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What's New - July 1998

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What's New At EBRI this month:

The EBRI Social Security Reform Program's Web site contains three new additions. The Links page now connects to over 120 sites related to Social Security on the internet. Items on the Links page were selected to provide a broad range of views on the Social Security reform debate from government, private partisan, and private nonpartisan organizations. In addition, EBRI's written testimony for the Social Security subcommittee's hearing on June 3, 1998, "Social Security for this Generation and the Next, " presents a brief overview of potential employer consequences under a system of individual Social Security accounts. Finally, an updated program fact sheet provides information on the new capabilities added to the EBRI-SSASIM2 Policy Simulation Model.

Results of the 1998 Retirement Confidence Survey (RCS) were released to the public at the National Press Club, on Tuesday, June 2, at 9 a.m. In addition to examining the public's attitudes and expectations regarding retirement planning and saving, this year's survey also includes a special report on minority groups (African-Americans, Hispanic-Americans, and Asian-Americans). Results of the first Small Employer Retirement Survey (SERS) were also released at the same press conference. This survey explores the small employer's decision concerning whether to offer a retirement plan to its workers. Release of the surveys coincided with a joint hearing of the Senate Special Committee on Aging and the Subcommittee on Employer-Employee Relations of the House Committee on Education and the Workforce, held at 11 a.m. on June 2. In addition to focusing on barriers facing small business, the hearing addressed the barriers that prevent individuals from accumulating retirement savings. Click here for the findings of both surveys. General information about the RCS and SERS can also be reached from that page.

401(k) Plans: One-of-a-kind information begins to flow from new EBRI database: this research will allow us to understand the behavior of participants in employer plans.

Results from the 1998 Health Confidence Survey (HCS), co-sponsored by the Employee Benefit Research Institute and Mathew Greenwald and Associates, were released April 30 at the National Press Club in Washington, DC. Click here to go to the HCS home page where you will find a summary of the results.

(7/31/98) The Concord Coalition released July 29 the Interim Report of Results of Just Generations exercises held from March-July 1998. Just Generations is an interactive exercise where groups of citizens of all ages and walks of life assume the role of citizen-members of a Presidential Entitlement Reform Commission.

(7/31/98) The July 27, 1998, issue of the Washington Status Report from the research staff of Hewitt Associates updates the following two issues: health care reform and accounting for rabbi trusts.

(7/30/98) Click here for a transcript of the speech made by President Clinton July 27 at the Concord Coalition/AARP Social Security Forum town hall meeting at the University of New Mexico, Albuquerque, New Mexico. Click here for his remarks in response to questions at the forum.

(7/29/98) The Heritage Foundation has released two new Backgrounders:

(7/29/98) The following item has been added to the General Accounting Office's Web site in Portable Document (PDF) format: Employment-Based Health Insurance: Medium and Large Employers Can Purchase Coverage, but Some Workers Are Not Eligible. HEHS-98-184. 23 pp. plus 3 appendices (9 pp.) July 27, 1998.

If a title link above no longer works, click here for the GAO Index of Reports and Testimony, FY98, and search for the report by entering words or phrases from the title.

The report will also be added to GAO's searchable WAIS database in ASCII and PDF formats within the next 24 hours.

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).

(7/28/98) The Kentucky State Auditor's Office has just finished a major report on the states' public pension plans. Click here for the page providing access to the pdf format of the title: An Examination of Investments and Investment Practices of the Kentucky Retirement Systems and the Kentucky Teachers' Retirement System.

(7/28/98) Greater Financial Security for Women With Personal Retirement Accounts, by Darcy Ann Olsen, is the title of a July 20, 1998, Cato Institute Briefing Paper.

(7/27/98) The Cato Project on Social Security Privatization has published The Benefits of Social Security Privatization for Women by Ekaterina Shirley and Peter Spiegler.

(7/27/98) The Social Security Network site, produced by The Century Foundation (formerly the Twentieth Century Fund) has the following sections: What's New, The Facts, The Opinions, The Players, The Newsroom, and The Library.

(7/24/98) The Cato Project on Social Security Privatization has published The Myth of the 2.2 Percent Solution by Neil Howe and Richard Jackson.

(7/24/98) The July 20, 1998, issue of the Washington Status Report from the research staff of Hewitt Associates updates the following issues: health care reform, Social Security reform, the PBGC, and accounting for stock-based compensation.

(7/23/98) The following items have been added to the General Accounting Office's Web site in Portable Document (PDF) format:

If a title link above no longer works, click here for the GAO Index of Reports and Testimony, FY98, and search for the report by entering words or phrases from the title.

The report will also be added to GAO's searchable WAIS database in ASCII and PDF formats within the next 24 hours.

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).

(7/23/98) Click here for the July 21 Backgrounder from The Heritage Foundation, "Congress's Wrong Prescription for the HMO Headache" by Carrie J. Gavora.

(7/22/98) Number of Jobs, Labor Market Experience, and Earnings Growth: Results From a Longitudinal Survey, a June 24 report from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics provides job tenure data.

(7/22/98) Click here for a study from the Urban Institute, Counting the Uninsured: A Review of the Literature, by Kimball Lewis, Marilyn Ellwood, and John L. Czajka, released June 1998.

(7/22/98) The International Foundation of Employee Benefit Plans has released survey results on Communicating Employee Benefits Via the Web.

(7/22/98) The Congressional Budget Office released July 16, 1998, a Cost Estimate on H.R. 3605/S. 1890 Patients' Bill of Rights Act of 1998 as modified by the sponsors.

(7/21/98) Click here for the recent press release from ERIC, The ERISA Industry Committee: Employer Retirement Plans Must Be Part of Social Security Debate; Eric's The Vital Connection Maps Impact of Various Reforms.

(7/21/98) The following item has been added to the General Accounting Office's Web site in Portable Document (PDF) format: Employer-Based Managed Care Plans: ERISA's Effect on Remedies for Benefit Denials and Medical Malpractice. HEHS-98-154. 44 pp. plus 1 appendix (14 pp.) July 13, 1998.

If a title link above no longer works, click here for the GAO Index of Reports and Testimony, FY98, and search for the report by entering words or phrases from the title.

The report will also be added to GAO's searchable WAIS database in ASCII and PDF formats within the next 24 hours.

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).

(7/21/98) A report of the Heritage Center for Data Analysis, Analyzing the CRS Social Security Study, by William W. Beach and Gareth G. Davis analyzes the Congressional Research Service's June 1998 analysis of two major Social Security reform proposals.

(7/20/98) The EBRI Issue Brief and EBRI Notes for the month of July are available online for ordering. The July Issue Brief is entitled "Confidence in Health Care at What Cost? Results from the 1998 Health Confidence Survey." The July Notes articles include: "Slight Decline in Contingent Workers, Little Change in Alternative Work Arrangements, 1995 to 1997" and "Who Is Covered by ERISA for Health Benefits?"

(7/20/98) The U.S. House GOP managed care reform bill, the Patient Protection Act of 1998 (H.R. 4250), is now available on the Internet in PDF format. The bill may also be retrieved in text format by entering search terms on Thomas' Bill Text page.

(7/17/98) Click here for summary material on the House Republican Working Group's managed care reform proposal, which is now available.

(7/15/98) Click here for the latest News Online compiled weekly by the staff of Pensions & Investments.

(7/14/98) The July 13, 1998, issue of the Washington Status Report from the research staff of Hewitt Associates updates the following issues: Health Care Reform, Electronic Transactions in Retirement Plans, and IRS Restructuring Legislation.

(7/13/98) Late-breaking news items from the weekly publication Business Insurance are posted every Friday before the Monday issue date.

(7/10/98) The Cato Project on Social Security Privatization published June 15, 1998, The Myth of the 2.2 Percent Solution by Neil Howe and Richard Jackson.

(7/9/98) An excerpt from an article in the Employee Ownership Report of July/August 1998 from the National Center for Employee Ownership (NCEO) states that "Pay and Benefits Are Higher in ESOP Companies."

(7/8/98) A New Framework for Cutting Taxes: Reforming the Tax Code and Improving Social Security is a new policy paper from The Heritage Foundation.

(7/7/98) John Geanakoplos, Olivia S. Mitchell, and Stephen P. Zeldes have released a Pension Research Council working paper titled: Would a Privatized Social Security System Really Pay a Higher Rate of Return?

(7/7/98) Making the Most of Your 401(k) is an extensive section of SmartMoney Interactive published by Dow Jones & Company, Inc. and The Hearst Corporation with materials from SmartMoney Magazine.

(7/6/98) The Department of Labor released last week a 19-page booklet, A Look at 401(k) Plan Fees, written for 401(k) plan participants, describing the various types of plan fees and expenses that are typically charged. A Study of 401(k) Fees and Expenses provides more information.

(7/2/98) Click here for the latest News Online compiled weekly by the staff of Pensions & Investments. The 6/29/98 edition is extensive.

(7/2/98) The following item has been added to the General Accounting Office's Web site in Portable Document (PDF) format: Private Health Insurance: Employer Coverage Trends Signal Possible Decline in Access for 55- to 64-Year-Olds. T-HEHS-98-199. 11 pp. plus 3 appendices (8 pp.) June 25, 1998.

If a title link above no longer works, click here for the GAO Index of Reports and Testimony, FY98, and search for the report by entering words or phrases from the title.

The report will also be added to GAO's searchable WAIS database in ASCII and PDF formats within the next 24 hours.

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).

(7/2/98) Urban Institute economist Lawrence Thompson analyzes public pensions in a new book, Older & Wiser: The Economics of Public Pensions, commissioned by the International Social Security Association.

(7/1/98) The June 29, 1998, issue of the Washington Status Report from the research staff of Hewitt Associates updates the following issues: IRS Restructuring Legislation, Form 5500, Americans With Disabilities Act, and Health Care Reform.

(7/1/98) The Labor Department, IRS, and PBGC have submitted a new Form 5500 to OMB for approval. Click here for the DOL's press release. Click here for a page of links to the new form, schedules, instructions, and a summary of the new form.


 Updated 7/31/98

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