What's New - June 2014


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[6/30/14] Columbia Daily Herald: “TVA ends traditional pension for new employees

[6/30/14] Fiduciary News: “10 Incredibly Easy Things a 401k Fiduciary Can Do to Increase Deferral Rates

[6/30/14] BenefitsPro: “Public pension funding gaps will widen under new rules

[6/30/14] Internal Revenue Service: Tax Credit for Employee Health Insurance Expenses of Small Employers; Final regulations [as published in the Federal Register on June 30, 2014]

[6/30/14] Journal of Accountancy: “Ten things CPAs should know about the Affordable Care Act

[6/30/14] Congressional Research Service: Social Security: Minimum Benefits

[6/27/14] U.S. Census Bureau: Summary of the Quarterly Survey of Public Pensions for 2014:Q1 – Total Holdings and Investments of Major Public Pension Systems Increased to over $3.2 Trillion, Reaching the Highest Level Since the Survey Began in 1968 [Released June 26, 2014]

[6/27/14] State Street Global Advisors: Biannual DC Investor Survey -- State Street Global Advisors’ Survey Reveals DC Participants’ New Vision of Retirement

[6/27/14] SCOTUSblog: “Opinion analysis: Court rejects ‘presumption of prudence’ for ESOP fiduciaries

[6/27/14] RetirementWORKS: Rethinking Retirement “Gap” Analysis

[6/27/14] Kaiser Health News: “A Reader Asks: Can New Employees Be Forced to Wait 90 Days for Coverage?

[6/27/14] 4-traders: “Sodexo : cafeteria workers to regain health benefits

[6/27/14] Council for Disability Awareness: 2014 Long Term Disability Claims Review

[6/26/14] MarketWatch: “Supreme Court ruling helps 401(k) plaintiffs

[6/26/13] Plan Sponsor: “Retiring Boomers Push IRA Assets to $6.5T

[6/26/14] National Journal: “Your Retirement Years Will Not Look Like a ‘Golden Girls’ Episode

[6/26/14] Workforce.com: “Home in the Range: Health Care Retirement Costs as Much as a House

[6/26/14] Oxford Economics: Another Penny Saved: The Economic Benefits of Higher US Saving [Note: Registration is required to download the full report at the website.]

[6/26/14] Human Resource Executive Online: “Measuring the ACA’s Impact

[6/26/14] PricewaterhouseCoopers: PwC’s 2014 Health and Well-being Touchstone Survey Results

[6/26/14] Medical Expenditure Panel Survey Statistical Brief #441: “Out-of-Pocket Health Care Expenses by Age and Insurance Coverage, 2011

[6/25/14] Society for Human Resource Management: 2014 Employee Benefits: An Overview of Employee Benefits Offerings in the U.S. [Sponsored by Colonial Life]

[6/25/14] U.S. Departments of the Treasury (IRS), Labor (EBSA), and Health & Human Services: Ninety-Day Waiting Period Limitation; Final rules [as published in the Federal Register on June 25, 2014]

[6/25/14] Congressional Budget Office: Coverage Effects of Limiting the Tax Exclusion for Employment-Based Health Insurance [Presentation at the Fifth Biennial Conference of the American Society of Health Economists]

[6/25/14] National Center for Policy Analysis [Health Policy Blog]: “EBRI’s First Look at HSA Account Balances and Distributions

[6/25/14] Plan Sponsor: “How PBGC Premium Increases Would Impact DB System

[6/25/14] Fiduciary News: “What is the 401k Average Deferral Rate?

[6/25/14] Buck Consultants FYI®: “DOL revisiting target date fund proposal in light of SEC advisory committee recommendation

[6/25/14] NCEO’s The Employee Ownership Update: “Comments on ESOP Article in Wall Street Journal

[6/24/14] KESQ.com: “McGee: Why do we tolerate costly health care?

[6/24/14] The Washington Post: “As health-care law’s employer mandate nears, firms cut worker hours, struggle with logistics

[6/24/14] Mintz Levin: “The Affordable Care Act--Countdown to Compliance for Employers, Week 27: COBRA, Marketplace Coverage, Stability Periods, and Cafeteria Plan Elections

[6/24/14] Plan Sponsor: “The Impact of Leakage on 401(k) Accumulations

[6/24/14] Market Strategies International: “Cogent Reports: Soft Factors Seal the Deal in DC Record Keeper Selection

[6/24/14] The Wall Street Journal: “U.S. Increases Scrutiny of Employee-Stock-Ownership Plans

[6/24/14] Harvard Business Review [Blog]: “Flextime Is Declining, but ‘Flex Around the Edges’ Is Up

[6/24/14] U.S. Social Security Administration: “Social Security Defines Policy for Same-Sex Married Couples -- Agency Extends Benefits Broadly, Subject to Legal Constraints” [Press Release]

[6/23/14] U.S. Department of Labor, Employee Benefits Security Administration: “Proposed rule to extend Family Medical Leave Act protections to all eligible employees in same-sex marriages announced by US Labor Secretary” [News Release]

[6/23/14] Internal Revenue Service: 401(k) Plan Fix-It Guide

[6/23/14] The Vanguard Group: Vanguard Retirement Plan Access 2014: Benchmark data supplement to How America Saves

[6/23/14] USA Today: “When - if ever - to borrow from your 401(k)

[6/23/14] Northwestern Mutual Life Insurance Company: 2014 Planning and Progress Study: “Retirement Redefined”

[6/23/14] Financial Finesse Reports: Gender Gap in Financial Literacy - Executive Summary

[6/23/14] TIME: “The Retirement Crisis Nobody Talks About: Long-term Care

[6/23/14] Kaiser Family Foundation: Survey of Non-Group Health Insurance Enrollees [A First Look at People Buying Their Own Health Insurance following Implementation of the Affordable Care Act]

[6/20/14] Prudential Financial: Eighth Annual Study of Employee Benefits Today & Beyond: The ABCs of Voluntary

[6/20/14] BenefitsPro: “Men’s HSA account balances far outpace women’s

[6/20/14] Human Resource Executive Online: “A Private-Exchange Checklist

[6/20/14] Plan Sponsor: “Retirement Need Mostly Determined Via Online Tools

[6/20/14] USA Today: “Boomers can’t spend too much too quickly

[6/20/14] Lincoln Financial Group: Retirement Insights: The Importance of Tax Planning

[6/20/14] Bloomberg: “The Roth Less Traveled: How High Earners Can Enjoy Lower Tax Bills in Retirement

[6/20/14] U.S. News & World Report: “Why Millennials Still Don’t Save Enough -- Debt is the biggest obstacle to better financial habits

[6/19/14] Internal Revenue Service: Rev. Proc. 2014-30 [“This revenue procedure provides the 2015 inflation adjusted amounts for Health Savings Accounts (HSAs) as determined under § 223 of the Internal Revenue Code.”]

[6/19/14] Buck Consultants FYI®: “PCORI fee due by July 31

[6/19/14] NJBiz: “Be careful: For legal reasons, ACA-prompted wellness programs must be structured carefully

[6/19/14] The New York Times: “Detroit Rolls Out New Model: A Hybrid Pension Plan

[6/19/14] Vanguard Blog for Institutional Investors: “Loyal to a de-fault

[6/19/14] LifeHealthPro: “When will Boomers’ nest eggs crack?

[6/19/14] TIAA-CREF: TIAA-CREF Borrowing Against Your Future Survey -- Executive Summary

[6/19/14] Employee Benefit News: “More retirees planning to work through the golden years

[6/18/14] Bloomberg BNA: “Senate Sets Sight on Retiree Benefit Vesting; ERISA Amendments Create New Presumption

[6/18/14] Array Health: Health Check: A Survey on Private Health Insurance Exchanges

[6/18/14] Benefits Quarterly: “Talking to the Generations: Targeting Effective DC Plan Communication

[6/18/14] Internal Revenue Service: Employee Plans News [June 17, 2014]

[6/18/14] MetLife: MetLife Qualified Retirement Plan Barometer: A Study of Retirement Income Culture Among the Fortune 1000™

[6/18/14] Cammack Retirement Group: Are States Migrating from Traditional Pensions? A State-by-State Review

[6/18/14] BenefitsPro: “ADP pinpoints who’s saving, and how much

[6/18/14] Plan Sponsor: “Bill Would Increase Certain Social Security Payments

[6/17/14] The Los Angeles Times: “A little-known worker benefit: Employee assistance programs

[6/17/14] Plan Sponsor: “Exploring DC Models in Health Care Benefits

[6/17/14] TheCityWire.com: “Wal-Mart tests its own health clinics to shave insurance costs

[6/17/14] Bloomberg Businessweek: “Companies weigh options for retiree health benefits

[6/17/14] The Commonwealth Fund: Mirror, Mirror on the Wall, 2014 Update: How the Performance of the U.S. Health Care System Compares Internationally [Executive Summary]

[6/17/14] Internal Revenue Service: Retirement News for Employers [June 13, 2014]

[6/17/14] Plan Adviser: “Going Broke in Year One a Real Possibility, EBRI Says

[6/17/14] The Slott Report: “3 Retirement Plan Life Expectancy Tables

[6/13/14] U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics: “Employer Costs for Employee Compensation -- March 2014” [News Release]

[6/13/14] Fidelity Viewpoints: “Retiree health costs hold steady

[6/13/14] Philly.com: “Retirement healthcare costs: Not as scary, but still daunting

[6/13/14] Plan Sponsor: “Participants Still Need Basic Retirement Plan Education

[6/13/14] Bloomberg: “They Just Re-Invested Your 401(k), for Your Own Damn Good

[6/13/14] Cleveland.com: “Older workers stay on job past retirement age, while percentage of younger workers declines

[6/13/14] Segal Consulting's Capital Checkup: “Latest Guidance on the Affordable Care Act’s Rules for Out-of-Pocket Limits and Preventive Services Requirements

[6/13/14] National Center for Policy Analysis: “The Effects of the Affordable Care Act on Small Business

[6/12/14] International Foundation of Employee Benefit Plans: 2014 Employer-Sponsored Health Care: ACA’s Impact [Note: The full report can be downloaded at the website.]

[6/12/14] Plan Sponsor: “Employers Considering New Tactics to Tame Health Care Costs

[6/12/14] American Association of Preferred Provider Organizations: Large Employers Add CDHPs in 2013

[6/12/14] The New York Times: “Private Health Care Exchanges Enroll More Than Predicted

[6/12/14] Vanguard: The Evolution of Company Stock in Defined Contribution Plans

[6/12/14] Workforce.com: “Employer Match Game: Lump Sum or Per Paycheck?

[6/12/14] MarketWatch: “The 4 best ways to jump-start your retirement savings

[6/11/14] The Vanguard Group: How America Saves 2014: A report on Vanguard 2013 defined contribution plan data

[6/11/14] Wells Fargo: “Eight in Ten Millennials Say Great Recession Taught Them to Save ‘Now’, Wells Fargo Survey Finds” [News Release]

[6/11/14] Oman Tribune: “Savings have a masculine flavour -- Women trail men in keeping aside funds for retirement

[6/11/14] Market Strategies International: “Cogent Reports: Healthcare Expenses Missing in Many Pre-Retirees’ Retirement Plans

[6/11/14] The Washington Post: “Obamacare’s employer mandate is under attack from both sides. Will it survive?

[6/11/14] U.S. House Committee on Ways & Means, Subcommittees on Oversight & Health: Hearing on the “Verification of Income and Insurance Information Under the Affordable Care Act” [Hearing held June 10, 2014, includes links to witness testimonies]

[6/11/14] Social Security Administration: Congressional Statistics, December 2013 [OASDI and SSI fact sheets for each state and Congressional district]

[6/11/14] Plan Sponsor: “People Regret Taking Social Security Too Early

[6/10/14] Wells Fargo [Blog]: “Millennial survey results: Pick up your savings pace

[6/10/14] CBS Money Watch: “Tough times ahead for Gen X as finances lag

[6/10/14] The Motley Fool: “What to Do if Your Income Exceeds the Roth IRA Income Limits

[6/10/14] Milliman 100 Pension Funding Index: “Milliman analysis: Funded status deficit increases by $10 billion in May --The Milliman 100 PFI funded status worsens to $268 billion due to an increase in pension liabilities

[6/10/14] BenefitsPro: “PBGC enforcement tactics draw fire

[6/10/14] Willis: The Health Care Reform Survey, 2014

[6/10/14] Human Resource Executive Online: “There’s More to Wellness Program ROI than Medical-Cost Savings

[6/10/14] Families USA Issue Brief: “How to Make Reference Pricing Work for Consumers

[6/9/14] Monthly Labor Review (BLS): “Is the workweek really overestimated?

[6/9/14] Pentegra Retirement Services: “15 Misconceptions About the Three Principal Fiduciary Roles in a Retirement Plan

[6/9/14] The Santa Barbara Independent: “Make Sure You’re Ready for Retirement -- Four Ideas and Why You Should Pay Attention

[6/9/14] Milliman 100 Pension Funding Index: “Milliman analysis: Funded status deficit increases by $15 billion in April --The Milliman 100 PFI funded status worsens to $258 billion

[6/9/14] Plan Sponsor: “How Health Care Costs Affect Employers, Employees

[6/9/14] The Huffington Post: “Trader Joe’s Proves That Obamacare Can Free Us From the Wrong Jobs

[6/9/14] The Los Angeles Times: “Take advantage of workplace wellness programs

[6/6/14] Plan Sponsor: “Benefits Gain Value With Good Communication

[6/6/14] Financial Finesse Bulletin: “Trends in Employee Financial Issues Q1 2014

[6/6/14] CBN.com: “Avoid Retirement Crisis: Know How to Plan

[6/6/14] Bank of America Merrill Lynch: Work in Retirement: Myths and Motivations -- Career Reinventions and the New Retirement Workscape [A Merrill Lynch Retirement Study conducted in partnership with Age Wave]

[6/6/14] Center for State & Local Government Excellence Issue Brief: “The Funding of State and Local Pensions: 2013-2017

[6/6/14] Employee Benefit News: “An inside look at wellness program strategies

[6/6/14] Kaiser Health News: “CBO: Only 4 Million To Face Fines For Lacking Health Coverage

[6/6/14] American Academy of Actuaries Issue Brief: “Drivers of 2015 Health Insurance Premium Changes

[6/5/14] The National Center for Employee Ownership: The Employee Ownership 100: America’s Largest Majority Employee-Owned Companies

[6/5/14] The Pew Charitable Trusts and Laura and John Arnold Foundation: State Public Pension Investments Shift Over Past 30 Years

[6/5/14] National Association of Government Defined Contribution Administrators: Improving Retirement Readiness for State and Local Government Employees [A white paper prepared for NAGDCA by The International Foundation for Retirement Education]

[6/5/14] Unified Trust: “The Real Measure of 401(k) Plan Success

[6/5/14] Forbes: “3 Public Policy Changes That Could Ruin Your Retirement Plan

[6/5/14] LIMRA: “Majority of Indexed Annuity Buyers Opt for Guaranteed Lifetime Income

[6/5/14] The New York Times:

[6/5/14] Brookings [Blog]: “The Side Effects of Releasing Health Insurance Data to the Public

[6/4/14] BenefitsPro: “403(b) plans streamline investment choices

[6/4/14] Fidelity Investments: “Many Americans Flying Solo When Investing for Retirement

[6/4/14] Mercer: “US Workers Shy Away from Savings Amid Retirement Health Cost Worries

[6/4/14] The Wall Street Journal: “Five Myths About Retirement -- It’s Likely to Cost More Than You Think It Will

[6/4/14] U.S. News & World Report: “What to Do With ‘Orphaned’ 401(k)s -- People often forget they have 401(k)s at a former employer

[6/4/14] Bank of America Corporation: Merrill Edge® Report: Spring 2014 [“Addressing the Financial Priorities and Concerns of the Mass Affluent”]

[6/4/14] Plan Sponsor: “There’s Hope for Retirement Security Policies from Congress

[6/4/14] Virgin Pulse: The Business of Healthy Employees: A Survey of Workplace Health Priorities, 2014

[6/3/14] Benefits Quarterly: “How the Millennial Generation Is Transforming Employee Benefits

[6/3/14] National Employee Wellness Month, June 2014: “Celebrating the 6th Annual National Employee Wellness Month -- National Employee Wellness Month helps business leaders learn how companies successfully engage employees in healthy lifestyles. It showcases how companies can support employees by creating healthy cultures, improving their health and well-being while lowering healthcare costs and driving engagement.

[6/3/14] Business & Legal Resources: “Measuring wellness plan ROI: Metrics matter

[6/3/14] Leader’s Edge Magazine: “The Elephant in the Room -- The Known Unknowns Will Define the Future of Benefits Brokerage” [regarding the impact of the Affordable Care Act]

[6/3/14] Plan Sponsor: “PSNC 2014: Success is in the Eye of the Beholder” [“Dallas Salisbury fields a lot of questions about how to define retirement plan success in his role as president and CEO of the Employee Benefits Research Institute (EBRI).”]

[6/3/14] Plan Sponsor Council of America: PSCA’s 2014 403(b) Plan Report [reporting on the 2013 plan-year experience of 578 not-for-profit organizations]

[6/3/14] Morningstar: “Changing Jobs? Avoid Costly 401(k) Mistakes

[6/3/14] U.S. Department of Labor, Employee Benefits Security Administration: Target Date Disclosure; Proposed rule; reopening of comment period [as published in the Federal Register on June 3, 2014]

[6/2/14] National Journal: “Can Connecticut Solve the U.S. Retirement Crisis?

[6/2/14] Principal Financial Group: “Retirement Savings Rebounding, According to New Research” [Note: The full study and press release can be downloaded at the website.]

[6/2/14] Workforce.com: “’Working Until I Die,’ the New American Way?

[6/2/14] Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation: Proposed Submission of Information Collection for OMB Review; Comment Request; Termination of Single-Employer Plans, Missing Participants; Notice of intent to request extension of OMB approval [as published in the Federal Register on June 2, 2014]

[6/2/14] Aflac: 2014 Aflac WorkForces Report: Charting workforce trends and challenges on the journey to health care reform [Executive Summary]

[6/2/14] Plan Sponsor: “Approach Genders Differently in Wellness Initiatives

[6/2/14] Agingcare.com: “How to Reduce Out-of-Pocket Medical Expenses


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


June 2014 EBRI Issue Brief - "HSA Balances, Contributions, Distributions, and Other Vital Statistics--A First Look at Data from the EBRI HSA Database on the 10th Anniversary of the HSA"

June 2014 EBRI Notes - "'Short' Falls: Who's Most Likely to Come up Short in Retirement, and When?" and "Consumer Engagement Among HSA and HRA Enrollees: Findings from the 2013 EBRI/Greenwald & Associates Consumer Engagement in Health Care Survey"


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:

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.

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.


Retirement Security: Trends in Marriage, Work, and Pensions May Increase Vulnerability for Some Retirees, by Barbara D. Bovbjerg, managing director, education, workforce, and income security, before the Senate Special Committee on Aging. GAO-14-272T, March 5. 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.

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Updated 6/30/14