What's New - June 2008

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What's new at EBRI this month:

Publications:

June 2008 EBRI Issue Brief - "The Impact of PPA on Retirement Savings for 401(k) Participants"

June 2008 EBRI Notes - "Benefit Cost Comparisons Between State and Local Governments and Private-Sector Employers and The Number of Individual Account Retirement Plans Owned by American Families"

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New Survey Released March 19, 2008: Preparing for Their Future: A Look at the Financial State of Gen X and Gen Y - Press Release

October 6, 2005 - Updated Ballpark E$timate Available, Americans trying to estimate how much they need to save for a comfortable retirement now have an updated and easy-to-use tool -- the Ballpark E$timate.

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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 Government Accountability Office's Web site in Portable Document (PDF) format:

Reports
Individual Retirement Accounts: Government Actions Could Encourage More Employers to Offer IRAs to Employees. GAO-08-590, June 4. Highlights.

Testimonies
Individual Retirement Accounts: Government Actions Could Encourage More Employers to Offer IRAs to Employees, by Barbara D. Bovbjerg, director, education, workforce, and income security, before the Subcommittee on Select Revenue Measures, House Committee on Ways and Means. GAO-08-890T, June 26. Highlights.

Long-Term Fiscal Outlook: Long-Term Federal Fiscal Challenge Driven Primarily by Health Care, by Gene L. Dodaro, acting comptroller general of the United States, before the Senate Committee on Finance. GAO-08-912T, June 17. Highlights.

 

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 Government Accountability 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


The Internal Revenue Service has announced that technical or procedural questions relating to retirement plans are answered at the EP Customer Account Services site.  Answers to many questions may already be available under Frequently Asked Questions about Retirement Plans.  If not:

Call:   TE/GE Customer Account Services at (877) 829-5500 (toll-free number).
            The call center is open 8:00am to 6:30pm Eastern Time.

Write:   Internal Revenue Service
               TE/GE Division, Customer Service
               P.O. Box 2508
               Cincinnati, OH 45201

Email:   RetirementPlanQuestions@irs.gov
               Note: All questions submitted via e-mail must be responded to via telephone,
               so please remember to include your phone number in your message.


[6/27/08]  Milliman’s Client Action Bulletin:  “U.S. Supreme Court’s Rulings on Employee Benefits, Employment Practices

[6/27/08]  MetLife Mature Market Institute:  MetLife Retirement Income IQ Study: A Survey of Pre-Retiree Knowledge of Financial Retirement Issues

[6/27/08]  Women’s Institute for a Secure Retirement:  Minority Women and Retirement Income

[6/27/08]  Joint Committee on Taxation:  Present Law and Analysis Relating to Individual Retirement Arrangements

[6/26/08]  U.S. House Committee on Ways & Means Subcommittee on Select Revenue Measures:  Hearing on Individual Retirement Accounts (IRAs) and Their Role in Our Retirement System [includes links to testimonies]

[6/26/08]  U.S. Department of the Treasury:  Health Savings Accounts [Notice 2008-59]

[6/26/08]  Health2 Resources, ERISA Industry Committee (ERIC), and the National Association of Manufacturers (NAM):  Employee Health & Productivity Management Programs: The Use of Incentives -- A Survey of Major U.S. Employers

[6/26/08]  Center for Studying Health System Change Tracking Report No. 19:  “Falling Behind: Americans’ Access to Medical Care Deteriorates, 2003-2007

[6/25/08]  Internal Revenue Service:  “IRS Increases Mileage Rates through Dec. 31, 2008

[6/25/08]  H.R.6288:  “To amend the Internal Revenue Code of 1986 to provide for tax-favored retirement health savings accounts, and for other purposes” [Text of legislation]

[6/25/08]  Families USA:  America’s Health Care Crisis: Cities on the Front Lines

[6/25/08]  Center for State & Local Government Excellence: Balancing Dollars and Health Sense: A Framework for Decision Making on Funding State Retiree Health Care Benefits

[6/23/08]  Internal Revenue Service:  Employee Plans News [Volume 8, Summer 2008]

[6/23/08]  Congressional Research Service:  Leave Benefits in the United States [Updated May 7, 2008]

[6/23/08]  Buck Consultants FYI:  “CMS Issues Additional Guidance on Rebate Adjustments for the RDS Program

[6/23/08]  American Medical Association:  New AMA Guidelines on Medical Tourism

[6/20/08]  PriceWaterhouseCoopers:  Behind the Numbers: Medical Cost Trends for 2009

[6/20/08]  Kaiser Family Foundation:  Viewpoints: The Health Care Debate [“features interviews with leaders of organizations representing health care providers, insurers, policymakers, employers, labor unions and consumers sharing their views on shortcomings in the nation's health care system and how it could be improved”]

[6/20/08]  Buck Consultants FYI:  “New Military Law Impacts Treatment of Wages and Benefits

[6/20/08]  Sibson Consulting:  Rewards of Work Study: Keys to Retaining and Engaging Employees in Different Age Groups [Fifth Report of 2006 Results]

[6/19/08]  Milliman, Inc.:  Monthly Benefits News and Developments, June 2008

[6/19/08]  Internal Revenue Service:  Accrual Rules for Defined Benefit Plans; Notice of Proposed Rulemaking and Notice of Public Hearing [as published in the Federal Register on June 18, 2008]

[6/19/08]  National Center for Employee Ownership:  The Employee Ownership 100: America’s Largest Majority Employee-Owned Companies

[6/19/08]  The Vanguard Group:  “DB in DC”: Deferred Annuities in Defined Contribution Plans

[6/18/08]  Prudential Retirement:

[6/18/08]  Mercer:  How Does Your Retirement Program Stack Up? - 2008 Highlights

[6/18/08]  Congressional Budget Office:

[6/18/08]  National Bureau of Economic Research:  Reforming Social Security with Progressive Personal Accounts [NBER Working Paper Series]

[6/16/08]  Congressional Budget Office:  Increasing Transparency in the Pricing of Health Care Services and Pharmaceuticals

[6/16/08]  The American Journal of Managed Care:  “Comprehension and Choice of a Consumer-Directed Health Plan: An Experimental Study

[6/16/08]  The Segal Company Bulletin:  “New Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act Regulates Group Health Plans

[6/16/08]  Families USA:  Failing Grades: State Consumer Protections in the Individual Health Insurance Market

[6/13/08]  U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics:  Health Benefit Costs in Private Industry, March 2008

[6/13/08]  Pensions & Investments:  “Surplus Hits $111 Billion -- P&I Review Shows Top 100 Corporate Plans Remain Overfunded Thanks to PPA, Rate Drop

[6/13/08]  CFO.com:  “Gannett’s Freeze Hints a Chill for More Pension Plans

[6/13/08]  Social Security Administration:  Trends in Elective Deferrals of Earnings from 1990-2001 in Social Security Administrative Data

[6/12/08]  U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics:  Employer Costs for Employee Compensation--March 2008

[6/12/08]  U.S. Senate Finance Committee:  Hearing on “47 Million & Counting: Why the Health Care Marketplace Is Broken” [includes links to testimonies]

[6/12/08]  America’s Health Insurance Plans:  Technical Memo: Estimates of the Potential Reduction in Health Care Costs from AHIP’s Affordability Proposals

[6/12/08]  Urban Institute:  Health Insurance Coverage of Young Adults: Issues and Broader Considerations

[6/11/08]  Watson Wyatt Insider:  “The Role of Employer-Provided Benefits in Americans’ Confidence About Retirement

[6/11/08]  The Retirement Security Project:  Increasing Annuitization in 401(k) Plans with Automatic Trial Income

[6/11/08]  Internal Revenue Service:  Change in Reporting Section 404(k) Dividends [Announcement 2008-56]

[6/11/08]  Kaiser Family Foundation:

[6/10/08]  The Commonwealth Fund:  How Many Are Underinsured? Trends Among U.S. Adults, 2003 and 2007

[6/10/08]  The Vanguard Group:  Immediate Income Annuities and Defined Contribution Plans

[6/10/08]  Center for Retirement Research at Boston College:  Are People Claiming Social Security Benefits Later?

[6/5/08]  U.S. Senate Finance Committee:  Hearing on “Rising Costs, Low Quality in Health Care: The Necessity for Reform” [includes links to testimonies]

[6/5/08]  Sibson Consulting’s Capital Checkup:  “2009 Minimums and Maximums for Health Savings Accounts Plans and High-Deductible Health Plans

[6/5/08]  Kaiser Daily Health Policy Report:  “Health Insurer Lobby Releases Plan to Reduce U.S. Health Care Costs by $145B

[6/5/08]  Center for Studying Health System Change Issue Brief:  “Health and Wellness: The Shift from Managing Illness to Promoting Health

[6/4/08]  U.S. Senate Finance Committee:  Prepare for Launch: Health Reform Summit, June 16, 2008

[6/4/08]  Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality Statistical Brief #203:  “Health Care Expenses for Adults with Chronic Conditions, 2005

[6/4/08]  The ERISA Industry Committee: 

[6/4/08]  Buck Consultants FYI:  “FICA Treatment of Severance Pay Clarified

[6/3/08]  Kaiser Daily Health Policy Report:

[6/3/08]  Health Affairs:  “On the Road to Universal Coverage: Impacts of Reform in Massachusetts at One Year

[6/2/08]  Watson Wyatt Insider:  “Defined Benefit vs. 401(k) Plans: Investment Returns for 2003-2006

[6/2/08]  National Center for Employee Ownership:  “The U.S. Sugar ESOP in Context

[6/2/08]  The Segal Company Bulletin:  “Health Plan Implications of the California Court Ruling Allowing Same-Gender Marriage

[6/2/08]  Center for American Progress:  Myth vs. Fact: Consumer-Driven Health Plans

Updated 6/27/08