Spencer Benefits Reports NetNews – October 23, 2015

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New Reports




October 23, 2015


IRS issues 2016 adjusted limits for various benefits

In Rev. Proc. 2015-53, the Internal Revenue Service provides a variety of inflation-adjusted figures for 2016, including figures for cafeteria plans, long-term care, medical savings accounts (MSAs) and transportation fringe benefits….

(Read Intelliconnect) »

Most retirement plan dollar limits remain unchanged in 2016

The Internal Revenue Service has released the 2016 cost-of-living adjustments to retirement plan limits. Most dollar limitations applicable to retirement plans will remain unchanged in 2016; however, some have increased….

(Read Intelliconnect) »

Tiered and narrow networks are the shape of the future, study says

Enhancing quality and improving patient care, major goals of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA), are driving change within insurance networks. Out of this change, a recent study by Avalere finds two network types, “tiered” and “narrow” to be surging to the forefront, as methods of holding costs down while increasing value in our health care system. These network types are distinct from each other, but both may be the key to success in searching for the ideal health network….

(Read Intelliconnect) »

October 22, 2015


Employees average six unscheduled absences per year, study finds

Employees averaged six unscheduled absences from work in 2014, according to a recent study from the National Business Group on Health and Truven Health Analytics. The
Employer Measures of Productivity, Absence and Quality (EMPAQ) Survey noted that for an employer with thousands of employees, that can equate to significant lost productivity. In addition, since many employers have moved to paid time off (PTO) systems, the ability to track unscheduled sick days or leaves has become a challenge….

(Read Intelliconnect) »

PBGC report projects modest improvement for multiemployer plan program

The projected date for the insolvency of the insurance program for multiemployer pension plans, covering more 10 million people, has been delayed for three years, according to the
FY 2014 Projections Report from the Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation (PBGC). This near-term reduction of insolvency results primarily from the new anticipated premium revenues under the Multiemployer Pension Reform Act of 2014 (MPRA). The financial condition for private single-employer plans is projected to improve….

(Read Intelliconnect) »

October 21, 2015


Let employers know tax thresholds in advance, trade group tells IRS

The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act’s (ACA) excise tax forces employers to choose between a health plan that is tailored to the needs of their workers and a plan designed to avoid the tax, according to recent comments and recommendations by the ERISA Industry Committee (ERIC) to the IRS on potential rules regarding the tax….

(Read Intelliconnect) »


More outreach needed to sustain ACA enrollment gains

Currently uninsured individuals may be eligible for either Medicaid or marketplace assistance, and increased outreach efforts are needed to sustain the coverage gains seen in the early years of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA). However, the characteristics of the remaining uninsured, including undocumented immigrants, may make them difficult to educate through outreach, according to an issue brief by the Kaiser Family Foundation (KFF)….

(Read Intelliconnect) »

October 20, 2015


Cadillac tax impacting employers now, will continue to do so in future, report says

The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act’s (ACA) excise tax will affect over 30 percent of large employer plans. That’s according to a report from the American Health Policy Institute (AHPI) called “ACA Excise Tax: Cutting Family Budgets, Not Health Care Budgets.” The report is a fresh analysis of employer trends in response to the looming high-cost excise tax. AHPI conducted two new surveys of large employers, in June and September of 2015, to identify how many of the companies surveyed would be impacted by the excise tax and what steps they are planning to take to minimize their exposure to the tax….

(Read Intelliconnect) »

White House Economic Advisor defends ‘Cadillac Tax’

Council of Economic Advisers Chairman Jason Furman defended the excise tax on high-end insurance programs contained in the Patient Protection and Affordability Care Act (ACA) in an October 7 speech before the Hamilton Project, a Washington, D.C.-based think tank that promotes broad-based economic growth. “[A]ny changes to the excise tax, or other provisions of the law, must preserve, not undermine, the law’s major benefits for our health care system, our economy and the deficit, which is why the administration opposes legislation that would repeal or delay this provision,” said Furman….

(Read Intelliconnect) »


October 19, 2015


Research shows 4 in 10 Americans admit knowing little or nothing about their employee benefits

New research from MassMutual finds that while most Americans understand the importance of their personal finances and employee benefits, 40 percent admit they know little or nothing about them. On the surface, most people seemingly have their financial house in order, saying they prioritize understanding their personal finances (77 percent), having enough medical insurance (74 percent) and being on track to retire comfortably (65 percent), according to the 2015 MassMutual Employee Benefits Security Study. Yet 38 percent say they know little or nothing about their employer-provided benefits such as healthcare, life insurance, 401(k) retirement plans and other benefits. Two in five respondents (42 percent) say they are clueless about whether or not they are on track to retire comfortably….

(Read Intelliconnect) »

Practitioner offers insights on recent IRS pension developments

Sal Tripodi of TRI Pension Services, who spoke at a recent ASPPA Benefits Council (ABC) of Northern Indiana seminar, offered his expertise on a number of recent developments in the retirement area….

(Read Intelliconnect) »


Health care costs for couples in retirement rise to an estimated $245,000

According to a recent estimate, a couple, both aged 65 and retiring this year, can now expect to spend an estimated $245,000 on health care throughout retirement, up from $220,000 last year. The Fidelity Retirement Health Care Cost Estimate found that this figure has increased 29 percent since 2005 when it was $190,000….

(Read Intelliconnect) »