What's New - September 2017


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[9/28/17]  Sibson Consulting:  “Segal Health Plan Cost Trend Survey Finds High Rx Cost Trends Projected to Be Lower for 2018

[9/28/17]  Healthcare Financial Management Association:  “Employers See Upper Limit on HDHPs Approaching

[9/28/17]  mHealthIntelligence:  “How Do Corporate Health and Wellness Programs Measure mHealth ROI? -- A new study from Springbuk and Fitbit finds that companies are embracing mHealth wearables in their health and wellness programs, but they’re having problems measuring value.

[9/28/17]  International Foundation of Employee Benefit Plans:  Paid Leave in the Workplace: 2017 Survey Results

[9/28/17]  National Academy of Social Insurance:  Paid Family and Medical Leave Programs: State Pathways and Design Options

[9/28/17]  MBO Partners, Inc.:  Looking Forward: What Will the Independent Workforce Look Like in 2027?

[9/28/17]  Conduent:  “Roth Deferrals: Don’t Assume Employees ‘Get It’

[9/28/17]  NAPA Net:  “Is Rothification Off the Table?

[9/21/17]  Kaiser Family Foundation:  2017 Employer Health Benefits Survey [Overview]

[9/21/17]  Modern Healthcare:  “High deductibles help stabilize employer-sponsored insurance premiums

[9/21/17]  Mercer:  “Mercer Survey Shows Employers Face a 4.3% Increase in 2018 US Health Benefit Cost, Highest Since 2011, But Trend Stable

[9/21/17]  Specialty Pharmacy Times:  “Growth in Average Health Care Cost Per Employee Driven by Specialty Drugs

[9/21/17]  DataPath, Inc.:  “What is Healthcare Consumerism and How Does it Affect Healthcare?

[9/21/17]  Kaiser Family Foundation:  “Key Facts about the Uninsured Population

[9/21/17]  Bank of America Merrill Lynch:  2017 Workplace Benefits Report Supplement: A Closer Look at Healthcare

[9/21/17]  Ernst & Young:  How do you know if financial wellness is paying off for you and your people? Understanding the ROI of employee financial wellness

[9/21/17]  PlanSponsor:  “TDFs Outperformed Typical DC Investor Since 2006 -- The Callan DC Index also shows nearly three-fourths of DC plan account balance growth has been due to investment performance.

[9/21/17]  Mercer:  Adventures in Pension Risk Management [Note: The full report can be downloaded at the website.]

[9/21/17]  Investopedia:  “401(k) Fees: Are You Still Paying Too Much?

[9/21/17]  Retirement Income Journal:  “Bob Reynolds Sees the Future of 401ks” [Note: A subscription may be required to view the full article.]

[9/21/17]  Tax Foundation:  “What Rothification Means for Tax Reform

[9/21/17]  Social Security Administration:  Fast Facts & Figures About Social Security, 2017

[9/21/17]  The Motley Fool:  “6 States That Are the Most Likely to Tax Your Social Security Income -- Though 13 states tax Social Security benefits, seven have pretty generous exemption levels.

[9/14/17]  Milliman 100 Pension Funding Index:  “Milliman Analysis: Pension funded status declines by $17 billion in August  -- The funding deficit for the 100 largest corporate pensions reaches $298 billion

[9/14/17]  MetLife:  Pension Risk Transfer Poll: A 2017 Survey of U.S. Defined Benefit Plan Sponsors

[9/14/17]  Willis Towers Watson:  “White Label Fund Options for DC Plans

[9/14/17]  LIMRA Secure Retirement Institute:  “Moving Money: Why Do People Move from One IRA Firm to Another?

[9/14/17]  MassMutual:  MassMutual Middle America Men & Women Finances Study

[9/14/17]  Human Resource Executive Online:  “Age of Anxiety -- Stereotypes notwithstanding, millennial workers are actively saving for retirement. But many still struggle with fear and ignorance in managing their 401(k) accounts. Experts -- and millennials themselves -- say employers can help.

[9/14/17]  PlanSponsor:  “Encouraging HSA Use as a Retirement Savings Vehicle -- Health savings accounts are seen as a valuable tool for covering health care costs in retirement.

[9/14/17]  DataPath, Inc.:  “Guide to Investing Your HSA Account for Growth

[9/14/17]  U.S. Census Bureau:  “Income, Poverty and Health Insurance Coverage in the United States: 2016

[9/14/17]  Midwest Business Group on Health:  Drawing a Line in the Sand: Employers Must Rethink Pharmacy Benefit Strategies

[9/14/17]  Mercer:  “This Open Enrollment, Think of Employees as Shoppers

[9/14/17]  FierceHealthcare:  “New value-based insurance model aims to turn high-deductible plans on their heads

[9/14/17]  Kaiser Health News:  “Reporter’s Notebook: In Health Care, A Good Price Is Hard To Find

[9/14/17]  HealthLeaders Media:  “Cost is Top Reason for Not Filling a Medication Prescription

[9/7/17]  Willis Towers Watson:  “The World’s 300 Largest Pension Funds--Year Ended 2016

[9/7/17]  PlanAdviser:  “DC Plans Account for 28% of the Nation’s $26.1 Trillion in Retirement Assets -- The Investment Company Institute has issued a report, “Ten Important Facts About 401(k) Plans

[9/7/17]  ICI Research Report:  “Defined Contribution Plan Participants’ Activities, First Quarter 2017

[9/7/17]  Vanguard Blog for Institutional Investors:  “The more things change, the more things stay the same

[9/7/17]  Bloomberg BNA:  “Millennials Look to Do Well, and Good, With Pension Investments

[9/7/17]  OneAmerica:  “Survey: Less Than Half of Employed Americans Have Workplace Group Life Insurance

[9/7/17]  Namely:  “Open Enrollment: What Employees Really Want -- Survey Findings & Action Items for HR Professionals” [Note: The free report can be downloaded at the website.]

[9/7/17]  Virgin Pulse and Human Capital Media:  The Business of Healthy Employees: A 2017 Survey of Workplace Health Priorities

[9/7/17]  Willis Towers Watson:  “Innovation in benefits, yes benefits

[9/7/17]  Conduent FYI®:  “October 14, 2017 Deadline for Medicare Part D Creditable/Non-Creditable Coverage Notices Nears

[9/1/17]  Gallup:  “What Are the Best Employee Perks? 4 Questions to Ask First

[9/1/17]  Benefitfocus [Blog]:  “3 Reasons Your Employees Make Bad Decisions at Open Enrollment

[9/1/17]  National Center for Health Statistics:  Health Insurance Coverage: Early Release of Estimates From the National Health Interview Survey, January - March 2017

[9/1/17]  PlanSponsor:  “HSA Assets Have Grown 23% Over the Past Year to $42.7B -- The number of accounts grew 16%, to 21 million, according to Devenir Research.

[9/1/17]  Human Resource Executive Online [Blog]:  “Workers Wary of High-Deductible Health Plans

[9/1/17]  Kaiser Health News:  “Too Few Patients Follow the Adage: You Better Shop Around

[9/1/17]  Fidelity Investments:  “Retiree health care costs continue to surge -- Tab for your health care post-age 65? Try $275,000 per couple.

[9/1/17]  Milliman 100 Public Pension Funding Index:  “Milliman Analysis: Public pension funded ratio continues to improve through second quarter, now at 73.0% -- Public pension asset performance remained strong in the second quarter of 2017, generating a $33 billion improvement in funded status

[9/1/17]  Fidelity Investments:  Plan Sponsor Attitudes -- Survey Results: 8th Edition

[9/1/17]  NEPC:  “Corporate Defined Contribution Plans Report Flat Fees” 

[9/1/17]  401(k) Specialist:  “7 Reasons to Re-Enroll 401k Participants

[9/1/17]  Investment Company Institute:  Ten Important Facts About 401(k) Plans

[9/1/17]  Consumer Reports:  “Time to Give Your 401(k) a Checkup

[9/1/17]  401(k) Specialist:  “4 Critical Trends in 401k Plan Service

[9/1/17]  Human Resource Executive Online:  “The ABCs of ETFs -- While exchange-traded fund assets have been growing in popularity among individual investors, employers have been slow to include them in retirement-plan offerings. Here’s what plan fiduciaries need to know before adding them as an option for employees.

[9/1/17]  The Capital Group:  New Workforce Natives: Millennials’ Attitudes on Work, Retirement and Investing

[9/1/17]  Prudential Financial:  Gig Workers in America -- Profiles, Mindsets, and Financial Wellness

What's new at EBRI this month:

EBRI's Recent Media Coverage

Change in Average Account Balances (by Age and Tenure)


Sept. 20, 2017 EBRI Notes - "Employee Tenure Trends, 1983-2016"

Sept. 19, 2017 EBRI Issue Brief - "Health Savings Account Balances, Contributions, Distributions, and Other Vital Statistics, 2016: Statistics from the EBRI HSA Database"

Sept. 12, 2017 EBRI Issue Brief - "2015 Update of the EBRI IRA Database: IRA Balances, Contributions, Rollovers, Withdrawals, and Asset Allocation"

Aug. 31, 2017 EBRI Notes - "After Years of Erosion, Mid-size and Some Small Employers Added Health Coverage in 2016"

Aug. 3, 2017 EBRI Issue Brief - "401(k) Plan Asset Allocation, Account Balances, and Loan Activity in 2015"

July 12, 2017 EBRI Issue Brief - "The Impact of Offering Free Coverage on Enrollment Choice and Risk Selection in an HSA-eligible Health Plan"

July 11, 2017 EBRI Issue Brief - "Trends in Health Savings Account Balances, Contributions, Distributions, and Investments, 2011-2016: Statistics from the EBRI HSA Database"

May 25, 2017 EBRI Issue Brief - "Consumer Engagement in Health Care: Findings from the 2016 EBRI/Greenwald & Associates Consumer Engagement in Health Care Survey"

May 16, 2017 EBRI Notes - "Importance of Individual Account Retirement Plans and Home Equity in Family Total Wealth"

April 27, 2017 EBRI Notes - "Consumer Engagement in Health Care and Choice of Health Plan: Differences Among Millennials, Baby Boomers, and Generation X Have Implications for Plan Sponsors"

April 18, 2017 EBRI Notes - "Value of Workplace Benefits: Findings from the 2016 Health and Voluntary Workplace Benefits Survey"

March 23, 2017 EBRI Issue Brief - "Health Plan Switching: A Case Study--Implications for Private- and Public-Health-Insurance Exchanges and Increased Health Plan Choice"

March 21, 2017 EBRI Issue Brief - "The 2017 Retirement Confidence Survey: Many Workers Lack Retirement Confidence and Feel Stressed About Retirement Preparations"

Feb. 27, 2017 EBRI Notes - "Retirement Policy Directions in 2017 and Beyond"

Feb. 23, 2017 EBRI Notes - "Health Experts Consider a Post-ACA World"

Feb. 21, 2017 EBRI Notes - "Geographic Variation in Spending Among Older American Households"

Feb. 8, 2017 EBRI Issue Brief - "How Does the Level of Household Savings Affect Preference for Immediate Annuities?"

Jan. 31, 2017 EBRI Notes - "Savings Medicare Beneficiaries Need for Health Expenses: Some Couples Could Need as Much as $350,000"

Jan. 17, 2017 EBRI Issue Brief - "Individual Retirement Account Balances, Contributions, Withdrawals, and Asset Allocation Longitudinal Results 2010-2014: The EBRI IRA Database"


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:

Older Workers: Phased Retirement Programs, Although Uncommon, Provide Flexibility for Workers and Employers. GAO-17-536: Published June 20, 2017; Publicly Released July 20, 2017.

Private Health Insurance: In Most States and New Exchanges, Enrollees Continued to be Concentrated among Few Issuers in 2014. GAO-16-724, September 6, 2016; Reissued on February 14, 2017.

Retirement Security: Improved Guidance Could Help Account Owners Understand the Risks of Investing in Unconventional Assets.
GAO-17-102: Published Dec. 8, 2016; Publicly Released Jan. 9, 2017.

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.  

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Updated 9/28/17