Spencer Benefits Reports NetNews – January 9, 2015


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Featured This Week


New Reports




January 9, 2015


How not-for-profits are taking responsibility to encourage positive savings behaviors

Although most not-for-profit organizations believe they have a responsibility to encourage their employees to save for retirement, only 10.6% those organizations are able to measure potential participant outcomes as part of their retirement plans, according to a new survey of 403(b) plan sponsors from the Plan Sponsor Council of America (PSCA), which was also sponsored by the Principal Financial Group. The survey revealed that 27.1% of plan sponsors feel they have a responsibility to encourage savings and are taking measures to do so, while another 25.8% acknowledged that same responsibility and know they need to do more to support positive savings behavior. . . .

        (Read Intelliconnect) »


Illinois Employers With 25 Or More Employees Must Establish Retirement Savings Plan Under New Law

On January 4, 2015, Illinois Governor Pat Quinn signed legislation to create the Illinois Secure Choice Savings Program (S.B. 2758), which establishes the option of an individual retirement plan for more than two million Illinois private sector employees who currently do not have access to any retirement plan at work. . . .

        (Read Intelliconnect) »


January 8, 2015


Letting Marketplace Insurance Roll Over Could Lead To Missed Cost-Cutting Opportunities

American who failed to take a close look at their health insurance coverage and simply let it roll over from 2014 to 2015 might be unpleasantly surprised that their premiums increased, according to information recently released by HealthCare.com. In fact, 68.2% of the 42,728 plans on the federal Marketplace available for both 2014 and 2015 had premium increases of at least $10. For customers who failed to proactively shop and were, therefore, enrolled in the same plan, the increases will be automatically passed on. . . .

        (Read Intelliconnect) »


ACA Prompt Employers To Consider New Alternatives For Pre-65 Retiree Medical Benefits, Survey Shows

Large employers have long sought cost-effective solutions to deliver health care to their pre-65 retirees. In the wake of health care reform, they may have found them. Over the next two years, more than half of the employers surveyed that provide health care to pre-65 retirees are planning significant changes to their medical benefits and how those benefits are delivered, according to data from Towers Watson. The
2014 Survey on Retiree Health Care Strategies reveals that employers are seeking solutions due to annual cost increases that are outpacing those of benefits for active employees and Medicare retirees, plus the availability of new individual coverage options under the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA). In particular, employers are looking for ways to leverage private exchange solutions that have delivered increased value to many Medicare retirees for their non-Medicare-eligible retirees. . .

        (Read Intelliconnect) »


January 7, 2015


Treasury Final Regs Establish myRA Accounts, DOL Says myRA Not Covered by ERISA

The Treasury Department has issued final regulations (79 FR 74023, December 15, 2014) that establish the myRA program in response to President Obama’s directive to the Secretary of the Treasury to develop a retirement savings security focused on new and small-dollar savers. . . .

        (Read Intelliconnect) »


ICI Data Shows DC Participants Continued To Save In First Half Of ‘14

Data from the Investment Company Institute (ICI) shows that Americans continued to save in the defined contribution (DC) plans at work during the first half of 2014. The study, “Defined Contribution Plan Participants’ Activities, First Half 2014,” includes data from January through June 2014. . . .

        (Read Intelliconnect) »

January 6, 2015


IRS Proposes Amendments To Summary Of Benefits And Coverage Rules

The IRS has proposed changes to the regulations that implement the disclosure requirements under section 2715 of the Public Health Service Act to help plans and individuals better understand their health coverage, as well as to gain a better understanding of other coverage options for comparison. It proposes changes to the documents required for compliance with Section 2715 of the Public Health Service Act, including a template for the summary of benefits and coverage (SBC), instructions, sample language, a guide for coverage example calculations and the uniform glossary. The proposed regulations were published in the December 30 Federal
Register (see Text: IRS, EBSA, HHS Proposed Regulations, Summary Of Benefits And Coverage And Uniform Glossary). . . .

        (Read Intelliconnect) »


The 10 Steps DC Plan Sponsors Should Take In 2015

Mercer has predicted that, in 2015, plan sponsors will focus on leveraging their DC plans to achieve a competitive advantage in attracting and retaining talent. Plan administration and governance will continue to be a focus of regulators from the Department of Labor (DOL), SEC, and IRS as well as plaintiff’s counsel representing participants. In this environment, Mercer has
defined ten steps that DC plan sponsors should take in 2015 to mitigate fiduciary risks and provide participants with access to solutions that meet their long-term retirement needs. . . .

        (Read Intelliconnect) »

January 5, 2015


Proposed Rules On Excepted Benefits Address Wraparound Coverage

The Departments of Labor, Health and Human Services, and Treasury (Departments) are seeking public comment on proposed rules that would amend the definition of excepted benefits to include certain limited wraparound coverage. . . .

        (Read Intelliconnect) »


PBGC Semiannual Regulatory Agenda Addresses Missing Participants, Cash Balance Plans

The Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation (PBGC) has released its semiannual regulatory agenda for Fall 2014, which outlines regulations that have been selected for amendment during the next year. . . .

        (Read Intelliconnect) »


January 2, 2015


Deadline Extended For Submitting On-Cycle Applications For Opinion And Advisory Letters For Pre-Approved DB Plans

In Announcement 2014-41, the IRS has extended until June 30, 2015, the deadline for submitting on-cycle applications for opinion and advisory letters for pre-approved defined benefit (DB) plans for the plans’ second six-year remedial amendment cycle. The extension applies to pre-approved DB mass submitter lead and specimen plans, word-for-word identical plans, master and prototype minor modifier placeholder applications, and DB non-mass submitter lead and specimen plans. The submission period for these applications would otherwise expire on February 2, 2015, pursuant to Rev. Proc. 2007-44 and Rev. Proc. 2011-49, as modified by Announcement 2014-4. .

        (Read Intelliconnect) »


Many Exchange Plans Cap Out-Of-Pocket Costs Below Law’s Limits

Seventy-four percent of silver plans offered on Health Insurance Exchanges have maximum out-of-pocket limits below what is required by law, according to an analysis from Avalere Health. In 2015, plans are required to limit out-of-pocket costs to $6,600 for individual plans and $13,200 for plans offered to families. Approximately two-thirds of exchange enrollees picked silver plans in 2014. . . .

        (Read Intelliconnect) »