What's New

What's New - August 2001

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What's new at EBRI this month:

Dallas Salisbury was interviewed on National Public Radio's All Things Considered.   The segment, which ran Wednesday, August 22, 2001, is titled: "Investing Social Security."

Compensation Costs in Private Industry March 1987 to March 2001: The August 2001 issue of Facts from EBRI, a monthly publication providing timely statistics on a variety of employee benefit issues.

The executive summary of the August 2001 EBRI Issue Brief: "Retiree Health Benefits:Trends and Outlook"

The executive summary of the August 2001 EBRI Notes article: "Defined Contribution Health Benefits: The Next Evolution?"

Public and Employer Opinion on Social Security and Social Security Reform:  An EBRI Special Report prepared for the President's Commission to Strengthen Social Security by request of the commission

EBRI/ICI 401(k) Database:  401(k) Balances Changed Little For Participants With Accounts in 1999 & 2000; Results Vary Widely by Age.  Preliminary 2000 results of the EBRI/ICI 401(k) database are reported in an August 13, 2001, press release.  The full year-end 2000 results will be published in the November 2001 EBRI Issue Brief.  If you are interested in having the Issue Brief emailed to you in pdf format as soon as it is available, please email us at 401k2000ib@ebri.org

Complete 1999 Results of the EBRI/ICI 401(k) Database:  The February 2001 EBRI Issue Brief titled: "401(k) Plan Asset Allocation, Account Balances, and Loan Activity in 1999," contains complete 1999 results.

Retirement Implications of Demographic and Family Change Symposium:  The Society of Acutaries will focus on those issues through sixteen papers that will be presented by authors from a range of disciplines from actuarial science to economics to law on November 29-30, 2001, at the Walt Disney World Swan Resort, Lake Buena Vista, Florida.

Americans Unaware of Medicare Eligibility Age:   The July 27, 2001, EBRI press release features preliminary results of the 2001 Health Confidence Survey finding that a third of Americans don’t know when they will be eligible for Medicare.

New EBRI Fact Sheet:  EBRI released a fact sheet entitled "Medicare: Awareness, Confidence, Satisfaction, and Reform: Results from the 2001 Health Confidence Survey."

EBRI Research Findings for 2001:

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What's new in employee benefits:

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

The following items have been added to the General Accounting Office's Web site in Portable Document (PDF) format:

Medigap Insurance: Plans Are Widely Available But Have Limited Benefits and May Have High Costs.  GAO-01-941, July 31, 2001.

Telecommuting: Overview of Potential Barriers Facing Employers.  GAO-01-926, July 11, 2001.

Retirement Saving: Opportunities to Improve DOL's SAVER Act Campaign.
GAO-01-634, June 26, 2001.

National Saving: Answers to Key Questions.  GAO-01-591SP, June 2001, 2001.

If a title link above no longer works, click here for the Find GAO Reports page and search for the report by report number,  title, abstract, agency/organization names, or subject terms.   Searches for reports can also be conducted in the General Accounting Office (GAO) Reports Online via GPO Access database.

 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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(8/30/01) The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) has published the Summer 2001 edition of Employee Plans News.

(8/30/01) On August 20, 2001, Conning & Company issued a press release announcing key findings from its recent study titled "Managed Care 2001: Legal, Regulatory and Political Issues."

(8/30/01) The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation has released a report titled “The Challenge of Managed Care Regulation: Making Markets Work?

(8/29/01) The Congressional Budget Office has issued the 2001 edition of The Budget and Economic Outlook: An Update.

(8/29/01) Reasons People Do Not Work presents a picture of the nonworking population in the last months before the enactment of welfare reform in 1996 using national data from the Survey of Income and Program Participation.

(8/29/01) “The Trend in Lifetime Earnings Inequality and Its Impact on the Distribution of Retirement Income” by Barry Bosworth, Gary Burtless and Claudia Sahm is an August 2001 working paper from the Center for Retirement Research at Boston College.

(8/29/01) "Medical Spending, Health Insurance, and Measurement of American Poverty," an August 2001 working paper from the Center on Social and Economic Dynamics, is by Gary Burtless and Sarah Siegel.

(8/28/01) Click on the August 2001 health entry, “Effect of Patients' Bill of Rights on Health Care Ratings Dependent on Bill's Final Wording and Company Specifics,” in order to read a written commentary from Standard & Poor's.

(8/28/01) The American Academy of Actuaries’ Pension Practice Council issued a recent public policy statement: “The Impact of Indordinately Low 30-Year Treasury rates on Defined Benefit Plans.”

(8/27/01) A new Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation and Harvard University survey on consumer experiences with and attitudes toward health plans will be released and presented via audio webcast on August 30. 

  • WHAT:   Presentation of the latest survey findings on American consumers’ experiences with and attitudes toward health plans. Includes information about kinds of problems people are having with health plans, perceptions of the managed care industry, and support for and knowledge about a patients’ bill of rights.
  • WHO:  The audio webcast will feature Kaiser Family Foundation President Drew Altman and Robert J. Blendon, Professor of Health Policy at the Harvard School of Public Health.
  • WHEN:  Thursday, August 30, 2001, 11:30 am EDT / 8:30 am PDT
  • HOW:  A live audio webcast of the presentations will be available at http://www.kaisernetwork.org/healthcast/kff/consumerexperience/aug01
  • To listen to the audio webcast, Real Player must be installed on your computer.   For more information on how to download Real Player please visit: http://www.kaisernetwork.org/healthcast/howto_view  
  • For further information, contact Jennifer Webber at 650-854-9400.

(8/27/01) FundAlarm is a free, non-commercial Website. It proposes to offer help with the decision to sell mutual funds currently held.

(8/27/01) The Kaiser Family Foundation has posted “Employers’ Attitudes Toward Patients’ Rights” with links to a Chart Pack and Toplines.

(8/27/01) In the Summer 2001 issue of CrossCurrents Magazine, Ernst & Young features an article titled “Health Plan Profitability: Time for a Second Opinion” by Jim Roberts.

(8/27/01) The Commonwealth Fund has released a report titled “Insuring the Uninsurable: An Overview of State High-Risk Health Insurance Pools,” coauthored by Lori Achman and Deborah Chollet.

(8/24/01) The Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation (PBGC) issued the latest edition of its annual statistical reference book, the Pension Insurance Data Book 2000, which provides detailed statistics for PBGC’s two separate insurance programs covering, respectively, single-employer and multiemployer plans.

(8/24/01) "Man on the Run," a service provided by Kendzior Financial Group, Inc., lists links to financial and other business related sites when you need them in a hurry.

(8/23/01) The Max Planck Institute for the Study of Societies has posted MPIfG Working Paper 01/5 (August 2001), “Globalization, Corporate Finance, and Coordinated Capitalism: Pension Finance in Germany and Japan” by Philip Manow.

(8/23/01) The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) released August 20 a press release: “EEOC Rescinds Guidance; Will Review Policy on Retiree Health Plans.”  It concerns the application of the Age Discrimination in Employment Act (ADEA) to employer-sponsored retiree health benefit plans.

(8/22/01) THAP! (Total Health Advocacy Partners) has recently released “Productive Workforce Survey: Report of Findings, Private Employer/Public Agency.”  This survey was sponsored by THAP!, The California Public Employees’ Retirement Systems (CALPERS), and Andersen.

(8/21/01) The TIAA-CREF Institute has posted an article titled "In Sickness and in Health: An Annuity Approach to Financing Long-term Care and Retirement Income" from the Journal of Risk and Insurance, Vol. 68, No. 2., 2001.

(8/21/01) The August 2001 final version of the “Interim Report of the President's Commission to Strengthen Social Security” is now posted on the commission’s Web site.

(8/21/01) On August 1, 2001, Senator Jean Carnahan introduced in the U.S. Senate S.1286, “Child Care Affordability for Federal Employees Act.”  A Bill Summary & Status is available.

(8/21/01) On August 2, 2001, Senator Bob Graham introduced in the U.S. Senate S.1305, “Professional Employer Organization Workers Benefits Act of 2001.”  A Bill Summary & Status is available.

(8/20/01) The TIAA-CREF Institute has posted a working paper titled "Financial Education and Retirement Savings," dated June 2001.

 (8/20/01) “The Next Trillion-Dollar Opportunity: Healthcare and Financial Services Convergence” is a new report from Booz-Allen & Hamilton that addresses defined-contribution health benefits.

(8/17/01) The TIAA-CREF Institute has made available an article titled "What Does Financial Planning Software Say about Americans' Preparedness for Retirement?" from the May-June 2001 issue of the Journal of Retirement Planning.

(8/16/01) The TIAA-CREF Institute has made available an article titled "Further Reform of Minimum Distribution Requirements For Retirement Plans" from the April 9, 2001, issue of Tax Notes.

(8/16/01) Dun &Bradstreet has recently posted its “20th Annual Small Business Survey Results.” The executive summary and complete survey report can be accessed via links on D&B’s home page.

(8/16/01) On August 2, 2001, Rep. Jim Kolbe introduced in the U.S. House of Representatives H.R.2771, “To amend title II of the Social Security Act to provide for individual security accounts funded by employee and employer Social Security payroll deductions, to extend the solvency of the old-age, survivors, and disability insurance program, and for other purposes.” A Bill Summary & Status is available.

(8/16/01) Charles D. Spencer & Associates have released the 16th Annual Survey of Third Party Claims Administration.  Click here for SpencerNet for more information.

(8/14/01) Testimony of the American Benefits Council, dated August 14, 2001, and submitted to the President’s Commission to Strengthen Social Security, addresses the effects of proposed changes to Social Security on private, employment-based retirement plans.

(8/14/01) “Increasing Pension Coverage & Benefits and Preparing for Retirement” by Ron Gebhardtsbauer of the American Academy of Actuaries was submitted July 17, 2001, to the ERISA Advisory Council.

(8/14/01) The Center for Retirement Research at Boston College has posted “The Trend in Lifetime Earnings Inequality and Its Impact on the Distribution of Retirement Income,"   by Barry Bosworth, Gary Burtless and Claudia Sahm, an August 2001 working paper.

(8/14/01) “New Requirements for Health Plan SPDs” and “Key Factors in the Evolution of Employee Benefit Regulation” are two articles in the Summer 2001 issue of Benefits Perspectives from Milliman USA.

(8/13/01) A survey commissioned by Communicating for Agriculture and the Self-Employed addresses health coverage choice.   Click here to read a short article on the survey by Daniel Beers at insure.com.

(8/13/01) A seven page chart posted by the American Benefits Council is titled: “Comparison of Key Liability Provisions of PBOR Bills.”  It covers the Patients' Rights Bills’ issue of the liability of employers, insurers and managed care providers.

(8/13/01) “Are Americans Saving Enough for Retirement?” by Cori E. Uccello is an Issue in Brief published by the Center for Retirement Research at Boston College.

(8/13/01) The Internal Revenue Service provides a list of “Frequently Asked Questions Regarding Required Minimum Distributions and the New Proposed Regulations” on the new rules for calculating required minimum distributions from qualified retirement plans and individual retirement arrangements (IRAs).

(8/13/01) The Technical Answer Group, Inc. provides a "Rollover Chart - What you can and cannot do since the passing of EGTRRA" (the Economic Growth and Tax Relief Reconciliation Act 2001. Click on Reference Tables in the left hand bar of the site to get a listing of the chart.

(8/9/01) On July 19, 2001, Rep. Greg Ganske introduced in the U.S. House of Representatives H.R.2563, “Bipartisan Patient Protection Act,” which the House passed by a vote of 226-203 on August 2, 2001. A Bill Summary & Status is available. The “Amendment to H.R.2563 offered by Mr. Norwood of Georgia” is also available.

(8/9/01) Vanguard recently studied the experiences of 15 clients who have introduced automatic enrollment (also called "negative elections") for their employee-contributory defined contribution plans. The findings are presented in a new paper, Automatic Enrollment: Vanguard Client ExperienceClick here for the press release.

(8/9/01) The Internal Revenue Service has published an analysis titled: “Section 457 Plans of State and Local Government and Tax-Exempt Employers After the Small Business Job Protection Act of 1996 and the Taxpaper Relief Act of 1997” by Cheryl Press and Robert Patchell.

(8/6/01) The Commerce Department's Census Bureau is revising its methodology to estimate the number of people with and without health insurance. Click here for the press release.  The estimate of health insurance coverage for 2000, based on the March 2001 Current Population Survey (CPS), will be released in September.  Also available from the Census Bureau is “The March CPS Health Insurance Verification Question and Its Effect on Estimates of the Uninsured” by Charles T. Nelson and Robert J. Mills.

(8/6/01) Click here for a list of witnesses [with statements] to appear before the Committee On Ways And Means Subcommittee On Social Security for the hearing “Social Security And Pension Reform: Lessons From Other Countries,” on July 31, 2001.

(8/6/01) The Washington Post provides “A Guide to Issues in Debate Over Social Security Report"  in the July 29, 2001, issue.

(8/6/01) The U.S. House passed a railroad pension investment bill. The legislation will allow a portion of railroad pension funds to be invested in private securities.

(8/1/01) Aon Consulting has made available an article titled “Individual Income Tax Reductions Increase Retirement Income Replacement Ratios.”

(8/1/01) "401(k) plan cash-outs cost job changers billions," by Kelley M. Blassingame, is reprinted from the July 2001 issue of  Employee Benefit News  on BenefitNews.com.

 (8/1/01) The Brookings Institution provides readings on the Social Security reform issue:

(7/30/01) The August 13, 2001, issue of Fortune features “Retirement Guide 2001: You Can Still Retire Rich.”

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Updated 8/31/01