:  “GAO: 401(k) companies often mislead account holders

[4/3/13]  Center for Retirement Research at Boston College:  Do Income Projections Affect Retirement Savings? [Note: The report can be downloaded at the website.]

[4/3/13]  USA Today:  “Survey: Frugality reigns 5 years after crisis

[4/3/13]  Employee Benefit Adviser:  “Small business insurance market from health law delayed a year

[4/3/13]  Workforce:  “Rolling Out Dough May Motivate Employees to Drop Pounds, Study Shows

[4/2/13]  U.S. Department of Labor Employee Benefits Security Administration:

[4/2/13]  The Washington Post:

[4/2/13]  TD Ameritrade:  “Boomers Face $475K Retirement Shortfall, on Average

[4/2/13]  Plan Sponsor:

[4/2/13]  Business Insider:  “Household Debt Could Be a Game Changer for Retirees

[4/1/13]  U.S. Department of Health and Human Services:  Frequently Asked Questions on Reuse of Exchange for Ancillary Products

[4/1/13]  Buck Consultants and WorldatWork:  “Employers Show Increasing Appetite for Technology to Improve Employee Health Engagement” [Press Release]

[4/1/13]  Investment Company Institute:  “Retirement Assets Total $19.5 Trillion in Fourth Quarter 2012

[4/1/13]  Plan Sponsor:  “Calculators, Advisers Boost Retirement Confidence

[4/1/13]  T. Rowe Price:  5th Annual Parents, Kids & Money Survey


What's new at EBRI this month:

EBRI 2012 Fall Policy Forum:  “’Post’ Script: What’s Next for Employment-Based Health Benefits” [“gavel to gavel” webcast - Prerecorded broadcast available through the International Foundation of Employee Benefit Plans]

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]

EBRI's Recent Media Coverage

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

401(k) Balances and Changes Due to Market Volatility


April 2013 EBRI Issue Brief - "Mental Health, Substance Abuse, and Pregnancy: Health Spending Following the PPACA Adult-Dependent Mandate"

April 2013 EBRI Notes - "Characteristics of the Population With Consumer-Driven and High-Deductible Health Plans, 2005-2012" and "Retirement Plan Participation and Asset Allocation, 2010"


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:

The Federal Government's Long-Term Fiscal Outlook: Spring 2013 Update. GAO-13-481SP, April 11.

Private Pensions: Timely Action Needed to Address Impending Multiemployer Plan Insolvencies. GAO-13-240, March 28. Highlights.

401(K) Plans: Labor and IRS Could Improve the Rollover Process for Participants. GAO-13-30, March 7. Highlights.

Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act: Effect on Long-Term Federal Budget Outlook Largely Depends on Whether Cost Containment Sustained. GAO-13-281, January 31. Highlights.

Private Pensions: Multiemployer Plans and PBGC Face Urgent Challenges, by Charles Jeszeck, director, education, workforce, and income security issues, before the Subcommittee on Health, Employment, Labor and Pensions, House Committee on Education and the Workforce. GAO-13-428T, March 5. 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.



Updated 4/30/13