What's New - August 2015



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[8/31/15] Gallup: “Americans’ Satisfaction With Job Aspects Up From 2005

[8/31/15] NAPA Net: “Participant Trading Spikes Amid Market Volatility

[8/31/15] CNBC.com: “Market volatility’s silver lining for retirement investors

[8/31/15] PlanSponsor: “QLACs Can Reduce Longevity Risk for Some

[8/31/15] Manning & Napier: “Five Ways to Improve Employee Savings and Participation Rates

[8/31/15] PIMCO DC Dialogue: “Not-for-Profits Get Retirement-Ready” [“In this PIMCO DC Dialogue, we speak with Paul Staples, Director of Defined Contribution Services at Summit Strategies Group, about the defined contribution (DC) plan evolution within not-for-profit organizations.”]

[8/31/15] WalletHub: “2015’s Best and Worst Cities to Retire” [featuring Sudipto Banerjee, research associate with the Employee Benefit Research Institute]

[8/31/15] Forbes: “Narrower Doctor Choices Coming for Obamacare and Employer Plans

[8/31/15] MedCity News: “Study: Few health savings account owners invest in financial markets

[8/31/15] KHN Morning Briefing: “Flexible Spending Accounts Might Vanish When ‘Cadillac Tax’ Kicks In

[8/28/15] Kaiser Health News: “Few Health Savings Accounts Owners Choose to Invest That Money, Study Finds

[8/28/15] Marsh & McLennan Agency Viewsletter: “Increasing Employee Cost-Sharing

[8/28/15] CNN: “Rising cost of prescription drugs threatens health care gains

[8/28/15] BenefitsPro: “EBRI modeling shows QLACs boost retirement readiness

[8/28/15] Plan Sponsor Council of America: 401(k)/403(b) Day 2015: 5 Ways for a Secure Retirement [“Bring financial wellness to your participants with this year’s campaign.”]

[8/28/15] Buck Consultants’ FYI® Alert: “Recent Market Volatility -- Impacts on Retirement Plans

[8/28/15] The Pew Charitable Trusts: The State Pensions Funding Gap: Challenges Persist [Note: The full brief can be downloaded at the website.]

[8/28/15] National Institute on Retirement Security Issue Brief: “Retirement Security Risks: What Role Can Annuities Play in Easing Risks in Public Pension Plans?

[8/28/15] NAPA Net: “Boeing Lands a Deal in 401(k) Lawsuit

[8/28/15] KQED: “San Jose’s Long and Winding Road to Pension Reform Takes Another Turn

[8/27/15] PlanSponsor: “Incentives Boost Financial Wellness Success

[8/27/15] The Institute for HealthCare Consumerism [The Private Exchange Blog]: “Private Exchanges Leading to Both a ‘Buy-down’ and a ‘Buy-up’ Effect

[8/27/15] Congressional Research Service:

[8/27/15] Valence Health: U.S. Attitudes Toward Health Insurance and Healthcare Reform [A report by Valence Health]

[8/27/15] Society for Human Resource Management: “Value of Disability Benefits Often Overlooked

[8/27/15] Buck Consultants FYI® In-Depth: “Retiree HRAs and the ACA -- Doing It Right

[8/27/15] International Foundation of Employee Benefit Plans: Retirement 101: A Free Resource for Your Workforce

[8/27/15] Nasdaq: “8 Reasons You Won’t Retire at 65

[8/27/15] The Motley Fool: “Annuities: Understanding the Good and Bad of This Retirement Income Option

[8/27/15] Nationwide: The Nationwide Retirement Institute Consumer Social Security PR Study [Conducted by Harris Poll]

[8/27/15] BenefitsPro: “Analyst says DOL creates new conflict in its conflict of interest rule

[8/27/15] The Wall Street Journal: “Boeing Fights Retirement-Plan Class Action

[8/25/15] Kaiser Family Foundation: “How Many Employers Could Be Affected by the Cadillac Plan Tax?

[8/25/15] American Journal of Managed Care: “Waking Up to the Opportunity of Self-Funded Employee Health Benefits

[8/25/15] Forbes: “How Consumers Will Fix the Healthcare System, Part II

[8/25/15] Nasdaq: “Health Care: The Stealth Retirement Expense

[8/25/15] TIME: “Why Trouble in China is Hitting Your 401(k)

[8/25/15] Calpensions: “Brown aides urge CalPERS to speed up rate hike

[8/25/15] PlanSponsor: “Court Affirms Dismissal of Verizon Pension Risk Transfer Suit

[8/25/15] The ERISA Law Group: “Ten Investment Lessons for Trustees - Tibble v. Edison

[8/24/15] Prudential’s Pension Analyst Compliance Bulletin: “Many Defined Contribution Plan Sponsors Must Annually ‘Notice’ Their Participants

[8/24/15] PlanSponsor: “Plan Participants Prefer One-on-One Advice to Group Sessions

[8/24/15] Vanguard: “The value of managed account advice

[8/24/15] Transamerica Center for Retirement Studies: 16th Annual Transamerica Retirement Survey: A Compendium of Findings About American Workers

[8/24/15] Minneapolis Star Tribune: “Retirement outlook is more challenging for women

[8/24/15] NAPA Net Daily: “ICI: 401(k) Fees Continue to Fall

[8/24/15] The Wall Street Journal: “U.S. Steel Freezes Defined Benefit Plan

[8/24/15] Buck Consultants’ FYI®: “Public Pension Litigation Update: Summer 2015

[8/24/15] Forbes: “Small Business Dilemma: Paying for Health Care

[8/24/15] Healthcare Informatics: “The Data Analytics Journey: Healthcare Leaders Assess the Current Moment, and the Path Ahead

[8/21/15] Mercer: An Ideal Retirement System [Prepared by Mercer for the CFA Institute]

[8/21/15] NAPA Net: “DB-Style Investment Options Growing in 401(k) Plans, and for Good Reason

[8/21/15] PlanVision: 401k Education: Giving Employees a Voice [“An overview of how employers can design a retirement plan communication program that will help meet the needs of their employees”]

[8/21/15] Kravitz: 2015 National Cash Balance Research Report

[8/21/15] PlanSponsor: “Trial Date Set for Boeing 401(k) Fee Case

[8/21/15] Cammack Retirement: “Early Distribution Penalty Waived for Federal Employees

[8/21/15] BloombergBusiness: “The Startups That Give You a Second Opinion on Costly Surgery -- Employers say double-checking doctors’ orders can control medical costs

[8/21/15] The Center on Health Insurance Reforms and Robert Wood Johnson Foundation: Big Data: A New Paradigm for Health Plan Oversight and Consumer Protection?

[8/21/15] Buck Consultants’ FYI®: “Trade Bill Increases Penalties for IRS Reporting Failures Including ACA, Extends HCTC

[8/21/15] Kaiser Family Foundation: Kaiser Health Tracking Poll: August 2015

[8/20/15] IngramsOnline.com: “Alternate Funding Can Ease Health Insurance Squeeze

[8/20/15] Internal Revenue Service: “How the Health Care Law Affects Aggregated Companies” [IRS Health Care Tax Tip 2015-50, August 18, 2015]

[8/20/15] USA Today: “Health-care ‘Cadillac tax’ could be hurdle in auto talks

[8/20/15] Forbes: “How Consumers Will Fix the Healthcare System, Part I

[8/20/15] Bench & Bar of Minnesota: “King v. Burwell: Last Piece of Obamacare Puzzle?

[8/20/15] Fox Rothschild LLP: “Myriad Sick Leave Laws Create Headaches for Employers

[8/20/15] ICI Research Perspective: “The Economics of Providing 401(k) Plans: Services, Fees, and Expenses, 2014

[8/20/15] Chatham Partners: “Service and Technology Drive TPA Satisfaction

[8/20/15] PlanAdviser: “Public Plans for Private Sector Workers

[8/20/15] Ropes & Gray LLP: “Commenters React to DOL’s Proposed Expansion of Fiduciary-Duty Rules

[8/20/15] October Three: “DOL’s Fiduciary Proposal: Significance for Plan Sponsors

[8/20/15] Wolters Kluwer Law & Business: “Eleventh Circuit orders reconsideration of pre-Tibble fiduciary breach cases dismissed as time barred

[8/19/15] PlanSponsor: “Plan Participant Savings Growth Stalls

[8/19/15] NAPA Net: “Vast Majority of Workers Favor AE

[8/19/15] Thompson Information Services: “Mutual Fund Companies Tend to Favor Own Funds in 401(k) Menus

[8/19/15] PlanAdviser: “Experts Advise Investors to Accept Short-Term Volatility

[8/19/15] Financial Engines: “The Cost of Financial Procrastination” [Infographic]

[8/19/15] Nasdaq: “The Most Underrated Factor in Retirement Income Sustainability

[8/19/15] Vision Monday: “Small Firms Not Among the Growing Self-Insurance Movement

[8/19/15] OneNewsNow: “As healthcare costs rise, employers plan to cut spousal benefits

[8/19/15] Kaiser Health News: “Large Employers Look to Tighten Control of Costs for Expensive Drugs

[8/19/15] Forbes: “Reports of the Death of Employer Sponsored Health Insurance Are Greatly Exaggerated

[8/18/15] PlanSponsor: “Managing Retirement Plan Participants’ Reactions to Volatility

[8/18/15] USA Today: “Auto enrollment in 401(k)s takes the guesswork out of retirement

[8/18/15] CNN Money: “Baby boomers have too much retirement savings in stocks

[8/18/15] Center for Retirement Research at Boston College’s Squared Away Blog: “Retirement: a Priority for Millennials?

[8/18/15] NAPA Net: “Failure to Diversify Brings $15 Million Judgment

[8/18/15] TIME: “Why Social Security Is More Crucial Than Ever for Your Retirement

[8/18/15] U.S. News & World Report: “Cadillac Tax: A Portion of Obamacare Both Parties Hate

[8/18/15] The Commonwealth Fund Blog: “The Ramifications of Repealing the Individual Mandate

[8/17/15] Marsh Consulting Group: “HSA-HDHPs as a Health Care Cost Control Strategy

[8/17/15] Altarum Institute: “Health Spending Acceleration in 2015 is Moderating

[8/17/15] Sibson Consulting Perspectives: “What You Can Learn from Millennials Can Improve Your Workplace Wellness Program

[8/17/15] Kaiser Health News: “Business Leaders, GOP Question HHS’ Change on Families’ Out-of-Pocket Limits

[8/17/15] The Wall Street Journal: “Obama Targets Financial Advisers

[8/17/15] ThinkAdvisor: “Robo-Advisors Will Need Humans -- Yes, Humans -- to Grow Business: Cerulli

[8/17/15] The Motley Fool: “67% of Gen Xers Feel Hopeless About This -- but They’re Wrong

[8/17/15] BenefitsPro: “Society of Actuaries analyzes stress on multiemployer pension plans

[8/17/15] Nuveen Asset Management: “Obligation-based Asset Allocation for Public Pension Plans

[8/17/15] PolitiFact and JSOnline: “Wisconsin is only state with a fully funded pension system, Scott Walker says

[8/14/15] Manhattan Institute for Policy Research: Defined-Contribution Pensions Are Cost-Effective

[8/14/15] USA Today: “How to handle your 401(k) after you retire

[8/14/15] LifeHealthPro: “Annuities critical in retirement planning

[8/14/15] Reuters (via TIME): “Better IRAs for Small Business Employees Are on the Way

[8/14/15] NAPA Net: “TDF Provider Sued for Excessive Fees

[8/14/15] U.S. Department of Labor Employee Benefits Security Administration: Fiduciary Definition and Conflict of Interest Proposed Rule -- This webpage includes links to the Public Hearing Webcast Archive; Written Testimony & Hearing-Related Materials; Requests to Testify at Public Hearing; Public Comments.

[8/14/15] Retirement Income Journal: “DOL Hearings: Wonkishly Stimulating” [Note: A subscription may be required to view the full article.]

[8/14/15] Styrk: “Despite Risks, State and Local Governments Turn to Pension Obligation Bonds

[8/14/15] Calpensions: “Pension initiative ballot summary draws crossfire

[8/14/15] PlanAdviser: “Record Companies Sued Over Pension Contributions

[8/14/15] Brookings: Social Security Coverage for State and Local Government Workers: A Reconsideration

[8/14/15] Society for Human Resource Management: “Cost Control, Behavior Change Top Health Agendas for 2016

[8/14/15] Towers Watson’s The OneExchange Blog: “Employees Underutilizing Employee Assistance Programs

[8/14/15] National Academy of Social Insurance: Workers’ Compensation: Benefits, Coverage, and Costs, 2013

[8/13/15] PlanSponsor: “DOL Stands Firm on Fiduciary Rule Despite Negative Comments

[8/13/15] Deloitte, International Foundation of Employee Benefit Plans, and International Society of Certified Employee Benefit Specialists: Annual Defined Contribution Benchmarking Survey -- Ease of Use Drives Engagement in Saving for Retirement [2015 edition]

[8/13/15] NAPA Net: “Why the ‘Ideal’ Plan Isn’t

[8/13/15] MSN: “Don’t be too generous with your retirement cash

[8/13/15] Towers Watson Insider: “DOL Clarifies Annuity Selection Safe Harbor Regulation for DC Plans

[8/13/15] U.S. Department of Labor Employee Benefits Security Administration: FAQs about Affordable Care Act Implementation (Part XXVIII) [Future Tri-Department Transparency Reporting Rulemaking for Non-QHP Coverage]

[8/13/15] BenefitsPro: “Large employers have a grip on health care costs

[8/13/15] Devenir Research: 2015 Midyear HSA Market Statistics & Trends, Executive Summary

[8/13/15] Investors.com: “ObamaCare’s ‘Cadillac Tax’ Could Kill Popular HSA Plans

[8/13/15] National Academy of Social Insurance [Infographic]: “Workers’ Compensation Benefits Decline, While Employer Costs Rise

[8/12/15] PlanSponsor: “ICI Savings Snapshot Shows Individual Commitment

[8/12/15] TheStreet.com: “3 Reasons Why Automatic 401(k) Enrollment May Not Be Enough for Retirement Saving

[8/12/15] NAPA Net: “Economic Analysis Drives Day 2 of Hearings on DOL’s Fiduciary Rule

[8/12/15] InsuranceNewsNet: “DOL Limits Plans’ QLAC Monitoring Responsibility

[8/12/15] The News&Observer: “NC Senate moves to protect high earners’ pensions

[8/12/15] AHIP Data Brief: “Impact of Hospital Consolidation on Health Insurance Premiums

[8/12/15] ABD Insurance & Financial Services: “Compliance Alert - New HSA and ACA Reprieves for Veterans in Latest Highway Funding Bill

[8/12/15] Buck Consultants’ FYI®: “Departments Issue Final Regulations on Preventive Services

[8/11/15] National Center for Policy Analysis: “Health Savings Accounts in 2014

[8/11/15] U.S. News & World Report: “Is Your Company’s Employee Wellness Program Right for You?

[8/11/15] American Journal of Managed Care: “Consumers Show Lack of Awareness of Workplace Wellness Programs

[8/11/15] Gallup: “In U.S., Uninsured Rates Continue to Drop in Most States

[8/11/15] Urban Institute and Robert Wood Johnson Foundation: Recent Evidence on the ACA and Employment: Has the ACA Been a Job Killer?

[8/11/15] IBJ.com: “Costs of data breaches, just this year, outstrip subsidies to digitize health care

[8/11/15] The Slott Report: “How You Can Utilize an HSA Now to Save for Retirement

[8/11/15] NAPA Net: “Conflicts of Interest Aired at the ‘Conflicts of Interest’ Hearing

[8/11/15] PlanSponsor: “TDFs Continue Growth as Target-Risk Funds Lose Assets

[8/11/15] HRBenefitsAlert.com: “The Netflix effect: Will generous paternity leave policies catch on?

[8/7/15] Investment Company Institute Research Report: “Defined Contribution Plan Participants’ Activities, First Quarter 2015

[8/7/15] NAPA Net: “Roth IRAs, TDFs Growing Among Younger Workers

[8/7/15] Prudential: The African American Financial Experience: 2015-16 Prudential Research

[8/7/15] MSN: “There’s a glimmer of hope that the retirement system isn’t broken for good

[8/7/15] Milliman 100 Pension Funding Index: “Milliman analysis: Corporate pension funded status drops by $16 billion in July

[8/7/15] Forbes: “Healthcare Consolidation Leaves Consumers With Fewer Choices and More Problems

[8/7/15] Employee Benefit Adviser: “ADP promises to work with brokers on new private exchange

[8/7/15] Urban Institute and Robert Wood Johnson Foundation: Has Faster Health Care Spending Growth Returned?

[8/7/15] Internal Revenue Service: “What Employers Need to Know about the Affordable Care Act” [IRS Health Care Tax Tip 2015-46, August 4, 2015]

[8/7/15] HRE Daily: “The Paradox of Unlimited Paid Leave

[8/6/15] U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics: “Private employer costs for pay and benefits rose 1.9 percent from June 2014 to June 2015

[8/6/15] USA Today: “Protect your nest egg: rebalance your 401(k) to avoid risk

[8/6/15] Market Strategies International: Navigating Change in the 401(k) Market: Key Insights for DC Plan Providers and Investment Managers

[8/6/15] InsuranceNewsNet: “IRA Owners Are Taking Their RMDs

[8/6/15] Mercer: “Pressures on Defined Benefit Plans Spur Plan Sponsors to Action

[8/6/15] Internal Revenue Service: Suspension of Benefits Under the Multiemployer Pension Reform Act of 2014; Temporary regulations; correction [as published in the Federal Register on August 6, 2015 - This document contains corrections to temporary regulations (TD 9723) that were published in the Federal Register on Friday, June 19, 2015 (80 FR 35207). The temporary regulations relate to multiemployer pension plans that are projected to have insufficient funds, at some point in the future, to pay the full benefits to which individuals will be entitled under the plans (referred to as plans in “critical and declining status”). This correction is effective August 6, 2015 and applicable June 19, 2015.]

[8/6/15] Internal Revenue Service: Suspension of Benefits Under the Multiemployer Pension Reform Act of 2014; Correction to a notice of proposed rulemaking, notice of proposed rulemaking by cross-reference to temporary regulations, and notice of public hearing [as published in the Federal Register on August 6, 2015 - Written or electronic comments, and outlines of topics to be discussed at the public hearing scheduled for September 10, 2015 for the notice of proposed rulemaking at 80 FR 35262, June 19, 2015, are still being accepted and must be received by August 18, 2015.]

[8/6/15] Thomson Reuters: “Recent Legislation Impacts COBRA, HSAs, Expatriate Plans, ACA Reporting Penalties and the Employer Mandate

[8/6/15] American Academy of Actuaries Issue Brief: “Drivers of 2016 Health Insurance Premium Changes

[8/6/15] Buck Consultants FYI®: “Feel Better? California Amends Paid Sick Leave Law

[8/5/15] PlanSponsor: “Matches, Automatic Features Becoming More Common

[8/5/15] Treasury & Risk: “Should Plan Sponsors Restrict Access to 401(k) Loans? - Recent study estimates defaults on plan loans cost retirement savers $6 billion annually.

[8/5/15] Vanguard Blog for Institutional Investors: “Four steps to fiduciary success for plan committees

[8/5/15] Calpensions: “Pension initiative has ‘significant’ savings, costs

[8/5/15] Social Security Administration: OASDI Beneficiaries by State and County, 2014 [“This annual publication provides data on the Social Security population at the local level. It presents basic program data by type of benefit (retirement, survivors, and disability) and category of beneficiary (retired and disabled workers, wives and husbands, widows and widowers, and children).”]

[8/5/15] The Institute for HealthCare Consumerism [The Private Exchange Blog]: “Private Health Insurance Exchanges Demonstrate Their Business Value

[8/5/15] The Commonwealth Fund Issue Brief: “Primary Care Providers’ Views of Recent Trends in Health Care Delivery and Payment: Findings from the Commonwealth Fund/Kaiser Family Foundation 2015 National Survey of Primary Care Providers

[8/5/15] Kaiser Health News: “Pregnancy - A Touchy Subject in Employee Wellness Health Assessments

[8/4/15] U.S. Department of Labor Employee Benefits Security Administration: Public Hearing Agenda - Fiduciary Definition and Conflict of Interest Proposed Rule [Aug. 10-13, 2015]

[8/4/15] NAPA Net: “Things Heat Up for 401(k) Balances in July

[8/4/15] J.P. Morgan Asset Management: What if we live in a low-return world? Implications for pension funds

[8/4/15] Internal Revenue Service: Updated Static Mortality Tables for Defined Benefit Pension Plans for 2016 [Notice 2015-53]

[8/4/15] Social Security Bulletin: “Education, Earnings Inequality, and Future Social Security Benefits: A Microsimulation Analysis

[8/4/15] Proskauer’s ERISA Practice Center Blog: “Eleventh Circuit Again Affirms Dismissal of Stock Drop Claim Against Delta Airlines

[8/4/15] WPRI.com: “Fire union wants to vacate Providence pension deal

[8/4/15] Thompson Information Services: “Failure to Provide FMLA Notice to Employee Costs Employer $275K

[8/4/15] Kaiser Health News: “Advocates Say Mental Health ‘Parity’ Law Is Not Fulfilling Its Promise

[8/4/15] USA Today: “Obamacare reduces maximum out-of-pocket costs, but not enough for some

[8/3/15] BenefitsPro: “3 bad choices a DC plan lets you make

[8/3/15] Forbes: “The Growing Problem with Target Retirement Funds… We’re Growing Older and Living Longer

[8/3/15] NAPA Net: “Are 403(b) Plans More Receptive to Financial Wellness?

[8/3/15] USA Today: “Retirement fear: Inflation

[8/3/15] Smart Business: “How to use incentives to maximize your workplace wellness program

[8/3/15] Healthcare Informatics: “Transforming Healthcare Through ‘Big Data’

[8/3/15] CIO: “How predictive analytics will revolutionize healthcare

[8/3/15] The Wall Street Journal: “The Connection Between Health Coverage and Income Security

[8/3/15] Financial Accounting Standards Board: Plan Accounting: Defined Benefit Pension Plans (Topic 960); Defined Contribution Pension Plans (Topic 962); Health and Welfare Benefit Plans (Topic 965) -- I. Fully Benefit-Responsive Investment Contracts - II. Plan Investment Disclosures - III. Measurement Date Practical Expedient [No. 2015-12, July 2015]

[8/3/15] Journal of Accountancy: “FASB update aims to simplify employee benefit plan accounting

What's new at EBRI this month:

EBRI 2015 Spring Policy Forum: "Evidence on Defined Contribution Health and Retirement: The Road Ahead" [“gavel-to-gavel” webcast - Prerecorded broadcast available through the International Foundation of Employee Benefit Plans]

EBRI 2014 Fall Policy Forum: “Measured Matters” [“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


August 2015 EBRI Issue Brief - "Financial Incentives, Workplace Wellness Program Participation, and Utilization of Health Care Services and Spending"

August 2015 EBRI Notes - "Investment Options and HSAs: Findings from the EBRI HSA Database" and "How Much Can Qualifying Longevity Annuity Contracts Improve Retirement Security?"


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:

U.S. Savings Bonds: Future of Offering Paper Savings Bonds at Tax Time Is Uncertain, and Lower-Income Households Continue to Face Savings Challenges. GAO-15-563, July 16. Highlights.

Highlights of a Forum: Financial Literacy: The Role of the Workplace. GAO-15-639SP, July 7. Highlights.

401(K) Plans: Frequent and Collective Trading Are Uncommon and Not a Significant Concern for Plan Participants, Sponsors, or Mutual Funds. GAO-15-427R, May 14.

Retirement Security: Most Households Approaching Retirement Have Low Savings. GAO-15-419, May 12. Highlights. Podcast.


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 8/31/15