What's New - July 2014



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[7/31/14] USA Today: “Wisconsin Supreme Court upholds 2011 union law

[7/31/14] U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics: “Larger establishments more likely than smaller establishments to offer medical care benefits

[7/31/14] BenefitsPro: “$1 million in your HSA account?

[7/31/14] Congressional Budget Office: “Revisions to CBO’s Projections of Federal Health Care Spending

[7/31/14] U.S. House Committee on Energy & Commerce, Subcommittee on Health: Hearing titled “Protecting Americans from Illegal Bailouts and Plan Cancellations under the President’s Health Care Law” [Hearing held July 28, 2014, includes links to witness testimonies]

[7/31/14] Congressional Research Service: Implementing the Affordable Care Act: Delays, Extensions, and Other Actions Taken by the Administration

[7/31/14] National Institute on Retirement Security: Pensionomics 2014: Measuring the Economic Impact of DB Pension Expenditures

[7/31/14] The New York Times: “Many Reasons to Offer 401(k)s (Including Owner’s Retirement)

[7/31/14] Forbes: “Your Retirement Number: Who Cares?

[7/31/14] T. Rowe Price: First Look: Assessing the New Retiree Experience [Survey Highlights]

[7/30/14] America’s Health Insurance Plans: “Banking Survey Shows HSA Accounts Provide Financial Flexibility for Consumers” [This press release includes a link to An Analysis of Health Savings Account Balances, Contributions, and Withdrawals in 2012, which “provides information on the financial activity of more than 1.4 million health savings accounts (HSAs) open as of December 31, 2012.”]

[7/30/14] Insurance News Net: “Taking a Stab at HSA Growth Projections

[7/30/14] The Los Angeles Times: “Almost no one wants the Obamacare employer mandate now: Here’s why

[7/30/14] Milliman’s Retirement Town Hall: “HATFA-14 and discount rates: The latest in ‘pension smoothing’ provisions

[7/30/14] Plan Adviser: “For Many, IRA Withdrawals Are Well Controlled

[7/30/14] U.S. House Committee on Ways & Means, Subcommittee on Social Security: Hearing on “What Workers Need to Know about Social Security as They Plan for Their Retirement” [Hearing held July 29, 2014, includes links to witness testimonies]

[7/29/14] Internal Revenue Service: Rev. Proc. 2014-46 [“This revenue procedure provides the 2014 monthly national average premium for qualified health plans that have a bronze level of coverage for taxpayers to use in determining their maximum individual shared responsibility payment under § 5000A(c)(1)(B) of the Internal Revenue Code and § 1.5000A-4 of the Income Tax Regulations. This revenue procedure also provides an explanation of the methodology used to determine the monthly national average premium amount.”]

[7/29/14] The Hill: “IRS: Wealthy facing max fine of nearly $2,500 for not having insurance

[7/29/14] Forbes: “Employer Health Insurance: A Bargain Compared to Government-Sponsored Coverage

[7/29/14] American Health Policy Institute: Health Coverage Cost Per Covered Life: Government vs. Employment-Sponsored Programs

[7/29/14] National Center for Policy Analysis: “Paying for Public Employee Health Costs

[7/29/14] Retirement Management Services, LLC: “Dispelling the Myth: Is a 3(16) Fiduciary Really Necessary?

[7/29/14] Social Security and Medicare Boards of Trustees:

[7/29/14] The Los Angeles Times: “Good news and warnings in the Social Security and Medicare reports

[7/28/14] U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics: Employee Benefits in the United States -- March 2014 [News Release]

[7/28/14] Plan Sponsor: “How Employee Benefits Are Evolving

[7/28/14] PricewaterhouseCoopers Insights: “PCORI fees due next week” [dated July 23, 2014]

[7/28/14] Internal Revenue Service: Rules Regarding the Health Insurance Premium Tax Credit; Notice of proposed rulemaking by cross-reference to temporary regulations [as published in the Federal Register on July 28, 2014]

[7/28/14] Internal Revenue Service: Rules Regarding the Health Insurance Premium Tax Credit; Final and temporary regulations [as published in the Federal Register on July 28, 2014]

[7/28/14] Internal Revenue Service: Rev. Proc. 2014-37 [“This revenue procedure provides indexing adjustments for certain provisions under sections 36B and 5000A of the Internal Revenue Code. In particular, it updates the Applicable Percentage Table in § 36B(b)(3)(A)(i). This table is used to calculate an individual’s premium tax credit for taxable years beginning after calendar year 2014. This revenue procedure also updates the required contribution percentage in § 36B(c)(2)(C)(i)(II), which is used to determine whether an individual is eligible for affordable employer-sponsored minimum essential coverage under § 36B for plan years beginning after calendar year 2014.”]

[7/28/14] Investment News: “Target date funds: Adviser’s checklist

[7/28/14] Financial Advisor: “Why Your 401(k) Likely Won’t Offer ‘Longevity Annuity’

[7/25/14] Kaiser Health News: “Obama Administration Moves Forward on Employer Mandate

[7/25/14] U.S. Department of Health & Human Services: Consumers Benefitted from 80/20 Rule in 2013

[7/25/14] National Center for Policy Analysis: “Has the Affordable Care Act Slowed the Growth of Health Care Spending?

[7/25/14] Plan Sponsor: “Senate Committee Advances ERISA Amendments Impacting PBGC” [Note: The article includes a link to S.2511 below.]

[7/25/14] S.2511: “To amend the Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974 to clarify the definition of substantial cessation of operations.

[7/25/14] Sibson Consulting’s Perspectives: “Redesigning Your DC Plan to Help Employees’ Retirement Income Last a Lifetime

[7/24/14] The Wall Street Journal: “Retirement readiness within reach for Americans who take advantage of 401(k) plans

[7/24/14] Center for Retirement Research at Boston College Brief: “How Much Should People Save?

[7/24/14] Forbes: “Do You Have the Best or Worst 401(k) Plan?

[7/24/14] Plan Sponsor: “Education, Examples Help Participants Do the Math

[7/24/14] PIMCO DC Dialogue: “Take Care of the Employee and Retiree” [“In this PIMCO DC Dialogue, we speak with Pete Apor, director of Retirement Services at Fujitsu, about how Fujitsu is helping both active and retired participants meet their retirement income needs.”]

[7/24/14] Fidelity Investments: “Fidelity’s Average IRA Contributions Climb to Over $4,000--An All-Time High

[7/24/14] Society for Human Resource Management: “Rulings on Subsidies Bring More ACA Confusion

[7/24/14] New England Journal of Medicine: “Health Reform and Changes in Health Insurance Coverage in 2014

[7/23/14] Kaiser Health News: “Appeals Courts Split on Legality of Subsidies for Affordable Care Act” [Note: The article includes links to the two separate court rulings.]

[7/23/14] BenefitsPro: “HSA incentives encourage engagement

[7/23/14] USA Today: “People of all ages investing more for retirement

[7/23/14] Forbes: “7 Ways to Juice Your Roth IRA

[7/23/14] TIAA-CREF: TIAA-CREF Perfect Match Survey -- Executive Summary

[7/23/14] Prudential: Planning for Retirement: The Role of 401(k)s in Retirement Income

[7/23/14] Transamerica Center for Retirement Studies: Millennial Workers: An Emerging Generation of Super Savers -- 15th Annual Transamerica Retirement Survey

[7/23/14] Plan Advisor: “Benchmark Report Paints Image of Industry in Flux

[7/22/14] Aon Hewitt: 2014 Universe Benchmarks: Measuring Employee Savings and Investing Behavior in Defined Contribution Plans - Highlights

[7/22/14] Daily Finance: “How Early Withdrawals Can Tax Your Retirement Savings

[7/22/14] Morningstar: “Should You Add Longevity Protection to Your Retirement Plan?

[7/22/14] Plan Sponsor: “PBGC Offers Guidance Page on Multiemployer Pension Plans

[7/22/14] Human Resource Executive Online: “The DOMA Decision: One Year Later

[7/22/14] Fox Business: “Health Cost Lookout for 2015 and How to Get Ready for It

[7/22/14] Congressional Budget Office: “What Are the Causes of Projected Growth in Spending for Social Security and Major Health Care Programs?

[7/22/14] FinancialCorps: “Federal Reserve Takes Center Stage in Financial Literacy Outcomes

[7/21/14] Arthur J. Gallagher & Co.: 2014 Benefits Strategy & Benchmarking Survey [Executive Summary & Strategic Insights]

[7/21/14] Plan Sponsor: “Employers Experiencing Lull Before ACA Storm

[7/21/14] Robert Wood Johnson Foundation: “Exploring the Use of Reference Pricing by Insurers and Employers

[7/21/14] Kaiser Family Foundation: How Much Is Enough? Out-of-Pocket Spending Among Medicare Beneficiaries: A Chartbook

[7/21/14] J.P. Morgan Asset Management: Understanding Re-enrollment -- Benefits for participants and plan sponsors

[7/21/14] BlackRock: “Target Date Funds: Three Reasons for ‘To’ Not ‘Through’

[7/21/14] National Association of Government Defined Contribution Administrators: Target Date Funds

[7/21/14] Chicago Tribune: “How much income will that 401(k) generate?

[7/18/14] USA Today: “Bull market sends 401(k)s soaring to record highs -- The average quarterly 401(k) balance for workers rose to $91,000, Fidelity says

[7/18/14] OneAmerica: “More Than Half of Retirement Plan Participants in Favor of Automatic Annual Increase -- OneAmerica® survey also indicates top financial distractions to retirement saving

[7/18/14] ThinkAdvisor: “Social Security, Retirement Savings Would Benefit From Closing Gender Pay Gap

[7/18/14] U.S. Department of Labor Employee Benefits Security Administration: FAQs about Affordable Care Act Implementation (Part XX) [Disclosure with respect to Preventive Services]

[7/18/14] Plan Sponsor: “DC Health Benefits Use Expected to Pick Up

[7/18/14] Kaiser Health News: “A Reader Asks: If You Have a Job-Based Plan, Can You Buy on the Marketplace?

[7/18/14] St. Louis Post-Dispatch: “New health-care challenge: Enrollees don’t understand their ACA insurance plans

[7/18/14] LifeHealthPro: “Are ACOs transforming American health care?

[7/17/14] Workforce.com: “401(k)s with ‘Automatic’ Steering Drive Savings Success

[7/17/14] Vanguard: Diversity and defined contribution plans: Differences in 401(k) retirement wealth

[7/17/14] Principal Financial Group: 2013 Trends in Nonqualified Deferred Compensation -- Spotlight on Plan Participants

[7/17/14] Prudential: Financial Experience & Behaviors Among Women [2014-2015 Prudential Research Study]

[7/17/14] Digital Journal: “Seniors struggling with healthcare costs, retirement planning

[7/17/14] Bloomberg BNA: “Employers Requiring Workers to Pay More As Health Costs Continue to Rise, PwC Finds

[7/17/14] U.S. House Committee on Energy & Commerce, Subcommittee on Health: Hearing titled “Failure to Verify: Concerns Regarding PPACA’s Eligibility System” [Hearing held July 16, 2014, includes links to witness testimonies]

[7/17/14] Social Security Administration: OASDI Beneficiaries by State and County, 2013 [“This annual publication provides data on the Social Security population at the local level. It presents basic program data by type of benefit (retirement, survivors, and disability) and category of beneficiary (retired and disabled workers, wives and husbands, widows and widowers, and children).”]

[7/16/14] Towers Watson: 2014 Current and Emerging Global Themes -- Employee Benefits: An HQ Perspective

[7/16/14] International Foundation of Employee Benefit Plans: “Top 10 Employee ACA Questions

[7/16/14] HighRoads: “CBO Considers Options to Limit Tax Exclusion for Employer-Based Coverage

[7/16/14] Congressional Budget Office: The 2014 Long-Term Budget Outlook

[7/16/14] The Segal Group: Trends: Noteworthy Developments of Interest to Sponsors of Multiemployer Retirement Plans [Third Quarter 2014]

[7/16/14] Investment Company Institute Research Perspective: “The Economics of Providing 401(k) Plans: Services, Fees, and Expenses, 2013

[7/16/14] Plan Sponsor: “How Tax Reform Could Affect Retirement Plans

[7/16/14] Ascensus: “IRS Expected to Require Aggregating IRA Types for Rollover Limitation

[7/15/14] Modern Healthcare: “Consumers using, but confused about, health savings accounts, surveys find

[7/15/14] HealthLeaders Media: “Narrow Provider Networks Set to Spread

[7/15/14] HealthPocket: “2015 Obamacare Rate Filings Reveal Changes in Out-of-Pocket Costs

[7/15/14] Kaiser Family Foundation: Survey of Health Insurance Marketplace Assister Programs: A First Look at Consumer Assistance under the Affordable Care Act

[7/15/14] Internal Revenue Service: Individual Retirement Plans and Simplified Employee Pensions; Partial withdrawal of notice of proposed rulemaking [as published in the Federal Register on July 11, 2014]

[7/15/14] Plan Sponsor: “Employees Open to Retirement Savings Intervention

[7/14/14] Internal Revenue Service: Employee Plans News [July 10, 2014]

[7/14/14] Morningstar: “The Target-Date Industry in 5 Charts

[7/14/14] Fidelity Investments: Retirement Vision 2020: Fidelity’s Prescription to Help Drive Better Outcomes

[7/14/14] Plan Sponsor: “Roth Accounts Can Improve Retirement Outcomes

[7/14/14] Investment News: “How to get Millennials on track for retirement

[7/14/14] Aflac: “Aflac Study Unveils Small Businesses’ Approach to Benefits Decisions” [Press Release]

[7/14/14] Segal Consulting’s Public Sector Letter: “Implications for Plan Sponsors of Obesity’s Designation as a Disease

[7/14/14] Buck Consultants FYI®: “Massachusetts completes repeal of employer coverage requirements; Individual mandate remains in place

[7/11/14] Investing Daily: “Estimating Retirement Medical Expenses

[7/11/14] Milliman 100 Pension Funding Index: “Milliman analysis: Corporate pension funded status improves in June by $14 billion -- Discount rates rise for the first time this year--but only by two basis points

[7/11/14] Society for Human Resource Management: “Retirement Plans Holding Employer Stock: What Now?

[7/11/14] Morningstar: “We’re flying blind investing for retirement

[7/11/14] The Los Angeles Times:

[7/11/14] The Segal Group: Trends: Noteworthy Developments of Interest to Employers that Sponsor Health Plans [Third Quarter 2014]

[7/10/14] America’s Health Insurance Plans: “New Census Survey Shows Continued Growth in HSA Enrollment

[7/10/14] Alegeus Technologies: 2014 Consumer and Employer Healthcare Benefits Survey [Infographics]

[7/10/14] Plan Sponsor: “PBGC Puts Hold on Shutdown Enforcement

[7/10/14] ThinkAdvisor.com: “Biggest Retirement Income Gap Seen for Oldest Pre-Retirees

[7/10/14] Workforce.com: “Special Report: EAPs: Devoid of Data

[7/10/14] Fidelity Investments Viewpoints:

[7/9/14] Plan Sponsor: “Communications About HSAs Need Improvement

[7/9/14] Time Magazine: “Why Your Boss Isn’t Dropping Your Health Plan (Yet)

[7/9/14] The Wall Street Journal: “Healthcare costs, pensions are top corporate priorities

[7/9/14] Center for State & Local Government Excellence Issue Brief: “Using Automatic Enrollment in Local Government Retirement Plans to Increase Savings

[7/9/14] AllianceBernstein Blog on Investing: “Multiple Employer DC Plans: Safety in Numbers?

[7/9/14] National Center for Employee Ownership: “Default Rates on Leveraged ESOPs, 2009-2013

[7/9/14] ETF Daily News: “Minding the Gap: How Ready Are Pre-Retirees?

[7/9/14] Urban Institute and Brookings Institution: Flattening Tax Incentives for Retirement Saving

[7/8/14] USA Today: “Longevity annuities inside IRAs and 401(k)s

[7/8/14] CFO Research and Prudential Financial: Managing Financial Risk in Retirement and Benefits Programs

[7/8/14] The Pew Charitable Trusts: Preparing for Retirement: Top Findings from a Survey of Public Workers on Retirement Benefits

[7/8/14] The Dallas Morning News: “Hobby Lobby hangover? Let us choose our health coverage

[7/8/14] The Commonwealth Fund: “Health Care Coverage Under the Affordable Care Act--A Progress Report

[7/8/14] Insurance News Net: “HSAs Give Employees Incentives to Adopt Financially Healthier Behaviors

[7/3/14] Cleaning Business Today: “Sweeping Away the Competition: Investing in Your Employees to Drive Business Results

[7/3/14] Towers Watson: “Health Care Reform Affects Key Workplace Programs

[7/3/14] FreeNewsPos.com: “Obamacare Benefits Unlikely to Be Cut Under Court Ruling

[7/3/14] Pension360: The Complete View of Public Pensions [new website: “The Pension 360 blog is a comprehensive online resource for data, news, trends and analysis on public pension plans. We focus on State and municipal systems.”]

[7/3/14] Morningstar: “Target Date Funds Get Cheaper, Use Tactical Allocation Well

[7/3/14] PIMCO: “Designing Balanced DC Menus: Considering Inflation-Hedging Strategies” [“Second in a series of articles exploring diversifying asset strategies, including fixed income, real assets, capital preservation and equities.”]

[7/3/14] Plan Sponsor: “Perceived Expense Stops Many from Seeking Advice

[7/3/14] The Slott Report: “IRS Regulations Create New Type of Retirement Income Annuity

[7/2/14] U.S. Department of the Treasury (IRS): Longevity Annuity Contracts; Final regulations [as published in the Federal Register on July 2, 2014]

[7/2/14] Bloomberg Businessweek: “Annuities in U.S. Retirement Plans Get Government Boost

[7/2/14] Kravitz: 2014 National Cash Balance Research Report

[7/2/14] ICI Research Report: “The IRA Investor Profile: Roth IRA Investors’ Activity, 2007-2012

[7/2/14] National Center for Employee Ownership: “A Statistical Profile of Employee Ownership: Data on Broad-Based Employee Ownership in the U.S.” [Updated June 2014]

[7/2/14] ShoeFitts Marketing: “And You Thought Your Life Was Complicated: A Visual History of ERISA

[7/2/14] Harvard Business Review [Blog]: “The Hobby Lobby Decision Could Affect a Majority of U.S. Workers

[7/2/14] Kaiser Family Foundation: Kaiser Health Tracking Poll: June 2014

[7/2/14] U.S. Census Bureau: 65+ in the United States: 2010

[7/1/14] Kaiser Family Foundation: “Court Suggests Narrow Application of Birth Control Case, but Others See Broader Impact

[7/1/14] U.S. Department of the Treasury:

[7/1/14] The New York Times: “Longevity Insurance Joins the Menu of Retirement Plan Options

[7/1/14] Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation: “PBGC Report Shows Improvement in Single-Employer Plans, but Underscores Increased Risks to Some Multiemployer Plans

[7/1/14] Investment Company Institute: “Retirement Assets Total $23.0 Trillion in First Quarter 2014

[7/1/14] Investor Central: “The Rise of 401(k) Brokerage Accounts

[7/1/14] National Center for Policy Analysis: “50 or Older? 10 Things You Should Do With Your Money

[7/1/14] International Foundation of Employee Benefit Plans: “Overturn of DOMA Contributes to 34 Percent Increase in Same-Sex Benefits


What's new at EBRI this month:

EBRI 2014 Spring Policy Forum: “’Crisis’ Management: Uncertainty and the Workplace” [“gavel-to-gavel” webcast - Prerecorded broadcast available through the International Foundation of Employee Benefit Plans]

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's Recent Media Coverage

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

401(k) Balances and Changes Due to Market Volatility


July 2014 EBRI Issue Brief - "What Does Consistent Participation in 401(k) Plans Generate? Changes in 401(k) Account Balances, 2007-2012"

July 2014 EBRI Issue Brief - "Employee Benefits: Today, Tomorrow, and Yesterday"

July 2014 EBRI Notes - "Lifetime Accumulations and Tax Savings from HSA Contributions" and "IRA Withdrawals in 2012 and Longitudinal Results, 2010-2012"


What's new in employee benefits:

The following items have been added to the Government Accountability Office's Web site in Portable Document (PDF) format:

401(K) Plans: Improvements Can Be Made to Better Protect Participants in Managed Accounts. GAO-14-310, June 25. Highlights.

Private Health Insurance: Early Effects of Medical Loss Ratio Requirements and Rebates on Insurers and Enrollees. GAO-14-580, July 10. Highlights.

Private Pensions: Targeted Revisions Could Improve Usefulness of Form 5500 Information. GAO-14-441, June 5. Highlights.

Pension Advance Transactions: Questionable Business Practices Identified. GAO-14-420, June 4. Highlights.

Private Health Insurance: The Range of Average Annual Premiums in the Small Group Market by State in Early 2013. GAO-14-524R, May 28.

Retirement Security: Oversight of the National Railroad Retirement Investment Trust. GAO-14-312, May 15. Highlights.

Retirement Security: Challenges for Those Claiming Social Security Benefits Early and New Health Coverage Options. GAO-14-311, April 23. Highlights.

Private Pensions: Pension Tax Incentives Update. GAO-14-334R, March 20.


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 7/31/14