What's New - January 2014


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[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]

[1/31/14] TIAA-CREF: TIAA-CREF Lifetime Income Survey: Executive Summary

[1/31/14] U.S. News & World Report: “Advice for 20-Somethings: Start Saving for Retirement Now

[1/31/14] Market Strategies International: “Cogent Reports™: $280 Billion Likely Headed to Rollover IRAs in 2014” [Press Release]

[1/31/14] Employee Benefit News: “Public exchanges competitive with employer-sponsored plans

[1/31/14] BenefitsPro: “IRS allows just one wellness incentive in calculating affordability

[1/30/14] The Los Angeles Times: “Obama myRA proposal unlikely to boost retirement savings

[1/30/14] Reuters (via Chicago Tribune): “Is myRA for me?

[1/30/14] Workforce.com: “Most Common 401(k) Retirement Plan Match Is Now Dollar-for-Dollar: Survey

[1/30/14] Investment Company Institute: Americans’ Views on Defined Contribution Plan Saving

[1/30/14] NASRA Issue Brief: “Employee Contributions to Public Pension Plans

[1/30/14] HRBenefitsAlert.com: “Domino effect: Why dropping spouses may not cut health plan costs

[1/30/14] Towers Watson Insider: “Final Mental Health Parity Regulations Mostly Confirm/Clarify Earlier Guidance

[1/30/14] Kaiser Family Foundation: Kaiser Health Tracking Poll: January 2014

[1/29/14] Bloomberg: “Obama Unveils Savings Proposal for Workers Lacking 401(k)

[1/29/14] Internal Revenue Service: Employee Plans News [Jan. 23, 2014]

[1/29/14] Milliman PERiScope [Public Employee Retirement Systems]: GASB 67/68: Beginning implementation and overview

[1/29/14] Forbes: “A Helpful New Site for the Financially Insecure

[1/29/14] The Huffington Post: “Target Cuts Health Care. For Some, It’s Not a Bad Thing

[1/29/14] Human Resource Executive Online: “EAPs Not Covered by ACA Umbrella

[1/29/14] Kaiser Health News: “GOP Senators’ New Health Overhaul Plan Would Tax Some Workers’ Benefits

[1/29/14] American Benefits Council: The Patient Choice, Affordability, Responsibility, and Empowerment Act: A Legislative Proposal

[1/28/14] Internal Revenue Service: Minimum Essential Coverage and Other Rules Regarding the Shared Responsibility Payment for Individuals; Notice of proposed rulemaking and notice of public hearing [as published in the Federal Register on Jan. 27, 2014]

[1/28/14] Investment News: “Health savings accounts gain in popularity -- They’re a great way to save on federal taxes, but state treatments differ widely

[1/28/14] Human Resource Executive Online: “Study: PepsiCo’s Wellness Program Falls Flat

[1/28/14] Morningstar: “How Does Your 401(k) Plan Stack Up?

[1/28/14] MarketWatch: “To retire, many need a ‘401(k) for life’

[1/24/14] BenefitsPro: “401(k), Social Security should be enough for most retirees

[1/24/14] Prudential: The Hispanic American Financial Experience

[1/24/14] FINRA: “The IRA Rollover: 10 Tips to Making a Sound Decision

[1/24/14] Towers Watson Insider: “Funded Status of Fortune 1000 Pension Plans Estimated to Have Improved Significantly During 2013

[1/24/14] Plan Sponsor: “Excluding Spouses from Health Coverage Could Backfire

[1/24/14] Healthcare Payer News: “Understanding Target’s decision to cut health benefits

[1/23/14] Employee Benefit News: “EBRI: HRAs flounder and HSAs flourish in 2013

[1/23/14] Aon Hewitt (via Benefits Quarterly): “Can Private Health Care Exchanges Improve the U.S. Health Care System?

[1/23/14] Healthcare Payer News: “Most employees happy with private HIX choices, some want more

[1/23/14] RAND Corporation: Evaluating the “Keep Your Health Plan Fix” -- Implications for the Affordable Care Act Compared to Legislative Alternatives

[1/23/14] Mercer:

[1/23/14] The Los Angeles Times: “Retirement prospects are fairly good for people with 401(k) plans

[1/23/14] Investment News: “DOL set to take a look at ‘brokerage windows’ in 401(k) plans

[1/23/14] American Academy of Actuaries: Retirement for the Ages: Building Enduring Retirement-Income Systems [A Public Policy Monograph]

[1/22/14] Plan Sponsor: “Peer Pressure Could Help Raise Deferral Rates

[1/22/14] Financial Finesse Reports [Research on financial trends]: 2013 Generational Research

[1/22/14] MarketWatch: “An old-school pension lures young recruits

[1/22/14] Human Resource Executive Online: “Navigating the Benefits Landscape

[1/22/14] BenefitsPro: “Researchers point to shift in health accounts

[1/22/14] Congressional Budget Office: Approaches to Reducing Federal Spending on Military Health Care

[1/16/14] Prudential Compliance Advisory: “IRS provides temporary relief for frozen defined benefit plans

[1/16/14] Treasury & Risk: “Another Factor in Favor of Pension Risk Transfers

[1/16/14] MainStreet: “New Retirement Account: 51% of Workers Could Benefit from It

[1/16/14] The New York Times [Blog]: “Playing the Odds on Saving

[1/16/14] U.S. Chamber of Commerce: “6 Obamacare Realities for Businesses in 2014

[1/16/14] The Washington Post: “Judge upholds health law subsidies

[1/15/14] Internal Revenue Service: Employee Plans News [Jan. 14, 2014]

[1/15/14] Plan Sponsor: “Financial Wellness Can Save Employers Money

[1/15/14] The Wall Street Journal: “What You Know About Retirement Investing Is Wrong

[1/15/14] AARP [Blog]: “Boomers Downbeat Over Financial Future

[1/15/14] Seacoastonline.com: “Important to get early start on retirement savings

[1/15/14] The Washington Post: “Why your employer wants to help you with your finances

[1/15/14] Kaiser Health News: “Nearly a Quarter of Health Marketplace Enrollees Are Young Adults

[1/13/14] Milliman’s Client Action Bulletin: “Guidance Issued on In-Plan Roth Rollovers to Designated Roth Accounts

[1/13/14] Aon Hewitt: 2014 Hot Topics in Retirement -- Survey Highlights

[1/13/14] Reuters: “Thinking of rolling over your 401(k)? Think twice

[1/13/14] Center for Retirement Research at Boston College: How Do Subjective Longevity Expectations Influence Retirement Plans? [Working Paper]

[1/13/14] The Wall Street Journal: “The High Cost of Health Care in Retirement

[1/13/14] Towers Watson: Accounting for Defined Benefit Pensions and Other Postretirement Benefits, 2013: Reporting Under U.S. GAAP Among Fortune 1000 Companies

[1/13/14] RAND Corporation: Do Workplace Wellness Programs Save Employers Money?

[1/10/14] The Segal Group: Trends: Noteworthy Developments of Interest to Employers That Sponsor Health Plans [First Quarter 2014]

[1/10/14] The Washington Post [Wonkblog]: “Maryland’s plan to upend health care spending

[1/10/14] U.S. Department of Labor: FAQs about Affordable Care Act Implementation (Part XVIII) and Mental Health Parity Implementation

[1/10/14] Bankrate.com: “Obamacare support weakens, workers pinched

[1/10/14] Plan Sponsor: “Employers to Focus on Employees’ Overall Financial Wellness

[1/10/14] Yahoo! Finance: “Would a Retirement Plan Overhaul Fix Our Savings Shortfall?

[1/9/14] Plan Sponsor: “Employers Will Shift to Managing Employee Health

[1/9/14] Workforce.com: “Affordable Care Act Accelerates Decline of Retiree Health Benefits

[1/9/14] Altarum Institute: “Study: Consumers Active in Their Own Health Care but Face Financial Pressures and Are Unprepared for Health Care Costs in Retirement

[1/9/14] Milliman 100 Pension Funding Index: “Milliman analysis: Pension funding ratio climbs to 95.2% at year-end 2013

[1/9/14] San Francisco Chronicle: “Older Americans Shun Retirement at 65 for Risky Startups: Jobs

[1/9/14] Monthly Labor Review: “Labor force projections to 2022: the labor force participation rate continues to fall

[1/8/14] U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics: National Compensation Survey: Health and Retirement Plan Provisions in Private Industry in the United States, 2012

[1/8/14] CNBC.com: “How to talk to an employer about your 401(k)

[1/8/14] Financial Advisor Magazine: “Convincing People to Invest Their Tax Refunds

[1/8/14] Plan Sponsor: “Wellness Programs May Not Reduce All Health Care Costs

[1/8/14] AARP Public Policy Institute: Effect of Health Reform for 50- to 64-Year-Olds

[1/8/14] Kaiser Family Foundation: Medical Debt Among People with Health Insurance

[1/8/14] The Washington Post [The Fact Checker]: “Social Security: A guide to critical questions

[1/8/14] University of Michigan Retirement Research Center: Older Adult Debt and Financial Frailty [Working Paper]

[1/7/14] St. Louis Post-Dispatch: “Boeing workers give up pension, but gain job security

[1/7/14] Appleby Retirement Consulting: Appleby’s Retirement Plans Comparison Table for Small Businesses-2014 Plan Year

[1/7/14] Detroit Free Press: “Orr issues stay on freezing pensions for Detroit workers as mediation continues

[1/7/14] MoneyRates.com: “Why Americans still can’t escape the recession

[1/7/14] Internal Revenue Service: Computation of, and Rules Relating to, Medical Loss Ratio; Final regulations [as published in the Federal Register on Jan. 7, 2014]

[1/7/14] The Los Angeles Times: “U.S. healthcare costs keep rising but at slower pace

[1/6/14] Employee Benefit News: “IRS: More post-DOMA guidance on cafeteria plans, FSAs, HSAs

[1/6/14] Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation: Payment of Premiums; Large-Plan Flat-Rate Premium; Final rule [as published in the Federal Register on Jan. 3, 2014]

[1/6/14] The Washington Post: “Corporate pension plans at strongest funding in years

[1/6/14] Milliman’s DB Digest: “Lump sum windows: It’s in the details

[1/6/14] BenefitsPro: “401(k) balances grew across the board in past two years

[1/6/14] Investment News: “IRA conversions surge ahead of tax break end

[1/6/14] Bloomberg Businessweek: “Baby Boomers: Poorer in Old Age Than Their Parents

[1/6/14] Associated Press (via National Public Radio): “Will Surge of Older Workers Take Jobs from Young?

[1/2/14] Ascensus [Blog]: “Retirement Plan Guidance is on EBSA’s Gift List for 2014

[1/2/14] Towers Watson: “Corporate Pension Plan Funding Levels Increased Sharply in 2013, Towers Watson Analysis Finds

[1/2/14] Financial Advisor Magazine: “401(k) Bottom Line

[1/2/14] San Mateo Daily Journal: “Americans seeking softer retirement landing

[1/2/14] PIMCO DC Dialogue: “Australia’s Retirement Journey -- Moving Beyond the ‘Pot of Gold’” [“In this PIMCO DC Dialogue, we speak with Professor Michael Drew about the development of the DC system in Australia.”]

[1/2/14] Columbus CEO: “New Benefits Math: Calculating ACA’s Impact

[1/2/14] eHealth®: Cost and Benefits of Individual and Family Health Insurance


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


January 2014 EBRI Issue Brief - "Health Savings Accounts and Health Reimbursement Arrangements: Assets, Account Balances, and Rollovers, 2006-2013"

January 2014 EBRI Notes - "The Cost of Spousal Health Coverage" and "The Role of Social Security, Defined Benefits, and Private Retirement Accounts in the Face of the Retirement Crisis"


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.

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 1/31/14