What's New - March 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.


[3/29/13]  U.S. Census Bureau:  Summary of the Quarterly Survey of Public Pensions for 2012:Q4 -- Total Holdings and Investments of Major Public Pension Systems Reach Highest Level Since 2007 Peak

[3/29/13]  National Association of Government Defined Contribution Administrators:  Defined Contribution Plan Survey Report -- Summary [Published March 2013]

[3/29/13]  TIAA-CREF Institute Trends and Issues:  “Retirement Plans, Policies and Practices in Higher Education

[3/29/13]  Sibson Consulting Perspectives:  “Thinking of Joining a Private Health Insurance Exchange? Look Before You Leap

[3/29/13]  The Washington Post:  “How Fortune 500 companies plan to cut health costs: Act like Medicare

[3/29/13]  Internal Revenue Service:  Shared Responsibility Payment for Not Maintaining Minimum Essential Coverage; Correction [as published in the Federal Register on March 29, 2013]

[3/28/13]  Prudential:  Seventh Annual Study of Employee Benefits Today & Beyond:  Health Care Reform: The Waiting Is Over

[3/28/13]  Mental Health America:  “Workplace Wellness: Why It Matters

[3/28/13]  National Governors Association:  Pension Funding: A Guide for Elected Officials -- Report from the Pension Funding Task Force 2013

[3/28/13]  Workforce:  “Target-Date Funds Put Bull’s-Eye on Making Employees Retirement-Ready

[3/28/13]  Plan Sponsor:

[3/28/13]  Northwestern Mutual®:  Planning & Progress 2013: “Financial Planning Obstacles”

[3/27/13]  Plan Sponsor:

[3/27/13]  Milliman, Inc.:  2013 Pension Funding Study -- De-risking efforts by plan sponsors reduce pension obligations, but continued discount rate declines produce record-high pension plan deficits in 2012

[3/27/13]  PIMCO DC Digest:  “DC Plan Sponsors: Now’s the Time to Get More from Bonds

[3/27/13]  Transamerica Center for Retirement Studies:  Emerging from the Economic Storm: Retirement Plans in the United States, 2007-2012

[3/27/13]  Bankers Life and Casualty Company Center for a Secure Retirement:  Longevity Risk and Reward for Middle-Income Americans

[3/27/13]  Workforce Week:  “FMLA Can Be Used as a Warning System to Prevent Costly Absences: Survey

[3/26/13]  Transamerica® Retirement Solutions:  Managing Investment Responsibilities: Investment Decisions for Plan Fiduciaries [A White Paper Prepared by LIMRA and Transamerica Retirement Solutions]

[3/26/13]  The Wall Street Journal:  “Retirement Is No Holiday from Debt

[3/26/13]  The New York Times:  “Declining Wealth Brings a Rising Retirement Risk

[3/26/13]  Plan Sponsor:  “More Employers Use Incentives for Wellness Programs

[3/26/13]  The Washington Post:

[3/26/13]  Morningstar:  When to Claim Social Security Retirement Benefits

[3/25/13]  Internal Revenue Service:  Shared Responsibility Payment for Not Maintaining Minimum Essential Health Coverage; Correction to notice of proposed rulemaking and notice of public hearing [as published in the Federal Register on March 25, 2013]

[3/25/13]  Kaiser Family Foundation:  “Pulling It Together…Questions for 2014” from Drew Altman

[3/25/13]  PricewaterhouseCoopers HRS Insight:  “Overview of Key Tax Provisions under the Affordable Care Act

[3/25/13]  The Wall Street Journal:  “Health Insurers Warn on Premiums

[3/25/13]  Arnerich Massena:  Roth Retirement Savings: More Accessible Than Ever

[3/22/13]  Davis & Harman LLP:  “Single-Employer Defined Benefit Plans:  How They Work, Why They Are Important, and the Challenges They Face,” by Kent A. Mason [on behalf of the American Benefits Council]

[3/22/13]  The New York Times:  “Workers Still Uneasy About Retirement Finances

[3/22/13]  U.S. News & World Report:  “Despite Recovery, Retirements Still Shaky

[3/22/13]  Plan Sponsor:

[3/22/13]  Sibson Consulting Health Care Reform Insights:  “The Consequences of Losing ‘Grandfathered’ Status

[3/22/13]  eHealth®:  Small Employer Health Insurance Survey

[3/22/13]  AHIP Coverage:  “A Look at the Factors Driving Health Care Spending

[3/22/13]  Kaiser Family Foundation Policy Insights:  “The Flip Side of Higher Premiums: Better Coverage

[3/21/13]  Kaiser Family Foundation:  Kaiser Health Tracking Poll -- March 2013

[3/21/13]  U.S. Departments of the Treasury (IRS), Labor (EBSA), and Health and Human Services:  Ninety-Day Waiting Period Limitation and Technical Amendments to Certain Health Coverage Requirements Under the Affordable Care Act; Proposed rules [as published in the Federal Register on March 21, 2013]

[3/21/13]  Investment News:  “401(k) loans usually not taken out frivolously, lawmakers told -- Permanent withdrawals and cash-outs cause most harm

[3/21/13]  Plan Sponsor:  “Bill Aims to Thwart Retirement Plan Leakage

[3/21/13]  Drinker Biddle:  The Benefits of Mandatory Distributions [A White Paper by Fred Reish and Bruce Ashton]

[3/21/13]  The Washington Post:  “Retirement is a numbers game

[3/21/13]  Securian Financial Group:  How much will I get? Securian’s study of baby boomers’ Social Security strategies [Note:  The full report can be downloaded at the website.]

[3/21/13]  Social Security Administration:  Social Security Programs Throughout the World: Asia and the Pacific, 2012

[3/20/13]  Internal Revenue Service:  Retirement News for Employers [March 18, 2013 Edition]

[3/20/13]  Plan Sponsor:  “Addressing the Issue of Missing Participants

[3/20/13]  U.S. Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions:  Full committee hearing titled “Can We Do More to Keep Savings in the Retirement System?” [Hearing held March 19, 2013, includes links to archived webcast and to written testimonies]

[3/20/13]  The Washington Post:  “Strapped for retirement, more hope to work longer

[3/20/13]  MSN Money:  “Retirement crisis ahead for boomers and Gen Xers

[3/20/13]  Workforce:  “Yes, They Worry: Nearly Half of U.S. Workers Uncertain About Retirement

[3/20/13]  Mercer:  “Employers exploring private benefit exchanges” (Part 1)

[3/20/13]  Aon Hewitt:  “Enrollment Results Show Aon Hewitt’s Corporate Health Exchange Empowers Employees to Become More Astute Health Care Consumers” [News Release]

[3/19/13]  The Wall Street Journal:  “Workers Saving Too Little to Retire

[3/19/13]  USA Today:  “Retirement worry is highest in 23 years

[3/19/13]  The Baltimore Sun:  “Workers’ confidence about future retirement sinks -- Worries about job security and meeting expenses come first

[3/19/13]  Investment News:  “Americans’ retirement confidence remains at an all-time low -- But enormous opportunity exists for advisers to help clients save and thrive

[3/19/13]  Deloitte:  Meeting the Retirement Challenge: New Approaches and Solutions for the Financial Services Industry

[3/19/13]  National Association of State Retirement Administrators Issue Brief:  “Public Pension Plan Investment Return Assumptions” [Updated March 2013]

[3/19/13]  Plan Sponsor:  “DOL Offers Health Plan Self-Compliance Tools

[3/19/13]  The Global Corporate Challenge®:  2013 Global Workplace Health and Wellness Report

[3/18/13]  Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation:  Retirement Security Rankings… Where Do We Stand? [“The Natixis Global Retirement Index ‘gauges how well retired citizens live in 150 nations’ based on 20 measures of health, wealth, quality of life and ‘material well-being’ that affect citizens’ retirement security.”]

[3/18/13]  American Benefits Council:  Areas of Needed Guidance on Section 902 of ATRA: Expanded In-Plan Roth Conversions

[3/18/13]  The State Farm® Center for Women & Financial Services:  The Financial Needs and Attitudes of Women of Color: Insights from a Landmark Study by The State Farm® Center for Women and Financial Services at The American College of Financial Services

[3/18/13]  Plan Sponsor:  “Retirement Unknowns Causing Anxiety

[3/18/13]  Pittsburgh Post-Gazette:  “Heard Off the Street: Savings plans may not meet needs

[3/18/13]  WRAL TechWire:  “IBM defends 401(k) plan changes after criticized by 2 Senators

[3/18/13]  Internal Revenue Service:  Shared Responsibility for Employers Regarding Health Coverage; Correction to notice of proposed rulemaking and notice of public hearing [as published in the Federal Register on March 15, 2013]

[3/18/13]  U.S. House Committee on Energy & Commerce, Subcommittee on Health:  Hearing titled “Unaffordable: Impact of Obamacare on Americans’ Health Insurance Premiums” [Hearing held March 15, 2013, includes links to written testimonies]

[3/15/13]  Plan Sponsor:  “Underfunding Drives Pension Investment Strategies

[3/15/13]  SEI:  Reducing Pension Liabilities: Understanding Pension Buy-ins, Buy-outs, and Lump Sum Payments

[3/15/13]  MetLife:  2013 Stable Value Study: A Survey of Plan Sponsors and Stable Value Fund Providers [Note: The full study can be downloaded at the website.]

[3/15/13]  Sibson Consulting’s Capital Checkup:

[3/15/13]  Employee Benefit News:  “Affordable coverage under PPACA, theoretically

[3/15/13]  Social Security Administration:  Expenditures of the Aged Chartbook, 2010

[3/14/13]  WorldatWork and American Benefits Institute:  Trends in 401(k) Plans and Retirement Rewards

[3/14/13]  Manning & Napier:  Increased Savings: The Best Risk Management Tool in the Retirement Readiness Equation [A White Paper by Manning & Napier]

[3/14/13]  The New York Times:  “Pushing Back Retirement, and Not Always for Money

[3/14/13]  LifeHealthPro [Opinion]:  “Fiscal cliff? What about the retirement cliff?

[3/14/13]  Kaiser Health News:  “Consumers Don’t View Curbing Costs As Their Job When Choosing Treatments, Study Finds

[3/14/13]  Plan Sponsor:  “Second Opinions: Agencies Clarify Required Coverage for Contraceptives

[3/14/13]  Employee Benefit News:  “Medical savings accounts on the upswing

[3/13/13]  U.S. Department of Labor:  “Employer Costs for Employee Compensation -- December 2012” [News Release]

[3/13/13]  Deloitte and International Society of Certified Employee Benefit Specialists:  2013 Top Five Global Employer Rewards Priorities Survey -- The global race to attract and retain top talent is foremost on employers’ minds as reward challenges continue in a challenging economy

[3/13/13]  Kaiser Family Foundation Focus on Health Reform:  “Health Insurance Market Reforms: Portability

[3/13/13]  Prudential Retirement:  Assessing Stable Value After 2008: Performing as Designed [White Paper]

[3/13/13]  The Washington Post:  “Ryan budget seeks higher retirement contributions by federal employees

[3/13/13]  Plan Sponsor:  “Many Misunderstand Social Security Benefits

[3/12/13]  Mercer:  The Facts on Flexible Work Arrangements

[3/12/13]  Human Resource Executive Online:  “The Cost of ACA Compliance

[3/12/13]  U.S. Department of Labor:  FAQs about the Affordable Care Act Implementation Part XIII -- Expatriate Health Plans

[3/12/13]  Plan Sponsor:  “Senators Urge IBM to Reconsider Match Decision

[3/12/13]  Employee Benefit News:  “MassMutual: Women closing retirement gap

[3/12/13]  Smart 401K Blog:  “Dollar-Cost Averaging’s Powerful Role in 401k Investing

[3/12/13]  USA Today:  “Five tax tips for future retirees

[3/11/13]  U.S. Department of Health and Human Services:

[3/11/13]  U.S. Office of Personnel Management:  Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act; Establishment of the Multi-State Plan Program for the Affordable Insurance Exchanges; Final Rule [as published in the Federal Register on March 11, 2013]

[3/11/13]  Plan Sponsor:  “Americans Underestimate Retirement Health Care Costs

[3/11/13]  U.S. Department of Labor Employee Benefits Security Administration:  Field Assistance Bulletin No. 2013-01: ERISA’s Annual Funding Notice Requirements Following the Moving Ahead for Progress in the 21st Century Act

[3/11/13]  Financial Planning:  “More Employees Embrace 401(k) Plans: BofA Merrill Report

[3/11/13]  Segal Rogerscasey:  Investment Synopsis: A Quarterly Review of Financial Market Conditions -- Review of Fourth Quarter 2012

[3/8/13]  The New York Times:  “Workers’ Share of Health Costs Is Likely to Continue Rising

[3/8/13]  Plan Sponsor:

[3/8/13]  Milliman 100 Pension Funding Index:  “Milliman analysis: Pension deficit increases by modest $6 billion in February as discount rate drops five basis points

[3/8/13]  Center for Retirement Research at Boston College:  State and Local Pension Costs: Pre-Crisis, Post-Crisis, and Post-Reform [The full report can be downloaded at the website.]

[3/8/13]  Insured Retirement Institute:  Tax Policy and Boomer Retirement Saving Behaviors -- How Changes in Tax Policy Will Impact Middle-Income Boomers

[3/8/13]  AARP Bulletin:  “It’s Time to ‘Power Save’ for Your Retirement

[3/8/13]  Transamerica Center for Retirement Studies:  Juggling Current Needs and Long-Term Security: Every Woman Needs Her Own Retirement Strategy

[3/7/13]  Prudential Financial:  Seventh Annual Study of Employee Benefits Today & Beyond: The State of Group Voluntary Benefits

[3/7/13]  Plan Sponsor:  “State DB Plan Funding Fell 4%

[3/7/13]  U.S. House Committee on Education & the Workforce, Subcommittee on Health, Employment, Labor, and Pensions:  Hearing titled “Challenges Facing Multiemployer Pension Plans: Reviewing the Latest Findings by PBGC and GAO” [Hearing held March 5, 2013, includes links to an archived webcast and to written testimonies]

[3/7/13]  The Segal Company:  March 2013 Bulletin, “New NCCMP Report Recommends Strategies for Strengthening Multiemployer Pension Plans”

[3/7/13]  Fiduciary News:  “Why 401k Investors Chase Performance -- And How to Prevent It

[3/7/13]  Towers Watson:  Towers Watson/NBGH Employer Survey on Purchasing Value in Health Care [The report can be downloaded at the website.]

[3/7/13]  Joint Committee on Taxation:  Present Law and Background Relating to the Tax-Related Provisions in the Affordable Care Act [The report can be downloaded at the website.]

[3/7/13]  U.S. House Committee on Ways & Means:  Hearing on the “Tax-Related Provisions in the President’s Health Care Law” [Hearing held March 5, 2013, includes links to written testimonies]

[3/5/13]  Financial Advisor Magazine:  “Financial Advisors Should Help Clients Plan for Health-Care Costs

[3/5/13]  Allsup:  Allsup Medicare Advisor® Seniors Survey: Medicare Planning and Trends among Seniors with Financial Planners

[3/5/13]  Plan Sponsor:

[3/5/13]  Groom Law Group:  Roth 401(k) Plans

[3/5/13]  ICI Research Perspective:  “Ownership of Mutual Funds Through Investment Professionals, 2012

[3/4/13]  U.S. Department of Labor Employee Benefits Security Administration:  Target Date Retirement Funds - Tips for ERISA Plan Fiduciaries

[3/4/13]  The Vanguard Group:  Target-Date Fund Adoption in 2012

[3/4/13]  Towers Watson:  DC Plan Investments: A Path to Improve Long-Term Outcomes [Full report can be downloaded at the website.]

[3/4/13]  The Conference Board:  “For U.S. Workers, No End in Sight” [Press Release]

[3/4/13]  Plan Sponsor:  “Lawmakers Attack Health Care Reform Again

[3/4/13]  Internal Revenue Service:  Health Insurance Providers Fee; Notice of proposed rulemaking and notice of public hearing [as published in the Federal Register on March 4, 2013]

[3/4/13]  Fidelity Investments Points of View:  “HSAs and the Coming ‘Cadillac’ Tax

[3/4/13]  The Washington Post:  “Obamacare requires employers to offer insurance. What if it’s too expensive?

[3/1/13]  Plan Sponsor:

[3/1/13]  Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation:

[3/1/13]  State Street Global Advisors:  Biannual DC Investor Survey: State Street Global Advisors’ Survey Reveals How Employers Can Help Participants

[3/1/13]  U.S. Department of Labor Employee Benefits Security Administration:  Filings Required of Multiple Employer Welfare Arrangements and Certain Other Related Entities; Final rules [as published in the Federal Register on March 1, 2013]

[3/1/13]  USA Today:  “Little reaction to 401(k) fee disclosure

[3/1/13]  Aon Hewitt:  “Aon Hewitt Survey Reveals Growing Shift in How Employers Intend to Offer Health Care Benefits in the Future” [News Release]

[3/1/13]  Consumers Union:  Early Experience With a New Consumer Benefit: The Summary of Benefits and Coverage

[3/1/13]  U.S. Senate Special Committee on Aging:  Hearing titled “Strengthening Medicare for Today and the Future” [Hearing held Feb. 27, 2013, includes links to written testimonies]


What's new at EBRI this month:

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


March 2013 EBRI Issue Brief - "The 2013 Retirement Confidence Survey: Perceived Savings Needs Outpace Reality for Many"

February 2013 EBRI Issue Brief - "Income Composition, Income Trends, and Income Shortfalls of Older Households"

February 2013 EBRI Notes - "Debt of the Elderly and Near Elderly, 1992-2010" and "Employer and Worker Contributions to Health Reimbursement Arrangements and Health Savings Accounts, 2006-2012"


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:

Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act: Effect on Long-Term Federal Budget Outlook Largely Depends on Whether Cost Containment Sustained. GAO-13-281, January 31. Highlights.

Private Health Insurance: Expiration of the Health Coverage Tax Credit Will Affect Participants' Costs and Coverage Choices as Health Reform Provisions Are Implemented. GAO-13-147, December 28. Highlights.

Retirement Security: Annuities with Guaranteed Lifetime Withdrawals Have Both Benefits and Risks, but Regulation Varies across States. GAO-13-75, December 10. Highlights. Podcast.

Private Pensions: Multiemployer Plans and PBGC Face Urgent Challenges, by Charles Jeszeck, director, education, workforce, and income security issues, before the Subcommittee on Health, Employment, Labor and Pensions, House Committee on Education and the Workforce. GAO-13-428T, 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.

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 3/29/13