What's New - October 2013



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[10/31/13] Employee Benefit News: “Fiduciary standard, 401(k) enhancements touted by DOL’s Borzi

[10/31/13] MarketWatch: “Put your 401(k) to the test -- Does your 401(k) have the best and latest features?

[10/31/13] PIMCO DC Dialogue: “Making Life Easier” [“In this PIMCO DC Dialogue, we speak with Sharon Cowher, director of trust investments, and Christine Morris, assistant treasurer, at Halliburton about how their DC plans have evolved from custom target-risk strategies to target-date strategies.”]

[10/31/13] DesMoinesRegister.com: “Principal’s Zimpleman accepts industry award

[10/31/13] The Washington Post: “Obama’s health-care promise that people can keep their insurance comes back to haunt him

[10/31/13] U.S. House Committee on Energy and Commerce: Hearing titled “PPACA Implementation Failures: Answers from HHS” [Hearing held Oct. 30, 2013, includes link to witness testimony and to archived webcast]

[10/31/13] Social Security Administration: “OASDI and SSI Program Rates & Limits, 2014

[10/31/13] MarketWatch: “Why raise the full retirement age?

[10/30/13] Investment News: “Obama threatens to veto bill to delay DOL fiduciary-duty rule for retirement accounts -- Bill would prohibit DOL from proposing regulation until 60 days after the SEC has finalized a similar rule

[10/30/13] Employee Benefit Adviser:

[10/30/13] Retirement Town Hall: “Is a cash balance plan right for my business?

[10/30/13] U.S. House Committee on Education & the Workforce, Subcommittee on Health, Employment, Labor, & Pensions: Hearing titled “Strengthening the Multiemployer Pension System: How Will Proposed Reforms Affect Employers, Workers, and Retirees?” [Hearing held Oct. 29, 2013, includes links to witness testimonies]

[10/30/13] MarketWatch: “Your boss may send you to a [private] health exchange -- More companies are abandoning traditional health plans

[10/30/13] Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services: Shared Responsibility Provision Question and Answer [Oct. 28, 2013]

[10/30/13] U.S. House Committee on Ways and Means: Hearing on the Status of the Affordable Care Act Implementation [Hearing held Oct. 29, 2013, includes link to witness testimony]

[10/30/13] The Washington Post: “This is why Obamacare is canceling some people’s insurance plans

[10/29/13] The Wall Street Journal: “Think You’re Ready to Retire? Grab a Pencil.

[10/29/13] Russell Investments: Defined contribution plan re-enrollment: A fiduciary imperative?

[10/29/13] HR Policy Association: Frequently Asked Questions About Private Health Insurance Exchanges [Updated October 23, 2013]

[10/29/13] BenefitsPro: “Employer-sponsored health coverage levels off -- Overall coverage up slightly

[10/29/13] Kaiser Family Foundation: “Pulling It Together…Obamacare Vital Signs Not Just Numbers” from Drew Altman

[10/28/13] Center for State & Local Government Excellence Issue Brief: “Gauging the Burden of Public Pensions on Cities

[10/28/13] Principal Financial Group: Principal Financial Well Being Index: Business Owners, 2013

[10/28/13] Prudential: Overcoming Participant Inertia: Automatic Features That Improve Outcomes While Improving Your Plan’s Bottom Line

[10/28/13] Associated Press (via The Palm Beach Post): “Republicans decry health law fee delay

[10/28/13] Center on Budget and Policy Priorities: Transitions in Coverage: Avoiding Gaps and Penalties - Beyond the Basics

[10/28/13] MarketWatch: “Health-care help from an unlikely source -- As clients’ health costs rise, financial advisors scramble to become Medicare experts

[10/28/13] Congressional Budget Office: Raising the Age of Eligibility for Medicare to 67: An Updated Estimate of the Budgetary Effects

[10/25/13] Aon Hewitt: 2013 Trends & Experience in Defined Contribution Plans: An Evolving Retirement Landscape [Highlights]

[10/25/13] Morningstar®: Target-Date Series Research Paper: 2013 Survey

[10/25/13] Kiplinger: “Putting Retirement Health Costs in Context

[10/25/13] Towers Watson: Rules for PPACA-Mandated Preventive Services and HSA-Eligible HDHPs

[10/25/13] Employee Benefit News: “Boiling down the ACA

[10/25/13] Social Security Administration Policy Brief: “The Projected Effects of Social Security Benefit Increase Options for Older Beneficiaries

[10/24/13] Array Health: Health Insurers Expected to Broaden Distribution Channels: Survey on Private Health Insurance Exchanges

[10/24/13] The Wall Street Journal:

[10/24/13] Global Post: “Column: It’s Save for Retirement Week - but it could be so much more

[10/24/13] The Washington Post: “Most Americans accumulating debt faster than they’re saving for retirement

[10/24/13] USA Today: “Many Americans don’t expect to ever retire

[10/24/13] Center for Retirement Research at Boston College: Social Security’s Real Retirement Age Is 70

[10/23/13] National Conference on Public Employee Retirement Systems:

[10/23/13] Forbes: “How Much of Your Company’s Stock Is Too Much?

[10/23/13] Workforce.com: “Affordable Care Act: Your Delays and Deadlines Update - Here’s a quick look at the delays and impending deadlines affecting employers

[10/23/13] Plan Sponsor: “Workers Believe PPACA Will Increase Premiums

[10/23/13] National Review Online: “Judge Allows Obamacare Challenge to Continue

[10/23/13] BenefitsPro: “Will beefing up benefits stall top talent exodus?

[10/22/13] Plan Sponsor:

[10/22/13] USA Today: “Retirement Living: Debt holds many Boomers back

[10/22/13] Fiduciary Plan Governance, LLC: “Six Things Employers Need to Know about Managing Their 401(k) Plans

[10/22/13] San Diego Source: “White House proposes $3M cap on retirement savings

[10/22/13] Society for Human Resource Management: “Employees’ Health Costs to Approach $5,000 in 2014

[10/22/13] Employee Benefit News: “Obamacare rushes to end delays; GOP wants heads to roll

[10/21/13] Investment Company Institute Research Perspective: “A Look at Private-Sector Retirement Plan Income After ERISA, 2012

[10/21/13] Target Date Solutions: Selecting the Best Target Date Funds: Ten Tips for Advisors

[10/21/13] BenefitsPro: “Median 401(k) account balances on the rise: EBRI

[10/21/13] AARP: Retirement Attitudes Segmentation Survey

[10/21/13] The Los Angeles Times: “Windfall won’t ensure a comfortable retirement

[10/21/13] U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics:

[10/21/13] The Seattle Times: “Employers push health-care savings accounts

[10/21/13] Buck Consultants FYI®: “Contraceptive coverage mandate continues to get attention

[10/18/13] Plan Sponsor: “401(k) Balances Survived Recession

[10/18/13] Mainstreet.com: “Busting 5 Myths About 401(k) Plans

[10/18/13] Investment Company Institute: The IRA Investor Profile: Traditional IRA Investors’ Activity, 2007-2011

[10/18/13] USA Today: “Cities borrow to strengthen pension funds -- Finance experts say move is not without risk

[10/18/13] Aon Hewitt: “Aon Hewitt Analysis Shows Lowest U.S. Health Care Cost Increases in More Than a Decade” [News Release]

[10/18/13] The Commonwealth Fund: “Small Employer Perspectives on the Affordable Care Act’s Premiums, SHOP Exchanges, and Self-Insurance

[10/18/13] NIHCM Foundation Data Brief: “Employer-Sponsored Health Insurance: Recent Trends and Future Directions

[10/18/13] Journal of Accountancy: “Government shutdown, debt ceiling deal includes one tax provision

[10/17/13] The Sacramento Bee: “The State Worker: Pension movement’s new playbook

[10/17/13] Plan Sponsor: “Plan Sponsors Doing More to Increase Plan Value

[10/17/13] The Associated Press and NORC: Working Longer: Older Americans’ Attitudes on Work and Retirement

[10/17/13] Kaiser Health News: “FAQ: What Is the ACA’s ‘Reinsurance Tax’?

[10/17/13] Healthcare Payer News: “GINA author, large employers at odds over genetics in wellness

[10/17/13] AARP: Social Security’s Impact on the National Economy

[10/16/13] Bloomberg BNA: “Shutdown Heightens Concerns Over Needs for Additional Guidance on DOMA, ACA

[10/16/13] Northern Trust: The Path Forward: The Ideal DC Plan May Be Closer Than You Think

[10/16/13] Principal Financial Group: A 360 Degree Approach to Preparing for Retirement [Note: The full report can be downloaded at the website.]

[10/16/13] MarketWatch: “The rise of ‘extreme’ retirement portfolios

[10/16/13] The Washington Post:

[10/16/13] Kaiser Family Foundation: The Coverage Gap: Uninsured Poor Adults in States that Do Not Expand Medicaid

[10/15/13] Merced Sun-Star: “Employers push health care savings accounts; consumer groups wary

[10/15/13] Bloomberg BusinessWeek: “Tax Realities for Self-Employed Who Get Obamacare Subsidies

[10/15/13] LifeHealthPro: “PPACA may cut retirement medical savings needs

[10/15/13] TIAA-CREF Institute Trends and Issues: “Equivalent Cost for Equivalent Benefits: Primary DC Plans in the Public Sector

[10/15/13] The Los Angeles Times: “Most Americans expect to work during ‘retirement,’ poll finds

[10/15/13] Towers Watson: Infographic: Most Employers Unclear on How to React to DOMA Ruling

[10/11/13] NBCNews.com: “What’s the worst that could happen? 7 debt-default doomsday scenarios

[10/11/13] Plan Sponsor: “Higher Ed. Faculty Need Retirement Income Guidance

[10/11/13] U.S. Department of Labor Employee Benefits Security Administration: EBSA Needs to Provide Additional Guidance and Oversight to ERISA Plans Holding Hard-to-Value Alternative Investments

[10/11/13] Segal Consulting’s Capital Checkup: “New Guidance Requires Immediate Action by Sponsors of Health Reimbursement Arrangements

[10/11/13] U.S. House Committee on Small Business, Subcommittee on Health & Technology: Hearing titled “The Effects of the Health Law’s Definitions of Full-Time Employee on Small Businesses” [Hearing held Oct. 9, 2013, includes links to written testimonies and to additional items]

[10/11/13] Kaiser Health News: “Some Good News About Saving for Retirement Health Costs

[10/11/13] Fond du Lac Reporter: “How retirees can rebound after benefits axed

[10/10/13] Towers Watson: 2013 Talent Management and Rewards Study -- North America

[10/10/13] Plan Sponsor: “Some May Need Less for Health Care in Retirement

[10/10/13] National Association of State Retirement Administrators Issue Brief: “Public Pension Plan Investment Return Assumptions” [Updated October 2013]

[10/10/13] Technology News: “Bridging the Government Pension Reporting Gap: The Effects of New GASB Standards on Government Pension Accounting [CPA Journal, The]

[10/10/13] Milliman 100 Pension Funding Index: “Milliman analysis: Corporate pension funded ratio in September exceeds 91%, a level last observed in 2008

[10/10/13] American Society of Pension Professionals & Actuaries: Retirement Savings Will Suffer if Congress Does Not End the Budget and Debt Ceiling Stalemate

[10/10/13] BenefitsPro: “Unsophisticated allocations threaten portfolios

[10/10/13] Nationwide Financial: Fear of Financial Planning Consumer Study

[10/9/13] Forbes: “Will Low Interest Rates Delay Retirement for Boomers and Gen-Xers?

[10/9/13] Center for Retirement Research at Boston College: How Does 401(k) Auto-Enrollment Relate to the Employer Match and Total Compensation?

[10/9/13] U.S. News & World Report: “5 Ways Retirement Plans Go Awry

[10/9/13] Mercer: Melbourne Mercer Global Pension Index [Executive Summary -- Note: The full report can be downloaded at the website.]

[10/9/13] Health Affairs: “Trends Underlying Employer-Sponsored Health Insurance Growth for Americans Younger Than Age 65” [A subscription is required to access the full text of the article.]

[10/9/13] Society for Human Resource Management: “The Future of Domestic Partner Benefits

[10/8/13] Towers Watson: 2013/2014 Staying@Work U.S. Executive Summary Report

[10/8/13] Plan Sponsor: “How Employers Are Reacting to the PPACA

[10/8/13] The New England Journal of Medicine [Perspective]: “The ACA and High-Deductible Insurance -- Strategies for Sharpening a Blunt Instrument

[10/8/13] Chicago Tribune: “Retirement: Put health costs in context

[10/8/13] LIMRA: “Employees Share Current Attitudes About Saving for Retirement” [A blog featuring LIMRA research, news, and topics of interest to the industry stakeholders]

[10/8/13] CNBC: “’Treading water’: Saving for retirement is harder

[10/7/13] Aon Hewitt: Minimizing Defined Contribution Plan Loan Leakage

[10/7/13] Ahwatukee Foothills News: “Lessons from National Save for Retirement Week

[10/7/13] Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services: “Federally-facilitated Marketplace for SHOP Frequently Asked Questions

[10/7/13] Towers Watson:

[10/7/13] Philadelphia Inquirer: “Blue Cross offers guides to health-care ‘tiers’

[10/4/13] ICI Research Perspective: “Who Gets Retirement Plans and Why, 2012

[10/4/13] Plan Sponsor:

[10/4/13] The Segal Group: 2014 Segal Health Plan Cost Trend Survey

[10/4/13] Employee Benefit News: “Employers: Don’t answer employee exchange questions

[10/4/13] Bankrate.com: “Why some employers seek out older workers

[10/4/13] Plan Adviser: “Do Older Workers Affect Productivity?

[10/3/13] Plan Adviser: “Small Plans Can Have Big Gaps

[10/3/13] U.S. House Committee on Small Business: Hearing titled “The Challenge of Retirement Savings for Small Employers” [Hearing held on Oct. 2, 2013, includes links to written testimonies]

[10/3/13] Tax-News.com: “Study Considers US IRA Reform

[10/3/13] Russell Investments [Viewpoint]: Harmonizing DB and DC Investment Approaches

[10/3/13] Plan Sponsor: “Investment Structure: Coloring the Investment Menu -- Collective investment trusts increasingly appear in investment lineups. Also featured in this article are legal issues to consider

[10/3/13] Miami Today: “After Affordable Care Act reprieve, who benefits in long run?

[10/3/13] Kaiser Family Foundation: “Pulling It Together…No Quick Verdict on Obamacare” from Drew Altman

[10/2/13] Transamerica Center for Retirement Studies: The Retirement Readiness Imperative: Overcoming the Challenges Faced by Small Companies -- 14th Annual Transamerica Retirement Survey

[10/2/13] TIAA-CREF: TIAA-CREF Financial Advice Survey - Executive Summary

[10/2/13] NEPC, LLC: Defined Contribution Plan Fees Continue to Decline: 2013 NEPC Plan & Fee Study

[10/2/13] The Daily Record: “Money Management: A forgotten key element in investing: Rebalancing

[10/2/13] MSN Money: “How to draft a retirement blueprint

[10/2/13] Mercer: “Employers Hold the Line on Health Benefit Cost Per Employee in 2014

[10/2/13] Kaiser Family Foundation: Frequently Asked Questions: Marketplace Eligibility, Enrollment Periods, Plans and Premiums

[10/2/13] The Washington Post:

[10/1/13] Leonard Street and Deinard: “Health Care Reform: Top 5 Things Employers Need to Focus on Now

[10/1/13] The Commonwealth Fund: “New Survey As Health Insurance Marketplaces Launch: 3 of 4 People Are Aware of Individual Mandate but Only 4 of 10 Know About Marketplaces and Premium Subsidies

[10/1/13] U.S. Department of Health & Human Services: Health Insurance Marketplace Premiums for 2014 Databook [Note: Information is current as of Sept. 18, 2013.]

[10/1/13] MSNBC: “Here’s one you haven’t heard--Obamacare spurs small business

[10/1/13] Internal Revenue Service: Employee Plans News [Sept. 27, 2013]

[10/1/13] Investment Company Institute: “Retirement Assets Total $20.9 Trillion in Second Quarter 2013

[10/1/13] Financial Finesse, Inc.: State of U.S. Employee Retirement Preparedness: Executive Summary

[10/1/13] Financial Advisor Magazine: “In Retirement, More Could Be Less (and Vice Versa)

[9/30/13] U.S. Department of Labor Employee Benefits Security Administration: Application of Market Reform and other Provisions of the Affordable Care Act to HRAs, Health FSAs, and Certain other Employer Healthcare Arrangements [Technical Release No. 2013-03]

[9/30/13] Kaiser Family Foundation: Kaiser Health Tracking Poll: September 2013

[9/30/13] HealthLeaders Media: “US Health Coverage Rebounds--For Now

[9/30/13] The New York Times: “Trends to Watch For in Employer Health Plans


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


October 2013 EBRI Issue Brief - "401(k) Participants in the Wake of the Financial Crisis: Changes in Account Balances, 2007-2011"

October 2013 EBRI Notes - "Amount of Savings Needed for Health Expenses for People Eligible for Medicare: More Rare Good News" and "IRA Asset Allocation, 2011"


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:

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 10/31/13