What's New - December 2012

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.


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!


[12/21/12]  Sibson Consulting:  2013 Reporting & Disclosure Calendar for Benefit Plans

[12/21/12]  Kansas City Star:  “Possible health tax is a concern

[12/21/12]  The Wall Street Journal:  “Health Costs on His Mind -- Small Factory Owner Looks for Ways to Cope with New Law

[12/21/12]  Plan Sponsor:

[12/21/12]  Investment Company Institute:  “Retirement Assets Total $19.4 Trillion in Third Quarter 2012

[12/21/12]  American Academy of Actuaries:  A Guide to Analyzing Social Security Reform

[12/20/12]  National Institute for Health Care Reform:  “Employer-Sponsored Insurance and Health Reform: Doing the Math

[12/20/12]  Plan Sponsor:  “DB Sponsors Must Make Key Decisions by Dec. 31

[12/20/12]  Prudential:  A Case Study: Should Americans Be Insuring Their Retirement Income?

[12/20/12]  Insured Retirement Institute:  State of the Insured Retirement Industry -- 2012 Recap and a 2013 Outlook

[12/20/12]  U.S. House Committee on Education & the Workforce, Subcommittee on Health, Employment, Labor, and Pensions:  Hearing titled “Challenges Facing Multiemployer Pension Plans: Evaluating PBGC’s Insurance Program and Financial Outlook” [Hearing held Dec. 19, 2012, includes links to media advisory, archived webcast, and testimony]

[12/19/12]  The Wall Street Journal:  “Employers Up the Ante for Getting Healthy

[12/19/12]  The Commonwealth Fund:  State Trends in Premiums and Deductibles, 2003-2011: Eroding Protection and Rising Costs Underscore Need for Action [includes infographics page for state-specific infographics from this report]

[12/19/12]  Kaiser Health News:  “FAQ: Grandfathered Health Plans

[12/19/12]  BenefitsPro:  “Consumer warming

[12/19/12]  Plan Sponsor:

[12/19/12]  Investment Company Institute:

[12/18/12]  Plan Sponsor:

[12/18/12]  Internal Revenue Service:

[12/18/12]  Vanguard:  Survey of Defined Benefit Plan Sponsors, 2012

[12/18/12]  Human Resource Executive Online:  “The New 401(k)

[12/18/12]  PIMCO DC Dialogue™:  “They say it’s the best game in town.” [“In this PIMCO DC Dialogue™, we talk with Shirley Zabiegala and Karin Brodbeck at Nestlé about the recent redesign of their DC plans and the launch of custom target-date strategies.”]

[12/18/12]  National Council on Teacher Quality:  No One Benefits: How teacher pension systems are failing both teachers and taxpayers

[12/17/12]  Buck Consultants FYI:  “Proposed wellness regulations permit increased rewards

[12/17/12]  The Commonwealth Fund Data Brief:  “Trends in Employer-Sponsored Health Insurance Premiums and Employee Contributions in Major Metropolitan Areas, 2003-2011

[12/17/12]  Internal Revenue Service:  “Plan Now to Get Full Benefit of Saver’s Credit; Tax Credit Helps Low- and Moderate-Income Workers Save for Retirement” [News Release]

[12/17/12]  Fidelity Investments:  Defining Excellence: A Report on Retirement Readiness in the Not-for-Profit Higher Education Industry

[12/17/12]  Plan Sponsor:  “Millennials at Risk for Low Savings

[12/14/12]  Principal Financial Group:  The Principal Financial Well-Being Index:  American Workers - 4th Quarter 2012 [“With the holiday season in full swing and 2013 around the corner, American workers at small and mid-sized businesses share their sentiment about the economy, what stresses them out and how they'll spend this season. Workers also reveal their worst financial blunders in 2012 and how they aspire to implement financial resolutions in the New Year.”]

[12/14/12]  Forbes:  “Will Your Retirement Be Thrown Off the Fiscal Cliff?

[12/14/12]  Plan Sponsor:

[12/14/12]  Prudential:  Younger Workers and Retirement: A 2012 Study by Prudential Retirement

[12/14/12]  Reuters:  “Your Money - Use it or lose it: 10 surprising ways to drain FSAs

[12/13/12]  U.S. Department of Labor:  “Employer Costs for Employee Compensation -- September 2012” [News Release]

[12/13/12]  Plan Sponsor:

[12/13/12]  American Benefits Council and Mathew Greenwald & Associates:  Attitudes of Employee Benefits Decision Makers Toward Retirement Plan Tax Proposals

[12/13/12]  U.S. Small Business Administration:  Financial Viability and Retirement Assets: A Look at Small Business Owners and Private Sector Workers

[12/13/12]  U.S. Department of Health & Human Services:  “Frequently Asked Questions on Exchanges, Market Reforms and Medicaid

[12/13/12]  The Washington Post:  “A partial list of taxes and fees to finance Obama health care overhaul law

[12/11/12]  Kaiser Family Foundation:  “A Comparison of the Availability and Cost of Coverage for Workers in Small Firms and Large Firms: A View from the 2012 Employer Health Benefits Survey

[12/11/12]  U.S. News & World Report:  “Your Retirement Benefits: What to Expect in 2013

[12/11/12]  The Wall Street Journal:  “Benefits Leader Reins in 401(k)s

[12/11/12]  Plan Sponsor:

[12/11/12]  Defined Contribution Institutional Investment Association:  Plan Sponsor Survey 2012: Action Needed to Drive Better Participant Outcomes

[12/11/12]  City Watch:  “Do-It-Yourself Pension Planning and the 401(k) Retirement Ripoff

[12/10/12]  Plan Sponsor:

[12/10/12]  MarketWatch:  “401(k) tax breaks in lawmakers’ gunsights

[12/10/12]  Principal Financial Group and Boston Research Group:  2012 Nonqualified Deferred Compensation Survey Results: Plan Sponsors & Plan Participants Select Findings

[12/10/12]  The New York Times:  “New Taxes to Take Effect to Fund Health Care Law

[12/10/12]  Kaiser Family Foundation Quick Take:  “Essential Health Benefits: What Have States Decided for Their Benchmark?

[12/10/12]  Congressional Budget Office:  CBO’s Long-Term Projections for Medicare and Medicaid Spending in the United States [Presentation to the OECD Expert Workshop on Improving Health Expenditure Forecasting Methods, Nov. 30, 2012]

[12/10/12]  AARP:  “AARP Workforce Profiles: Selected characteristics of U.S. workers and non-workers age 40+

[12/7/12]  U.S. Department of Health & Human Services:  Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act; HHS Notice of Benefit and Payment Parameters for 2014; Proposed rule [as published in the Federal Register on Dec. 7, 2012]

[12/7/12]  Internal Revenue Service:  Fees on Health Insurance Policies and Self-Insured Plans for the Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Trust Fund; Final regulations [as published in the Federal Register on Dec. 6, 2012]

[12/7/12]  Plan Sponsor:  “Employer Health Care Coverage to Remain After ACA

[12/7/12]  Associated Press (via The Washington Post):  “Olive Garden owner Darden Restaurants to hold off on worker changes tied to health care reform

[12/7/12]  Milliman 100 Pension Funding Index:  “Milliman analysis: November brings a $33 billion funded status improvement

[12/7/12]  Chief Investment Officer:  “Verizon, Prudential: Annuities ‘At Least’ as Safe as DB Pensions

[12/7/12]  National Institute on Retirement Security Issue Brief:  “On the Right Track? Public Pension Reforms in the Wake of the Financial Crisis

[12/7/12]  ING:  ING State of Savings Map: What’s the state of savings in your state? [How are Americans across the country saving for retirement?]

[12/6/12]  The New York Times:  “Interest Groups Push to Fill Margins of Health Coverage

[12/6/12]  Kaiser Family Foundation:  “Medicare Advantage 2013 Spotlight: Plan Availability and Premiums

[12/6/12]  Center for Retirement Research at Boston College:  How Retirement Provisions Affect Tenure of State and Local Workers

[12/6/12]  Investment Company Institute:  The Success of the U.S. Retirement System

[12/6/12]  Plan Adviser:  “Only 33% of Small Businesses Offer Retirement Plans

[12/6/12]  NEPC, LLC:  Defined Contribution Plan Fees Hit a Record Low: NEPC Study

[12/6/12]  MarketWatch:  “Who gains most from 401(k) tax breaks?

[12/5/12]  Internal Revenue Service:  Rules Relating to Additional Medicare Tax; Notice of proposed rulemaking and notice of public hearing [as published in the Federal Register on Dec. 5, 2012]

[12/5/12]  Office of Personnel Management:  Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act; Establishment of the Multi-State Plan Program for the Affordable Insurance Exchanges; Proposed rule [as published in the Federal Register on Dec. 5, 2012]

[12/5/12]  Medical Xpress:  “Increasing number of workers in self-insured health plans

[12/5/12]  Plan Sponsor:

[12/5/12]  Plan Sponsor Council of America:  Impact of Fee Disclosure Regulation on 403(b) Plan Sponsors and Participants

[12/5/12]  The New York Times:  “Rhode Island Judge Has Stake in Pension Case Outcome

[12/4/12]  McDermott Will & Emery:  “2013 Expiring and Changing Employee Tax Provisions

[12/4/12]  Urban Institute Retirement Security Data Brief:  “Retirement Plan Assets

[12/4/12]  Plan Sponsor:

[12/4/12]  AIG:  The AIG Retirement Re-Set Study [The key findings and press release can be downloaded at the website.]

[12/4/12]  Business Insurance:

[12/4/12]  Insured Retirement Institute:  The Long-Term Care Challenge -- Developing a Plan Can Lead to Greater Confidence

[12/3/12]  Internal Revenue Service:  2013 Standard Mileage Rates [Notice 2012-72]

[12/3/12]  U.S. Department of Labor Employee Benefits Security Administration:  Private Pension Plan Bulletin Historical Tables and Graphs [Updated November 2012]

[12/3/12]  American Benefits Council:  Defined Benefit Pension Plans: A Six-Point Plan to Address the Accelerated Exodus

[12/3/12]  Towers Watson:  Accounting for Defined Benefit Pensions and Other Postretirement Benefits, 2012: Reporting Under U.S. GAAP Among Fortune 1000 Companies

[12/3/12]  Plan Sponsor:

[12/3/12]  Urban Institute Health Policy Center:  Federal Health Reform Is Largely Market-Based, Despite Contrary Assertions

[12/3/12]  Oliver Wyman:  The ACO Surprise -- There’s a Common Belief That Medicare’s ACO Programs Have Had Little Impact. But a New Survey of the Field Reveals a Very Different Story


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


December 2012 EBRI Issue Brief - "Findings from the 2012 EBRI/MGA Consumer Engagement in Health Care Survey"

December 2012 EBRI Notes - "Views on Employment-Based Health Benefits: Findings from the 2012 Health Confidence Survey" and "Employee Tenure Trends, 1983-2012"


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:

Higher Education: A Small Percentage of Families Save in 529 Plans. GAO-13-64, December 12. Highlights.

Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation: Redesigned Premium Structure Could Better Align Rates with Risk from Plan Sponsors. GAO-13-58. November 7. Highlights.

Private Sector Pensions: Federal Agencies Should Collect Data and Coordinate Oversight of Multiple Employer Plans. GAO-12-665, September 13. Highlights.

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.

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.


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 12/21/12