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What's New - March 1998

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(3/31/98) The Substance Abuse Mental Health Services Administration has released the findings of a major project regarding parity of mental health and substance abuse benefits: "The Costs and Effects of Parity for Mental Health and Substance Abuse Insurance Benefits."

(3/30/98) Click here for Social Security's Rate Of Return For Hispanic Americans by William W. Beach and Gareth G. Davis, a report of the Heritage Center for Data Analysis released March 27, 1998.

(3/27/98) The March 23, 1998, issue of the Washington Status Report from the research staff of Hewitt Associates updates the following issues: (1) expansion of Medicare to early retirees and (2) age discrimination.

(3/27/98) 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.

(3/25/98) "PBGC Reports Improving Financial Condition After Years of Deficits" headlines the March 23, 1998, press release on the 1997 Annual Report of the Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation available on PBGC's annual reports publications page.

(3/24/98) International Symposium on Linked Employer-Employee Data

This symposium will focus on different aspects of creating and using linked employer-employee databases. The five main subject areas covered by the symposium are: research and policy issues, international standardization of concepts and measures, how to deal with access issues, possible ways of creating employer-employee matched data and types of clients served by linked data.

(3/24/98) Work/Life Study: Corporate Culture's Impact on Benefits Utilization, a first-of-its-kind study, conducted for Intracorp by The Gallup Organization, looks at how corporate culture (especially the role of managers) impacts the acceptance and usage of employer-sponsored work/life benefits. The study is free and can be ordered online from the Intracorp site.

(3/23/98) The "Facts on Saving and Investing Campaign," a national public awareness effort involving government and private-sector entities in the investment field, has numerous events scheduled for the next two weeks. On Friday, March 27, USA Today will publish several pages devoted to the campaign, including a list of investor education activities being held across the country. On Saturday, April 4, a national "town meeting" satellite teleconference will be broadcast from Washington, DC. The teleconference will feature Arthur Levitt, Chairman of the Securities and Exchange Commission, and Denny Crawford, President of the North American Securities Administrators Association. It will include a panel of regulators and experts from across the United States, who will discuss the importance of investor education, provide tips to investors on how to save and invest wisely, listen to investors’ concerns, and answer their questions. For more information, visit the SEC online at http://www.sec.gov.

(3/23/98) 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.

(3/23/98) Late-breaking news items from the weekly publication Business Insurance are posted every Friday before the Monday issue date.

(3/19/98) A pre-published version of the President's Advisory Commission on Consumer Protection and Quality in the Health Care Industry's final report as presented to the Vice President and endorsed by the President on Friday, March 13, 1998, is available: "Improving Quality in a Changing Health Care Industry."

(3/19/98) The resource library of Financial Engines, Inc. provides insight and analysis through articles and answers to frequent investment questions.

(3/18/98) The March 16, 1998, issue of the Washington Status Report from the research staff of Hewitt Associates updates the following issues: (1) correction programs for tax-qualified retirement plans; and, (2) same-sex harassment.

(3/17/98) The March 1998 edition of The TEXPERS Federal Report from the Texas Association of Public Employee Retirement Systems updates the following issues: Pension initiatives accompany President's budget message; Pension funds apply shareholder pressure on three fronts; Employees will need education on distribution options [EBRI/ASEC mention]; PWBA warns plan administrators about Y2K problem; Public funds set varied criteria for disability benefits; and, ERIC seeks to protect ERISA health plans from state claims.

(3/16/98) Click here to read: "Spotlight on Recent EBRI/ASEC Activities."

(3/16/98) "Stable Value and GICs," a chapter for the Pension Investment Handbook, is a basic reference on GICS written by Judy Markland, President, Landmark Strategies.

(3/16/98) "All Aboard the Social Security Express," an article by Pete du Pont in the March 12, 1998, issue of IntellectualCapital.com, is followed by a moderated discussion.

(3/13/98) The March 9, 1998, issue of the Washington Status Report from the research staff of Hewitt Associates updates the following issues: COBRA and international accounting standards for employee benefit plans.

(3/13/98) The following item has been added to the General Accounting Office's Web site in Portable Document (PDF) format: Health Insurance Standards: New Federal Law Creates Challenges for Consumers, Insurers, Regulators. HEHS-98-67. 30 pp. plus 6 appendices (18 pp.) February 25, 1998.

If the 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.

(3/12/98) Click here for the statement of David M. Strauss, Executive Director, Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation, before the Subcommittee on Oversight Committee on Ways and Means, U. S. House of Representatives, on March 10, 1998, promoting defined benefit pension coverage for American workers and examining current proposed legislation to do so.

(3/12/98) Willis Corroon's FOCUS On Benefits February 1998 issue covers the following topics: Government Issues HIPAA Clarifications; Mental Health Parity Regulations are Here; Self-Funded Plans Statistics; Disabled Workers and On-the-Job Injuries; Massachusetts to Implement Surcharge to Fund Uncompensated Care Pool; and, Employers Receiving Medicare Repayment Demand Notices.

(3/11/98) The fulltext of the EBRI Databook on Employee Benefits, fourth edition, and Fundamentals of Employee Benefit Programs, fifth edition, are both now online and available in the EBRI members only password protected site. Click here for information on these and other EBRI books in print.

(3/11/98) Released March 10: "Employer-Sponsored Health Insurance: State and National Estimates" by the National Center for Health Statistics of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

(3/11/98) The following items have been added to the General Accounting Office's World Wide 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.

(3/10/98) "Privatization of Pensions: The Final Frontier" by Steven Spiegel is one of the articles in the Winter 1997 -- 1998 Special Issue of Viewpoint Quarterly from Marsh & Mclennan Companies.

(3/9/98) The Wall Street Journal Interactive Edition contains a special report on retirement (available to subscribers only).

(3/9/98) The IRS has developed a standardized notice, "Deciding Whether to Elect COBRA Health Care Coverage After Enactment of HIPAA," to help employees who become eligible for COBRA coverage. KPMG Peat Marwick provides links to several sources for the notice.

(3/6/98) The January/February issue of Kaleidoscope on the Coopers & Lybrand Web site contains articles on: ALTERNATIVE HEALTH CARE: A Defining Moment for HMOs; WAIVERS: A New Approach to Increasing 401(k) Participation; QNECS: It's That Time of Year Again; and, EMPLOYER-SPONSORED PROPERTY & CASUALTY COVERAGES: High Convenience & Lower Costs for Employees; No Cost to Employers.

(3/5/98) A discussion draft of Senator Jeffords' proposed Health Care Information, Consumer Protection, and Quality Improvement Act is available on his Web site.

(3/4/98) The Heritage Foundation has released "A Progress Report on the Clinton Health Plan," a Backgrounder by Carrie J. Gavora. Click here for the Executive Summary with a link to the full text.

(3/3/98) The March 2, 1998, issue of the Washington Status Report from the research staff of Hewitt Associates updates the following issues: the tax treatment of severance pay and health care reform.

(3/2/98) The Employee Benefit Research Institute Library has recently produced "Special Issues of Periodicals" which lists serial titles that publish annual "special issues" detailing rankings, surveys, directories, lists, and guides pertaining to employee benefits.

(3/2/98) "Leg Comm't Meeting Big Success 2-15-98" is the latest report on the Web site of the National Council on Teacher Retirement (NCTR). Cindie Moore, NCTR Washington Counsel, reports on numerous legislative matters such as: Rep. Pomeroy agrees to back portability measure, the SAVER Act and the American Savings Education Council (ASEC), and the Social Security reform outlook.


Updated 3/31/98

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