What's New - November 2014



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[11/26/14] Accounting Today: “Individual Retirement Plan Ownership Trending Down as Assets Climb

[11/26/14] Plan Sponsor: “2014 PLANSPONSOR DC Survey: Considerations When Picking a Provider

[11/26/14] NAPA Net: “Which Retirement Risk Trumps Longevity, Leakage and LTC?

[11/26/14 Internal Revenue Service: Safe Harbor Explanations - Eligible Rollover Distributions [Notice 2014-74]

[11/26/14] National Conference on Public Employee Retirement Systems: 2014 NCPERS: Public Retirement System Study [Study conducted by NCPERS & Cobalt Community Research]

[11/26/14] U.S. House Committee on Ways and Means: 2014 Green Book: Background Material and Data on the Programs within the Jurisdiction of the Committee on Ways and Means

[11/26/14] Kaiser Family Foundation: “Employer Responsibility Under the Affordable Care Act” [Flowchart]

[11/26/14] The White House Blog: “Chart of the Week: SHOP Marketplace Premiums Flat in 2015

[11/26/14] Internal Revenue Service: Minimum Essential Coverage and Other Rules Regarding the Shared Responsibility Payment for Individuals; Final regulations [as published in the Federal Register on Nov. 26, 2014]

[11/26/14] Health Affairs [Blog]: “Implementing Health Reform: Minimum Essential Coverage and the Multi-State Plan

[11/25/14] Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation: Title IV Treatment of Rollovers from Defined Contribution Plans to Defined Benefit Plans; Final rule [as published in the Federal Register on Nov. 25, 2014]

[11/25/14] USA Today: “PBGC guarantees 401(k) rollovers to pensions

[11/25/14] Internal Revenue Service: Employee Plans News [Nov. 24, 2014]

[11/25/14] LifeHealthPro: “Retirement plan trends: a mixed picture in survey [charts]

[11/25/14] NAPA Net: “Maryland Auto-IRA Task Force Ponders Future Under GOP Governor

[11/25/14] The Washington Post: “Report examines federal retirement changes aimed at deficit reduction

[11/25/14] Towers Watson Insider: “’Lucky Few’ Retirees: Financially Comfortable but Health Costs Loom Large -- Towers Watson’s Retiree Survey: Attitudes to Health and Retirement

[11/25/14] Buck Consultants’ FYI®: “New Annual Filing Requirements for Retirement Plans - and Some for Welfare Plans Too

[11/25/14] Wolters Kluwer Law & Business: “Cadillac Tax Will Wallop Retiree Plans By 2020

[11/25/14] The Commonwealth Fund Blog: “The Extended ‘Fix’ for Canceled Health Insurance Policies: Latest State Action

[11/24/14] BenefitsPro: “Drop in families with retirement plans

[11/24/14] Towers Watson: Ready, Set, Retire: Using Defined Contribution Plans to Improve Retirement Readiness -- 2014 North American Defined Contribution Plan Sponsor Survey Report

[11/24/14] Thompson Information Services: “Will Annuities Make Their Way Into Defined Contribution Plans?

[11/24/14] Aegon: The Changing Face of Retirement -- Women: Balancing Family, Career & Financial Security

[11/24/14] Investment News: “DOL to review documents in 401(k) excessive fee suit

[11/24/14] Congressional Research Service: Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA): Resources for Frequently Asked Questions

[11/24/14] Employee Benefit News: “Employers optimistic about health plan coverage

[11/24/14] SCOTUSBlog: “Oklahoma seeks faster health care appeal

[11/21/14] CBS Money Watch: “How big is the U.S. retirement crisis?

[11/21/14] Center for Retirement Research at Boston College: Are Retirees Falling Short? Reconciling the Conflicting Evidence [Working Paper]

[11/21/14] NTSA Net: “Major SE Cities’ Pension Actions Stand, Stall on Courts’ Whim

[11/21/14] Business Insurance: “Employers to stick with health plan designs in 2015, add wellness incentives

[11/21/14] Plan Sponsor: “Employers Expect Health Benefit Cost, Enrollment to Rise

[11/21/14] The Washington Post: “Obamacare: A blessing for some small businesses, and a nightmare for others

[11/21/14] Gallup: “In U.S., Ratings of U.S. Healthcare Coverage Generally Steady

[11/21/14] LifeHealthPro: “Cost to develop a drug more than doubles

[11/20/14] Mercer: “Modest health benefit cost growth continues as consumerism kicks into high gear

[11/20/14] The Washington Post: “Few employers dropping health benefits, survey finds

[11/20/14] Deloitte Center for Health Solutions: Dig deep: Impacts and implications of rising out-of-pocket health care costs

[11/20/14] Brookings: “Incentives for Small Firms to Self Fund Their Healthcare Plans

[11/20/14] The Wall Street Journal [Blog]: “How 13 Million Americans Could Lose Insurance Subsidies

[11/20/14] MarketWatch: “Are consumers getting gouged on health care?

[11/20/14] Towers Watson: “Most U.S. Employers See Retirement Readiness as a Significant Issue for Employees, Towers Watson Survey Finds

[11/20/14] Insurance Journal: “More Americans Retiring Later Than They Expected

[11/20/14] Prudential: Guaranteed Lifetime Income and the Importance of Plan Design

[11/20/14] TIAA-CREF: TIAA-CREF Ready to Retire Survey - Executive Summary

[11/19/14] Buck Consultants FYI® In-Depth: “2015 Planning for ERISA Single-Employer Defined Contribution Plan Operations

[11/19/14] American Century Investments®: Assumptions, Assessments and Actions: Plan Sponsor Views of Participant Support and Advisor Partnerships -- 2014 Findings of National Survey of Plan Sponsors

[11/19/14] Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation: PBGC Annual Report, Fiscal Year 2014

[11/19/14] ASPPA® Net: “Will Retirement Legislation Get a Restart in 2015?

[11/19/14] The Washington Post: “Retirement’s changing expectations

[11/19/14] WPRI.com: “RI pension law still in legal jeopardy, 3 years later

[11/19/14] Towers Watson: “Fortune 1000 Companies Have a $285 Billion Liability for Retiree Medical

[11/19/14] Segal Consulting Newsletter: “More than Four Years After Passage: Assessing Your Plan’s Compliance with the Affordable Care Act

[11/19/14] Bloomberg: “Obamacare Premiums Climb 3% on Average Ahead of 2015 Enrollment

[11/19/14] Forbes: “U.S. Annual Healthcare Spending Is a Stunning $3.4 Trillion, Says Study

[11/17/14] Internal Revenue Service: Employee Plans News [Nov. 13, 2014]

[11/17/14] Center for State & Local Government Excellence Issue Brief: “Retirement Benefit Decisions by City and County Governments

[11/17/14] NAFA Annuity Outlook: “Are Americans Willing to Pay for Their Own Pension?

[11/17/14] Insured Retirement Institute: It’s Time to Save for Retirement: The Benefit of Saving Early and the Cost of Delay

[11/17/14] Milliman White Paper: “Developing pension plan investment strategy: A variety of considerations

[11/17/14] KCRA.com: “Franklin Templeton appeals Stockton’s bankruptcy plan

[11/17/14] eParisExtra: “Considering Health Care Costs in Retirement

[11/17/14] Kaiser Health News: “Employers With Workers in Several States Face Challenge Using SHOP Exchanges

[11/17/14] USA Today: “More insurers, more plans on federal healthcare exchange

[11/17/14] Alegeus Technologies: “Alegeus Technologies Research Reveals that Consumers Want to Choose their Own HSA Financial Institution vs. Having Their Employer Choose for Them

[11/14/14] Aon Hewitt: “Aon Hewitt Analysis Shows Upward Trend in U.S. Health Care Cost Increases

[11/14/14] Towers Watson: “Employers Scaling Back Health Coverage for Spouses and Dependents

[11/14/14] National Center for Policy Analysis Health Policy Blog: “HSA-Eligible Plans are Widely Available in Obamacare Exchanges

[11/14/14] The Commonwealth Fund Issue Brief: “Too High a Price: Out-of-Pocket Health Care Costs in the United States -- Findings from the Commonwealth Fund Health Care Affordability Tracking Survey, September-October 2014

[11/14/14] Plan Sponsor: “SCOTUS Hears Arguments in CBA Benefits Case

[11/14/14] BenefitsPro: “Depression’s billion-dollar hit to workplace productivity

[11/14/14] Plan Sponsor: “Building Better Retirement Outcomes, with Better Tools

[11/14/14] NAPA Net: “DC Provider Consolidation Picks Up

[11/13/14] American Express OPEN Forum: “The Myth of the Moveable Employee (and Why You Shouldn’t Believe It)

[11/13/14] Journal of the American Medical Association: “Recent Trends in Employer-Sponsored Insurance

[11/13/14] Foley & Lardner LLP: 2014 Telemedicine Survey Executive Summary

[11/13/14] LifeHealthPro: “Republicans plan to erode Obamacare by redefining work hours

[11/13/14] Milliman 100 Pension Funding Index: “Milliman analysis: Corporate pension funded status drops by $8 billion in October -- Strong investment gain of $14 billion offset by liability increases of $22 billion

[11/13/14] Bloomberg BNA: “Auditor Says Many Sponsors Don’t Know Plan Documents, Aren’t Aware They’re Fiduciaries

[11/13/14] Richmond Times-Dispatch: “What to consider when your company offers a pension buyout

[11/13/14] Morningstar: “One Retirement, Many Accounts: How Investors Allocate

[11/13/14] Guardian Life Insurance Company of America: The Guardian Small Business Owners Retirement Readiness Study

[11/13/14] Vanguard Blog [Insights and opinions from Vanguard leaders]: “The 4% spending rule, 20 years later

[11/13/14] Internal Revenue Service: Application of One-Per-Year Limit on IRA Rollovers [Announcement 2014-32]

[11/13/14] Congressional Budget Office: How CBO Analyzes the Effects of Changes in Federal Fiscal Policies on the Economy

[11/12/14] Investment Company Institute Research Report: “Defined Contribution Plan Participants’ Activities, First Half 2014

[11/12/14] U.S. Department of Labor Employee Benefits Security Administration: Revisions to Annual Return/Report -- Multiple-Employer Plans; Interim final rule with request for comments [as published in the Federal Register on Nov. 10, 2014]

[11/12/14] Insured Retirement Institute: “IRI: New Paper Adds to Growing Chorus Recognizing Value of Longevity Annuities

[11/12/14] The Motley Fool: “Retirement Planning: Half of You Answered ‘No’ to This Critical Question

[11/12/14] ASPPA® Net: “Borzi, ERISA Advisory Council Exchange Updates

[11/12/14] Health Care Attorneys P.C.: “Nondiscrimination Rules -- An Overview for 2015

[11/12/14] SCOTUSblog: “Delay sought on health care at appeals court

[11/12/14] The Wall Street Journal [Blog]: “What to Expect from the Next Congress on the ACA

[11/12/14] Buck Consultants’ FYI®: “NYC to Require Employers to Offer Pretax Transit Benefits

[11/12/14] U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics: “Sixty-five percent of workers in the Northeast had access to paid sick leave in March 2014

[11/7/14] Buck Consultants’ FYI®: “2015 Health FSA Contribution Limit and Other ACA Indexed Amounts

[11/7/14] U.S. Department of Labor Employee Benefits Security Administration: FAQs about Affordable Care Act Implementation (Part XXII) [Compliance of Premium Reimbursement Arrangements]

[11/7/14] Sibson Consulting Perspectives: “Discovering Hidden Health Plan Savings Through Data Analytics and Predictive Modeling

[11/7/14] The Institute for HealthCare Consumerism [The Private Exchange Blog]: “When It Comes to Exchanges, Don’t Let Your Employees Go It Alone

[11/7/14] The Business Journal: “Corporate wellness programs gain momentum

[11/7/14] USA Today: “After Republican sweep, uncertainty over ACA

[11/7/14] Fidelity Investments: “Fidelity’s Quarterly Retirement Snapshot: Average Balances Increase Year-Over-Year, Record Contributions

[11/7/14] Wall St. Cheat Sheet: “The 6 Biggest Mistakes People Make When Saving for Retirement

[11/7/14] The Washington Post: “Where to get advice for your 401(k)

[11/7/14] NAPA Net: “MassMutual Settles ‘Functional Fiduciary’ Case

[11/6/14] Milliman: Milliman 2014 Public Pension Funding Study

[11/6/14] Forbes: “The Pension Crisis in Illinois

[11/6/14] BenefitsPro: “7 questions for Sen. Hatch on retirement and the election

[11/6/14] Segal Consulting’s Capital Checkup: “New Rules for Cafeteria Plans

[11/6/14] U.S. Department of Labor: Report to Congress: 2014 Annual Report on Self-Insured Group Health Plans

[11/6/14] Medical Expenditure Panel Survey Statistical Brief #455: “The Concentration of Health Care Expenditures and Related Expenses for Costly Medical Conditions, 2012

[11/6/14] Forbes: “A Two-Tiered Health Care System Is Coming Faster Than You Think

[11/6/14] The New York Times: “Why One Insurer Sees a Growing Market for Small-Business Health Insurance

[11/6/14] KPBS: “Californians Vote Against Insurance Commissioner Regulating Health Insurance Costs

[11/6/14] Fisher & Phillips LLP: “Earned Sick Leave Becomes Law in Massachusetts

[11/5/14] Kiplinger’s Personal Finance: “Guide to Picking the Best Health Insurance for 2015

[11/5/14] Bloomberg Businessweek: “Franchise Industry: We’re Already Cutting Hours Because of Obamacare

[11/5/14] The New York Times: “Providing Health Insurance Still a Struggle for Small Business

[11/5/14] Kaiser Health News: “Obama Administration Closing Health Law Loophole for Plans Without Hospitalization

[11/5/14] Milliman’s Client Action Bulletin: “Year-End Compliance Issues for Single-Employer Retirement Plans

[11/5/14] ASPPA® Net: “10 Best Practices in Using Service Agreements

[11/5/14] Plan Sponsor: “Plan Fiduciaries Liable for Mispriced ESOP Stock Purchase

[11/5/14] The Washington Post: “Why you shouldn’t use retirement savings to pay off debt

[11/4/14] USA Today: “The fight over protecting retirement savings

[11/4/14] LifeHealthPro: “Washington watchers see big retirement push in 2015

[11/4/14] The Wall Street Journal: “PIMCO Upheaval a Quandary for Retirement Plans

[11/4/14] NAPA Net: “How to Close the Gender Gap in Retirement Confidence

[11/4/14] National Center for Policy Analysis Health Policy Blog: “Employer-Based Benefits: Health Spending Up 3.9 Percent in 2013

[11/4/14] Bloomberg: “Honeywell Fends Off EEOC Bid to Bar Wellness Penalty

[11/4/14] McKenna Long & Aldridge LLP: “Amendment to San Francisco’s Health Care Law Impacts Use of HRAs

[11/4/14] Concord Monitor: “Health plan ‘Cadillac tax’ frustrates government employers

[11/4/14] Congressional Research Service: Social Security: Cost-of-Living Adjustments

[11/4/14] Social Security Bulletin:

[11/3/14] Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services: Health Plan Identifier [Excerpt: “Effective October 31, 2014, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) Office of e-Health Standards and Services (OESS), the division of the Department of Health & Human Services (HHS) that is responsible for enforcement of compliance with the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 (HIPAA) standard transactions, code sets, unique identifiers and operating rules, announces a delay, until further notice, in enforcement of 45 CFR 162, Subpart E, the regulations pertaining to health plan enumeration and use of the Health Plan Identifier (HPID) in HIPAA transactions adopted in the HPID final rule (CMS-0040-F). This enforcement delay applies to all HIPAA covered entities, including healthcare providers, health plans, and healthcare clearinghouses.”]

[11/3/14] Health Care Attorneys P.C.: “Toeing the Line - The Coverage Eligibility Limits for a New Full-Time Employee in 2015

[11/3/14] DailyFinance: “This Hidden Health Care Cost Keeps Heading Higher

[11/3/14] ASPE Issue Brief: “Survey Data on Health Insurance Coverage for 2013 and 2014

[11/3/14] USA Today: “How to pay for health care in retirement

[11/3/14] Callan Investments Institute: Saving Public Defined Benefit Plans [Talking Points]

[11/3/14] Plan Sponsor: “Attorney Explains TDF Annuity Rule

[11/3/14] Plan Adviser: “Strategies for Increasing Employees’ Retirement Savings

[11/3/14] BlackRock®: U.S. Investor Pulse Survey 2014 -- What Investors Are Thinking

[11/3/14] U.S. Department of Labor: ERISA 40th Anniversary Timeline


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


November 2014 EBRI Issue Brief - "Individual Account Retirement Plans: An Analysis of the 2013 Survey of Consumer Finances"

November 2014 EBRI Notes - "Views on the Value of Voluntary Workplace Benefits: Findings from the 2014 Health and Voluntary Workplace Benefits Survey" and "The Gap Between Expected and Actual Retirement: Evidence From Longitudinal Data"


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:

Individual Retirement Accounts: IRS Could Bolster Enforcement on Multimillion Dollar Accounts, but More Direction from Congress Is Needed. GAO-15-16, October 20. Highlights.

Small Business Health Insurance Exchanges: Low Initial Enrollment Likely due to Multiple, Evolving Factors. GAO-15-58, November 13. Highlights.

Pension Plan Valuation: Views on Using Multiple Measures to Offer a More Complete Financial Picture. GAO-14-264, September 30. Highlights.

Patient Protection And Affordable Care Act: Largest Issuers of Health Coverage Participated in Most Exchanges, and Number of Plans Available Varied.
GAO-14-657, August 29. Highlights.

Statement for the Record: Individual Retirement Accounts: Preliminary Information on IRA Balances Accumulated as of 2011, by James R. McTigue, director, strategic issues, and Charles A. Jeszeck, director, education, workforce, and income security issues, to the Senate Committee on Finance. GAO-14-878T, September 16. Highlights.
["This statement was amended on October 22, 2014, to revise the estimated individual retirement account and defined contribution plan accumulations for our illustrative contribution scenarios with balances invested in an S&P 500 portfolio. The original estimates used a price index that did not include reinvested dividends. Table 2 and the text on page 8 have been updated to reflect total returns on the investments."]

Older Americans: Inability to Repay Student Loans May Affect Financial Security of a Small Percentage of Retirees, by Charles A. Jeszeck, director, education, workforce, and income security, before the Senate Special Committee On Aging. GAO-14-866T, September 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 11/26/14