What's New

What's New - December 2002

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As a research site, EBRI Online maintains old listings in the "What’s New" page, even though some of the older links may no longer function.  If you reach a bad link, go back to the main site by deleting everything after ".com" or ".org" or ".net" in the address.  Since we maintain www.ebri.org as a research and education resource, and not current news, we hope you will understand our policy and the use for which it is maintained.

What's new at EBRI this month:

Results of the Massachusetts Future Retirement Income Assessment Project

 

December 2002 EBRI Issue Brief: "Sources of Health Insurance and Characteristics of the Uninsured: Analysis of the March 2002 Current Population Survey"

December 2002 EBRI Notes:  "IRA Assets and Characteristics of IRA Owners"

December 2002 Facts from EBRI: "Employer Spending on Health Care: 1987-2000"

 

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EBRI Research Findings for 2002:

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What's new in employee benefits:

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

Health and Welfare

Human Resources

Retirement

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

Medicare+Choice: Selected Program Requirements and Other Entities' Standards for HMOs.  GAO-03-180, October 31, 2002. 

Health Insurance: States' Protections and Programs Benefit Some Unemployed Individuals.   GAO-03-191, October 25, 2002. 

        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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The U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) has established a National Call Center to serve its customers.  By calling 1-866-4-USA-DOL, America's employees and employers can find answers to questions on a range of employment issues.  This toll-free service offers live operator assistance and is a central access point for all DOL services and programs.  It serves both English and Spanish speaking callers.  The Call Center can assist workers and employers with questions about job loss, business closures, pay and leave, workplace injuries, safety and health, pension and health benefits, and reemployment rights for reservists.

 Additional Department of Labor toll-free numbers to call for questions regarding specific issues are listed below:

  •  1-877-US-2JOBS     Job Loss, Layoffs, Business Closures, Unemployment Benefits and Job Training

  •  1-866-4-US-WAGE     Pay, Overtime, Leave and Child Labor

  •  1-800-321-OSHA     Workplace Safety and Health

  •  1-877-889-5627     TTY number for all Department of Labor Questions

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(12/26/02) On December 20, 2002, the Internal Revenue Service released Revenue Procedure 2003-10, which modifies Rev. Proc. 2002-29 [see IRS Bulletin No. 2002-24, p.1176] to “postpone until the end of the EGTRRA remedial amendment period the time by which qualified defined benefit plans must be amended to comply with final and temporary regulations under section 401(a)(9) of the Internal Revenue Code, relating to required minimum distributions, which were published in the Federal Register on April 17, 2002, 67 FR 18987.”

(12/26/02) The Department for Work and Pensions, United Kingdom, has recently released a green paper titled Simplicity, Security and Choice: Working and Saving for Retirement.

(12/23/02) A study published by The Commonwealth Fund and dated December 2002, Health Insurance Tax Credits: Will They Work for Women? by researchers Sara R. Collins, Stephanie B. Berkson, and Deirdre A. Downey, reports on findings of their analysis of premium and benefit quotes for health insurance plans in 25 cities.

(12/23/02) BenefitNews.com has announced the release of the 2002 EBN-Hay Survey on Benefits Management.

(12/18/02) A report released by AARP December 17 is titled: Impact of Stock Market Decline on 50-70 Year Old Investors.

(12/18/02) A health care study by Deloitte Research and UCLA Anderson Forecast is titled: What Every Business Needs to Know About the Current Health Care Crisis.

(12/18/02) The Enrolled Actuaries Report,Winter 2002 edition, published by the American Academy of Actuaries starts with “Will Defined Benefit Plans Go Full Circle?” and includes “DB-K Plus: A Defined Benefit Plan With 401(k) Features” on page six.

(12/18/02) The American Hospital Association issued a press release December 12 titled “Hospitals To Share Quality Information.”  The press release reads, in part: “This initiative will collect and share with consumers standardized quality measures of patient care in our nation’s hospitals.”

(12/18/02) BenefitsLink has made available the Congressional Research Service report titled Retirement Savings and Household Wealth in 2000: Analysis of Census Bureau Data, authored by Patrick J. Purcell and updated December 12, 2002.

(12/18/02) The Center for Retirement Research at Boston College released a December 2002 Issue in Brief: "Is Working Longer the Answer for an Aging Workforce?" by Gary Burtless and Joseph F. Quinn.

(12/18/02) According to a recent survey from Forrester Research, More Large Employers Expected To Adopt E-Health Plans In 2003. The report is available on iHealthBeat after the required free registration.

(12/18/02) Demographic Trends in the 20th Century published by the U.S. Census Bureau tracks 100 years of change in the United States.

(12/18/02) The Council of Insurance Agents & Brokers (CIAB) provides full results of its Employee Benefits Fall Market Survey.

(12/18/02) The Annual Reports Service provided by WILink and Forbes.com allows you access to annual reports and other information on select companies.

(12/18/02) Kirkpatrick & Lockhart LLP’s K&L Alert announces that “Deemed IRAs Become Effective January 1, 2003.”

(12/18/02) Deloitte & Touche has “tracked and identified each change made to the updated HIPAA privacy regulations since its last version.”   Click here for Changes Tracked for HIPAA Privacy Regulations.

(12/12/02) In the most recent issue of Economic & Financial Policy Review, the Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas has made available “Pay-As-You-Go Social Security and the Aging of America: An Economic Analysis,” by Alan D. Viard.

(12/11/02) Health Affairs has posted a web exclusive dated December 11, 2002, titled “Where Was Health Care in the 2002 Election?” by Robert J. Blendon, et al. This web exclusive article offers an analysis of the results of various national opinion surveys.

(12/11/02) The Council for Affordable Health Insurance has posted “MSAs Are Not FSAs Are Not HRAs,” which includes a table comparing medical savings accounts, flexible spending accounts, and health reimbursement arrangements.

(12/10/02) On November 13, 2002, Rep. John Boehner introduced in the U.S. House of Representatives H.R.5716, Mental Health Parity Reauthorization Act of 2002, which became Public Law 107-313 on December 2, 2002.   A Bill Summary & Status is available.

(12/10/02) Truth and Myths of Work/Life Balance summarizes the September roundtable discussion, sponsored by The New York Times Job Market, between Workforce and human resource executives from leading corporations.

(12/10/02) Escape Fire: Lessons for the Future of Health Care by Donald M. Berwick, M.D., president and CEO of the Institute for Healthcare Improvement, identifies quality problems and provides a program for reform.  An electronic version is available at The Commonwealth Fund’s site.

(12/10/02) The Department of the Treasury and the Internal Revenue Service have issued proposed regulations for cash balance pension plans.  Click here for the press release.   The proposed regulations, titled Reductions of Accruals and Allocations Because of the Attainment of Any Age; Application of Nondiscrimination Cross-Testing Rules to Cash Balance Plans, “contains proposed regulations that would provide rules regarding the requirements that accruals or allocations under certain retirement plans not cease or be reduced because of the attainment of any age. In addition, the proposed regulations would provide rules for the application of certain nondiscrimination rules to cash balance plans. These regulations would affect retirement plan sponsors and administrators, and participants in and beneficiaries of retirement plans. This document also provides notice of a public hearing on these proposed regulations."

(12/10/02) Mercer Human Resource Consulting issued a press release December 9 titled “Rate Hikes Pushed Employers To Drop Health Plans, Cut Benefits in 2002 - But Average Cost Still Rose,” which includes key findings from its National Survey of Employer-Sponsored Health Plans 2002, to be available in March 2003.

(12/10/02) The Committee on Investment of Employee Benefit Assets (CIEBA) issued a press release December 9 titled “Poor Market Conditions Contribute to Decline in Retirement Plan Assets,” which includes highlights from a recent survey of its members.

(12/9/02) The Women's Institute for a Secure Retirement released in November a report titled: Minority Women and Retirement Income.

(12/9/02) The Segal Company's 2003 Reporting & Disclosure Calendar for Benefit Plans summarizes compliance requirements for qualified, single employer benefit plans.

(12/9/02) "More Americans Put Families Ahead of Work" is a USA Today article published December 5, 2002.

(12/9/02) The Kaiser Family Foundation has posted The Current State of Retiree Health Benefits: Findings from the Kaiser/Hewitt 2002 Retiree Health Survey, and includes links to the following:

(12/9/02) The Cato Institute has made available The Third Rail Is Dead: Social Security and Election 2002, a Capitol Hill briefing held December 4, and includes a link to the event in real audio and a link to David Winston’s powerpoint presentation.

(12/9/02) The U.S. Department of Labor, Pension and Welfare Benefits Administration, is posting the Public Comments received on the Blackout Notice Regulation for retirement plans.

(12/9/02) Can Cash Balance Pension Plans Improve Retirement Security for Today's Workers?, by Richard W. Johnson and Cori E. Uccello, is published by the Urban Institute.

(12/9/02) Click here for the Aon Fall 2002 Health Care Trend Survey.

(12/9/02) The November 2002 edition of The Fiscal Survey of States from the National Governors Association and the National Association of State Budget Officers shows that many of the 50 states are facing increased financial problems.

(12/9/02)   Battelle Memorial Institute has compiled several technology forecasts that speculate about future products, innovations, and trends including some items on health care.

(12/9/02) AHRQ's Medical Expenditure Panel Survey (MEPS) released a new Statistical Brief:   "The Uninsured in America, 1996-2001."

(12/9/02) AHRQ released a Research in Action synthesis describing evidence-based research: "Reducing Costs in the Health Care System: Learning From What Has Been Done."

(12/4/02) Demography and the Long-Run Predictability of the Stock Market, an August 2002 Yale Cowles Foundation for Research in Economics Research Paper, by John Geanakoplos, Michael Magill, and Martine Quinzii, is available on the Social Science Research Network Electronic Library.

(12/4/02) The Investment Company Institute has posted its November 2002 Perspective series article titled “Can 401(k) Accumulations Generate Significant Income for Future Retirees?” by Sarah Holden and Jack VanDerhei.  ICI has also posted a web-only appendix titled “EBRI/ICI 401(k) Accumulation Projection Model” by the same authors. The appendix details the elements of the EBRI/ICI 401(k) Accumulation Projection Model as discussed in the November 2002 “Perspective” article.

(12/4/02) The Urban Institute has made available a new report: Legal and Institutional Impediments to Partial Retirement and Part-time Work by Older Workers, by Rudolph G. Penner, Pamela Perun, and Eugene Steuerle.

(12/4/02) The November 2002 issue of the Journal of Financial Planning features “10 Questions with Ken Dychtwald: Retirement Is Dead,” in the Voice department.  The interview with Ken Dychtwald mentions the AIG SunAmerica Re-Visioning Retirement Survey, sponsored by AIG SunAmerica and conducted by Harris Interactive in collaboration with Ken Dychtwald.

(12/3/02) Business Insurance online provides “The Datebook,” a listing of insurance-related conferences, seminars and classes.

(12/3/02) Today the Federal Register published final regulations on “Loans From a Qualified Employer Plan to Plan Participants or Beneficiaries.”

(12/3/02) American Express issued a press release November 25 titled “Nearly 80 Percent of Small Businesses Plan Holiday Cheer for Their Employees, According to the OPEN Small Business Network Semi-Annual Monitor from American Express.”

(12/3/02) AARP posted a press release dated November 20 titled “AARP Study To Reveal the Psychology of Midlife,” which includes key findings from “Boomers at Midlife: The AARP Life Stage Study.”

(12/3/02) The Center for Retirement Research at Boston College has released the working paper: Medicare, Retirement Costs, and Labor Supply at Older Ages by Richard W. Johnson of the Urban Institute.

(12/3/02) The Commonwealth Fund released: In Staying Covered: The Importance of Retaining Health Insurance for Low-Income Families by analysts Leighton Ku and Donna Cohen Ross of the Center on Budget and Policy.

 

(12/1/02) Click here to access the 20 individual state summaries from Toward Comprehensive Health Coverage for All: Summaries of 20 State Planning Grants from the U.S. Health Resources and Services Administration.

(12/1/02) The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) announced last Tuesday that it would help states create high-risk insurance pools to increase access to health coverage.

(12/1/02) On November 20, 2002, Towers Perrin issued a press release titled “Downturn in Worldwide Capital Markets Through 2002 Third Quarter Brings More Declines for Pension Plan Funding Levels,” which includes highlights from its recently-released Global Capital Market Update: Third Quarter 2002 Results for Defined Benefit Pension Plans in Selected Countries.

(12/1/02) The TransAmerica Center for Retirement Studies has made available a variety of materials pertaining to its recent Small Business Retirement Survey:

(12/1/02) The following documents have been added to the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) site:

(12/1/02) In October, Manulife USA issued a press release titled: “Workers Turn to Employers for Help Achieving Dreams,” which includes highlights from its Dreams and Fears of American Workers Survey.

(12/1/02) November publications from the Commonwealth Fund's Task Force on the Future of Health Insurance address aspects of employer health insurance coverage:

Health Insurance Purchasing Cooperatives

Portability of Coverage: HIPAA and COBRA

(12/1/02) The Internal Revenue Service published the covered compensation tables (rounded and unrounded) for the 2003 plan year in Rev. Rul. 2002-63.

(12/1/02) The Urban-Brookings Tax Policy Center has begun publishing revenue and distributional estimates of current tax proposals.  The Revenue and Distributional Tables will be updated periodically.

(12/1/02) "'Consumer-Driven' Health Plans: Are They More Than Talk Now?" by Jon Gabel, Anthony Lo Sasso, and Thomas Rice is a Health Affairs Web Exclusive.

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Updated 12/31/02