What's New - November 2013



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[11/27/13] Internal Revenue Service: Retirement News for Employers [Nov. 22, 2013 Edition]

[11/27/13] Investment Company Institute:

[11/27/13] BenefitsPro: “Take it or leave it” by Nevin Adams [regarding retirement plan distribution choices at job change]

[11/27/13] Society of Actuaries: Improving Retirement Outcomes: Timing, Phasing and Benefit Claiming Choices

[11/27/13] The New York Times: “Justices to Hear Contraception Cases Challenging Health Law

[11/27/13] Sibson Consulting Spotlight: “Shedding Light on Private Health Insurance Exchanges: Misconceptions, Nuances, and Little-Understood Attributes

[11/27/13] AARP:

[11/26/13] FEDWeek: “Public Sector Workers Stay in Jobs Longer

[11/26/13] Investment News: “DOL seeks high court action on company stock in 401(k)s

[11/26/13] BlackRock®: New Retirement Survey from BlackRock: Uncovering “The Secrets of Highly Effective Savers”

[11/26/13] Plan Sponsor: “How About Forever? Does That Work for You?” [regarding the importance of retaining retirement plan documentation]

[11/26/13] Employee Benefit News: “CDHPs now match HMOs in number covered

[11/26/13] Health Care Policy and Marketplace Review [Blog]: “Small Group Health Insurance ‘Cancellations’--The Next Shoe to Drop But a More Complicated One

[11/26/13] Kaiser Family Foundation: Kaiser Health Tracking Poll: November 2013

[11/26/13] New Republic: “You Might Lose Your Doctor, But Don’t Blame Obamacare

[11/21/13] Employee Benefit News: “Survey: Employers will use FSA rollover, but not until 2014

[11/21/13] Mercer: “US Health Benefit Cost Growth Slowed Again in 2013, But Employers Expect That Will Change in 2014

[11/21/13] Milliman’s Client Action Bulletin: “Recent Guidance on the Affordable Care Act’s Implementation

[11/21/13] U.S. Senate Committee on Small Business & Entrepreneurship: Hearing titled “Affordable Care Act Implementation: Examining How to Achieve a Successful Rollout of the Small Business Exchanges” [Hearing held Nov. 20, 2013, includes links to archived webcast and to witness testimonies]

[11/21/13] The Washington Post: “Small business owners to Congress -- I liked my health care plan just fine, and now it’s gone

[11/21/13] The SCAN Foundation: 2013 Long-Term Care Poll: Californians Not Prepared and Majorities Support Public Policy Solutions

[11/21/13] Thousand Oaks Acorn: “Social Security -- Resolve to create a better retirement plan

[11/21/13] Bloomberg: “Japan Pension Fund Urged to Diversify as Independent Body

[11/20/13] Marketplace: “You plan your retirement, then you get the health bill

[11/20/13] Buck Consultants FYI®: “IRS issues final regulations on reducing or suspending 401(k) and 403(b) safe harbor contributions

[11/20/13] Vanguard: “The impact of rising interest rates on DB funded status

[11/20/13] The Washington Post [Wonkblog]: “Elizabeth Warren wants to spend more on Social Security. But she’s not thinking big enough!

[11/20/13] Workforce.com: “Transportation Benefits: The Road Still Less Traveled by Employers

[11/19/13] U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics: Employment Cost Index -- September 2013 [News Release]

[11/19/13] BenefitsPro: “Employees choose jobs based on benefits

[11/19/13] WGA InsureBlog: “PPACA Review: Timeline for effective provisions

[11/19/13] Employee Benefit News: “Don’t get distracted by ACA ‘noise’

[11/19/13] Internal Revenue Service: Employee Plans News [Nov. 18, 2013]

[11/19/13] Vanguard Regulatory Brief: “The DOMA decision and retirement plans

[11/19/13] Aegon: The Changing Face of Retirement: The Young, Pragmatic and Penniless Generation

[11/18/13] ERISA Industry Committee: “ERIC Urges IRS to Further Simplify ACA Employer Information-Reporting Requirements

[11/18/13] USA Today: “Retirees, here’s how health care law affects you

[11/18/13] CNBC: “You are your 401(k)’s worst enemy

[11/18/13] Huffington Post: “The Elephant in the Room When It Comes to Family and Retirement

[11/18/13] Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation: “PBGC’s Deficit Increases to $36 Billion as Multiemployer Risks Grow

[11/18/13] Congressional Budget Office: Options for Reducing the Deficit: 2014 to 2023

[11/15/13] Towers Watson Insider: “Retirement Plans Offered by 2013 Fortune 100

[11/15/13] The Los Angeles Times: “Average 401(k) Balance Hits Record High as Stock Market Surges

[11/15/13] Benefits Canada: “More job changers keep retirement savings

[11/15/13] Sibson Consulting’s Capital Checkup: “New Rules for Health FSAs and Cafeteria Plans

[11/15/13] Deloitte: Health Care Costs, Benefits, and Reform: What’s the Next Move for Employers? Results of Deloitte’s 2013 Survey of U.S. Employers

[11/15/13] The Washington Post: “Obama announces change to address health insurance cancellations

[11/15/13] Kaiser Family Foundation: State Marketplace Statistics [“The new data table highlights key data across states, including each state's total number of completed marketplace applications, the number of people in those applications determined eligible to enroll in a marketplace plan or in the state's Medicaid or Children's Health Insurance Program, and the number who selected a marketplace plan.”]

[11/15/13] The Commonwealth Fund: International Profiles of Health Care Systems, 2013

[11/14/13] Internal Revenue Service: Employee Plans News [Nov. 12, 2013]

[11/14/13] The Los Angeles Times: “Fewer people blow 401(k) retirement money on meaningless purchases

[11/14/13] Workforce.com: “Professionally Managed Accounts Boosting Retirement Fund Results

[11/14/13] PBS NewsHour: “What If You Outlive Your Savings? How to Close the Retirement Income Gap

[11/14/13] Milliman: Milliman 2013 Public Pension Funding Study

[11/14/13] Towers Watson: “Applying PPACA Market Reforms to HRAs, FSAs and Other Health Accounts

[11/14/13] Society for Human Resource Management: SHRM’s Survey Findings: Vacation’s Impact on the Workplace [In collaboration with and commissioned by U.S. Travel Association]

[11/14/13] Urban Institute: Social Security and Medicare Taxes and Benefits over a Lifetime [2013 Update]

[11/13/13] Sibson Consulting Perspectives: “Compensation Planning for 2014: Salary-Increase Budgets Remain Stable

[11/13/13] The Los Angeles Times: “Fewer workers participating in company retirement plans, report says

[11/13/13] Towers Watson: 2012 Asset Allocations in Fortune 1000 Pension Plans

[11/13/13] Morningstar: “Morningstar Releases Its State of City Pension Plans 2013

[11/13/13] U.S. Departments of the Treasury (IRS), Labor (EBSA), and Health & Human Services: Final Rules under the Paul Wellstone and Pete Domenici Mental Health Parity and Addiction Equity Act of 2008; Technical Amendment to External Review for Multi-State Plan Program; Final rules [as published in the Federal Register on Nov. 13, 2013]

[11/13/13] Benefits Bryan Cave: “Top 5 Unanswered Questions with the $500 FSA Carryover

[11/12/13] The Oregonian: “It’s Only Money: The rewards of staying invested through a crisis

[11/12/13] BenefitsPro: “Most don’t want tax rules changed

[11/12/13] Milliman 100 Pension Funding Index: “Milliman analysis: Corporate pension funded ratio above 91% for the second straight month -- Pension funded status increases by $3 billion during October, the month with the highest investment return in 2013

[11/12/13] Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation: Premium Rates -- For plan years 2007-2014

[11/12/13] MarketWatch [Blog]: “Change for the better in pension accounting

[11/12/13] Sibson Consulting’s Bulletin: “For 2014, Increases in Some IRS Dollar Limits and Social Security Figures

[11/12/13] CBS News: “How Obamacare will change employer-provided insurance

[11/12/13] U.S. Department of Labor: “Administration issues final mental health and substance use disorder parity rule” [News Release]

[11/8/13] U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics: Leave benefits, March 2013

[11/8/13] Sibson Consulting’s Capital Checkup: “Sponsors of Non-Grandfathered Group Health Plans Must Soon Review Their Definition of ‘Provider’

[11/8/13] Employee Benefit News: “Shifting FSAs: The impact on HSAs, and fighting an ACA change

[11/8/13] CNN Money: “What’s next for retiree health care

[11/8/13] McKay Hochman: “Designated Roth 401(k) Basic FAQs

[11/8/13] Plan Sponsor Council of America: 56th Annual Survey of Profit Sharing and 401(k) Plans [Overview]

[11/8/13] USA Today: “Retirement savings for the median man -- or woman

[11/8/13] Urban Institute: Has Social Security Redistributed to Whites from People of Color?

[11/7/13] Investment Company Institute: Defined Contribution Plan Participants’ Activities, First Half 2013

[11/7/13] Mainstreet.com: “401(k) Boost by 23.5%

[11/7/13] Plan Sponsor:

[11/7/13] Nerd’s Eye View: “The Impact of Taxes on the Safe Withdrawal Rate

[11/7/13] Kaiser Health News: “Labor Unions May Get Health Law Tax Relief

[11/7/13] Minnesota Public Radio: “In Colorado, a Couple Finds Relief in Obamacare

[11/7/13] The Washington Post: “Health care law’s exchange problems leave small-business owners in a difficult position

[11/6/13] The Heartland Institute: “Young Workers, Small Balances, and ‘Extreme’ IRA Allocations

[11/6/13] Fiduciary News: “Are 401k Plan Sponsors Poised to Cut a Popular Feature?

[11/6/13] Prudential’s Pension Analyst: “After Windsor decision same-sex marriage laws continue to present challenges for retirement plan sponsors

[11/6/13] U.S. Department of Health & Human Services ASPE Issue Brief: “New Census Estimates Show 3 Million More Americans Had Health Insurance Coverage in 2012

[11/6/13] Kaiser Health News:

[11/6/13] CNBC: “Overlooked health-care costs can destroy retirement planning

[11/5/13] Internal Revenue Service:

[11/5/13] The Wall Street Journal: “Five Retirement Myths That Could Cost You

[11/5/13] Investment Company Institute: Characteristics of Mutual Fund Investors, 2013

[11/5/13] Sibson Consulting’s Capital Checkup: “2014 Medicare Premiums, Deductibles and Coinsurance

[11/5/13] Kaiser Health News: “Key Senate, House Committee Chairmen Offer Plan to Fix Medicare Doctor Payments

[11/5/13] Buck Consultants’ FYI® Alert: “IRS loosens ‘use-it-or-lose-it’ rule

[11/1/13] Internal Revenue Service: Modification of “Use-or-Lose” Rule for Health Flexible Spending Arrangements (FSAs) and Clarification Regarding 2013-2014 Non-Calendar Year Salary Reduction Elections Under § 125 Cafeteria Plans [Notice 2013-71]

[11/1/13] The Los Angeles Times: “IRS eases rules on healthcare flexible spending accounts

[11/1/13] America’s Health Insurance Plans: “Fact Check on Grandfathered Policies

[11/1/13] The Wall Street Journal: “Obama Tempers Insurance Pledge as Health Fight Rages

[11/1/13] Kaiser Family Foundation: Kaiser Health Tracking Poll: October 2013

[11/1/13] Internal Revenue Service: Pension Limitations 2014 [IR-2013-86, Oct. 31, 2013]

[11/1/13] Towers Watson Insider: “Employer Plans, IRAs and Retirement Income Provision: Making a Molehill Out of a Mountain

[11/1/13] Vanguard: Baby Boomers and Equity Returns: Will a Boom in Retirees Lead to a Bust in Equity Returns?


What's new at EBRI this month:

EBRI 2013 Spring Policy Forum: “Decisions, Decisions: Choices That Affect Retirement Income Adequacy” [“gavel to gavel” webcast - Prerecorded broadcast available through the International Foundation of Employee Benefit Plans]

EBRI 2012 Fall Policy Forum:  “’Post’ Script: What’s Next for Employment-Based Health Benefits” [“gavel to gavel” webcast - Prerecorded broadcast available through the International Foundation of Employee Benefit Plans]

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's Recent Media Coverage

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

401(k) Balances and Changes Due to Market Volatility


November 2013 EBRI Issue Brief - "Employment-Based Retirement Plan Participation: Geographic Differences and Trends, 2012"

November 2013 EBRI Notes - "Lump-Sum Distributions at Job Change, Distributions Through 2012" and "Views on the Value of Voluntary Workplace Benefits: Findings from the 2013 Health and Voluntary Workplace Benefits Survey"


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:

Private Pensions: Revised Electronic Disclosure Rules Could Clarify Use and Better Protect Participant Choice. GAO-13-594, September 13. Highlights.

Medicare Supplemental Coverage: Medigap and Other Factors Are Associated with Higher Estimated Health Care Expenditures. GAO-13-811, September 19. Highlights.

Automatic IRAs: Lower-Earning Households Could Realize Increases in Retirement Income. GAO-13-699, August 23. Highlights.

Delphi Pensions: Key Events Leading to Plan Terminations, by Barbara D. Bovbjerg, managing director, education, workforce, and income security issues, and A. Nicole Clowers, director, financial markets and community investment issues, before the Subcommittee on Government Operations, House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform. GAO-13-854T, September 11. 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 11/27/13