What's New

What's New - November 2001

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What's new at EBRI this month:

The executive summary of the November 2001 EBRI Issue Brief: "401(k) Plan Asset Allocation, Account Balances, and Loan Activity in 2000.”  Provides year-end 2000 analysis of the EBRI/ICI 401(k) database.

The executive summary of the November 2001 EBRI Notes articles:  "Number of Americans With Job-Based Health Benefits Increased in 2000 While Uninsured Declined" and "Productivity Growth and the Actuarial Balance of the Social Security Program."

Women in Retirement: The November 2001 issue of Facts from EBRI.

Dallas Salisbury article in the Fourth Quarter 2001 WorldatWork Journal: “No Time to Snooze: Meeting the Needs of an Aging Work Force” explains the “why” of employment-based benefits.  If you would like further access to this special edition of the Journal, click here for guest access.

EBRI Releases 2001 HCS: The 2001 Health Confidence Survey (HCS) finds Americans are satisfied with various aspects of the health care they receive, but continue to be pessimistic about the future of the nation’s health care system, about their future ability to choose the doctors they want, and about their ability to afford prescription drugs.

Retirement Implications of Demographic and Family Change Symposium:  The Society of Acutaries will focus on those issues through sixteen papers that will be presented by authors from a range of disciplines from actuarial science to economics to law on November 29-30, 2001, at the Walt Disney World Swan Resort, Lake Buena Vista, Florida.

EBRI Research Findings for 2001:

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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 General Accounting Office's Web site in Portable Document (PDF) format:

          Older Workers: Demographic Trends Pose Challenges for Employers and Workers. GAO-02-85,             November 2001

          Social Security: Program's Role in Helping Ensure Income Adequacy.  GAO-02-62,
          November 2001.

           Private Health Insurance: Small Employers Continue to Face Challenges in Providing Coverage.
          GAO-02-8, October 31.

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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(11/27/01) Is War Between Generations Inevitable? is a November 2001 National Center for Policy Analysis Policy Report by Jagadeesh Gokhale and Laurence J. Kotlikoff on the Medicare and Social Security entitlement programs.

(11/27/01) On November 19, 2001, Rep. Constance Morella introduced in the U.S. House of Representatives H.R.3340, “To amend title 5, United States Code, to allow certain catch-up contributions to the Thrift Savings Plan to be made by participants age 50 or over.”  A Bill Summary & Status is available.

(11/27/01) Nationwide Financial Services provides data from its latest Nationwide Financial Small Business Retirement Study.

(11/27/01) globalhealth.gov is a global health portal for the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) which addresses the connection between domestic and international health issues.

(11/27/01) The Financial Services Coordinating Council (FSCC) has launched a new Web site to provide information on the privacy debate and other issues of mutual concern to the financial services industry.

(11/21/01) The Ernst & Young report, What's in a Name: Leveraging a Quality Brand in the Health Sciences Marketplace, offers insight “into consumer values and industry trends which health sciences organizations can use to conduct a thorough self-examination with regard to procedures and practices related to quality.”  Click here for the executive summary.

(11/21/01) The State of Wisconsin Retirement Research Committee has made available “ 2000 Comparative Study of Major Public Employee Retirement Systems.”

(11/21/01) “ A Consumer Guide to Handling Disputes With Your Private or Employer Health Plan," an online consumer guide launched jointly by the Kaiser Family Foundation and Consumers Union, provides practical information to plan enrollees who are seeking a way to resolve a dispute with their health plan or to better understand their coverage before a problem arises.”

(11/21/01) Kaisernetwork.org is providing special coverage of the issues and debates  now shaping health policy in the aftermath of September 11: Health Policy and Public Health Developments.

(11/21/01) Click here for a summary of the new report, Universal Protected Pension: Modernising Pensions for the Millennium, by the United Kingdom’s Pensions Reform Group.

(11/21/01) Recent working papers from the Pension Research Council include:

(11/21/01) Who Gets Paid to Save? was originally published in June as Does Participating in a 401(k) Raise Your Lifetime Taxes?  Both are Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland economic working papers.

(11/19/01) The Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality has published a new Medical Expenditure Panel Survey (MEPS) chartbook -- Chartbook No. 7: State Differences in Job-Related Health Insurance.

(11/19/01) On November 15, 2001, Principal Financial Group issued a press release on the latest quarterly installment of The Principal Financial Well-Being Index.

(11/19/01) On November 13, 2001, Senator Jeff Bingaman introduced in the U.S. Senate S.1677, “Independent Investment Advice Act of 2001.”  A Bill Summary & Status is available.

(11/19/01) The ERISA Industry Committee (ERIC) has posted a side-by-side comparison of the key differences between the mental health parity provision in the current law and the mental health parity provision sponsored by Sens. Domenici and Wellstone.

(11/19/01) The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) has published a special edition of Employee Plans News.  It is a response to the 9/11/2001 terrorist attack which includes a listing of IRS documents issued to date authorizing various filing extensions.

(11/16/01) The National Center for Health Statistics has posted online Healthy People 2000 Final Review.

(11/16/01) “ The Center for Practical Health Reform (CPHR) is a not-for-profit research and advocacy organization dedicated to identifying and promoting system-level approaches that, when translated into policy, can improve the quality and/or efficiencies in health care service delivery and financing.”

 

(11/16/01) The NASD Regulation Web site has been updated and reorganized.  NASD Regulation, Inc., a subsidiary of the National Association of Securities Dealers, is charged with regulating the securities industry and oversees virtually all U.S. stockbrokers and brokerage firms.

(11/16/01) “The Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ) announced the release of the first annual report of the National CAHPS┬« Benchmarking Database (NCBD), marking the first time that data about consumer assessments of their medical care have been available in one place for Medicare, Medicaid, and commercial (employer-sponsored) health plans for use by purchasers, health plans and policy makers.”  Click here for the press release.

(11/16/01) The Council of Insurance Agents and Brokers has chartered the new Council of Employee Benefits Executives (CEBE).

(11/15/01) “ ROI Calculators Help Gauge Benefit, Turnover Costs” is a November 2001 article in Employee Benefit News.

(11/15/01) “ How the Slowing U.S. Economy Threatens Employer-Based Health Insurance” is a November 2001 publication from The Commonwealth Fund.

(11/15/01) On November 13, 2001, the Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation (PBGC) issued a press release titled “ PBGC Announces Maximum Guarantee for the Year 2002.”

(11/15/01) In a press release dated November 12, 2001, Transamerica Retirement Services issued key findings from its 2001 Transamerica Retirement Survey and from a post-Sept. 11 follow-up poll.  Click here for links to all reports.

(11/15/01) The Employment Policy Foundation reports that the “ Proposed Senate Stimulus Package Could Jeopardize UI System: Proposal Would Drain $14.4 - $20.7 billion From Federal Funds.”

(11/14/01) On November 13, 2001, Plan Sponsor magazine released its 2001 Defined Contribution Survey.

(11/14/01) On November 12, 2001, the 401kExchange issued a press release titled “ Study Finds 401(k) Employers Satisfied in a Down Market.

(11/14/01) According to Ernst & Young “consumers are actively seeking and using knowledge to take control of their health care.”  Read Ernst &Young's point of view on the potential impact in their article: " How Information Empowers Patients to Become Consumers."

(11/14/01) Click here for The NewsHour with Jim Lehrer/Kaiser Family Foundation/Harvard School of Public Health National Survey on Nursing Homes.

(11/14/01) Click here for an outline titled “Pension Plans and IRAs Under EGTRRA” (The Economic Growth and Tax Relief Reconciliation Act of 2001) by Noel C. Ice, Attorney At Law, Cantey & Hanger, L.L.P.

(11/8/01) On June 21, 2001, Rep. John Boehner introduced in the U.S. House of Representatives H.R. 2269, “Retirement Security Advice Act of 2001.”  The U.S. House Committee on Education and the Workforce filed a report on October 31, 2001, “ Committee Report - House Rpt. 107-262 Part 1 - Retirement Security Advice Act of 2001.”  This report provides detailed information on key provisions of the bill and includes minority views.

(11/8/01) The Internal Revenue Service has made available Revenue Ruling 2001-51, “Section 415 -- Limitations on Benefits and Contributions Under Qualified Plans.”

(11/8/01) On October 4, 2001, Sen. James Jeffords introduced in the U.S. Senate S. 1502, “COBRA Plus Act of 2001.”  A Bill Summary & Status is available.

(11/8/01) On October 16, 2001, Rep. Jim DeMint introduced in the U.S. House of Representatives H.R. 3135, “Social Security Benefits Guarantee Act of 2001.”   A Bill Summary & Status is available.  On the same date, Sen. Rick Santorum introduced in the U.S. Senate S. 1558, a companion bill of the same title.  A Bill Summary & Status is available.

(11/8/01) PLANSPONSOR.com reports that, according to Robert Wuelfing, of RG Wuelfing & Associates, speaking at the convention of The Society of Professional Administrators and  Recordkeepers (SPARK) convention on November 5, retirement plans will lose about $800 billion in assets this year.

(11/8/01) DC Plan Investing in its November 2001 issue runs this headline: “ Benna Calls for Fiduciary Safe Harbor for Sponsors; Salisbury Says No Way.”  The article reports that Theodore Benna has proposed the creation of a safe harbor for sponsors and providers to free them of  fiduciary duties relating to investment responsibility.

(11/7/01) In a press release dated November 5, 2001, Hewitt Associates announced key findings from two recent studies titled 2001 Trends and Experience in 401(k) Plans and How Well Are Employees Saving and Investing in 401(k) Plans -- 2000 Hewitt Universe Benchmarks.

(11/7/01) The McHenry Consulting Group has posted the McHenry Revenue Sharing Report titled “ Revenue Sharing in the 401(k) Marketplace: Whose Money Is It?

(11/7/01) The National Committee for Quality Assurance (NCQA) has posted the Quality Dividend Calculator, “a free, Web-based utility that demonstrates the projected productivity gains from contracting with NCQA-Accredited health plans.”

(11/7/01) The Commonwealth Fund has published a report titled “ Business Initiatives to Expand Health Coverage for Workers in Small Firms, Volume 1: Overview and Lessons Learned,” by Jack A. Meyer and Lise S. Rybowski, dated October 2001.

(11/5/01) The Center for Retirement Research at Boston College has released a new working paper: " Why Some Workers Remain in the Labor Force Beyond the Typical Age of Retirement" by John B. Williamson and Tay K. McNamara.

(11/5/01) The U.S. House of Representatives Subcommittee on Employer-Employee Relations held a hearing on November 1, 2001, titled " Retirement Security for the American Worker: Opportunities and Challenges."  Links to the opening statement of Rep. Sam Johnson and to the testimonies of three witnesses, William Scanlon, Patricia Neuman, and Chip Kirby, have been posted.

(11/5/01) The Social Security Administration has posted a new Web page, State and Local Government Employers.

(11/5/01) The International Foundation of Employee Benefit Plans has posted an October 31, 2001, press release issued by Pennsylvania State University, titled “Study Finds Some Workers Willing to Pay for Family-Oriented Benefits They Won't Use.”   The study, The Willingness-to-Pay for Work/Family Policies: A Study of Teachers, appears in the October 2001 issue of Industrial & Labor Relations Review.

(11/5/01 The U.S. Internal Revenue Service has issued proposed regulations designed to assist plan sponsors with the implementation of the new “catch-up” contributions provided under the Economic Growth and Tax Relief Reconciliation Act of 2001 (EGTRRA). 

(11/5/01) The Department of Labor  has  titled their home page and all related  sites “ U.S. Department of Labor in the 21st Century.”  At present, the  Pension and Welfare Benefits Administration site concentrates on providing information for workers and employers who have been impacted by the aftermath of the September 11, 2001, terrorist attacks, and who have questions about the status of their employer-provided health and retirement savings benefits. 

(11/1/01) According to Hewitt Associates, U.S. Companies and Consumers will Pay More for Health Care in 2002.  Click here for the press releaseClick here for the supporting charts.

(11/1/01) CIGNA Retirement & Investments Services has posted “ Workplace Report on Retirement Planning -- Key Findings.”

(11/1/01) “ Starting From Scratch,” feature article in the October 2001 issue of Plan Sponsor magazine, is the first of four parts in the issue on designing the perfect benefits package.

(11/1/01) Top Ten Mistakes in Global Equity Programs by White & Case, L.L.P. is one paper in a series of overviews of stock and equity-based compensation issues.

(11/1/01) The Investment Company Institute has posted: " Contribution Behavior of 401(k) Plan Participants.”

(11/1/01) The press release on the Segal 2002 Health Plan Cost Trend Survey published in October 2001 is available.  Click here for the abstract.

(11/1/01) On October 11, 2001, Rep. Bill Thomas introduced in the U.S. House of Representatives H.R.3090, “Economic Security and Recovery Act of 2001.”   A Bill Summary & Status is available.

(11/1/01) The Social Security Administration has issued a press release dated October 19, 2001, titled “ Acting Social Security Commissioner Larry G. Massanari Announces 2.6 Percent Social Security Increase.”  The Social Security Administration has also made available a fact sheet titled “ 2002 Social Security Changes: Cost-of-Living Adjustment (COLA).”

(11/1/01) The Center for Strategic and International Studies has posted “ Summary Report of the Co-chairmen and Findings and Recommendations of the CSIS Commission on Global Aging,” dated August 29, 2001.

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Updated 12/17/01