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What to Expect in Benefits Administration in 2014

2013 proved to be an exciting year in benefits administration.  In the U.S., much of the focus was on corporate health exchanges for active employees while the U.K. was focused on auto-enrollment (AE). 

Specific highlights of the year in the U.S. included:

  • Aon Hewitt: added 15 clients to its corporate health exchange (total number of clients is at 18)
  • Mercer: added 52 clients to its private health exchanges (33 clients for its corporate exchange for active employees; 19 clients for its retiree exchange)
  • Buck Consultants: added ~400k participants to its private health insurance exchange
  • MassMutual Retirement Services: awarded 23 new Taft-Hartley multi-employer retirement plan contracts
  • Fidelity Investments: increased assets under administration for not-for-profit institutions 102% to $204bn from 2008 through H1 2013; also awarded DC contracts covering 606k participants in H1 with assets under administration at $40.5bn, a 60% increase over sales commitments in H1 2012.

In the U.K., 2013 featured:

  • Ceridian UK: added ~75 clients and ~570k members for its AE solution; also launched a knowledge center around AE
  • Aon Hewitt: partnered with Zurich to launch an AE offering, A to Z
  • Buck Consultants: launched an AE offering, Enrolment Pro
  • JP Morgan: launched a dedicated DC pension business, UK SmartRetirement 
  • Mercer: launched a Master Trust service through its Workplace Savings offering.

Activity so far in 2014 suggests that the year will be about growing new offerings as well as expanding the base. Contract awards announced already include:

  • Fidelity Investments: DC admin contract with FirstEnergy (competitive win; 21k participants)
  • Capita Employee Benefits: DC admin contract with Network Rail in the U.K. (2 schemes; 18.5k members)
  • ING U.S.: DC admin contract renewal with State of Michigan (2 plans; 150k participants)
  • Aon Hewitt: DB admin contract with Hozelock in U.K. (750 members; also includes actuarial and investment services
  • MassMutual Retirement Services: Taft-Hartley multi-employer retirement plan contract with Electrical Workers Local 466
  • ADP: wellness contract with Michigan Schools and Government Credit Union.

Other developments this year and things to watch for include:

  • ING U.S. beginning its rebranding efforts to Voya Financial in Q2 and continuing the transition throughout the rest of the year
  • Aon Hewitt adding clients to its recently launched SimPlus Savings offering, which is focused on helping plan sponsors and fiduciaries manage responsibilities and improve participant retirement readiness
  • ADP’s success with its ACA-related tools and resources on its RUN platform for SMBs including its new FTE calculator, which helps clients determine their number of FTE employees and if they may be considered an ‘applicable large employer’ and be subject to the Shared Responsibility provision of the ACA
  • Pensions AE communications being communicated through flexible benefits enrollment processes.

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