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Aon Hewitt unveils new health plan design for retirees

By: Jerry Geisel

Published October 30, 2014 - 3:31pm CST

A new retiree health care benefits design unveiled Thursday by Aon Hewitt and linked to its private health insurance exchange will give Medicare-eligible retirees greater financial incentives to select more cost-effective plans, the benefit consultant said.

Hartford offering to convert monthly annuity to cash lump sum

By: Jerry Geisel

Published October 28, 2014 - 5:21pm CST

Hartford Financial Services Inc. is offering 13,500 former employees the opportunity to convert their future monthly annuity into a cash lump sum.

Boeing offers lump-sum, immediate annuity options to 40,000 former employees

By: Barry B. Burr, Pensions & Investments

Published October 28, 2014 - 3:04pm CST

Boeing Co. is offering an option of a lump-sum payout or an annuity to 40,000 former employees who have not yet retired, the first time the Chicago-based company has offered such choices from its existing defined benefit plans.

PBGC $284K payout start of millions for ailing multiemployer pension plans

By: Jerry Geisel

Published October 28, 2014 - 2:41pm CST

The Pension Benefit Guaranty Corp. said Tuesday it has paid out more than $284,000 — the first of what will be millions of dollars in payments — to cover benefits for 365 participants in two insolvent multiemployer pension plans.

PBGC takes over food wholesaler’s pension plan; warns of 2015 rate hikes

By: Jerry Geisel

Published October 27, 2014 - 3:03pm CST

The Pension Benefit Guaranty Corp. has taken over the underfunded pension plan of White Rose Inc., an independent Carteret, New Jersey-based independent food wholesaler that filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy last month and now is selling off assets.

Deferred annuity tax hurdle cleared

By: Jerry Geisel

Published October 26, 2014 - 6:00am CST

A recent U.S. Treasury Department regulation cleared an obstacle for retirees wanting to use a chunk of their defined contribution plan accounts to purchase retirement annuities that don't pay monthly benefits until long after they have retired.

Pension plan annuity conversions poised to expand

By: Jerry Geisel

Published October 26, 2014 - 6:00am CST

The number of employers offering an annuity conversion option to plan participants is set to increase as fewer employers offer traditional pensions.

Group takes on Medicare rules to promote value-based plan designs

By: Joanne Wojcik

Published October 26, 2014 - 6:00am CST

A Washington-based employer benefits lobbying organization is seeking changes to the Medicare Prescription Drug, Improvement, and Modernization Act that would make it easier for companies to implement value-based insurance designs in high-deductible health care plans with health savings accounts.

IRS allows use of annuities in target-date fund series

By: Robert Steyer, Pensions & Investments

Published October 24, 2014 - 3:33pm CST

The Internal Revenue Service on Friday said defined contribution plans’ use of a target-date fund series containing deferred annuities won’t violate IRS rules against DC plans discriminating in favor of higher paid employees, as long as other IRS guidelines are followed.

Daughters of Charity Health System church plan challenged

By: Hazel Bradford, Pensions & Investments

Published October 24, 2014 - 2:39pm CST

Another church-affiliated hospital system is being sued by employees challenging its defined benefit plan’s exemption from federal pension law.

IRS announces maximum 401(k) plan contribution limits for 2015

By: Jerry Geisel

Published October 23, 2014 - 9:55am CST

The maximum contribution that can be made to 401(k) plans in 2015 will rise to $18,000, up from the current $17,500 limit, the Internal Revenue Service announced Thursday.

Ryder latest firm to offer lump-sum cash conversion from annuity

By: Jerry Geisel

Published October 23, 2014 - 9:50am CST

Ryder System Inc. is offering to about 11,000 former employees the opportunity to convert their monthly annuity benefit to a cash lump-sum benefit.

New Orleans mayor creates pension reform group to sustain firefighters plan

By: Rob Kozlowski, Pensions & Investments

Published October 22, 2014 - 12:48pm CST

New Orleans Mayor Mitch Landrieu signed an executive order establishing a pension reform working group to recommend changes to the New Orleans Fire Fighters Pension & Relief Fund.

Lockheed Martin to forgo pension contributions in 2015 through 2017

By: Rob Kozlowski, Pensions & Investments

Published October 22, 2014 - 9:48am CST

Lockheed Martin Corp. announced Tuesday it has contributed $1 billion in contributions to its defined benefit plans thus far in 2014 out of an expected $2 billion and does not expect to make further contributions for at least three more years.

Colorado high court upholds COLA reduction for state pension fund

By: Meaghan Kilroy, Pensions & Investments

Published October 21, 2014 - 10:09am CST

The Colorado Supreme Court ruled Monday that the reduction to cost-of-living adjustments for Colorado Public Employees Retirement Association members approved under earlier legislation was constitutional, court documents show.

PBGC taking over underfunded plan of manufacturer that filed for bankruptcy

By: Jerry Geisel

Published October 17, 2014 - 10:12am CST

The Pension Benefit Guaranty Corp. said Friday that it is taking over the underfunded pension plan of Reichhold Inc., a Durham, North Carolina-based resin manufacturer that filed for bankruptcy last month.

Cincinnati health care system freezing pension plans, sweetening 401(k)

By: Jerry Geisel

Published October 16, 2014 - 10:57am CST

TriHealth, a Cincinnati-based health care system, is freezing its three defined benefit pension plans and beefing up its 401(k) plans.

'Gendernomics' leads to less retirement savings for women

By: Joanne Wojcik

Published October 15, 2014 - 12:51pm CST

Because of the “wage gap,” women accrue smaller 401(k) balances on average than their male counterparts even though they typically invest a higher percentage of their salaries.

Succession search begins as Oil CEO announces retirement

By: Mark A. Hofmann

Published October 15, 2014 - 11:45am CST

Robert Stauffer will retire as president and CEO of Oil Insurance Ltd. at the beginning of 2016, Hamilton, Bermuda-based Oil announced Tuesday.

Notre Dame offering married same-sex couples health, retirement benefits

By: Matt Dunning

Published October 15, 2014 - 11:33am CST

The University of Notre Dame has announced that it will extend spousal benefits to married same-sex couples under its employee health care and retirement plans.

Pension-related cases being heard by the Supreme Court

By: Hazel Bradford, Pensions & Investments

Published October 13, 2014 - 4:23pm CST

The Supreme Court's new term includes cases challenging investors' burden of proof in securities litigation and whether 401(k) plan fiduciaries can be sued for investment choices made years earlier.

About 250 firms plan to offer health benefits next year via Mercer's health exchange

By: Matt Dunning

Published October 13, 2014 - 4:00pm CST

Nearly 250 employers will offer health care benefits to current and retired employees through Mercer L.L.C.'s “Marketplace” private health insurance exchange in 2015.

Same-sex marriage bans in Idaho, Nevada ruled unconstitutional

By: Matt Dunning

Published October 08, 2014 - 10:13am CST

A federal appeals court has dealt yet another blow to same-sex marriage opponents by ruling in favor of gay and lesbian couples seeking equal marriage rights in Idaho and Nevada.

Aon Hewitt's private health exchanges poised to grow in 2015

By: Jerry Geisel

Published October 08, 2014 - 8:06am CST

The number of employers participating in two Aon Hewitt private health insurance exchanges will jump next year.

Funding of large employer pension plans up slightly in September: Milliman

By: Jerry Geisel

Published October 07, 2014 - 2:12pm CST

The funded status of very large pension plans sponsored by publicly held companies edged up in September as rising interest rates, which decreased the value of plan liabilities, more than offset investment losses.

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