What's New - May 2014



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[5/30/14] Buck Consultants FYI®: “Paid sick leave moves ahead while paid family leave lags behind

[5/30/14] Sibson Consulting Capital Checkup: “Final Rules on the Affordable Care Act’s Reporting Requirements

[5/30/14] Kaiser Family Foundation: Kaiser Health Tracking Poll: May 2014

[5/30/14] BenefitsPro: “EBRI digs into factors influencing retirement plan rollovers

[5/30/14] Plan Sponsor: “Participant Retirement Savings Rebounded from Recession

[5/30/14] Insured Retirement Institute: “More Savings, Better Planning & Greater Confidence with Professional Advice

[5/30/14] Vanguard: Retirement income among wealthier retirees

[5/30/14] Social Security Bulletin: “The Social Security Statement: Background, Implementation, and Recent Developments

[5/29/14] Towers Watson Insider: “Attracting and Keeping Employees: The Strategic Value of Employee Benefits: Results from Towers Watson’s 2013/2014 Global Benefit Attitudes Survey

[5/29/14] Colonial Life: Small Business: Big Benefits -- Sharpening the competitive edge with voluntary benefits

[5/29/14] American Health Policy Institute: What CHROs Think About Employee Health Care: A 2014 Snapshot

[5/29/14] St. Louis Post-Dispatch: “Reference pricing would let insurers cap what they pay for procedures

[5/29/14] Marketplace: “Employers must treat ACA stipends as taxable income

[5/29/14] ThinkAdvisor.com: “What Drives Retirement Rollover Decisions When Workers Leave a Job

[5/29/14] Plan Sponsor: “DOL Delays Fiduciary Redefinition Proposal Again

[5/29/14] U.S. Department of Defense: DoD Statistical Report on the Military Retirement System, Fiscal Year 2013

[5/28/14] Internal Revenue Service: Employer Health Care Arrangements

[5/28/14] The New York Times: “Health Care Cost-Sharing Works -- Up to a Point

[5/28/14] USA Today: “Many employees hit with higher health care premiums

[5/28/14] The Washington Post [Wonkblog]: “Why the major test for Obamacare premiums might wait until 2017

[5/28/14] Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation: Multiemployer Plans; Valuation and Notice Requirements; Final rule [as published in the Federal Register on May 28, 2014]

[5/28/14] Bank of America Merrill Lynch Workplace Insights™: “Simplify the Path to Financial Wellness: Four strategies to help increase 401(k) participation

[5/28/14] Transamerica Center for Retirement Studies: The Changing Face of Retirement: The Aegon Retirement Readiness Survey 2014

[5/28/14] BenefitsPro: “Voluntary picture becomes clear - The 2014 Benefits Selling/Eastbridge Voluntary survey

[5/27/14] Buck Consultants FYI®: “Supreme Court to decide whether retiree health benefits last a lifetime

[5/27/14] The New York Times: “I.R.S. Bars Employers From Dumping Workers Into Health Exchanges

[5/27/14] BenefitsPro: “Part-time shift driven by economy, not PPACA

[5/27/14] KPBS: “Insurance Fee for Big Businesses Helps Fund Obamacare

[5/27/14] Investment News: “Financial wellness trend gives advisors an opening -- Holistic tack is the next phase for employers

[5/27/14] PIMCO DC Dialogue: “Focus on the Individual” [“In this PIMCO DC Dialogue, we speak with Charlie Nelson, president of Retirement Services at Great-West Financial, about improving retirement readiness.”]

[5/27/14] USA Today: “Get smart and get better 401(k) returns

[5/27/14] Plan Sponsor: “Reforming Social Security to Increase Worker’s Retirement Income

[5/23/14] Financial Advisor: “Roth IRAs Outpace Traditional IRAs in Growth

[5/23/14] IFAwebnews.com: “Study ranks top states in new 401(k) plans

[5/23/14] Vanguard: “After a law paves the way, no rush to Roth

[5/23/14] U.S. Joint Economic Committee: Hearing titled “Women’s Retirement Security” [Hearing held May 21, 2014, includes links to witness testimonies]

[5/23/14] Center for Retirement Research at Boston College: The Tradeoff Between Health and Wealth in Retirement Decisions [Working Paper]

[5/23/14] Financial Finesse Reports: 2014 Financial Stress Research [Executive Summary]

[5/23/14] Sibson Consulting: “New Model COBRA Notices and Guidance on Marketplace Enrollment of Individuals with COBRA Rights

[5/23/14] Politico: “Free preventive care can still cost

[5/22/14] Forbes: “Summing Up The Retirement Crisis

[5/22/14] U.S. Senate Committee on Finance, Subcommittee on Social Security, Pensions, and Family Policy: Hearing titled “Strengthening Social Security to Meet the Needs of Tomorrow’s Retirees” [Hearing held May 21, 2014, includes links to witness testimonies]

[5/22/14] The Washington Post [Wonkblog]: “Women are still way behind men when it comes to retirement savings

[5/22/14] International Foundation of Employee Benefit Plans: Financial Education for Today’s Workforce: 2014 Survey Results

[5/22/14] Milliman Inc.: 2014 Milliman Medical Index

[5/22/14] Employee Benefit Adviser: “Women ‘feel the weight’ of health more than men

[5/22/14] The New York Times: “For Workers, Less Flexible Companies

[5/21/14] Plan Sponsor: “DOL Offers Webinar on Health Benefits Law

[5/21/14] Wolters Kluwer Law & Business: “IRS considers additional employer mandate guidance

[5/21/14] Kaiser Family Foundation Infographic: “Visualizing Health Policy: Public Opinion at the End of the First Open Enrollment Period

[5/21/14] Reuters (via GlobalPost): “How much are public-sector pensions shrinking? Often, a lot

[5/21/14] Institutional Investor: “Can the Teamsters Save Union Pensions?

[5/21/14] Mercer: “Pension Cashouts Expected to Rise in 2014, Says Mercer

[5/21/14] Fidelity Investments: “Fidelity® ‘401(K) Geographic Trends’ Analysis Reveals Top Cities for Retirement Investing

[5/21/14] Towers Watson Insider: “Retirement Security: Helping Workers Set Realistic Savings Goals

[5/21/14] The Washington Post [Blog]: “How to get people saving in America again? Obamacare for retirement accounts

[5/21/14] U.S. Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions: Hearing titled “Economic Security for Working Women: A Roundtable Discussion” [Hearing held May 20, 2014, includes links to witness testimonies]

[5/20/14] Healthcare Financial Management Association: “HHS: No Out-of-Pocket Conflict with Reference-Based Pricing

[5/20/14] Thompson Information Services: “Employers and Health Plans: Panelists Don’t See ACA Exodus

[5/20/14] Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and Urban Institute In-Brief: “Will Premiums Skyrocket in 2015?

[5/20/14] USA Today: “Retirement: Many do-it-yourself investors not engaged

[5/20/14] InvestorPlace: “10 Ways to Screw Up Your Retirement

[5/20/14] Towers Watson: TW Pension 100: Investment Strategies and Plan Funding Since the Financial Crisis

[5/20/14] ICI Research Perspective: “Trends in the Expenses and Fees of Mutual Funds, 2013

[5/20/14] Social Security Administration: Earnings and Employment Data for Workers Covered Under Social Security and Medicare, by State and County, 2011

[5/19/14] Transamerica Center for Health Studies Survey: Pulse Check on Employer Preparedness for the ACA

[5/19/14] Forbes: “Obamacare Increases Large Employers’ Health Costs

[5/19/14] Towers Watson: 2014 Global Medical Trends Survey Report

[5/19/14] Society for Human Resource Management: Financial Wellness in the Workplace [Executive Summary]

[5/19/14] Internal Revenue Service: Employee Plans News [May 16, 2014]

[5/19/14] Investor Central: “Retirement Plans From Around the World” [U.K./Singapore/Malaysia/U.S./Australia/Canada]

[5/19/14] Investment Company Institute: 2014 Investment Company Fact Book: A Review of Trends and Activities in the U.S. Investment Company Industry

[5/16/14] Towers Watson: 2014 Tax Reform Act Would Affect Employee Benefits and Compensation

[5/16/14] Segal Consulting: Spring 2014 Report of Results from the Survey of Calendar-Year Plans’ 2014 Zone Status

[5/16/14] Internal Revenue Service: Mid-Year Amendments to Safe Harbor Plans Pursuant to Notice 2014-19 with Respect to the Windsor Decision [Notice 2014-37]

[5/16/14] Plan Sponsor: “Employers Urge House to Halt PBGC Premium Increases

[5/16/14] Financial Advisor: “Combined Retirement, Health Accounts on Horizon

[5/16/14] Investor’s Business Daily: “ObamaCare Deductibles to Rise to $6,600 in 2015

[5/16/14] Buck Consultants: “New Study Projects Health Care Costs to Increase More Slowly” [Press Release]

[5/16/14] American Academy of Actuaries Issue Brief: “Drivers of 2015 Health Insurance Premium Changes

[5/16/14] Congressional Research Service: How Social Security Benefits Are Computed: In Brief

[5/16/14] The New York Times: “Social Security at 62? Let’s Run the Numbers

[5/15/14] BenefitsPro: “Growing number of states cutting pension COLAs

[5/15/14] Financial Advisor: “Rubio Backs Higher Retirement Age, Opening Congress Plan

[5/15/14] Buck Consultants: Target Date Funds: TDFs: Due diligence is more than “set and forget” for plan sponsors

[5/15/14] Lexology: “Americans running from 401(k)s?

[5/15/14] The Slott Report: “Where Should You Convert? Roth IRA or Roth 401(k)?

[5/15/14] U.S. News & World Report: “The Top 10 Sources of Retirement Income

[5/15/14] BNA Bloomberg: “Complex ACA Filing Requirements Ahead for Employers, Individuals, IRS Official Says

[5/15/14] Health Affairs [Blog]: “How Will 2015 Health Insurance Premiums Compare to 2014?

[5/14/14] Internal Revenue Service: Employee Plans News [May 9, 2014]

[5/14/14] The Washington Post: “Rubio, retirement benefits and a Thrift Savings Plan for all Americans

[5/14/14] CBS News: “For retirees, myths collide with reality

[5/14/14] Center for Retirement Research at Boston College: “COLA Cuts in State/Local Pensions

[5/14/14] Kushner & Company: “DOMA Decision Reminder of Change in Marital Status Requirements in Benefit Plans

[5/14/14] Brookings: “Here to Stay--Beyond the Rough Launch of the ACA

[5/14/14] Healthcare Payer News: “Repeal of employer mandate could shake up group insurance

[5/14/14] Kaiser Family Foundation Infographic: “Visualizing Health Policy: Preventive Services for Women and the ACA

[5/13/14] Financial Engines and Aon Hewitt: Help in Defined Contribution Plans: 2006 through 2012

[5/13/14] U.S. News & World Report (via Yahoo! News): “The Ideal Retirement Age -- And Why You Won’t Retire Then

[5/13/14] WealthManagement.com: “Fiscal Year 2015 Revenue Proposals Affecting Retirement Plans and IRAs

[5/13/14] Internal Revenue Service: Tax Treatment of Qualified Retirement Plan Payment of Accident or Health Insurance Premiums; Final regulations [as published in the Federal Register on May 12, 2014]

[5/13/14] Thompson Information Services: “Accident, Health Premiums Paid by Retirement Plans Become Taxable in 2015

[5/13/14] Kaiser Family Foundation: “Defining What ‘Defined Contributions’ Mean For Work-Based Health Insurance

[5/13/14] Winston & Strawn LLP: “Health Plan Sponsors Need to Obtain Health Plan Identifier

[5/13/14] The New York Times: “More Insured, but the Choices Are Narrowing

[5/12/14] Society for Human Resource Management: Employee Job Satisfaction and Engagement: The Road to Economic Recovery

[5/12/14] University of Michigan Center for Value-Based Insurance Design: Health Savings Account-Eligible High Deductible Health Plans: Updating the Definition of Prevention

[5/12/14] Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and Urban Institute: Why Not Just Eliminate the Employer Mandate?

[5/12/14] U.S. Chamber of Commerce: “Obamacare’s Health Insurance Tax Could Cost Up to 286,000 Jobs

[5/12/14] The New York Times: “Staying on Parents’ Plan May Lead to Healthier Paychecks

[5/12/14] LIMRA: “In-Plan Guarantees Grow in Number and Assets in 2013

[5/12/14] Legacy Retirement Solutions: A Plan Administrator’s “Due Diligence” Obligations Regarding Rollover Contributions Into a Plan

[5/12/14] BenefitsPro: “Workers increasingly recognize importance of retirement income

[5/12/14] Morningstar: “Concerned About Longevity: 4 Mistakes to Avoid

[5/12/14] Philadelphia Inquirer: “Costs rising for vital long-term care insurance policies

[5/9/14] Employee Benefit News: “HSA growth linked to excise tax concerns

[5/9/14] Towers Watson Insider: “Health FSA Carryovers and HSA Eligibility, and Correcting Improper Payments from Health FSAs

[5/9/14] AARP: Health Care Costs Calculator

[5/9/14] The Los Angeles Times: “New legal battle opens over Obamacare and contraceptives

[5/9/14] Plan Sponsor: “Small Firms Say 401(k)s Work, but Express Concerns

[5/9/14] Insured Retirement Institute: Baby Boomer and Gen X Women: Retirement Readiness and the Role of Women Financial Advisors

[5/8/14] U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics: “Compensation costs for private industry workers up 1.7 percent in year ending March 2014

[5/8/14] PIMCO: Designing Balanced DC Menus: Considering Diversified Fixed Income Choices [“The first in a series of articles exploring diversified asset strategies, including fixed income, real assets, equities and capital preservation.”]

[5/8/14] Social Science Research Network: American Workers’ Retirement Income Security Prospects: A Critique of Recent Assessments, by Gaobo Pang and Sylvester J. Schieber [Note: The paper can be downloaded at the website.]

[5/8/14] CNN Money: “American Airlines employees locked out of 401(k) funds

[5/8/14] USA Today: “7 tips to make retirement savings last

[5/8/14] Treasury & Risk: “Popularity of Onsite Health Clinics, Coaching Spreads -- The trend can cut healthcare costs and increase workplace productivity

[5/8/14] U.S. House Committee on Energy & Commerce, Subcommittee on Oversight & Investigations: Hearing on “PPACA Enrollment and the Insurance Industry” [Hearing held May 7, 2014, includes links to witness testimonies]

[5/8/14] Cigna: “20 Years of Disability Claims Data Reveal Emerging Workforce Productivity Challenges

[5/7/14] U.S. Census Bureau: “Fueled by Aging Baby Boomers, Nation’s Older Population to Nearly Double in the Next 20 Years, Census Bureau Reports” [News Release]

[5/7/14] NASRA Issue Brief: “State and Local Government Spending on Public Employee Retirement Systems

[5/7/14] RetirementRevised: “The vanishing pension and its discontents

[5/7/14] Towers Watson: “More Workers Satisfied With Retirement Benefits, Fewer Happy With Health Care Benefits, Towers Watson Survey Finds

[5/7/14] National Center for Policy Analysis [Blog]: “Demographics of CDHP Enrollees

[5/7/14] Congressional Research Service: Legislative Actions to Repeal, Defund, or Delay the Affordable Care Act [April 7, 2014]

[5/6/14] Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation: Benefits Payable in Terminated Single-Employer Plans; Limitations on Guaranteed Benefits; Shutdown and Similar Benefits; Final rule [as published in the Federal Register on May 6, 2014]

[5/6/14] Vanguard: “The rise of DC plans and the impact on participants

[5/6/14] Gallup: “Fewer Will Rely on 401(k) in Retirement Than Pre-Recession

[5/6/14] Portland Tribune: “Dust off your financial plan: It’s never too late to start saving

[5/6/14] CFA Institute: “Essentials of a More Secure Retirement -- Key principles and practices to reach your retirement goals

[5/6/14] Towers Watson: Infographic: Full-Time/Part-Time Status Under Health Care Reform

[5/6/14] StarNewsOnline.com: “Companies trying to get workers to bite on health incentives

[5/6/14] Families USA: “Marketplace health plan premiums are competitive with employer-based coverage

[5/5/14] Prudential: Disability Insurance: Beyond Paycheck Protection -- Eighth Annual Study of Employee Benefits Today & Beyond

[5/5/14] U.S. Department of Labor Employee Benefits Security Administration: FAQs about Affordable Care Act Implementation (Part XIX) [Updated Department of Labor Model Notices; Limitations on Cost-Sharing under the ACA; Coverage of Preventive Services; Health FSA Carryover and Excepted Benefits; Summary of Benefits & Coverage]

[5/5/14] Towers Watson Insider: “Final Regulations Offer Employers Streamlined PPACA Reporting Options

[5/5/14] The Institute for HealthCare Consumerism: “Three Features to Look for in a Private Exchange for Mid-sized Companies

[5/5/14] Sibson Consulting’s Capital Checkup: “2015 Minimums and Maximums for Health Savings Accounts and High-Deductible Health Plans

[5/5/14] PricewaterhouseCoopers: “Market trends in retiree healthcare and financial reporting implications

[5/5/14] The New York Times: “A Path to Retirement, for Those Far From It

[5/5/14] Fidelity Investments: “Big Retirement Savings Gains for Small Businesses: Fidelity® Analysis Reveals Retirement Contributions on the Rise

[5/5/14] National Center for Policy Analysis: “Are Baby Boomers Saving Enough?

[5/5/14] U.S. News & World Report: “Is the 4 Percent Rule Still Relevant for Retirees?

[5/1/14] U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics: Employment Cost Index -- March 2014 [News Release]

[5/1/14] Pittsburgh Business Times: “Rand prescription: Medical pricing transparency

[5/1/14] Urban Institute: The Best Evidence Suggests the Effects of the ACA on Employment Will Be Small

[5/1/14] Plan Sponsor: “Stranded Retirement Accounts a Growing Problem

[5/1/14] Insurance & Financial Advisor: “Employers adding Roth features to expand savings options

[5/1/14] Transamerica Center for Retirement Studies: The Retirement Readiness of Three Unique Generations: Baby Boomers, Generation X, and Millennials [15th Annual Transamerica Retirement Survey]

[5/1/14] MSN Money: “5 excuses that can wreck your retirement

[5/1/14] Social Security Administration, Office of Retirement and Disability Policy: “The Effects of Alternative Demographic and Economic Assumptions on MINT Simulations: A Sensitivity Analysis


What's new at EBRI this month:

EBRI 2014 Spring Policy Forum: “’Crisis’ Management: Uncertainty and the Workplace” [“gavel-to-gavel” webcast - Prerecorded broadcast available through the International Foundation of Employee Benefit Plans]

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's Recent Media Coverage

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

401(k) Balances and Changes Due to Market Volatility


May 2014 EBRI Issue Brief - "Individual Retirement Account Balances, Contributions, and Rollovers, 2012; With Longitudinal Results 2010-2012: The EBRI IRA Database"

May 2014 EBRI Notes - "Trends in Health Coverage for Part-Time Workers, 1999-2012" and "Take it or Leave it? The Disposition of DC Accounts: Who Rolls Over into an IRA? Who Leaves Money in the Plan and Who Withdraws Cash?"


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: Challenges for Those Claiming Social Security Benefits Early and New Health Coverage Options. GAO-14-311, April 23. Highlights.

Private Pensions: Pension Tax Incentives Update. GAO-14-334R, March 20.

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 5/30/14