What's New - April 2010

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As a research site, EBRI Online maintains old listings in the “What’s New” page, even though some of the older links may no longer function.  If you reach a bad link, go back to the main site by deleting everything after “.com” or “.org” or ".gov" or “.net” in the address. Since we maintain www.ebri.org/ as a research and education resource, and not current news, we hope you will understand our policy and the use for which it is maintained.  We apologize for any inconvenience.

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What's new at EBRI this month:

New EBRI Blog Is Now Live! [March 23, 2010]

“EBRI Now on Twitter” [EBRI Press Release, 2/6/09]

401(k) Balances and Changes Due to Market Volatility

Publications:

April 2010 EBRI Issue Brief - "The Impact of Automatic Enrollment in 401(k) Plans on Future Retirement Accumulations: A Simulation Study Based on Plan Design Modifications of Large Plan Sponsors"

April 2010 EBRI Notes - "The Use of Health Savings Accounts for Health Care in Retirement" and "Tax Expenditures and Employee Benefits: Estimates from the FY 2011 Budget"

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Sixth Edition of EBRI's Fundamentals of Employee Benefit Programs Is Now Available

New Survey Released March 19, 2008: Preparing for Their Future: A Look at the Financial State of Gen X and Gen Y - Press Release

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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:

Correspondence
Group Purchasing Organizations:  Research on Their Pricing Impact on Health Care Providers.  GAO-10-323R, January 29.

Reports
Troubled Asset Relief Program:  Automaker Pension Funding and Multiple Federal Roles Pose Challenges for the Future.  GAO-10-492, April 6. Highlights.

The Federal Government's Long-Term Fiscal Outlook:  January 2010 Update.  GAO-10-468SP, March 2.

Electronic Personal Health Information Exchange:  Health Care Entities' Reported Disclosure Practices and Effects on Quality of Care.  GAO-10-361, February 17. Highlights.

Testimony:
Medicare Part D:  Spending, Beneficiary Out-of-Pocket Costs, and Efforts to Obtain Price Concessions for Certain High-Cost Drugs, by John E. Dicken, director, health care, before the Senate Special Committee on Aging.  GAO-10-529T, March 17. 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.

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The U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) has established a National Call Center to serve its customers.  By calling 1-866-4-USA-DOL, America's employees and employers can find answers to questions on a range of employment issues.  This toll-free service offers live operator assistance and is a central access point for all DOL services and programs.  It serves both English and Spanish speaking callers.  The Call Center can assist workers and employers with questions about job loss, business closures, pay and leave, workplace injuries, safety and health, pension and health benefits, and reemployment rights for reservists.

 Additional Department of Labor toll-free numbers to call for questions regarding specific issues are listed below:

  •  1-877-US-2JOBS     Job Loss, Layoffs, Business Closures, Unemployment Benefits and Job Training

  •  1-866-4-US-WAGE     Pay, Overtime, Leave and Child Labor

  •  1-800-321-OSHA     Workplace Safety and Health

  •  1-877-889-5627     TTY number for all Department of Labor Questions


The Internal Revenue Service has announced that technical or procedural questions relating to retirement plans are answered at the EP Customer Account Services site.  Answers to many questions may already be available under Retirement Plans Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs).  If not:

Call:   TE/GE Customer Account Services at (877) 829-5500 (toll-free number).
           The call center is open 8:00am to 6:30pm Eastern Time.

Write:   Internal Revenue Service
              TE/GE Division, Customer Service
              P.O. Box 2508
              Cincinnati, OH 45201

Email:   RetirementPlanQuestions@irs.gov
              Note: All questions submitted via e-mail must be responded to via telephone,
              so please remember to include your phone number in your message.


[4/30/10]  USA Today:  “Workers Fight Uphill Battle on 401(k) Retirement Savings

[4/30/10]  Gallup:  “Americans Shift Expectations about Retirement Funding -- 401(k)/IRA Accounts Down but Still Top List; Social Security Moves Up

[4/30/10]  Investment News:  “Natixis Exec: Don’t Include Lifetime Income Options in 401(k)s

[4/30/10]  U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics Program Perspectives:  “’Frozen’ Defined-benefit Plans

[4/30/10]  International Accounting Standards Board®:

[4/30/10]  Investment Company Institute:  2010 Investment Company Factbook

[4/29/10]  U.S. News & World Report:  “6 Ways Couples Can Maximize Social Security Payouts

[4/29/10]  The Segal Company Bulletin:  “Final Rules for Disclosure of Multiemployer Actuarial and Financial Reports

[4/29/10]  PricewaterhouseCoopers:  Financial Reporting Implications of Health Care Legislation

[4/29/10]  Kaiser Health News:  “Small Business Owners Have Mixed Reviews on Health Law’s Tax Credits

[4/29/10]  USA Today:  “Health Insurance Risk Pools

[4/29/10]  The White House Blog:  “More Support for Young Adults

[4/28/10]  Internal Revenue Service:  Tax Treatment of Health Care Benefits Provided With Respect to Children Under Age 27 [Notice 2010-38]

[4/28/10]  Center for State & Local Government Excellence and National Institute on Retirement Security:

[4/28/10]  Economic Policy Institute Briefing Paper #261:  “Social Security and the Federal Budget

[4/28/10]  Genworth Financial:

[4/27/10]  The New York Times:  “Inquiry Says Health Care Charges Were Proper

[4/27/10]  California HealthCare Foundation:

[4/27/10]  Urban Institute:  The Effects of Large Premium Increases on Individuals, Families, and Small Businesses

[4/27/10]  The Commonwealth Fund:  Multinational Comparisons of Health Systems Data, 2008

[4/26/10]  Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services Office of the Actuary:  Estimated Financial Effects of the “Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act,” as Amended

[4/26/10]  Center on Budget and Policy Priorities:  Employer Responsibility in Health Reform

[4/26/10]  Kaiser Family Foundation:  Kaiser Health Tracking Poll -- April 2010

[4/23/10]  Prudential Retirement:  Leveraging Multiple Small Employer Plans to Close the Retirement Coverage Gap

[4/23/10]  Supreme Court of the United States:  Full text of Supreme Court decision in Conkright v. Frommert [Xerox Corp. pension case]

[4/23/10]  American Institute of Certified Public Accountants:

[4/23/10]  Charles Schwab:  Charles Schwab 2010 Families & Money Survey: Insights into Money Attitudes, Behaviors, and Concerns of the Sandwich Generation (Americans with Young Adult Children, Ages 23-28, and Living Parents)

[4/23/10]  USA Today:  “Generation Y’s Steep Financial Hurdles: Huge Debt, No Savings

[4/23/10]  Congressional Budget Office:  Payments of Penalties for Being Uninsured Under the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act

[4/22/10]  Hewitt Associates:  “Even Extreme Market Volatility Did Not Inspire Workers to Take Action in Their 401(k) Plans, According to New Hewitt Study” [Press Release]

[4/22/10]  The Los Angeles Times:  “Democrats Seek Greater Control over Health Insurance Rates

[4/22/10]  The Segal Group’s Health Care Reform Insights:  “Extension of Dependent Coverage to Age 26

[4/22/10]  Kaiser Family Foundation:

[4/21/10]  Milliman, Inc.:  Milliman 2010 Pension Funding Study: Modest Increase in 2009 Funded Status Despite Strong Investment Returns

[4/21/10]  U.S. News & World Report:  “Pension Relief Delay May Harm Private Plans

[4/21/10]  Center on Budget and Policy Priorities:  CLASS: A New Voluntary Long-Term Care Insurance Program

[4/21/10]  PricewaterhouseCoopers:  The CLASS Act: What Employers Should Know

[4/21/10]  Sibson Consulting Capital Checkup:  “CMS Announces Indexed Medicare Part D Amounts for 2011

[4/20/10]  The Vanguard Group:  Target-Date Fund Investing: Shattering the Myths

[4/20/10]  ING:  “ING Survey: Workplace Retirement Plan Investors More Informed and Active about Managing Savings

[4/20/10]  Towers Watson:  Workforce Health Strategies: A Multinational Perspective [Full report can be downloaded at the website]

[4/20/10]  U.S. Department of Labor Employee Benefits Security Administration:

[4/19/10]  Social Security Administration Office of Retirement and Disability Policy:  Policy Brief: Distributional Effects of Raising the Social Security Payroll Tax 

[4/19/10]  Buck Consultants FYI:  “Another COBRA Subsidy Extension Enacted

[4/19/10]  H.R. 4851:  “To provide a temporary extension of certain programs, and for other purposes” [short title: “Continuing Extension Act of 2010”] – See “Sec. 3. Extension and Improvement of Premium Assistance for COBRA Benefits”

[4/19/10]  Sibson Consulting:

[4/16/10]  The Vanguard Group:  “Retirement ready—or not?

[4/16/10]  Urban Institute Fact Sheet on Retirement Policy:  Retirement Account Balances -- Accumulations in Retirement Accounts, 2005 to 2010 [April 2010]

[4/16/10]  Del Webb:

[4/16/10]  American Association of Preferred Provider Organizations:  Small Employers Lead CDHP Adoption in 2009

[4/16/10]  The New York Times [Blog]:  “Will Write-Offs for Retiree Health Care Kill Jobs?” by Uwe E. Reinhardt

[4/16/10]  Business Insurance:  “Senate OKs Short-Term Extension of COBRA Subsidy

[4/15/10]  Congressional Research Service (via the National Conference of State Legislatures):  Summary of Potential Employer Penalties Under PPACA (P.L. 111-148)

[4/15/10]  The U.S. Departments of the Treasury (IRS), Labor (EBSA), and Health & Human Services (Office of the Secretary):  Medical Loss Ratios; Request for Comments Regarding Section 2718 of the Public Health Service Act [as published in the Federal Register of April 14, 2010]

[4/15/10]  The Washington Post:  “AP-GfK Poll: Resistance to Health Care Bill Strong

[4/15/10]  Spectrem Group:  “U.S. Retirement Assets Rise 18% in 2009, Spectrem Group Reports” [Press Release]

[4/15/10]  Prudential Financial:  Asian Americans on the Road to Retirement

[4/15/10]  Investment Company Institute:  Trends in the Fees and Expenses of Mutual Funds, 2009

[4/14/10]  MetLife:  8th Annual Study of Employee Benefits Trends [Full study can be downloaded at the website]

[4/14/10]  The Vanguard Group:  Target-Date Fund Adoption in 2009

[4/14/10]  Manhattan Institute for Policy Research Civic Report:  Underfunded Teacher Pension Plans: It’s Worse Than You Think

[4/14/10]  National Foundation for Credit Counseling:  The 2010 Consumer Financial Literacy Survey: Final Report

[4/14/10]  Consumer-Purchaser Disclosure Project:  Changing Delivery & Changing Care: Summary of the Delivery and Payment Reform Elements of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act of 2010

[4/13/10]  The New York Times:

[4/13/10]  Investment News:  “Officials: Annuitizing 401(k)s Won’t Be Easy

[4/13/10]  Business Insurance:

[4/13/10]  U.S. Department of Labor Employee Benefits Security Administration:  Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act [a webpage that includes links to resources on health reform]

[4/12/10]  Center for State & Local Government Excellence Issue Brief:  “The Funding of State and Local Pensions: 2009 to 2013

[4/12/10]  The Washington Post:  “Employers’ 401(k) Matches Are Making a Comeback

[4/12/10]  The Los Angeles Times:

[4/12/10]  Families USA Fact Sheet:  “What Will the New Health Reform Law Do in the First Year?

[4/9/10]  The White House:  Fact Sheet: Early Benefits from the Affordable Care Act of 2010 Reinsurance Program for Early Retirees

[4/9/10]  PricewaterhouseCoopers:  2010 Guide to ERISA Reporting & Disclosure

[4/9/10]  U.S. Department of Labor Employee Benefits Security Administration, Advisory Council on Employee Welfare and Pension Benefit Plans:

[4/9/10]  RAND:  “More Americans Will Delay Retirement; Trend Will Help Bolster Social Security and Medicare” [News Release]

[4/8/10]  Milliman, Inc.:  Monthly Benefit News and Developments [April 2010]

[4/8/10]  Towers Watson:  TW Pension 100: 2009 Disclosures of Funding, Discount Rates, Asset Allocations and Contributions

[4/8/10]  MetLife:  MetLife Stable Value Study: A Survey of Plan Sponsors and Stable Value Fund Providers

[4/8/10]  Internal Revenue Service:

[4/8/10]  Social Security Administration:  Income of the Aged Chartbook, 2008

[4/8/10]  U.S. Department of the Treasury:  General Explanations of the Administration’s Fiscal Year 2011 Revenue Proposals [“Green Book”]

[4/7/10]  Associated Press (via The Washington Post):  “GAO Warns Future of Automaker Pensions ‘Uncertain’

[4/7/10]  Transamerica Center for Retirement Studies:  11th Annual Retirement Survey (2009-2010)

[4/7/10]  Society of Actuaries:  2009 Risks and Process of Retirement Survey: Report of Findings

[4/7/10]  Buck Consultants:  Value-Based Design 2009: Survey Report

[4/7/10]  Council for Affordable Health Insurance:

[4/6/10]  National Center for Policy Analysis Policy Report No. 328:  “Preparing for Retirement in an Uncertain World

[4/6/10]  Social Security Administration:  Income of the Population 55 or Older, 2008

[4/6/10]  Grant Thornton, Drinker Biddle, and Plan Sponsor Advisors:  Retirement Plan Survey 2010: Discovering New Trends and Overcoming Challenges

[4/6/10]  Kaiser Family Foundation:

[4/6/10]  U.S. Department of Health & Human Services:  “Sebelius Continues Work to Implement Health Reform, Announces First Steps to Establish Temporary High Risk Pool Program” [News Release]

[4/5/10]  National Center for Policy Analysis:  Health Information Technology: Benefits and Problems

[4/5/10]  Hewitt Associates:  Special Report: With Passage of Reconciliation Bill, Congress Completes Health Care Reform

[4/5/10]  Towers Watson Health Care Reform Bulletin:  “President Signs Reconciliation Bill; Health Care Reform Law Now Complete; Employers Seek to Understand, Plan for and Implement over Balance of Decade

[4/5/10]  The Los Angeles Times:

[4/2/10]  Executive Office of the President, Council of Economic Advisers:  Work-Life Balance and the Economics of Workplace Flexibility

[4/2/10]  Internal Revenue Service:  Small Business Health Care Tax Credit

[4/2/10]  Kravitz:  National Cash Balance Research Report, 2010

[4/2/10]  RAND Financial Literacy Center:  A Joint Center of RAND, Dartmouth College, and the Wharton School

[4/1/10]  International Foundation of Employee Benefit Plans:  “Celebrate National Employee Benefits Day on April 6, 2010!

[4/1/10]  PRNewswire:  “Guardian Survey: When It Comes to Employee Benefits Enrollment, U.S. Trending Toward a Paperless Workplace” [Press Release]

[4/1/10]  Milliman’s Client Action Bulletin:  “Employer-Sponsored Health Plans under Healthcare Systems Reforms

[4/1/10]  Buck Consultants:  Health Care Reform at a Glance

[4/1/10]  Business Insurance:  “Corporate Health Reform Concerns Prompt House Hearing

[4/1/10]  Profit Sharing/401k Council of America [Blog]:  “First Thoughts about the Effect of Healthcare Reform on Retirement Plans

[3/29/10]  National Conference of State Legislatures:  State Legislation Challenging Certain Health Reforms, 2010

[3/26/10]  Kaiser Family Foundation:  Health Reform Implementation Timeline

[3/22/10]  Manager’s Amendment:  Amendment to the Amendment in the Nature of a Substitute to H.R. 4872

[3/22/10]  U.S. House of Representatives Committee on Rules:  Summary of Amendment

[3/19/10]  H.R. 4872:  “To provide for reconciliation pursuant to section 202 of the concurrent resolution on the budget for fiscal year 2010 [short title: “Reconciliation Act of 2010”]

[3/19/10]  Amendment in the Nature of a Substitute to H.R. 4872, as Reported: “Health Care and Education Affordability Reconciliation Act of 2010”

[3/19/10]  H.R. 3590: Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act:

Updated 4/30/10