What's New - December 2013



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[12/24/13] J.P. Morgan Asset Management: What Plan Sponsors Want from Their DC Plans -- And What They Are Doing About It: J.P. Morgan’s inaugural 2013 Defined Contribution Plan Sponsor Survey Findings

[12/24/13] Investment Company Institute: “Retirement Assets Total $21.7 Trillion in Third Quarter 2013

[12/24/13] Financial Advisor Magazine: “Target Date Fund Use in 401(k) Plans Increasing

[12/24/13] The Vanguard Group: Retirement Distribution Decisions Among DC Participants

[12/24/13] Fidelity Investments: “Fidelity® Sees Record Number of Investors Enroll in Automatic Withdrawals for Annual Minimum Required Distributions from Retirement Savings Plans” [News Release]

[12/24/13] Becker’s Hospital Review: “4 Findings about Cost-Conscious Consumer Behavior and High-Deductible Health Plans

[12/23/13] Gallagher Benefit Services, Inc.: Benefits Strategy & Benchmarking Survey, 2013 [Executive Summary]

[12/23/13] BenefitsPro: “Boomers clamor for voluntary benefits

[12/23/13] Internal Revenue Service: Employee Plans News [Dec. 19, 2013]

[12/23/13] Dallas Morning News: “As pensions vanish, workers forced to adjust

[12/23/13] LifeHealthPro: “Pensions vs. 401(k)s: Which is better for retirement income?

[12/23/13] National Center for Health Statistics Data Brief: “Trends in Insurance Coverage and Source of Private Coverage Among Young Adults Aged 19-25: United States, 2008-2012

[12/23/13] AARP Public Policy Institute Fact Sheet: “Sources of Income for Older Americans, 2012

[12/23/13] Congressional Budget Office: Choices for Deficit Reduction: An Update [December 2013]

[12/20/13] Society for Human Resource Management: 2013 State of Employee Benefits in the Workplace Series

[12/20/13] BenefitsPro: “DB plans need 1 to 3 percent accrual rates to equal 401(k) payouts

[12/20/13] Wisconsin Legislative Council: 2012 Comparative Study of Major Public Employee Retirement Systems

[12/20/13] U.S. Census Bureau: Summary of the Quarterly Survey of Public Pensions for 2013:Q3 -- Total Holdings and Investments of Major Public Pension Systems Pass $3.0 Trillion for the First Time [Released Dec. 19, 2013]

[12/20/13] The Washington Post: “Obama administration relaxes rules of health-care law four days before deadline

[12/20/13] USA Today: “Employees will pay more for health care in 2014

[12/20/13] HCPLive: “Cost Conscious and Engaged in Health Care Decisions

[12/20/13] Bloomberg Businessweek: “Why It’s So Tricky for the Self-Employed to Estimate Health Insurance Costs

[12/19/13] Insurance Broadcasting: “2014 Forecast: Five Trends in Voluntary Benefits

[12/19/13] USA Today: “How much can you sock away in an IRA in 2014?

[12/19/13] Reuters (via Financial Advisor Magazine): “Why Health Insurance May Soon Resemble 401(k)s

[12/19/13] U.S. Senate Committee on Finance, Subcommittee on Social Security, Pensions, and Family Policy: Hearing titled “The Role of Social Security, Defined Benefits, and Private Retirement Accounts in the Face of the Retirement Crisis” [Hearing held Dec. 18, 2013, includes links to witness testimonies]

[12/19/13] Plan Sponsor: “Private Sector Taking on More Health Care Costs

[12/19/13] The Washington Post: “Separating fact from fiction in health care

[12/18/13] Segal Consulting: 2014 Reporting & Disclosure Calendar for Multiemployer Plans

[12/18/13] Human Resource Executive Online:

[12/18/13] Bank of America Merrill Lynch: Workplace Benefits Report: Employers’ Changing Role in Helping Employees Achieve Financial Wellness

[12/18/13] Associated Press (via The Daily Record): “Congress targets fed workers’ pensions for savings

[12/18/13] Groom Law Group Benefits Brief: “Supreme Court to Settle Circuit Split over Fiduciary Presumption of Prudence in Stock Drop Suits

[12/18/13] Brookings: Impact of the Great Recession on Retirement Trends in Industrialized Countries

[12/18/13] BenefitsPro: “HSA enrollments skyrocket -- Account holders top 20 million

[12/18/13] America’s Health Insurance Plans: A Roadmap to High Quality Affordable Health Care for All Americans

[12/17/13] Benefits Bryan Cave: “Before the Ball Drops for the New Year, Don’t Forget to Address These 2013 Employee Benefit Items!

[12/17/13] Sibson Consulting: 2014 Reporting & Disclosure Calendar for Benefit Plans

[12/17/13] Russell Investments: “Did MAP-21 decrease pension contributions?

[12/17/13] Plan Sponsor: “Pensions Need to Create Formal De-Risking Strategies

[12/17/13] Center on Budget and Policy Priorities: Retirement Tax Incentives Are Ripe for Reform

[12/17/13] Internal Revenue Service: Sections 125 and 223 -- Cafeteria Plans, Flexible Spending Arrangements, and Health Savings Accounts -- Elections and Reimbursements for Same-Sex Spouses Following the Windsor Supreme Court Decision [Notice 2014-1]

[12/13/13] Internal Revenue Service: In-Plan Rollovers to Designated Roth Accounts in Retirement Plans [Notice 2013-74]

[12/13/13] Plan Sponsor: “Older Participants Not Prepared for Retirement

[12/13/13] PIMCO: “Defined Contribution Plan Sponsors Ask Retirees, ‘Why Don’t You Stay?’ Seven Questions for Plan Sponsors

[12/13/13] BenefitsPro: “PPACA puts 1 in 10 full-time jobs at risk, Duke survey says

[12/13/13] USA Today: “Entrepreneur worry: ACA really ‘affordable’?

[12/13/13] Congressional Research Service:

[12/12/13] U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics: Employer Costs for Employee Compensation -- September 2013 [News Release]

[12/12/13] Buck Consultants FYI® In-depth: “2014 Planning for ERISA health and welfare benefit plan operations

[12/12/13] U.S. House Committee on Small Business: Hearing titled “The Small Business Health Options Program: Is It Working for Small Businesses?” [Hearing held Dec. 11, 2013, includes link to witness testimony]

[12/12/13] The New York Times: “Dropping Health Plans, to Pick Better Coverage

[12/12/13] Stars and Stripes: “In budget talks, federal employee benefits on the block

[12/12/13] National Institute on Retirement Security: Race and Retirement Insecurity in the United States

[12/12/13] Fox Business: “Racial Gap in Retirement Savings Widens

[12/12/13] Fidelity Investments: Fidelity 2014 New Year Financial Resolutions Study [Executive Summary]

[12/11/13] Internal Revenue Service: Employee Plans News [Dec. 9, 2013]

[12/11/13] Buck Consultants FYI® In-depth:

[12/11/13] Milliman 100 Pension Funding Index: “Milliman analysis: Corporate pension funded ratio nears 94% as funded status improves for the third straight month

[12/11/13] Society of Actuaries: 2013 Risks and Process of Retirement Survey: Report of Findings

[12/11/13] National Association of State Retirement Administrators: Public Fund Survey: Summary of Findings for FY 2012

[12/11/13] Towers Watson Insider: “Retirement Savings: How Much Do Workers Really Have?

[12/11/13] Milliman Health Care Reform Briefing Paper: “Private exchanges and plan sponsors: The headlines, facts, opportunities, and potholes

[12/11/13] Kaiser Family Foundation: “A Guide to the Supreme Court’s Review of the Contraceptive Coverage Requirement

[12/9/13] The Wall Street Journal: “Is Your Nest Egg Holding Up?

[12/9/13] Business Insider: “The ‘Golden Age of Retirement’ Is a Myth

[12/9/13] Governing.com: “The Public Employee ‘Silver Tsunami’ Looms for Governments

[12/9/13] The Los Angeles Times: “Detroit ruling opens door to pension cuts across the nation

[12/9/13] The New York Times: “On Health Exchanges, Premiums May Be Low, but Other Costs Can Be High

[12/9/13] Congressional Research Service:

[12/9/13] Internal Revenue Service: 2014 Standard Mileage Rates [Notice 2013-80]

[12/6/13] Employee Benefit News: “Tread lightly with electronic disclosures

[12/6/13] MarketWatch: “Congress punishes commuters in 2014 -- Tax break on transit costs will be slashed nearly in half

[12/6/13] Plan Sponsor: “More Plans Institutionalize Investment Lineups

[12/6/13] Red Bluff Daily News: “Create a better retirement plan

[12/6/13] Society for Human Resource Management: “’SHOP’ Small Business Exchange Pared Back Further

[12/6/13] Congressional Budget Office: Health-Related Options for Reducing the Deficit: 2014 to 2023

[12/5/13] ACLI, American Benefits Council, and Investment Company Institute: Our Strong Retirement System: An American Success Story

[12/5/13] The Wall Street Journal: “401(k)s Tweak Fees for Investors

[12/5/13] CBS MoneyWatch: “More 401(k) plans add retirement planning advice

[12/5/13] Workforce.com: “Focused on the Future: 401(k) Plan Administrators

[12/5/13] Fidelity Investments: “Fidelity® Unveils New Retirement Preparedness Measure: More Than Half of Americans at Risk of Not Covering Essential Expenses in Retirement” [News Release]

[12/5/13] The New York Times: “In Detroit Ruling, Threats to Promises and Assumptions

[12/5/13] Kaiser Health News: “Federal Judge Hears Arguments on Health Law Subsidies

[12/5/13] U.S. House Committee on Ways & Means, Subcommittee on Health: Hearing on the Challenges of the Affordable Care Act [Hearing held Dec. 4, 2013, includes links to witness testimonies]

[12/4/13] Center for Retirement Research at Boston College: Will the Rebound in Equities and Housing Save Retirement?

[12/4/13] Eureka Times-Standard: “You’re the boss when it comes to retirement savings

[12/4/13] FINRA Investor Education Foundation: Financial Capability in the United States--2012 Report of Military Findings

[12/4/13] The New York Times:

[12/4/13] Healthcare Trends Institute: 2013 Healthcare Benefits Trends

[12/4/13] Kaiser Family Foundation: “Subsidy Calculator: Premium Assistance for Coverage in Exchanges” [“With this calculator, you can enter different income levels, ages, and family sizes to get an estimate of your eligibility for subsidies and how much you could spend on health insurance. As premiums and eligibility requirements may vary, contact your state’s Medicaid office or exchange with enrollment questions.”]

[12/3/13] American Academy of Actuaries Issue Brief: “Measuring Pension Obligations -- Discount Rates Serve Various Purposes

[12/3/13] Mercer: “Workers Shy from Savings Amid Retirement Health Worries

[12/3/13] Prudential: Planning for Retirement: The Impact of Market Recoveries on Retirement Preparedness

[12/3/13] Tucson Citizen: “7 big mistakes to avoid in first year of retirement

[12/3/13] U.S. Department of Health & Human Services: FAQs on New Enrollment Process for the Federally Facilitated SHOP Marketplace

[12/3/13] BenefitsPro: “The fight to protect stop-loss

[12/3/13] Internal Revenue Service: Rules Relating to Additional Medicare Tax; Final regulations [as published in the Federal Register on Nov. 29, 2013]

[12/3/13] Kaiser Family Foundation Issue Brief: “Medicare Advantage 2014 Spotlight: Plan Availability and Premiums

[12/2/13] Workforce.com: “Delivering Holiday Bonuses? Remember These Rules

[12/2/13] Appleton Post Crescent: “Alan Prahl column: Workplace benefits still important to employees

[12/2/13] TD Ameritrade: “Self-Employed Retirement Savings Habits

[12/2/13] Insured Retirement Institute: Post-Windsor: Retirement Planning for Same-Sex Couples

[12/2/13] Mainstreet.com: “When Changing Jobs Do You Roll Over or Cash Out?

[12/2/13] Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services: Frequently Asked Questions on Standard Notices for Transition to ACA Compliant Policies [dated Nov. 21, 2013]

[12/2/13] International Franchise Association: “IFA-U.S. Chamber Survey Shows Employers Facing Higher Costs, Reducing Full-Time Jobs, Due to ACA” [News Release, which includes links to the full survey and to the Fact Sheet]

[12/2/13] The Los Angeles Times: “Obamacare website for small businesses is delayed


What's new at EBRI this month:

EBRI 2013 Fall Policy Forum: “Employee Benefits: Today, Tomorrow, and Yesterday” [“gavel-to-gavel” webcast - Prerecorded broadcast available through the International Foundation of Employee Benefit Plans]

EBRI 2013 Spring Policy Forum: “Decisions, Decisions: Choices That Affect Retirement Income Adequacy” [“gavel to gavel” webcast - Prerecorded broadcast available through the International Foundation of Employee Benefit Plans]

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's Recent Media Coverage

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

401(k) Balances and Changes Due to Market Volatility


December 2013 EBRI Issue Brief - "401(k) Plan Asset Allocation, Account Balances, and Loan Activity in 2012"

December 2013 EBRI Issue Brief - "Findings from the 2013 EBRI/Greenwald & Associates Consumer Engagement in Health Care Survey"

December 2013 EBRI Notes - "Views on Employment-Based Health Benefits: Findings from the 2013 Health and Voluntary Workplace Benefits Survey" and "How Much Would it Take? Achieving Retirement Income Equivalency between Final-Average-Pay Defined Benefit Plan Accruals and Voluntary Enrollment 401(k) Plans in the Private Sector"


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:

Private Pensions: Clarity of Required Reports and Disclosures Could Be Improved. GAO-14-92, November 21. Highlights.

401(k) Plans: Other Countries' Experiences Offer Lessons in Policies and Oversight of Spend-down Options. GAO-14-9, November 20. Highlights.

Private Pensions: Revised Electronic Disclosure Rules Could Clarify Use and Better Protect Participant Choice. GAO-13-594, September 13. Highlights.

Medicare Supplemental Coverage: Medigap and Other Factors Are Associated with Higher Estimated Health Care Expenditures. GAO-13-811, September 19. Highlights.

Delphi Pensions: Key Events Leading to Plan Terminations, by Barbara D. Bovbjerg, managing director, education, workforce, and income security issues, and A. Nicole Clowers, director, financial markets and community investment issues, before the Subcommittee on Government Operations, House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform. GAO-13-854T, September 11. 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 12/24/13