What's New - May 2012

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.


[5/31/12]  Internal Revenue Service:  Section 125 - Cafeteria Plans: Health flexible spending arrangements not subject to $2,500 limit on salary reduction contributions for plan years beginning before 2013 and comments requested on potential modification of use-or-lose rule [Notice 2012-40]

[5/31/12]  The Segal Company:  2011 Study of State Employee Health Benefits

[5/31/12]  Demos:  The Retirement Savings Drain: Hidden & Excessive Costs of 401(k)s [Note: The full report can be downloaded at the website.]

[5/31/12]  Reuters (via Employee Benefit Adviser):  “Best retirement plans for small businesses

[5/31/12]  Deseret News:  “Poverty, hunger among retirees increasing

[5/31/12]  Social Security Administration:  OASDI Beneficiaries by State and County, 2011

[5/30/12]  The Los Angeles Times:  “401(k) fees could reduce average nest egg by 30%, study says

[5/30/12]  Joint Committee on Taxation:  Description of the Provisions of H.R. 5858, a Bill to Amend the Internal Revenue Code of 1986 to Improve Health Savings Accounts, and for Other Purposes [Note:  The full report can be downloaded at the JCT website.]

[5/30/12]  AARP Public Policy Institute:  Medicare Beneficiaries’ Out-of-Pocket Spending for Health Care

[5/30/12]  Center for Retirement Research at Boston College:  Should You Buy an Annuity from Social Security?

[5/30/12]  The Baltimore Sun:  “Seniors grow old under debt

[5/30/12]  Senior Housing News:  “EBRI: Poverty Rates Rising Among Retirees; Nursing Homes Draining Assets

[5/29/12]  PIMCO DC Dialogue™:  “A good sense of value.” [“In this PIMCO DC Dialogue™, we talk with ERISA attorney Fred Reish about the retirement plan issues on the agenda in Washington, D.C., and how they might be affected by the upcoming elections.”]

[5/29/12]  Plan Sponsor:

[5/29/12]  The Huffington Post:  “Postponing Retirement: Record Number of Americans Choosing to Stay at Work

[5/29/12]  CNN Money:  “What’s a realistic retirement age?

[5/29/12]  Towers Watson Viewpoints:  “Is HR Ready for Health Care Reform?

[5/29/12]  AdvisorOne:  “More Americans Aging Into Poverty

[5/25/12]  CFO Research Services and Prudential Financial:  The Future of Retirement and Employee Benefits: Finance Executives Share Their Perspectives

[5/25/12]  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 May 24, 2012]

[5/25/12]  PIMCO Viewpoint:  “Loss Capacity Drives 401(k) Investment Default Evaluation

[5/25/12]  Financial Finesse, Inc.:  2012 Research Financial Stress

[5/25/12]  Plan Sponsor:  “More Workers Estimated to Be Retirement Ready

[5/25/12]  Business Insider:  “2 Charts That Show Just How Badly the Recession Impacted Worker Health Benefits

[5/24/12]  The Segal Company’s Capital Checkup:  “Plan Sponsors Working Diligently and in Good Faith on the Summary of Benefits and Coverage Will Not Face Penalties During the First Year

[5/24/12]  The Commonwealth Fund:  “More Than Half of Individual Health Plans Offer Coverage That Falls Short of What Can Be Sold Through Exchanges as of 2014

[5/24/12]  Kaiser Health News:  “Report: Employer-Based Health Insurance Shows Decline

[5/24/12]  The Tennessean:  “High deductibles, unexpected hospital bills produce sticker shock

[5/24/12]  Plan Sponsor:  “Few Plan for Health Care Costs in Retirement

[5/23/12]  Internal Revenue Service:  Health Insurance Premium Tax Credit; Final regulations [as published in the Federal Register on May 23, 2012]

[5/23/12]  Kansas City Star:  “Percentage of health coverage at work is declining, study says

[5/23/12]  Towers Watson:

[5/23/12]  Hay Group:  The Wall Street Journal/Hay Group CEO Compensation Study 2011

[5/23/12]  MoneyNews.com:  “Study: Older Americans Are Quickly Getting Poorer

[5/23/12]  CQ Weekly:  “Social Security’s Planned Shortfall Raises Concerns

[5/22/12]  Plan Sponsor Council of America:  2012 403(b) Survey Highlights

[5/22/12]  Plan Sponsor:  “401(k) Participation Rate Higher with Auto Features

[5/22/12]  U.S. Department of Health and Human Services:  Medical Loss Ratio Requirements Under the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act; Final rule [as published in the Federal Register on May 16, 2012]

[5/22/12]  Kaiser Family Foundation:  Massachusetts Health Care Reform: Six Years Later

[5/22/12]  AARP Public Policy Institute Fact Sheet:  “Social Security: Who’s Counting on It?

[5/22/12]  U.S. News & World Report:  “Poverty Increasing Among Retirees

[5/21/12]  Health Care Cost Institute:  Health Care Cost and Utilization Report: 2010

[5/21/12]  Congressional Research Service:  Private Health Insurance Market Reforms in the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA)

[5/21/12]  U.S. Department of Labor Employee Benefits Security Administration:  “Before It’s Too Late: A Retirement Security Update from Assistant Secretary Phyllis C. Borzi

[5/21/12]  The New York Times:  “Getting to Retirement with Minimal Financial Risk

[5/18/12]  Internal Revenue Service:  Form W-2 Reporting of Employer-Sponsored Health Coverage

[5/18/12]  RAND Technical Report:  “The Effect of the Affordable Care Act on Enrollment and Premiums, With and Without the Individual Mandate

[5/18/12]  NACUBO’s HR Horizons:  “The Future of Leaders and CDHPs

[5/18/12]  Plan Sponsor:

[5/18/12]  Business Finance Magazine:  “Taking Another Look at Phased Retirement

[5/18/12]  DoD Office of the Actuary:  Statistical Report on the Military Retirement System, Fiscal Year 2011

[5/17/12]  U.S. Department of Health and Human Services:  Health System Measurement Project [“The Health System Measurement Project tracks government data on critical U.S. health system indicators.  The website presents national trend data as well as detailed views broken out by population characteristics such as age, sex, income level, and insurance coverage status.”]

[5/17/12]  The Segal Company:  Survey of Calendar-Year Plans’ 2012 Zone Status [Spring 2012]

[5/17/12]  Capital Times:  “Plain Talk: Tinkering with state retirement courts disaster

[5/17/12]  Congressional Research Service:  Social Security: Temporary Payroll Tax Reduction

[5/16/12]  Milliman Inc.:  2012 Milliman Medical Index: Healthcare costs for American families in 2012 exceed $20,000 for the first time

[5/16/12]  Buck Consultants FYI:  “IRS Guidance Addresses Determination of Minimum Value for Employer-Sponsored Plans

[5/16/12]  Health Affairs Health Policy Brief:  “Workplace Wellness Programs

[5/16/12]  Transamerica Center for Retirement Studies:  Redefining Retirement: The New ‘Retirement Readiness’ -- The 13th Annual Transamerica Retirement Survey

[5/16/12]  Plan Sponsor:  “Guaranteed Income Option Most Appealing to Younger Workers

[5/16/12]  CNBC.com:  “Exclusive: Over 55 and jobless, Americans face tough hunt

[5/15/12]  U.S. Department of Health and Human Services:  FAQs About Affordable Care Act Implementation Part IX [regarding implementation of the summary of benefits and coverage (SBC) provisions of the ACA]

[5/15/12]  Congressional Research Service:  Tax Benefits for Health Insurance and Expenses: Overview of Current Law

[5/15/12]  Sibson Consulting Bulletin:  “DOL’s Final Rule on Service Provider Fee Disclosure

[5/15/12]  Charles Schwab:  “Schwab Research Finds Gap Between Employer and Employee Views on Retirement Preparedness Through 401(k) Plans” [Press Release]

[5/15/12]  Registered Rep:  “Five Ways to Change Your Clients’ Retirement Math

[5/15/12]  Retirement Advisor Council:  Enhancing Retirement Readiness: Consensus on a Course of Action

[5/11/12]  AdvisorOne:  “EBRI’s Salisbury on Auto-IRA Plans: Nobody Likes a Mandate

[5/11/12]  Conrad Siegel Actuaries:  Brave New World: Understanding Defined Contribution Plan Fees

[5/11/12]  Families USA:  Good Business Sense: The Small Business Health Care Tax Credit in the Affordable Care Act

[5/11/12]  Employee Benefit News:  “IRS notices address significant issues under PPACA

[5/11/12]  U.S. Department of Labor Employee Benefits Security Administration:  FAQs: Understanding Implementation of the Mental Health Parity and Addiction Equity Act of 2008

[5/11/12]  Harvard Business Review:  “Commitment to the Future: 10 Years of The Principal 10 Best Companies

[5/10/12]  Consumer Federation of America and Unum:  Employee Knowledge and Attitudes about Employer-Provided Disability Insurance

[5/10/12]  Kaiser Family Foundation:  Health Care Costs: A Primer -- Key Information on Health Care Costs and Their Impact

[5/10/12]  USA Today:  “Retiree health care costs rising; many people not preparing

[5/10/12]  Plan Sponsor:

[5/10/12]  The New York Times:  “Making Sure Money’s Still There When It’s Needed

[5/10/12]  Milliman 100 Pension Funding Index:  “Milliman analysis: Corporate pension funded status declines in April for first time this year

[5/9/12]  Nationwide and Harris Interactive:  Healthcare Costs in Retirement Consumer Study -- February 2012

[5/9/12]  Plan Sponsor:

[5/9/12]  Morningstar®:  Target-Date Series Research Paper: 2012 Industry Survey

[5/9/12]  Forbes:  “5 Forces Conspiring Against Your Savings

[5/8/12]  U.S. Department of Labor Employee Benefits Security Administration:  Field Assistance Bulletin No. 2012-02: Fee Disclosure Guidance

[5/8/12]  BlackRock:  Annual Retirement Survey: Reinventing Retirement -- What Retirees Have to Tell Us About the New World

[5/8/12]  Center for State & Local Government Excellence:  Issue Brief: The Funding of State and Local Government Pensions, 2011-2015

[5/8/12]  Plan Sponsor:  “Health Care Reform Driving Administration Outsourcing

[5/8/12]  Investment News:  “Is Medicare the next frontier for financial advice?

[5/7/12]  Invesco:  Retirement Roundtable: The Benefits and Challenges of Offering Retirement Income Strategies in Your DC Plan

[5/7/12]  ING Retirement Research Institute:  What about Women (and Retirement)? - ING’s Retirement Revealed Study examines retirement attitudes and behaviors of working women

[5/7/12]  Financial Finesse, Inc.:  Trends in Employee Financial Issues Q1 2012

[5/7/12]  USA Today:  “Health care costs worry workers nearing retirement

[5/7/12]  The Commonwealth Fund:  Explaining High Health Care Spending in the United States: An International Comparison of Supply, Utilization, Prices, and Quality

[5/7/12]  Congressional Research Service:  The Independent Payment Advisory Board

[5/3/12]  U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics Program Perspectives:  On Legally Required Benefit Costs: “How Much Do Private Industry Employers Pay for Legally Required Employee Benefits?

[5/3/12]  Social Security Administration:  “Social Security Statement Now Available Online at www.socialsecurity.gov” [Press Release]

[5/3/12]  Dallas Morning News:  “Social Security trustees’ report should be a wake-up call

[5/3/12]  Social Security Bulletin:  “Raising Household Saving: Does Financial Education Work?

[5/3/12]  AllGov.com:  “Old Age Is Increasingly a Gateway to Poverty

[5/3/12]  Investment Company Institute:  2012 Investment Company Fact Book: A Review of Trends and Activity in the U.S. Investment Company Industry

[5/2/12]  Plan Sponsor:  “Fidelity Reports 8% Jump in Average 401(k) Balance

[5/2/12]  Vanguard:  Diversity and Defined Contribution Plans: Loans and Hardship Withdrawals

[5/2/12]  U.S. Census Bureau:  Public-Employee Retirement Systems State- and Locally-Administered Pensions Summary Report: 2010

[5/2/12]  Consumer Federation of America and Unum:  Facts About Disability Insurance

[5/2/12]  Kaiser Family Foundation Focus on Health Reform:  Patient Cost-Sharing Under the Affordable Care Act

[5/2/12]  Internal Revenue Service:  Rev. Proc. 2012-26 [2013 inflation adjusted amounts for Health Savings Accounts (HSAs)]

[5/1/12]  U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics:  Compensation Costs for Private Industry Workers: March 2011-March 2012

[5/1/12]  Families and Work Institute and Society for Human Resource Management:  2012 National Study of Employers

[5/1/12]  U.S. Department of Labor:  Report to Congress: Annual Report on Self-Insured Group Health Plans

[5/1/12]  Plan Sponsor:  “Individuals in CDHPs More Educated

[5/1/12]  U.S. Departments of the Treasury (IRS), Labor (EBSA), and Health and Human Services:  Request for Information Regarding Stop Loss Insurance [as published in the Federal Register on May 1, 2012]

[5/1/12]  The Wall Street Journal:  “Steven Malanga: How Retirement Benefits May Sink the States

[5/1/12]  National Conference on Public Employee Retirement Systems:  Best Governance Practices for Public Retirement Systems

[5/1/12]  Arnerich Massena, Inc.:  Making the Most of Your Match


What's new at EBRI this month:

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]

Visit EBRI's Blog!

EBRI's Recent Media Coverage

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

401(k) Balances and Changes Due to Market Volatility


May 2012 EBRI Issue Brief“Individual Retirement Account Balances, Contributions, and Rollovers, 2010: The EBRI IRA Database™”

May 2012 EBRI Notes“Retirement Income Adequacy for Boomers and Gen Xers: Evidence from the 2012 EBRI Retirement Security Projection Model®” and “Trends in Employment-Based Coverage Among Workers, and Access to Coverage Among Uninsured Workers, 1995-2011”


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:

401(k) Plans: Increased Educational Outreach and Broader Oversight May Help Reduce Plan Fees. GAO-12-325, April 24. Highlights. Related Product: 401(k) PLANS: Survey of 401(k) Plan Sponsors on Fees (GAO-12-550SP, April 2012), an E-supplement to GAO-12-325. GAO-12-550SP, April 24.

Small Employer Health Tax Credit: Factors Contributing to Low Use and Complexity. GAO-12-549, May 14. Highlights.

Unemployed Older Workers: Many Experience Challenges Regaining Employment and Face Reduced Retirement Security. GAO-12-445, April 25. Highlights.

Private Health Insurance: Estimates of Individuals with Pre-Existing Conditions Range from 36 Million to 122 Million. GAO-12-439, March 27. Highlights.

Defined Contribution Plans: Approaches in Other Countries Offer Beneficial Strategies in Several Areas. GAO-12-328, April 23. Highlights.

State and Local Governments' Fiscal Outlook: April 2012 Update. GAO-12-523SP, April 5.

The Federal Government's Long-Term Fiscal Outlook: Spring 2012 Update. GAO-12-521SP, April 5.

Presentation by the Comptroller General
The Government's Long-Term Fiscal Challenge: Implications for Federal Agencies by Gene L. Dodaro, Comptroller General of the United States before the 9th Annual Department of Homeland Security Office of the Chief Financial Officer Symposium in Washington, DC. GAO-12-617CG, March 14.

Unemployed Older Workers: Many Face Long-Term Joblessness and Reduced Retirement Security, by Charles A. Jeszeck, Director, Education, Workforce, and Income Security, before the Senate Special Committee on Aging. GAO-12-724T, May 15.

Financial Literacy: Enhancing the Effectiveness of the Federal Government's Role, by Alicia Puente Cackley, director, financial markets and community investment, before the Subcommittee on Oversight of Government Management, the Federal Workforce, and the District of Columbia, Senate Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs. GAO-12-636T, April 26. 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 5/31/12