What's New

What's New - July 2001

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What's new at EBRI this month:

The executive summary of the July 2001 EBRI Issue Brief: "State and Local Retirement Plans: Innovation and Renovation"

The executive summary of the July 2001 EBRI Notes articles: "Employment-Based Health Promotion and Wellness Programs" and "Retirement Annuity and Employment-Based Pension Income"

Trends in Early Retirement: The July 2001 issue of Facts from EBRI, a monthly publication providing timely statistics on a variety of employee benefit issues.

EBRI Databook on Employee Benefits Online: Chapters available in the members-only section are updated as new data become available.

EBRI Social Security Research Program Web site has been updated recently with additional material.

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:

Telecommuting: Overview of Potential Barriers Facing Employers.  GAO-01-926, July 11, 2001.

Retirement Saving: Opportunities to Improve DOL's SAVER Act Campaign.
GAO-01-634, June 26, 2001.

National Saving: Answers to Key Questions.  GAO-01-591SP, June 2001, 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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(7/30/01) The August 13, 2001, issue of Fortune features “Retirement Guide 2001: You Can Still Retire Rich.”

(7/30/01) The Cascade Policy Institute has posted Policy Insight No. 117, dated May 2001, titled “Pension Liberation for Oregon: A Proposal to Reform PERS,” by Peter J. Ferrara.

(7/30/01) On June 26, 2001, Rep. Kenny Hulshof introduced in the U.S. House of Representatives H.R.2316, “To make permanent the tax benefits enacted by the Economic Growth and Tax Relief Reconciliation Act of 2001.” A Bill Summary & Status is available.

(7/30/01) On July 18, 2001, Rep. John Doolittle introduced in the U.S. House of Representatives H.R.2548, “To amend the Internal Revenue Code of 1986 to repeal the 1993 increase in income taxes on Social Security benefits.” A Bill Summary & Status is available.

(7/27/01) Fiscal Policy and Social Security Policy During the 1990s was written by Jeffrey Liebman, David Wilcox, and Douglas Elmendorf.

(7/27/01) Cross-Country Comparisons of Pensioners' Incomes is posted on the former Department of Social Security (United Kingdom) website.  That department is now incorporated into the United Kingdom’s Department for Work and Pensions.

(7/27/01) “Safe Pension-Investment Counseling” (how do you give employees the information and tools they need, without exposing the company to lawsuits?) is by Gillian Flynn and is from Workforce, July 2001, pp. 54-55.

(7/27/01) The National Council of Women's Organizations' Women and Social Security Project Website provides an outlet for addressing the Social Security reform issue from women’s perspectives.

(7/26/01) The July 23 draft of the Interim Report of the President’s Commission to Strengthen Social Security, “Draft Report of the President's Commission to Strengthen Social Security,” is now online.  This is an update of the July 18 draft.  The final version of this report is scheduled to be posted in about one week.

(7/26/01) On July 20, 2001, the Congressional Budget Office released a Cost Estimate for H.R. 2315, “Patients' Bill of Rights Act of 2001.” On the same date, CBO released a Cost Estimate for S. 1052, “Bipartisan Patients' Bill of Rights Act.”

(7/26/01) In a press release dated July 24, 2001, Hewitt Associates announced key findings from a recent survey titled "Health Promotion/Managed Health Provided by Major U.S. Employers in 2000."

(7/26/01) On July 18, 2001, The Center for Retirement Research at Boston College released a new Issue in Brief titled “Are Americans Saving Enough for Retirement?” by Cori E. Uccello.

(7/26/01) The American Association of Health Plans has posted the following regarding the three Patients' Rights Bills: “Summary Comparison of Key Issues in: Kennedy-McCain Bill; Ganske-Dingell Bill; and Fletcher-Peterson Bill,” dated July 23, 2001.

(7/25/01) A joint report released by the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities and The Century Foundation, “Perspectives on the Draft Interim Report of the President’s Commission to Strengthen Social Security" is by Henry J. Aaron, Alan S. Blinder, Alicia H. Munnell, and Peter R. Orszag.

(7/25/01) The Department of Labor announces that the 2001 National Summit on Retirement Savings Web site is now available.

(7/25/01) The research paper, "Private Pensions: Coverage and Benefit Trends" was written for the Conversation on Coverage by Alicia Munnell and Annika Sundén, at the Center for Retirement Research.

(7/25/01) Click here for “EGTRRA: Economic Growth and Tax Relief Reconciliation Act of 2001: Provisions Relating to Pension and Profit-Sharing Plans” which presents a Society of Actuaries summary of the legislation.

(7/24/01) On July 19, 2001, Families USA issued a press release announcing key findings from its recent special report titled “The Health Care Safety Net: Millions of Low-Income People Left Uninsured.”

(7/24/01) BusinessWeek Online has posted the Special Report: “How to Retire” from the July 30, 2001, issue.

(7/24/01) The Subcommittee on Employer-Employee Relations’ hearing on H.R. 2269, The Retirement Security Advice Act, was held July 17, 2001.

(7/23/01) The American Academy of Actuaries has made available a paper titled “The Impact of Inordinately Low 30-Year Treasury Rates on Defined Benefit Plans,” dated July 11, 2001.

(7/23/01) The Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland features “Life-Cycle Income and Consumption Variability” by Peter Rupert and Chris Telmer in its Economic Commentary series dated March 1, 2001.

(7/23/01) On June 26, 2001, Rep. Ernest L. Fletcher introduced in the U.S. House of Representatives H.R.2315, “Patients' Bill of Rights Act of 2001.” A Bill Summary & Status is available.

(7/23/01) On June 12, 2001, Rep. Tom Davis introduced in the U.S. House of Representatives H.R.2125, “To amend the Internal Revenue Code of 1986 to allow Federal civilian and military retirees to pay health insurance premiums on a pretax basis and to allow a deduction for TRICARE supplemental premiums.” A Bill Summary & Status is available. On the same date, Sen. John Warner introduced in the U.S. Senate a companion bill, S.1022, of the same title. A Bill Summary & Status is available.

(7/23/01) On June 28, 2001, Rep. Jerry Weller introduced in the U.S. House of Representatives H.R.2370, “To amend the Internal Revenue Code of 1986 to modify the exception from the treatment of welfare benefit funds for 10-or-more employer plans.” A Bill Summary & Status is available.

(7/23/01) On June 28, 2001, Sen. Bob Graham introduced in the U.S. Senate S.1135, “Medicare Reform Act of 2001.” A Bill Summary & Status is available.

(7/20/01) The Washington Post has posted the Staff Draft (revised July 18, 2001) of The President’s Commission to Strengthen Social Security’s report.

(7/20) The Social Security Advisory Board has posted Social Security: Why Action Should Be Taken Soon (Revised Edition, July 2001.)

(7/20) The 2000 WorldatWork/EBRI Value of Benefits Survey: Value of Benefits Remains Constant in a Changing Job Environment is available on the WorldatWork Web site.

(7/20/01) The Vanguard Center for Retirement Research has published a paper on automatic enrollment in defined contribution plans titled: Automatic Enrollment: Benefits and Costs of Adoption.

(7/20/01) AARP has announced the release of a new study titled “In the Middle: A Report on Multicultural Boomers Coping With Family and Aging Issues.”

(7/20/01) On July 17, 2001, ABCNews.com released the results of a recent poll titled “Upbeat on Retirement: Confidence Continues to Grow.”

(7/20/01) The U.S. Joint Committee on Taxation has posted a “List of Expiring Federal Tax Provisions: 2001-2010,” JCX-56-01, dated June 25, 2001.

(7/19/01) Knowledge@Wharton asked Wharton faculty members who follow health care issues for their views on what the final Patients’ Bill of Rights bill should include: “When Taking Two Aspirin Won't Do: A Primer on the Patients' Bill of Rights.”

(7/18/01) The Milliman USA Employee Benefits Research Group, in the Legislative Information Bulletin, provides “EGTRRA: Analysis of the New Retirement Plan Rules” in three Special Editions:

 (7/18/01) “Employee Benefit Provisions Beyond Pension Reform” by Deloitte & Touche provides additional information from the Economic Growth and  Tax Relief Reconciliation Act of 2001.

(7/18/01) Click here to read: "Pharmacy Benefits Companies Hone Strategies to Contain Costs and Improve Quality" by Mari Edlin [Healthplan 42(3):66-68, 2001 © 2001 AAHP]

(7/18/01) The 2001 edition of Financing Child Care in the United States, a catalog of innovative financing strategies issued by the Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation in Kansas City, is mentioned in The Christian Science Monitor July 16 article by Neal Learner: “More expensive than college: What parents can do when the cost of sending a toddler to child care is.”

(7/18/01) This July 2001 Special Edition of the IRS Employee Plans News “alerts the pension community of two important releases impacting the determination letter program.  On June 28, 2001, the IRS released Announcement 2001-77 and Notice 2001-42.  Both documents will be published in the Internal Revenue Bulletin (IRB) on July 23, 2001.  Announcement 2001-77 explains how the Service is modifying its procedures and forms to simplify the determination letter process, including allowing adopters of pre-approved plans to obtain reliance without a determination letter.   Notice 2001-42 provides guidance regarding the amendment of qualified plans for the Economic Growth and Tax Relief Reconciliation Act of 2001 (EGTRRA).”

(7/17/01) For general information and study, Ernst & Young has prepared a four-part analysis of  The Economic Growth and Tax Relief Reconciliation Act of 2001:

  • Tax Changes

  • Education Incentives

  • Estate Changes

  • Pension—IRA Changes

 (7/17/01) The following article by Joel Dresang appeared in the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel on July 16, 2001,  "Medical Costs Drive Contracts: Workers Choose Low Health Care Premiums Over Increased Wages."

(7/17/01) Watson Wyatt has posted "Retirement Plan Provisions: What, When, and How Much? Economic Growth and Tax Relief Act of 2001."

(7/17/01) Click here for The Brookings Institution’s March 2001 Policy Brief titled: "A Prescription to Relieve Worker Anxiety" by Lori G. Kletzer and Robert E. Litan.

(7/12/01) Million Dollar Round Table (MDRT) has released the results of its recent MDRT Women and Retirement Survey.

(7/12/01) The Kaiser Family Foundation has announced a new resource titled State Health Facts Online, featuring “the latest state-level data on demographics, health, and health policy, including health coverage, access, financing, and state legislation.”

(7/11/01) On July 6, 2001, the U.S. Department of Labor’s Pension and Welfare Benefits Administration issued a press release titled “PWBA Extends Date for Group Health Plans to Comply with Claims Procedure Requirements.”

(7/11/01) The Internal Revenue Service has posted Notice 2001-42, “Amendment of Qualified Plans for the Economic Growth and Tax Relief Reconciliation Act of 2001.”

(7/11/01) The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) posted a press release dated July 6, 2001, titled "HHS Issues First Guidance on New Patient Privacy Protections" with respect to the “National Standards to Protect the Privacy of Personal Health Information.”

(7/9/01) The Kaiser Family Foundation has posted “Prescription Drug Coverage for Medicare Beneficiaries: A Side-by-Side Comparison of Selected Proposals,” prepared by Health Policy Alternatives, Inc.

(7/9/01) The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics has posted updated data for “Employer Costs for Employee Compensation.”

(7/6/01) The full text of S.1052, “Bipartisan Patient Protection Act,” as passed by the U.S. Senate on June 29, 2001, is now available.

(7/6/01) The transcript of the July 2, 2001, PBS Online Newshour program, which featured a discussion of the Senate-passed Patients’ Bill of Rights, is available.

(7/5/01) The American Society of Pension Actuaries (ASPA) has posted the June 28, 2001, issue of ASPA ASAP titled “Treasury Finalizes New Comparability Regulations.”

(7/5/01) Hewitt Associates has recently released a report titled “Managing Time Off 2000/2001.”

(7/5/01) The June 28, 2001, Heritage Foundation Backgrounder, “Improving Americans' Health Care Coverage Through Defined Contributions,” is by James Frogue and Grace-Marie Turner.

(7/3/01) The National Conference of State Legislatures has updated their Web page titled “Health Care Program: Managed Care Insurer Liability” which has numerous resources on the issue.

 (7/3/01) On June 29, 2001, the Federal Register published the Internal Revenue Service final regulations for “Nondiscrimination Requirements for Certain Defined Contribution Retirement Plans.”

 (7/3/01) The Health Industries Research Companies (HIRC) has posted a press release dated June 26, 2001, titled “Employers Shifting More Responsibility to Employees.”

(7/1/01) In “Federal Budget Chart Book 2001,” The the Kaiser Family Foundation examines the President's and Congress' Fiscal Year 2002 budget plans for health spending and provides some historical data and future projections.

(7/1/01) The Investment Company Institute has posted “Details of the Retirement Security Advice Bill" (H.R. 2269).

(7/1/01) Click here for a discussion of PlanSponsor’s key findings from its latest “Annual Recordkeeping Survey.”  Click here to go to “America’s Top Recordkeepers – 2001.”  Click here to read “Survival of the Fittest.”

(7/1/01) On June 26, 2001, PlanSponsor.com posted an article titled “High Court Weighs Employer Leave Versus FMLA.”

(7/1/01) The U.S. Health Care Financing Administration (HCFA) has been renamed the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS).

 (7/1/01) In a press release dated June 14, 2001, American Century announced key findings from the second annual “J.P. Morgan/American Century Retirement Plan Services 401(k) Quiz.”

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Updated 8/1/01