What's New

What's New - November 2000

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What's new at EBRI this month:

The Social Security Administration and the American Savings Education Council to Announce New Partnership and the Establishment of the "National Save for Your Future" Campaign: Kenneth S. Apfel, Commissioner of Social Security, and Dallas L. Salisbury, Chairman of the American Savings Education Council (ASEC), will announce the first annual "National Save for Your Future" campaign, a partnership between the Social Security Administration (SSA) and ASEC.  The campaign, to be launched in the fall of 2001, will focus on educating Americans about the need to save and plan for a comfortable retirement.  In addition, Commissioner Apfel will present the Commissioner's Public Service Award to Mr. Salisbury.

The event will take place on Thursday, November 30 at 1:00 p.m. in the AMC Grand Avenue Theatre at Union Station, 50 Massachusetts Ave., NW, Washington, DC.

SSA will also hold a sneak preview of its new radio and television public service announcement "The Quiz Show.”

Press packets and copies of "The Quiz Show" will be available to the media.  Movie snacks will be served.

For more information contact Cathy Noe, SSA, at 410-965-8904; Variny Paladino, ASEC, at 202-775-6321 or Danny Devine, EBRI, at 202-775-6308.

The EBRI monthly publications for November 2000, are available online for ordering.  The November Issue Brief is entitled “Women and Pensions: A Decade of Progress?”  The November Notes article is “Job-Based Health Benefits Continue to Rise While Uninsured Rate Declines.”

EBRI's 2000 Health Confidence Survey (HCS), the third such annual survey, was released on November 3.  This survey examines Americans' attitudes toward aspects of the health care system as it currently exists and their confidence in managed care, Medicare, and the system's future. The survey was sponsored by EBRI, the Consumer Health Education Council (CHEC), and Mathew Greenwald & Associates.  The findings reflect many Americans' confusion about managed care and concern over increasing medical costs.

An Employee Benefits Bibliography by Type has been added to the Web-based reference services provided by the EBRI library.   The bibliography is intended to serve as a reference tool for employers and plan sponsors, covering primarily employer-designed benefits not mandated by law.  It includes the following types of publications: annual reports; dictionaries; directories; handbooks; looseleaf services; periodicals; public laws & regulations; statistical reference sources; and surveys. 

EBRI Testimony: Testimony of Paul Fronstin, EBRI Senior Research Associate, before the Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee, Hearing on Health Coverage and Uninsured Americans,   held October 4, 2000.

EBRI Databook updates: EBRI staff have been updating tables, charts, and text for various chapters from the EBRI Databook on Employee Benefits as new data become available. The updated chapters are available in the Members-only section of EBRI’s Web site, with a clear indication of the tables and charts updated since the fourth edition of the Databook was published in 1997.

Retirement Implications of Changing Demographics: The Employee Benefit Research Institute and the Society of Actuaries, in cooperation with other actuarial, employee benefits, government and research organizations, are sponsoring a call for papers to encourage and expose new ideas and fresh insights on the retirement implications of demographic and family change. The call for papers has been posted.

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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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(11/28/00) The Health Enhancement Research Organization (HERO) “is a national coalition of employers who have united because of a common desire to facilitate quality employee health enhancement and disease management research, and learn more about the association between employee health and individual productivity.”

(11/28/00) Health Coverage: State and Local Initiatives to Cover the Uninsured is a recent report from the Alliance for Health Reform.

(11/28/00) Click here to read 1999-2000 Term ERISA Developments at The Supreme Court by Thomas G. Moukawsher and Jeffrey M. Sklarz of Moukawsher & Walsh, LLC.

(11/24/00) Plan Sponsor has made available online its 2000 Defined Contribution Services Survey, its fourth annual survey of this type, which includes thirty-two providers and their ratings and other findings.

 (11/24/00) “The Health Insurance Association of America, Families USA and the American Hospital Association .. came together at a press conference Nov. 20 to unveil a joint proposal to halve the number of uninsured Americans.”

(11/22/00) Pension Law: An Overview, provided by the Legal Information Institute, a non-profit activity of Cornell Law School, lists the sources for the federal statutes, regulations, and judicial decisions, the state statutes and judicial decisions, and federal agencies concerned with pension law.

(11/22/00) On November 20, 2000, the Internal Revenue Service released IR-2000-82, “Pension Plan Limitations for Tax Year 2001,” which includes cost-of-living adjustments to be applied to dollar limitations on benefits and contributions under qualified retirement plans.

(11/22/00) On November 21, 2000, the Department of Labor issued a final rule revising the minimum requirements for benefit claims procedures of employee benefit plans covered by ERISA.  Additionally, the DOL issued a final rule establishing new content requirements for summary plan descriptions (SPDs) governed by ERISA.

(11/22/00) Click here to read the results of a first of its kind Gallup survey, commissioned by the MedicAlert Foundation, on the willingness of Americans to store or transmit personal health information over the Internet.

(11/21/00) Building Wealth: A Beginner's Guide to Securing Your Financial Future is new from the Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas.  “This 31-page workbook is an informative and thoughtful introduction to developing a plan to build personal wealth.  Through a combination of budgeting, saving, and investing, users will learn how to save money for their future.”

(11/21/00) The Determinants of the Flow of Funds of Managed Portfolios: Mutual Funds versus Pension Funds from the Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta working paper series, November 2000, is by Diane Del Guercio and Paula A. Tkac.

(11/21/00) Aon Consulting’s November 14, 2000, issue of Alert identifies year-end employee benefit plans’ administrative issues and includes updates about recent legislative and regulatory developments affecting plans or participants.

(11/21/00) On November 16, 2000, Hewitt Associates issued a press release about a new study which found that, while Internet access made it easier for participants in 401(k) plans to invest and save for retirement, increased portfolio turnover also resulted, suggesting that more education and communication may be needed on the part of plan sponsors to encourage sound investment behavior. The study was conducted along with faculty and researchers from Harvard University and the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania.

(11/21/00) The Brookings Institution has posted Do Estate Taxes Reduce Saving? a  paper by William Gale and Maria Perozek revised November 2000.

(11/20/00) On November 15, 2000, The Segal Company released the abstract of its 1999 Survey of State Employee Health Benefit Plans, which includes data on state employee health care costs for indemnity plans and HMOs and participation in these plans as of January 1999.

(11/20/00) On November 16, 2000, Upromise, Inc., the college savings network, released a study entitled The Impact of Paying for College on Family Finances, co-authored by Laura Tyson, Joseph Stiglitz, Peter Orszag, and Jonathan Orszag.  A press release highlighting key findings, including the impact on family finances vis-à-vis retirement security, and the study itself are available online.

(11/17/00) Daniel L. McFadden, recent winner of the Nobel laureate in economics and director of the Econometrics Laboratory at the University of California at Berkeley, and other academic colleagues are currently undertaking a Retirement Perspectives Survey on the Internet to ascertain how the Internet may be used to collect data on households' economic decisions with a view toward understanding the retirement planning decisions of older Americans.  They welcome the participation of Americans over forty in this research effort.

(11/17/00) Kaisernetwork.org, a free webcasting and news summary Website, is now live.  It was created by the Kaiser Family Foundation to bring key health policy information to policymakers, journalists, and the health care community as it happens.

(11/17/00) The Journal of Managed Care Pharmacy published in the Vol. 6, Number 5 edition, “Pharmacy Benefit Managers and Unique Customer Segments: Larger Employers” by Gene Jay.

(11/16/00) The Kanter Family Foundation and the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality are collaborating on the development of a National Health Outcomes Database for the improvement and stimulation of health care quality. Further information about the National Health Outcomes Database is available online.

Further information about the goals of the Health Legacy Partnership (HELP) between the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ) and the Kanter Family Foundation is available online.

(11/15/00) The Occupational Safety & Health Administration (OSHA) of the U.S. Department of Labor has issued final regulations designed to improve ergonomic standards for American workers and to require continued pay and benefits in some situations.

(11/15/00) The National Center for Policy Analysis has released Defined Contribution Health Insurance, Policy Backgrounder No. 154, dated October 26, 2000, which examines an alternative approach to providing health insurance for employees.

(11/15/00) The Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland published The Baby Boomers’ Mega-Inheritance-Myth or Reality? by Jagadeesh Gokhale and Laurence J. Kotlikoff on October 1, 2000.

(11/14/00) “The University of Idaho and University of New Hampshire are looking for information about the methods you have used to motivate members of the Early Baby Boomer Generation (43-53 years of age) and Generation Xers (24-34 years of age) to take action and save for retirement.  Please take 15 minutes of your valuable time and answer the survey at the web site http://coopext1.unh.edu/genx/genx.cfm.

Your answers to the survey will assist in designing methods of presentation that will motivate these two generations to take action toward preparing for retirement.

This survey was prepared by the University of Idaho and University of New Hampshire Cooperative Extension and funded through a CSREES Smith-Lever Special Project Fund.  The results of the questionnaire will be available at http://www.uidaho.edu/fcs/results in Winter 2001.”

(11/13/00) The Center for Retirement Research at Boston College has released new Working Papers.   "Does the Social Security Earnings Test Affect Labor Supply and Benefits Receipt?" by Jonathan Gruber and Peter Orszag is one of them.

(11/13/00) The Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation (PBGC) issued a press release on November 9, 2000, announcing its maximum benefit guarantee for the year 2001.

(11/1/00) The Individual Advantage Plan: Balancing the Needs of Older and Younger Employees a Fall 2000 topic from Milliman & Robertson, Inc. explains the design combination of a cash balance pension plan with a defined benefit formula.

(11/1/00) The International Longevity Center (ILC) issued a press release on September 1, 2000, announcing a report entitled The Consequences of Population Aging for Society, based on an international seminar held in Luxembourg in 1999.

(11/1/00) On October 12, 2000, Senator Robert Kerrey introduced S. 3200, “To amend the Social Security Act to provide each American child with a KidSave Account, and for other purposes.”  The Bill Summary & Status is available.

(11/1/00) Workforce.com has posted a Sample Policy on Sabbaticals (also known as research and study leaves) for business enterprises.

(11/1/00) Who's Minding the Kids? Child Care Arrangements: Fall 1995, released October 2000, reports on data the U.S. Census Bureau collected from families on child care arrangments.

(11/1/00) The August 2000, IMF Working Paper, Reforming Pensions: Myths, Truths, and Policy Choices by Nicholas Barr, is available.

(11/1/00) A January 1999, document, COBRA and Household Health Insurance Decisions was prepared for the Pension and Welfare Benefits Administration, United States Department of Labor.

(11/1/00) Employee Ownership Legislation Around the World is available from the National Center for Employee Ownership.

(11/1/00) AARP has posted the executive summary of The Impact of Mandatory Social Security Coverage of State and Local Workers: A Multi-State Review, a study written by Alicia H. Munnell.   

(11/1/00) "External Review: Both Sides Benefit," by David L. Coleman, which appears in the September/October 2000 issue of Healthplan, is available online.

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Updated 11/30/00