What's New - March 2016



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[3/31/16] The Motley Fool: “Here’s What the Average Baby Boomer Has Saved for Retirement -- Baby boomers are headed for a retirement shortfall--here’s how bad it is, and what can be done about it.

[3/31/16] MSN: “Who can manage your retirement better: You or an app?

[3/31/16] InvestmentNews: “Some retirement plan record keepers resort to aggressive sales tactics with proprietary products

[3/31/16] Bloomberg: “Fate of 400,000 Teamster Pensions Rests in Ken Feinberg’s Hands

[3/31/16] NAPA Net: “Fifth Third Settles for $6 Million and ‘Change’

[3/31/16] WealthManagement.com: “RIAs: The DOL Is Coming for You, Too

[3/31/16] Financial Accounting Standards Board: Accounting Standards Update, No. 2016-09 [March 2016]: Compensation--Stock Compensation (Topic 718): Improvements to Employee Share-Based Payment Accounting [An Amendment of the FASB Accounting Standards Codification®]

[3/31/16] Fortune: “This Workplace Perk Is Slowly Going Extinct -- Company-paid health insurance is on its way out--and may not be such a bad thing.

[3/31/16] NDTV: “Wearable Technology Takes Aim at Healthcare Costs

[3/31/16] Kaiser Health News: “Supreme Court Asks for More Information in Birth Control Case

[3/30/16] Willis Towers Watson Insider: “Defined Contribution Plans of Fortune 100 Companies in 2014 -- Analysis looks at contributions, investments and eligibility for 2014 plan year

[3/30/16] International Foundation of Employee Benefit Plans: “Matching Worker Retirement Planning Styles

[3/30/16] Institutional Retirement Income Council: In-Plan Guaranteed Lifetime Income: Debunking Portability Myths

[3/30/16] Fortune: “A Universal 401(k)? California Considers a Radical Proposal to Help Workers Save

[3/30/16] Bloomberg BNA: “Merrill Lynch Beats Lawsuit Over Clifford Chance 401(k)

[3/30/16] ThinkAdvisor: “More Workers Prefer Higher Wages Over Better Health Benefits: EBRI

[3/30/16] PlanSponsor: “Study Shows Value of Wellness Program -- A three-year study by Humana suggests engagement in wellness programs lowers health claims costs and improves work productivity.

[3/30/16] Managed Care: “Selfie Health Insurance Is All the Rage -- A desire for more control and the ACA seem to be fueling the long-term trend.

[3/30/16] Peterson-Kaiser Health System Tracker: “A New Way of Measuring Health Costs Sheds Light on Recent Health Spending Trends

[3/30/16] SCOTUSblog: “Court seeks new way to decide birth-control cases

[3/29/16] PlanSponsor: “Employees Seeking Wage Growth Over Health Benefits

[3/29/16] Human Resource Executive Online: “Millennials and Wellness: A new report finds millennials more open to pro-wellness messages from employers -- as well as consequences for unhealthy behavior -- than older generations.

[3/29/16] HRBenefitsAlert.com: “The $63 billion health problem wellness doesn’t address

[3/29/16] Milwaukee Journal Sentinel: “Move to electronic health records begins to transform health care

[3/29/16] Behavioral Healthcare: “Primary care not helping manage depression

[3/29/16] CBS MoneyWatch: “Retirement planning wishes vs. reality

[3/29/16] USA Today: “Millennials’ new retirement number? $1.8 million (or more!)

[3/29/16] ThinkAdvisor: “How Much Time Will Be Needed to Comply with DOL Fiduciary Rule? DOL says eight months; industry experts are saying at least one to three years

[3/29/16] Bloomberg: “California Urged by Investor Group to Delay Retirement Plan

[3/29/16] Social Security Administration: Social Security Programs Throughout the World: The Americas, 2015

[3/25/16] Vanguard: “Determining reasonableness of retirement plan fees

[3/25/16] MSN: “The Case of the Missing Pension

[3/25/16] FedSmith.com: “House Budget Committee Proposes Increasing Pension Contributions, Cutting G Fund Interest Rate

[3/25/16] Bloomberg: “Chicago’s Plan to Overhaul City Pensions Dashed by Top Court

[3/25/16] Citi GPS: The Coming Pensions Crisis: Recommendations for Keeping the Global Pensions System Afloat

[3/25/16] Congressional Research Service: Excise Tax on High-Cost Employer-Sponsored Health Coverage: In Brief

[3/25/16] PlanSponsor: “The Benefits of HSAs -- Helping participants save for health care costs in retirement

[3/25/16] CIO: “How medical robots will change healthcare

[3/24/16] HRBenefitsAlert.com: “How have corporate wellness programs evolved? (Infographic)

[3/24/16] KHN Morning Briefing: “Supreme Court Seems Split After Oral Arguments in Contraception Case

[3/24/16] Fortune: “Can the Woman Who Transformed Online Shopping Do the Same for Healthcare?

[3/24/16] Willis Towers Watson Insider: “Spotlight on hours of service and disabled employees under PPACA employer mandate

[3/24/16] NAPA Net: “TDFs Top $1 Trillion, Still Concentrated

[3/24/16] Slott Report: “5 Things You Can Do With an IRA That You Can’t With a 401(k)

[3/24/16] Manning & Napier: “Retirement Planning: Protecting Your Investments Against Volatility and Economic Concerns

[3/24/16] Seeking Alpha: “Can You Trust a Roboadvisor with Your Money?

[3/23/16] TIME: “5 Reasons the Retirement Crisis Is Getting Worse for Average Americans -- There’s a huge gap between 401(k) haves and have-nots.

[3/23/16] PlanSponsor: “Education Changes Are Likely With Stronger Fiduciary Rule

[3/23/16] Chief Investment Officer: “Poor Returns to Erase Years of US Public Pension Gains

[3/23/16] Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation: Annual Financial and Actuarial Information Reporting; Final rule [as published in the Federal Register on March 23, 2016 - DATES: Effective April 22, 2016. See Applicability in Supplementary Information.]

[3/23/16] Internal Revenue Service: Multiemployer Annual Actuarial Certifications: Just Send One per Year

[3/23/16] Kaiser Family Foundation Issue Brief: “Trends in Employer-Sponsored Insurance Offer and Coverage Rates, 1999-2014

[3/23/16] U.S. Department of Labor, Employee Benefits Security Administration: Group Health Plans Report: Abstract of 2013 Form 5500 Annual Reports Reflecting Statistical Year Filings

[3/23/16] U.S. Department of Labor: Report to Congress: Annual Report on Self-Insured Group Health Plans [March 2016]

[3/23/16] Health Affairs [Blog]: “Unpacking Drug Price Spikes: Generics

[3/23/16] KHN Morning Briefing: “On Anniversary Of Health Law, Contraception Mandate Goes In Front Of Supreme Court Again

[3/21/16] PlanSponsor: “DB Plans in Decline Face Increasing Risks

[3/21/16] The Paragon Alliance Group, LLC: Auto Enrollment in 401(k) and 403(b) Plans: Can one solution fit every plan’s needs?

[3/21/16] BloombergBusiness: “Soon Your Employer May Pay Back Your Student Debt -- A small tweak to the tax code could make student loan repayment the new 401(k).

[3/21/16] U.S. News & World Report: “Keep Volatility From Hurting Your 401(k) -- The key to surviving market volatility is to resist making snap decisions about your portfolio.

[3/21/16] CBS MoneyWatch: “Solving a retirement saving puzzle

[3/21/16] NAPA Net: “Court Says Call Center Communication Can’t Change Beneficiary Designation

[3/21/16] Lexington Herald Leader: “Disclosure of pension system data approved by [Kentucky] house panel

[3/21/16] Zane Benefits: “Cost Efficiency of Defined Contribution Health Benefits

[3/21/16] American Journal of Managed Care: “Employers Investing in Technology to Improve Employee Wellness

[3/21/16] Milliman (via Bloomberg BNA’s Pension & Benefits Daily™): “The Elusive Nature of Private Exchanges

[3/18/16] ThinkAdvisor: “Perez: DOL Took Fiduciary Rule Comments Seriously, Made Changes -- Conflict of interest rule should emerge from OMB in ‘near future,’ Perez tells lawmakers

[3/18/16] PlanSponsor: “Plan Sponsors Face Risks in Fiduciary Rule Change

[3/18/16] InsuranceNewsNet: “Fewer Schools Sponsor Traditional 403(b) Plans

[3/18/16] WealthManagement.com: “The Case for Hybrid Corporate Pensions

[3/18/16] Health Affairs [Blog]: “The EEOC’s Role in Reshaping Wellness Programs

[3/18/16] The Commonwealth Fund Issue Brief: “How Will the Affordable Care Act’s Cost-Sharing Reductions Affect Consumers’ Out-of-Pocket Costs in 2016?

[3/18/16] Kaiser Health News: “Coinsurance Trend Means Seniors Likely to Face Higher Out-of-Pocket Drug Costs, Report Says

[3/17/16] PlanSponsor: “Plan Sponsors and Participants Will Pay a Little Less in 2016 -- Average all-in plan fees are down for both small and large retirement plan sponsors, according to the latest edition of the 401k Averages Book.

[3/17/16] TheStreet: “40% of U.S. Retirement Savers Call Recent Market Jitters the New Normal

[3/17/16] CNBC: “Volatility driving retirees to think longevity annuity

[3/17/16] Bloomberg BNA: “What Do You Need to Know to Estimate Retirement Income?

[3/17/16] InsuranceNewsNet: “DOL, OMB May Blunt Fiduciary Rule, Delay It Until Late May

[3/17/16] Health Affairs [Blog]: “Reform the ‘Cadillac Tax’ To Target Rich Benefits, Not High Costs

[3/17/16] CapeGazette.com: “Financial Planning with Health Insurance in Mind: How much might health care cost you someday?

[3/17/16] Kaiser Health News: “Long-Term Care Insurance: Less Bang, More Buck

[3/17/16] Modern Healthcare: “Florida bill on healthcare transparency headed to governor

[3/17/16] Ogletree Deakins: “Vermont Becomes Fifth State to Require Paid Sick Leave

[3/16/16] The Atlantic: “Why Tech Is the Leading Industry on Parental Leave -- Etsy is the latest company to offer extremely generous paid leave--a policy many of its peers are using to attract and retain highly-skilled employees.

[3/16/16] Russell Investments: “$20 billion club strategy -- The largest corporate DB plan sponsors make subtle shifts in strategy as funded status stagnates

[3/16/16] National Tax-deferred Savings Association: “Floodgates: States in Overdrive on Retirement Legislation

[3/16/16] NJ.com: “Public workers’ fight for pension adjustments hits N.J. Supreme Court

[3/16/16] PlanAdviser: “Retirees with Advisers Have More Comprehensive Financial Plans

[3/16/16] Society for Human Resource Management: “Some Executive Rewards Decline; Other Perks Hold Steady

[3/16/16] Internal Revenue Service: “Health Care Law: Do You Have Minimum Essential Coverage?” [IRS Health Care Tax Tip 2016-31, March 15, 2016]

[3/16/16] Human Resource Executive Online: “Four Steps to Jump-Start Your Wellness Program

[3/16/16] Forbes: “GE’s $3B Retiree Health Cut Escalates Employer Exodus

[3/16/16] The National Law Review: “Employer Provided Health Insurance Plans: When is Unilateral Change not Unilateral Change?

[3/15/16] Lockton® Companies: Maximizing Employee Benefits Through Multinational Pooling

[3/15/16] U.S. Department of Labor Employee Benefits Security Administration: FAQs about Affordable Care Act Implementation (Part 30): Summary of Benefits and Coverage

[3/15/16] Human Resource Executive Online: “Power in Numbers -- Big data insights, lower costs and quality outcomes are among the goals of a new employer alliance that’s focused on healthcare.

[3/15/16] PlanSponsor: “Employers Reconsidering Commitment to Spousal Health Coverage -- While not as prevalent, a similar trend has emerged in health care coverage for employees’ children.

[3/15/16] Segal Consulting [Infographic]: Key Facts at a Glance: 2016 Medical Stop-Loss Coverage

[3/15/16] The Motley Fool: “How Insurers and Wearables Will Change Healthcare

[3/15/16] The Wall Street Journal: “As Wearables in Workplace Spread, So Do Legal Concerns -- Devices can monitor employees’ health, track their locations. How are companies allowed to use that data?

[3/15/16] Journal of the American Medical Association: “Better Health Care: A Way Forward

[3/15/16] U.S. Department of the Treasury: “Listening to Retiree Voices on Proposed Pension Cuts

[3/15/16] NAPA Net: “Problematic Connecticut Coverage Proposal Withdrawn

[3/15/16] InvestmentNews: “Volatility drives stock market fears in 401(k) plans

[3/15/16] Brookings Policy Brief: “You Get What You Pay For: Guaranteed Returns in Retirement Saving Accounts

[3/11/16] WAMC: “Vermont Governor Signs Bill Requiring Employers Provide Paid Sick Leave

[3/11/16] Center for State & Local Government Issue Brief: “How Big a Burden Are State and Local OPEB Benefits?

[3/11/16] NAPA Net: “Connecticut Coverage Mandate Could Affect Employers with ERISA Plans

[3/11/16] Federal News Radio: “Military personnel chiefs express misgivings about new retirement system

[3/11/16] PlanAdviser: “Senate Bill Aims to Amend ERISA -- Senator Johnny Isakson has introduced legislation designed to foil the fiduciary rule and amend the Employee Retirement Income Security Act.

[3/11/16] Center for Retirement Research at Boston College’s Squared Away Blog: “A Familiar Dilemma: to Work or Retire” [“This profile is the first in an occasional series about individual baby boomers who either have retired or are facing the retirement decision.”]

[3/11/16] AARP Public Policy Institute: “Social Security: A Key Retirement Resource for Women” [Fact Sheet]

[3/10/16] PlanSponsor: “Managed Accounts Can Be Talent Retention Tool -- Managed account adoption has grown as employees face greater market uncertainty and employers look for ways to attract and keep top talent.

[3/10/16] CBS MoneyWatch: “The plan that could render your 401(k) obsolete

[3/10/16] The Connecticut Mirror: “Partisan split over state role in private-sector retirement

[3/10/16] WPRI.com: “New program aims to help Rhode Islanders save for retirement

[3/10/16] Internal Revenue Service: “New Reporting Responsibilities for Certain Employers in 2016” [IRS Health Care Tax Tip 2016-29, March 9, 2016]

[3/10/16] Business Insurance: “More employers charging extra for spouse when other health coverage available

[3/10/16] SHRM’s HR Magazine: “Strategic Moves: The Exchange Option for Retirees -- Companies are increasingly looking to private exchanges to provide health insurance benefits for their retired workers.

[3/10/16] AARP Public Policy Institute: Trends in Retail Prices of Prescription Drugs Widely Used by Older Americans, 2006 to 2013

[3/9/16] Milliman 100 Pension Funding Index: “Milliman Analysis: Funded status deficit increases by $35 billion in February, has ballooned by $68 billion so far in 2016

[3/9/16] Russell Investments: “Updated: Defined contribution plan re-enrollment: A fiduciary imperative?

[3/9/16] Financial Advisor: “Are 401(k)s Suffering From Sponsors’ Narrow-minded Thinking?

[3/9/16] NAPA Net: “DOL Information Filing Fans Fiduciary Flare-Up

[3/9/16] Governing: “The Search for Consensus on Public Pension Reform -- What Arizona has done shows what’s possible when all of the stakeholders look for common ground.

[3/9/16] California Political Review: “Has Rational Thought Hit California Unions?

[3/9/16] Liebert Cassidy Whitmore: “San Diego Pension Reform Initiative Stalled Over PERB Ruling

[3/9/16] Health Affairs [Blog]: “Health Care Consumerism: Can the Tail Wag the Dog?

[3/9/16] KHN Morning Briefing: “Expensive Specialty Drugs Help Drive Up U.S. Drug Spending

[3/9/16] Xerox Corporation FYI®: “Employer Cannot Escape Claims That It Cut Employee Hours to Avoid ACA Requirements

[3/8/16] Prudential: Ninth Study of Employee Benefits: Today & Beyond

[3/8/16] NAPA Net: “10 Steps Toward Strong Participant Experiences

[3/8/16] The Motley Fool: “The Downsides of Automatic 401(k) Enrollment: Are You at Risk?

[3/8/16] Morningstar: “Will Robo-Advice Replace Human Advisors?

[3/8/16] Milliman’s PERiScope [Public Employee Retirement Systems]: “Overview of GASB Statements 73, 74, and 75

[3/8/16] InvestmentNews: “Mass confusion over new Social Security rules -- April 29 deadline applies only to file-and-suspend strategy, not spousal benefits

[3/8/16] FierceHealthPayer: “Employer-based health insurance: Should it stay or should it go?

[3/8/16] Becker’s Hospital Review: “Employers offer Apple Watches for $25 -- but with some strings attached

[3/8/16] Kaiser Health News: “Retail Clinics Add Convenience But Also Hike Costs, Study Finds

[3/8/16] Congressional Research Service: Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA): Resources for Frequently Asked Questions [March 3, 2016]

[3/7/16] Sodexo: 2016 Workplace Trends [Note: The full report can be downloaded at the website.]

[3/7/16] Human Resource Executive Online: “Gigging Up -- As the number of ways people can find ‘gigs’ increases, experts say HR leaders must first understand workers’ current motivations before they can make the most of today’s changing workforce.

[3/7/16] Business Insurance: “Wellness communication goes mobile

[3/7/16] Health Care Cost Institute Issue Brief #11: “Spending on Shoppable Services in Health Care

[3/7/16] Bloomberg BNA: “HHS Nondiscrimination Rule Worth Second Look by Employers

[3/7/16] KHN Morning Briefing: “Health Law Plans Will Be Rated on Provider Network Size

[3/7/16] Ascende: “When Is a Voluntary Plan Truly a Voluntary Benefit Plan?

[3/7/16] Chief Investment Officer: “Corporate Pensions Seek Protection Against PBGC Hikes

[3/7/16] The Motley Fool: “3 Social Security Questions Answered

[3/4/16] PlanSponsor: “Americans Lack Saving and Investing Confidence

[3/4/16] Bloomberg BNA: “Does Focus on Communications Mean Retirement Plan Participants Will Actually Read Them?

[3/4/16] Economic Policy Institute: The State of American Retirement: How 401(k)s Have Failed Most American Workers

[3/4/16] Schwartz Center for Economic Research, The New School: A Comprehensive Plan to Confront the Retirement Savings Crisis: A White Paper, by Teresa Ghilarducci and Hamilton “Tony” James

[3/4/16] PlanAdviser: “Housing Debt Is Invading Retirement

[3/4/16] The Wall Street Journal: “Donald Trump’s Health-Care Plan and Where the ‘Repeal and Replace’ Slogan Falls Short

[3/3/16] Society for Human Resource Management: “Supreme Court: ERISA Pre-Empts State Data Collection Laws--But insured plans still may have to report to an ‘all-payer claims database’

[3/3/16] Internal Revenue Service: “Filing Health Coverage Information Returns” [IRS Health Care Tax Tip 2016-26, March 2, 2016]

[3/3/16] NASRA Issue Brief: “State and Local Government Spending on Public Employee Retirement Systems” [Updated March 2016]

[3/3/16] The Vanguard Group: TDF Adoption in 2015

[3/3/16] Bloomberg: “How to Pay School Loans and Save for Retirement at the Same Time -- More graduates are facing steep debt and an uncertain future. One company offers employers a way to help.

[3/3/16] J.P. Morgan Asset Management: Guide to Retirement [2016 Edition]

[3/3/16] The Washington Post [Wonkblog]: “One big way that Bernie Sanders could help black voters financially

[3/3/16] Transamerica Center for Retirement Studies: “Saver’s Credit: Resources to Learn More about the Saver’s Credit

[3/2/16] Financial Engines: Not so simple: Why target-date funds are widely misused by retirement investors

[3/2/16] Vanguard Research: “Reshaping participant outcomes through reenrollment

[3/2/16] CBS MoneyWatch: “Are you a retirement ‘have’ or a ‘have not’?

[3/2/16] CNBC: “Can your 401(k) account be too big?

[3/2/16] Transamerica Center for Retirement Studies: Sixteen Facts About Women’s Retirement Outlook: Select Findings from the 16th Annual Transamerica Retirement Survey of American Workers [Note: Downloadable materials are available at the website.]

[3/2/16] The Motley Fool: “How Much of My Income Will Social Security Replace in Retirement? -- Social Security payments will replace roughly 40% of an individual’s pre-retirement income.

[3/2/16] CNBC: “US top court rejects union challenge to New Jersey pension reforms

[3/2/16] Reid and Riege, P.C.’s Benefits Law Insider: “SCOTUS Shuts Down Ninth Circuit’s ‘Stock-Drop’ Decision…Again

[3/2/16] Healthcare Trends Institute: 2016 Healthcare Benefits Trends

[3/2/16] America’s Health Insurance Plans: “Creating a Culture of Health at Work

[3/2/16] NPR, Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, and Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health: Patients’ Perspectives on Health Care in the United States: A Look at Seven States & the Nation

[3/2/16] Kaiser Health News: “High Court Rules, 6-2, Against Vermont’s Health Data Law” [Gobeille v. Liberty Mutual Insurance Co.]

[3/1/16] NAPA Net: “Is Your 401(k) Better Off Now Than 2 Years Ago?

[3/1/16] BlackRock®: Retirement Readiness: A Work in Progress -- The 2016 BlackRock DC Pulse Survey

[3/1/16] Human Resource Executive Online: “A Female Focus on Retirement -- Women face an uphill climb when it comes to saving for retirement. How can employers help them become retirement-ready?

[3/1/16] National Institute on Retirement Security: Shortchanged in Retirement: Continuing Challenges to Women’s Financial Future [Note: The full study, press release, and PowerPoint presentation can be downloaded at the website.]

[3/1/16] Center for Retirement Research at Boston College’s Squared Away Blog: “Home Equity: a Retirement Resource

[3/1/16] Calpensions: “Judges win lawsuit as pension conflicts continue

[3/1/16] HealthFitness [Blog]: “Igniting worksite wellness with strategic communications

[3/1/16] Morningstar: “Health-Savings Account: Spend or Invest?

[3/1/16] Human Resource Executive Online: “Artificial Intelligence, Real Hearts -- In a new partnership with IBM Watson Health, the American Heart Association is poised to revolutionize the way companies use analytics to help workers improve their cardiovascular health.

[3/1/16] Supreme Court of the United States: Gobeille, Chair of the Vermont Green Mountain Care Board v. Liberty Mutual Insurance Co. - Certiorari to the United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit - No. 14-181. - Argued Dec. 2, 2015--Decided March 1, 2016 [ERISA Preempts Vermont Claims Reporting Law]


What's new at EBRI this month:

EBRI 2015 Fall Policy Forum: "What Moves the Retirement Readiness Needle During the Accumulation Period: Quantification of Risks and Evaluation of New Proposals" [“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 2016 EBRI Issue Brief - "The 2016 Retirement Confidence Survey: Worker Confidence Stable, Retiree Confidence Continues to Increase"

March 2016 EBRI Notes - "The Excise Tax on High-Cost Health Plans"

March 2016 EBRI Notes - "Views on Employment-based Health Benefits: Findings from the 2015 Health and Voluntary Workplace Benefits 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: Better Information on Income Replacement Rates Needed to Help Workers Plan for Retirement.
GAO-16-242, March 1. Highlights.

Social Security's Future: Answers to Key Questions. GAO-16-75SP, October 27.

Retirement Security: Federal Action Could Help State Efforts to Expand Private Sector Coverage. GAO-15-556, September 10. Highlights.

Small Employer Health Tax Credit: Limited Use Continues Due to Multiple Reasons.
GAO-16-491T, March 22. Highlights.

Pension Advance Transactions: Questionable Business Practices and the Federal Response, by Stephen Lord, managing director, forensic audits and investigative service, before the Senate Special Committee on Aging. GAO-15-846T, September 30. 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 3/31/16