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1 Tax Reform, Deficit Reduction and the Outlook for Employee Benefits Western Pension & Benefits Conference Seattle Chapter James A. Klein American Benefits Council February 19, 2013

2 The (Political) Science of Employee Benefits Policy

3 Abstract Political Chemistry Gravitational Pull of Retirement Policy Anatomy of the Affordable Care Act Evolution of Deficit/Debt Reduction

4 Political Chemistry House of Representatives: 233 Republicans 201 Democrats 1 Vacancy Periodic Table of Congress Senate: 55 Democrats 45 Republicans Noble Gases: inert; resistant to change (Ideologues) Malleable Metals: change composition when they come in contact with other elements (Moderates)

5 Atomic Structure of Legislative Interaction Number of Electrons bonding with Protons and Neutrons determines its ultimate composition Electrons/ Republicans Protons/ Democrats Approximately 335 of House seats are safe Neutrons/ Moderates

6 It often happens that scientists say, You know, that s a really good argument. My position is mistaken, and then they actually change their minds I cannot recall the last time something like that happened in politics. i -Carl Sagan Astronomer

7 Cynic s Theorem: If the opposite of pro is con, Then the opposite of progress is Congress

8 Gravitational Pull of Retirement Policy

9 Geological Origins of Defined Plan Sponsor Need for Stabilization Benefit Pension Policy Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation (PBGC) Deficit Status of Public Pensions Source of Revenue: -PBGC Premiums -Funding Relief

10 Washington D.C. is the only place in the universe where sound travels faster than light. - Ronald Reagan

11 Defined Contribution Plans USA Retirement Funds Annuities & Longevity Insurance Savers Credit Auto DC Plan Deduction SEAL Act Auto IRA Deduction Definition of Fiduciary

12 The only reason for time is so that not everything will happen at once. Albert Einstein -Albert Einstein TIME Man of the Century

13 Anatomy of the Affordable Care Act

14 Anatomy of Affordable Care Act Insurance Market Reforms Exchanges ERISA framework Subsidies Pay or Play Employer Mandate Expand Medicaid - Align quality and payment - Coordinated care model Individual Mandate Small Business Tax Credits Cadillac Tax

15 So What Will Happen?

16 Prediction is very difficult, especially if it s about the future. Neils Bohr -Neils Bohr Nobel Prize Recipient, Physics

17 Anatomy of Affordable Care Act Insurance Market Reforms Exchanges ERISA framework Subsidies Pay or Play Employer Mandate Expand Medicaid - Align quality and payment - Coordinated care model Individual Mandate Small Business Tax Credits Cadillac Tax Complete Repeal

18 Anatomy of Affordable Care Act Insurance Market Reforms Exchanges ERISA framework Subsidies Pay or Play Employer Mandate Expand Medicaid - Align quality and payment - Coordinated care model Individual Mandate Small Business Tax Credits Cadillac Tax Significant Changes

19 Anatomy of Affordable Care Act Insurance Market Reforms Exchanges ERISA framework Subsidies Pay or Play Employer Mandate Expand Medicaid - Align quality and payment - Coordinated care model Individual Mandate Small Business Tax Credits Cadillac Tax Empower States

20 Evolution of Deficit/Debt Reduction

21 The National Debt Historical Debt Outstanding on an Annual Basis (1791-present) Source: U.S. Bureau of the Public Debt, U.S. Department of Treasury In trillions: February 5, 2013: $16.5 Trillion

22 Evolution of Deficit/Debt Reduction Tax Expenditures, Fiscal Years (Projected dollars in billions) 1,200 1,000 1, Exclusion of employer contributions for medical insurance premiums and medical care Exclusion of employersponsored pension plan contributions tions and earnings (DB & DC) Deductibility of mortgage interest on owner-occupied occ homes Deductibility of nonbusiness state and local taxes Deductibility of charitable contributions, tions other than education and health Source: U.S. Office of Management and Budget (OMB), Analytical Perspectives, Budget of the United States Government, Fiscal Year 2013

23 Debt and Deficit Reduction Big Bang Theory A long time ago.

24 Debt and Deficit Reduction

25 Can Congress and the President Achieve Deficit Reduction and Tax Reform?

26 Cynic s Theorem: If the opposite of pro is con, Then the opposite of progress is Congress

27 The best theory is one that can t be disproven in your lifetime. -Fred Hoyle Astronomer

28 Disproving Cynic s Theorem e > + < 60 + Boyle s Law: At constant temperature, + > Pressure Volume >_

29 I was taught that the way of progress was neither swift nor easy. -Marie Curie Nobel Prize Recipient, Chemistry and Physics

30 In the long history of humankind, those who learned to collaborate and improvise most effectively have prevailed. -Charles Darwin Evolutionary Theorist

31 To Continue Your Scientific Inquiry

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