What's New

What's New - December 2001

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What's new at EBRI this month:

The executive summary of the December 2001 EBRI Issue Brief: "Sources of Health Insurance and Characteristics of the Uninsured: Analysis of the March 2001 Current Population Survey"

The executive summary of the December 2001 EBRI Notes articles: "Pension Participation: February 2001" and "Income of the Elderly Population"

EBRI Fact Sheet on Company Stock:  The December 2001 EBRI Fact Sheet provides background on company stock in retirement plans, drawn from the EBRI book, Fundamentals of Employee Benefit Programs, and the EBRI/ICI 401(k) database.

Dallas Salisbury article in the Fourth Quarter 2001 WorldatWork Journal: “No Time to Snooze: Meeting the Needs of an Aging Work Force” explains the “why” of employment-based benefits.  If you would like further access to this special edition of the Journal, click here for guest access.

EBRI Releases 2001 HCS: The 2001 Health Confidence Survey (HCS) finds Americans are satisfied with various aspects of the health care they receive, but continue to be pessimistic about the future of the nation’s health care system, about their future ability to choose the doctors they want, and about their ability to afford prescription drugs.

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:

Social Security: Issues in Evaluating Reform Proposals, testimony by Barbara Bovbjerg, Director, Education, Workforce, and Income Security Issues, before the Senate Special Committee on Aging. GAO-02-288T, December 10, 2001.

          Older Workers: Demographic Trends Pose Challenges for Employers and Workers. GAO-02-85,             November 2001

          Social Security: Program's Role in Helping Ensure Income Adequacy.  GAO-02-62,
          November 2001.

          Private Health Insurance: Small Employers Continue to Face Challenges in Providing Coverage.
          GAO-02-8, October 31.

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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(12/21/01) The Final Report of the President's Commission to Strengthen Social Security, Strengthening Social Security and Creating Personal Wealth for All Americans, is now available online.

(12/21/01) The Groom Law Group writes that “Courts Focus on DC Plan Investments in Employer Stock.”

(12/21/01) Managed Care, November 2001 issue, contains “The Uninsured: How Health Plans Can Do Well By Doing Good,” by Michael D. Dalzell.   The article cites EBRI and Paul Fronstin.

(12/21/01) Kaisernetwork.org presents “Year in Review | Kaiser Daily Health Policy Report Reviews Six Health Issues Topping the News in 2001.”

(12/21/01) On November 16, 2001, Rep. Peter DeFazio introduced in the U.S. House of Representatives H.R.3315, “Social Security Stabilization and Enhancement Act of 2001.”  A Bill Summary & Status is available.

(12/21/01) On December 12, 2001, Rep. Peter Deutsch introduced in the U.S. House of Representatives H.R.3463, “Pension Protection Act.”  A Bill Summary & Status is available.

(12/21/01) On October 4, 2001, Rep. Benjamin Cardin introduced in the U.S. House of Representatives H.R.3022, “Temporary Unemployment Compensation Act of 2001.”  A Bill Summary & Status is available.

(12/21/01) On October 4, 2001, Rep. Adam Schiff introduced in the U.S. House of Representatives H.R.3040, “COBRA Coverage Act of 2001.”  A Summary & Status is available.

(12/21/01) On October 4, 2001, Sen. James Jeffords introduced in the U.S. Senate S.1502, “COBRA Plus Act of 2001.”  A Bill Summary & Status is available.

(12/21/01) On October 3, 2001, Rep. Roy Blunt introduced in the U.S. House of Representatives H.R.3012, “To amend the Internal Revenue Code of 1986 to allow any employer maintaining a defined benefit plan that is not a governmental plan to treat employee contributions as pretax employer contributions if picked up by the employer.”  A Bill Summary & Status is available.

(12/20/01) The DOL’s Pension and Welfare Benefits Administration (PWBA) provides the “Statement of Assistant Secretary Ann L. Combs Regarding SunAmerica Advisory Opinion.”  According to the PWBA, “Advisory Opinion 2001-09 provides important guidance for the provision of much-needed asset allocation advice to plan participants.  The Advisory Opinion explains how financial service providers can provide independent investment advice without running afoul of the ERISA prohibited transaction rules.”  Click here for the PWBA Office of Regulations and Interpretations Advisory Opinion issued December 14, 2001.

(12/20/01) The Kaiser Family Foundation has posted an article titled “Washington Business Group on Health Forms Institute to Study Rise in Employers' Health Costs,” as reported in The Wall Street Journal December 19, 2001.  Click here for further information on the Washington Business Group on Health.

(12/20/01) William M. Mercer, Inc. recently released its Survey on Employee Savings Plans, 2000-2001, which was based on responses from 252 organizations.

(12/19/01) On December 18, 2001, The Chicago Tribune Internet Edition posted an article by Carol Kleiman titled “Family-Friendly Benefits Snub Singles, They Say.”

(12/19/01) On December 5, 2001, the U.S. Census Bureau issued the news release “New Census Bureau Analysis Indicates Women Making Longer-Term Commitments to Workplace,” which includes key findings from a new report titled Maternity Leave and Employment Patterns, 1961-1995.

(12/19/01) Consumers Union has posted a December 4, 2001, report by Gail Shearer titled Background Analysis: Estimating the Impact of the Economic Downturn And Rising Insurance Premiums On the Number of Uninsured in America.

(12/19/01) The Commonwealth Fund Task Force on the Future of Health Insurance has released the following December 2001 reports:

(12/19/01) On November 14, 2001, MetLife issued a press release titled “Despite Soft Economy, MetLife Study Shows That Employee Retention Tops List of Employers’ Benefits Concerns.”

(12/19/01) Ernst & Young has posted an article by Christine Holmes titled Savvy Health Plans Using HIPAA to Accelerate Change.

(12/19/01) Experts from The Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania and GE Capital have released  “The Patients' Bill of Rights Will Add Risks to Health Plans and Employers.”

(12/19/01) The Brookings Institution has released a December 2001 Policy Brief,  "Health Insurance, Welfare, and Work," by Alan Weil and John Holahan.

(12/13/01) The Internal Revenue Service has issued a news release dated December 11, 2001, IR-2001-115, titled “Pension Plan Limitations for Tax Year 2002.”

(12/13/01) The draft final report of the President’s Commission To Strengthen Social Security has been made available. The title is “Strengthening Social Security and Creating Personal Wealth for All Americans: Report of the President’s Commission,” dated December 11, 2001.

(12/13/01) AARP issued a news release dated December 11, 2001, titled “Most Americans Unprepared for Long-Term Care Costs,” which highlights key findings from its survey, “The Costs of Long-Term Care: Public Perceptions Versus Reality."

(12/11/01) The American Benefits Council has posted “Summary of Key Pending Health Legislation (current as of December 6, 2001).”

(12/11/01) The National Center for Policy Analysis has posted “Reinventing Retirement Income in America,” Policy Report No. 248, December 2001, by Brooks Hamilton and Scott Burns.

(12/11/01) The Brookings Institution has posted "The Role of Intergenerational Transfers in Aggregate Wealth Accumulation," a paper dated December 3, 2001, by William Gale and Samara Potter.

(12/11/01) The U.S. Office of Personnel Management has posted “Report to Congress on Paid Parental Leave.”

(12/6/01) The Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation has posted an announcement titled “New Reports Show Impact of Direct-to-Consumer Advertising and Trends in Prescription Drug Spending and Utilization,” with links to relevant materials.

(12/6/01) In a news release dated November 5, 2001, William M. Mercer announced key findings from its new study titled Worldwide Benefit and Employment Guidelines 2001/2002.

(12/4/01) The Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation has posted the November 2001 edition of Prescription Drug Trends: A Chartbook Update.

(12/4/01) The Health Insurance Association of America has posted the executive summary of “Who Buys Long-Term Care Insurance in the Workplace? A Study of Employer Long-Term Care Insurance Plans 2000-2001.”

(12/4/01) UBS Warburg has made available “Managed Care Industry: 2002 Premium Pricing Survey Results.”

(12/4/01) On November 27, 2001, J.D. Power and Associates issued a press release titled “J.D. Power and Associates Reports: Health Plans Among Top U.S. Markets Rank Highest In Overall Member Satisfaction.”

(12/4/01) On November 27, 2001, Allstate Financial issued a press release titled “Allstate Financial ‘Retirement Reality Check’ Reveals Financial Crisis for Baby Boomers Heading into Retirement.”

(12/4/01) On November 27, 2001, the Association for Financial Professionals (AFP) Committee on Investment of Employee Benefit Assets (CIEBA) issued a press release titled “Survey of Large Plans Shows Small Decrease in Plan Assets in 2000, Says CIEBA of AFP.”

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Updated 12/31/01