What's New - May 2011

Index to All Months                                                                                                    Return to Current Month

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As a research site, EBRI.org 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:

EBRI 2011 Spring Policy Forum: “Is There a Future for Retirement?” ["gavel to gavel" webcast - Prerecorded broadcast available through the International Foundation of Employee Benefit Plans]

Visit EBRI's Blog!

EBRI's Recent Media Coverage

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

401(k) Balances and Changes Due to Market Volatility

Publications:

May 2011 EBRI Issue Brief - "Retirement Income Adequacy With Immediate and Longevity Annuities"

May 2011 EBRI Notes - "IRA Asset Allocation" and "Characteristics of the CDHP Population, 2005-2010"

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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:

Reports
Private Pensions: Some Key Features Lead to an Uneven Distribution of Benefits. GAO-11-333, March 30. Highlights.

The Federal Government's Long-Term Fiscal Outlook:  January 2011 Update.  GAO-11-451SP, March 18.

Private Health Insurance:  Data on Application and Coverage Denials.  GAO-11-268, March 16. Highlights.

401(k) Plans:  Certain Investment Options and Practices That May Restrict Withdrawals Not Widely Understood.  GAO-11-291, March 10. Highlights.

Testimonies
Financial Literacy: The Federal Government's Role in Empowering Americans to Make Sound Financial Choices, by Gene L. Dodaro, comptroller general of the United States, before the Subcommittee on Oversight of Government Management, the Federal Workforce, and the District of Columbia, Senate Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs. GAO-11-504T, April 12. Highlights.

401(k) Plans:  Issues Involving Securities Lending in Plan Investments, by Charles A. Jeszeck, acting director, education, workforce, and income security, before the Senate Special Committee on Aging.  GAO-11-359T, March 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.

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.


[5/31/11]  Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation:

[5/31/11]  PIMCO DC Dialogue™:  “Washington at Work” [“In this PIMCO DC Dialogue, we talk with Ed Ferrigno, at The Profit Sharing/401k Council of America (PSCA) in Washington D.C. about the legislative and regulatory issues which may impact defined contribution plans.”]

[5/31/11]  The Washington Post:  “Study: Closing Tax Breaks for Retirement Would Do Little to Help Budget

[5/31/11]  BLS’ Compensation and Working Conditions:  “Health, Wellness, and Employee Assistance: A Holistic Approach to Employee Benefits

[5/27/11]  T. Rowe Price:  2011 Outlook: Retirement Plan Legislation and Regulations [Updated March 31, 2011]

[5/27/11]  U.S. News & World Report [Blog]:  “A Look at How IRA Owners Invest

[5/27/11]  Plan Sponsor:

[5/27/11]  Pew Internet & American Life Project and California HealthCare Foundation:  The Social Life of Health Information, 2011

[5/26/11]  Prudential’s Pension Analyst:

[5/26/11]  Center for Retirement Research at Boston College:  The Potential Impact of the Great Recession on Future Retirement Incomes [Working Paper]

[5/26/11]  AARP Public Policy Institute:  Recovering from the Great Recession: Long Struggle Ahead for Older Americans

[5/26/11]  Business Insurance:  “Half of Early Retiree Health Reimbursement Fund Paid Out: CMS

[5/26/11]  U.S. House Committee on Energy & Commerce, Subcommittee on Health:  Hearing titled “Expanding Health Care Options: Allowing Americans to Purchase Affordable Coverage Across State Lines” [Hearing held May 25, 2011, includes links to statements and testimonies]

[5/26/11]  Kaiser Family Foundation:  “Pulling It Together…Predictions” from Drew Altman

[5/25/11]  Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services:  CCIIO Technical Guidance (CCIIO 2011--002): Questions and Answers Regarding the Medical Loss Ratio Interim Final Rule

[5/25/11]  The Commonwealth Fund:  Health Care Opinion Leaders’ Views on Health Reform and the Role of States

[5/25/11]  Health Affairs Health Policy Brief:  “The CLASS Act. The long-term care insurance program created by the Affordable Care Act will be reshaped to address concerns about solvency.

[5/25/11]  Center for Retirement Research at Boston College:  The Funding of State and Local Pensions in 2010

[5/25/11]  The Vanguard Group:  Generations: Key Drivers of Investor Behavior

[5/25/11]  USA Today:

[5/24/11]  Milliman Inc.:  2011 Milliman Medical Index

[5/24/11]  Plan Sponsor:

[5/24/11]  U.S. Department of Labor Employee Benefits Security Administration:  Proposed Extension of Information Collection Request Submitted for Public Comment; Consent to Receive Employee Benefit Plan Disclosure Electronically; Prohibited Transaction Exemption 86-128; Furnishing Documents to the Secretary of Labor on Request under ERISA Section 104(a)(6); Notice [as published in the Federal Register on May 24, 2011]

[5/24/11]  Financial Engines:  Understanding the Accidental Investor: Baby Boomers on Retirement

[5/24/11]  Institutional Retirement Income Council:  Evaluation Scorecard for Retirement Income Products

[5/24/11]  Congressional Research Service:  The Federal Budget: Issues for FY2011, FY2012, and Beyond

[5/23/11]  U.S. Department of Health and Human Services:  Rate Increase Disclosure and Review; Final rule with comment period [as published in the Federal Register on May 23, 2011]

[5/23/11]  Kaiser Health News:  “Health Insurance Rate Hikes Face Tougher Scrutiny

[5/23/11]  Principal Financial Group®:  “New Data from The Principal Shows Impact of Automatic Enrollment in 401(k) Plans

[5/23/11]  The Segal Company:  Survey of Calendar-Year [Multiemployer] Plans’ 2011 Zone Status

[5/23/11]  The Washington Post:  “Federal Workers Late to Feel Pension Pinch

[5/23/11]  Kravitz:  National Cash Balance Research Report 2011

[5/19/11]  U.S. Senate Special Committee on Aging:

[5/19/11]  Internal Revenue Service:  Retirement News for Employers [Spring 2011]

[5/19/11]  MarketWatch:  “Get Ready for Social Security, Medicare Meltdowns -- Plan and prepare early to maximize benefits

[5/19/11]  Center for State & Local Government Excellence:  Survey Findings: The Great Recession and the State and Local Government Workforce

[5/19/11]  SEI:  “SEI’s Pension Lifecycle Meter Shows 60 Percent of US Corporate Pension Plans Are Closed to New Entrants

[5/19/11]  Pension Rights Center:  Companies That Have Changed Their Defined Benefit Pension Plans [since December 2005]

[5/18/11]  Internal Revenue Service:  Rev. Proc. 2011-32 [2012 inflation adjusted amounts for Health Savings Accounts (HSAs)]

[5/18/11]  Kushner & Company:  “2012 IRS HSA Limits Announced

[5/18/11] Business Insurance: “Court Can’t Alter CIGNA Cash Balance Plan: Supreme Court

[5/18/11] Bloomberg: “Senate Bill Would Limit Using 401(k)s as Rainy-Day Funds

[5/18/11] Aon Hewitt: Leakage of Participants’ DC Assets: How Loans, Withdrawals, and Cashouts Are Eroding Retirement Income

[5/18/11] Transamerica Center for Retirement Studies: The New Retirement: Working -- 12th Annual Transamerica Retirement Survey

[5/18/11] The Vanguard Group: “Vanguard DB Survey: Minimizing Risk Is the Sought-After Reward

[5/18/11] Financial Finesse Reports: 2011 Research Financial Stress

[5/17/11] Towers Watson: Multinational Workforce Health: Building a Sustainable Global Strategy

[5/17/11] The Washington Post:

[5/17/11] Bankers Life and Casualty Company Center for a Secure Retirement: Middle-Income Boomers, Financial Security and the New Retirement

[5/17/11] National Academy of Social Insurance:

[5/16/11] The Washington Post: “Medicare Funds Will Be Depleted in 13 Years, Report Says

[5/16/11] CQ Roll Call Group: “Means Testing for Medicare, Once Shunned, Is Now Being Embraced

[5/16/11] GuideStone® Financial Resources: “Retirement in Today’s Economy” [EBRI President & CEO Dallas Salisbury participated in this panel discussion in March 2011, now available via webcast.]

[5/16/11] OECD: Pensions at a Glance 2011: Retirement-Income Systems in OECD and G20 Countries

[5/13/11] Social Security and Medicare Boards of Trustees:

[5/13/11] Milliman Inc.: 2011 Key Administrative Dates and Deadlines for Calendar-Year Multiemployer Defined-Benefit Plans

[5/13/11] Healthcare Town Hall [Milliman Blog]: “Healthcare Costs for Typical Family of Four Double

[5/13/11] National Center for Policy Analysis: How Health Reform Affects Current and Future Retirees

[5/13/11] Alliance for Health Reform: Covering Health Issues: A Sourcebook for Journalists, 6 th Ed. (2011 Update)

[5/13/11] Aon Hewitt: Global Pension Risk Survey 2011: US Survey Findings

[5/13/11] Prudential Financial: New Research & Perspectives Website [“The new site showcases Prudential’s thought leadership publications related to retirement, institutional investments, employee benefits, and selected financial products. This site provides a wide range of publications, including white papers, research reports, articles, op-eds, and reference materials.”]

[5/12/11] Investment Company Institute: Defined Contribution Plan Participants’ Activities, 2010

[5/12/11] MarketWatch: “401(k)s Grow, but Savers Are Still Worried -- Average account balance hits new high in Fidelity survey

[5/12/11] Milliman 100 Pension Funding Index: Milliman Analysis: Corporate Pension Funded Status Falls as Interest Rates Drop in April

[5/12/11] Milken Institute and Financial Innovations Lab™ Report: Protecting Private Pensions and the Public Interest: Solutions for the Shortfalls in Employer-Sponsored Defined-Benefit Plans

[5/12/11] CQ Roll Call Group: “Health Law’s Day in Court

[5/12/11] U.S. Senate Committee on Finance: Hearing titled “Perspectives on Deficit Reduction: Social Security” [Hearing held May 10, 2011, includes links to statements and testimonies]

[5/10/11] Milliman Inc.: Monthly Benefit News and Developments [May 2011]

[5/10/11] Buck Consultants’ FYI: “IRS Releases Interim Guidance on W-2 Health Cost Reporting

[5/10/11] CQ Roll Call Group: “Health Care Hearing Awaited

[5/10/11] The Wall Street Journal:

[5/9/11] Bureau of Labor Statistics Program Perspectives: High Deductible Health Plans: “A Growing Option in Private Industry”

[5/9/11] Urban Institute: Multi-state Health Insurance Exchanges

[5/9/11] The Segal Company’s Compliance Alert: “IRS Guidance on Public Sector Defined Contribution Plans

[5/9/11] Social Security Bulletin: “Defined Contribution Pension Participation and Contributions by Earnings Levels Using Administrative Data

[5/9/11] 401khelpcenter [Guest Article]: “Five Things You Must Be Aware of as a Plan Fiduciary

[5/9/11] Monterey County Herald: “Kenneth Petersen: Asset Classes in 401(k) Plans

[5/6/11] Congressional Budget Office: The Underfunding of State and Local Pension Plans

[5/6/11] House Committee on Ways and Means, Subcommittee on Oversight: Hearing on “Transparency and Funding of State and Local Pension Plans” [Hearing held May 5, 2011, includes links to testimonies]

[5/6/11] Social Security Bulletin: “Assessment of Retirement Plan Coverage by Firm Size, Using W-2 Tax Records

[5/6/11] Investment Company Institute: 2011 Investment Company Fact Book: A Review of Trends and Activity in the Investment Company Industry

[5/5/11] Sun Life Financial: Flying Blind: How Working Americans View Healthcare Costs in Retirement -- A Sun Life Financial Unretirement Survey

[5/5/11] Kaiser Family Foundation: Summary of Coverage Provisions in the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act [last modified April 14, 2011]

[5/5/11] The Commonwealth Fund: Realizing Health Reform’s Potential: Will the Affordable Care Act Make Health Insurance Affordable?

[5/5/11] The Los Angeles Times: “Proposals Would Cut Benefits for California Employees 25% to 40%

[5/5/11] Smart Money: “What’s Gen X So Scared Of? Stocks

[5/4/11] Internal Revenue Service: Request for Comments on Shared Responsibility for Employers Regarding Health Coverage (Section 4980H) [Notice 2011-36] – [Deadline for comments is June 17, 2011]

[5/4/11] Business Insurance: “Treasury Plan Would Help Determine Full-Time Workers for Health Coverage

[5/4/11] Kaiser Health News: “At Least 600,000 Young Adults Join Parents’ Health Plans Under New Law

[5/4/11] Vanguard Research & Commentary: “Autopilot Helps Participation, But Saving Rates May Still Be Running Low

[5/4/11] Plan Sponsor: “Research Shows Women Getting a Jump on Retirement Readiness

[5/3/11] National Center for Employee Ownership: “The Employee Ownership 100: America’s Largest Majority Employee-Owned Companies

[5/3/11] Plan Sponsor: “Wealth Change during Recession Led to Changes in Plans for Retirement

[5/3/11] Employee Benefit Adviser: “Uncomfort Level -- Numerous factors are hampering widespread acceptance of annuities within 401(k) plans

[5/3/11] Morningstar®: Target-Date Series Research Paper: 2011 Industry Survey

[5/3/11] AdvisorOne: “Rule 408(b)(2) Amendments ‘Fully Drafted’ at DOL

[5/3/11] Retirement Town Hall [Milliman Blog]: “Basic Questions and Answers about Lump Sum Distributions

[5/2/11] National Business Group on Health: Consumer-Directed Health Care: The Employer Perspective

[5/2/11] Kaiser Family Foundation:

[5/2/11] Towers Watson Insider:

[5/2/11] Financial Finesse Reports: Q1 2011 Research -- Research on Financial Trends

Updated 5/31/11