What's New - August 2012

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[8/31/12]  U.S. Census Bureau:  Model-based Small Area Health Insurance Estimates (SAHIE) for Counties and States

[8/31/12]  Center for State & Local Government Excellence Issue Brief:  “State Health Plans During Times of Fiscal Austerity: The Challenge of Improving Benefits While Moderating Costs” [Full report may be downloaded at the website]

[8/31/12]  MarketWatch:  “For retirees, 70 may not be the new 65

[8/31/12]  Workforce Management:  “Working Longer No Lock for Comfortable Retirement

[8/31/12]  Plan Sponsor:  “SEC Issues Financial Literacy Study

[8/31/12]  National Bureau of Economic Research:  Behavioral Effects of Social Security Policies on Benefit Claiming, Retirement and Saving [Paper co-authored by Alan L. Gustman and Thomas L. Steinmeier and presented at the 14th Annual Joint Conference of the Retirement Research Consortium, August 2-3, 2012]

[8/30/12]  National Association of Government Defined Contribution Administrators:  NAGDCA 2012 Survey of Defined Contribution Plans II

[8/30/12]  Plan Sponsor:

[8/30/12]  The New York Times:  “Postponing Retirement Indefinitely

[8/30/12]  The Wall Street Journal:  “The Economy Stole My Retirement - Retirements in Peril for Entrepreneurs in Their 60s and 70s Who Can’t Sell Their Companies

[8/30/12]  MarketWatch:  “Half of Americans die with almost no money

[8/30/12]  Social Security Administration:  Fast Facts & Figures About Social Security, 2012

[8/29/12]  Insured Retirement Institute:  Baby Boomers and Generation Xers: Are They on Track to Reach Their Retirement Goals?

[8/29/12]  AdvisorOne:  “After Election, Tax Preferences for Retirement, Health Benefits Likely on Chopping Block

[8/29/12]  Plan Sponsor:  “Survey Suggests No Expected Uproar About Fee Disclosures

[8/29/12]  National Conference of State Legislatures:  Pensions and Retirement Plan Enactments in 2012 State Legislatures [August 31, 2012]

[8/29/12]  Towers Watson:  “Towers Watson Projects Employer Health Care Costs Will Increase 5.3% in 2013 -- Employers Remain Committed to Health Care Plan Sponsorship

[8/29/12]  USA Today:  “Employers try new ways to cut health costs, study says

[8/28/12]  U.S. Department of Labor:  “Retirement Savings: Saving More for Tomorrow by Paying Less in 401(k) Fees Today” [Webcast scheduled for Thursday, Sept. 13, 2:00-3:00 pm EDT; registration is required]

[8/28/12]  Plan Sponsor:

[8/28/12]  Minneapolis Star Tribune:  “Low interest rates throw wrench into retirements

[8/28/12]  Essential Health Benefits Coalition:  “Coalition offers HHS recommendations for consideration on Essential Health Benefits” [News Release]

[8/28/12]  CBS MoneyWatch:  “Is a Health Savings Account Right for You?

[8/28/12]  Human Resource Executive Online:  “The ‘Grand Experiments’: Are corporate exchanges the answer to soaring healthcare costs?

[8/24/12]  Sibson Consulting’s Capital Checkup:  “Affordable Care Act Guidance on Temporary Reinsurance Program Fees

[8/24/12]  Plan Sponsor:

[8/24/12]  U.S. News & World Report:  “New 401(k) Expense Reports Greeted with Yawns

[8/24/12]  The New York Times:  “Big Income Losses for Those Near Retirement

[8/24/12]  Smartmoney.com:  “Are Advisers Sexist about Social Security?

[8/24/12]  PIMCO DC Dialogue™:  “What’s up down under?” [“In this PIMCO DC Dialogue™, we talk with Associate Professor Julie Agnew, who is on sabbatical in Australia, about the development of the Australian retirement system and its defined contribution plans called ‘superannuation schemes’.”]

[8/23/12]  Center for Retirement Research at Boston College:  2010 SCF Suggests Even Greater Retirement Risks

[8/23/12]  CNBC.com:  “Retirement Savings Improve, but Not Enough

[8/23/12]  Plan Sponsor:

[8/23/12]  Pew Research Center:  The Lost Decade of the Middle Class: Fewer, Poorer, Gloomier

[8/22/12]  MetLife:  Are You Listening? What Small Business Employees Want from Their Benefits and How Employers Can Show They’ve Heard

[8/22/12]  Bank of America Merrill Lynch:  401(k) Wellness Scorecard -- For quarter ending June 30, 2012

[8/22/12]  Plan Sponsor:  “Many Employers Think Delayed Retirement Is a Plus

[8/22/12]  ThomasNet.com:  “Working through Our Golden Years

[8/22/12]  Workforce.com:  “Retailers and Hospitality Industry Employers Face Big Health Care Reform Law Related Cost Increases in 2014

[8/22/12]  Social Security Administration:  Social Security Programs Throughout the World: Europe, 2012

[8/21/12]  Fidelity Investments:  “401(k) fees: What to look for

[8/21/12]  Fox Business:  “Retirement Savings Poll: Don’t Call it a Comeback

[8/21/12]  USA Today:  “Health care enrollment time tries workers

[8/21/12]  Plan Sponsor:  “College and University Health Care Costs Increasing

[8/21/12]  Colonial Life:  Well on the Way: Engaging Employees in Workplace Wellness [White Paper]

[8/20/12]  U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics:  “Access to and Use of Leave--2011 Data from the American Time Use Survey” [News Release]

[8/20/12]  USA Today:  “New 401(k) statements disclose management fees

[8/20/12]  Vanguard:  “Annuities in DC plans: What to expect from D.C.

[8/20/12]  Plan Sponsor:

[8/20/12]  Kansas City Star:  “For many boomers, ‘retirement age’ is a moving target

[8/17/12]  Benz Communications:  Inside Benefits Communication Survey Report

[8/17/12]  Kaiser Family Foundation:  Kaiser Health Tracking Poll -- August 2012

[8/17/12]  The Washington Post:  “New rules expose bigger funding gaps for public pensions

[8/17/12]  LifeHealthPro:  “SOA Survey: More than One-third of Pre-retirees Don’t Plan to Retire

[8/17/12]  Prudential’s Pension Analyst:  “Same-sex marriage laws present challenges for retirement plan sponsors

[8/17/12]  Plan Sponsor:  “Employers Say Employee Financial Literacy Is Important

[8/16/12]  Home Channel News:  “Provider networks, premiums drive health plan choices

[8/16/12]  National Center for Policy Analysis:  “Accountable Care Organizations: Panacea or Train Wreck?

[8/16/12]  Center for Consumer Information & Insurance Oversight:  Blueprint for Approval of Affordable State-based and State Partnership Insurance Exchanges

[8/16/12]  Plan Sponsor:  “Many Participants Do Not Understand Fees

[8/16/12]  Plan Adviser:  “Rethinking Lifecycle Funds

[8/16/12]  CBS MoneyWatch:  “What are the best retirement calculators?

[8/14/12]  Plan Sponsor:  “Employers Could Improve Benefits Education

[8/14/12]  Putnam Institute:  Defined contribution plans: Missing the forest for the trees?

[8/14/12]  Investment News:  “Playing with money -- Games aim to teach young workers how to save for retirement

[8/14/12]  Herald Times Reporter:  “Other views: Boomers learn hard retirement lessons

[8/14/12]  Kaiser Family Foundation Notes on Health Insurance and Reform:  “Transparency and Complexity

[8/14/12]  National Association of Insurance Commissioners:  Implementing the Affordable Care Act’s Insurance Reforms:  Consumer Recommendations for Regulators and Lawmakers

[8/13/12]  The New York Times:  “Ambiguity in Health Law Could Make Family Coverage Too Costly for Many

[8/13/12]  Plan Sponsor:  “Willis Updates Health Care Reform Impact Calculator

[8/13/12]  CCH:  “401(k) plan eligibility key factor in retirement readiness, EBRI finds

[8/13/12]  The Wall Street Journal:  “401(k)s for the Self-Employed

[8/13/12]  Center for Retirement Research at Boston College:  Changes in Labor Force Participation of Older Americans and Their Pension Structures: A Policy Perspective [Working Paper]

[8/13/12]  Associated Press (via The Washington Post):  “Social Security’s long-term funding gap exceeds $30 trillion, dwarfing short-term surplus

[8/10/12]  Robert Wood Johnson Foundation:  How Do Consumer-Directed Health Care Plans Affect Medical Care?

[8/10/12]  Plan Sponsor:

[8/10/12]  U.S. Census Bureau:  Annual Survey of Public Pensions: State-Administered Defined Benefit Data

[8/10/12]  Center for State & Local Government Excellence Issue Brief:  “Legal Constraints on Changes in State and Local Pensions

[8/10/12]  National Association of State Retirement Administrators:  NASRA Issue Brief: State Hybrid Retirement Plans Part II: Shared-Risk Arrangements

[8/10/12]  Reverse Mortgage Daily:  “Even at 95, Americans Are Hanging on to Their Homes

[8/9/12]  National Business Group on Health:  “Large U.S. Employers Expect to Hold Health Care Benefit Cost Increases to 7% in 2013, National Business Group on Health Survey Finds” [Press Release]

[8/9/12]  Mercer:  “Health Reform Poses Biggest Challenges to Companies with the Most Part-Time and Low-Paid Employees

[8/9/12]  American Medical News:  “FAIR Health database of claims opens to researchers

[8/9/12]  U.S. Department of Health and Human Services:  FAQs About Affordable Care Act Implementation Part X [an additional FAQ regarding implementation of the summary of benefits and coverage (SBC) provisions of the ACA]

[8/9/12]  Prudential Retirement:  Longevity Risk and Insurance Solutions for U.S. Corporate Pension Plans

[8/9/12]  The Fiscal Times:  “Lawmakers Propose Pension-Like U.S. Retirement Fund

[8/8/12]  Plan Sponsor:

[8/8/12]  DCAdvisors:  New Disclosure Requirements Pull Back the Curtain on Retirement Plan Fees [White Paper]

[8/8/12]  LIMRA:  Consumers’ Retirement Perspectives -- Third Quarter 2012

[8/8/12]  MSN Money:  “Why you may retire in poverty

[8/8/12]  National Council on Aging:  The United States of Aging [“UnitedHealthcare, USA TODAY, and NCOA surveyed 2,250 U.S. adults aged 60 or older for the inaugural United States of Aging Survey to examine seniors’ outlook and preparedness for aging, and their community’s ability to meet their needs as they age.” This website includes key findings, survey fact sheets, a press release, topline results, and other data from the survey.]

[8/8/12]  AARP:  “Today’s Retirees First to Pay More into Social Security Than They’ll Get Back

[8/7/12]  U.S. Department of Labor Employee Benefits Security Administration:  Definition of the Term “Fiduciary” Proposed Rule [This webpage includes extensive resources surrounding the fiduciary definition proposed rule, including transcripts of testimony by, and interviews with, Assistant Secretary Phyllis C. Borzi; text of rulemaking data request and responses related to the Oliver Wyman report; public hearing written testimony; 39 written requests to testify at public hearing; 202 public comments on the proposed rule; and 114 public comments post-hearing.] 

[8/7/12]  Prudential Retirement:  Better Participant Outcomes Through In-Plan Guaranteed Retirement Income

[8/7/12]  Detroit Free Press:  “Susan Tompor: Lump-sum opinions are everywhere

[8/7/12]  Milliman 100 Pension Funding Index:  “Milliman analysis: July’s $120 billion funded status decline pushes pension deficit to a record $533 billion

[8/7/12]  Optum™:  Wellness in the Workplace 2012: An Optum® Research Update

[8/7/12]  CCH:  “Provider Networks, Premiums Key Factors in Health Plan Choice

[8/6/12]  Buck Consultants FYI:  “Addressing Employer Questions about Health Care Reform

[8/6/12]  Fidelity Investments:  Save Now, Play Later: Gen Y’s Retirement Savings Behaviors

[8/6/12]  University of Michigan Retirement Research Center:  How Did the Recession of 2007-2009 Affect the Wealth and Retirement of the Near Retirement Age Population in the Health and Retirement Study? [Working Paper]

[8/6/12]  Bloomberg Businessweek:  “Overlooking disability insurance can be costly

[8/3/12]  Plan Sponsor:  “Gen Y Most Properly Allocated 401(k) Participants

[8/3/12]  American Academy of Actuaries Issue Brief:  “The 80% Pension Funding Standard Myth

[8/3/12]  BMO Retirement Institute:  Broadening the approach to preparing for retirement

[8/3/12]  The Wall Street Journal:  “Employers Move to Adapt to Health Law

[8/3/12]  Families USA:  Fact Sheet: Working toward Wellness: Creating Consumer-Friendly Workplace Wellness Programs

[8/3/12]  McKinsey Quarterly:  “Navigating a changing health care environment -- An interview with Pfizer’s Kristin Peck

[8/2/12]  The Washington Post:  “Fidelity: Average 401(k) balance declines 2 percent in 2nd quarter as stocks slip

[8/2/12]  Insured Retirement Institute:  Women and Retirement -- Overcoming Retirement Income Challenges Facing Women

[8/2/12]  Social Security Bulletin:  [Vol. 72, No. 3]

[8/2/12]  U.S. Department of Health & Human Services:  “Health care law gives women control over their care, offers free preventive services to 47 million women” [News Release]

[8/1/12]  U.S. Department of Labor Employee Benefits Security Administration:  Field Assistance Bulletin No. 2012-02R [Fee Disclosure Guidance] - [This FAB supersedes Field Assistance Bulletin No. 2012-02 issued May 7, 2012.]

[8/1/12]  Buck Consultants FYI:  “DOL Retreats on Brokerage Window ‘Safe Harbor’

[8/1/12]  National Conference of State Legislatures:  Pensions and Retirement Plan Enactments in 2012 State Legislatures [July 15, 2012]

[8/1/12]  Human Resource Executive Online:  “COLAs Vanishing from Pension Plans

[8/1/12]  U.S. News & World Report [Blog]:  “5 Ways the Recession Changed 401(k) Plans

[8/1/12]  Towers Watson:  2012 Onsite Health Center Survey Report

[8/1/12]  Kaiser Family Foundation:  Kaiser Health Tracking Poll -- July 2012

[8/1/12]  Plan Sponsor:  “Employers Face Challenges in Expatriate Benefits Provision

[7/31/12]  U.S. Department of Labor Employee Benefits Security Administration:  162nd Meeting of the Advisory Council on Employee Welfare and Pension Benefit Plans; Notice of Meeting [as published in the Federal Register on July 30, 2012].  The three-day open meeting will be held on August 28-30, 2012; the purpose of the meeting is for the Advisory Council members to hear testimony from invited witnesses and to receive an update from the Employee Benefits Security Administration (EBSA).  Organizations or members of the public wishing to submit a written statement may do so on or before August 14.  The Advisory Council is studying the following issues:

  • Managing Disability Risks in an Environment of Individual Responsibility
  • Current Challenges and Best Practices Concerning Beneficiary Designations in Retirement and Life Insurance Plans
  • Examining Income Replacement During Retirement Years in a Defined Contribution Plan System


What's new at EBRI this month:

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]

Visit EBRI's Blog!

EBRI's Recent Media Coverage

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

401(k) Balances and Changes Due to Market Volatility


August 2012 EBRI Issue Brief - "'After' Math: The Impact and Influence of Incentives on Benefit Policy"

August 2012 EBRI Notes"Satisfaction With Health Coverage and Care: Findings from the 2011 EBRI/MGA Consumer Engagement in Health Care Survey" and "Is Working to Age 70 Really the Answer for Retirement Income Adequacy?"


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:

Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act: Estimates of the Effect on the Prevalence of Employer-Sponsored Health Coverage. GAO-12-768, July 13. Highlights.

Retirement Security: Women Still Face Challenges. GAO-12-699, July 19. Highlights.

Financial Literacy: Overlap of Programs Suggests There May Be Opportunities for Consolidation. GAO-12-588, July 23. Highlights.

Children's Health Insurance: Opportunities Exist for Improved Access to Affordable Insurance. GAO-12-648, June 22. Highlights.

Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act: IRS Managing Implementation Risks, but Its Approach Could Be Refined. GAO-12-690, June 13. Highlights.

Retirement Security: Older Women Remain at Risk, by Barbara D. Bovbjerg, managing director, education, workforce, and income security, before the Senate Special Committee on Aging. GAO-12-825T, July 25.

Delphi Bankruptcy: Termination of Delphi Pension Plans, by A. Nicole Clowers, director, financial markets and community investment issues, before the Subcommittee on TARP, Financial Services and Bailouts of Public and Private Programs, House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform. GAO-12-909T, July 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.

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Updated 8/31/12