What's New

What's New - June 2002

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What's new at EBRI this month:

June 2002 EBRI Issue Brief: "An Analysis of the Retirement and Pension Plan Coverage Topical Module of SIPP"

June 2002 EBRI Notes: "IRA and 401(k)-Type Plan Ownership" and "Disability Income: Voluntary Employment-Based Plans"

Income of the Elderly, 2000: The June 2002 Facts from EBRI, monthly fact sheets providing timely statistics and background on a variety of employee benefit issues.

The national "Save for Your Future" campaign: The Social Security Administration (SSA) and the American Savings Education Council (ASEC), announced plans to enhance national education efforts on the importance of saving.  SSA and ASEC will combine their efforts through the national "Save for Your Future" campaign, which will begin in spring 2003 and will include a partnership with State Farm Insurance Companies.

Small Employer Retirement Survey: Results of the 2002 Small Employer Retirement Survey (SERS) were released Tuesday, May 7, 2002, during a panel discussion entitled, "Closing the Small Business Retirement Security Gap for Employers and Employees," at the Small Business Week conference in Washington DC.

Retirement Implications of Demographic and Family Change Symposium, June 25 - 26, 2002, at the San Francisco Marriott, San Francisco, California will deliver invaluable information to employee benefit consultants, benefit and human resource managers, actuaries and others in the public policy arena.  In cooperation with EBRI and the Society of Actuaries, this event provides in-depth coverage of critical issues facing the retirement income system, retirement income alternatives, the challenges of an aging society, the use of modeling to develop policy solutions and many other topics.  For complete symposium information, the papers to be presented, and a registration form, visit the Society of Actuaries symposium information page.

The 2002 Retirement Confidence Survey (RCS): EBRI released the results of the latest survey in Washington, DC on Wednesday, February 27, 2002.  The RCS examines how well Americans think they are saving and planning for their retirement, what issues concern them, and whether age or personality types influence the way a person saves.

Company Stock Testimonies: Jack VanDerhei, Temple University and research director of the EBRI Fellows Program presented testimony at  congressional hearings during February:

Salisbury Testimony: The written testimony of EBRI President and CEO Dallas Salisbury, an expert witness at the February 7, 2002, hearing by the Senate Committe on Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions on “Protecting the Pensions of Working Americans: Lessons From the Enron Debacle” includes a copy of the recent EBRI survey on company stock in 401(k) plans.

EBRI Survey on Company Stock in 401(k) Plans: The EBRI survey polled members of the International Society of Certified Employee Benefit Specialists (ISCEBS) with respect to company stock investment options, whether employer contributions are required to be invested in company stock, average percentage of company stock in the employees' accounts, restrictions on selling the company stock, and blackout periods.  Additional questions examined perceptions of the Enron situation, appropriate limits for investment in company stock and the role of the government, and perceptions on public policy issues related to company stock in 401(k) plans.

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.

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:

Social Security: Long-Term Financing Shortfall Drives Need for Reform.  Testimony by David M. Walker, comptroller general of the United States, before the House Committee on the Budget. GAO-02-845T, June 19, 2002.

Retiree Health Benefits: Examples of Employer-Reported Obligations in Selected Industries.  GAO-02-639R, April 29, 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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(6/27/02) The Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation has released Pension Insurance Data Book 2001.

(6/27/02) USA Today featured an article on June 25 by Julie Appleby titled “IRS Rule May Foster New Type of Health Plan.”

(6/27/02) Families USA has released a report titled “Bitter Pill: The Rising Prices of Prescription Drugs for Older Amerians.”

(6/27/02) The Women’s Institute for a Secure Retirement (WISER) has released a special report titled “Your Future Paycheck: What Women Need to Know About Pay, Social Security, Pensions, Savings and Investments.” Click here for the executive summary.

(6/27/02) Medscape Money & Medicine’s June 2002 issue features an article by Christine Wiebe titled “Consumer-Driven Health Plans Gaining Momentum.” [Note: A brief registration may be required to access this article.]

(6/27/02) On June 13, 2002, Rep. Rob Portman introduced in the U.S. House of Representatives H.R.4931, “Retirement Savings Security Act of 2002.” A Bill Summary & Status is available.

(6/24/02) The U.S. House Committee on Ways and Means Subcommittee on Oversight held a hearing on June 20 titled “Retirement Security and Defined Benefit Pension Plans.”  A witness list with links to testimonies has been posted.

(6/24/02) The U.S. House Committee on Education and the Workforce Subcommittee on Employer-Employee Relations held a hearing on June 18 titled “The Rising Cost of Health Care: How Are Employers and Employees Responding?”  A witness list with links to testimonies has been posted.

(6/24/02) On June 18, 2002, Rep. Nancy Johnson introduced in the U.S. House of Representatives H.R.4954, “Medicare Modernization and Prescription Drug Act of 2002.”  A Bill Summary & Status is available.

(6/24/02) The new Cerulli Report, Retirement Industry Update: Trends in 401(k) and IRA Markets, uses data from the Employee Benefit Research Institute.

(6/20/02) A new study by Peter Diamond and Peter Orszag, published by The Century Foundation and the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, is now available online: Reducing Benefits and Subsidizing Individual Accounts: An Analysis of the Plans Proposed by the President’s Commission to Strengthen Social Security.  A technical companion paper titled An Assessment of the Proposals of the President’s Commission to Strengthen Social Security, also coauthored by Diamond and Orszag, will be published as a Brookings Institution working paper.

(6/19/02) The report, Family Out-of-Pocket Spending for Health Services: A Continuing Source of Financial Insecurity, is available on The Commonwealth Fund’s site.

(6/18/02) Plan Sponsor's annual feature, "America's Top Recordkeepers" is available on the Web.  The online version provides expanded descriptions of what products and services each defined contribution plan recordkeeper offers.  Member log in required.

(6/18/02) The Department of Labor issued a press release on June 14 titled “Labor Secretary Elaine L. Chao Announces Major New Policy Directive to Help Small Businesses Comply with Labor Laws.”

(6/18/02) Preliminary findings of the 2002/2003 U.S. Compensation Planning Survey from Mercer Human Resource Consulting have been released this month.

(6/18/02) Segal Advisors' survey released June 14, the "Survey of the Universe of Multiemployer Pension Funds' Investment Performance" is available on the Web.

(6/17/02) The Department of Labor has posted: Private Pension Plan Bulletin: Abstract of 1998 Form 5500 Annual Reports.

(6/17/) The National Association of Dental Plans and the Delta Dental Plans Association released the 2002 Joint Dental Enrollment Model.  Click here for the press release.

(6/17/02) The Midwest Business Group on Health has posted a new report titled “Reducing the Costs of Poor-Quality Health Care Through Responsible Purchasing Leadership,” done in collaboration with the Juran Institute and The Severyn Group.

(6/17/02) Rep. Bernard Sanders introduced in the U.S. House of Representatives on May 20 H.R.4778, “Pension Protection Act of 2002.”  A Bill Summary & Status is available.

(6/17/02) On March 7, 2002, Rep. Bob Barr introduced in the U.S. House of Representatives H.R.3897, “Health Care Antitrust Improvements Act of 2002.”   A Bill Summary & Status is available.

(6/17/02) The July issue of Consumer Reports features an article titled "The Unraveling of Health Insurance." The report, by Trudy Lieberman, director of the Center for Consumer Health Choices at Consumers Union, is based on new research by Consumer Reports health care experts and findings from The Commonwealth Fund 2001 Health Insurance Survey. Click here to read the press release.

(6/17/02) On June 10 Towers Perrin issued a press release titled "Towers Perrin TP Track Survey Finds Employees Lack Knowledge to Successfully Manage Retirement Savings."

(6/10/02) The Principal Financial Group has released The Principal Financial Well-Being Index 2nd Quarter 2002 Results in a press release titled “Benefits Increase, Not Decrease, for American Workers” and in “The Principal Financial Well-Being Index Executive Summary.”

(6/10/02) AdvancePCS issued a press release June 5 titled “AdvancePCS Study Shows Top Health Conditions Cost Employers $180 Billion in Lost Productive Time.”

(6/10/02) Business Week magazine features a piece titled “Just What Kind of Retiree Will You Be?” in its June 17, 2002, issue which includes highlights from a recent poll done by Harris Interactive for AIG SunAmerica.  AIG SunAmerica issued its press release April 30, 2002, titled “Traditional Perception of Retirement Is Obsolete According to Comprehensive New Study.”

(6/7/02) During a recent conference on “Risk Transfers and Retirement Income Security” sponsored by Wharton’s Pension Research Council and the Financial Institutions Center the effects of global aging were discussed.  Click here for a discussion synopsis: How Wealthy Nations Can Avoid a Looming Retirement Crisis.

(6/7/02) Google offers a service, currently in beta release, called Google Answers.  It is an open forum where volunteer researchers answer your questions for a fee. 

(6/7/02) lexisONE is a free online legal resource provided by LexisNexis.

(6/6/02) Labor union annual financial reports and other information are now available on a new U.S. Department of Labor Web site: the Internet Public Disclosure Room.  Users can search the database by union, time frame, or for union officers or employees.

(6/6/02) The Retired Divorced Females Association (RDFA) is a newly formed 501(c) association focusing on the welfare and well-being of retired divorced women.

(6/5/02) Clark/Bardes Consulting has released its eighth annual executive benefits survey: the 2001 Executive Benefits - A Survey of Current Trends.  A brief registration is required.

(6/5/02) Try PricewaterhouseCooper's EdgarScan: An Intelligent Interface to the SEC EDGAR Database, the United States Securities and Exchange Commission Electronic Data Gathering, Analysis and Retrieval (SEC EDGAR) Filings.

(6/4/02) The Internal Revenue Service has posted Revenue Procedure 2002-29, which provides additional guidance related to the new required minimum distribution rules for qualified retirement plans and contains model plan amendments to assist plan sponsors in complying with the rules.

(6/4/02) “Required Distributions From Retirement Plans, Final Rule” from the U.S. Department of the Treasury’s Internal Revenue Service, was published in the Federal Register on April 17, 2002.  The IRS issued a news release titled “IRS Further Simplifies Distribution Rules for Retirement Plans,” dated April 16, 2002 [IR-2002-50].   IRS Notice 2002-27, “IRA Minimum Distribution Reporting Requirements,” has also been posted and is included in IRS Bulletin 2002-18, dated May 6, 2002.

(6/3/02) The Committee for Economic Development has posted its newest policy paper titled A New Vision for Health Care: A Leadership Role for Business.

(6/3/02) Allstate Financial issued a press release on February 20, 2002, titled “And the Top 10 Most Desired Retirement Activities Are...Allstate Financial’s Cost of Leisure Index Reveals What Baby Boomers Want, and What it Will Cost.”

(6/3/02) CensusScope is a tool provided by the Social Science Data Analysis Network (SSDAN) at the University of Michigan for investigating U.S. demographic trends using U.S. Census data.

(6/3/02) Click here for the Society of Actuaries’ research project on 30-Year Treasury Rates &Defined Benefit Pension Plans dated August 2001.

(6/3/02) “How Internet users decide what information to trust when they or their loved ones are sick” is a May 22, 2002, Pew Internet & American Life Project report which contains a list of recommended Web sites.

(6/3/02) The U.S. House Committee on Government Reform Subcommittee on Civil Service, Census, and Agency Organization held a hearing May 21, 2002, titled “Cafeteria Benefit Plans: More Value for Federal Employees?” [Note: Scroll down the page to Hearings - 107th Congress; below this you will come to the title of this hearing with the list of witnesses and links to written statements.]

(6/3/02) The Investment Company Institute has published the 2002 Mutual Fund Fact Book, an annual guide to trends and statistics.

(6/3/02) Company Stock in Pension Plans: How Costly Is It? by Lisa K. Meulbroek is a March 2002 Harvard Business School Working Paper.  Enter her last name in the Quick Search box and you will get a list of her papers, any of which you can download.

(6/3/02) American Law Sources On-Line provides “a comprehensive, uniform, and useful compilation of links to freely accessible on-line sources of law for the United States and Canada.”

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Updated 6/28/02