What's New - October 2012

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

[10/31/12]  The New York Times:  “U.S. Set to Sponsor Health Insurance

[10/31/12]  Kaiser Family Foundation:  Kaiser Health Tracking Poll -- October 2012

[10/31/12]  Forbes:  “AT&T Proposes Massive Dump of Company Stock Into Pension

[10/31/12]  Financial Advisor Magazine:  “401(k) Ownership Grows as IRA Ownership Falls, Says Study

[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

[10/26/12]  Sibson Consulting:  Trends: Noteworthy Developments of Interest to Employers That Provide Health Coverage [Fourth Quarter 2012]

[10/26/12]  Dallas Morning News [Blog]:  “Retirees need a bit less savings for future health care needs, study finds

[10/26/12]  Plan Sponsor:  “Age, Account Balance Affect IRA Equity Allocation

[10/26/12]  TIAA-CREF:  TIAA-CREF Financial Advice Survey - Executive Summary

[10/26/12]  The New York Times:  “Many in Middle Class ‘Guess’ on Retirement Needs

[10/26/12]  OppenheimerFunds:  Upending the Style Boxes: A Forward-thinking Approach to DC Plan Investment Design

[10/26/12]  AARP Public Policy Institute:  Do Default and Longevity Annuities Improve Annuity Take-Up Rates? Results from an Experiment

[10/25/12]  Principal Financial Group:  The Principal Financial Well-Being Index: Business Owners [2012]

[10/25/12]  National Institute for Health Care Reform Research Brief:  “U.S. Families’ Use of Workplace Health Clinics, 2007-2010

[10/25/12]  Health Affairs:  “Despite the Recession’s Effects on Incomes and Jobs, the Share of People with High Medical Costs Was Mostly Unchanged

[10/25/12]  Financial Advisor Magazine:  “Fewer Employees Receive Retiree Health Benefits

[10/25/12]  Plan Sponsor:  “Projected Savings Needed for Retiree Health Care Lower

[10/25/12]  Arnerich Massena:  In Search of a Recordkeeper: Fiduciary Best Practices

[10/25/12]  AARP Public Policy Institute:  Boomers and the Great Recession: Struggling to Recover

[10/25/12]  AEGON:  The Changing Face of Retirement: The Workplace Perspective

[10/24/12]  Investment News:  “Employer-sponsored health benefits for retirees dying out -- Number of companies that offer medical coverage for former workers dwindling

[10/24/12]  Midwest Business Group on Health:  “New Health Reform Survey Finds Business As Usual for Employers in 2013 -- Many taking a wait and see approach regarding impact of Affordable Care Act on health and pharmacy benefits

[10/24/12]  The Segal Group:  Trends: Noteworthy Developments of Interest to Sponsors of Multiemployer Health Plans [Fourth Quarter 2012]

[10/24/12]  Investment Company Institute Research Perspective:  “A Look at Private-Sector Retirement Plan Income After ERISA, 2011

[10/24/12]  Plan Sponsor:  “Middle Class Agrees They Are Responsible for Funding Retirement

[10/24/12]  Chattanooga Times Free Press:  “Personal Finance: IRS increases contribution limits on retirement plans

[10/24/12]  Internal Revenue Service:  Cost of Living Adjustments for Retirement Items [1989-2013]

[10/23/12]  U.S. Department of Labor Employee Benefits Security Administration:  “Before It’s Too Late: A Retirement Security Update from Assistant Secretary Phyllis C. Borzi

[10/23/12]  MarketWatch:  “Retirement ‘Savings Week’ highlights savings gap

[10/23/12]  Pew Research Center:  “More Americans Worry about Financing Retirement -- Adults in Their Late 30s Most Concerned

[10/23/12]  Plan Sponsor:  “One-Third of Women Have Not Planned for Retirement

[10/23/12]  Internal Revenue Service:  403(b) Plan Checklist [For Business Owner’s Use]

[10/23/12]  CFO.com:  “Eight Tips for Assessing Private Health Exchanges

[10/23/12]  The New York Times:  “Weighing the Odds of Disability, for Insurance Purposes

[10/23/12]  The Scan Foundation:  Fact Sheet: Who Provides Long-Term Care in the U.S.? (Updated)

[10/19/12]  Sibson Consulting:  Sibson 2012/2013 Annual Compensation Planning Analysis

[10/19/12]  Plan Sponsor:  “Retirement Plan Deferral Limit Increases for 2013

[10/19/12]  Internal Revenue Service:  COLA Increases for Dollar Limitations on Benefits and Contributions [2011-2013]

[10/19/12]  Center for Retirement Research at Boston College:  Changes in Labor Force Participation of Older Americans and Their Pension Structures: A Policy Perspective [Working Paper]

[10/19/12]  Morningstar:  “Best Practices for Health Savings Accounts

[10/19/12]  Allsup Medicare Advisor® Seniors Survey:  Medicare Planning and Trends Among Seniors

[10/18/12]  Plan Sponsor:

[10/18/12]  DailyFinance.com:  “How to Fix the Retirement Savings Crisis

[10/18/12]  Social Security Administration:  “OASDI and SSI Program Rates & Limits, 2013

[10/18/12]  Kaiser Family Foundation Focus on Health Reform:  “Health Insurance Market Reforms: Pre-Existing Condition Exclusions

[10/18/12]  The Commonwealth Fund:  Health Care in the 2012 Presidential Election: How the Obama and Romney Plans Stack Up

[10/17/12]  AllianceBernstein’s Research Perspectives:  “Have Target-Date Funds Failed? Are Income Guarantees the Answer?

[10/17/12]  Plan Sponsor:

[10/17/12]  Pension Rights Center:  “Companies that are offering lump-sum pension buyouts

[10/17/12]  Center for Retirement Research at Boston College:  Can Retirees Base Wealth Withdrawals on the IRS’ Required Minimum Distributions?

[10/17/12]  Morningstar:  “Debating the Pros and Cons of Health Savings Accounts

[10/17/12]  Robert Wood Johnson Foundation:  Case Study: Engaging Employers On Paying for Health Care That’s Proven to Work

[10/16/12]  Plan Sponsor:  “Many Workers Passive During Benefits Enrollment

[10/16/12]  Reuters:  “US local governments take budget knife to retiree health plans

[10/16/12]  Milliman, Inc.:  2012 Public Pension Funding Study

[10/16/12]  Mercer:  Melbourne Mercer Global Pension Index

[10/16/12]  Plan Sponsor Council of America:  “PSCA’s Annual Survey Shows Company Contributions Are Bouncing Back

[10/16/12]  The Fiscal Times:  “Tax Reform: $200B a Year to Get People to Save?

[10/15/12]  Reuters (via The New York Times):  “Exclusive: Study Shows $1.2 Trillion Gap for Public Pensions

[10/15/12]  Fidelity Perspectives:  “Plan Design in Higher Education: Best Practices for Improving Retirement Readiness

[10/15/12]  Investment News:  “Getting employers to boost deferral rates is not easy

[10/15/12]  Plan Sponsor:  “Buck Reports Factors for Successful Global Wellness Programs

[10/15/12]  Reuters:  “So you’ve got an HSA, now what do you do with it?

[10/15/12]  Kaiser Public Opinion:  Whom Does the Public Trust More on Health Care and Medicare?

[10/11/12]  The New York Times:  “This Election, a Stark Choice in Health Care

[10/11/12]  Plan Sponsor:

[10/11/12]  Center for State & Local Government Excellence and ICMA-RC:  ICMA Conference Briefing: Local Government Employment, Benefits, and Retirement Issues

[10/11/12]  AARP Public Policy Institute:  Fact Sheet: Boomer Women Feeling More Financially Insecure than Men

[10/10/12]  Guardian Life Insurance Company of America:  The Guardian Workplace Benefits Study -- The Perceived Value of Benefits Among Today’s Working Americans

[10/10/12]  Towers Watson:  2012 Health Care Changes Ahead: Survey

[10/10/12]  Wolters Kluwer Law & Business:  “Americans Still Confident About Health Care, But Concerned About Cost, EBRI Reports

[10/10/12]  Kaiser Health News:  “Study: Health Insurance Costs to Fall for Businesses Under 50 Employees

[10/10/12]  The Wall Street Journal:  “When ‘Eight’ Isn’t Enough -- What’s Your ‘Magic’ Retirement-Savings Number?

[10/10/12]  American Benefits Council:  Defined Contribution Plans & IRAs: Existing Tax Incentives Effectively and Efficiently Increase Retirement Savings

[10/9/12]  Towers Watson Insider:  “Retirement Plan Types of Fortune 100 Companies in 2012

[10/9/12]  Spectrem’s Millionaire Corner:  “Retirement Readiness: Ownership in 401(k)s on the Rise

[10/9/12]  Financial Finesse, Inc.:  “State of U.S. Employee Retirement Preparedness

[10/9/12]  FedSmith.com:  “Future Retirement: Federal Workers in Good Shape

[10/9/12]  Milliman 100 Pension Funding Index:  “Milliman analysis: September brings $45 billion improvement in pension funded status -- Two consecutive months of gains follow four months of losses; discount rate climbs above 4.0%

[10/9/12]  Plan Sponsor:

[10/9/12]  California Healthline:  “Watch Sears and Darden, Not Obama vs. Romney, for Future of Health Care

[10/4/12]  National Association of Government Defined Contribution Administrators:  “National Save for Retirement Week - October 21-27, 2012” [Webpage includes “Proposed steps you can take to make sure your support of NS4RW is a success.”]

[10/4/12]  Plan Sponsor:

[10/4/12]  Towers Watson:  Today’s Plan for Tomorrow’s Retirees: Are We Building DC Plans That Measure Up? -- 2012 U.S. Defined Contribution Sponsor Survey Report

[10/4/12]  The New York Times:  “Making Estimates for Retirement Planning

[10/4/12]  InvestingAnswers:  “5 Surprisingly Dangerous Places to Stash Your Emergency Cash

[10/4/12]  Aon Hewitt:  “Aon Hewitt Analysis Shows Record-Low Health Care Cost Increases in 2012” [News Release]

[10/4/12]  Robert Wood Johnson Foundation:  Selling Health Insurance Across State Lines: An Assessment of State Laws and Implications for Improving Choice and Affordability of Coverage

[10/4/12]  Congressional Budget Office:  The 2012 Long-Term Projections for Social Security: Additional Information

[10/3/12]  U.S. Department of Labor Employee Benefits Security Administration:  The Affordable Care Act: Important New Protections for You and Your Family -- Webcast, Wednesday, October 24, 2012, 2:00-3:00 pm EDT -- Join the U.S. Department of Labor for this webcast to get practical information about how the Affordable Care Act is already impacting your health coverage.

[10/3/12]  Kaiser Health News:  “States Moving Ahead on Defining ‘Essential’ Health Insurance Benefits Under Federal Law

[10/3/12]  The Fiscal Times:  “End the Health Care Tax Break: Reduce Coverage?

[10/3/12]  CBS News:  “Issue brief: Health care

[10/3/12]  The Cherokee Ledger-News:  “Securing your financial future, strategies for establishing a nest egg

[10/3/12]  Center for Retirement Research at Boston College:  Are Aging Baby Boomers Squeezing Young Workers Out of Jobs?

[10/2/12]  UPI.com:  “More insured, fewer via private health care

[10/2/12]  National Center for Health Statistics:  Health Insurance Coverage: Early Release of Estimates From the National Health Interview Survey, January - March 2012

[10/2/12]  Workforce Management:  “Is Choosing a Defined Contribution in Health Care Taking the Radical Route?

[10/2/12]  LifeHealthPro:  “Retirement tools to consider: Fixed indexed annuities and in-service withdrawals

[10/2/12]  MetLife Mature Market Institute:  The New American Family: The MetLife Study of Family Structure and Financial Well-Being

[10/2/12]  The Washington Post:

[10/1/12]  The Wall Street Journal:  “Big Firms Overhaul Health Coverage” [A subscription may be required to access the article]

[10/1/12]  California Healthline:  “Employer-Sponsored Health Insurance Declining, Report Finds

[10/1/12]  Kaiser Family Foundation Notes on Health Insurance and Reform:  “How Small Business Owners Get Health Insurance

[10/1/12]  ConsumerReports.org:  Health Reform: Seven Things You Need to Know Now

[10/1/12]  U.S. Census Bureau:  Summary of the Quarterly Survey of Public Pensions for 2012: Q2 -- Federal Government Securities Reach Highest Level in Over Ten Years

[10/1/12]  National Association of Government Defined Contribution Administrators:  The Evolving Role of Defined Contribution Plans in the Public Sector

[10/1/12]  National Council on Teacher Retirement Federal E-News:  “New Coordinated Attacks on Public Pension Plans Focus on Fear of Federal Bailout


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


October 2012 EBRI Issue Brief - "Employment-Based Retiree Health Benefits: Trends in Access and Coverage, 1997-2010"

October 2012 EBRI Notes - "Savings Needed for Health Expenses for People Eligible for Medicare: Some Rare Good News" and "IRA Asset Allocation, 2010"


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 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.

Financial Literacy: Overlap of Programs Suggests There May Be Opportunities for Consolidation. GAO-12-588, July 23. 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 10/31/12