Articles

Employee Benefits

The Employment-Health Nexus: Sufficiently Entrenched to Survive Healthcare-For-All

The coronavirus pandemic and ensuing unemployment crisis highlight a deep flaw in the United States’ health insurance system. The employment-health nexus, or the connection between access to health insurance and employment status, means that as Americans lose their jobs in a pandemic-caused recession, they lose the very health insurance they need for testing and treatment.

Employee Benefits

The “Gaming” of Pension Plan Actuarial Assumptions

Almost 20 years ago, amidst an operational compliance review of a Fortune 25 company’s defined benefit pension plans, the CFO called me early in the morning alerting me to a front-page New York Times article on the “gaming” of pension plan actuarial assumptions and asked us to expand our review to make sure the selection of actuarial assumptions for his plan was conducted in a prudent objective manner.

Employee Benefits

Improving Individual Annuity Choices: From a New Choice to an Expanded PBGC Mission

In the defined contribution world, most plans avoid annuity forms of distribution. This is partly because most plan sponsors and fiduciaries lack the expertise and appetite to wrestle with implementing an annuity choice, and further because the addition of an annuity alternative would become a permanent (protected) plan benefit. It is particularly challenging for plan fiduciaries — as well as plan participants! — to make an intelligent choice for a cost-effective annuity provider.