What's New - July 2013



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!


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.


[7/31/13] Internal Revenue Service: 403(b) Pre-Approved Plans [Note: This webpage includes links and resources as follows: Basics, Drafting resources, Forms, Correcting Plan Errors, Videos and Presentations, etc., for employers.]

[7/31/13] Towers Watson: “Defined Benefit Plans Outperform Defined Contribution Plans Again -- Should We Care?

[7/31/13] The Wall Street Journal: “Retirees Face High Stock Prices and Low Bond Yields

[7/31/13] The New York Times [Blog]: “The Question of Taxing Employer-Provided Health Insurance

[7/31/13] The Council for Affordable Health Insurance: “CAHI Identifies 2,271 State Health Insurance Mandates

[7/31/13] The Motley Fool: “The Real Crisis in Employer-Provided Health Insurance

[7/29/13] U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics: “Access to paid leave benefits among workers in private industry and state and local government, by occupation, March 2013

[7/29/13] Internal Revenue Service: Small Business Health Care Tax Credit for Small Employers [Updated June 20, 2013]

[7/29/13] Kaiser Health News: “IOM Finds Differences in Regional Health Spending Are Linked to Post-Hospital Care and Provider Prices

[7/29/13] National Conference of State Legislatures: Pensions and Retirement Plan Enactments in 2012 State Legislatures [Updated April 2013]

[7/29/13] Forbes: “Detroit Is a Tragedy, but the Retirement Crisis Touches Us All---Especially Generation Y

[7/29/13] Daily Finance: “Low Interest Rates: Bad for Retirees, Worse for Gen X-ers

[7/26/13] Buck Consultants FYI®: “PBGC proposes new premium rules for 2014

[7/26/13] Bloomberg: “Pension Deficits Get Renewed Scrutiny Post-Detroit Filing

[7/26/13] The Wall Street Journal: “David Skeel: Facing Up to America’s Pension Woes -- Public retirees everywhere insist that Chapter 9 does not permit any benefit changes. Their legal case is weak.

[7/26/13] Brookings: “Taking the Measure of Detroit: Helping with Health Care

[7/26/13] MarketWatch: “401(k) Fee Alerts Go Largely Unnoticed

[7/26/13] The 401kWire: 100 Most Influential People in Defined Contribution: The 401kWire’s 2013 Nominees [Note: To vote you must be registered with 401kWire and logged in. You do not have to be a paid member.]

[7/26/13] The New York Times: “Sell a Business to Cover Retirement: Don’t Count on It

[7/26/13] Charles Schwab: Today’s Engaged Investor: An Approach to Investing, Borrowed from Life

[7/25/13] CFO Research and Prudential Financial: Balancing Costs, Risks, and Rewards: The Retirement and Employee Benefits Landscape in 2013

[7/25/13] Plan Sponsor: “More Small Businesses Offering Retirement Plans

[7/25/13] Buck Consultants FYI: “Additional guidance on timing of fee disclosures for ERISA plans

[7/25/13] CBS MoneyWatch: “Experts warn of retirement crisis

[7/25/13] American Academy of Actuaries: Risky Business: Living Longer Without Income for Life [Developed by the Lifetime Income Risk Joint Task Force of the American Academy of Actuaries]

[7/25/13] Journal of the American Medical Association: “Views of US Physicians About Controlling Health Care Costs

[7/25/13] Sacramento Bee: “MedCost Finds Employers Are Turning to Self-Funded Health Plans as Affordable Alternative

[7/25/13] Bloomberg BNA: “Attorney: DOMA Ruling Touches Most Health and Welfare Benefits

[7/24/13] The Wall Street Journal: “Who Gets Health Benefits?

[7/24/13] Employee Benefit News:

[7/24/13] U.S. House Committee on Education & the Workforce, Subcommittee on Health, Education, Labor, and Pension, jointly with the Subcommittee on Workforce Protections: Hearing titled “The Employer Mandate: Examining the Delay and Its Effect on Workplaces” [Hearing held July 23, 2013, includes links to witness testimonies]

[7/24/13] Bank of America Merrill Lynch: 2013 CFO Outlook

[7/23/13] U.S. Department of Labor Employee Benefits Security Administration:

[7/23/13] Mercer: “Mercer US Pension Buyout Index

[7/23/13] Plan Sponsor: “Is Your Retirement Seminar Really Helping?

[7/23/13] Fox Business: “Retirement of Baby Boomers at Risk

[7/23/13] Forbes: “’How I Hit the $1 Million Mark’: Real People Dish on Their Retirement Savings

[7/23/13] Workforce.com: “Age Becoming an Issue with Health Care Benefits, Study Shows

[7/22/13] U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics: Access to Employee Benefits in March 2013

[7/22/13] Principal Financial Group: “Retirement Plan Design Features Significantly Increase Participation and Savings

[7/22/13] National Association of Government Defined Contribution Administrators: NAGDCA 2013 Survey of Defined Contribution Plans II

[7/22/13] Rapid City Journal: “Kahler: Are you a spender or a saver?

[7/22/13] The Segal Group: Trends: Noteworthy Developments of Interest to Sponsors of Multiemployer Health Plans [Third Quarter 2013]

[7/22/13] The Commonwealth Fund: “Update: State Action Round-Up on Affordable Care Act Implementation

[7/19/13] Sibson Consulting: Trends: Noteworthy Developments of Interest to Employers that Sponsor Health Plans [Third Quarter 2013]

[7/19/13] ADP: 2013 ADP Annual Health Benefits Report

[7/19/13] Pittsburgh Business Times: “EBRI: savings in high-deductible plan

[7/19/13] U.S. House Energy & Commerce Committee, Subcommittee on Oversight and Investigations: Hearing titled “Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act: Implementation in the Wake of Administrative Delay” [Hearing held July 18, 2013, includes link to archived webcast and to written testimony]

[7/19/13] Plan Sponsor: “Know How: Participant Exit Strategies

[7/19/13] On Wall Street: “Low Yields Snare the Young and the Affluent

[7/19/13] AARP [Blog]: “Retirement Analyses May Send Chills Down Your Back

[7/18/13] U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics: Employee Benefits in the United States – March 2013 [News Release]

[7/18/13] U.S. Chamber of Commerce: U.S. Chamber of Commerce Q2 2013 Small Business Outlook Survey

[7/18/13] U.S. House Committee on Ways & Means, Subcommittee on Health: Second hearing on the “Delay of the Employer Mandate Penalties and Reporting Requirements” [Hearing held July 17, 2013, includes links to written testimonies]

[7/18/13] The Washington Post: “Delay of health law’s employer requirement may hamper enforcement of individual coverage rule

[7/18/13] Buck Consultants FYI® In-depth: “Final wellness regulations mean health plans need a checkup

[7/18/13] Plan Sponsor: “Certain Plan Features Boost Participation

[7/18/13] Fidelity Investments: “Will you outlive your money? Figuring out a “safe” withdrawal rate for your portfolio is critical to making your money last. Here are some tips.

[7/18/13] Center for Retirement Research at Boston College: How Does Women Working Affect Social Security Replacement Rates?

[7/17/13] Sibson Consulting Perspectives: “The ROI of Your Wellness Program Depends on Design and Implementation

[7/17/13] PolitiFact: “AFP ad says premiums will rise under Obamacare

[7/17/13] USA Today: “Most health care records now are electronic

[7/17/13] Urban Institute: It’s No Contest: The ACA’s Employer Mandate Has Far Less Effect on Coverage and Costs Than the Individual Mandate

[7/17/13] U.S. Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions: Full committee hearing titled “Pooled Retirement Plans: Closing the Retirement Plan Coverage Gap for Small Businesses” [Hearing held July 16, 2013, includes links to written testimonies]

[7/17/13] Workforce.com: “Planning for Retirement? Don’t Forget the Cost of Health Care

[7/17/13] The Motley Fool: “Investing for Retirement: There Are No Excuses

[7/16/13] October Three: “DOL mulls ‘lifetime income’ illustrations for DC benefit statements

[7/16/13] Plan Sponsor:

[7/16/13] Mercer: “US Companies Need Solutions to Pension Plan Volatility

[7/16/13] Kaiser Health News: “A Handful of State Marketplaces Opt Not to Charge Smokers More for Premiums

[7/16/13] Buck Consultants FYI® In-depth: “Supreme Court DOMA decision creates compliance conundrum for employers

[7/15/13] PricewaterhouseCoopers: “PwC Survey: Majority of Private Companies Already in Compliance with Next Wave of Healthcare Reform Requirements

[7/15/13] The Chicago Tribune [Letter to the Editor]: “Don’t abandon Obamacare

[7/15/13] Workforce.com: “Employee Medical Information and Social Media

[7/15/13] Internal Revenue Service: Retirement Plans FAQs regarding 403(b) Tax-Sheltered Annuity Plans

[7/12/13] Aon Hewitt: “Aon Hewitt survey shows increasing use of flexible benefits to improve employee engagement” [News Release]

[7/12/13] Milliman 100 Pension Funding Index: “Milliman analysis: Corporate pension funded status improves in June by $47 billion as higher interest rates reduce pension obligations and assets

[7/12/13] Plan Sponsor: “Investment Menu Simplification on Sponsors’ To-Do Lists

[7/12/13] MarketWatch: “Which are better, 401(k)s or pensions? Study: In some cases, savers end up with more in 401(k)s

[7/12/13] U.S. News & World Report: “What’s Under the Hood of Your Target-Date Fund

[7/12/13] Employee Benefit News: “What hasn’t changed for employers in 2014?

[7/12/13] Kaiser Health News: “Some States Are Pushing ‘Employee Choice’ for Small Business Insurance

[7/12/13] Congressional Budget Office: Optimal Annuitization with Stochastic Mortality Probabilities [Working Paper]

[7/11/13] U.S. Senator Orrin G. Hatch:

[7/11/13] Midsize Insider: “Economic Recovery Does Little to Bolster Retirement Confidence

[7/11/13] Society for Human Resource Management Research Spotlight: “Health Care Reform--Actions and Strategies

[7/11/13] Workforce.com:

[7/11/13] U.S. House Committee on Ways & Means, Subcommittee on Health: Hearing on the “Delay of the Employer Mandate” [Hearing held July 10, 2013, includes links to written testimonies]

[7/10/13] Society for Human Resource Management: SHRM® Workplace Forecast: The Top Workplace Trends According to HR Professionals

[7/10/13] Littler Mendelson: Executive Employer Survey Report

[7/10/13] CFO.com: “Obamacare Delay Poses Legal Risk to Employers

[7/10/13] LifeHealthPro: “401(k) outperforms pension in EBRI study

[7/10/13] Miller Chevalier (for American Benefits Council): Update on the Taxation of Fringe Benefits

[7/10/13] American Express: The Life Twist Study

[7/9/13] The New York Times: “Pension Proposal Aims to Ease Burden on States and Cities

[7/9/13] Employee Benefit News: “Participation rates at all-time high, savings rates not keeping up

[7/9/13] U.S. News & World Report: “How Rising Interest Rates Affect Retirement

[7/9/13] Mercer: “Delay in Health Reform Penalties for Employers Leaves Many Issues Still to Resolve

[7/9/13] The Washington Post: “Obamacare just got easier to implement, not harder

[7/9/13] Forbes: “News Flash: 46% of Working Uninsured Are in Large Firms Subject to Employer Mandate

[7/8/13] Plan Sponsor: “PBGC Seeks Comments for Missing Participants Program

[7/8/13] Workforce.com: “Employees Finding Their Financial Fitness Footing

[7/8/13] Kaiser Health News: “Delay in Major Health Law Provision Raises Doubts at Critical Stage of Rollout

[7/8/13] Employee Benefit News: “Benefits industry reacts to employer mandate delay

[7/8/13] The Washington Post:

[7/8/13] Society for Human Resource Management: “Despite Coverage, High Costs Limit Health Care Access

[7/3/13] The Washington Post:

[7/3/13] Internal Revenue Service: Health Coverage Tax Credit: Health Plan Administrator Operations Guide

[7/3/13] U.S. Department of Health & Human Services: “HHS Launches Health Insurance Marketplace Educational Tools” [News Release]

[7/3/13] Business Management Daily: “Part-time work increasing, part-timers’ health coverage falling

[7/2/13] Aon Hewitt: 2013 Universe Benchmarks: Measuring Employee Savings and Investing Behavior in Defined Contribution Plans - Highlights

[7/2/13] Insured Retirement Institute:

[7/2/13] PIMCO DC Dialogue: “Making ‘Low-Risk’ Decisions” [“In this PIMCO DC Dialogue, we talk with Marla Kreindler of Morgan, Lewis & Bockius LLP about capital preservation-focused investment choices, including stable value, money market and short-term fixed income strategies.”]

[7/2/13] U.S. Departments of the Treasury (IRS), Labor (EBSA), and Health and Human Services: Coverage of Certain Preventive Services Under the Affordable Care Act; Final rules [as published in the Federal Register on July 2, 2013]

[7/2/13] Human Resource Executive Online: “Is the Time Right for Private Exchanges?

[7/2/13] PricewaterhouseCoopers HRS Insight: “What does the DOMA decision mean for employer-sponsored benefit plans?

[7/1/13] J.D. Power & Associates: 2013 Employer Health Plan Study

[7/1/13] U.S. Department of Health & Human Services: Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act; Exchange Functions: Eligibility for Exemptions; Miscellaneous Minimum Essential Coverage Provisions; Final rule [as published in the Federal Register on July 1, 2013]

[7/1/13] The Washington Post:

[7/1/13] Plan Sponsor: “Is DB or DC Better for Participants?

[7/1/13] nwitimes.com: “Real Estate Retirement Plan

[6/27/13] Groom Law Group: “Supreme Court Rules on Same-Sex Marriage - DOMA Is Unconstitutional: The Implications for Plan Sponsors” [includes links to a chart and a summary]

[6/13/13] Health Affairs: “Consumer-Directed Health Plans Reduce the Long-Term Use of Outpatient Physician Visits and Prescription Drugs,” by Paul Fronstin, Martin J. Sepúlveda, and M. Christopher Roebuck [Note: A subscription may be required to access the full text.]

[6/3/13] The Washington Post:

[6/3/13] Social Security and Medicare Boards of Trustees:


What's new at EBRI this month:

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 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


July 2013 EBRI Issue Brief - "Health Care Spending after Adopting a Full-Replacement, High-Deductible Health Plan With a Health Savings Account: A Five-Year Study"

July 2013 EBRI Notes - "Tracking Health Insurance Coverage by Month: Trends in Employment-Based Coverage Among Workers, and Access to Coverage Among Uninsured Workers, 1995-2012" and "Decisions, Decisions: Choices That Affect Retirement Income Adequacy--EBRI's 72nd Policy Forum"


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 Health Insurance: The Range of Base Premiums in the Individual Market by State in January 2013. GAO-13-712R, July 23.

Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act: Status of Federal and State Efforts to Establish Health Insurance Exchanges for Small Businesses. GAO-13-614, June 19. Highlights.

Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act: Status of CMS Efforts to Establish Federally Facilitated Health Insurance Exchanges. GAO-13-601, June 19. Highlights.

Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act: Enrollment and Spending in the Early Retiree Reinsurance and Pre-existing Condition Insurance Plan Programs. GAO-13-391, April 30. Highlights.

Health Insurance: Seven States' Actions to Establish Exchanges under the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act. GAO-13-486, April 30. Highlights.

Private Pensions: Timely Action Needed to Address Impending Multiemployer Plan Insolvencies. GAO-13-240, March 28. Highlights.

401(K) Plans: Labor and IRS Could Improve the Rollover Process for Participants. GAO-13-30, March 7. Highlights.

Retirement Security: Challenges and Prospects for Employees of Small Businesses, by Charles A. Jeszeck, director, education, workforce, and income security, before the Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions. GAO-13-748T, July 16. 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 7/31/13