What's New - July 2016

Index to All Months

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[7/22/16] The Pew Charitable Trusts: Worker Benefits--and Their Costs--Vary Widely Across U.S. Industries

[7/22/16] Kaiser Health News: “Justice Department Sues To Block Health Care Mega-Mergers

[7/22/16] U.S. Departments of the Treasury (IRS), Labor (EBSA), and Health & Human Services (CMS): Coverage for Contraceptive Services; Request for information [as published in the Federal Register on July 22, 2016 - DATES: Comments must be submitted on or before September 20, 2016.]

[7/22/16] National Business Group on Health: “Employees Report High Satisfaction with Health and Well-being Programs, but More Personalization Is Needed

[7/22/16] Bloomberg BNA: “Telemedicine Arrangements: Beware of Inadvertently Dialing Up an Excise Tax

[7/22/16] HIT Consultant: “Is Wearable Technology the Future of Medicine?

[7/22/16] Xerox Corporation FYI®: “Proposed Regulations Provide Permanent Relief for Expatriate Health Plans

[7/22/16] AEIdeas [A Public Policy Blog from AEI]: “First look at the Republican platform on health care

[7/22/16] PlanSponsor: “True-Up Employer Matches Even Things Out -- Spotlighting industry data from PLANSPONSOR’s proprietary research.

[7/22/16] Financial Finesse: “The Hidden Downsides of a 401(k) Loan

[7/22/16] MyCentralOregon.com: “Oregon Retirement Savings Plan Set to Launch in 12 Months

[7/22/16] NAPA Net: “Democrats’ Platform Stakes Out Retirement Priorities

[7/22/16] USA Today: “Delayed retirement is both a symptom and a cause of a troubled economy

[7/22/16] Brookings: “Labor Force Dynamics in the Great Recession and Its Aftermath: Implications for Older Workers

[7/21/16] U.S. Departments of Labor (EBSA), Treasury (IRS), and Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation: Proposed Revision of Annual Information Return/Reports; Notice of proposed forms revisions [as published in the Federal Register on July 21, 2016 - The proposed revisions would affect employee pension and welfare benefit plans, plan sponsors, administrators, and service providers to plans subject to annual reporting requirements under ERISA and the Code. DATES: Written comments must be received by the Department of Labor on or before October 4, 2016.]

[7/21/16] CNBC: “The ‘safe’ retirement investment is about to change -- Money market reform paves the way for stable value in 401(k)s

[7/21/16] WealthManagement.com: “401(k) Investors Feel Confident, Know Little About Their Investments

[7/21/16] PlanAdviser: “Participants in the Dark on a Myriad of Financial Topics -- Sponsors have a tremendous opportunity to build loyalty by educating their workers on financial topics.

[7/21/16] The Atlantic: “The Two Biases That Keep People From Saving Money -- Thinking about the future is hard.

[7/21/16] United States Congress:

[7/21/16] Natixis Global Asset Management: 2016 Natixis Global Retirement Index

[7/21/16] Florida Trend: “High-Deductible Insurance: So-called ‘consumer-driven health plans’ are gaining popularity, but cost savings for companies are uncertain.

[7/21/16] Willis Towers Watson: “Fifty-six percent of employers confident public health insurance exchanges will be an option for pre-65 retiree coverage within two years

[7/21/16] Data Path, Inc.: “Limited Purpose FSAs

[7/21/16] HealthPayerIntelligence: “Healthcare Spending Growth Hits 5.8% Yearly from 2015-2025 -- By 2025, healthcare spending is expected to make up one-fifth of the total U.S. economy.

[7/21/16] Health Affairs [Blog]: “Losing the ‘All’ in All-Payer Claims Databases

[7/21/16] Kaiser Health News: “Even If Justice Dept. Blocks Insurer Mega-Mergers, Consolidation Trend Likely To Continue

[7/20/16] NASRA Issue Brief: “State and Local Government Contributions to Statewide Pension Plans: FY 14” [July 2016]

[7/20/16] TheStreet: “401(k) Bonanza: Why More Americans Are Feeding Their Retirement Accounts

[7/20/16] MSN: “8 Reasons To Never Borrow From Your 401(k)

[7/20/16] Xerox Corporation FYI®: “DOL Increases Penalties for ERISA Compliance Violations

[7/20/16] Urban Institute: “Employer-Sponsored Insurance Stays Strong, with No Signs of Decay under the ACA: Findings through March 2016

[7/20/16] The Commonwealth Fund: Rising to the Challenge: The Commonwealth Fund Scorecard on Local Health System Performance [2016 Edition]

[7/20/16] FiveThirtyEight: “Kitchen Table Politics: The Cost and Quality of Health Care

[7/20/16] AHIP Data Brief: “Impact of Physician Workforce Supply on Health Care Network Adequacy” [Note: The full PDF can be downloaded at the website.]

[7/20/16] Vox.com: “America’s health care prices are out of control. These 11 charts prove it.

[7/20/16] Kaiser Health News: “Insurer Mega-Mergers To Be Challenged By Justice Department On Antitrust Concerns

[7/19/16] The Wall Street Journal: “Starbucks Widens Workers’ Health-Insurance Options -- Coffee chain to offer some U.S. employees the opportunity to shop for insurance on a private exchange

[7/19/16] Frenkel Benefits: “Consumer-Driven Plan Enrollment Still Elusive in the Middle-Market

[7/19/16] Xerox Corporation [Blog]: “Health Savings Accounts: Contributions

[7/19/16] CNBC: “Retirement puzzle: Find out what your 401K costs, and how to make it work for you

[7/19/16] Financial Finesse: Financial Stress Research

[7/19/16] PlanSponsor: “Universal Retirement Plan Bill Introduced -- The bill would require employers with 10 or more employees who do not already offer a retirement plan, to contribute 50 cents per hour worked, per employee, to retirement accounts for employees.

[7/19/16] NAPA Net: “Michigan Lawmakers Introduce Auto-IRA Bill

[7/19/16] The Motley Fool (via USA Today): “Spousal IRA rules for couples in 2016

[7/18/16] Willis Towers Watson Insider: “Recommendations from House Republicans Would Affect Employee Benefits and Pay

[7/18/16] J.P. Morgan Asset Management: Guiding Participants from Intent to Action: 2016 Defined Contribution Plan Participant Survey Findings

[7/18/16] InvestmentNews: “401(k) investors concentrated in low-cost mutual funds: Investment Company Institute

[7/18/16] Market Strategies International [Blog]: “DC Plans Shifting From One-Size-Fits-All To One-On-One Retirement Advice

[7/18/16] NAPA Net: “Providers Stepping Up Their Game; Sponsors Taking Note

[7/18/16] The Principal Blog: “Despite the Brexit, We Believe Target Date Fund Investors Should Stay the Course!

[7/18/16] Bloomberg BNA: “Fidelity Win Highlights Ways Companies Profit From 401(k)s

[7/18/16] National Law Review: “Update on Lawsuits Challenging U.S. Department of Labor’s Fiduciary Rule

[7/18/16] The Wall Street Journal: “Public Misperceptions About Obamacare Premium Increases

[7/15/16] PlanSponsor: “A Combination of Benefits/Perks Drives Overall Employee Well-Being

[7/15/16] Benefits Quarterly: “Examining the Evolution of Paid Parental Leave

[7/15/16] U.S. Department of Labor, Wage and Hour Division: The Employer’s Guide to The Family and Medical Leave Act

[7/15/16] PBS NewsHour: “$10,345 per person: U.S. health care spending reaches new peak

[7/15/16] American College of Physicians: Addressing the Increasing Burden of Health Insurance Cost Sharing [A Position Paper]

[7/15/16] Kaiser Health News: “Younger Seniors Amass More End-Of-Life Care Than Oldest Americans, Study Finds

[7/15/16] ICI Research Perspective: “The Economics of Providing 401(k) Plans: Services, Fees, and Expenses, 2015

[7/15/16] Vanguard Blog: “Mind fund details, not labels

[7/15/16] Nuveen Asset Management [Market Commentary]: Long Bonds for the Short Run

[7/15/16] Charles Schwab: 2016 RIA Benchmarking Study from Charles Schwab

[7/15/16] CNBC: “Big IRAs and 401(k)s are at risk: Where else to save? Alternatives abound for those who are flush with cash

[7/15/16] Cammack Retirement Group: “Some Top of Mind Thoughts on the Proposed 5500 Revisions

[7/15/16] NAPA Net: “Target Targeted in Stock Drop Suit

[7/15/16] Retirement Income Journal: “The short goodbye… it’s linked to retirement readiness” [Note: A subscription may be required to view the full article.]

[7/14/16] Internal Revenue Service: “Employers: Here’s a Mid-Year Affordable Care Act Refresher” [IRS Health Care Tax Tip 2016-60, July 13, 2016]

[7/14/16] Human Resource Executive Online: “’Telemental’ Health is Trending Upward -- Research finds ‘telemental’ health technologies are emerging to deliver mental-health services to employees in new ways. Experts extol the virtues of such approaches, but caution HR leaders to be mindful of the privacy concerns and other issues surrounding these services.

[7/14/16] Slott Report: “Want to Fund Your HSA with Your IRA? Here’s How

[7/14/16] USA Today: “New tool searches health prices by doctor, insurance

[7/14/16] Kaiser Health News: “National Health Spending Expected To Hit New High Of $10,000 Per Person

[7/14/16] Business Insurance: “Justice Department nearing decision on health insurer mergers

[7/14/16] The Motley Fool (via USA Today): “Average American household approaching retirement has this much saved up

[7/14/16] Charles Schwab: “Postponing Retirement? Don’t Postpone Planning for It!

[7/14/16] Bankers Life Center for a Secure Retirement: Paying for the New Retirement: Responsibilities and Challenges for Middle-Income Boomers [Note: The full study can be downloaded at the website.]

[7/14/16] FINRA Investor Education Foundation: Financial Capability in the United States 2016

[7/14/16] NAPA Net: “DOL Fires Back at Litigation Claims

[7/14/16] Illinois News Network: “Chicago teacher bailout on hold until state pension reform

[7/13/16] Investment Company Institute [Viewpoints]: “Building on the Success of the Private-Sector Retirement System Is the Real ‘Secure Choice’

[7/13/16] TheStreet: “Only 1 in 3 Millennials Invest in the Stock Market -- Millennials are overwhelmingly abstaining from entering the markets. Here’s why.

[7/13/16] Investor’s Business Daily: “Does Retirement Feel Further and Further Away? You’re Not Alone

[7/13/16] PlanSponsor: “Court Moves Forward Delta Pilots’ Suit Against PBGC

[7/13/16] Bloomberg BNA: “Court Prohibits ESOP Participants From Selling Company Stock” [Harper v. Conco ESOP Trs.]

[7/13/16] Business Insider: “Ask a Financial Planner: ‘How many bank accounts should I have?’

[7/13/16] American Health Policy Institute and Leavitt Partners: High-Cost Claimants: Private vs. Public Sector Approaches

[7/13/16] Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Issue Brief: “Understanding the Use and Impact of Price Transparency in Health Care: Where Are We and Where Do We Go from Here?

[7/13/16] HR Daily Advisor: “Wellness Programs Expand to Improve Employees’ ‘Total Wellbeing’

[7/13/16] Covering Health [Blog]: “Tapping into workplace wellness technology trends

[7/13/16] TechCrunch: “The future of healthcare is not people versus machines

[7/13/16] Congressional Research Service: Overview of Health Insurance Exchanges

[7/12/16] Milliman 100 Pension Funding Index: “Milliman Analysis: Funded status plummets in June, was Brexit to blame?

[7/12/16] National Institute on Retirement Security: Preserving Retirement Income Security for Public Sector Employees

[7/12/16] National Public Pension Coalition: “The Great Recession and Public Pensions

[7/12/16] Kravitz: 2016 National Cash Balance Research Report

[7/12/16] Defined Contribution Institutional Investment Association: Automatic Plan Features in Defined Contribution Plans: What’s in it for Plan Sponsors?

[7/12/16] Bloomberg BNA: “Edison Executives Beat ERISA Challenge to Stock Losses

[7/12/16] U.S. Department of Labor Employee Benefits Security Administration: Proposal to Modernize and Improve the Form 5500 Annual Return/Report Filed By Employee Benefit Plans [Fact Sheet]

[7/12/16] U.S. Department of Labor Employee Benefits Security Administration: Class Exemption for Principal Transactions In Certain Assets Between Investment Advice Fiduciaries and Employee Benefit Plans and IRAs; Technical corrections [as published in the Federal Register on July 11, 2016 - Issuance date: These technical corrections are issued July 11, 2016, without further action or notice. Applicability date: The Principal Transactions Exemption, as corrected herein, is applicable to transactions occurring on or after April 10, 2017.]

[7/12/16] U.S. Department of Labor Employee Benefits Security Administration: Best Interest Contract Exemption; Technical corrections [as published in the Federal Register on July 11, 2016 - Issuance date: These technical corrections are issued July 11, 2016, without further action or notice. Applicability date: The Best Interest Contract Exemption, as corrected herein, is applicable to transactions occurring on or after April 10, 2017.]

[7/12/16] Center for Consumer Information and Insurance Oversight: Q&A on the Summary of Benefits and Coverage Applicability Date

[7/12/16] Benefitfocus [Blog]: “Your Guide to Managing ACA Subsidies and Appeals

[7/12/16] Reuters: “Extra incentives boost results from workplace walking program

[7/12/16] Gallup: “U.S. Uninsured Rate Remains at Historical Low of 11.0%

[7/12/16] Xerox Corporation [Blog]: “Millennials on Millennials: Are you not entertained?

[7/8/16] PlanSponsor: “Cash Balance Plans Continue to Be Attractive Option for Employers -- Kravitz found a 19% year-over-year increase in new cash balance plans, compared to 2% for new 401(k)s.

[7/8/16] PlanAdviser: “Developing 403(b) Service Strategies Now May Pay Off -- Some DC plan providers see big opportunity ahead in helping higher education institutions prepare their workforces for retirement via 403(b) and 457 plans.

[7/8/16] CNBC: “As 401(k) suits mount, check your own plan -- Are high costs lurking in your retirement plan?

[7/8/16] Schwartz Center for Economic Policy Analysis, The New School: “Household Economic Shocks Increase Retirement Wealth Inequality

[7/8/16] Nasdaq: “5 Proven Ways to Save for Retirement Without a Full-Time Job

[7/8/16] NAPA Net: “House Moves to Defund Fiduciary Regulation; Litigation Proceeds

[7/8/16] PlanSponsor: “Compliance Considerations for 2017 Health Benefits Planning

[7/8/16] Health Care Attorneys P.C.: “Corrected Returns - When an Employer Needs to File a Corrected Form 1095-C

[7/8/16] Human Resource Executive Online: “Exchanges Trigger Mixed Reactions -- Now that private healthcare exchanges have been around for several years, have they been delivering on their key promise to help large employers control or lower healthcare costs?

[7/8/16] CNBC: “Wealthy spending more on health care than poor and middle class, reversing trend

[7/8/16] The Commonwealth Fund: “New ACA Marketplace Findings: Subsidies for Lower-Income Enrollees Make Insurance Premium and Deductible Costs Comparable to Employer Coverage

[7/8/16] Kaiser Health News: “Congressional Republicans Battle Health Law Spending On Two Fronts -- The Hill and In Court

[7/7/16] Willis Towers Watson Insider: “Final regulations issued on ACA nondiscrimination in health programs and activities

[7/7/16] Healthcare Reform Digest: “Managing Marketplace Notices: Action Required

[7/7/16] HRBenefitsAlert.com: “The giant mistake 40-50% of your HSA-eligible employees make

[7/7/16] Healthcare Finance: “How running its own health plan helped MGM Resorts save big on narrow network -- Out-of-pocket expenses have dropped for employees, while access to care has not suffered, executives say.

[7/7/16] U.S. House of Representatives, Committee on Ways and Means: “Passed in the House: Jenkins Bill to Protect Taxpayer Dollars, Empower Patients with Access and Choice

[7/7/16] Willis Towers Watson: Unlocking Value From Effective Retirement Plan Governance: The 2016 Willis Towers Watson U.S. Retirement Plan Governance Survey [Note: The full report can be downloaded at the website.]

[7/7/16] NAPA Net: “Reinventing After-tax Contributions

[7/7/16] National Association of Government Defined Contribution Administrators: Using Auto-Enroll to Improve Participant Outcomes

[7/7/16] CBS MoneyWatch: “States aim to fill pension gaps with ‘auto IRAs’

[7/7/16] Brookings: “How much paid parental leave do Americans really want?

[7/6/16] PlanSponsor: “ACO Helps Employers Save on Health Benefits -- By contracting directly with health care providers, identifying the chronically ill population and incentivizing the best care, employers can save up to 30% on health care costs, CBIZ finds.

[7/6/16] Human Resource Executive Online: “Trouble with Transparency in Health Pricing -- A high-profile study suggests that medical price-shopping tools don’t cut health-care costs. But they still have real -- and growing -- value for companies, many experts say.

[7/6/16] The Wall Street Journal: “The Next Big Debate in Health Care

[7/6/16] Federal Telemedicine News: “MedPAC Report Discusses Telehealth

[7/6/16] Securian Financial Group: Millennial and Baby Boomer Investors Survey: Data Report

[7/6/16] NAPA Net: “State-Run Retirement Program in Maryland Takes Effect

[7/6/16] Bloomberg BNA: “ERISA Class Action Targets Fujitsu’s 401(k) Plan Fees

[7/6/16] NAPA Net: “DOL Bumps Up Civil Monetary Penalties

[7/6/16] HREOnline [Blog]: “Brexit: The HR Implications

[7/6/16] CheatSheet: “5 Things Americans Spend All Their Money on These Days

[7/5/16] U.S. Census Bureau: Summary of the Quarterly Survey of Public Pensions for 2016:Q1 -- Assets Rise Slightly During First Quarter 2016

[7/5/16] NAPA Net: “How Much Did 401(k)s Lose to Brexit?

[7/5/16] The Wall Street Journal: “Why More 401(k) Plans Offer ‘Brokerage Windows’ -- The services expand investors’ choices, but they often come with extra fees that can reduce long-term returns

[7/5/16] Institutional Investor: “Corporate Pension Sponsors Fight for Ex-Employees’ 401(k) Assets -- United Technologies, International Paper and IBM have launched educational campaigns aimed at keeping departing staff in the company plan.

[7/5/16] InvestmentNews: “Dismissal of small 401(k) plan excessive-fee lawsuit ‘highly atypical’ -- The case, which involved a $9 million plan, was voluntarily dismissed by plaintiffs in an unusual turn of events” [Damberg et al v. LaMettry’s Collision Inc. et al]

[7/1/16] CNBC: “Public employees paying more into US pensions, uptrend seen extending

[7/1/16] MSN: “Millennials can save more for retirement by learning from baby boomers’ mistakes

[7/1/16] InvestmentNews: “Transamerica settles 401(k) excessive-fee lawsuit with its employees for $3.8 million

[7/1/16] Nerd’s Eye View at Kitces.com: “Planning Opportunities for Non-Spouse Beneficiaries of Inherited Retirement Accounts

[7/1/16] Kaiser Health News: “Catastrophic Insurance Could Help With Long-Term Care Expenses: Studies

[7/1/16] Journal of the American Medical Association: “Strategies for Health System Innovation After Gobeille v Liberty Mutual Insurance Company
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What's new at EBRI this month:

EBRI 2016 Spring Policy Forum: "Employee Engagement in Health and Retirement Challenges and Reforms" [“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]

Change in Average Account Balances (by Age and Tenure)

Publications:

April 2016 EBRI Issue Brief - "401(k) Plan Asset Allocation, Account Balances, and Loan Activity in 2014"

April 2016 EBRI Notes - "Trends in Retirement Satisfaction in the United States: Fewer Having a Great Time"

April 2016 EBRI Notes - "What Moves the Retirement Readiness Needle: Quantification of Risk and Evaluation of New Proposals"

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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:

Reports
Retirement Security: Low Defined Contribution Savings May Pose Challenges.
GAO-16-408, May 5. Highlights.

Retirement Security: Shorter Life Expectancy Reduces Projected Lifetime Benefits for Lower Earners.
GAO-16-354, March 25. Highlights.

Retirement Security: Better Information on Income Replacement Rates Needed to Help Workers Plan for Retirement.
GAO-16-242, March 1. 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.  

If your computer does not already have the free Adobe Acrobat viewer software to read PDF files, click here for the one-time download necessary to read PDF publications.

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Updated 7/22/16