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What's New - July 1997

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(7-31-97) The Taxpayer Relief Act of 1997 is the omnibus bill that provides individual tax breaks, expands IRAs, and contains provisions dealing with pensions and retirement. The Balanced Budget Act of 1997 is the omnibus bill that addresses Medicare, Medicaid, and other entitlement spending, including various welfare programs.

Full text of these tax and entitlement spending bills is now on the Web.

(7-31-97) A summary of the Medicare provisions in the budget reconciliation bill is now available on the Senate Finance Committee Web site.

(7-30-97) The budget reconciliation spending bill (H.R. 2015) is available online at: http://speakernews.house.gov/budgtxt.htm. The July 29, 1997, press briefing by the White House budget team and background information and Presidential remarks are also available.

(7/30/97) The following report was added to the "Recently Issued Reports" page on the General Accounting Office's (GAO) World Wide Web site in Portable Document (PDF) format: Retiree Health Insurance: Erosion in Employer-Based Health Benefits for Early Retirees.

If the title link above no longer works, click here for the GAO Index of Reports and Testimony, FY97, and search for the report by entering words or phrases from the title.

(7/29/97) The latest issue of the Families USA Field Report discusses the prospects for the passage of child health coverage legislation in this session of Congress.

(7/29/97) Read News Online for the week of July 28, 1997, compiled weekly by the staff of Pensions & Investments. Among the many items of interest is the following:

"The General Accounting Office hopes to report by early November the findings of a study on defined contribution plans, according to a source who declined to be identified. The study is looking at the extent defined contribution plans are invested in employer securities and real estate and ways to make participants’ retirement savings more secure in situations where the employer, not employees, choose how to invest the money. The study was launched at the request of the House Ways and Means Committee. Also part of the study: the differences between fiduciary rules for defined benefit and defined contribution plans, outside of ESOPs."

(7/28/97) The following item was added to the "Recently Issued Reports" page on the General Accounting Office's (GAO) World Wide Web site in Portable Document (PDF) format: Private Health Insurance: Continued Erosion of Coverage Linked to Cost Pressures.

If the title link above no longer works, click here for the GAO Index of Reports and Testimony, FY97, and search for the report by entering words or phrases from the title.

(7/28/97) Read testimony by John C. Goodman, president of the National Center for Policy Analysis, on Social Security: The Need for Radical Reform presented to the Subcommittee on Social Security of the U.S. House Committee on Ways And Means June 24, 1997.

(7/28/97) See also from the National Center for Policy Analysis -- Tax Briefing Book, edited by Joe Barnett and provides an analysis of America's tax history and the effects of its current tax policy. Chapters include:
Taxes and Growth, Taxes, Spending and Deficits, Tax Fairness, Taxes on Work, Taxes on Capital, Are Seniors Taxed Unfairly? and, Tax Reform proposals.

(7/25/97) The President's Advisory Commission on Consumer Protection and Quality in the Health Care Industry was created by President Clinton to "advise the President on changes occurring in the health care system and recommend such measures as may be necessary to promote and assure health care quality and value, and protect consumers and workers in the health care system."

(7/24/97) The Aon Group has published the 1997 U.S. Risk Management Survey. The 10th annual edition surveys risk managers on a variety of public policy, cost of risk and workplace issues.

(7/24/97) The table of contents and the cover story from the June 1997 issue of Plan Sponsor are available.

(7/23/97) Paul Yakoboski will be presenting EBRI's next educational briefing: "Lump Sum Distributions: Implications for Retirement Income Adequacy." The event will be held this Friday, July 25, in room B-369 of the Rayburn House Office Building, Washington, D.C. Doors will open at 9; the briefing will get under way at 9:30.

(7/23/97) See the BenefitsLink List of Employee Benefits Books on Amazon.com for an extensive listing of employee benefits titles.

(7/23/97) The July 21, 1997, edition of the Washington Status Report from the research staff at Hewitt Associates addresses federal budget and PBGC issues.

(7/22/97) Read News Online for the week of July 21, 1997, compiled weekly by the staff of Pensions & Investments.

(7/21/97) The comments of Dallas L. Salisbury, "The Future Role of Pensions in the Nation's Retirement System," on July 15, 1997, at the panel discussion at the General Accounting Office Conference, Retirement Income Security in the 21st Century are posted

(7/21/97) Available online is the introduction by Dallas L. Salisbury, at the U.S. Senate Special Committee on Aging forum, "Preparing for the Baby Boomers Retirement: The Role of Employment," on July 25, 1997.

(7/21/97) Issue Bulletin no. 242, July 17, 1997, features "How the 1998 Budget Denies American Workers a Payroll Tax Break" by Mark Wilson.

(7/21/97) Industry News on the Web site of the International Foundation of Employee Benefit Plans includes abstracts of proposed policy, legislation, and regulations and a list of proposed legislation recently introduced in Congress of interest to the employee benefits industry. The full text of these bills may be viewed on Thomas.

(7/18/97) The July issue of Watson Wyatt's Insider newsletter is available. Back issues starting with January 1997 are also on the Watson Wyatt site.

(7/17/97) EBRI is quoted extensively in the short article, "America's Pension System: Is There a Crisis?," on the Fidelity Investments Web site.

(7/17/97) Read News Online for the week of July 14, 1997; the feature is compiled weekly by the staff of Pensions & Investments.

(7/17/97) Late-breaking news items from the weekly publication Business Insurance are posted every Friday before the Monday issue date.

(7/17/97) The July 14, 1997, issue of the Washington Status Report from the research staff of Hewitt Associates addresses recent Federal budget and domestic partner benefits issues.

(7/16/97) The following item has been added to the "Recently Issued Reports" page on the General Accounting Office's World Wide Web site -- Retirement Income: Implications of Demographic Trends for Social Security and Pension Reform -- in Portable Document (PDF) format.

If the title link above no longer works, click here for the GAO Index of Reports and Testimony, FY97, and search for the report by entering words or phrases from the title.

(7/16/97) A recent survey by KPMG Peat Marwick LLP of 106 human resource executives at large companies finds that nearly one-quarter have employees who work remotely at least part of the time. For further information, see: Remote Access on the Rise -- Outsourcers Tapped to Support Telecommuting by Bruce Caldwell.

(7/15/97) The American Savings Education Council (ASEC) has just introduced a new savings tool -- the Ballpark Estimate worksheet. This easy-to-use, one-page worksheet is designed to help individuals quickly identify approximately how much savings they will need to live comfortably in retirement. The worksheet is available online in an interactive and noninteractive format in the "Savings Tools" section of ASEC Online. A printed copy of the brochure is available, along with ASEC's other brochures, by sending a self-addressed, stamped (78 cents postage), business sized envelope to: ASEC Savings Education Brochures, American Savings Education Council, Suite 600, 2121 K Street, NW, Washington, DC 20037-1896.

(7/15/97) "Medicare: Reform or Not, Here They Come," a new EBRI working paper by Paul Fronstin and Craig Copeland, is available in the members only section of the site.

(7/15/97) Information on the activities and publications of the Work in America Institute is now available at their Web site. The institute is a not-for-profit, tripartite work research organization noted in the field of human resource management.

(7/14/97) EBRI has just released its July 1997 monthly publications. "Domestic Partners Benfits," in July EBRI Notes, examines the nature and extent of domestic partner benefits, their appropriateness for any given organization, and the tax implications involved. The article also discusses costs, ways of establishing proof of a committed partnership, COBRA coverage, and the future of domestic partner benefits.

(7/14/97) "Expanding Health Insurance for Children: Examining the Alternatives," EBRI Issue Brief No. 187, is based on the March 1988-1996 supplements to the Current Population Survey. It contrasts uninsured and insured children and their parents in terms of family type, income and poverty levels; citizenship; parent's education work status, occupation, and health insurance status; and other variables, and analyzes the strengths and weaknesses of various approaches to extending children's coverage.

(7/14/97) Links to the latest Department of Labor Federal Register notices are available on the DOL Web site.

(7/14/97) Pension and Welfare Benefits Administration (PWBA) Federal Register documents are listed on the PWBA Web site. The most recent, as of 7/7/97, includes the Interim Rules for Amending ERISA Disclosure Requirements for Group Health Plans; Approval of Information Collection Requirements [Rules and Regulations] [07/07/97] [PDF Version]

(7/14/97) The 1997 Annual Report of the Board of Trustees of the Federal Old-Age and Survivors Insurance and Disability Insurance Trust Funds is now available in a hypertext version. The report is also available in Adobe PDF format (671,569 bytes).

(7/11/97) The Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland has published Structural Reform of the Social Security System: The Time Has Come by Jagadeesh Gokhale. The February 15, 1997, Economic Commentary article went to press in mid-June 1997.

(7/11/97) The International Foundation of Employee Benefit Plans is offering complimentary copies of the recently published study The Feasibility of Economically Targeted Investing -- A Wisconsin Case Study. The study, authored by Dr. Marc V. Levine, director of the University of Wisconsin - Milwaukee Center for Economic Development, examines the feasibility of an economically targeted investment (ETI) program in Wisconsin through the partnership of public and private pension funds.

(7/10/97) Read News Online for the week of July 7, 1997, compiled weekly by the staff of Pensions & Investments.

(7/10/97) The National Council on the Aging site presents its update of the federal budget status with comments on Medicare, Medicaid, and welfare concerns in the House and Senate budget bills.

(7/9/97) Late-breaking news items from the weekly publication Business Insurance are posted every Friday before the Monday issue date.

(7/9/97) The July 7, 1997, edition of the Washington Status Report from the research staff at Hewitt Associates includes updates on the federal budget, age 70 1/2 minimum distributions from retirement plans, accounting for pensions and other postretirement benefits, employer-provided adoption benefits, and HMOs.

(7/8/97) Federal Workforce: Agencies' Policies and Views on Flexiplace in the Federal Government is a report recently added to the General Accounting Office site.

If the title link above no longer works, click here for the GAO Index of Reports and Testimony, FY97, and search for the report by entering words or phrases from the title.

(7/7/97) A July 3 press release confirms that Labor Secretary Alexis M. Herman, Chairman of the PBGC Board of Directors, has appointed David M. Strauss, a senior White House official, as Executive Director of the Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation (PBGC).

(7/7/97) workindex is the new web site from Cornell University's School of Industrial Labor Relations and Human Resource Executive magazine. The index consists of links to workplace information sites on human resources, labor relations, benefits, training, technology, staffing, recruiting, leadership, motivation, insurance, relocation, and legal issues.

(7/3/97) Financially smart employees benefit the corporate bottom line is the key finding of an Ernst & Young LLP and Plan Sponsor magazine survey titled "The Business Case for Financial Education."

(7/2/97) Benefits Trendletter is a digest for senior managers on new trends in compensation, health care and retirement planning, as reported in the pages of Employee Benefit News.

(7/1/97) The National Library of Medicine, a part of the National Institutes of Health, began June 26, 1997, providing all Americans with free access to MEDLINE, the world's most extensive collection of published medical information, over the World Wide Web. NLM's experimental search service, PubMed, accesses the 9 million citations in MEDLINE and Pre-MEDLINE (with links to participating on-line journals) and other related databases.


Last updated 7/31/97

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