What's New - April 2014

Index to All Months


SIGN UP FOR: EBRIef, a weekly update featuring both current and past EBRI research, testimony and presentations, as well as ASEC activities, regulatory updates, applicable court decisions, and research and news from across the employee benefit industry. Sign up here.

EBRIef archives:

Visit EBRI's Blog!


[4/23/14] Towers Watson: “Retirement Security Tops List of Employee Concerns: Results from Towers Watson’s 2013/2014 Global Benefit Attitudes Survey

[4/23/14] Investment Company Institute: 2014 ICI Retirement Summit: “A Close Look at Retirement Preparedness in America” -- Program Audio and Presentations

[4/23/14] Financial Finesse Reports: 2013 Research Year in Review

[4/23/14] Oye! Times [Toronto]: “A Snapshot of Retirement Confidence in America

[4/23/14] Congressional Research Service: The Affordable Care Act and Small Business: Economic Issues

[4/23/14] ModernHealthcare.com [Blog]: “Consumer-driven health plans draw healthier, wealthier enrollees

[4/23/14] Forbes: “The Latest Problem with Obamacare Could Cost You

[4/23/14] U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics: “Employer-sponsored healthcare benefits for domestic partners

[4/22/14] Towers Watson: “President Obama’s 2015 Budget Proposes Changes to Employer Benefits

[4/22/14] Principal Financial Group: The Principal Financial Well-Being Index: American Workers -- 1st Quarter 2014 [“American workers view themselves more physically fit than financially fit although workers recognize maintaining physical health is an investment in their financial future, according to new research from The Principal Knowledge Center.”]

[4/22/14] The Segal Group: Trends: Noteworthy Developments of Interest to Employers that Sponsor Health Plans [Second Quarter 2014]

[4/22/14] BenefitsPro: “CDHP enrollees healthier -- They also tend to be better educated

[4/22/14] Plan Sponsor: “ACA Prompts Scaling Back of Medical Plans

[4/22/14] Morningstar Advisor: “Obamacare and the Early Retiree

[4/22/14] Investment News: “Average retiree health costs could overtake Social Security benefits

[4/22/14] U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics BLS Reports: “Consumer Expenditures in 2012

[4/17/14] BenefitsPro: “Workforce aging as boomers stay on the job

[4/17/14] Mathematica Policy Research:

[4/17/14] The Los Angeles Times: “Health insurance gains since last fall hit 12 million, survey shows

[4/17/14] Healthcare Financial Management Association: Price Transparency in Health Care -- Report from the HFMA Price Transparency Task Force

[4/17/14] Milliman 100 Pension Funding Index: “Milliman analysis: Funded status drops by $5 billion in March -- The Milliman 100 PFI funded status deficit increases to $266 billion

[4/17/14] Plan Sponsor:

[4/17/14] MainStreet.com: “Retirement Outlook Hopeful -- If You Have a Plan

[4/17/14] Center for Retirement Research at Boston College [Blog]: “Marching to Retirement Without a Plan

[4/16/14] Plan Sponsor: “EBRI Presents New DC Approach to Health Benefits

[4/16/14] Kaiser Health News: “Census Changes Will Make It Difficult to Gauge Health Law’s Impact

[4/16/14] Congressional Budget Office: Updated Estimates of the Effects of the Insurance Coverage Provisions of the Affordable Care Act, April 2014

[4/16/14] The Segal Group: “Infographic of Key Findings from the Survey of Calendar-Year Plans’ 2014 Zone Status” [Multiemployer Pension Plans]

[4/16/14] Center for Retirement Research at Boston College: Why Don’t Lower-Income Individuals Have Pensions?

[4/16/14] ING U.S. Investment Management and ING Retirement Research Institute: Participant Preferences in Target Date Funds: An Update -- Examining Perceptions and Expectations Among Target Date Investors and Non-Investors

[4/16/14] Principal Financial Group: Study of Gen Y Workers

[4/16/14] The Wall Street Journal: “MyRA Plans: New Retirement Savings Option for Some -- MyRA plans benefit workers who lack access to employer-sponsored retirement plans

[4/15/14] United Benefit Advisors: “National Survey: Middle Market Employers See Twofold Increase in Wellness Programs in 2013

[4/15/14] BenefitsPro: “Dental and Vision Benefit Decisions Within the ACA

[4/15/14] Employee Benefit Adviser: “Retiree health coverage at crossroads for employers

[4/15/14] Human Resource Executive Online: “The Cost of Cancer in the Workplace

[4/15/14] The New York Times: “Tax Preparers’ New Role: Health-Coverage Advisers

[4/15/14] PIMCO: Defined Contribution Consulting Support and Trends Survey: 8th Annual Survey Highlights 2014

[4/15/14] Plan Sponsor: “Unfounded Optimism Noted in Schwab Survey

[4/15/14] Social Security Administration:

[4/14/14] HRBenefitsAlert.com: “Top 10 ways companies cut healthcare costs

[4/14/14] Prudential: Eighth Annual Study of Employee Benefits Today & Beyond: Group Benefits and the Defined Contribution Model

[4/14/14] Internal Revenue Service: Rollover Chart

[4/14/14] The New York Times: “Thought Secure, Pooled Pensions Teeter and Fall

[4/14/14] National Association of Government Defined Contribution Administrators: NAGDCA 2014 Survey of Defined Contribution Plans I

[4/14/14] USA Today: “How much income will you need in retirement

[4/14/14] Newsday: “Tools to guide you to your retirement savings goal

[4/14/14] T. Rowe Price: 6th Annual Parents, Kids & Money Survey [Detailed Results]

[4/11/14] Brookings:

[4/11/14] Healthcare Trends Institute: “Five Employer Characteristics for Private Exchange Implementation

[4/11/14] Human Resource Executive Online: “Private Exchange Designs Continue to Morph

[4/11/14] Robert Wood Johnson Foundation: “Coverage Expansion in the States: Challenge and Opportunity

[4/11/14] LIMRA Secure Retirement Institute: “4 in 10 Employers Believe Affordable Care Act Has Impacted Their Retirement Savings Plans

[4/11/14] The AllianceBernstein Blog on Investing: “Critical Mass: Defined Contribution Can Transcend State of Crisis

[4/11/14] Lake County News-Sun: “Secret to a successful retirement

[4/11/14] The Slott Report: “3 Things You Didn’t Know About IRA Prohibited Transactions

[4/10/14] The Washington Post: “One way to pay for health-care costs in retirement

[4/10/14] Private Exchange Evaluation Collaborative: Private Exchange Employer Survey Findings [Executive Summary]

[4/10/14] Buck Consultants FYI®: “IRS Windsor guidance limits retroactivity for retirement plans

[4/10/14] PricewaterhouseCoopers: Employee Financial Wellness Survey [2014 results]

[4/10/14] CBS Money Watch: “Nervous about retirement savings? Here’s how to prepare

[4/10/14] Plan Sponsor: “Affluent Millennials Prefer Online Brokerage Accounts

[4/10/14] USA Today: “Report: 85% of [public] pensions could fail in 30 years

[4/9/14] MetLife: 12th Annual U.S. Employee Benefit Trends Study -- Benefits Breakthrough: How Employees and Their Employers Are Navigating an Evolving Environment

[4/9/14] The Los Angeles Times: “Rand’s Obamacare stats: 9.3 million new insureds, and counting

[4/9/14] RAND Corporation: Changes in Health Insurance Enrollment Since 2013: Evidence from the RAND Health Reform Opinion Study

[4/9/14] Workforce.com: “Here Comes the Bride…There Go the Spousal Health Benefits

[4/9/14] U.S. House Committee on Ways & Means, Subcommittee on Health: Hearing on the Treasury Department’s Final Employer Mandate and Employer Reporting Requirements Regulations [Hearing held April 8, 2014, includes link to witness testimony]

[4/9/14] Plan Sponsor: “Online Tool Compares 401(k) Plan Fees

[4/9/14] Bankers Life Center for a Secure Retirement: Retirement Tax Considerations for Middle-Income Americans [Note: Full study can be downloaded at the website.]

[4/9/14] The Huffington Post: “The One Thing Boomers Are Optimistic About in Retirement

[4/8/14] Internal Revenue Service: Treatment of Marriages of Same-Sex Couples for Retirement Plan Purposes

[4/8/14] AARP: Fiduciary Duty and Investment Advice: Attitudes of Plan Sponsors [Includes links to the full report and to the executive summary]

[4/8/14] Insured Retirement Institute: Boomer Expectations for Retirement 2014: Fourth Annual Report on the Retirement Preparedness of the Boomer Generation

[4/8/14] Plan Sponsor: “Men Trump Women in Retirement Savings Rates

[4/8/14] MarketWatch: “40% or more could run short in retirement

[4/8/14] USA Today: “How your 401(k) could rip you off

[4/8/14] Workforce.com: “Filling Up on Wellness

[4/8/14] Gallup: “In U.S., Uninsured Rate Lowest Since 2008

[4/7/14] Fox Business: “Young People Not Signing Up for Employer-Sponsored Care Either

[4/7/14] ADP: 2014 ADP Annual Health Benefits Report [Note: The full report can be downloaded at the website.]

[4/7/14] Medical Marketing & Media: “For consumer-directed plan members, fewer prescriptions

[4/7/14] U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics: “Beyond the numbers: Employer-sponsored benefits extended to domestic partners

[4/7/14] Vanguard Commentary: “Perspectives on custom target-date strategies in DC plans

[4/7/14] Defined Contribution Institutional Investment Association: Implementing Automatic Features in Defined Contribution Plans: Answers to Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

[4/7/14] Buck Consultants FYI®: “PBGC proposes additional guarantee for rollover benefits

[4/7/14] USA Today: “New IRA rollover rules hit wealthiest savers

[4/4/14] Benz Communications: Creating Results With Benefits Communication [A White Paper by Jennifer Benz]

[4/4/14] The Washington Post: “House votes to change health-care law’s definition of full-time work

[4/4/14] Employers Council on Flexible Compensation: “New Law Signed by President Obama Eliminates Deductible Limits for Small Employer Market Health Plans

[4/4/14] Willis: The Willis Health and Productivity Survey Report, 2014

[4/4/14] Internal Revenue Service: Rollovers to Qualified Plans [Rev. Rul. 2014-9]

[4/4/14] Milliman: Milliman 2014 Pension Funding Study -- In a year of historic improvement in pension funded status, plans with the highest equity exposure were the biggest benefactors in 2013

[4/4/14] Millennium Trust Company: Managing Risk and Opportunity: Trends and Challenges in Defined Benefit Plans

[4/4/14] Bank of America Merrill Lynch Workplace Insights™: “401(k) Wellness Scorecard For quarter ending December 31, 2013

[4/4/14] Morningstar: “Update: Social Security can’t save us from the poorhouse

[4/4/14] TIAA-CREF Institute: College-Educated Millennials: An Overview of Their Personal Finances

[4/3/14] Internal Revenue Service Office of Chief Counsel: Health Flexible Spending Arrangement (health FSA) Carryovers and Eligibility for a Health Savings Account

[4/3/14] Journal of Accountancy: “How to calculate employer health care responsibilities

[4/3/14] Partnership for Prevention & National Business Coalition on Health: Leading by Example -- Creating a Corporate Health Strategy: The American Health Strategy Project Early Adopter Experience

[4/3/14] Hamodia.com: “Commentary: US Companies Are Chipping Away at Retiree Health Benefits

[4/3/14] International Foundation of Employee Benefit Plans: Financial Education for Today’s Workforce: 2014 Survey Results [Preliminary Findings - A full report with all findings will be released later this spring.]

[4/3/14] U.S. News & World Report: “Who Can’t Contribute to Retirement Accounts -- Several groups of people are prohibited from participating in 401(k)s and IRAs

[4/3/14] Plan Sponsor: “Six in Ten Plan to Save/Invest Tax Refund

[4/3/14] The Slott Report: “Don’t Rely on Your IRA Custodian to Pay You Your Required Minimum Distribution

[4/2/14] American Health Policy Institute: The Cost of the Affordable Care Act to Large Employers

[4/2/14] Society for Human Resource Management: “Do HSAs Lead to a Shift in Prescription Drug Use? -- Study raises issues about health savings accounts and Rx drugs

[4/2/14] Kaiser Health News [Blog]: “As Insurance Enrollment Exceeds 7M, Obama Says Health Law ‘Here to Stay’

[4/2/14] USA Today: “Health care spending growth hits 10-year high

[4/2/14] Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation: Title IV Treatment of Rollovers from Defined Contribution Plans to Defined Benefit Plans; Proposed rule [as published in the Federal Register on April 2, 2014]

[4/2/14] Center for Retirement Research at Boston College: Is Pension Coverage a Problem in the Private Sector?

[4/2/14] The Pew Charitable Trusts: The Fiscal Health of State Pension Plans: Funding Gap Continues to Grow

[4/2/14] Center for State & Local Government Excellence Issue Brief: “Using Automatic Escalation in Public Sector Retirement Plans to Increase Savings

[4/1/14] Families USA: “How to Find Out If Your Employer’s Health Plan Is Good Enough

[4/1/14] ThinkAdvisor: “White, Borzi and Legislators Focus on Fiduciary

[4/1/14] Legacy Retirement Solutions, LLC: Tax Credit for Small Employer Start-Up Plans

[4/1/14] American Benefits Council: The Role of Tax Incentives in Retirement Preparation

[4/1/14] azcentral.com: “IRAs still useful for many investors despite drawbacks

[4/1/14] Plan Sponsor: “Tips for Promoting Employee Financial Literacy

[3/31/14] International Foundation of Employee Benefit Plans: “Plan Now to Celebrate National Employee Benefits Day on April 2!” [“This year, the focus of National Employee Benefits Day is to increase awareness of the retirement crisis, and to help plan sponsors motivate participants to actively engage in their financial wellness.”]

[3/31/14] Life & Health Advisor: “National Retirement Planning Week® 2014 Scheduled for April 7 to 11 -- Weeklong Coalition Effort Seeks to Focus Nation’s Attention on Long-Term Financial Goals

What's new at EBRI this month:

EBRI 2013 Fall Policy Forum: “Employee Benefits: Today, Tomorrow, and Yesterday” [“gavel-to-gavel” webcast - Prerecorded broadcast available through the International Foundation of Employee Benefit Plans]

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


April 2014 EBRI Issue Brief - "Reference Pricing for Health Care Services: A New Twist on the Defined Contribution Concept in Employment-Based Health Benefits"

April 2014 EBRI Notes - "Characteristics of the Population With Consumer-Driven and High-Deductible Health Plans, 2005-2013" and "Labor-force Participation Rates of the Population Ages 55 and Older, 2013"


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:

Private Pensions: Pension Tax Incentives Update. GAO-14-334R, March 20.

Retirement Security: Trends in Marriage and Work Patterns May Increase Economic Vulnerability for Some Retirees. GAO-14-33, January 15. Highlights. Podcast.

Private Health Insurance: The Range of Base Premiums for Individuals Age 19 and 64 in the Individual Market by State in January 2013. GAO-14-263R, January 31.


Retirement Security: Trends in Marriage, Work, and Pensions May Increase Vulnerability for Some Retirees, by Barbara D. Bovbjerg, managing director, education, workforce, and income security, before the Senate Special Committee on Aging. GAO-14-272T, March 5. 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.

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.



Updated 4/23/14