What's New - June 2017



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[6/30/17] U.S. Census Bureau: Quarterly Survey of Public Pensions: State & Local Government -- 2017 First Quarter

[6/30/17] Center for State & Local Government Excellence Issue Brief: “A First Look at Alternative Investments and Public Pensions” [Note: The full report may be downloaded at the website.]

[6/30/17] NAPA Net: “Fewer DC Plans Offering Hardship Withdrawals and Plan Loans

[6/30/17] ADP Research Institute: “Baby Boomers Delaying Retirement: Generational Shifts at Work

[6/30/17] CFO.com: “Retiree Health Costs Demand Financial Wellness -- Employees can save money to pay for health care in retirement through health savings accounts, but they also need to be financially sound overall.

[6/30/17] Sibson Consulting Update: “2018 Medicare Part D Amounts: Modest Increases from 2017

[6/29/17] Fidelity Health Marketplace: “Are You Offering Your Employees Enough Medical Plan Choices?

[6/29/17] Financial Advisor: “HSAs: Little Understood, But Here To Stay

[6/29/17] American Century Investments [Blog]: “The QDIA (R)evolution

[6/29/17] Bloomberg BNA: “Fiduciary Rule May Go Away, But States Are Stepping In

[6/28/17] U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics Beyond the Numbers: Pay & Benefits: “How pay and benefits change as job level rises: data from the National Compensation Survey

[6/28/17] Segal Consulting: Health Care Reform: Employer-Sponsored Group Health Plans and Affordable Care Act Repeal Efforts

[6/28/17] International Foundation of Employee Benefit Plans: “First-Ever Comprehensive Look at Multiemployer Health Plans

[6/28/17] Morningstar: 2017 Health Savings Account Landscape [Note: The full report can be downloaded at the website.]

[6/28/17] Benefitfocus [Blog]: “Are High-Deductible Health Plans Doing Their Job?

[6/28/17] The Vanguard Group: How America Saves 2017 [Small Business Edition]: 2017 Vanguard Retirement Plan Access™ supplement to How America Saves

[6/28/17] MassMutual: MassMutual Middle America Financial Security Study

[6/28/17] American Academy of Actuaries Issue Brief: “Overview of Multiemployer Pension System Issues

[6/27/17] Kaiser Family Foundation: “Compare Proposals to Replace The Affordable Care Act

[6/27/17] Center on Budget and Policy Priorities: “CBO: Senate Bill Would Raise Premiums, Deductibles, or Both for Most Marketplace Consumers

[6/27/17] Alegeus: 2017 Alegeus Broker & Employer CDH Insights Report [Note: The full report can be downloaded at the website after filling out a form.]

[6/27/17] PlanSponsor: “Many Employees Lack Understanding of the Total Cost of Health Care -- Forty percent of Millennials, 40% of Generation X and 52% of Baby Boomers know how much their employers contribute to the cost of health insurance, a survey finds.

[6/27/17] Gallup: “Cost of Healthcare Is Americans’ Top Financial Concern

[6/27/17] CNBC: “Here’s how much the average American spends on health care

[6/27/17] T. Rowe Price: Reference Point 2017: T. Rowe Price Defined Contribution Plan Data (As of December 31, 2016) -- [Note: The executive summary and the full report can be downloaded at the website.]

[6/27/17] PlanSponsor: 2017 Recordkeeping Survey

[6/27/17] Society of Actuaries: U.S. Public Pension Plan Contribution Indices, 2006-2014

[6/27/17] Vanguard Blog for Institutional Investors: “The power of simplicity

[6/23/17] FiveThirtyEight: “What the Senate GOP Plan Would Mean for Health Insurance

[6/23/17] NAPA Net: “HSA Expansions Included in Senate Health Bill

[6/23/17] Sibson Consulting Update: “Higher Health Savings Account Contribution Limits and Increases in High-Deductible Health Plan Minimums and Maximums for 2018

[6/23/17] Investment Company Institute: “Retirement Assets Total $26.1 Trillion in First Quarter 2017

[6/23/17] NAPA Net: “Employers Say Roth Mandate Would Hurt, But Most Would Keep Plans

[6/23/17] The American College of Financial Services: 2017 RICP® Retirement Income Literacy Survey Report

[6/23/17] Retirement Income Journal: “Research supports investing Social Security funds in equities” [Note: A subscription may be required to view the full article.]

[6/22/17] Wells Fargo: Driving Plan Health -- 2017

[6/22/17] Ascensus: Inside America’s Savings Plans -- How 7+ Million Savers Are Preparing for the Future [Note: The full report can be downloaded at the website. The full report also includes data on 529 college savings plans and health savings accounts (HSAs).]

[6/22/17] BMO Global Asset Management: DC Conversations: An Industry Assessment of Defined Contribution Plans

[6/22/17] The Pew Charitable Trusts Issue Brief: “Employer Barriers to and Motivations for Offering Retirement Benefits -- Insights from Pew’s national survey of small businesses

[6/22/17] Prudential Financial: Getting Back on Track: Financial Wellness in the Public Sector [Note: Links to the infographic and to the executive summary are available at the website.]

[6/22/17] Harvard Business Review: “Getting Buy-In for Predictive Analytics in Health Care

[6/21/17] FierceHealthcare: “Employee engagement, soliciting feedback helps Humana boost its wellness program

[6/21/17] 401(k) Specialist: “5 Burning HSA Questions For Employers To Consider -- Here are the issues and differentiators they should review

[6/21/17] PlanAdviser: “Fiduciary Reforms Will Impact Expanding HSA Market -- The DOL fiduciary rule expansion establishes ERISA fair dealing requirements in the sale and service of health savings accounts; employers have a lot of questions about what this means.

[6/21/17] Mintz Levin’s Employment Matters [Blog]: “The Rise of the Group Health Insurance Captive

[6/21/17] Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and Urban Institute: How Repealing and Replacing the ACA Could Reduce Access to Mental Health and Substance Use Disorder Treatment and Parity Protections

[6/21/17] NASRA Issue Brief: “State and Local Government Contributions to Statewide Pension Plans: FY 15

[6/21/17] Lincoln Financial Group: 2017 Lincoln Retirement Power® Participant Study

[6/21/17] Pentegra Retirement Services: Pentegra Millennial Saving Survey -- Study Shows Encouraging Attitudes Towards Saving for Retirement but Highlights Lingering Concerns

[6/19/17] Society for Human Resource Management: 2017 Employee Benefits: Remaining Competitive in a Challenging Talent Marketplace

[6/19/17] National Association of State Retirement Administrators: “Public Pension Assets: Quarterly Update (Q1 2017)

[6/19/17] ICI Research Perspective: “The Economics of Providing 401(k) Plans: Services, Fees, and Expenses, 2016

[6/19/17] Cammack Retirement Group: “Alternate Fee Calculation/Allocation Models

[6/19/17] PlanAdviser: “Valuing DC Choice: Many people like the flexibility of 401(k) plans

[6/19/17] PlanSponsor: “PSNC 2017: A Shift in Educating Participants--What Is Financial Wellness? Experts say the subject of financial wellness has been constantly evolving and becoming more sophisticated.

[6/19/17] Natixis Global Asset Management: Retirement, Death, and Taxes. Are Investors Prepared for the Inevitable? [2017 Global Survey of Individual Investors Retirement Report] - [Note: The complete report can be downloaded at the website.]

[6/19/17] The Alliance: “Taking Your Wellness Program from Good to Great

[6/15/17] Willis Towers Watson The OneExchange Blog: “Employers satisfied with the benefits marketplace experience in overwhelming numbers

[6/15/17] U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics Beyond the Numbers: Prices & Spending: “The cost of care: new insights into healthcare spending growth

[6/15/17] Brookings: Would Price Transparency for Generic Drugs Lower Costs for Payers and Patients?

[6/15/17] HealthView Services: 2017 Retirement Health Care Costs Data Report

[6/14/17] PwC: 2017 Health & Well-being Touchstone Survey results

[6/14/17] Prudential Financial: Closing the Retirement Income Gender Gap -- The Opportunity Is Now. [Note: The full paper can be viewed at the website.]

[6/13/17] Vanguard Blog for Institutional Investors: “Chocolate-covered target-date funds?

[6/13/17] PlanSponsor: “PSNC 2017: Trends in Fund Lineup Construction -- Collective investment trusts, white labeling, smaller fund menus and ‘tiered’ approaches are becoming the norm.

[6/13/17] NAPA Net: “Report Finds Professionally Managed Funds Improving Asset Allocation

[6/13/17] Prudential Financial: Means and Markets Have Aligned: Why You Should Consider De-risking Now

[6/13/17] PwC’s Health Research Institute: Medical Cost Trend: Behind the Numbers 2018 [Note: The full report can be downloaded at the website.]

[6/13/17] Mercer/Signal: “The Connection Between Employee Well-Being and Turnover

[6/12/17] Oliver Wyman: Complexity and Opportunity: A Survey of US Health Consumers’ Worries and Wants

[6/12/17] Human Resource Executive Online [Blog]: “The ‘Why’ Behind Wellness Programs

[6/12/17] The Lund Report: “Study: Nearly 60 Percent of Employees with Access to a Company Wellness Program Say the Initiative Has Made a Positive Impact on Their Health

[6/12/17] PlanSponsor: “PSNC 2017: The Role of Health Savings Accounts -- A panel on the second day of PSNC 2017 discussed the role HSAs can play in helping participants save, and what plan sponsors should know before implementing them.

[6/12/17] 401(k) Specialist: “What To Evaluate In An HSA Provider Partner -- Not all providers offer the opportunity to invest HSA assets

[6/12/17] PlanAdviser: “PSNC 2017: Re-enrollment Helps Maximize Plan Performance -- The concept of re-enrollment should be an exciting one from the perspective of plan sponsors--a strategy that adds another layer of control and sophistication to a defined contribution retirement plan.

[6/12/17] Society for Human Resource Management: “Employers Sharply Increased Financial Well-Being Benefits in 2017

[6/12/17] Aegon Center for Longevity and Retirement: Aegon Retirement Readiness Survey 2017: Successful Retirement - Healthy Aging and Financial Security

[6/9/17] Milliman 100 Pension Funding Index: “Milliman Analysis: Funded status drops in May by $22 billion -- Declining interest rates push funded ratio down to 83.8%

[6/9/17] NAPA Net: “Survey: Having Metrics in Place Can Lead to Better Retirement Preparedness

[6/9/17] Charles Schwab: Workplace Financial Wellness -- Insights on Definition, Design, and What’s Driving Decisions

[6/9/17] STAT: “Small wearable devices may lead to big health care savings

[6/8/17] Willis Towers Watson: “Communications: Want a more successful benefits enrollment? Five common communication errors to avoid

[6/8/17] National Center for Health Statistics: High-deductible Health Plans and Financial Barriers to Medical Care: Early Release of Estimates From the National Health Interview Survey, 2016

[6/8/17] CFO.com: “Growth in Health-Care Consumerism Slows -- Consumer-directed health plans may not become as ubiquitous as once thought, survey results suggest.

[6/8/17] PlanSponsor: “ICI Data Reveals No Increase in DC Plan Withdrawals and Loans

[6/8/17] ICI Research Report: “The IRA Investor Profile: Traditional IRA Investors’ Activity, 2007-2015

[6/8/17] ICI Research Report: “The IRA Investor Profile: Roth IRA Investors’ Activity, 2007-2015

[6/8/17] Gallup: “3 Trends That Will Disrupt Your Workplace Forever

[6/7/17] The Vanguard Group: How America Saves 2017: Vanguard 2016 defined contribution plan data

[6/7/17] ICI Research Report: “Defined Contribution Plan Participants’ Activities, 2016

[6/7/17] Broadridge: Transforming the Participant Experience -- Innovative strategies for improving outcomes

[6/7/17] S&P Dow Jones Indices LLC: “Rethinking Longevity Risk: A Framework to Address the Tail End

[6/7/17] AEI-Brookings Working Group on Paid Family Leave: Paid Family and Medical Leave: An Issue Whose Time Has Come

[6/7/17] Human Resource Executive Online: “The Unseen Struggle -- Employers are increasingly taking a more proactive, multi-pronged approach to managing the costly and often overlooked issue of mental health.

[6/7/17] Sun Life Financial: 2017 Sun Life Stop-Loss Research Report: Top 10 Catastrophic Claims Conditions and Million-Dollar+ Claimants

[6/6/17] PlanSponsor: “Employers Find Physical Wellness Programs Successful -- However, common barriers still exist with implementing these programs, a survey finds.

[6/6/17] HR Dive: “Wearables are changing workers’ health and lifestyles -- The iconic fitness wristband is the top-selling wearable of all time -- so far.

[6/6/17] CNBC: “Rising health costs may cause people to contribute less to 401(k) plans. Here’s what can help

[6/6/17] Prudential Financial: The State of Financial Wellness in America: Findings from Employee Self-Assessments

[6/6/17] InsuranceNewsNet: “Annuities Offer Stability, Lump Sum Takers Say

[6/5/17] PlanSponsor: “Income Solution Usage Stagnant -- Spotlighting industry data from PLANSPONSOR’s proprietary research

[6/5/17] Chief Investment Officer: “NCPERS Study Highlights Economic Costs of Doing Away with DB Plans -- Criticism of public pensions is based on faulty logic, group says

[6/5/17] Charles Schwab: “Retirement Savings Milestones: How Much Should You Have Now?

[6/5/17] PlanSponsor: “A New, Lower-Cost Health Benefit for Small Employers -- The smallest employers can now offer a different type of HRA to help employees pay for medical costs, without tying it to a group health plan.

[6/5/17] Human Resource Executive Online: “3 Ways to Avoid Benefits Buyer’s Remorse -- Beyond simply comparing premiums and deductibles, here are the three elements that HR leaders must consider before choosing health-plan benefits for their organizations.

[6/5/17] HR Daily Advisor: “Employers Would Likely Foot the Bill for Trump’s Parental Leave Plan

[6/2/17] InsuranceNewsNet: “Survey Says: Employees Love Voluntary Benefits

[6/2/17] Becker’s Hospital Review: “Nearly 60% of employees say wellness programs have improved their health, survey shows

[6/2/17] FierceHealthcare: “Study: Access to care coordination drives members’ satisfaction with health plans

[6/2/17] RAND Corporation: Multiple Chronic Conditions in the United States

[6/2/17] PlanSponsor: “Automatic Savings Plans Drive Better Investment Returns -- In the U.S., TDFs have consistently had positive gaps because U.S. investors contribute to their 401(k) savings with every paycheck, and TDFs reduce bad market timing decisions.

[6/2/17] NAPA Net: “Millennials Optimistic on Retirement Age -- Lifespan, Not so Much

[6/2/17] Clear Path Analysis: Pension Plan De-Risking, North America 2017

[6/1/17] Bank of America Merrill Lynch: 2017 Workplace Benefits Report: Insight for Employers to Drive Employee Engagement and Empower Them to Live Their Best Financial Lives

[6/1/17] Corporate Insight: “How Insurance Firms Reward Customers for Healthy Behaviors” [Note: The white paper - Wellness Insured: How Life and Health Insurance Firms Reward Customers for Healthy Behaviors – can be downloaded at the website.]

[6/1/17] Fisher Phillips: “Telemedicine: Proceed With Caution

[6/1/17] Kaiser Family Foundation: Kaiser Health Tracking Poll - May 2017: The AHCA’s Proposed Changes to Health Care

[6/1/17] U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics: National Compensation Survey: Retirement Plan Provisions in State and Local Government in the United States, 2016

[6/1/17] 401(k) Specialist: “8 Steps to ‘State-Of-The-Art’ 401k Loans

What's new at EBRI this month:

EBRI 2017 Spring Policy Forum: "Retirement Policy Directions in 2017 and Beyond" ["gavel-to-gavel" webcast - Prerecorded broadcast available through the International Foundation of Employee Benefit Plans]

EBRI's Recent Media Coverage

Change in Average Account Balances (by Age and Tenure)


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:

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.

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.  

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Updated 6/30/17