What's New

What's New - September 2001

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What's new at EBRI this month:

Dallas Salisbury was interviewed on National Public Radio's All Things Considered.   The segment, which ran Wednesday, August 22, 2001, is titled: "Investing Social Security."

Compensation Costs in Private Industry March 1987 to March 2001: The August 2001 issue of Facts from EBRI, a monthly publication providing timely statistics on a variety of employee benefit issues.

The executive summary of the August 2001 EBRI Issue Brief: "Retiree Health Benefits:Trends and Outlook"

The executive summary of the August 2001 EBRI Notes article: "Defined Contribution Health Benefits: The Next Evolution?"

Public and Employer Opinion on Social Security and Social Security Reform:  An EBRI Special Report prepared for the President's Commission to Strengthen Social Security by request of the commission

EBRI/ICI 401(k) Database:  401(k) Balances Changed Little For Participants With Accounts in 1999 & 2000; Results Vary Widely by Age.  Preliminary 2000 results of the EBRI/ICI 401(k) database are reported in an August 13, 2001, press release.  The full year-end 2000 results will be published in the November 2001 EBRI Issue Brief.  If you are interested in having the Issue Brief emailed to you in pdf format as soon as it is available, please email us at 401k2000ib@ebri.org

Complete 1999 Results of the EBRI/ICI 401(k) Database:  The February 2001 EBRI Issue Brief titled: "401(k) Plan Asset Allocation, Account Balances, and Loan Activity in 1999," contains complete 1999 results.

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:

Medicare: Payments for Covered Outpatient Drugs Exceed Providers' Costs.  GAO-01-1118, September 21, 2001.

Medicare Part B Drugs: Program Payments Should Reflect Market Prices, Testimony given by William J. Scanlon, managing director, health care issues, before a joint hearing of the Subcommittee on Health and the Subcommittee on Oversight and Investigations, House Committee on Energy and Commerce.   GAO-01-1142T, September 21, 2001.

Private Pensions: Issues of Coverage and Increasing Contributions Limits for Defined Contribution Plans.  GAO-01-846, September 17, 2001.

Children's Health Insurance: SCHIP Enrollment and Expenditure Information.  GAO-01-993R, July 25, 2001.

Medigap Insurance: Plans Are Widely Available But Have Limited Benefits and May Have High Costs.  GAO-01-941, July 31, 2001.

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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(9/21/01) “Do Actuaries Need a Standard for Illustrating Retirement Benefits?” is an article in the September/October 2001 issue of Contingencies from the American Academy of Actuaries.

(9/21/01) On September 5, 2001, Rep. Jim McDermott introduced in the U.S. House of Representatives H.R. 2837, “Tax Equity for Domestic Partners Act of 2001.”  A Bill Summary & Status is available.

(9/21/01) On May 25, 2001, Rep. Clay Shaw introduced in the U.S. House of Representatives H.R. 2036, “Social Security Number Privacy and Identity Theft Prevention Act of 2001.”  A Bill Summary & Status is available.  On May 9, 2001, Senator Dianne Feinstein introduced in the U.S. Senate S.848, “Social Security Number Misuse Prevention Act of 2001.”  A Bill Summary & Status is available.

(9/21/01) President Bush has chosen Matthew K. Fong of Hacienda Heights, Calif., Barry D. Wynn of Spartanburg, SC, and Betsy S. Atkins of Coral Gables, Fla., for appointment to the Advisory Committee of the Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation (PBGC) with Mr. Fong designated  as chairman of the panel. 
Click here for the press release.

(9/21/01) The Employment Policy Foundation sponsors a Web site on Living Wage Research.

(9/19/01) The following site provides some information for employers on the Uniformed Services Employment and Reemployment Rights Act of 1994 (USERRA) requirements: http://www.dol.gov/elaws/USERRA0.htm.

(9/19/01) “Whether Social Security Funds Should be Invested Collectively or Through a System of Individual Accounts," is the title of testimony by Kent Weaver before the President’s Commission to Strengthen Social Security on September 6.

(9/19/01) The U.S. Government Manual: 2001/2002, a new edition, is available on-line with its listings of names and contacts in all government branches and offices.

(9/19/01) Click on this link to request a single, free copy of the IRC 403(b)/457 educational video titled: “Retirement Reports: IRS Tax-Sheltered Annuities and 457 Plans,” which highlights compliance problems that have been identified during IRS examinations and voluntary compliance programs.

(9/14/01) The Center for Retirement Research at Boston College has posted “Retirement Wealth and Its Adequacy: Assessing the Impact of Changes in the Age of Eligibility for Full Social Security Benefits,” by Catherine P. Montalto, dated September 2001 (WP# 2001-07).

(9/13/01) The Hay Group has posted 2001 Social Security Summary: Incorporating Changes to January 1, 2001.

(9/13/01) The Center for Retirement Research at Boston College has posted “Explaining Why So Many People Do Not Save,” by Annamaria Lusardi, dated September 2001 (WP #2001-05).

(9/13/01) The McHenry Consulting Group has posted an article titled “Revenue Sharing in the 401(k) Marketplace: Whose Money Is It?

(9/11/01) The Internal Revenue Service has posted Notice 2001-57, “Sample Plan Amendments for the Economic Growth and Tax Relief Reconciliation Act of 2001,” and Notice 2001-56, “Effective Dates for Certain Amendments Made by the Economic Growth and Tax Relief Reconciliation Act of 2001.”

(9/11/01) The August 13, 2001, issue of Mental Health Weekly features an article titled “Managed Care, Parity, Medicaid Expansion High on Advocates' Wish List.” [Note: A brief registration may be required to access the article.]

(9/11/01) The August 2001 issue of Drug Benefit Trends features an article titled “Drugs Take Bigger Slice of Total Health Care Expenditures.” [Note: A brief registration may be required to access the article.]

(9/7/01) ING Aetna Financial Services announced key findings from a recent survey in a press release dated September 4, 2001, and titled “Employees Want Investment Advice for 401(k) Plans.”

(9/7/01) On August 15, 2001, consulting firm Scott-Levin issued a press release announcing key findings from its new study titled “Benefit Design: How It’s Changing Managed Care.”

(9/6/01) The Kaiser Family Foundation and the Health Research and Educational Trust released their 2001 annual survey of employer-provided health benefits -- the 2001 Employer Health Benefits Survey.

(9/6/01) The National Committee for Quality Assurance (NCQA) presents the State of Managed Care Quality: 2001 report, NCQA’s fifth annual overview of the managed care industry.

(9/5/01) Watson Wyatt Worldwide has announced key findings from its survey titled “Maximizing the Return on Health Benefits: 2001 Best Practices in Health Care Vendor Management.”

(9/5/01) Sherlock Company has posted “Administrative Expense Benchmarks for Health Plans,” dated August 2001.

(9/4/01) The Guide to Federal Patients’ Bill of Rights Debate,  prepared by Stephanie Lewis for the Kaiser Family Foundation, “examines “key issues in the Congressional debate over a federal patients’ bill of rights.  It includes an overview of private health insurance market regulation and its relationship to the patient protection debate, a discussion of areas of consensus such as access to care and information, scope of coverage and preemption, and an examination of the key differences between the House and Senate bills with particular attention to how they each handle external review of health plan decisions and liability.”

(9/4/01) Nationwide Financial has posted the “Nationwide Financial High Income Survey Fact Sheet 2001.”

(9/4/01) The Profit Sharing/401(k) Council of America (PSCA) offers defined contribution plan sponsors a best practices model of a written investment policy statement.  The model, and a white paper describing the role and advantages of an investment policy statement, are available at their site which requires you to log in, though entry is free of charge.

(9/4/01) The Xylo Report of April 2001 reports on a survey of Commuter Assistance Benefits in the Workplace.

(9/4/01) The National Center for Policy Analysis has posted a July 2001 Policy Report titled: “Social Security and Market Risk.”

(9/4/01) “Diagnosing Disparities in Health Insurance for Women: A Prescription for Change" by Jeanne M. Lambrew is a August 2001 report from The Commonwealth Fund.

(9/4/01) Click here to access the audio Webcast of the release of the “National Survey on Consumer Experiences with and Attitudes Toward Health Plans," 8/30/2001, done by the Kaiser Family Foundation and Harvard School of Public Health.

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