Regulatory roundup

More retirement-related regulatory news for plan sponsors, including links to detailed information.

EBRI publishes 2015 retirement confidence survey
The Employee Benefit Research Institute (EBRI) has released its 25th annual Retirement Confidence Survey. This year’s survey finds that the percentage of workers confident about having enough money for a comfortable retirement—at record lows between 2009 and 2013—increased in 2014 and again in 2015. Of those surveyed, 22% are now very confident (up from 13% in 2013 and 18% in 2014), while 36% are somewhat confident. Overall, 24% are not at all confident (statistically unchanged from 28% in 2013 and 24% in 2014).

To read the entire 2015 survey, click here.

EBRI publishes papers on end-of-life finances; big data and employee benefits
The April 2015 issue of EBRI Notes features two reports: “A look at the end-of-life financial situation in America” and “Measured matters: The use of ‘big data’ in employee benefits.”

The first report takes a comprehensive look at the financial situation of older Americans at the end of their lives. In particular, it documents the percentage of households with a member who recently died with few or no assets. It also documents the income, debt, home-ownership rates, net home equity, and dependency on Social Security for households that experienced a recent death.

This second report summarizes the presentations and discussion held at the Employee Benefit Research Institute (EBRI) policy forum in December 2014. The discussion focused on the use of massive amounts of data and computer-driven data analytics to determine how people behave when it comes to health and retirement plans, which programs work or do not work, and how to get better results at lower cost.

To download the latest issue of EBRI Notes, click here.

FASB issues proposed accounting standards updates for retirement plans
The Financial Accounting Standards Board (FASB) has issued the following accounting standards for defined benefit plans and defined contribution plans:

• Plan accounting: Defined benefit pension plans (Topic 960)
• Plan accounting: Defined contribution pension plans (Topic 962)

To read the FASB’s entire exposure draft, click here.

FEDS Notes paper examines DC plans for state and local government employees
A recent FEDS Notes article provides some background information on the defined contribution (DC) plans available to state and local government workers. It briefly discusses the methodology used to construct the estimates of assets held by state and local DC plans, and presents the estimates currently reported in the financial accounts of the United States. Finally, the article discusses the impact of the introduction of state and local DC plan assets on the balance sheet of the household sector.

To read the entire article, click here.