What's New - May 2015



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[5/29/15] Kaiser Health News: “Judge Considers Bid to Dismiss House GOP Case Against Obama Administration and the Health Law

[5/29/15] American Academy of Actuaries Issue Brief: “Implications of Proposed Changes to the ACA in Response to King v. Burwell

[5/29/15] Penbridge Advisors, LLC: Defined Benefit Expense Survey: Initial Fielding Period Results

[5/29/15] PlanSponsor: “DC Participants Could More Actively Manage Portfolios

[5/29/15] Morningstar: “Your 401(k) Has Probably Gotten Better

[5/29/15] Aegon Center for Longevity and Retirement: Inspiring a World of Habitual Savers: The Aegon Retirement Readiness Survey 2015

[5/28/15] LifeHealthPro: “IRA Balances Soar

[5/28/15] PlanAdviser: “Math on Net 401(k) Outflows Not So Troubling

[5/28/15] NAPA Net: “A Fiduciary Throwdown in D.C.

[5/28/15] Prudential Retirement: Preparing for Pension Risk Transfer

[5/28/15] NTSA Net: “Illinois Legislature Forges Ahead on Public Pension Liability

[5/28/15] The Wall Street Journal: “Americans Feeling Better About Household Finances -- Fed Survey

[5/28/15] Society for Human Resource Management: “Insurers Expect Larger Premium Rise for 2016 -- Rising claims costs portend steeper premium hikes

[5/28/15] Congressional Research Service: Individual Mandate Under the ACA

[5/27/15] PlanAdviser: “IRA Balances Continue Trending Up

[5/27/15] Vanguard: “The Funded Status Seesaw and DB Decision-Making

[5/27/15] Calpensions: “San Bernardino exit plan cuts some pension costs

[5/27/15] The Wall Street Journal: “A Web Tool to Refine Your Retirement Priorities

[5/27/15] U.S. Department of Labor Employee Benefits Security Administration: FAQs about Affordable Care Act Implementation (Part XXVII) [Limitations on Cost Sharing under the Affordable Care Act]

[5/27/15] Human Resource Executive Online: “The Challenges of Healthcare-Cost Transparency

[5/27/15] RAND Corporation: “Chronic Care Management Programs Have Become Standard for Health Plans

[5/27/15] Politico: “Senate GOP prepared to replace Obamacare subsidies

[5/27/15] U.S. News & World Report: “How to Manage Medicare’s Out-of-Pocket Costs

[5/27/15] Buck Consultants’ FYI®: “Philadelphia Paid Sick Leave Law Takes Effect

[5/26/15] PlanSponsor: “Sponsors, Participants Warming Up to Guaranteed Income Options

[5/26/15] CBS MoneyWatch: “American savers leaving $24 billion on the table

[5/26/15] Investors.com: “How Do Your 401(k) Fees Compare to Other People’s?

[5/26/15] The Wall Street Journal: “Pensions Drop Annual Targets After Financial Crisis

[5/26/15] TIAA-CREF Institute: Financial Literacy and Decisionmaking Among College-Educated Hispanics

[5/26/15] Forbes: “How Should Retirement Spending Adjust to Investment Portfolio Performance?

[5/26/15] Bloomberg BNA Federal Tax Blog: “The Impact of Same-Sex Marriages on Benefit Plan Administration - An Evolving Issue

[5/26/15] Society for Human Resource Management: “At Hilton, a Private Exchange Dropped Costs, Upped Satisfaction

[5/26/15] PlanSponsor: “Early Retiree Health Benefits Could See Tweaks

[5/26/15] CFO.com: “A CFO Does Her Part to Reinvent Health Care

[5/21/15] Third Way: “Help Consumers Shop for High Value Health Care

[5/21/15] Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Findings Brief: “Achieving Medication Adherence through Value-Based Insurance Design

[5/21/15] Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services: Essential Health Benefits: List of the Largest Three Small Group Products by State -- Revised [May 19, 2015]

[5/21/15] SCOTUSblog: “Notre Dame birth-control protest denied again

[5/21/15] BenefitsPro: “Record keepers can influence 401(k) contributions

[5/21/15] NAPA Net: “What Drives Cashouts?

[5/21/15] The Wall Street Journal: “Early Retirement Withdrawals Could Fuel Risky Behavior, New Paper Says” [Note: This article includes a link to the NBER working paper cited below.]

[5/21/15] National Bureau of Economic Research Working Paper: “Liquidity in Retirement Savings Systems: An International Comparison

[5/20/15] NAPA Net: “26 Senators Ask Obama to Remove Barriers to State-Based Initiatives

[5/20/15] PlanSponsor: “Washington State OKs Retirement Marketplace

[5/20/15] Employee Benefit Adviser: “Experts: Look to state legislators to spur auto IRA growth

[5/20/15] Milliman Research Report: “2015 Milliman Medical Index: Will the typical American family of four be driving a ‘Cadillac plan’ by 2018?

[5/20/15] Wells Fargo: “Survey: Despite Low Inflation, Employers Should Expect Health Care Premiums to Surge into 2016

[5/20/15] The New York Times: “Why Insurance Doesn’t Always Prevent Giant Medical Bills” [Note: This article includes a link to the Commonwealth Fund Issue Brief cited below.]

[5/20/15] The Commonwealth Fund Issue Brief: “The Problem of Underinsurance and How Rising Deductibles Will Make It Worse: Findings from the Commonwealth Fund Biennial Health Insurance Survey, 2014

[5/20/15] AARP Public Policy Institute and Urban Institute: “Monitoring the Impact of Health Reform on Americans Ages 50-64 -- Uninsured Rate Dropped 31 Percent Since December 2013

[5/19/15] Fiduciary Matters Blog: “Plaintiffs Score Victory Before Supreme Court in Tibble v. Edison

[5/19/15] National Conference on Public Employee Retirement Systems: Income Inequality: Hidden Economic Cost of Prevailing Approaches to Pension Reforms

[5/19/15] NAPA Net: “3 Things You Should Know About Automatic Enrollment

[5/19/15] PIMCO: “Align the Design: Considering and Evaluating Target-Date Glide Paths

[5/19/15] BloombergBusiness: “One in Five Big Companies Still Puts Your 401(k) Money in Its Own Stock

[5/19/15] The Wagner Law Group: “Federal Court Finds Employer Failed to Deliver SPD Because It Failed to Follow ERISA’s Electronic Disclosure Rules

[5/19/15] Families USA: “Rate Review: How to Challenge Unreasonable Health Insurance Premium Increases

[5/19/15] Human Resource Executive Online: “Time for New Measures -- In today’s ever-changing global marketplace, business and HR leaders must measure and manage their workforces in new and better ways to ensure their strategies are effective.

[5/18/15] Employee Benefit News: “Transition to private exchanges could be easier than expected

[5/18/15] Mercer/Signal: “Make the Shift Now to More Strategic Health Communication

[5/18/15] Bloomberg BNA Health Care Blog: “Health Plans Poised to Ask for Higher Premiums for 2016, Blue Cross Executive Warns

[5/18/15] Kaiser Family Foundation: Round 2 on the Legal Challenges to Contraceptive Coverage: Are Nonprofits “Substantially Burdened” by the “Accommodation?”

[5/18/15] Towers Watson Insider: “Retirement Plan Coverage and Contributions for U.S. Workers, 2001 - 2013

[5/18/15] Minneapolis Star Tribune: “Workers are losing out on 401(k) matches

[5/18/15] Vanguard Research: “Vanguard’s approach to target-date funds

[5/18/15] NEPC: A Dynamic Approach to Pension Glide Paths

[5/18/15] NAPA Net: “DOL Extends Comment Period on Fiduciary Reproposal

[5/18/15] CBS MoneyWatch: “Boomers biggest retirement regret? They didn’t work longer

[5/15/15] Forbes: “Employers Latest Healthcare Experiment

[5/15/15] InsuranceNewsNet: “Enrollment Growth Is ‘The Wild Card’ for Employer Health Care Costs

[5/15/15] RevCycleIntelligence.com: “How Can Healthcare Consumers Be Better Financially Engaged?

[5/15/15] MarketWatch: “New study confirms 401(k) limits not constraining

[5/15/15] PlanAdviser: “Managed Accounts the Next DC Investment Trend?

[5/15/15] PlanSponsor: “Fiduciary Rule Could Have Unintended Consequences

[5/15/15] NAPA Net: “House, Senate Bills Would Require Lifetime Income Disclosures

[5/15/15] Bankers Life Center for a Secure Retirement: New Expectations, New Rewards: Work in Retirement for Middle-Income Boomers

[5/15/15] Human Resource Executive Online: “When the Boomer Levee Breaks

[5/15/15] The Huffington Post [Blog]: “How Much Money Will You Have Left When You Die?

[5/14/15] International Foundation of Employee Benefit Plans: “Employers Reveal ACA’s Impact in Sixth Annual Survey

[5/14/15] Managed Healthcare Executive: “The Future of Public and Private Exchanges

[5/14/15] Health Care Cost Institute Issue Brief: “Per Capita Health Care Spending on Diabetes: 2009-2013

[5/14/15] Express Scripts: “Super Spending: U.S. Trends in High-Cost Medication Use

[5/14/15] Internal Revenue Service: “Find out how ACA affects Employers with fewer than 50 Employees” [IRS Health Care Tax Tip 2015-31, May 13, 2015]

[5/14/15] Defined Contribution Institutional Investment Association: Defined Contribution Plan Success Factors: Framework for Plans with an Objective of Retirement Income Adequacy

[5/14/15] Accounting Today: “It’s Time to Rethink 401(k) Automatic Enrollment and Retirement Readiness

[5/14/15] Milliman: “Former employee plan participants: What is in their best interest?

[5/13/15] National Center for Policy Analysis Health Policy Blog: “Economic Growth Improved Health Coverage More Than Obamacare Did

[5/13/15] RAND Research Brief: “Incentives for Workplace Wellness Programs: They Increase Employee Participation, but Building a Better Program Is Just as Effective

[5/13/15] Employee Benefit News: “Wide knowledge gaps on HSAs and HDHPs remain

[5/13/15] BenefitsPro: “Affluent most dissatisfied with health care

[5/13/15] Kaiser Health News: “Radical Approach to Huge Hospital Bills: Set Your Own Price

[5/13/15] Brookings [Blog]: “The ‘Cadillac’ tax will soon hit many cities and states

[5/13/15] PlanAdviser: “Many DB Plan Sponsors Still Considering Risk Transfer

[5/13/15] NAPA Net: “Another Bill Backing S-ESOPs Introduced

[5/13/15] Bank of America Merrill Lynch Workplace Insights™: “401(k) Wellness Scorecard -- For the period ending December 31, 2014

[5/13/15] CheatSheet: “How to Get Back on Track with Retirement Savings

[5/13/15] Las Vegas Review-Journal: “Nevada retirement reform bill reaches Assembly

[5/13/15] Fiduciary Matters Blog: “First Church Plan Case Settles - Overall v. Ascension

[5/12/15] U.S. Department of Labor Employee Benefits Security Administration: FAQs about Affordable Care Act Implementation (Part XXVI) [Coverage of Preventive Services]

[5/12/15] Kaiser Health News: “HHS Tells Insurers to Close Gaps in Contraceptive Coverage

[5/12/15] Mercer/Signal: “Opportunity to Improve Transparency Tool Usage

[5/12/15] Human Resource Executive Online [Blog]: “Millennials Fed Up With Lack of Flexibility

[5/12/15] Financial Engines: “American Employees: Are You Leaving Money on the Table?” [Note: The full report - Missing out: How much employer 401(k) matching contributions do employees leave on the table? - can be downloaded at the website.]

[5/12/15] PlanSponsor: “Employees Want More Active Retirement Plan Sponsors

[5/12/15] MarketWatch: “What retirement savers need to know about the fiduciary rule

[5/12/15] USA Today: “Gen X feeling exposed when it comes to retirement

[5/11/15] Financial Planning: “Millennials Bring New Expectations for Retirement Planning

[5/11/15] Morningstar: “It’s Time to Raise IRA Contribution Limits

[5/11/15] USA Today: “Retirement: How to navigate a rollover

[5/11/15] NAPA Net: “Illinois Supremes Unanimously Reject Pension Reform Law

[5/11/15] Healthcare Payer News: “Diabetes spending soars in employer-sponsored plans

[5/11/15] Milliman’s Benefits Perspectives: “The ACA Cadillac tax: A primer for employers

[5/11/15] PlanSponsor: “Proposed Wellness Program Rules Leave Questions Unanswered

[5/11/15] CFO.com: “Will You Be Happy if Obamacare Goes Poof? The Supreme Court wields the power to make it happen, but be careful about what you wish for.

[5/8/15] U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics: “Number of Jobs Held, Labor Market Activity, and Earnings Growth Among the Youngest Baby Boomers: Results from a Longitudinal Survey” [News Release, updated March 31, 2015]

[5/8/15] Plan Sponsor: “Self-Funded Health Benefits, Stop-Loss Insurance Gaining Attraction

[5/8/15] CNBC: “3 ways to avoid high health-care costs in retirement

[5/8/15] U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics Beyond the Numbers: Pay & Benefits: “A look at today’s pension equity plans

[5/8/15] TIAA-CREF Institute and The Pension Research Council, Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania: Today’s Choices, Tomorrow’s Opportunity: Innovations in Retirement Policy and Practice

[5/8/15] Milliman 100 Pension Funding Index: “Milliman analysis: Funded status improves by $40 billion in April

[5/8/15] Chief Investment Officer: “Court Ruling to Balloon Oregon Pension Liabilities

[5/8/15] ColoradoWatchdog.org: “Bill giving $10B to prop up Colorado’s public pensions killed

[5/7/15] Society for Human Resource Management: “More Employers Adopt an FSA Carryover Option -- Providing a carryover option for flexible spending accounts (FSAs) drives up enrollment

[5/7/15] Robert Wood Johnson Foundation: Study Snapshot: “What’s Your Price?” Many Americans Seek Health Care Prices, Fewer Compare across Providers

[5/7/15] Employee Benefit Adviser: “Employer struggles with ACA implementation enter new phase

[5/7/15] Kaiser Health News: “Nearly 17 Million Americans Gained Coverage Through Health Law, Study Shows

[5/7/15] International Foundation of Employee Benefit Plans: “Small Businesses Score Big on Benefits Satisfaction

[5/7/15] Employee Benefit Adviser: “Imminent rulings may have drastic changes to benefits industry

[5/7/15] Internal Revenue Service: Employee Plans News [May 6, 2015]

[5/7/15] NPR: “New Jersey Pension Lawsuit Piles on Gov. Christie’s Rough Week

[5/7/15] Towers Watson: Infographic: Improving Retirement Readiness Through Effective Programs and Engaged Participants -- Insights from the 2014 Defined Contribution Plan Sponsor Survey

[5/7/15] NAPA Net: “QLAC Interest Varies by Age, Income

[5/6/15] U.S. Department of Labor Employee Benefits Security Administration: 176th Meeting of the Advisory Council on Employee Welfare and Pension Benefit Plans; Notice of Meeting [as published in the Federal Register on May 6, 2015 - The three-day meeting will take place on May 27-29, 2015. The Advisory Council will study the following issues: (1) Model Notices and Plan Sponsor Education on Lifetime Plan Participation, on May 27 and (2) Model Notices and Disclosures for Pension Risk Transfers, on May 28. The Advisory Council will hear testimony on May 29 on privacy and security matters affecting the two issues above. Organizations or members of the public wishing to submit a written statement may do so by submitting 30 copies on or before May 20, 2015.]

[5/6/15] Brightscope: “Latest Trends in Target Date Funds

[5/6/15] Benefits Quarterly: “Strategies to Help Defined Contribution Plan Participants Improve Financial Wellness and Achieve a Secure Retirement” by Thomas V. Burke and Theodore A. Goldman, Buck Consultants at Xerox

[5/6/15] Transamerica Center for Retirement Studies: Retirement Throughout the Ages: Expectations and Preparations of American Workers -- 16th Annual Transamerica Retirement Survey of Workers [Note: Downloadable materials are available at the website.]

[5/6/15] Towers Watson: Company Stock in Defined Contribution Plans: What Has Changed Since the Fifth Third Decision?

[5/6/15] Investment Company Institute: 2015 Investment Company Fact Book: A Review of Trends and Activities in the U.S. Investment Company Industry

[5/6/15] Prudential Retirement: Multiple Employer Plans: Expanding Retirement Savings Opportunities

[5/6/15] Boston Herald: “Gov. Baker signs state employee early retirement plan

[5/6/15] Buck Consultants’ FYI®: “Church Plan Litigation Update

[5/6/15] LifeHealthPro: “To offer or not to offer employee wellness programs? A brokerage firm answers the question

[5/6/15] NPR: “The Doctor Will Video Chat With You Now: Insurer Covers Virtual Visits

[5/5/15] America’s Health Insurance Plans: “Health Plans Focus on Affordability

[5/5/15] USA Today: “Contrary to goals, ER visits rise under Obamacare

[5/5/15] The Wall Street Journal: “America’s Health Priorities Diverge From Washington’s Focus on Obamacare

[5/5/15] OUPblog [Opinion]: “Keep the Cadillac tax” by Edward Zelinsky

[5/5/15] Internal Revenue Service: Rev. Proc. 2015-30 [“This revenue procedure provides the 2016 inflation adjusted amounts for Health Savings Accounts (HSAs) as determined under § 223 of the Internal Revenue Code.”]

[5/5/15] Social Security Bulletin: “Retirement Plan Coverage by Firm Size: An Update

[5/5/15] Human Resource Executive Online: “Employee Overconfidence About Retirement Plans

[5/5/15] NAPA Net: “Bill to Boost S Corp ESOPs Introduced

[5/5/15] Philly.com: “Christie set to argue his pension law is unconstitutional

[5/4/15] NAPA Net: “April Showers Good for 401(k) Balances?

[5/4/15] LifeHealthPro “Record number bump up 401(k) contributions

[5/4/15] BenefitsPro: “Plan participants stuck with retirement savings last year

[5/4/15] Four Seasons Financial Education: 2015 Survey: Employee Financial Wellness

[5/4/15] Society for Human Resource Management: “Putting a White Label on 401(k) Investments

[5/4/15] The Spokesman-Review: “Pension ruling means tough choices for Oregon lawmakers

[5/4/15] Wolters Kluwer Law & Business: “Underlying Cost Trend for Large Employers Remains Modest Despite ACA Concerns

[5/4/15] BendBulletin.com: “Educators forced to travel for surgeries to avoid huge bills

[5/4/15] Buck Consultants’ FYI®: “CMS Releases 2016 Medicare Part D Benefit Parameters

[5/1/15] U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics: Employment Cost Index - March 2015 [News Release]

[5/1/15] Society for Human Resource Management: “’Big Data’ Can Improve Value of Health and Savings Plans

[5/1/15] Employee Benefit Adviser: “Broker expertise makes big data manageable

[5/1/15] Fidelity Investments: “Fidelity’s Quarterly Retirement Snapshot: More than 1 Million People Increase Savings Rate; Account Balances Reach Record High

[5/1/15] The Wall Street Journal [Blog]: “Fewer New 401(k) Plans Are Launched

[5/1/15] PlanAdviser: “Helping Participants Plan Their Distributions

[5/1/15] MainStreet: “Employees Winning 401(k) Lawsuits Over High Fees and Other Shortcomings

[5/1/15] Bank of America: Small Business Owner Report [Spring 2015]


What's new at EBRI this month:

EBRI 2014 Fall Policy Forum: “Measured Matters” [“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 2015 EBRI Issue Brief - "Individual Retirement Account Balances, Contributions, and Rollovers, 2013; With Longitudinal Results 2010-2013: The EBRI IRA Database"

May 2015 EBRI Notes - "Characteristics of the Population With Consumer-Driven and High-Deductible Health Plans, 2005-2014" and "Examining the New Income Measures in the Current Population 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:

Unemployment Insurance: States' Reductions in Maximum Benefit Durations Have Implications for Federal Costs. GAO-15-281, April 22. Highlights.

Contingent Workforce: Size, Characteristics, Earnings and Benefits. GAO-15-168R, April 20.

Private Health Insurance: Early Evidence Finds Premium Tax Credit Likely Contributed to Expanded Coverage, but Some Lack Access to Affordable Plans. GAO-15-312, March 23. Highlights.

Private Pensions: Participants Need Better Information When Offered Lump Sums That Replace Their Lifetime Benefits. GAO-15-74, January 27. 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 5/29/15