What's New - November 2012

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[11/30/12]  Plan Sponsor:

[11/30/12]  Kaiser Family Foundation:  Establishing Health Insurance Exchanges: An Overview of State Efforts

[11/30/12]  The Segal Company’s Public Sector Letter:  “Gearing Up to Comply with GASB’s New Accounting Standards for Public Sector Pension Plans and Sponsoring Employers

[11/30/12]  The New York Times:  “Tax Incentives and Savings” [Letter to the Editor]

[11/30/12]  Institutional Investor:  “Surge of Baby Boomer Saving Will Transform Capital Markets

[11/30/12]  Reuters (via CNBC.com):  “Protecting your retirement from ‘fiscal cliff’ risk

[11/30/12]  Congressional Research Service:  The Distribution of Household Income and the Middle Class

[11/29/12]  Plan Sponsor:  “Retirement Plan Participation Rates Stalled

[11/29/12]  PIMCO Viewpoint:  “Designing Outcome-Focused Defined Contribution Plans: Building Sustainable Income for Retirees

[11/29/12]  The Hill:  “Study: Self-insured health plans on the rise for private-sector employers

[11/29/12]  Kaiser Family Foundation:  “Premiums, Cost-Sharing and Coverage at Public, Private and Non-Profit Employers: A View from the 2012 Employer Health Benefit Survey

[11/29/12]  The Herald:  “Health Care Costs Loom as Largest Retirement Worry for Investors, T. Rowe Price Survey Finds

[11/29/12]  Monthly Labor Review:  “Projections of the labor force to 2050: a visual essay

[11/28/12]  Mercer Research:  Which Benefits Do Your Employees Value Most? - Employee Preferences for Employer- and Employee-Paid Benefits [United States] - [Note: PDF can be downloaded at the website.]

[11/28/12]  Pittsburgh Post-Gazette:  “Workzone: Host of issues factor into impact of raises

[11/28/12]  U.S. Department of Labor Employee Benefits Security Administration:  Private Pension Plan Bulletin: Abstract of 2010 Form 5500 Annual Reports

[11/28/12]  Business Insurance:  “PBGC maximum benefit guarantee to rise in 2013

[11/28/12]  Institutional Investor:  “Pension Plans Are Getting More Money Than Ever

[11/28/12]  Human Resource Executive Online:  “The Lowdown on FSA Spending Limits

[11/28/12]  Center for Retirement Research at Boston College:  Changing Sources of Income Among the Aged Population [Working Paper]

[11/28/12]  U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics:  Consumer Expenditures in 2010: Lingering Effects of the Great Recession

[11/26/12]  U.S. Departments of the Treasury (IRS), Labor (EBSA), and Health & Human Services:  Incentives for Nondiscriminatory Wellness Programs in Group Health Plans; Notice of proposed rulemaking [as published in the Federal Register on Nov. 26, 2012]

[11/26/12]  U.S. Department of Health & Human Services:

[11/26/12]  RAND Health:  A Review of the U.S. Workplace Wellness Market [Occasional Paper sponsored by the U.S. Departments of Labor and Health & Human Services]

[11/26/12]  San Antonio Express-News:  “Say bye-bye to retirement health care benefits

[11/26/12]  Plan Sponsor:  “Roth 401(k) Usage on the Rise

[11/26/12]  Vanguard:  “Revisiting the ‘4% spending rule’

[11/26/12]:  Investment Company Institute:  Ownership of Mutual Funds, Shareholder Sentiment, and Use of the Internet, 2012

[11/21/12]  The New York Times:  “Administration Defines Benefits That Must Be Offered Under the Health Law

[11/21/12]  The Washington Post:  “Many Americans unaware of health-care law changes

[11/21/12]  Forbes:  “New Healthcare Flexible Spending Account Rules for 2013, Use-It-Or Lose-It Still Undecided

[11/21/12]  Towers Watson:  “New Research Shows That Prevention Is Key to Reducing Health Care Costs for All Employees, Even Those with Chronic Conditions” [Press Release]

[11/21/12]  Sibson Consulting’s Capital Checkup:  “2013 Medicare Premiums, Deductibles and Coinsurance

[11/21/12]  Mercer:  “Delayed Retirement and Effective Workforce Planning

[11/21/12]  Vanguard Commentary:  “Improving plan diversification through reenrollment in a QDIA

[11/21/12]  Center for Retirement Research at Boston College:  The Impact of Long Vesting Periods on State and Local Workers

[11/20/12]  Business Wire (via DailyFinance):  “Health vs. Wealth: Are Employees Making the Right Benefits Choices? -- Benefits experts highlight challenges and choices facing employees during benefits enrollment season

[11/20/12]  United Benefit Advisors:  “How Does Your Company’s Benefit Program Stack Up Against Your Competitors’?

[11/20/12]  Plan Sponsor:  “2012 DC Survey: Looking to the Stars

[11/20/12]  Center for Retirement Research at Boston College:  Automatic Enrollment, Employee Compensation, and Retirement Security [Working Paper]

[11/20/12]  Society for Human Resource Management:  “Groups Defend 401(k) Plans’ Tax Incentives

[11/20/12]  Prudential:  Innovative Strategies to Help Maximize Social Security Benefits [Updated 2012 Edition]

[11/19/12]  Towers Watson:  2012 - 2013 Talent Management and Rewards Survey [U.S. Report]

[11/19/12]  Plan Sponsor:  “PBGC Reports Record Deficit for 2012

[11/19/12]  StreetAuthority:  “15 Reasons the U.S. Retirement Crisis Is Even Worse Than You Think

[11/19/12]  LIMRA:  “Target-Date Funds Are Growing in Popularity, Yet Few Consumers Understand Them” [News Release]

[11/19/12]  Austin American-Statesman:  “Those target-date mutual funds? They’re gliding the wrong way

[11/19/12]  Congressional Research Service:  Tax-Preferred College Savings Plans: An Introduction to 529 Plans

[11/16/12]  Internal Revenue Service:  Employee Plans News [Nov. 14, 2012]

[11/16/12]  Investment Company Institute:  Defined Contribution Plan Participants’ Activities, First Half 2012

[11/16/12]  AARP:  “Paper by Choice: People of all ages prefer to receive retirement plan information on paper

[11/16/12]  Plan Sponsor:  “MetLife Releases Retirement Income Quiz

[11/16/12]  U.S. Census Bureau:  Annual Survey of Public Pensions: State- and Locally-Administered Defined Benefit Data: 2011

[11/16/12]  National Institute on Retirement Security Issue Brief:  “The Great Recession: Pressures on Public Pensions, Employment Relations and Reforms

[11/16/12]  Chicago Tribune:  “Picture isn’t clear for retiree health benefits

[11/16/12]  Congressional Research Service:  Social Security: Cost-of-Living Adjustments

[11/15/12]  Verisight and McGladrey:  2012/2013 Compensation, Retirement and Benefits Trends Report [Executive Summary]

[11/15/12]  Prudential’s Pension Analyst:  “IRS and PBGC provide MAP-21 guidance for single-employer defined benefit plans

[11/15/12]  Center for Retirement Research at Boston College:  “401(k) Participant Behavior in a Volatile Economy” [Working Paper]

[11/15/12]  Plan Sponsor:  “Employers Hold Back Health Benefit Costs

[11/15/12]  Daily Mail [UK]:  “Denny’s to charge 5% ‘Obamacare surcharge’ and cut employee hours to deal with cost of legislation

[11/15/12]  Milliman’s Healthcare Town Hall:  “Implications of health insurance exchange implementation

[11/14/12]  Transamerica Center for Retirement Studies:  Weathering the Economic Storm: Retirement Plans in the United States, 2007-2012 -- 13th Annual Transamerica Retirement Survey

[11/14/12]  U.S. News & World Report:  “How Your Investment Choices Compare to Your Peers

[11/14/12]  Plan Sponsor:  “Investor Caution Threatens Retirement Savings

[11/14/12]  The Wall Street Journal:  “Dealing with the Pension Deficit

[11/14/12]  Kaiser Family Foundation:  Kaiser Health Tracking Poll -- November 2012

[11/14/12]  The Washington Post:  “Michelle Andrews weighs the benefits of high-deductible health plans

[11/13/12]  Kaiser Family Foundation:  “The Prevalence and Cost of Deductibles in Employer-Sponsored Insurance: A View from the 2012 Employer Health Benefit Survey

[11/13/12]  Chicago Sun-Times:  “With Obamacare now a reality, employers choose strategies

[11/13/12]  Congressional Research Service:  Medical Loss Ratio Requirements Under the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA): Issues for Congress

[11/13/12]  Plan Sponsor:  “One-Third Unsure of Ability to Retire

[11/13/12]  CBS MoneyWatch:  “Retirement plan shift is creating a generation of workers unable to retire

[11/13/12]  Congressional Budget Office:  Choices for Deficit Reduction

[11/9/12]  Buck Consultants’ Legislate:  “Status Quo: Obama and a Mixed Congress -- Little Legislation, Heavy on Regulations

[11/9/12]  The Los Angeles Times:  “Obama’s reelection cements his healthcare law

[11/9/12]  Houston Chronicle:  “Sixel: Retiring can mean stunning health costs

[11/9/12]  Milliman 100 Pension Funding Index:  “Milliman analysis: October’s $45 billion funded status decline pushes pension deficit to $498 billion

[11/9/12]  Internal Revenue Service:  Amendment of Prohibited Payment Option Under Single-Employer Defined Benefit Plan of Plan Sponsor in Bankruptcy; Final regulations [as published in the Federal Register on November 8, 2012]

[11/9/12]  Plan Sponsor Council of America:  PSCA’s Fee Disclosure Snapshot Survey Results

[11/9/12]  Internal Revenue Service:  Treatment of Certain Amounts Paid to Section 170(c) Organizations under Certain Employer Leave-Based Donation Programs to Aid Victims of Hurricane Sandy [Notice 2012-69]

[11/8/12]  The Washington Post:  “Fidelity: Average 401(k) balance grows 4 percent in 3Q as stocks gain, contributions rise

[11/8/12]  Business Insurance:  “Deficit-cutting efforts may target defined contribution plan maximum

[11/8/12]  Plan Sponsor:  “Retirement Distributions and Lifetime Income

[11/8/12]  Pension Rights Center [Blog]:  “It’s Time to Take the Risk Out of Retirement

[11/8/12]  AARP Public Policy Institute:  New Ways to Promote Retirement Saving

[11/8/12]  The Sacramento Bee:  “Health insurance at heart of Raley’s strike

[11/7/12]  The Washington Post:  “Shrinking number of traditional pensions may not be all bad

[11/7/12]  Center for Retirement Research at Boston College:  The National Retirement Risk Index: An Update

[11/7/12]  Prudential:  Planning for Retirement: Protecting Retirement Income Against Key Risks

[11/7/12]  The New York Times:  “Questions Answered About Pension Plans

[11/7/12]  Citizens’ Council for Health Freedom Policy Insights:  “Private Health Insurance Exchanges -- The Emerging Marketplace

[11/7/12]  National Committee for Quality Assurance:  The State of Health Care Quality 2012 [Early Edition]

[11/6/12]  Prudential:  Optimizing Employee Benefits in the Post-Health Care Reform Environment

[11/6/12]  The Segal Company’s Compliance Alert:  “It’s That Time of Year Again”:

[11/6/12]  Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation:  “PBGC Targets Enforcement Efforts to Preserve Pensions” [Press Release]

[11/6/12]  Vanguard Group:  “A powerful combination: Target-date funds and managed accounts

[11/6/12]  Fort Wayne Journal Gazette:  “Pension institute shifts strategy

[11/6/12]  The Washington Post:  “Young workers’ retirement hopes grow bleaker amid economic downturn

[11/2/12]  The Commonwealth Fund:  Jobs Without Benefits: The Health Insurance Crisis Faced by Small Businesses and Their Workers

[11/2/12]  MarketWatch:  “Health coverage shrinks for young retirees

[11/2/12]  Plan Sponsor:

[11/2/12]  BMO Retirement Institute Report:  “Retirees not maximizing Social Security retirement benefits

[11/2/12]  Fox Business:  “How to Pass Wealth Between Generations

[11/2/12]  Standish, a BNY Mellon Company:  The Case for LDI in Any Interest Rate Environment: Clarifying LDI Misconceptions

[11/1/12]  Society for Human Resource Management:  “When Disasters Strike: Pay, Leave and Related Issues

[11/1/12]  Accounting Today:  “Men and Women Make Similar IRA Allocations

[11/1/12]  Insured Retirement Institute:  Overcoming Barriers to Saving: How Boomers Can Get on the Path to Retirement Security

[11/1/12]  CBS MoneyWatch:  “The 9-step retirement plan

[11/1/12]  CNN Money:  “Tame the threat of inflation in retirement

[11/1/12]  Treasury & Risk:  “Will Employers Really Flock to PPACA Exchanges? -- Midwest Business Group on Health suggests employers might focus on shifting to HSA plans.

[11/1/12]  American Banker:  “HSAs: A Health Care Trend Worth Preserving

[11/1/12]  Sibson Consulting Bulletin:  “For 2013, Increases in Many IRS Dollar Limits, Social Security Benefits and the PBGC Guarantee Limit

[10/31/12]  U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics:  National Compensation Survey: Employee Benefits in the United States, March 2012

[10/31/12]  U.S. Department of Labor Employee Benefits Security Administration:  The 164th open meeting of the Advisory Council, originally scheduled for Oct. 30-31, 2012, has been rescheduled for Nov. 26-27.  The location of the rescheduled meeting will be announced by EBSA on its website here.  The Council will finalize recommendations they will present to the Secretary on the following issues:

  • Current Challenges and Best Practices Concerning Beneficiary Designations in Retirement and Life Insurance Plans
  • Examining Income Replacement During Retirement Years in a Defined Contribution Plan System
  • Managing Disability Risks in an Environment of Individual Responsibility


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]

EBRI's Recent Media Coverage

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

401(k) Balances and Changes Due to Market Volatility


November 2012 EBRI Issue Brief - "Employment-Based Retirement Plan Participation: Geographic Differences and Trends, 2011"

November 2012 EBRI Notes - "Self-Insured Health Plans: State Variation and Recent Trends by Firm Size" and "All or Nothing? An Expanded Perspective on Retirement Readiness"


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:

Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation: Redesigned Premium Structure Could Better Align Rates with Risk from Plan Sponsors. GAO-13-58. November 7. Highlights.

Private Sector Pensions: Federal Agencies Should Collect Data and Coordinate Oversight of Multiple Employer Plans. GAO-12-665, September 13. Highlights.

Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act: Estimates of the Effect on the Prevalence of Employer-Sponsored Health Coverage. GAO-12-768, July 13. Highlights.

Retirement Security: Women Still Face Challenges. GAO-12-699, July 19. Highlights.

Retirement Security: Older Women Remain at Risk, by Barbara D. Bovbjerg, managing director, education, workforce, and income security, before the Senate Special Committee on Aging. GAO-12-825T, July 25.

Delphi Bankruptcy: Termination of Delphi Pension Plans, by A. Nicole Clowers, director, financial markets and community investment issues, before the Subcommittee on TARP, Financial Services and Bailouts of Public and Private Programs, House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform. GAO-12-909T, July 10. 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 11/30/12