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Collective Defined Contribution Plans: Cash Balance Plans and Other Hybrid Designs (PDF)
The Brookings Institution Link to more items from this source
Sept. 21, 2021

16 pages. "Collective defined contribution (CDC) plans ... permit employers to avoid the funding cost and volatility of guaranteed DB benefits while providing savers and retirees DB-like professional investment management and pooling, longevity risk pooling, and lifetime income.... [They] offer a way to rethink risk sharing between employers and individuals and among savers and retirees. CDCs and other hybrid retirement plan formats combine DB and DC elements in different ways. Variants already exist in several countries ... and have counterparts and close parallels in the United States."

Tags: Retirement Plan Design

Trends in Retirement and Retirement Income Choices by TIAA Participants: 2000–2018
TIAA Institute Link to more items from this source
Sept. 21, 2021

"Participants are retiring at later ages. Between 2000 and 2018, average retirement ages rose from 64.6 to 65.9 for women and from 65.5 to 67.5 for men. Many new retirees delay drawing down assets, with only 40% starting income within four years of retirement.... The proportion of retirees taking a life annuity as first income fell from 61% in 2000 to 18% in 2018. By comparison, the fraction of retirees taking an RMD as first income rose from 10% to 52%."

Tags: Misc. Distribution Issues  •  Retirement Plan Design

Luis Aguilar on SEC/DOL Harmonization and Continuing Fiduciary Confusion
Fiduciary News; free registration required Link to more items from this source
Sept. 21, 2021

"Many firms are both covered by the SEC and DOL's jurisdiction and they and, very importantly, their clients, should not have to parse through words to see if the standards are different. The standards should be the same -- put the client's interest first. Having different words and explanations as to what the standards are is a recipe to continue the investor confusion over what it means to be a fiduciary."

Tags: Fiduciary Duties  •  Retirement Plan Investments

Price Transparency Tools Require Benefits Literacy
Corporate Synergies Link to more items from this source
Sept. 21, 2021

"Price transparency is essential to changing behavior and lowering costs, but if the consumer doesn't understand deductibles, networks, copays, coinsurance, etc., any extra data just adds to the confusion.... Thanks to innovation in the industry, there are a variety of tools available to fill those knowledge gaps and ease the stress."

Tags: Health Plan Administration  •  Health Plan Costs

Hospital Groups Push Back Against Stiffer Penalties for Failing to Publish Prices
FierceHealthcare Link to more items from this source
Sept. 21, 2021

"The agency proposed back in July to keep the $300 a day penalty for smaller hospitals with 30 or fewer beds. However, it would also apply a penalty of $10 per bed a day for hospitals that have more than 30 beds, and the penalty cannot exceed $5,500 a day.... But hospitals charge that they are facing an unprecedented financial strain from the COVID-19 pandemic, and that has likely shifted facilities' attention."

Tags: Health Plan Costs

State Health Care Purchasers Can Push Hospitals to Comply with Federal Transparency Requirements
Health Affairs Blog Link to more items from this source
Sept. 21, 2021

"State governments, as one of the largest purchasers of health care services, can leverage their negotiating power to help CMS fully enforce the requirements of the hospital price transparency rule."

Tags: Health Plan Costs

New North Carolina Law Increases Regulation of Pharmacy Benefit Managers
Johnson City Press Link to more items from this source
Sept. 21, 2021

"Gov. Roy Cooper signed Senate Bill 257 ... [which] requires pharmacy benefit managers to get a license to do business in the state. It also protects consumers from surprise fees and overpayments."

Tags: Health Plan Costs  •  Local Regulation  •  Prescription Drug Costs

Editor's Pick Agencies Propose Extensive Form 5500 Amendments
Groom Law Group Link to more items from this source
[Guidance Overview]
Sept. 21, 2021

"The Proposed Rules are primarily intended to implement provisions of the [SECURE Act]. However, the agencies went much further, proposing changes affecting defined benefit plans, multiple employer plans (MEPs), pooled employer plans (PEPs), and multiple employer welfare arrangements (MEWAs)."

Tags: Health Plan Administration  •  Reporting to Government Agencies  •  Retirement Plan Administration

Impact of Various Legislative Proposals on Retirement Income Adequacy (PDF)
Employee Benefit Research Institute [EBRI] Link to more items from this source
Sept. 21, 2021

47 presentation slides. "The combination of [automatic contribution plan/arrangement (ACPA)] and enhanced savers credits are projected to have a huge impact on reducing retirement deficits ... The addition of employer matches on student loans or the 'skinny 401(k)' for ACPA can add up to another 4 percent reduction in retirement deficits whereas auto portability can add 11 to 14 percent ... QLAC modifications can also be beneficial for those in the highest wage quartile who utilize them."

Tags: Retirement Plan Design  •  Retirement Plan Policy

Large IRAs and High-Income Retirement Savers Targeted by Amendment to Budget Reconciliation Bill
Ropes & Gray LLP Link to more items from this source
Sept. 21, 2021

"[S]ome of the key retirement plan rule modifications found in Chairman Neal's amendment: [1] Prohibition on rollovers to Roth IRAs and certain Roth conversions ... [2] Prohibition of certain private investments by IRAs ... [3] Contribution limit for retirement account balances of $10 Million or More ... [4] New reporting mandate for aggregate account balances exceeding $2.5 million ... [5] Extension of the statute of limitations with respect to IRA noncompliance."

Tags: IRAs  •  Retirement Plan Policy

Editor's Pick COVID Vaccine Premium Incentives and Surcharges
Newfront Link to more items from this source
Sept. 21, 2021

"There are five main compliance issues for employers to address when considering a COVID-19 premium incentive or surcharge for the health plan: [1] No employer role in vaccine administration ... [2] HIPAA/ACA wellness program rules apply ... [3] Incentive/surcharge affects ACA affordability ... [4] Religious accommodations ... [5] President Biden's OSHA directive."

Tags: Coronavirus (COVID-19)  •  Health Plan Design

District Court Rules Decisively Against DOL in ESOP Valuation Case
National Center for Employee Ownership [NCEO] Link to more items from this source
Sept. 21, 2021

"The judge ruled that the DOL's valuation 'rests on errors' because its expert failed to follow standard valuation practices, used inaccurate and incomplete information about the company's finances, and improperly compared the price the ESOP paid to a very preliminary lower offer from another company." [Walsh v. Bowers, No. 18-0155 (D. Hawaii, Sep. 17, 2021)]

Tags: ESOPs

Most Claims Move Forward in Suit Over Aon CITs in Centerra 401(k) Plan
planadviser Link to more items from this source
Sept. 21, 2021

"A federal judge has denied motions to dismiss a lawsuit alleging fiduciaries of the Centerra Group 401(k) plan violated [ERISA] by selecting poorly performing collective investment trusts (CITs) for the plan and allowing for excessive recordkeeping fees." [Williams v. Centerra Group, LLC, No. 20-4220 (D.S.C. Sep. 16, 2021)]

Tags: Fiduciary Duties  •  Retirement Plan Investments

Ninth Circuit Vacates Class Relief Against UnitedHealth for Alleged ERISA Claims-Processing Violations of Lactation Benefit Claims
Roberts Disability Law Link to more items from this source
Sept. 21, 2021

"[The Ninth Circuit found that] the district court did not have Article III jurisdiction over [two participants'] full-and-fair review claims based on United's alleged failure to comply with ERISA's claims-processing rules ... Because the plaintiffs are not entitled to any reimbursement from United under the ACA, a ruling in their favor on their full-and-fair-review claim could not redress any concrete injury." [Condry v. UnitedHealth Group, Inc., No. 20-16823, (9th Cir. Sep. 16, 2021; unpub.)]

Tags: Health Plan Administration

CMS Suspends Part D Enrollment in 2022 for UnitedHealth, Anthem Medicare Advantage Plans
FierceHealthcare Link to more items from this source
Sept. 21, 2021

"The Biden administration has suspended Medicare Advantage Part D new customer enrollment for three United Healthcare Group plans and one Anthem plan for failing to meet medical loss ratio requirements.... The plans are prohibited from signing up any new customers for the 2022 coverage year, and suspensions occur before open enrollment starts Jan. 1."

Tags: Medicare

Editor's Pick Departments Propose Changes to Form 5500 and Schedules
Thomson Reuters Practical Law Link to more items from this source
[Guidance Overview]
Sept. 21, 2021

"The proposed changes would be the first significant change to the Form 5500 series since the 2009 forms. The 2021 changes are intended to reflect the SECURE Act changes affecting annual reporting and improve oversight and transparency."

Tags: Health Plan Administration  •  Reporting to Government Agencies  •  Retirement Plan Administration

PBGC FY 2020 Projections Report (PDF)
Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation [PBGC] Link to more items from this source
Sept. 21, 2021

59 pages. "As a result of ARP, the Multiemployer Program shows significant improvement under all scenarios and, under favorable scenarios, a slightly positive projected net position in FY 2030.... As the net position of the Single-Employer Program continues to improve, the potential for a return to negative net position is reduced, even with very high claims."

Tags: Funding of DB Plans  •  Multiemployer Plans  •  PBGC

PBGC 5-Year Multiemployer Program Report (PDF)
Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation [PBGC] Link to more items from this source
Sept. 21, 2021

18 pages. "ARP is expected to extend the solvency of PBGC's Multiemployer Program for a period of more than 20 years, with half of projected scenarios resulting in insolvency by the end of FY 2055 and half of projected scenarios resulting in either indefinite solvency or insolvency after FY 2055."

Tags: Funding of DB Plans  •  Multiemployer Plans  •  PBGC  •  Retirement Plan Policy

An Actuarial Perspective on the 2021 Social Security Trustees Report (PDF)
American Academy of Actuaries Link to more items from this source
Sept. 21, 2021

14 pages. "OASDI finances have been significantly affected by the pandemic and recession of 2020 ... If changes to the program are not implemented before 2034, only 78% of scheduled benefits would be payable after depletion in 2034, declining to 74% by 2095 ... The actuarial deficit increased from 3.21% of taxable payroll to 3.54% of taxable payroll[.]"

Tags: Retirement Plan Policy  •  Social Security

Cycle 3 Restatements: New Requirements for Employer Discretionary Matches
Hall Benefits Law Link to more items from this source
[Guidance Overview]
Sept. 20, 2021

"In order to comply with the 'definitely determinable benefits' requirement in which a plan is required to provide a definite predetermined formula for allocating plan contributions, employers must satisfy two requirements when approving a discretionary match[.]"

Tags: Retirement Plan Design

2021 Retirement Risk Readiness Study Identifies Distinct Differences Among Ethnicities Regarding Retirement Risks
Allianz Life Insurance Company of North America Link to more items from this source
Sept. 20, 2021

"54% of Black/African American respondents feel the rising cost of living will prevent them from enjoying their retirement, versus 67% of Hispanic respondents and 74% of Asian/Asian American respondents Fewer BIPOC respondents are working with a financial professional than white Americans, with perceived barriers to getting help varied among ethnicities[.]"

Tags: Retirement Plan Design

How Much Can the Health Plan Surcharge on Unvaccinated Employees Be?
Jackson Lewis P.C. Link to more items from this source
Sept. 20, 2021

"The allowable surcharge amount will vary for every employer depending on the cost of health insurance, any other surcharges or incentives under an existing wellness program, the level at which health insurance is currently subsidized, and the rate at which employees are compensated."

Tags: Coronavirus (COVID-19)  •  Health Plan Design

Telehealth Bill Would Require ERISA Plans to Cover Virtual Care
American Medical Association [AMA] Link to more items from this source
Sept. 20, 2021

"While select private health plans have taken voluntary steps to increase telehealth access during the pandemic and beyond, the movement has been insufficient. That's especially true for patients whose health care coverage is from health plans [covered by ERISA] ... And unless Congress acts to make permanent the temporary rules that allowed telehealth to happen on such a large scale, the flexibilities that Medicare beneficiaries have relied on will not be able to continue once the public health emergency ends either."

Tags: Health Plan Design  •  Teleheath

Adding an Income Solution to Your Retirement Plan: A Plan Sponsor's Guide (PDF)
Institutional Retirement Income Council [IRIC] Link to more items from this source
Sept. 20, 2021

28 pages. "[This paper outlines] the decision-making process regarding the selection and addition of one or more of the retirement income solutions now available within the DC industry.... Most sponsors that engage in this process will find several products that are viable and can easily be justified as appropriate and prudent for the DC plans and the plan participants for which they are being considered."

Tags: Retirement Plan Design  •  Retirement Plan Investments

Survey of Industry Support for Small Business Retirement Plan Mandate
PLANSPONSOR; free registration may be required Link to more items from this source
Sept. 20, 2021

"Forty percent of responding readers work in a plan sponsor role, 31% work for/are recordkeepers/TPAs/investment consultants, 23% are advisers/consultants, 3% are attorneys and 3% are CPAs. More than half (54%) of responding reader do not support requiring small businesses to offer a retirement plan for employees.... More than six in 10 (63%) of respondents do not support requiring a protected lifetime income solution to be offered to defined contribution plan participants."

Tags: Retirement Plan Design  •  Retirement Plan Policy

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