What's New

What's New - April 2000

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What's new at EBRI this month:

EBRI Testifies on Social Security: EBRI President Dallas Salisbury testified April 11 before the House Ways and Means Subcommittee on Social Security, at a hearing on efforts to inform the public about Social Security. During his testimony, Salisbury touched on EBRI surveys of public opinion and public knowledge gaps about Social Security and possible enhancements to information regarding individual Social Security statements.

EBRI President's 1st Quarter 2000 Report

The EBRI Issue Brief and EBRI Notes for the month of April are available online for ordering. The April Issue Brief is entitled "Employer-Sponsored Long-Term Care Insurance: Best Practices for Increasing Sponsorship." "The April Notes articles are "The Future of Private Retirement Plans" and "Understanding the Income of the Older Population."

National Partners for Financial Empowerment: Treasury Secretary Lawrence Summers has announced the formation of a new coalition called National Partners for Financial Empowerment to promote saving. Participants will include the American Savings Education Council, the Consumer Federation of America, Chase Manhattan Bank, Bank of America, and Fidelity Investments.

Small Employer Retirement Survey (SERS): The 2000 Results of the survey are available.

Savings Game Special: On Wednesday April 5, 2000, WJLA-TV Channel 7 will air the third "Savings Game" Choose to Save® special from 9 pm - 10 pm in the Washington, DC metropolitan area. The special offers various tips on retirement preparedness, educational resources, and a special surprise for our viewers.

EBRI-ERF Policy Forum: The next EBRI-ERF policy forum, "The Economic Costs of the Uninsured: Implications for Business and Government" will be held on May 3, 2000, in Washington, DC. Click here for the agenda and links to background materials, as they become available.

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What's new in employee benefits:

  • HR News Online -- a daily update from the Society for Human Resource Management

If a title link above no longer works, click here for the GAO Index of Reports and Testimony, FY99, and search for the report by entering words or phrases from the title. Reports will also be added to GAO's searchable WAIS database in ASCII and PDF formats within 24 hours of the original posting. Any individual report may be retrieved directly in text and PDF formats with the following URL: http://www.gao.gov/cgi-bin/getrpt?RPTNO replacing RPTNO with the report number (e.g., GAO/OCG-98-1).

 If your computer does not already have the free Adobe Acrobat viewer software to read PDF files, click here for the one-time download necessary to read PDF publications.

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(4/27/00) Click here for the Consumer Federation of America/DirectAdvice.com Retirement Savings Campaign. The page will provide links to the news release, the economic analysis titled: Retirement Savings of Ameican Households: Asset Levels and Adequacy, and an opinion survey.

(4/27/00) "The National Committee for Quality Assurance (NCQA) recently released for comment a number of proposed modifications to its accreditation program that will encourage health plans to focus on reducing medical errors and improving patient safety."

(4/27/00) A March 2000 study, Global Aging: The Challenge of the New Millennium, by Watson Wyatt Worldwide done in partnership with the Center for Strategic and International Studies for the Commission on Global Aging, places special emphasis on the challenges facing Japan, Europe and the United States. The press release provides a link to the study.

(4/27/00) President Clinton released April 26 a new Families USA study documenting prescription drug price increases: Still Rising: Drug Price Increases for Seniors, 1999--2000.

(4/26/00) A new study from the Center for Studying Health System Change (HSC), based on two surveys from 1996--97 and 1998--99, finds that the uninsurance rate for low-income parents increased from 31 to 35 percent during this time period and that coverage for children has not changed. The study – Recent Trends in Children’s Health Coverage is HSC Issue Brief #29.

(4/25/00) FAAR.org, the website on financial aspects of aging research, features research studies concerning monetary issues related to aging that individuals face as they approach and enter their retirement years.

(4/25/00) Demographic Research is a "free, expedited, peer-reviewed journal of the population sciences" published by the Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research of Rostock, Germany.

(4/25/00) Click here to read about a study by The National Council on the Aging (NCOA), The International Longevity Center (ILC), and The Jewish Home and Hospital on attitudes about old age and aging.

(4/25/00) The April 2000 Public Policy Update: Longevity and Aging: The View from Government is posted by the International Longevity Center (ILC).

(4/24/00) Money.com presents "Guide to the Top 20 401(k) Funds."

(4/24/00) The National Center for Policy Analysis Idea House site provides a Social Security Calculator to determine Social Security benefits at retirement.

(4/24/00) A hearing on protecting pension assets was held April 13, 2000, by the Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions regarding H.R.833, the Bankruptcy Reform Act of 2000.

(4/21/00) The Kaiser Family Foundation has released Pending Patient Protection Legislation: A Comparative Analysis of Key Provisions of the House and Senate Versions of H.R. 2990, which was prepared by Phyllis Borzi and Sara Rosenbaum of the Center for Health Services Research and Policy, The George Washington University Medical Center.

(4/21/00) The Health Insurance Association of America recently released a survey report entitled Long-Term Care Insurance In 1997-1998.

(4/21/00) The Center on Budget and Policy Priorities recently released Would Raising IRA Contribution Limits Bolster Retirement Security For Lower- and Middle-Income Families or Is There a Better Way? by Peter Orszag and Jonathan Orszag.

(4/21/00) The Association of Private Pension and Welfare Plans released Looking to the Future: A New Perspective on the Social Security Problem on April 7.

(4/21/00) The Center for Retirement Research at Boston College has posted Assuring Retirement Income For All Workers by Daniel I. Halperin and Alicia H. Munnell.

(4/21/00) The Association of Private Pension and Welfare Plans provides the full text of debate and the legislative history for the Worker Economic Opportunity Act (S. 2323) which would amend the Fair Labor Standards Act of 1938 to clarify the treatment of stock options under the Act.

(4/18/00) The following documents have been added to the Congressional Budget Office WWW site:

(4/18/00) Designing a Targeted Drug Benefit for America's Seniors by Jim Frogue is an April 17, 2000, report from The Heritage Foundation.

(4/17/00) The Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland has released a March 2000 working paper titled How Much Should Americans Be Saving for Retirement? by B. Douglas Bernheim, Lorenzo Forni, Jagadeesh Gokhale, and Laurence J. Kotlikoff.

(4/17/00) The Distributional Effects of Social Security Reform, Martin Feldstein and Jeffrey Liebman, editors, is forthcoming from the University of Chicago Press. The National Bureau of Economic Research has posted papers from the conference held October 21-23, 1999, which are preliminary drafts unless otherwise noted, which will become chapters in the conference volume.

(4/17/00) The U.S. Supreme Court debuts on the Internet this week providing Web access to its decisions, argument calendars, and other information.

(4/14/00) "The Real Consumer Revolution in Healthcare: Defined-Contribution Health Plans" is from Booz·Allen & Hamilton's Insights series.

(4/14/00) BenefitsLink has compiled a set of topical links on cash balance pension plans.

(4/14/00) The Alpha Center's ERISA Preemption Primer provides an overview of ERISA preemption principles relevant to state health policy.

(4/13/00) Commitment in the Workplace: The 1999 Employee Relationship Report Benchmark Study released October 1999, is from the Hudson Institute and Walker Information.

(4/13/00) Hewitt Associates provides the following analysis: U.S. Presidential Candidates -- Legislative Positions on HR Issues.

(4/12/00) The Benton Foundation has recently released Networking for Better Care: Health Care in the Information Age, written by Christopher Conte and edited by Jean Smith.

(4/11/00) Forbes has posted the results of a new survey on company benefits. Details on many of the Forbes 500s companies' investment/pension plan, health and life insurance, family, and other benefit offerings are available. Click here for The Forbes 500s: Benefits and Recruitment.

(4/11/00) President Clinton released April 10, 2000, a new prescription drug coverage and pricing study. Click here for the full study: Prescription Drug Coverage, Spending, Utilization, and Prices from the Department of Health & Human Services.

(4/10/00) On April 7th, President Clinton unveiled a new electronic Social Security service--an online retirement planner--to help Americans better prepare for their financial future. The online retirement planner will let individuals compute estimates of their future Social Security retirement benefits online. It also provides important information on factors affecting retirement benefits, such as military service, household earnings and federal employment. "Whether you're 25, 35, 45 or 55, it's never too early to plan for your future retirement," said Social Security Commissioner Kenneth S. Apfel. The Social Security Retirement Planner will help workers understand how much they'll get from Social Security when they retire.

(4/10/00) Click here to read the April 7, 2000, remarks by the President at the bill signing for the Senior Citizens Freedom to Work Act of 2000 at the White House.

(4/7/00) In Retiring Retirement "Ken Dychtenwald and Greta Mart ponder a world where people continue to work far beyond age 65."

(4/7/00) The Jump$tart Coalition for Personal Financial Literacy measured 12th graders' level of knowledge of personal finance basics:

(4/7/00) The Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation (PBGC) released its 1999 Annual Report. Click here for the press release.

(4/7/00) The Corporate Outlook Survey is conducted quarterly by Financial Executives Institute (FEI) and Duke University’s Fuqua School of Business. Each survey polls a cross-section of CFOs from more than 4,000 U.S. companies.

(4/7/00) "A new survey by the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM) suggests that employers are being more cautious about the number of benefits they offer. The SHRM® 2000 Benefits Survey shows overall decreases from the previous year's survey in the number of employers who offer such benefits as relocation assistance, health wellness programs, subsidized cafeterias and certain types of leave."

(4/6/00) McGinn Actuaries Ltd. has posted a discussion involving cash balance plans: Calling Sherlock Holmes and Dr. Watson: Who Added That Sentence, and Why?

(4/6/00) Status of the Social Security and Medicare Programs by the Social Security and Medicare Boards of Trustees provides a summary of the 2000 annual reports.

(4/5/00) The Dallas Morning News started April 2 a series of articles on "America's Health Insurance Crisis."

(4/5/00) "Employee, Cover Thyself" by Shari Caudron on the Workforce Online Web site briefly addresses the defined contribution plan solution to the problem of rising health-care costs.

(4/5/00) Workforce Online presents HR Strategy Development: Results of a Survey from "The Globalization of Human Resources" -- an Arthur Andersen survey of 76 globalizing companies.

(4/4/00) The Heritage Foundation released today an Executive Memorandum titled: Social Security's Trustees' Report Shows Bigger Long-Run Deficit by Daniel J. Mitchell.

(4/4/00) Click here for the April 3, 2000, testimony of Wilma K. Schopp on Phased Retirement Programs given on behalf of the Association of Private Pension and Welfare Plans (APPWP) before the Senate Special Committee on Aging.

(4/4/00) Citizens Against Government Waste released on March 31, 2000, a special report entitled A Better Prescription for Seniors, which proposes an alternative to the Clinton administration’s prescription drug proposal.

(4/4/00) The Congressional Budget Office released March 28 cost estimates of the following legislation:

  • H.R. 3573, Keep Our Promise to America's Military Retirees Act as introduced on Feb. 2, 2000
  • H.R. 2966, Keep Our Promise to America's Military Retirees Act as introduced on Sept. 28, 1999.

(4/4/00) AARP reseach has produced Pension and IRA Coverage Among Boomer, Pre-Boomer, and Older Workers. Click here for the executive summary.

(4/3/00) The Congressional Budget Office released March 30 An Analysis of the President's Budgetary Proposals for Fiscal Year 2001.

(4/3/00) Click here for "Health Care Is Back," from Blueprint: Ideas for a New Century, Spring 2000, which provides a link to the results of a poll conducted for the Democratic Leadership Council in December 1999.

(4/3/00) Ceridian Employer Services’ Work Perks Survey Results, revealing the use of "perks" as a means of attracting and retaining employees, is posted on their site.

(4/3/00) Workforce Online presents "HR That Really Works: 2000 Workforce Optimas Awards" with all the articles on the winning companies from the Workforce March 2000, issue.

(4/3/00) Employee Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA): An Evaluation after 25 Years is an Educational White Paper dated October 14, 1999, prepared by Leonardo Canseco, David Bixler, and Theresa Markley, of the Certified Financial Planner Board of Standards.

(4/3/00) A legislative update chart of federal issues is provided by the National Council on Teacher Retirement.

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Updated 4/28/00