What's New - April 2008

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As a research site, EBRI Online maintains old listings in the “What’s New” page, even though some of the older links may no longer function.  If you reach a bad link, go back to the main site by deleting everything after “.com” or “.org” or ".gov" or “.net” in the address. Since we maintain www.ebri.org/ as a research and education resource, and not current news, we hope you will understand our policy and the use for which it is maintained.  We apologize for any inconvenience.

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What's new at EBRI this month:

Publications:

April 2008 EBRI Issue Brief - "The 2008 Retirement Confidence Survey: Americans Much More Worried About Retirement, Health Costs a Big Concern"

April 2008 EBRI Notes - "Findings from the 2007 EBRI/Commonwealth Fund Consumerism in Health Care Survey: Implications for Plan Sponsors"

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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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EBRI Research Findings for 2003-2004:

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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:

Presentations
"Making Tough Budget Choices to Create a Better Future," by David M. Walker, comptroller general of the United States, at the Industrial College of the Armed Forces, National Defense University, in Washington, D.C. GAO-08-604CG, March 12, 2008.

"Saving Our Future Requires Tough Choices Today," by David M. Walker, comptroller general of the United States, on the Fiscal Wake-Up Tour at the Maddy Institute, California State University, Fresno. GAO-08-584CG, March 6, 2008.

Reports
Health Insurance: Most College Students Are Covered through Employer-Sponsored Plans, and Some Colleges and States Are Taking Steps to Increase Coverage. GAO-08-389, March 28. 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.


[4/25/08]  Internal Revenue Service:  Hybrid Retirement Plans; Correction to Notice of Proposed Rulemaking [as published in the Federal Register on April 25, 2008]

[4/25/08]  Center for Retirement Research at Boston College:  Pension Sponsorship and Participation Nationwide, 1980-2006 [excel spreadsheet]

[4/25/08]  AARP Public Policy Institute:  Reform Options for Social Security

[4/25/08]  The Commonwealth Fund:  Descriptions of Health Care Systems: Denmark, France, Germany, The Netherlands, Sweden, and the United Kingdom

[4/24/08]  The Commonwealth Fund:

[4/24/08]  National Center for Policy Analysis:  State Health Care Reform: Key Questions and Answers

[4/24/08]  The Segal Group’s Capital Checkup:  “CMS Announces Indexed Medicare Part D Amounts for 2009

[4/24/08]  Alliance for Health Reform:  Lessons Learned: The Health Reform Debate of 1993-1994

[4/22/08]  Milliman, Inc.:  2008 Pension Funding Study:  2007 Gains Reversed in First Quarter of 2008

[4/22/08]  TIAA-CREF Institute Trends & Issues:  “Adjusting Retirement Goals and Saving Behavior: The Role of Financial Education

[4/22/08]  AARP Financial:

[4/22/08]  University of Michigan Retirement Research Center Policy Brief:  “How Much Do People Know About Economics and Finance? Financial Illiteracy and the Importance of Financial Education

[4/21/08]  Economic Policy Institute Briefing Paper:  “A Decade of Decline: The Erosion of Employer-Provided Health Care in the United States and California, 1995-2006

[4/21/08]  Kaiser Family Foundation:

[4/21/08]  Institute of Medicine Report Brief:  “Retooling for an Aging America: Building the Health Care Workforce

[4/21/08]  Congressional Budget Office:  “Growing Disparities in Life Expectancy

[4/18/08]  Internal Revenue Service:  Employer Comparable Contributions to Health Savings Accounts Under Section 4980G; Final Regulations [as published in the Federal Register on April 17, 2008]

[4/18/08]  MarketWatch:  “Companies on Edge over Health Mandate Case: Outcome of San Francisco’s Employer Payment Rule Could Have Broad Impact

[4/18/08]  American Benefits Council:  Employer “Pay or Play” Requirements -- Key State and Local Health Care Reform Initiatives

[4/18/08]  Urban Institute:  Massachusetts Health Reform Survey

[4/18/08]  Mercer:  “Count on Your Retirement” [interactive retirement planning resource]

[4/17/08]  U.S. House Committee on Education and Labor:

[4/17/08]  American Benefits Council:  Myths and Facts Regarding 401(k) Plan Fees

[4/17/08]  U.S. Department of the Treasury Issue Brief No. 4:  “Social Security Reform: Mechanisms for Achieving True Pre-Funding

[4/17/08]  Congressional Research Service:

[4/16/08]  U.S. House Committee on Financial Services:  Hearing on “Financial Literacy and Education: The Effectiveness of Governmental and Private Sector Initiatives” [includes links to testimonies]

[4/16/08]  JPMorgan Chase & Co.:  “A Review of Current 401(k) Plan Fee Legislation and Regulation

[4/16/08]  Buck Consultants Newsflash:  “Proposed Regulations on Minimum Required Contributions for Single Employer Defined Benefit Plans

[4/16/08]  Reish Luftman Reicher & Cohen Bulletin:  “The Supreme Court’s Decision in LaRue v. DeWolff, Boberg & Associates: How It Affects You, What You Should Do, and Ruminations Regarding the Fractured Opinion

[4/16/08]  WorldatWork:  FMLA Practices and Perspectives: A Survey of WorldatWork Members

[4/16/08]  The Segal Company Bulletin:  “How Key Changes to the Federal Family & Medical Leave Act Affect Multiemployer Plans

[4/15/08]  Internal Revenue Service:  Employee Plans News [Special Edition, April 2008]: “Treasury, IRS Issue Funding Guidance for Single-Employer Defined Benefit Plans”

[4/15/08]  Kaiser Public Opinion Spotlight:  “Health Care and Elections

[4/15/08]  Congressional Research Service:

[4/15/08]  IRS’ Statistics of Income Bulletin:  “Ninety Years of Individual Income and Tax Statistics, 1916-2005

[4/14/08]  MassMutual Financial Group:  Best Practices in Employee Campaigns: Helping Them Get There

[4/14/08]  Retirement Security Project:  Retirement Security for Women: Progress To Date and Policies for Tomorrow

[4/14/08]  Social Security Bulletin:

[4/14/08]  Urban Institute:  The Implications of Career Lengths for Social Security [Discussion Paper]

[4/10/08]  Prudential Retirement’s Pension Analyst:

[4/10/08]  Vanguard Group:  Time Diversification and Horizon-Based Asset Allocations

[4/10/08]  American Benefits Council:  Overview of Tax Aspects of Select Health Care Reform Proposals

[4/10/08]  America’s Health Insurance Plans:

[4/8/08]  Pension & Investments:  “U.S. Firms Hit by Pension Plan Losses -- Mercer

[4/8/08]  MetLife:  Sixth Annual Study of Employee Benefit Trends--Findings from the National Survey of Employers and Employees

[4/8/08]  New America Foundation Issue Brief:  “Cost of Failure: The Economic Losses of the Uninsured” 

[4/8/08]  Congressional Research Service:

[4/7/08]  U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics:  Employer Premiums for Medical Care Plans in State and Local Government

[4/7/08]  RAND Corporation:  The Economic Burden of Providing Health Insurance: How Much Worse Off Are Small Firms? [Technical Report]

[4/7/08]  AARP Public Policy Institute:  “What Do the New Auto Industry VEBAs Mean for Current and Future Retirees?

[4/7/08]  International Accounting Standards Board:

[4/4/08]  U.S. Senate Special Committee on Aging:  Hearing on “Scrambling for Health Insurance Coverage: Health Security for People in Late Middle Age” [includes links to testimonies]

[4/4/08]  Kaiser Daily Health Policy Report:  “Senators Propose Offsets for House Mental Health Parity Bill To Increase Chance of Passage

[4/4/08]  U.S. Senator Dick Durbin:  “Durbin, Snowe, Lincoln & Coleman Along with NFIB, NAR & SEIU Introduce Affordable Health Insurance Plan for Small Businesses

[4/4/08]  Prudential Financial’s Pension Analyst Compliance Bulletin:  “Plan Documents Required for 403(b) Arrangements

[4/2/08]  Small Business Administration Office of Advocacy:  Changes in Family Health Insurance Coverage for Small and Large Firm Workers and Dependents: Evidence from 1995 to 2005

[4/2/08]  Milliman, Inc.:  Consumer-Driven Impact Study

[4/2/08]  Pension Rights Center:

[4/2/08]  Watson Wyatt Worldwide:

[4/1/08]  International Foundation of Employee Benefit Plans:  National Employee Benefits Day, April 2, 2008

[4/1/08]  Milliman’s Client Action Bulletin:  “Coordinating Retiree Health Benefits with Medicare

[4/1/08]  Social Security Administration:  Social Security Programs Throughout the World: The Americas, 2007

[4/1/08]  Congressional Research Service:

[4/1/08]  Center for Retirement Research at Boston College:  The Trajectory of Wealth in Retirement [Working Paper]

Updated 4/25/08