What's New - July 2017



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[7/31/17] PlanAdviser: “DC Plan TDF Use Is Changing -- More TDF plan sponsors are selecting non-proprietary TDFs and CIT TDFs, research finds.

[7/31/17] NAPA Net: “What’s Top of Mind in Investment Menu Shifts?

[7/31/17] Urban Institute: Small Business Health Insurance and the ACA: Views from the Market 2017

[7/31/17] Kaiser Health News: “Nearly Two-Thirds of Americans Want To Keep Or Modify Obamacare

[7/28/17] U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics The Economics Daily: “Medical care benefits access, participation, and take-up rates for workers in private industry, by occupation, March 2017

[7/28/17] Kaiser Health News: “When High Deductibles Hurt: Even Insured Patients Postpone Care

[7/28/17] Human Resource Executive Online: “Bring Change to Mind -- Mental-health issues are a leading cause of employee health, productivity and absence issues. Employers are often the first-line of assistance in helping workers and their dependents receive the care they need.

[7/28/17] USA Today: “Trump Administration ends low-income retirement savings plan

[7/27/17] U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics: “Employee Benefits in the United States - March 2017

[7/27/17] Securian Financial Group: Securian Benefits Survey Report

[7/27/17]: The Commonwealth Fund’s To the Point: “’Small Business Health Plans’: Undermining States’ Authority and a Recipe for Fewer Plan Choices and Higher Premiums

[7/27/17] Cammack Retirement Group: “Retirement Plan Fees: Top 3 Questions Answered

[7/27/17] International Foundation of Employee Benefit Plans [Blog]: “Top 5 Tips for 401(k) Loan Program Design

[7/26/17] Healthline: “Should Companies Allow Mental Health Days?

[7/26/17] Cowden Associates, Inc.: “2018 Open Enrollment Checklist

[7/26/17] Kaiser Health News: “Paid Parental Leave May Be The Idea That Transcends Politics

[7/26/17] Northeast Business Group on Health and AARP: Caregiving and the Workplace: Employer Benchmarking Survey

[7/26/17] Bank of America Merrill Lynch: 2017 Plan Wellness Scorecard

[7/26/17] LIMRA: Workplace Retirement Savings and State Plan Mandates: Employer and Employee Perspectives [Note: A username and a password are required to access the full report and the executive summary.]

[7/25/17] National Conference on Public Employee Retirement Systems: Secure Choice 2.0: States Blazing a Path to Retirement Security for All

[7/25/17] Investment Company Institute Research Perspective: “Who Participates in Retirement Plans

[7/25/17] Defined Contribution Institutional Investment Association: The Influence of DC Plan Design on Retirement Outcomes

[7/25/17] PlanSponsor: “DC Plan Sponsors Feel Responsible for Retirement Readiness -- Sixty-one percent of employers now analyze the percentage of their employees on track to replace 80% or more of their final salary in retirement, up from 44% in 2013, according to J.P. Morgan.

[7/25/17] Economic Policy Institute: “Further Delay of Full Applicability of the Fiduciary Rule Would Cost Retirement Savers in Every State

[7/25/17] 401(k) Specialist: “Major Behavioral Determinant Of 401k Saving Success

[7/21/17]  U.S. Senate Committee on the Budget:  Discussion Draft - Better Care Reconciliation Act (BCRA) -- [Note: This Discussion Draft includes a link to the draft updated on July 20, 2017, as well as links to the June 26 and July 13 drafts of the BCRA.]

[7/21/17]  The Segal Group [Infographic]:  State Employee Health Benefits Costs and Cost Sharing Increasing

[7/21/17]  Kaiser Health News:  “Trump Plan Might Cut Expenses For Some Insured Patients With Chronic Needs

[7/21/17]  Urban Institute:  Workers Gaining Health Insurance Coverage Under the ACA

[7/21/17]  Center for State & Local Government Excellence Issue Brief:  “State and Local Pension Plans Funding Sputters in FY 2016” [Note: The full report may be downloaded at the website.]

[7/21/17]  PwC:  Pension/OPEB 2017 Assumption and Disclosure Study

[7/21/17]  NBC News:  “Higher Pay Is Still Elusive, but at Least 401(k) Benefits Are Improving

[7/21/17]  IonTuition:  Student Debt: A Growing Problem for All Employees [Note: The full report can be downloaded at the website.]

[7/21/17]  NerdWallet [Blog]:  “Avoiding the Stock Market May Cost Millennials $3.3 Million

[7/21/17]  Retirement Income Journal:  “Why We Need Randomized Modeling for Retiree Income Strategies” [Note: A subscription may be required to view the full article.]

[7/20/17]  Deloitte’s Health Care Current:  “HSAs Can Help Offset Future Health Costs, but Funding Them Is a Struggle for Some

[7/20/17]  International Foundation of Employee Benefit Plans [Blog]:  “Tracking EEOC Rules for Wearables in Wellness Programs

[7/20/17]  Kaiser Family Foundation Issue Brief:  “The Facts on Medicare Spending and Financing

[7/20/17]  PlanAdviser:  “DOL Secretary Urged to Review Auto-Portability -- Lawmakers requested that the DOL issue an advisory opinion or other appropriate guidance regarding application of ERISA to auto-portability of retirement savings.

[7/20/17]  Center for Retirement Research at Boston College Issue in Brief:  “Social Security’s Financial Outlook: The 2017 Update in Perspective

[7/20/17]  Natixis Global Asset Management:  2017 Global Retirement Index -- An in-depth assessment of retirement security in the developed world

[7/19/17]  Willis Towers Watson Insider:  “Shifts in Benefit Allocations Among U.S. Employers -- How can employers better deliver the benefits their employees want?

[7/19/17]  The Alliance:  “HDHP Launch Nets 54 Percent of Employees at Woodward Communications

[7/19/17]  LPL Financial:  The Small Business Retirement Savings Challenge

[7/19/17]  National Center for Employee Ownership:  “ESOPs by the Numbers” [Updated March 2017]

[7/19/17]  Chief Investment Officer:  “Even the Most Fiscally Fit States Have Pension Problems

[7/19/17]  Mercer:  Bold Ideas for Mending the Long-Term Saving Gap [Note: The full report can be downloaded at the website.]

[7/18/17]  Jason Zweig:  “How Much of Your Company’s Stock Is Too Much?

[7/18/17]  Principal Financial Group:  “Younger Generations of ‘Super Savers’ Crushing Retirement Goals -- Small sacrifices today helps them better prepare for tomorrow

[7/18/17]  Morningstar Advisor:  “4 HSAs With the Best Investment Menu Designs -- Diversification with minimal overlap is the best recipe for HSA investment menus.

[7/18/17]  The Commonwealth Fund:  Mirror, Mirror 2017: International Comparison Reflects Flaws and Opportunities for Better U.S. Health Care

[7/17/17]  Benefits Magazine:  “The Rise of the Mobile Devices -- Putting Benefit Communication in Your Participants’ Hands

[7/17/17]  Holland & Knight:  “Senate’s Updated Draft Better Care Reconciliation Act Changes Provisions Affecting Employers

[7/17/17]  Gallup:  “More in U.S. Say Healthcare Is the Most Important Problem

[7/17/17]  401(k) Specialist:  “The Real Cost of HSA Investment Fees -- Cheaper is not always better

[7/17/17]  Bloomberg BNA:  “Can UPS Proposal Fix Pension Crisis? Some Think It Can

[7/14/17]  U.S. Senate Committee on the Budget:  Discussion Draft - Better Care Reconciliation Act (BCRA)

[7/14/17]  NAPA Net:  “HSAs Staying Alive in Senate GOP’s Revised Health Care Measure

[7/14/17]  Kaiser Health News:  “GOP Seeks To Sweeten Health Savings Account Deals. Will Consumers Bite?

[7/14/17]  American Academy of Actuaries Issue Brief:  “Assessing Pension Plan Health: More Than One Right Number Tells the Whole Story

[7/14/17]  Social Security and Medicare Boards of Trustees:

[7/13/17]  NAPA Net:  “3 Tips to Boost Your Retirement Plan Expert Reputation

[7/13/17]  American Enterprise Institute Working Paper:  How Hard Should We Push the Poor to Save for Retirement?

[7/13/17]  Lincoln Financial Group:  2017 Financial Focus: Goals and Reflections of Today’s Consumer: Part 1 -- Looking Forward [Conducted by Lincoln Financial Group with PSB Research]

[7/13/17]  Human Resource Executive Online:  “A Wary Welcome -- Many employers applauded President Trump’s proposal for a national standard for parental leave, but some worry his plan could end up costing them money.

[7/13/17]  International Foundation of Employee Benefit Plans:  Employer Pulse Check: The Future of ACA

[7/11/17]  PlanSponsor:  “Employees Want a Full Suite of Benefits -- This is prompting employers to ask their benefits brokers for new and innovative solutions.

[7/11/17]  Mercer:  “Executive Order on HDHPs Would Boost Appeal

[7/11/17]  The Commonwealth Fund:  Getting to the Root of High Prescription Drug Prices -- Drivers and Potential Solutions

[7/11/17]  Congressional Research Service:  Comparison of the American Health Care Act (AHCA) and the Better Care Reconciliation Act (BCRA)

[7/11/17]  Gallup:  “US Uninsured Rate Rises to 11.7%

[7/11/17]  Guardian Life Insurance Company of America:  Part-Time Nation: The “Gig Economy” Leaves Some Working Americans Financially Vulnerable -- The Guardian Workplace Benefits Study [4th Annual]

[7/11/17]  Defined Contribution Institutional Investment Association:  A Financial Wellness Primer: Why Financial Wellness?

[7/11/17]  Investment Company Institute:  “Americans Trust in Their 401(k) Plans

[7/11/17]  Investor’s Business Daily:  “How Millennials Are Building Better 401(k) Accounts Than Older Workers

[7/11/17]  NAPA Net:  “What’s Wrong with Automatic Enrollment?

[7/11/17]  Human Resource Executive Online:  “Rethinking Telecommuting -- IBM and other high-profile companies have rescinded or scaled back their remote-work policies. Should other companies follow their lead?

[7/7/17] Center for Retirement Research at Boston College’s Squared Away Blog: “IRAs Fall Short of Original Goal

[7/7/17] Cammack Retirement Group: “The Importance of Retirement Investing Over Saving for Older Employees

[7/7/17] International Foundation of Employee Benefit Plans: “55 Wellness Initiatives for Your Workplace

[7/7/17] The Commonwealth Fund Issue Brief: “The Better Care Reconciliation Act: Economic and Employment Consequences for States

[7/6/17] Milliman White Paper: 2016 Employer Stop-Loss Market: A Milliman Survey

[7/6/17] HealthLeaders Media: “Health Plans Scrambling to Upgrade, Keep Up with Changes

[7/6/17] TIAA Institute: Financial Communications and Asset Allocation Decisions: The Effects of Reading Style, Financial Knowledge, and Individual Differences

[7/6/17] NAPA Net: “Perceived Costs, Resources Top Reasons for Not Offering Retirement Plan

[7/6/17] Social Security Administration: Earnings and Employment Data for Workers Covered Under Social Security and Medicare, by State and County, 2014

[7/6/17] Human Resource Executive Online [Blog]: “More Independent Workers Are Taking Regular Jobs

[7/5/17] DataPath Administrative Services: “HRA Plan Primer: Facts about Qualified Expenses, Taxes and More

[7/5/17] Human Resource Executive Online: “Radical Transparency in Healthcare Benefits

[7/5/17] Frenkel Benefits [Blog]: “Take Advantage of Health Insurer Cherry Picking

[7/5/17] NAPA Net: “Small Businesses Increasingly Using Best-in-Class Design Features

[7/5/17] PlanAdviser: “More Employers Make Roth 401(k) Matching Contributions -- Among employers offering Roth 401(k) savings programs, 40% now offer matching contributions.

What's new at EBRI this month:

EBRI's Recent Media Coverage

Change in Average Account Balances (by Age and Tenure)


July 12, 2017 EBRI Issue Brief - "The Impact of Offering Free Coverage on Enrollment Choice and Risk Selection in an HSA-eligible Health Plan"

July 11, 2017 EBRI Issue Brief - "Trends in Health Savings Account Balances, Contributions, Distributions, and Investments, 2011-2016: Statistics from the EBRI HSA Database"

May 25, 2017 EBRI Issue Brief - "Consumer Engagement in Health Care: Findings from the 2016 EBRI/Greenwald & Associates Consumer Engagement in Health Care Survey"

May 16, 2017 EBRI Notes - "Importance of Individual Account Retirement Plans and Home Equity in Family Total Wealth"

April 27, 2017 EBRI Notes - "Consumer Engagement in Health Care and Choice of Health Plan: Differences Among Millennials, Baby Boomers, and Generation X Have Implications for Plan Sponsors"

April 18, 2017 EBRI Notes - "Value of Workplace Benefits: Findings from the 2016 Health and Voluntary Workplace Benefits Survey"

March 23, 2017 EBRI Issue Brief - "Health Plan Switching: A Case Study--Implications for Private- and Public-Health-Insurance Exchanges and Increased Health Plan Choice"

March 21, 2017 EBRI Issue Brief - "The 2017 Retirement Confidence Survey: Many Workers Lack Retirement Confidence and Feel Stressed About Retirement Preparations"

Feb. 27, 2017 EBRI Notes - "Retirement Policy Directions in 2017 and Beyond"

Feb. 23, 2017 EBRI Notes - "Health Experts Consider a Post-ACA World"

Feb. 21, 2017 EBRI Notes - "Geographic Variation in Spending Among Older American Households"

Feb. 8, 2017 EBRI Issue Brief - "How Does the Level of Household Savings Affect Preference for Immediate Annuities?"

Jan. 31, 2017 EBRI Notes - "Savings Medicare Beneficiaries Need for Health Expenses: Some Couples Could Need as Much as $350,000"

Jan. 17, 2017 EBRI Issue Brief - "Individual Retirement Account Balances, Contributions, Withdrawals, and Asset Allocation Longitudinal Results 2010-2014: The EBRI IRA Database"


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:

Older Workers: Phased Retirement Programs, Although Uncommon, Provide Flexibility for Workers and Employers. GAO-17-536: Published June 20, 2017; Publicly Released July 20, 2017.

Private Health Insurance: In Most States and New Exchanges, Enrollees Continued to be Concentrated among Few Issuers in 2014. GAO-16-724, September 6, 2016; Reissued on February 14, 2017.

Retirement Security: Improved Guidance Could Help Account Owners Understand the Risks of Investing in Unconventional Assets.
GAO-17-102: Published Dec. 8, 2016; Publicly Released Jan. 9, 2017.

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Updated 7/31/17