What's New - August 2017



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[8/24/17]  PlanSponsor:  “Most Multiemployer Pension Plans in Green Zone -- They are funded on average 87%.

[8/24/17]  National Institute on Retirement Security:  Decisions, Decisions: An Update on Retirement Plan Choices for Public Employees and Employers [Note: The full report can be downloaded at the website.]

[8/24/17]  NAPA Net:  “Not All $5 Million Plan Fees Are the Same

[8/24/17]  Callan Associates:  “How to Build a Better TDF

[8/24/17]  PlanAdviser:  “IRAs Serving Their Purpose -- People use them as both a savings and a rollover vehicle

[8/24/17]  The Pew Charitable Trusts:  Employer Reactions to Leading Retirement Policy Ideas -- Insights from Pew’s national survey of small businesses

[8/24/17]  Arthur J. Gallagher & Co.:  2017 Benefits Strategy & Benchmarking Survey [Excerpt]

[8/24/17]  United Benefit Advisors:  Small Business Healthcare: How Employees Are Faring

[8/24/17]  PlanSponsor:  “Disease Management Important to Controlling Health Benefit Costs -- Employers reported certain diseases/conditions have a big impact on health plan costs.

[8/24/17]  401(k) Specialist:  “A Critical HSA Liability (And Opportunity) -- HSAs fund very different liabilities than 401ks

[8/24/17]  ABD Insurance & Financial Services:  “ABD Commentary - HSAs to Lead the Way After ACA

[8/24/17]  FierceHealthcare:  “Judge rules feds must re-evaluate wellness program rules

[8/24/17]  Healthcare Financial Management Association:  “Are Physicians Taking the Lead on Value-based Care?

[8/17/17]  Paychex, Inc.:  “SMB Pulse: Employee Benefits and Programs

[8/17/17]  Mercer:  Inside Employees’ Minds™ - Financial Wellness

[8/17/17]  Devenir Research:  2017 Midyear HSA Market Statistics & Trends [Executive Summary]

[8/17/17]  PlanAdviser:  “Employers Support HSAs

[8/17/17]  Fidelity Health Marketplace:  “Keep These 4 Things in Mind When Introducing Medical Plan Choice

[8/17/17]  Human Resource Executive Online:  “ACOs: The Next Wave?

[8/15/17]  CFO Research and Prudential Financial:  Finance Chiefs Express High Satisfaction with Pension Risk Transfers

[8/15/17]  Columbia Threadneedle Investments:  The Case for Custom Target-Date Funds [White Paper]

[8/15/17]  The Keckley Report:  “Re-Thinking Employer Health Benefits

[8/15/17]  Frenkel Benefits [Blog]:  “Insurers, Providers and Employers on a Collision Course

[8/15/17]  Bloomberg BNA:  “Generous Parental Leave Policies Spreading in Law Firms

[8/15/17]  Gallup:  “Few U.S. Workers Worry About Tech Making Their Job Obsolete

[8/14/17]  Securities Industry and Financial Markets Association (SIFMA):  “Deloitte White Paper on the DOL Fiduciary Rule - August 2017” [Note: The full paper, titled The DOL Fiduciary Rule: A study on how financial institutions have responded and the resulting impacts on retirement investors, can be downloaded at the website.]

[8/14/17]  Financial Services Roundtable:  Department of Labor Fiduciary Rule: National Survey of Financial Professionals

[8/14/17]  Economic Policy Institute:  “Another Fiduciary Rule Delay Would Cost Retirement Savers $10.9 Billion Over 30 Years

[8/14/17]  Center for Retirement Research at Boston College’s Squared Away Blog:  “401k Saving Harder at Lower Incomes

[8/14/17]  PlanSponsor:  “Plan Sponsors See Struggles if Moving to Roth-Only Retirement Savings -- Forty percent of CIEBA members said it would be very or extremely difficult to explain the Rothification of 401(k) plans to participants.

[8/11/17]  Milliman 100 Pension Funding Index:  “Milliman Analysis: Funded status improves in July by $4 billion -- The Milliman 100 PFI increases to 83.7% as solid investment gains overcome discount rate declines (again!)

[8/11/17]  Willis Towers Watson:  2017 Global Survey of Accounting Assumptions for Defined Benefit Plans: Executive Summary

[8/11/17]  Center for Retirement Research at Boston College:  The Relative Effects of Economic and Non-Economic Factors on Taxpayers’ Preferences Between Front-Loaded and Back-Loaded Retirement Savings Plans [Working Paper] - [Note: The full paper can be downloaded at the website.]

[8/11/17]  Oliver Wyman:  Analysis of the Impacts of the ACA’s Tax on Health Insurance in 2018 and Beyond

[8/11/17]  Frenkel Benefits [Blog]:  “Comparing Discounts in a Self-Insured Arrangement

[8/11/17]  Human Resource Executive Online [Blog]:  “The Rise of ‘Side Gigs’

[8/10/17]  HR Daily Advisor:  “Gaps in Planning Impact Ability to Manage Benefits Costs, Says Study

[8/10/17]  Fidelity Health Marketplace:  “How Narrow Networks Can Save You Money: Medical Provider Networks

[8/10/17]  ActiveHealth Management, Inc.:  “6 Tips to Create a Culture of Health

[8/10/17]  Charles Schwab:  “Income for Life: Using Deferred Income Annuities in Retirement

[8/9/17]  Qualified Plan Advisors:  The Positive Impact of Automatic Features

[8/9/17]  401(k) Specialist:  “3 Key Advantages of Stable Value Funds in 401(k)s

[8/9/17]  CNBC:  “Making retirement lemonade from health insurance lemons

[8/9/17]  National Business Group on Health:  “Large U.S. Employers Project Health Care Benefit Costs to Surpass $14,000 per Employee in 2018, National Business Group on Health Survey Finds

[8/9/17]  The Alliance:  “Finding the ‘New Normal’ in Medical Cost Trends for Employers

[8/9/17]  401(k) Specialist:  “What Health Care Confusion Means for HSA’s Future -- At this time, three potential outcomes

[8/9/17]  Benefits Bryan Cave:  “Telemedicine -- An Expanding Landscape

[8/9/17]  Morning Consult [Op-Ed]:  “The Health Care Solutions Small Businesses Need

[8/7/17]  PlanSponsor:  “Employers Plan to Step Up Health Benefit Cost Management -- Employers are pursuing a wider array of approaches to reduce health care cost and risk--both through improved program efficiencies and members’ health engagement, Willis Towers Watson finds.

[8/7/17]  NAPA Net:  “Survey Says Large Plans Nervous About Roth Mandate

[8/7/17]  Bloomberg BNA:  “Pension Insurance System for Union Plans Still Faces Train Wreck

[8/7/17]  Social Security Administration:  OASDI Beneficiaries by State and County, 2016 [“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).”]

[8/4/17]  Transamerica Center for Retirement Studies®:  All About Retirement: An Employer Survey [17th Annual Transamerica Retirement Survey]

[8/4/17]  Kravitz:  2017 National Cash Balance Research Report

[8/4/17]  Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation:  FY 2016 PBGC Projections Report

[8/4/17]  Brookings:  “Reining in pharmaceutical costs

[8/4/17]  Pew Research Center Fact Tank:  “Most patients in U.S. have high praise for their health care providers

[8/3/17]  Willis Towers Watson:  “U.S. Employers Expect Health Care Costs to Rise by 5.5% in 2018, Up from 4.6% in 2017 -- Willis Towers Watson survey also shows that despite uncertainty about health care legislation, employer confidence in offering health benefits has reached pre-ACA levels

[8/3/17]  Mercer:  “The 5 A’s of Access for Employer-Sponsored Healthcare

[8/3/17]  Willis Towers Watson Insider:  “Pension Risk Remains Unchanged for WTW Pension 100 in 2017

[8/3/17]  Social Security Bulletin:  “Hispanics’ Understanding of Social Security and the Implications for Retirement Security: A Qualitative Study

[8/3/17]  International Longevity Centre - UK:  The Global Savings Gap [Note: The executive summary and the full report can be downloaded at the website.]

[8/2/17]  National Endowment for Financial Education:  Income Shocks and Life Events: Why Retirement Savings Fall Short

[8/2/17]  Nonprofit Quarterly:  “Retirement Security Becomes Less Secure

[8/2/17]  PlanSponsor:  “Cost Considerations When Freezing Your DB Plan -- Just because a plan is frozen, doesn’t mean fees will go away altogether.

[8/2/17]  Chief Investment Officer:  “GSAM’s Moran: Surging PBGC Fees Incentivize Pension De-Risking

[8/2/17]  HR Dive:  “Employers move on as healthcare reform fails -- for now

[8/1/17] Peterson-Kaiser Health System Tracker: “What are the current costs and outcomes related to mental health and substance abuse disorders?

[8/1/17] MedCityNews: “Telemedicine: Take a lesson from retail to improve patient adoption

[8/1/17] AllianceBernstein and Brightscope: Plan Sponsors Speak With Action: The Shift from Recordkeeper Proprietary Target-Date Funds to Nonproprietary Solutions

[8/1/17] GenForward Survey: A Report on the Lived Economic Lives of Millennials -- A summary of key findings from the first-of-its-kind bimonthly survey of racially and ethnically diverse young adults

[8/1/17] U.S. Census Bureau: Do Older Americans Have More Income Than We Think? [Note: The full paper can be downloaded at the website.]

What's new at EBRI this month:

EBRI's Recent Media Coverage

Change in Average Account Balances (by Age and Tenure)


Aug. 31, 2017 EBRI Notes - "After Years of Erosion, Mid-size and Some Small Employers Added Health Coverage in 2016"

Aug. 3, 2017 EBRI Issue Brief - "401(k) Plan Asset Allocation, Account Balances, and Loan Activity in 2015"

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:

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.

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Updated 8/31/17