Tag Archives: Bureau of Labor Statistics

Regulatory roundup

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

IRS issues memo on the application of section 409A to back-to-back arrangement
The Office of Chief Counsel of the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) has issued a memorandum (No. 201725027) on the application of section 409A to back-to-back arrangement. According to the memo, “Treas. Reg. Section 1.409A-3(i)(6) provides that the amount of the payment under the ultimate service recipient plan may not exceed the amount of the payment under the intermediate service recipient plan. Therefore, the USR Plan fails to meet the requirements of section 409A because the USR Plan provision providing for a payment to Taxpayer in the event of a Participant’s separation from service before vesting is an impermissible payment event.”

For more information, read the entire memo here.

Higher-paid workers more likely to have access to retirement benefits
According to data published by the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), “Sixty-six percent of private industry workers had access to employer-provided retirement plans in March 2016. Having access means employers offered the benefit, regardless of whether employees chose to participate. Forty-nine percent of private industry workers participated in retirement plans in March 2016. That results in a take-up rate—the percentage of workers with access to a plan who participate in the plan—of 75 percent. Access, participation, and take-up rates were all higher for workers in higher wage groups than for workers in lower wage groups.”

To learn more about the BLS’s data, click here.

Regulatory roundup

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

BLS article explores defined contribution retirement plans
A new article from the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) takes a look at five types of employer-sponsored defined contribution retirement plans in private industry. The Beyond the Numbers article shows the overall employee participation rates, employee participation rates by type of plan, and overall employer costs and worker participation costs for all types of plans. All defined contribution plans described in this article have some form of employer cost. Plans are categorized by type on the basis of Internal Revenue Code requirements and variations in contribution methods. The data are from the BLS National Compensation Survey (NCS) and are presented by selected worker and establishment characteristics and geographic areas.

To read the entire article, click here.

CBO releases options for reducing the deficit, 2017 to 2026
The Congressional Budget Office (CBO) released “Options for reducing the deficit: 2017 to 2026,” presenting 115 options that would decrease federal spending or increase federal revenues over the next decade. The options included in this volume come from various sources. Some are based on proposed legislation or on the budget proposals of various administrations; others come from Congressional offices or from entities in the federal government or in the private sector. The options cover many areas—ranging from defense to energy, Social Security, and provisions of the tax code.

To download the report, click here.

GASB issues guidance on certain asset retirement obligations
The Governmental Accounting Standards Board (GASB) issued guidance for state and local governments addressing liabilities known as “asset retirement obligations.” An asset retirement obligation (ARO) is a legally enforceable liability associated with the retirement of a tangible capital asset. GASB Statement No. 83, Certain Asset Retirement Obligations, establishes guidance for determining the timing and pattern of recognition for liabilities and corresponding deferred outflows of resources related to AROs.

Existing laws and regulations require state and local governments to take specific actions to retire certain capital assets, such as the decommissioning of nuclear reactors and the dismantling and removal of sewage treatment plants. Other obligations to retire certain capital assets may arise from contracts or court judgments.

To read the entire GASB statement, click here.

COLAs for retirement, Social Security, and health benefits for 2017

With the release of the September 2016 Consumer Price Index (CPI) by the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the Social Security Administration (SSA) and the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) have announced cost-of-living adjusted figures for Social Security and retirement plan benefits, respectively, for 2017. The 2017 adjusted figures for high-deductible health plans (HDHPs) and health savings accounts (HSAs) included in this Client Action Bulletin were released by the IRS earlier this year and are provided here for convenience.

Retirement, social security, and health benefit limits for 2016

With the release of the September 2015 Consumer Price Index (CPI) by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the Social Security Administration (SSA) and the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) have announced the 2016 figures for, respectively, the Social Security program and tax-qualified retirement plan benefits. In most cases, the figures are unchanged from 2015. The 2016 adjusted figures for high-deductible health plans (HDHPs) and health savings accounts (HSAs) included in this Client Action Bulletin were released by the IRS earlier this year and are provided here for convenience.

Regulatory roundup

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

Access to specific provisions of employer-provided benefits
The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics released a new Beyond the Numbers article describing the prevalence with which people working for private employers in the United States are given the opportunity to enroll in health and retirement plans with various provisions—the extent to which they have access to those provisions.

To read the entire article, click here.

Summary of the quarterly survey of public pensions
The U.S. Census Bureau has released the summary of its quarterly survey on public pensions. The report for the 100 largest public-employee pension systems in the country shows that cash and security holdings totaled $3,369.0 billion in the second quarter of 2015. This is a decrease of 1.0% from the first quarter total of $3,401.5 billion. Earnings in the second quarter totaled $32.0 billion, a decrease of 59.2% from $78.3 billion in the previous quarter.

To read the entire survey, click here.

National Compensation Survey: Employee benefits in the United States
The National Compensation Survey (NCS) provides comprehensive measures of compensation cost trends, the incidence of benefits, and detailed benefit provisions. A newly published bulletin presents estimates of the incidence and key provisions of selected employee benefit plans. Estimates presented are on benefits for civilian workers—workers in private industry and in state and local government—by various employee and employer characteristics.

To read the entire bulletin, click here.

 

COLAs for retirement, Social Security, and health benefits for 2015

With the release of the September 2014 Consumer Price Index (CPI) by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the Social Security Administration (SSA) and the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) have announced cost-of-living adjusted (COLA) figures for Social Security and retirement plan benefits, respectively, for 2015. The 2015 adjusted figures for high-deductible health plans (HDHPs) and health savings accounts (HSAs) included in this Client Action Bulletin were released by the IRS earlier this year and are provided here for convenience.