What's New

What's New - January 2000

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What's new at EBRI this month:

January 2000 EBRI Issue Brief: "Sources of Health Insurance and Characteristics of the Uninsured: Analysis of the March 1999 Current Population Survey"

Janaury 2000 EBRI Notes: "Retirement Planning and Saving Among Women: Results From the 1999 Women's Retirement Confidence Survey"

EBRI Press Release: For enhancing Americans' economic security, Jack Treynor is honored with the EBRI Lillywhite Award.

Iowa Retirement Confidence Survey: Results of the Iowa Retirement Confidence Survey were released by EBRI and the Principal Financial Group on Dec. 20, 1999, in Des Moines, Iowa.

EBRI Health Benefits Databook Released: EBRI released its new Health Benefits Databook on December 7. The 200-page book includes an overview of the health policy issues--including sources of coverage, the most recent information on the uninsured, and public opinion--along with more than 100 tables and charts of statistical data.

EBRI-ERF Policy Forum Materials: Background materials for the December 1, 1999, EBRI-ERF policy forum are available by clicking here (follow the links from the agenda).

1999 Women's Retirement Confidence Survey (WRCS): Results of the 1999 WRCS were released on November 17 during the American Savings Education Council (ASEC) Partners' meeting. Click here for the press release, fact sheets, a full report, and charts from the survey.

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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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(1/28/00) The Budget and Economic Outlook: Fiscal Years 2001-2010, an annual report from the Congressional Budget Office is available online.

(1/27/00) The White House Web site has posted a 2000 State of the Union Address page.

(1/27/00) "Structuring and Regulating Individual Social Security Accounts" by David C. John is a January 21, 2000, Backgrounder published by The Heritage Foundation.

(1/27/00) Ernst & Young's online resource for health care privacy provides information about the development of health care privacy legislation, regulation, and other standards.

(1/27/00) Click here for the January 2000, AARP Bulletin feature "Interview With Robert D. Reischauer on the Social Security Trust fund."

(1/26/00) The Survey of Consumer Finances (SCF) is a triennial survey of the balance sheet, pension, income, and other demographic characteristics of U.S. families. Using data from the Federal Reserve Board's two most recent Surveys of Consumer Finances, this article from the Federal Reserve Bulletin provides a detailed picture of changes in the financial condition of U.S. families between 1995 and 1998: "Recent Changes in U.S. Family Finances: Results from the 1998 Survey of Consumer Finances."

(1/25/00) On January 20, 2000, the Board of Directors of the Hispanic Business Roundtable (HBR) released the results of a national survey on U.S. Hispanics and their attitudes toward health care reform. Click here for the press release.

(1/25/00) " Health Insurance Public Policy Issues for Y2K and Beyond" by Dwight K. Bartlett III is available from Contingencies (Jan/Feb 2000 issue) which is published by the American Academy of Actuaries.

(1/25/00) Health care is a leading issue on voters’ minds for the 2000 election. More than one in four say health care will be a top issue when they cast their vote.

(1/24/00) Click here for the January 19 address of Senator Edward M. Kennedy, "New Opportunities for a New Century," in which he outlines a comprehensive health and pension agenda for the year. It includes:

  • Pension reform, including a ban on cash balance wear-away; broadening participation levels; prohibiting employer from excluding part-time workers; reducing vesting limits and increasing portability; and providing refundable tax credits for pension contributions by low- and moderate-income workers. He also endorsed Clinton's USA plan.
  • Health care reform, including expansion of the CHIP program and creation of what he calls the Basic Access to Secure Insurance Coverage Health plan -- or BASIC Health. He says this would be based on "emphasizing the role of the states, and using a voluntary private system to contribute to the cost of coverage -- without employer mandates."

Senator Kennedy is the ranking minority member of the Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor and Pensions.

(1/24/00) The Clinton-Gore administration unveils a major new health insurance initiative January 19, 2000.

(1/24/00) Click here for the Pension Research Council's working paper 2000-1: New Trends in Pension Benefit and Retirement Provisions by Olivia S. Mitchell.

(1/24/00) The Heritage Foundation has published Issues 2000: The Candidate's Briefing Book. Click here for "Social Security: Improving Retirement Income," chapter 3, by David C. John.

(1/21/00) What Happens When You Show Them the Money?: Lump-Sum Distributions, Retirement Income Security, and Public Policy by Leonard E. Burman, Norma B. Coe, and William G. Gale, November 1999, is available from the Urban Institute.

(1/21/00) Increasing Small-Firm Health Insurance Coverage Through Association Health Plans and HealthMarts, January 2000, is available from the Congressional Budget Office ftp site.

(1/21/00) The Center - San Diego County Web site provides information to employers on its page titled Corporate Services - Domestic Partner Benefit Information which includes:

  • A standard definition of domestic partner
  • Justification for providing domestic partner benefits
  • Basic facts and statistics
  • A sample policy
  • Cost factors to employers
  • Tax treatment
  • Insurance carriers providing benefits in California (partial list)

(1/20/00) The ERISA Advisory Council Working Group Reports for 1999 are:

(1/19/00) A cross-industry survey by Philadelphia-based Intracorp reveals that over 50 percent of employers voluntarily investing in injury prevention services are less likely to experience high rates of ergonomics-related work injuries. Click here for the press release. Click here for detailed findings from this survey.

(1/18/00) U.S. Senator John Chafee's Web site provides links to "some important information to help employers and employees understand the Commuter Choice program and take full advantage of its benefits."

(1/17/000 "The Capital Ownership Group is an informal association of people from 14 countries on 6 continents whose mission is to: create a coalition that promotes broadened ownership of productive capital; reduce inequality of income and wealth; increase sustainable economic growth; expand opportunities for people to realize their productive and creative potential; stabilize local communities by improving living standards; and enhance the quality of life for all." The "initial project focuses on employee ownership as a capital broadening method."

(1/17/00) The Employment Policy Foundation's Bargaining Trends issue of January 12, is "2003 Could Be A Big Bargaining Year."

(1/14/00) Click here for the IRAjunction feature article "Hey, Big Spender! Why The Low US Savings Rate Doesn't Tell the Whole Story."

(1/14/00) Click here to view The Baby Boom Chart Book 2000 on Dr. Ed Yardeni's Economics Network.

(1/13/00) Click here for Fortune's third annual survey to determine the "100 Best Companies to Work For in America."

(1/13/00) The Agency for Health Care Policy and Research released Use of Health Care Services, 1996 (AHCPR Publication No. 99-0018).

(1/13/00) Dental Benefits: The Next 5 Years is posted by the CIGNA Health Corporation.

(1/12/00) The Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco’s Economic Letter of November 12, 1999, (Number 99-34) is entitled "Rates of Return from Social Security."

(1/12/00) Click here to read Social Insurance Programs: Defined Benefit Versus Defined Contribution, a working paper by Alicia Munnell from the Center for Retirement Research at Boston College.

(1/12/00) Workforce Online provides a multi-item feature, a Telecommuting Toolkit including:

  • Experts available to answer your questions on a wide variety of aspects of telecommuting
  • Attorneys addressing your legal/OSHA concerns
  • Guidelines on what a telecommuting proposal should contain
  • Sample telecommuting agreement
  • Assistance deciding who should telecommute
  • Seven rules for a virtual workplace
  • A copy of OSHA's recent controversial advisory, as well as their letter withdrawing the policy

(1/11/00) This week in the policy and politics e-zine IntellectualCapital.com -- A Look Ahead:

(1/11/00) "A detailed discussion of how data on workers' compensation benefits in each state were assembled can be found in Sources and Methods: A Companion to Workers' Compensation: Benefits, Coverage, and Costs, 1996 New Estimates" by The National Academy of Social Insurance.

(1/11/00) "The Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ), formerly the Agency for Health Care Policy and Research, has released preliminary 1996 data on medical expenditures from the Medical Expenditure Panel Survey (MEPS) Household Component."

(1/11/00) According to an annual report from the Health Care Financing Administration, published in the public policy journal Health Affairs, total U.S. health care spending rose 5.6 percent in 1998.

(1/10/00) The Department of Labor’s Bureau of Labor Statistics has recently released its biennial report entitled Contingent and Alternative Employment Arrangements. Click here to go to the table of contents.

(1/10/00) "The Federal Labor Relations Authority announced that it has added a search engine to its web site. This addition makes it possible to search the more than 2,000 documents currently housed on the site. Documents available for searches include: all FLRA decisions published since August 1993; General Counsel's Guidance Documents and Manuals; Federal Service Impasses Panel decisions and dispute resolution guidance; forms and checklists; information about filing arbitration and negotiability appeals to the Authority; and press releases.

(1/10/00) A study of mothers leaving welfare, published today in the journal Health Affairs, found that one-third of those who took jobs weren't covered by health insurance.

(1/7/00) The Society of Actuaries recently released a study entitled Managed Care and Performance Measurement: Implications for Insurance Markets.

(1/7/00) The Health Care Financing Administration and 27 other government agencies recently received scores on the American Customer Satisfaction Index survey. Click here to read about HCFA's results.

(1/7/00) Stop Loss 101, from The Hartford, explains self-insurance programs. "Historically, employers have turned to alternative means of financing risk when traditional insurance financing methods failed to meet their needs. Today, over 50 million employees receive benefits from a self-insured program."

(1/6/00) The Profit Sharing/401(k) Council of America released the 401(k) and Profit Sharing Plan Eligibility Survey.

(1/6/00) The 401(k) Exchange at www.401kExchange.com has just been launched by Insight In Formation. "The 401(k) Exchange provides the only independent rating system for the retirement planning industry. The site contains ratings of more than 500 401(k) service providers, based on satisfaction surveys conducted with more than 80,000 Plan Sponsors -- the companies who invest in plans on behalf of their employees."

(1/6/00) The Congressional Budget Office has posted a " Pay-As-You-Go Estimate, December 29, 1999," of H.R. 2116, The Veterans Millennium Health Care and Benefits Act, as cleared by the Congress on November 19, 1999.

(1/4/00) President Clinton is preparing to revive his previously proposed Universal Savings Accounts (USA Accounts).

(1/4/00) The Corporate Governance site has a large links page with sites on corporate governance and related subjects.

(1/3/00) Hewitt Associates summarizes the Major Events That Revolutionized the U.S. Workplace in the 20th Century.

(1/3/00) The Employee Benefits Institute of America provides a What's New page of Statutes, Regulations, Administrative Items, and Court Cases for each of the following:

  • COBRA: The Developing Law
  • Cafeteria Plans
  • ERISA Compliance for Health & Welfare Plans
  • 401(k) Plans
  • HIPAA Compliance for Group Health Plans

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Updated 1/28/00