What's New - February 2014



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[2/28/14] Plan Sponsor: “Employer Strategies for Implementing Health Care Reform

[2/28/14] Bloomberg BNA: “Guidance on ACA 90-Day Waiting Periods Issued in Tri-Agency Final, Proposed Rules

[2/28/14] The Los Angeles Times: “Health premiums projected to rise for many small firms under Obamacare

[2/28/14] The Washington Post (via JournalStandard.com): “Fact Checker: Is the Affordable Care Act a ‘job killer’?

[2/28/14] The Community Voice: “MyRA, USARF, and cash balance plans

[2/28/14] Buck Consultants’ FYI® Alert: “Tax reform draft released by Ways and Means may serve as model for future employee benefit tax law changes

[2/28/14] American Academy of Actuaries Essential Elements: “Raising Social Security’s Retirement Age

[2/28/14] National Academy of Social Insurance: “When to Take Social Security: It Pays to Wait” [A toolkit at the website includes a 3-minute video, a 1-page fact sheet, and a 16-page brief.]

[2/27/14] Guardian Life Insurance Company of America: The 2014 Guardian Workplace Benefits Study -- The Value of Benefits in a Changing Environment [Note: The PDF can be downloaded at the website.]

[2/27/14] TIAA-CREF: TIAA-CREF Investment Options Survey: Executive Summary

[2/27/14] The Huffington Post [Blog]: “The Biggest Retirement Myth Ever Told

[2/27/14] USA Today: “Many delay retiring: Need more money, enjoy their jobs

[2/27/14] U.S. Senate Committee on Finance, Subcommittee on Social Security, Pensions, and Family Policy: Hearing titled “Retirement Savings for Low-Income Workers” [Hearing held Feb. 26, 2014, includes links to witness testimonies]

[2/27/14] U.S. House Committee on Ways and Means: Tax Reform Act of 2014, Discussion Draft, Section-by-Section Summary [See Subtitle G for Pensions and Retirement, pages 36-45]

[2/27/14] AISHealth: “More Employers Will Self-Insure if States Let Large Firms on Exchanges in 2017

[2/27/14] U.S. House Committee on Education & the Workforce, Subcommittee on Health, Employment, Labor, and Pensions: Hearing titled “Providing Access to Affordable, Flexible Health Plans through Self-Insurance” [Hearing held Feb. 26, 2014, includes links to witness testimonies and to archived webcast]

[2/26/14] Kaiser Family Foundation: Kaiser Health Tracking Poll: February 2014

[2/26/14] Employee Benefit News: “Potential ACA loophole triggers talk of adverse selection

[2/26/14] CMS Office of the Actuary: Report to Congress on the impact on premiums for individuals and families with employer-sponsored health insurance from the guaranteed issue, guaranteed renewal, and fair health insurance premiums provisions of the Affordable Care Act

[2/26/14] Internal Revenue Service: Retirement News for Employers [Feb. 24, 2014 edition]

[2/26/14] October Three: “Recent pension legislative proposals

[2/26/14] Insurance Technology: “Benchmarking Survey to Identify 403(b) Plan Best Practices and Key Trends

[2/26/14] Milliman’s Retirement Town Hall: “Lump-sum payouts and tax implications

[2/26/14] USA Today: “Creating a plan for the right retirement income

[2/25/14] WSAV-TV: “New Survey Says Americans Still Not Saving Enough

[2/25/14] Towers Watson: Executive Retirement Benefits: Survey of Executive Retirement Benefit Practices--Benefits Data Source [Note: The full report can be downloaded at the website.]

[2/25/14] The New York Times: “Public Pension Tabs Multiply as States Defer Costs and Hard Choices

[2/25/14] IRS Office of Federal, State, and Local Governments: Quick Reference Guide for Public Employers

[2/25/14] Human Resource Executive Online: “Report: Dumping Spousal Coverage May Not Save Money

[2/24/14] Credit Union Times: “Matz Touts America and Military Saves Week

[2/24/14] The Buffalo News: “Target date funds are still a popular path to retirement

[2/24/14] Milliman’s Retirement Town Hall: “Rewriting retirement readiness: Will the USA Retirement Funds Act amend your plan?

[2/24/14] The New York Times: “Panel Seeks Greater Disclosures on Pension Health

[2/24/14] IFAwebnews.com: “Study: Employers continue to contribute to HRAs, HSAs, but high amounts drop

[2/24/14] U.S. Departments of the Treasury (IRS), Labor (EBSA), and Health & Human Services:

[2/21/14] Sibson Consulting’s Capital Checkup:

[2/21/14] Ogletree Deakins: “What Does the ACA Shared Responsibility Final Rule Mean to Large Employers?

[2/21/14] The New York Times: “Public Sector Cuts Part-Time Shifts to Bypass Insurance Law

[2/21/14] Towers Watson Insider: “IRS Issues Guidance on Roth Rollovers of Nondistributable Balances

[2/21/14] Forbes: “Retirement: How to ‘Set It and Forget It’

[2/21/14] The Los Angeles Times: “Obama backs away from a Republican budget priority

[2/20/14] Aon Hewitt: “Aon Hewitt Research: Employers Will Continue Sponsoring Health Benefits for Employees and Retirees, but Deliver Those Benefits in New Ways” [News Release]

[2/20/14] BenefitsPro: “More employers contributing to HSAs, HRAs

[2/20/14] Plan Adviser: “Who Will Pursue myRA Contracts?

[2/20/14] HispanicBusiness.com: “Americans Falling Behind on Retirement Savings

[2/20/14] Fiduciary News: “Exclusive Interview: Treasury Senior Advisor Mark Iwry Explains the Early History of the 401k and Where We Might Be Heading

[2/20/14] Social Security Administration: Annual Statistical Supplement to the Social Security Bulletin, 2013 [The Supplement includes more than 240 statistical tables that provide comprehensive data on Social Security and Supplemental Security Income. The data cover program details such as beneficiary counts, amounts of benefits, and the status of the trust funds.]

[2/19/14] Money News: “Many Still Not on Track for Retirement Despite Stock Gains

[2/19/14] BenefitsPro: “401(k) and IRA accounts holders take out as much as 45 percent prematurely

[2/19/14] MarketWatch: “This is a retirement saver’s worst mistake -- Impulsively cashing out a 401(k) could cost you your retirement

[2/19/14] The New York Times: “Beware the End-of-Year 401(k) Match

[2/19/14] LIMRA: “One in Four Older Workers Have No Plan for Their DC Plan Assets Once Retired” [News Release]

[2/19/14] Bloomberg Businessweek: “Employers in U.S. Turn to Private Exchanges to Cut Health Costs

[2/19/14] Internal Revenue Service: Transition Relief for 2014 Under §§ 6055 (§ 6055 Information Reporting), 6056 (§ 6056 Information Reporting) and 4980H (Employer Shared Responsibility Provisions) [Notice 2013-45]

[2/19/14] Kaiser Health News: “Tips for New Obamacare Coverage: Stay in Network, Avoid Out-of-Pocket Costs

[2/18/14] BenefitsPro: “Retirement portfolios improved last year

[2/18/14] Plan Sponsor: “Fidelity Sees Continued Growth of 401(k) Balances

[2/18/14] Bloomberg: “Companies Squeeze 401K Plans from Facebook to JPMorgan

[2/18/14] Life & Health Advisor: “Overall IRA Withdrawal Rates Follow RMD Rule Rates

[2/18/14] Prudential Compliance Advisory: “New Pension Statements from GASB

[2/18/14] The Pew Charitable Trusts: Public Pension Cash Balance Plans: A Primer

[2/18/14] U.S. Treasury Department Fact Sheet: “Final Regulations Implementing Employer Shared Responsibility Under the Affordable Care Act (ACA) for 2015

[2/18/14] CNSNews: “Health Savings Accounts, Not Obamacare, Bending Health Care Cost Curve Down

[2/14/14] Employee Benefit News: “Fewer Americans getting health insurance through employers

[2/14/14] Devenir: “Health Savings Accounts Exceed $20 Billion in January” [Press Release]

[2/14/14] Plan Sponsor: “More Employers Contribute to Employee Health Accounts

[2/14/14] Workforce.com: “Wellness Apps for Workers Becoming More Apropos

[2/14/14] Employee Benefit Adviser: “Baby boomers, Gen Xers boost retirement income levels

[2/14/14] Buck Consultants: Retirement plans for the Millennial workforce -- New values need new plan designs

[2/12/14] Internal Revenue Service: Shared Responsibility for Employers Regarding Health Coverage; Final regulations [as published in the Federal Register on Feb. 12, 2014]

[2/12/14] Buck Consultants’ FYI® Alert: “IRS issues final ACA employer mandate regulations and eases 2015 requirements

[2/12/14] Employee Benefit News: “Will employers cut health care options, hours due to ACA delay?

[2/12/14] Workforce.com: “Private Exchange Evaluation Collaborative Launched to Give Open Look into Private Exchanges

[2/12/14] Morningstar: “Update: MyRA plan is good news for younger workers

[2/12/14] Fox Business: “More Americans Face Retiring with Debt

[2/11/14] Internal Revenue Service: Questions and Answers on Employer Shared Responsibility Provisions Under the Affordable Care Act

[2/11/14] The Los Angeles Times: “U.S. to further delay Obamacare employer mandate

[2/11/14] Bloomberg Businessweek: “AOL’s Tim Armstrong Violated Decency, Not Employee Privacy Protections

[2/11/14] Milliman 100 Pension Funding Index: “Milliman analysis: After a historic improvement in funded status during 2013, pension funding takes a turn for the worse to start the new year

[2/11/14] American Council of Life Insurers: “Building Retirement Security through Defined Contribution Plans,” by Professors Jeffrey R. Brown and Scott J. Weisbenner, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

[2/11/14] The Washington Post: “AOL reversed its controversial 401(k) policy. These 4 companies are sticking with it.

[2/10/14] America Saves Week, February 24 - March 1, 2014 [“America Saves Week is an annual opportunity for organizations to promote good savings behavior and a chance for individuals to assess their own saving status. Each year, employers promote the workplace savings benefits they offer through emails, newsletters, payroll stuffers, and workshops. Check out the free resources at this website to help your employees save and sign up to participate in this nation-wide movement today.”]

[2/10/14] The Washington Post: “Obama’s ‘myRA’ plan is a start, but it won’t save retirement

[2/10/14] Plan Sponsor: “Lump Sum Offerings Lead De-Risking Efforts, For Now

[2/10/14] National Small Business Association: 2014 Small Business Health Care Survey

[2/10/14] Wausau Daily Herald: “Obamacare cures ‘job lock’: Column

[2/10/14] Kaiser Health News: “Some Middle-Class Families Find Price of Subsidized Health Coverage ‘Awfully High’

[2/7/14] Aon Hewitt: Outlook for Legislative and Regulatory Activity in 2014 -- An Overview of Policy Related to HR and Employee Benefits Expected in 2014

[2/7/14] Investment Company Institute Research Report: “Defined Contribution Plan Participants’ Activities, First Three Quarters of 2013

[2/7/14] PIMCO Viewpoint: “Attention Defined Contribution Participants: Beware of Being the Patsy!

[2/7/14] Today.com: “In debt and desperate? Whatever you do, don’t do this

[2/7/14] Morgan Lewis: “FINRA and SEC to Focus on IRA Rollover Practices in 2014

[2/7/14] Towers Watson: “House Committee Approves 40-Hour Definition of Full-Time Employee Under Health Care Reform

[2/7/14] Health Affairs and Robert Wood Johnson Foundation: “Small Business Insurance Exchanges. States and the federal government have created new marketplaces to help small companies buy coverage more easily and cheaply.

[2/7/14] Plan Sponsor: “Will Employers Respond to Long-Term Care Concerns?

[2/6/14] U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics: “Employer health benefits costs rise 3.0 percent in year ending December 2013

[2/6/14] Business Management Daily: “Boomers ‘terrified’ of out-of-control health care costs

[2/6/14] Plan Sponsor: “Vanguard Reports Record 401(k) Account Balances

[2/6/14] Employee Benefit News: “Are market woes cracking your 401(k) nest egg?

[2/6/14] Insured Retirement Institute: The Retirement Readiness of Generation X -- The Lasting Effects of the “Great Recession” on Gen-Xers’ Retirement Outlook

[2/6/14] Towers Watson: Global Pension Assets Study 2014

[2/6/14] BlackRock [Blog]: “Retirement Reality: Let’s Raise the Mandatory Distribution Age

[2/6/14] FINRA: “Five Dos and Don’ts That Can Help You Achieve Greater Financial Security

[2/5/14] U.S. Department of the Treasury: myRA: A Simple, Safe, Affordable Retirement Savings Account

[2/5/14] Morningstar Advisor: “Washington’s Big New Retirement Proposal - No, it’s not the myRA

[2/5/14] The Washington Post [Wonkblog]: “AOL is leading the way to make 401(k)s worse for everyone

[2/5/14] The Fiscal Times: “A New Study Paints a Rosier Retirement Picture

[2/5/14] Congressional Budget Office: Insurance Coverage Provisions of the Affordable Care Act--CBO’s February 2014 Baseline

[2/5/14] The Los Angeles Times: “Affordable Care Act will prompt some to work less, report says

[2/5/14] America’s Health Insurance Plans Issue Brief: “Affordable Care Act Premium Stabilization Programs: How Reinsurance, Risk Corridors, and Risk Adjustment Protect Consumers

[2/5/14] Plan Sponsor: “Lawsuit Doesn’t Free Employers from ACA Mandate

[2/4/14] U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics: Employment Cost Index -- December 2013 [News Release]

[2/4/14] PricewaterhouseCoopers: “Health insurance premiums: comparing ACA exchange rates to the employer-based market

[2/4/14] Milliman Health Care Reform Briefing Paper: “Private health exchanges for large employers -- Some questions to ask

[2/4/14] National Association of Plan Advisors: “Employer Mandate Key to Harkin Plan

[2/4/14] Chicago Tribune: “Rich or poor, workers win if firms prod them to save

[2/4/14] PIMCO DC Dialogue: “No Turning Back: Defined Contribution Around the Globe” [“In this PIMCO DC Dialogue, we speak with Brigitte Miksa about the development of retirement systems around the globe.”]

[2/4/14] Indiana Gazette: “Average retirement age creeping ever higher

[2/4/14] Plan Sponsor: “GASB Issues Guide for New Pension Standards

[1/31/14] The White House: “Fact Sheet: Opportunity for All: Securing a Dignified Retirement for All Americans

[1/31/14] Plan Sponsor:

[1/31/14] U.S. Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions: “Harkin Unveils Legislation to Address Retirement Crisis, Rebuild Private Pension System” [Press Release]


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


February 2014 EBRI Issue Brief - "What Causes EBRI Retirement Readiness Ratings to Vary: Results from the 2014 Retirement Security Projection Model"

February 2014 EBRI Notes - "IRA Withdrawals, 2011" and "Employer and Worker Contributions to Health Reimbursement Arrangements and Health Savings Accounts, 2006-2013"


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:

Retirement Security: Trends in Marriage and Work Patterns May Increase Economic Vulnerability for Some Retirees. GAO-14-33, January 15. Highlights. Podcast.

Private Health Insurance: The Range of Base Premiums for Individuals Age 19 and 64 in the Individual Market by State in January 2013. GAO-14-263R, January 31.

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.

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 2/28/14