Monday Briefing

This last week had us wondering if Volkswagen makes an ACA reporting software package that we could use, maybe just for 2015. (That’s benefits humor.) Here’s our full disclosure of interesting benefits news from last week:

  • You can keep (offering) your plan? See here for a nicely done, official IRS summary of the Employer Shared Responsibility rules. (IRS)  According to our friends at the IRS, “many employers already offer coverage that is sufficient to avoid owing a payment.” Let’s hope they are right.
  • Lots of action on the proposed fiduciary rule which seems to be on track to be finalized in early 2016. Here are a few of the recent comment letters. (ABC)  (ERIC) (Financial Services Institute) and a letter from 90 democrats critical of the rule (insurancenewsnet)
  • The yield on the 10 year bond was greater than 5.00% for all but a handful of months from  January 1967 to January 2002. It’s been less than 5% for all be a handful of months since then.  (St. Louis Fed)   We don’t claim to be Janet Yellen, but that has to be a big deal for fixed income investments in defined contribution plans. Pension & Investments says it’s time to think about the fixed-income landscape.  (Pension & Investments)  Has your investment committee talked about this lately? Has it met lately?
  • From one of my very favorite blogs:  “401(k)s Should Not be Complicated or Expensive” by Barry Ritholtz  (Big Picture Version)   (Bloomberg View Version)
  • We continue to think the future of employee benefits is about variety of offerings. Here’s a clever one. PriceWaterhouseCoopers to give employees $7,200 for student debt. (Bloomberg Business)
  • Deductibles keep growing. (Strib) There is some home-team bias in this one. Free prize for anyone who can tell us why.

Bob Seng

With plenty of experience in private practice and as an Assistant General Counsel for Pay & Benefits in a Fortune 50 Company, Bob understands that employee benefits law isn’t for everyone. That’s why he takes pride in listening carefully and responding with clear answers and advice that can be followed by busy clients.

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