What's New - March 2014


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[3/31/14] International Foundation of Employee Benefit Plans: “Plan Now to Celebrate National Employee Benefits Day on April 2!” [“This year, the focus of National Employee Benefits Day is to increase awareness of the retirement crisis, and to help plan sponsors motivate participants to actively engage in their financial wellness.”]

[3/31/14] Life & Health Advisor: “National Retirement Planning Week® 2014 Scheduled for April 7 to 11 -- Weeklong Coalition Effort Seeks to Focus Nation’s Attention on Long-Term Financial Goals

[3/31/14] Internal Revenue Service: Employee Plans News [March 27, 2014]

[3/31/14] Investment Company Institute: “Retirement Assets Total $23.0 Trillion in Fourth Quarter 2013

[3/31/14] Chicago Tribune: “Don’t let overconfidence skew retirement planning

[3/31/14] Society for Human Resource Management: “How Compensation Impacts ‘Play or Pay’ Decisions

[3/31/14] Jones Day: “The Affordable Care Act: Considerations for Employers with Unionized Workers

[3/31/14] American Institute for Economic Research: How the Affordable Care Act Affects Your Health Insurance Costs [Includes links to the full research study and to the executive brief]

[3/28/14] Internal Revenue Service: IRA One-Rollover-Per-Year Rule

[3/28/14] U.S. Census Bureau: Summary of the Quarterly Survey of Public Pensions for 2013:Q4 -- Total Holdings and Investments of Major Public Pension Systems Continues to Rise over $3 Trillion, Reaching the Highest Level Since the Survey Began in 1968 [Released March 27, 2014]

[3/28/14] Center for Retirement Research at Boston College: Lower-Income Individuals Without Pensions: Who Misses Out and Why? [Working Paper]

[3/28/14] Investment News: “Target date funds to capture 63% of 401(k) contributions by 2018

[3/28/14] Plan Sponsor: “Can You Really Set It and Forget It?

[3/28/14] BenefitsPro: “Americans want lifetime income illustrations

[3/28/14] Society of Actuaries: Mortality Improvement Scale MP-2014 Exposure Draft [“This report, along with its companion document, the Society of Actuaries’ (SOA’s) RP-2014 Mortality Tables Report (see Related Links), establishes a new basis for mortality assumptions for retirement programs in the United States.”]

[3/28/14] Business Management Daily: “Era of low health care cost growth continues

[3/28/14] Towers Watson Insider: “Final Play-or-Pay Regulations Provide Much-Needed Guidance for Employers

[3/28/14] The Commonwealth Fund Blog: “Taking Stock of SHOP Marketplaces

[3/27/14] SCOTUSblog: “Opinion analysis: Severance payments are wages - at least in most instances - for purposes of FICA

[3/27/14] Plan Sponsor: “Effects of Increasing Retirements on Employer Plans

[3/27/14] Towers Watson: Workers Still Uneasy about Financial Security and Retirement -- Results from Towers Watson’s 2013/2014 Global Benefit Attitudes Survey

[3/27/14] Financial Advisor Magazine: “’Financial Repression’ Prevents Americans from Retiring, Gross Says

[3/27/14] Manning & Napier: Health Savings Accounts for Wealth Accumulation [A White Paper by Manning & Napier]

[3/27/14] Kaiser Family Foundation: “How Much Financial Assistance Are People Receiving Under the Affordable Care Act?” [Includes state-by-state data on enrollment and subsidies received]

[3/26/14] USA Today: “Employee gripes: Higher health care costs, lower raises

[3/26/14] Illinois Manufacturers’ Association: “Health Care Survey Finds Spending on Corporate Wellness Incentives to Increase 15 Percent in 2014

[3/26/14] BenefitsPro: “CDHP switch linked to lower Rx use

[3/26/14] Kaiser Family Foundation: Kaiser Health Tracking Poll: March 2014

[3/26/14] The Vanguard Group: Behavioral effects and indexing in DC participant accounts 2004-2012

[3/26/14] Plan Sponsor: “Is 3% in Retirement Plan Fees Reasonable?

[3/26/14] InsuranceNewsNet: “Experts Split Over Retirement System

[3/26/14] National Center for Employee Ownership: “How ESOPs, Profit Sharing Plans, and Stock Bonus Plans Differ as Employee Ownership Vehicles

[3/25/14] InsuranceNewsNet: “CDHP Switch Leads to Shift in Prescription Drug Use

[3/25/14] Kaiser Family Foundation [Perspective]: “Obamacare: The Metrics in the News Are Mostly Wrong

[3/25/14] The Washington Post: “At Supreme Court today: Health-law cases mix questions of religious freedom, worker rights

[3/25/14] Manning & Napier: Understanding Health Insurance Options in Retirement [A White Paper by Manning & Napier]

[3/25/14] BenefitsPro: “Expectation of increased retirement age could be slowing

[3/25/14] Plan Sponsor: “Stronger Education, Stronger Outcomes

[3/25/14] Truthout.org: “This Statistic Should Shut Down Any Talk of Cutting Social Security

[3/25/14] Social Security Administration: Social Security Programs Throughout the World: The Americas, 2013

[3/24/14] American Enterprise Institute: Not So Modest: Pension Benefits for Full-Career State Government Employees

[3/24/14] Segal Consulting: Winter 2014 Report of Results from the Survey of Calendar-Year Plans’ 2013 Zone Status

[3/24/14] Fox Business: “Retirement Expectations vs. Realities

[3/24/14] MarketWatch: “Charts show who’s not saving for retirement

[3/24/14] Reuters: “British government shakes up pensions and savings

[3/24/14] Kaiser Health News: “Emanuel’s Book Suggests Health Law Could Create Shift from Job-Based Plans

[3/21/14] Plan Sponsor: “IFEBP Offers Materials for Employee Benefits Day

[3/21/14] The Washington Post: “Confidence about a comfortable retirement increases among workers with a plan

[3/21/14] Towers Watson: “Financial Health of Largest U.S. Corporate Pension Plans Improved Sharply in 2013, Towers Watson Analysis Finds

[3/21/14] Internal Revenue Service: Application of One-Per-Year Limit on IRA Rollovers [Announcement 2014-15]

[3/21/14] Journal of Accountancy: “IRA rollover guidance issued: IRS will follow the Tax Court

[3/21/14] Bankrate.com: “Obamacare jolts to employer-based insurance

[3/21/14] Chicago Tribune: “Wellness programs may help your financial health

[3/21/14] Sibson Consulting’s Capital Checkup: “Final Rule Implementing the Affordable Care Act’s 90-Day Waiting Period Limit

[3/20/14] Internal Revenue Service: Employee Plans News [March 19, 2014]

[3/20/14] Towers Watson Insider: “Proposed Lifetime Pension Limits: Less Than Meets the Eye

[3/20/14] Employee Benefit News: “Behavior unchanged by retirement income display

[3/20/14] Plan Sponsor: “Your Health Plan Needs a Document, SPD Too

[3/20/14] The Bailey Group: “4 Paths a Small Business with Group Benefits Should Consider in 2014 [Infographic]

[3/20/14] Kaiser Health News: “Justices to Weigh Contraceptive Mandate Against Religious Freedom Claims

[3/19/14] Life & Health Advisor: “Confidence Rebounds--for Those With Retirement Plans: EBRI’s 2014 Retirement Confidence Survey

[3/19/14] MSN Money: “10 ways to boost your retirement savings

[3/19/14] Plan Sponsor: “Total Benefits: Retiring with $1 Million -- Even relatively low earners can do it

[3/19/14] CNBC.com: “The psychology of retirement saving

[3/19/14] Fidelity Investments:

[3/19/14] Workforce.com: “Take Care to Communicate Health Care Costs

[3/19/14] Kaiser Family Foundation Infographic: “Visualizing Health Policy: What Americans Pay for Health Insurance Under the ACA

[3/19/14] Financial Engines: Claiming Social Security: A Critical & Complex Decision for Retirement Security [Survey Results]

[3/18/14] DesMoinesRegister.com: “Retirement confidence highest in seven years -- Highest worker confidence level since recession

[3/18/14] USA Today: “Retirement: A third have less than $1,000 put away

[3/18/14] Plan Sponsor: “Recordkeepers Have Strong Influence on Participant Outcomes

[3/18/14] Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation: 2014 Premium Payment Instructions

[3/18/14] Wells Fargo/Gallup: “Investor Optimism Rises in First Quarter

[3/18/14] Investment News: “A warning on multiple IRA rollovers

[3/18/14] MarketWatch: “Workers see few benefit cuts, despite rising costs

[3/18/14] U.S. Department of Health & Human Services: “Frequently Asked Question on Coverage of Same-Sex Spouses

[3/17/14] Employee Benefit News: “HSA, HRA contributions reach record high in 2013

[3/17/14] RAND Health: Final Report: Evaluation of Tools and Metrics to Support Employer Selection of Health Plans [Sponsored by the U.S. Department of Labor]

[3/17/14] HealthLeaders InterStudy: “Looming healthcare tax lights a fire under corporate America

[3/17/14] Chicago Tribune: “Why employers are shifting retiree health into [private] insurance exchanges

[3/17/14] Sibson Consulting Spotlight: “Accounting Implications of Offering a Lump-Sum Window to ‘De-Risk’ a Pension Plan

[3/17/14] Russell Investments Practice Note: “What is your funded status goal?

[3/17/14] Before It’s News: “The State of U.S. Retirement Security: Can the Middle Class Afford to Retire?

[3/17/14] Motley Fool (via USA Today): “What the Social Security COLA means to seniors

[3/14/14] Unum: Beyond the Usual Benefits: Five-year trends point to the link between benefits education and business success

[3/14/14] Society for Human Resource Management: “Employees, Spouses to Shoulder More Health Costs -- Employer health care costs are expected to reach $9,560 per worker in 2014

[3/14/14] Prudential: Eighth Annual Study of Employee Benefits Today & Beyond: Health Care Reform: Full Steam Ahead

[3/14/14] Workforce.com: “The Remedy for ACA Headaches in 2015

[3/14/14] LifeHealthPro: “SEC’s Gallagher: Fiduciary rule likely not coming

[3/14/14] Bloomberg BNA: “PBGC Sets Small Plan Premium Due Date at Same Time as for Midsize, Large Plans

[3/14/14] Fox Business: “Why Some Folks Are Rich, Others Poor in Retirement

[3/14/14] TIAA-CREF: “TIAA-CREF Survey finds Americans spend less time planning their IRA investment than choosing a restaurant

[3/13/14] U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics: “Employer Costs for Employee Compensation -- December 2013” [News Release]

[3/13/14] The Washington Post: “Employers See Negligible Increase in Workers Participating in Job-Based Coverage

[3/13/14] Workforce.com: “Time-Off Policies: Leave Well Enough Alone or Go PTO?

[3/13/14] Putnam Investments: Getting the target date right: what plan sponsors need to know [White paper]

[3/13/14] U.S. Senate Committee on Banking, Housing, & Urban Affairs, Subcommittee on Economic Policy: Hearing titled “The State of U.S. Retirement Security: Can the Middle Class Afford to Retire?” [Hearing held March 12, 2014, includes links to witness testimonies]

[3/13/14] Daily Sun News: “Dust off your financial plan

[3/13/14] Prudential: Financial Planning Considerations for Same-Sex Couples After Windsor

[3/13/14] FINRA Investor Education Foundation: The Financial Capability of Young Adults -- A Generational View

[3/12/14] U.S. Department of Labor Employee Benefits Security Administration:

[3/12/14] The Washington Post: “On 401(k)s, plan fees really do matter, and the government wants to get you a better deal

[3/12/14] The Vanguard Group: Target-date fund adoption in 2013

[3/12/14] Institutional Investor: “As Critics Take Aim, Providers of Target-Date Funds Defend Their Turf

[3/12/14] CFO.com: “Health-Care Cost Hikes Stay Modest for Big Companies

[3/12/14] Internal Revenue Service: “IRS Encourages Small Employers to Check Out Small Business Health Care Tax Credit; Helpful Resources, Tax Tips Available on IRS.gov

[3/12/14] U.S. Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor, & Pensions, Subcommittee on Primary Health & Aging: Hearing titled “Access and Cost: What the US Health Care System Can Learn from Other Countries” [Hearing held March 11, 2014, includes links to witness testimonies]

[3/11/14] Home Channel News: “Most workers satisfied with pay-benefits balance

[3/11/14] Prudential: “Despite delayed key provision, health care reform triggers benefits action among employers

[3/11/14] PwC’s Health Research Institute: “Insurer insights from HRI’s survey results

[3/11/14] Buck Consultants FYI® In-depth: “Health care reform -- consequences of noncompliance for group health plans

[3/11/14] NASRA Issue Brief: “Cost-of-Living Adjustments

[3/11/14] Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation: Premium Rates; Payment of Premiums; Reducing Regulatory Burden; Final rule [as published in the Federal Register on March 11, 2014]

[3/11/14] Investment Company Institute: The IRA Investor Profile: Traditional IRA Investors’ Activity, 2007-2012

[3/11/14] Franklin Templeton Investments: The Pursuit of Happiness: Savings and Income for a Lifetime

[3/10/14] Internal Revenue Service:

[3/10/14] The York Daily Record: “If you like your health insurance, you can keep it for 3 more years

[3/10/14] CNBC.com: “The right ways to get workers hooked on a 401(k)

[3/10/14] Marketplace: “Some employers shift 401(k) matches

[3/10/14] Milliman 100 Pension Funding Index: “Milliman analysis: Funded status improves by $11 billion in February due to robust investment performance

[3/10/14] Plan Sponsor: “State DB Plans Better Funded in 2013

[3/7/14] The New York Times: “Companies Test Plans to Cut Their Health Costs

[3/7/14] Towers Watson: Towers Watson/NBGH Employer Survey on Purchasing Value in Health Care [The executive summary can be downloaded at the website.]

[3/7/14] Aon Hewitt: “Aon Hewitt: Year-Two Enrollment Results Show Private Health Exchanges Can Mitigate Costs and Create Greater Individual Accountability” [News Release]

[3/7/14] U.S. Department of the Treasury: Fact Sheet: Final Regulations Implementing Information Reporting for Employers and Insurers under the Affordable Care Act (ACA)

[3/7/14] Sibson Consulting’s Capital Checkup: “Additional Guidance on the Affordable Care Act’s Rules for Out-of-Pocket Maximums and Preventive Services Requirements

[3/7/14] U.S. House Committee on Small Business, Subcommittee on Contracting and Workforce: Hearing titled “ObamaCare and the Self-Employed: What About Us?” [Hearing held March 6, 2014, includes links to witness testimonies]

[3/7/14] MyFoxNY: “Obama’s retirement cap could hit middle class

[3/7/14] Plan Sponsor: “Actionable Information Motivates Higher Retirement Savings

[3/6/14] Internal Revenue Service: Employee Plans News [March 4, 2014]

[3/6/14] CNN Money: “Obama’s budget: Help for workers, taxes for the rich

[3/6/14] U.S. Department of the Treasury (via The Spark Institute): General Explanations of the Administration’s Fiscal Year 2015 Revenue Proposals [retirement-related provisions]

[3/6/14] Plan Sponsor: “States with Strong 401(k) Plans

[3/6/14] Ameriprise Financial: Financial Trade-Offs Study

[3/6/14] BenefitsPro: “U.K. launches new retirement initiative bolder than MyRA

[3/6/14] The Los Angeles Times: “Consumers allowed to keep substandard health plans into 2017

[3/6/14] Kaiser Family Foundation [Perspective]: “Health Cost Growth Is Down, Or Not. It Depends Who You Ask.

[3/5/14] Plan Sponsor:

[3/5/14] Yahoo! Finance: “How target-date funds work – and don’t work

[3/5/14] Chatham Partners: DB and Total Retirement Outsourcing Insight Survey: Attitudes and Perceptions of Plan Sponsors & Advisors

[3/5/14] Towers Watson Insider: “Defined Contribution Plans of Fortune 100 Companies for the 2012 Plan Year

[3/5/14] USA Today: “Retirement readiness looks grim in many states

[3/5/14] National Institute on Retirement Security: Financial Security Scorecard: A State-by-State Analysis of Economic Pressures Facing Future Retirees

[3/5/14] Aon Hewitt: “New Survey Reveals Positive Link between Healthy Employees and Companies with Strong Cultures of Health

[3/5/14] Workforce: “Employers Are Resizing Wellness Plans

[3/4/14] Insurance News Net: “Big Changes Coming to Workplace Benefits

[3/4/14] U.S. Department of Health & Human Services: 2014 SHOP Marketplace Enrollment

[3/4/14] Benefits Quarterly: “Employer-Sponsored Medical Clinics: Much More Than Convenience Care

[3/4/14] MarketWatch [Blog]: “All is not ‘fine’ with pension coverage

[3/4/14] FreeNewsPos.com: “50-plus years on the job: An extremely rare bird

[3/4/14] PIMCO DC Dialogue: “Defined Ambition in the Netherlands” [“In this PIMCO DC Dialogue, we speak with Tim Burggraaf at Mercer about how retirement funding is changing in the Netherlands.”]


What's new at EBRI this month:

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 2013 Spring Policy Forum: “Decisions, Decisions: Choices That Affect Retirement Income Adequacy” [“gavel to gavel” webcast - Prerecorded broadcast available through the International Foundation of Employee Benefit Plans]

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's Recent Media Coverage

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

401(k) Balances and Changes Due to Market Volatility


March 2014 EBRI Issue Brief - "The 2014 Retirement Confidence Survey: Confidence Rebounds--for Those With Retirement Plans"

March 2014 EBRI Notes - "Brand-Name and Generic Prescription Drug Use After Adoption of a Full-Replacement, Consumer-Directed Health Plan With a Health Savings Account" and "How Would Defined Contribution Participants React to Lifetime Income Illustrations? Evidence from the 2014 Retirement Confidence 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:

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 3/31/14