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What's New - January 2005
As a research site, EBRI Online maintains old listings in the Whats 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 .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.
What's new at EBRI this month:
January 2005 EBRI Issue Brief - "Changes in Wealth for Americans Reaching or Just Past Normal Retirement Age"
January 2005 EBRI Notes - "401(k)-Type Plan and IRA Ownership" and "Income of the Elderly Population: 2003"
EBRI Research Findings for 2003-2004:
What's new in employee benefits:
- Late-breaking news items from Business Insurance posted every business day
- Washington Report from the legislative research staff of Hewitt Associates
- HR News Online -- a daily update from the Society for Human Resource Management
- Employee Plans News (IRS) [on retirement plans / current issue only]
Towers Perrin U.S. Legislative Tracking Charts: Health and Welfare; Human Resources; Retirement
The following items have been added to the Government Accountability Office's Web site in Portable Document (PDF) format:
Private Pensions: Airline Plans' Underfunding Illustrates Broader Problems with Defined Benefit Pension System, by David M. Walker, comptroller general of the United States, before the Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation. GAO-05-108T, October 7. 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.
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
Note: All questions submitted via e-mail must be responded to via telephone,
so please remember to include your phone number in your message.
[1/27/05] The Washington Post: "Bush Promotes Health Savings Accounts"
[1/27/05] Principal Financial Group: From Sickcare to Healthcare: Americas Best Companies Focus on Keeping Employees Healthy
[1/27/05] The New York Times: "60 Companies Plan to Sponsor Health Coverage for Uninsured" [registration may be required]
[1/27/05] U.S. Chamber of Commerce: Survey Shows Employers Generous with Benefits Despite Rising Costs
[1/27/05] Economic Policy Institute Snapshot: "Privatization Fix for Social Security Is Worse Than Doing Nothing"
[1/27/05] National Academy of Social Insurance: Uncharted Waters: Paying Benefits from Individual Accounts in Federal Retirement Policy
[1/26/05] Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services: Medicare Modernization Act: Prescription Drug Benefit / Medicare Advantage Plan: General Information
[1/26/05] Towers Perrin Update: "Final Rules Arrive on Medicare Part D Drug Benefits"
[1/26/05] The Washington Post: "Millions To Be Automatically Enrolled in Medicare Drug Plan"
[1/26/05] Towers Perrin: A Towers Perrin Proposal for Pension Funding Reform
[1/26/05] Compensation and Working Conditions Online: "Comparing the Retirement Savings of the Baby Boomers and Other Cohorts"
[1/25/05] Employment Policy Foundation Backgrounder: "Pension Funding Reform: An Analysis of the Bush Administrations Proposal"
[1/25/05] USA Today: "Social Security Gets Stretched, Strained by Long Retirements"
[1/25/05] South Florida Sun-Sentinel: "Retirement Plan Drawing Skepticism, AARP Survey Reveals"
[1/25/05] Kaisernetwork.org Daily Health Policy Report: "Wall Street Journal Features Special Report on Employee Health, Other Benefits"
[1/25/05] Principal Financial Group: Innovations at Work: A Guide to Best Practices in Employee Benefits
[1/19/05] Hewitt Associates: Hewitt Survey Reveals New Employer Trends in Retirement
[1/19/05] The Washington Post: "New Doubts on Plan for Social Security"
[1/18/05] The Washington Post: "A Health Care Cost Shift"
[1/18/05] Deloitte Consulting: Employer Response to Medicare Part D Prescription Drugs--2005 Survey
[1/18/05] U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics: National Compensation Survey: Employee Benefits in Private Industry in the United States, 2002-2003
[1/18/05] Towers Perrin Monitor: "Phased Retirement Programs Get a Lift from IRS"
[1/18/05] The Boston Globe: "Social Security Assessments Still Poles Apart"
[1/18/05] National Conference on Public Employee Retirement Systems: NCPERS Proposal to Ensure the Financial Solvency of the Social Security System for the Next Generation
[1/13/05] Mercer Human Resource Consulting: A Mercer Perspective on Retirement: Pension Funding: A Fresh Look at a Growing Crisis
[1/13/05] 401khelpcenter.com: Retirement Plan Comparison Chart
[1/13/05] The National Underwriter Company: "AHIP: HSA Market Is Growing Rapidly"
[1/13/05] Council for Affordable Health Insurance: Health Insurance Mandates in the States, 2005
[1/12/05] Kaiser Family Foundation: Health Care Agenda for the New Congress
[1/12/05] Internal Revenue Service: Notice 2005-9 [Weighted Average Interest Rates Update]
[1/12/05] Center for Retirement Research at Boston College: Understanding Expenditure Patterns in Retirement [working paper]
[1/11/05] Profit Sharing/401(k) Council of America: 401(k) and Profit Sharing Plan Eligibility Survey 2004
[1/11/05] The New York Times: "Nations Health Spending Slows, but It Still Hits a Record" [registration may be required]
[1/11/05] Hewitt Associates: Health Care Expectations: Future Strategy and Direction. Press Release
[1/10/05] Employee Benefit News: "Employees Prefer Work-Based [Health] Insurance"
[1/10/05] The Commonwealth Fund: Taking the Pulse: The Commonwealth Fund Health Care Opinion Leaders Survey
[1/10/05] San Francisco Chronicle: "Public Pensions in Flux"
[1/10/05] Towers Perrin: Pension Funding Levels Improved Slightly in 2004, But Deferred Pension Costs Continue to Rise
[1/6/05] Business Insurance: "Treasury to Keep Use-It-Or-Lose-It Rule for FSAs"
[1/6/05] The Washington Post: "US Airways Wont Scrap Health Plan: Airline to Continue Retirees Benefits"
[1/6/05] Chicago Tribune: "Large Private Social Security Accounts Considered"
[1/6/05] SFGate.com: "California Voters May Face Choice to Change State Pensions to 401(k) Plans"
[1/5/05] Deloitte Consulting and the International Society of Certified Employee Benefit Specialists: Top Five Benefit Priorities for 2004: A Survey of Certified Employee Benefit Specialists
[1/5/05] The Washington Post: "Bracing for Battle, Bush to Move Slowly on Social Security"
[1/5/05] U.S. Department of Health & Human Services: HHS Issues Final Regulation on Access to Group Health Coverage
[1/5/05] U.S. Department of the Treasury: Treasury and IRS Issue Guidance on New Automatic Rollovers from Qualified Retirement Plans. Text of Notice 2005-5
[1/5/05] Investment Company Institute: Final IRS Regulations Intended to Simplify 401(k) Plan Rules
[1/5/05] Mercer Human Resource Consulting: Update: Mercer Intensifies Efforts on Hot US Pension Policy Issues for 2005
[1/4/05] Workforce Management: "Buckle Up For Bush 2.0"
[1/4/05] The Washington Post: "Social Security Formula Weighed: Bush Plan Likely to Cut Initial Benefits"
[1/4/05] Employee Benefit News: "Employers Pay High Deductibles to Save on Health Premiums"
[1/3/05] The Washington Post: "Fees Take a Bite from 401(k)s"
[1/3/05] The Washington Post: "Revamping Social Security: Experts Disagree on Severity of Shortfalls Consequences"
[1/3/05] MetLife: Employee Benefits Trend Study. Press Release
[1/3/05] Economic Policy Institute Economic Snapshot: "Private Accounts: The Spicy Sauce to Sell Deep Benefit Cuts"
[1/3/05] Congressional Research Service: Can the Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation Be Restored to Financial Health?
[1/3/05] Employee Benefit News: "Consumers Will Not Use Health Plan Information That They Cannot Understand"
[1/3/05] International Society of Certified Employee Benefit Specialists: Predicting the Future of Health Savings Accounts
[1/3/05] American Legislative Exchange Council and Council for Affordable Health Insurance: 2005 State Legislators Guide to Health Insurance Solutions and Glossary