What's New - September 2013



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[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

[9/30/13] PIMCO DC Dialogue: “Trade-Off for Less Risk in the Game of Life” [“In this PIMCO DC Dialogue, we talk with the co-founders of GuidedChoice, Sherrie Grabot, CEO, and Harry Markowitz, Nobel Prize winner and the recognized Father of Modern Portfolio Theory, about retirement planning and investing.”]

[9/30/13] Vanguard: “DOL may require retirement income estimates to participants

[9/30/13] Milliman’s DB digest: “Why defined benefit plans are still relevant

[9/30/13] Plan Adviser: “Some May Fare Better After 65

[9/27/13] Prudential’s Pension Analyst Compliance Bulletin: “Many Defined Contribution Plan Sponsors Must Annually ‘Notice’ Their Participants

[9/27/13] The Washington Post: “Many big cities face serious pension debt, report says

[9/27/13] CBS Boston: “Your Retirement Plan Is Not a Revolving Savings Account

[9/27/13] U.S. Senate Special Committee on Aging: Hearing titled “State of the American Senior: The Changing Retirement Landscape for Baby Boomers” [Hearing held Sept. 25, 2013, includes links to written testimonies]

[9/27/13] The Los Angeles Times: “Retirement hurts big earners too, study finds

[9/27/13] Kaiser Family Foundation: “Pulling It Together…How Obamacare May Be Holding Down Costs” from Drew Altman

[9/26/13] Stanford Center on Longevity: The Next Evolution in Defined Contribution Retirement Plan Design: A Guide for DC Plan Sponsors to Implementing Retirement Income Programs

[9/26/13] Kennebec Journal: “Retirement policy experts paint grim picture for Collins, committee

[9/26/13] Plan Sponsor:

[9/26/13] Kaiser Family Foundation: “Subsidy Calculator: Premium Assistance for Coverage in Exchanges

[9/26/13] Bloomberg: “IT Is One of Obamacare’s Weakest Links

[9/25/13] Kaiser Health News: “Average Obamacare Premiums Will Be Lower Than Projected

[9/25/13] The Washington Post:

[9/25/13] Plan Sponsor: “Market Deals a Blow to City and County Retirement Systems

[9/25/13] Center for State & Local Government Excellence Issue Brief: “How Sensitive Is Public Pension Funding to Investment Returns?

[9/25/13] Chicago Tribune: “Retirement: Detroit’s lesson for public pensions

[9/25/13] Before It’s News: “What every woman should know about healthcare costs in retirement

[9/25/13] Fidelity Investments: 2013 Couples Retirement Study Executive Summary: Disconnect between Couples; Women Less Engaged

[9/25/13] Internal Revenue Service: Application of Windsor Decision and Rev. Rul. 2013-17 to Employment Taxes and Special Administrative Procedures for Employers to Make Adjustments or Claims for Refund or Credit [Notice 2013-61]

[9/24/13] Health Care Cost Institute: 2012 Health Care Cost and Utilization Report

[9/24/13] Health Affairs: “National Health Expenditure Projections, 2012-22: Slow Growth Until Coverage Expands and Economy Improves

[9/24/13] Kitsap Sun: “Swapping COBRA for Obamacare Likely to be Windfall for Big Business

[9/24/13] Center for Studying Health System Change: “If the Price is Right, Most Uninsured--Even Young Invincibles--Likely to Consider New Health Insurance Marketplaces

[9/24/13] U.S. Census Bureau: Summary of the Quarterly Survey of Public Pensions for 2013:Q2 -- Total Holdings and Investments of Major Public Pension Systems Reach Highest Level, Passing the 2007 Peak for a Second Consecutive Quarter

[9/24/13] MSN Money: “Will Social Security be gone when you retire?

[9/20/13] Plan Sponsor:

[9/20/13] Transamerica Center for Health Studies: Benchmark on Health Care Coverage Perceptions and Readiness--The First Annual Transamerica Center for Health Studies Survey

[9/20/13] Sacramento Bee: “No more Friday-doughnut days? Kaiser and its unions try collective get-healthy plan

[9/20/13] Workforce.com: “The Pulse on Health Care Pricing -- With prices of medical procedures fluctuating wildly, companies are putting costs under the microscope

[9/20/13] Deloitte: Will they come? Consumers and health insurance exchanges: Awareness, preferences, and concerns

[9/20/13] McKinsey & Company: “Claiming the $1 trillion prize in US health care

[9/20/13] Internal Revenue Service: Employee Plans News [Sept. 18, 2013]

[9/20/13] CBS MoneyWatch: “A Rich Retirement: How to get the biggest Social Security check

[9/19/13] U.S. Department of Labor Employee Benefits Security Administration: Guidance to Employee Benefit Plans on the Definition of “Spouse” and “Marriage” under ERISA and the Supreme Court’s Decision in United States v. Windsor [Technical Release No. 2013-04]

[9/19/13] BenefitsPro: “Renewed debate arises over 401(k) performance

[9/19/13] Huffington Post [Blog]: “Plan Sponsor’s Investment Choices Can Affect Your 401(k) Returns

[9/19/13] PIMCO DC Digest: “Money Market Funds in Defined Contribution Plans: Time to Rethink?

[9/19/13] Strategic Benefit Services: “New Report Offers Tips for Improving Retirement Plan Participant Outcomes

[9/19/13] Kaiser Health News: “FAQ: How Is Employer-Sponsored Health Insurance Changing?

[9/19/13] Buck Consultants FYI®: “HDHPs can cover ACA-mandated preventive care and be HSA compatible

[9/19/13] Human Resource Executive Online: “CDHPs Gaining Popularity

[9/18/13] Towers Watson: 2013 Health Care Changes Ahead Survey: Employers’ Actions Today and Plans for the Future [Note: The full survey report can be downloaded at the website.]

[9/18/13] Chicago Tribune: “Walgreen shifting employees to private healthcare exchanges

[9/18/13] NBC News: “Companies push retirees (and soon, workers) into [private] health exchanges

[9/18/13] Bloomberg BNA: “Reporting Rules Aim to Simplify Requirements But Could Be Burdensome, Practitioners Say

[9/18/13] Employee Benefit News: “New HIPAA requirements go into effect Monday

[9/18/13] Plan Sponsor: “Income Projections: Showing Participants a Better Way

[9/18/13] Natixis Global Asset Management: “U.S. Investors Confident About Financial Prospects, But Underestimating Retirement Income Needs” [Press Release]

[9/18/13] Vanguard: “Pension risk: How much are you really taking?

[9/17/13] U.S. Census Bureau: Income, Poverty, and Health Insurance Coverage in the United States: 2012

[9/17/13] Plan Sponsor: “Employees Asking Questions about Health Reform

[9/17/13] Kaiser Health News: “For Workers Leaving Their Jobs, Health Exchanges Offer Insurance Choices Beyond COBRA

[9/17/13] Kansas City Star: “Obamacare could encourage more early retirements from baby boomers

[9/17/13] PNC: Perspectives of Retirement 2013 [Number 3 in a Series]

[9/17/13] Russell Investments: “Can defined contribution plan returns match defined benefit?

[9/17/13] Internal Revenue Service: Employee Plans News [Sept. 13, 2013]

[9/17/13] Morningstar: “Morningstar Releases Its 2013 Edition of The State of State Pension Plans

[9/16/13] Investor’s Business Daily: “More Employees Are Joining Plans

[9/16/13] The New York Times: “An Adage Adjustment for Investors at Retirement

[9/16/13] Social Science Research Network: “Reducing Retirement Risk with a Rising Equity Glide-Path” by Wade D. Pfau and Michael E. Kitces [Note: The full report can be downloaded at the website.]

[9/16/13] Prudential: Financial Experience & Behaviors Among Women [2012-2013 Prudential Research Study]

[9/16/13] BenefitsPro: “Many expect to retire after 70: EBRI

[9/16/13] Internal Revenue Service: Application of Market Reform and other Provisions of the Affordable Care Act to HRAs, Health FSAs, and Certain other Employer Healthcare Arrangements [Notice 2013-54]

[9/16/13] Plan Sponsor: “Understanding Health Care Benefit Options

[9/16/13] The Wall Street Journal: “The Attack on Self-Insurance -- Liberals want to rewrite Erisa to save ObamaCare

[9/13/13] Economic Policy Institute: “Blacks and Hispanics Are Falling Behind Whites in Retirement Coverage

[9/13/13] MarketWatch: “No lottery winners here

[9/13/13] BendBulletin.com: “How retirees are spending their time

[9/13/13] U.S. Department of Labor Employee Benefits Security Administration: FAQ on Notice of Coverage Options

[9/13/13] Employee Benefit News: “$100-a-day penalties: ACA non-compliance can be expensive

[9/13/13] Social Security Administration: OASDI Beneficiaries by State and ZIP Code, 2012

[9/12/13] U.S. Department of Labor: “Employer Costs for Employee Compensation -- June 2013” [News Release]

[9/12/13] Financial Planning: “DoL Pushes Back Fiduciary Proposal

[9/12/13] BenefitsPro: “Rates of return” by Nevin Adams [regarding the impact of a sustained low-interest rate environment on America’s retirement readiness]

[9/12/13] The Health Care Blog: “Health Exchange Confusion: Why We’re Getting the IBM Story Wrong

[9/12/13] U.S. Small Business Administration: New Guidance on Information Reporting Requirements Under the Affordable Care Act

[9/12/13] The New York Times: “Unions’ Misgivings on Health Law Burst Into View

[9/11/13] U.S. Department of Labor Employee Benefits Security Administration: EBSA Webcasts on Affordable Care Act Compliance Assistance Scheduled for Sept. 17 and 18, 2013 -- Registration is required.

  • Part I, Sept. 17: Final wellness program rules and employer shared responsibility provisions
  • Part II, Sept. 18: Information on the exchange notices, extension of dependent coverage to age 26, lifetime and annual limits, prohibitions on preexisting conditions, and Small Business Health Options Program (SHOP)

[9/11/13] Milliman 100 Pension Funding Index: “Milliman analysis: Corporate pension funded status drops by $6 billion in August

[9/11/13] AARP: Fiduciary Duty and Investment Advice: Attitudes of 401(k) and 403(b) Participants

[9/11/13] Business Insider: “Baby Boomers Have No Idea What To Do With Their Retirement Money

[9/11/13] Huffington Post: “Top 5 Reasons Why Retiring Today Is Harder Than Ever

[9/11/13] Human Resource Executive Online: “Post-DOMA Confusion Begins to Clear

[9/10/13] Internal Revenue Service: Section 223: Health Savings Accounts -- Preventive health services required under Public Health Service Act section 2713 and preventive care for purposes of Health Savings Accounts [Notice 2013-57]

[9/10/13] WRAL TechWire: “Time Warner joins IBM in moving retirees off corporate health plan

[9/10/13] Towers Watson: “Top pension funds back on growth track

[9/10/13] MarketWatch [Blog]: “Budget talks could alter 401(k), IRA rules

[9/10/13] Plan Sponsor: “BofA Finds Advice Improves Financial Wellness

[9/10/13] U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics: “Tenure of American Workers

[9/9/13] Bloomberg: “GE to IBM Ending Retiree Health Plans in Historic Shift

[9/9/13] Internal Revenue Service: Health Care Law Online Resources (for individuals, families, and employers)

[9/9/13] The Los Angeles Times: “As healthcare law rolls out, its effects will depend on your state

[9/9/13] Society for Human Resource Management: “Consumer Satisfaction Rises for CDHPs, Still Trails Traditional Plans

[9/9/13] Boston.com: “How to invest in your health care

[9/9/13] BenefitsPro: “Above ‘averages’” by Nevin Adams [regarding 401(k) account balances]

[9/9/13] Transamerica Center for Retirement Studies: Unlocking Secrets of Retirement Readiness: Meet the Everyday People Who Are ‘Power Planners’

[9/6/13] Society for Human Resource Management: “Time for Defined Contribution Health Benefits?

[9/6/13] Morningstar: “Update: Health insurance that puts your cash on the line

[9/6/13] The New York Times: “When Health Deductibles Rise, Men Delay Emergency Care

[9/6/13] National Association of Government Defined Contribution Administrators: NAGDCA Best Practices Guide

[9/6/13] Plan Sponsor: “Participants Want Retirement Readiness Help from Sponsors

[9/6/13] The Washington Post: “Long-term, who will take care of you?

[9/5/13] U.S. Department of Labor Employee Benefits Security Administration:

[9/5/13] Bankrate.com: “How to evaluate target-date funds

[9/5/13] The Wall Street Journal: “401(k) Plans Add More Personalized Advice

[9/5/13] National Association of State Retirement Administrators: Issue Brief: State Hybrid Retirement Plans

[9/5/13] U.S. Department of Labor: FAQs about the Affordable Care Act Implementation Part XVI -- Notice of Coverage Options Available Through the Exchanges

[9/5/13] The New England Journal of Medicine [Perspective]: “Only the Beginning -- What’s Next at the Health Insurance Exchanges?

[9/4/13] Plan Sponsor: “Plan Sponsorship and Participation Are Growing

[9/4/13] ConsumerAffairs.com: “The pension vs. 401(k) debate

[9/4/13] Fidelity Investments: “Your money -- first year of retirement: Where does the money go?

[9/4/13] State Budget Solutions: “Promises Made, Promises Broken - The Betrayal of Pensioners and Taxpayers

[9/4/13] Towers Watson: 2013 Global Survey of Accounting Assumptions for Defined Benefit Plans: Executive Summary

[9/4/13] Employee Benefit News: “How the ACA affects annual enrollment

[9/4/13] The Segal Company’s Public Sector Letter: “How to Talk to Employees about the Affordable Care Act

[9/4/13] Human Resource Executive Online: “The ACA Waiting Game

[9/3/13] U.S. News & World Report: “Half of Workers Lack Retirement Benefits

[9/3/13] The Washington Post: “401(k)s are replacing pensions. That’s making inequality worse.

[9/3/13] fiftyplusadvocate.com: “Seeking a softer retirement landing

[9/3/13] The Wall Street Journal: “Principal Financial Group Chairman and CEO Named 2013 Lillywhite Award Winner

[9/3/13] NBCNews.com: “As health costs rise, some companies blame Obamacare

[9/3/13] Segal Consulting Health Care Reform Insights: “Affordable Care Act Notice Requirements: Recap of What’s Required, Reminder of What’s Coming and How to Make the Most of Them


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


September 2013 EBRI Issue Brief - "Sources of Health Insurance and Characteristics of the Uninsured: Analysis of the March 2013 Current Population Survey"

September 2013 EBRI Notes - "2013 Health and Voluntary Workplace Benefits Survey: Nearly 90% of Workers Satisfied With Their Own Health Plan, But 55% Give Low Ratings to Health Care System" and "How Does Household Income Change in the Ten Years Around Age 65?"


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:

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

Private Health Insurance: The Range of Base Premiums in the Individual Market by State in January 2013. GAO-13-712R, July 23.

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.

Retirement Security: Challenges and Prospects for Employees of Small Businesses, by Charles A. Jeszeck, director, education, workforce, and income security, before the Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions. GAO-13-748T, July 16. 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 9/30/13