Insight

Milliman retirement & benefits insight

26 May 2020 - By Claire Booth, Neil Cantle, Dana-Marie Dick, Ian Penfold, Natasha Singhal, Vidyut Vardhan

What metrics are most useful to insurance companies when considering the risks and impacts of climate change?

22 May 2020 - By Grant Camp, Aaron Shapiro

This alert focuses on the multiemployer provisions in Division D of the Health and Economic Recovery Omnibus Emergency Solutions (HEROES) Act.

18 May 2020 - By Mary Leong, Ryan Cook

During April 2020, average accounting discount rates decreased by 56 bps, while annuity purchase rates decreased by 51 bps.

15 May 2020 - By Ryan Rowland

This brief outlines several ideas for employers to consider in connection with their defined benefit pension plans as well as caveats to be aware of as you evaluate your organization’s staffing needs during the COVID-19 crisis.

15 May 2020 - By Jennifer Bolton, Julie Bentz

In the midst of the COVID-19 crisis, there are even more challenges to communicating about benefits.

15 May 2020 - By Zorast Wadia, Charles J. Clark

In April, the funded status of the 100 largest corporate defined benefit pension plans worsened by $58 billion as measured by the Milliman 100 Pension Funding Index.

13 May 2020 - By John Donohue, Thomas M Carrabine

This article provides an overview of the distribution process and why now may be a good time for trustees to consider moving the defined contribution plans to a daily valued environment.

13 May 2020 - By Radhika Philip, Danny L. Quant

This article focuses on three critical key talent topics in due diligence: assessing contractual obligations, identifying key high-performing talent, and designing retention and termination packages.

13 May 2020 - By Rebecca A. Sielman

The estimated funded status of the 100 largest U.S. public pension plans as measured by the Milliman 100 Public Pension Funding Index now stands at 69.8%, a far cry from the heady 74.9% at the end of December 2019, but a significant improvement from 66.0% at the end of March.

12 May 2020 - By Lauren Busey

COVID-19 poses challenges for healthcare providers who are managing complex issues around benefits and compensation policies to best support their employees during these hazardous times.

11 May 2020 - By Joel E. Stewart, Yutaro Seki

This Multiemployer Alert provides a summary of past multiemployer pension funding relief and recent proposals.

11 May 2020 - By Charles J. Clark, Ginny Boggs

The CARES Act has sweeping implications for both defined benefit and defined contribution retirement plans in the U.S., as Milliman’s Charles Clark and Ginny Boggs discuss on this episode of Critical Point.

07 May 2020

What else can I do to minimize the impact of the market downturn on my contributions?

01 May 2020 - By Ram Kelkar, Daren Lockwood, Xiaohong Mo, Adam Schenck

The expected hedge cost for a hypothetical GLWB block (see Index Methodology1) is estimated to be 271 bps as of the end of April 2020, up 3 basis points from the previous month, driven by a decrease in long-term interest rates.

30 April 2020 - By Stephanie Peterson, Robert L. Schmidt, Ryan Hart

Health and group benefits news and developments in the United States.

30 April 2020 - By Ladd E. Preppernau

Retirement planning is a long-term undertaking, and the consequences of rules and actions may not be known until years, or even decades, after they are implemented.

30 April 2020 - By Ladd E. Preppernau, Grant Camp

A strong understanding of the historical regulatory perspective can serve to inform the discussion on future regulatory changes designed to improve the long-term health of multiemployer pension plans.

29 April 2020 - By Bret Linton, Vicki Mazzie, Vanessa M. Vaag

The Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act permits a “qualified individual” to certify to the employer that they qualify to elect a coronavirus-related distribution.

29 April 2020 - By Les Kartchner, Sam Bertoch

Contributions charged to employees and retirees are an important aspect of an employer’s health and welfare benefit strategy.

28 April 2020 - By Zorast Wadia, Alan H. Perry, Charles J. Clark

Despite a drop of 94 basis points in discount rates, the private single-employer defined benefit plans of the Milliman 100 companies continued to make funding progress in 2019 due to their stellar investment returns of 17.3%.

21 April 2020

How is the market downturn going to affect my pension contributions?

21 April 2020 - By Mary Leong, Ryan Cook

During March 2020, average accounting discount rates increased by 80 bps, while annuity purchase rates increased by 71 bps.

16 April 2020 - By Rebecca A. Sielman

First quarter investment losses have lowered the estimated funding status of the 100 largest U.S. public pension plans as measured by the Milliman 100 Public Pension Funding Index from 74.9% at the end of December 2019 to 66.0% at the end of March 2020.

15 April 2020 - By Peter Thies

How does a complex pension plan not only pass nondiscrimination testing but also pass this testing in the future?

14 April 2020

Equity markets and high yield fixed income securities were down significantly for the quarter as investors reacted to the sudden onset of the coronavirus pandemic and the resulting economic consequences.

12 April 2020 - By Kelly S. Coffing, Timothy L. Connor, Nina M. Lantz

COVID-19’s impact goes beyond the market decline. Many industries are being hit hard by a sudden drop-off in industry activity, with concern that the recovery of normal operation could take several years, reducing the contributions coming into multiemployer pension plans.

07 April 2020 - By Charles J. Clark, Zorast Wadia

In March, the funded status of the 100 largest corporate defined benefit pension plans rose by $93 billion as measured by the Milliman 100 Pension Funding Index.

07 April 2020 - By Delbert Zamora

This article focuses on the CARES Act provision allowing deferment to January 1, 2021, of required defined benefit contributions due in the 2020 calendar year.

06 April 2020 - By Sean Silva, Reza Vahid

This alert describes Title III (Supporting America’s Health Care System in the Fight Against the Coronavirus), Part II (Access to Healthcare for COVID-19 Patients), Subpart A (Coverage of Testing and Preventive Services), of the CARES Act, which expands upon Division F, Health Provisions, of the Families First Coronavirus Response Act.

02 April 2020 - By Scott D. Preppernau

The turmoil the COVID-19 pandemic has caused in financial markets raises profound and potentially long-lasting concerns for pension plan sponsors.

31 March 2020 - By William Strange

These FAQs help you thoughtfully consider the potential effects that market volatility resulting from COVID-19 can have on your plan.

30 March 2020 - By Mary Leong, Ryan Cook

During February 2020, average accounting discount rates decreased by 19 bps, while annuity purchase rates decreased by 25 bps.

30 March 2020 - By Jeff Baker

As employers are facing the harsh reality of implementing layoffs to maintain economic viability, there may be unintended consequences to various retirement programs, especially pension, post-retirement benefit, and other plans.

30 March 2020 - By Vicki Mazzie

While many non-essential businesses are closing temporarily due to government requirements, even leading to staff layoffs in some cases, essential employers in some regions are experiencing the need to increase staffing levels or putting plans in place to do so in the coming weeks or months.

23 March 2020 - By Sean Silva, John R. Botsford, Ilina Ingolia

This article contains specific information about what the “Families First Coronavirus Response Act” covers.

23 March 2020 - By Ladd E. Preppernau, Carrie Vaughn

On the heels of the dot-com bust from 2000-2002 and the global financial crisis in 2008, can multiemployer plans survive a third “once-in-a-lifetime” event?

16 March 2020 - By Fred Vosvenieks

Firms need to be thinking and acting with dynamism to manage the here and now of the global coronavirus pandemic and plan effectively for multiple future scenario pathways.

11 March 2020 - By Jeffrey T. Marzinsky

The 1,190.95-point Dow decline on February 27, 2020, is the largest we’ve seen in the history of the Dow and amounts to a drop of over 4.4%.

10 March 2020 - By Charles J. Clark, Zorast Wadia

In February, the funded status of the 100 largest corporate defined benefit pension plans fell by $71 billion as measured by the Milliman 100 Pension Funding Index.

06 March 2020 - By Ian Laverty

This article takes a deep dive into changes stemming from the Setting Every Community Up for Retirement Enhancement (SECURE) Act of 2019 and provides additional insight into the new law, particularly as it relates to individual annuity contracts.

05 March 2020 - By Jeffrey R. Reardon

This article helps identify restricted employees and explains how their lump-sum benefit form option may be affected.

03 March 2020 - By Robert L. Schmidt

The financial risks associated with offering a health benefit plan can’t be entirely eradicated, but there are many proactive steps plan sponsors can take to optimize their approaches to health benefits.

03 March 2020 - By Michelle Richter

More can be done by representatives of the fiduciary advice, annuity, and technology industries working together both to overcome negative perceptions and to better integrate annuities into the holistic planning solutions that fee-based advisers use.

02 March 2020 - By Milliman Employee Benefits Research Group

Monthly benefits news and developments in the United States.

02 March 2020 - By Rebecca A. Sielman

The estimated funded status of the 100 largest U.S. public pension plans grew from 72.7% at the end of September 2019 to 74.9% at the end of December 2019 as measured by the Milliman 100 Public Pension Funding Index.

26 February 2020 - By Mary Leong, Ryan Cook

The Milliman Pension Buyout Index uses the FTSE Above Median AA Curve and annuity purchase composite interest rates from several insurance companies to estimate the cost, as a percentage of accounting liability, of transferring retiree pension obligations to an insurer.

26 February 2020 - By Vanessa M. Vaag, Mary Hart

This article confirms that certain defined benefit (DB) pension plan changes included in the Setting Every Community Up for Retirement Enhancement (SECURE) Act may lead to technical and administrative concerns for DB plan sponsors, who should be prepared to address them after careful inspection of the new law.

24 February 2020 - By Nina M. Lantz, Rex Barker, Timothy L. Connor, Stuart Kliternick, Joel E. Stewart, William Wade

Milliman’s December 2019 Multiemployer Pension Funding Study reports on the estimated funded status of all U.S. multiemployer defined benefit plans as of December 31, 2019.

20 February 2020 - By Thomas M Carrabine

With rising healthcare costs and people living longer, trustees of multiemployer plans may want to ask themselves: How can we better support our members in retirement when addressing healthcare costs?

10 February 2020 - By Milliman Employee Benefits Research Group

Monthly benefits news and developments in the United States.

10 February 2020 - By Charles J. Clark, Zorast Wadia

In January, the funded status of the 100 largest corporate defined benefit pension plans fell by $73 billion as measured by the Milliman 100 Pension Funding Index.

06 February 2020 - By Charles J. Clark, Deborah Lachner

The new SECURE Act might have a few surprises for employers and their TPA business partners when it comes to managing retirement plans.

03 February 2020 - By Ian Laverty

Annuities in retirement plans such as the 401(k) may have become more attractive to consumers, plan sponsors, and annuity writers after passage of the SECURE Act.

17 January 2020

Markets were largely up for the quarter as investors reacted to easing trade tensions and reduced fears of a recession.

17 January 2020 - By Matt Cheung, Ian Laverty, Zi Xiang Low, Bill Matczak, Zohair Motiwalla

In the third quarter of 2019, Milliman conducted a survey to establish market practice in the application of VM21: Principle-Based Reserves for Variable Annuities.

10 January 2020 - By Christine Jello, Suzanne Norman, Patricia L. Renzi

Women face unique obstacles in securing the necessary roadmap for retirement.

08 January 2020 - By Milliman Employee Benefits Research Group

The President on Dec. 20, 2019, signed the "Further Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2020" into law (P.L. 116-94), funding government agencies for the remainder of the 2020 federal fiscal year (ending Sept. 30, 2020). The law includes significant provisions – some mandatory, some optional – affecting employer-sponsored retirement and health benefit plans.

08 January 2020 - By Charles J. Clark, Zorast Wadia

The year 2019 was characterized by strong investment returns alongside sharply decreasing discount rates that resulted in an overall $30 billion drop in funded status.

07 January 2020 - By Milliman Employee Benefits Research Group

Monthly benefits news and developments in the United States.

06 January 2020 - By Joseph Boschert, Janet Jennings, Robert L. Schmidt

This paper examines the various connections between health and wealth as well as the repercussions of ignoring those connections.

06 January 2020 - By Joseph Boschert, Janet Jennings, Robert L. Schmidt

People are looking for ways to protect their long-term health and wealth, and they expect their financial advisers to create more comprehensive financial plans that will help them achieve this goal.

23 December 2019 - By Rebecca A. Sielman

13 December 2019 - By Mark C. Olleman, Matt Larrabee

This paper presents two alternative options for mortality projection based on historical mortality improvement data.

10 December 2019 - By Milliman Employee Benefits Research Group

Monthly benefits news and developments in the United States.

06 December 2019 - By David Stoddard

The Milliman Multiemployer Health and Welfare Study analyzes various financial disclosures for multiemployer health and welfare plans, also known as Taft-Hartley plans, nationwide.

05 December 2019 - By Charles J. Clark, Zorast Wadia

In November, the funded status of the 100 largest corporate defined benefit pension plans increased by $15 billion as measured by the Milliman 100 Pension Funding Index.

03 December 2019 - By David Evans

Offering the right benefits has become even more important for employers trying to attract and retain top talent.

26 November 2019 - By Grant Camp, Ryan Rowland

This alert summarizes key aspects of the proposed Multiemployer Pension Recapitalization and Reform Plan.

25 November 2019 - By Milliman Employee Benefits Research Group

This card lists the 2020 key limits for employer-sponsored retirement plans, Social Security and Medicare levels, and health savings account limits set by federal agencies.

22 November 2019 - By Noah Llanda

This alert focuses on the Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation (PBGC) annual report as it pertains to the PBGC Multiemployer Program.

20 November 2019 - By Milliman Employee Benefits Research Group

The IRS has issued a proposed rule that would amend the life expectancy and distribution period tables used to calculate required minimum distributions (RMDs) from qualified retirement plans, profit-sharing and stock bonus plans, individual retirement accounts (IRAs) and annuities, and 403(b) and 457 plans and certain other tax-favored employer-provided retirement arrangements.

19 November 2019 - By Bryan Jones

By tweaking existing familiar concepts—the funding liabilities—we can leverage the understanding that employers already have about their pension plans to explain various risks, some of which are very pertinent to decision making.

19 November 2019 - By Milliman Employee Benefits Research Group

Key administrative dates and deadlines for calendar-year defined contribution retirement plans subject to ERISA and the Internal Revenue Code.

19 November 2019 - By Milliman Employee Benefits Research Group

Monthly benefits news and developments in the United States.

18 November 2019 - By Milliman Employee Benefits Research Group

Key administrative dates and deadlines for calendar-year single-employer defined benefit plans subject to ERISA and the Internal Revenue Code.

15 November 2019 - By Milliman Employee Benefits Research Group

The Department of Health and Human Services' Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) has announced cost-of-living adjustments (COLAs) for Medicare Parts A and B for 2020.

13 November 2019 - By Milliman Employee Benefits Research Group

The Department of Labor (DOL) released a proposed rule that, if finalized, will provide an additional "safe harbor" for plan administrators to use electronic media to furnish retirement plan information to participants and beneficiaries.

11 November 2019 - By Charles J. Clark, Zorast Wadia

In October, the funded status of the 100 largest corporate defined benefit pension plans increased by $11 billion as measured by the Milliman 100 Pension Funding Index.

08 November 2019 - By Milliman Employee Benefits Research Group

The 2020 adjusted figures for high-deductible health plans and health savings accounts included in this Client Action Bulletin were released by the IRS earlier this year and are provided here for convenience.

06 November 2019 - By Milliman Employee Benefits Research Group

Key administrative dates and deadlines for defined benefit plans subject to ERISA and the Internal Revenue Code.

06 November 2019 - By Milliman Employee Benefits Research Group

By year-end 2019, sponsors of calendar-year single-employer retirement plans must adopt necessary and discretionary plan amendments to ensure compliance with the statutory and regulatory requirements of ERISA and the tax code. This Client Action Bulletin looks at key areas - including administrative compliance issues - that defined benefit (DB) and/or defined contribution (DC) plan sponsors should address by Dec. 31, 2019.

04 November 2019 - By Dominick Pizzano

This article highlights points to consider when conducting a Section 409A “to be or not to be” determination process.

29 October 2019 - By Dan Freeman, Mike Gaal, Cory Gusland, Jennifer Janvrin

Health and group benefits news and developments in the United States.

18 October 2019 - By Benjamin J. Diederich, William J. Fox, Brent Jensen

Employers should adjust health plan options for morbidity in order to reduce the selection bias.

17 October 2019 - By Rex Barker, Kevin M. Campe, Timothy L. Connor, Stuart Kliternick, Nina M. Lantz, Ladd E. Preppernau, Joel E. Stewart

The Fall 2019 Multiemployer Pension Funding Study updates the estimated funded status of U.S. multiemployer plans as of June 30, 2019, showing the change in funding levels from December 31, 2018.

09 October 2019 - By Milliman Employee Benefits Research Group

Monthly benefits news and developments in the United States.

08 October 2019 - By Patrika Bansal, Heerak Basu

This briefing note analyses the evolution of the discount rate for measuring employee benefit obligations under AS15(R), AS19 and IAS19.

07 October 2019 - By Charles J. Clark, Zorast Wadia

In September, the funded status of the 100 largest corporate defined benefit pension plans rose by $38 billion as measured by the Milliman 100 Pension Funding Index.

04 October 2019 - By Arthur Rains-McNally, William Strange

This article presents perspectives on the challenges of the current interest rate environment.

24 September 2019

The Segal Blend method of determining withdrawal liabilities in multiemployer pension plans was ruled improper in a recent case with the New York Times but it has been upheld in others, leaving the issue open for future challenges.

06 September 2019 - By Charles J. Clark, Zorast Wadia

In August, the funded status deficit of the 100 largest corporate defined benefit pension plans increased by $87 billion as measured by the Milliman 100 Pension Funding Index.

28 June 2010

The pension funding relief provisions of the Preservation of Access to Care for Medicare Beneficiaries and Pension Relief Act of 2010 are generally effective the first day of the first plan year ending after August 31, 2008.

05 January 2009

This Multiemployer Alert focuses on the Worker, Retiree, and Employer Recovery Act of 2008 provisions that demand immediate or near-term decisions by multiemployer plan trustees.

- By Michael Taggart, Don Biron

This 2020 market overview highlights some of the changes affecting the health and group benefit administration market that employers need to understand to take advantage of improvements and avoid issues in managing their administration providers.

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