American Benefits Council
Benefits Byte


May 15, 2015

The Benefits Byte is the American Benefits Council’s regular e-mail and online newsletter for members only, providing timely reports on legislative, regulatory and judicial developments, along with updates on the Council’s activities in support of employer-sponsored benefit plans.

The Benefits Byte is published by the American Benefits Council, based on staff reports and edited by Jason Hammersla, Council director of communications. Contact information for Council staff related to specific topics can be found at the end of each story.

Click here to read past issues on the Benefits Byte Archive page.

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Bipartisan Lifetime Income Disclosure Legislation Introduced in Senate

Lawmakers in the U.S. Senate have introduced legislation that would require 401(k) plan sponsors to inform participating workers of the projected monthly income they could expect at retirement based on their current account balance.

The Lifetime Income Disclosure Act (S. 1317) was introduced on May 13 by Senators Johnny Isakson (R-GA) and Christopher Murphy (D-CT). The measure would require that sponsors of 401(k) and other defined contribution plans subject to ERISA inform participants of how their account balance would translate into guaranteed monthly payments based on age at retirement and other factors.

The legislation also directs the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) to issue tables that employers could use in calculating an annuity equivalent, as well as a model disclosure.  Employers and service providers using the model disclosure and following the prescribed assumptions and DOL rules would be insulated from liability.

This legislation has been introduced in each session of Congress dating back to 2009.  In 2013, Isakson and Murphy were joined by Senators Elizabeth Warren (D-MA), Tim Scott (R-SC) and Bill Nelson (D-FL) as original cosponsors. Identical legislation was also introduced in the House in the prior Congress as H.R. 2171. A prior official summary of the measure is still available.

S. 1317 has been referred to the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions (HELP) Committee. It is unlikely to receive attention as a stand-alone measure, although it is possible that the language could be added to broader retirement policy legislation in the future. For more information, contact Diann Howland, vice president, legislative affairs, at (202) 289-6700. 

A Bit About Your Benefits: Final Survey Reminder

The Council needs your help with a critically important project specifically designed to improve the value of your membership.  Since April 24 when, we originally sent the brief survey we have received over 700 responses.  It is a terrific response that will help us learn how best to serve you and your colleagues. The survey is part of a larger effort to gauge the value of various resources we provide and to consider possible new services we could unveil in the future.

You have received an invitation to complete the survey with a customized link. If you began the survey but did not complete it, simply return to the email, click the link and you will automatically return to where you were in the survey.

The survey takes fewer than ten minutes. In appreciation of your feedback and because we know your time is valuable, everyone who completes the questionnaire will be entered into a drawing for one of five $100 Amazon gift cards. The deadline was today, Friday, May 15, but we will leave the survey open over the weekend in case there are any last-minute entries because we want to gather as much feedback as possible.

If you have questions or did not receive an invitation to participate, please contact Deanna Johnson, director, membership, or Jessica Chirico, communications assistant. Both can be reached at (202) 289-6700.

The American Benefits Council is the national trade association for companies concerned about federal legislation and regulations affecting all aspects of the employee benefits system. The Council's members represent the entire spectrum of the private employee benefits community and either sponsor directly or administer retirement and health plans covering more than 100 million Americans.

Notice: the information contained herein is general in nature. It is not, and should not be construed as, accounting, consulting, legal or tax advice or opinion provided by the American Benefits Council or any of its employees. As required by the IRS, we inform you that any information contained herein was not intended or written to be used or referred to, and cannot be used or referred to (i) for the purpose of avoiding penalties under the Internal Revenue Code, or (ii) in promoting, marketing or recommending to another party any transaction or matter addressed herein (and any attachment).