What's New

What's New - June 2001

Index to All Months                            s

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What's new at EBRI this month:

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

The executive summary of the June 2001 EBRI Issue Brief: "EBRI 2001 Retirement Surveys: Retirement Confidence Survey (RCS), Minority RCS, and Small Employer Retirement Survey (SERS)"

The executive summary of the June 2001 EBRI Notes: “Characteristics of Individual Retirement Account Owners” and “Income of the Retired Population”

Small Employer Retirement Survey: EBRI released the results of the 2001 Small Employer Retirement Survey (SERS) on May 16, 2001, in Washington, DC.

Retirement Confidence Survey: EBRI released the results of the 2001 Retirement Confidence  Survey (RCS) and the Minority RCS on May 10, 2001, in Washington, DC, at the National Press  Club. 

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:

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.

Private Health Insurance: Federal Role in Enforcing New Standards Continues to Evolve.  GAO-01-652R, May 7, 2001.

Retiree Health Benefits: Employer-Sponsored Benefits May Be Vulnerable to Further Erosion.  GAO-01-374, May 1, 2001.

Mutual Fund Fees: SEC's Report Provides Useful Information and Recommends Improved Fee Disclosure. GAO-01-655R, May 3, 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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(6/27/01) The Kaiser Family Foundation has released a study of currently enacted managed care liability provisions in state law:  “Comparison of State Managed Care Liability Laws.”

(6/27/01) Click here for a chart outlining “Health Plan Liability Side-By-Side” on those issues in the First-Breaux-Jeffords (S. 889) bill and the McCain-Kennedy (S. 283) bill.

(6/26/01) On June 21, 2001, Rep. John Boehner introduced in the U.S. House of Representatives H.R.2269, “Retirement Security Advice Act of 2001.”  A Bill Summary & Status is available.

 (6/26/01) On June 20, 2001, Senator Charles Grassley introduced in the U.S. Senate S.1067, “Medical Savings Account Availability Act of 2001.”  A Bill Summary & Status is available.

 (6/26/01) In a press release dated June 6, 2001, Ariel Mutual Funds announced key findings from its latest Ariel/Schwab Black Investor Survey, “Saving and Investing Among High Income African-American and White Americans.”  The survey was commissioned jointly by Ariel Mutual Funds and Charles Schwab & Co., Inc.

 (6/26/01) Click here for “Key Employer Concerns with Patients' Bill of Rights Legislative Proposals” (Kennedy-McCain- Edwards and Frist-Breaux-Jeffords) by the American Benefits Council.

(6/25/01) On Excite News from Reuters: On June 22, 2001, Japan’s Upper House passed a law that will introduce a version of the U.S. 401(k) retirement savings plan in that country. The defined contribution pension law will allow, for the first time, working individuals to choose how to invest part of their pension money. The law goes into effect on October 1.

(6/25/01) The June 2001 issue of Benefit Insights, published by W.E. Stanley & Co., Inc., features an article titled “Charging Participants Plan Expenses.”

(6/22/01) The “International Foundation for Retirement Education (InFRE) is a not-for-profit educational foundation dedicated to empowering working Americans with the motivation and capability to save and plan for a successful retirement.”   Current and past newsletters are available at no charge for downloading or viewing as Adobe Acrobat documents.

(6/22/01) The Federal Reserve Board has released remarks by Governor Edward M. Gramlich at the National Savings Forum, Washington, D.C., June 20, 2001, titled “Saving by Low- and Moderate-Income Households.”

(6/22/01) The Employment Policy Foundation has released a Policy Backgrounder dated June 20, 2001, titled “Patients’ Rights Legislation: The Triangle of Health Insurance: Quality, Cost and Access.”

 (6/22/01) On June 14, 2001, Senator John McCain introduced in the U.S. Senate S. 1052, “Bipartisan Patient Protection Act.” A Bill Summary & Status is available.

 (6/22/01) The Federal Reserve Board has released a paper dated April 2001 titled “The Importance of Employer-to-Employer Flows in the U.S. Labor Market,” coauthored by Bruce C. Fallick and Charles A. Fleischman.

(6/22/01) On June 26, 2000, Rep. John Boehner introduced in the U.S. House of Representatives H.R. 4747, "Retirement Security Advice Act of 2000." Rep. Boehner is expected to introduce a new bill this week based on H.R. 4747.

(6/21/01) “Mutual Funds and the Retirement Market in 2000” a June 2001 publication from the Investment Company Institute is available on their Web site.

(6/21/01) PlanSponsor.com is providing a “Washington Insider: Track Patients' Bill of Rights Legislation” page with links to articles, the bills at issue, and various reference materials.

(6/21/01) The report, "How Accessible is Individual Health Insurance for Consumers in Less-Than-Perfect Health?," is available online at the Kaiser Family Foundation site.  The study was conducted for Kaiser by researchers at Georgetown University’s Institute for Health Care Research and Policy.

(6/20/01) The National Academy of Social Insurance May 22 press release titled “Workers' Compensation Benefits Decline as a Percent of Wages for Seven Years in a Row,” concerns the report “Workers' Compensation: Benefits, Coverage, and Costs, 1999 New Estimates, 1996--1998 Revisions.”

(6/20/01) On June 15, 2001, PlanSponsor.com posted an article titled “Pension Plans Boost Company Earnings by 6%” which announced key findings from a report published by Analyst’s Accounting Observer.

(6/20/01) The American Benefits Council has posted a chart of   “Key Employer Concerns with Patients' Bill of Rights Legislative Proposals.”

(6/19/01) On February 13, 2001, Senator Thomas Daschle introduced in the U.S. Senate S. 318, “A bill to prohibit discrimination on the basis of genetic information with respect to health insurance.” A Bill Summary & Status is available.

 (6/19/01) The International Social Security Association has made available Databases-SSW: Social Security Worldwide which offers five different databases on social security systems in over 170 countries.

 (6/19/01) The Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland has released a June 2001 Working Paper titled “Does Participating in a 401(k) Raise Your Lifetime Taxes?” by Jagadeesh Gokhale, Laurence J. Kotlikoff, and Todd Neumann.

(6/18/01) The Short Run is an economics and financial news and information site.

(6/18/01) The Office of Inspector General of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services has posted “Managed Care Organization Nonreporting to the National Practitioner Data Bank: A Signal for Broader Concern,” dated May 2001.

(6/18/01) Click here for the May 24 news release with links to the tables on Contingent and Alternative Employment Arrangements, February 2001.

(6/15/01) In a press release dated June 14, 2001, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Secretary Tommy G. Thompson announced the new name--Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services--for the agency currently known as the Health Care Financing Administration. Additional information about plans for restructuring the agency may also be found in this press release, as well as in an HHS Fact Sheet, also dated June 14, 2001.

(6/15/01) BenefitsLink has posted “Benefits Maneuvers, Midsized” by Brian Goebel originally published 6/1/01 in Risk Management.   The article concerns the choices employers make about the procurement, administration and communication of group medical benefits.

(6/15/01) The Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ) issued a press release on June 5 announcing availability of the 1997 Medical Expenditure Panel Survey (MEPS) health care use and expenditure data.

(6/15/01) The following papers investigate the relationships between demographics, retirement, and the financial markets:

(6/15/01) The State Health Workforce Profiles compile data on supply, demand, distribution, education and use of health personnel.

(6/15/01) The Ameristat Web site,  maintained by the Population Reference Bureau provides "instant summaries -- in graphics and text -- of the demographic characteristics of the U.S. population."

(6/14/01) On June 12, 2001, the Subcommittee on Employer-Employee Relations of the U.S. House of Representatives Committee on Education and the Workforce held a hearing titled "ERISA: The Foundation of Employee Health Coverage."  The opening statement of Chairman Sam Johnson and the testimonies of four witnesses have been made available.

(6/14/01) The Consumer Federation of American has posted a survey titled “America Saves,” dated December 20, 2000, conducted by Princeton Survey Research Associates on behalf of CFA and Bank of America.

(6/14/01) Click here for the new report from The Commonwealth Fund: “How the New Labor Market is Squeezing Workforce Health Benefits.”

(6/12/01) The President’s Commission to Strengthen Social Security held its first public hearing yesterday.

(6/12/01) “The primary purpose of the eHealth Initiative (eHI) is to promote the rapid adoption of Internet-enabled and other emerging technologies…” and “…to give the eHealth community a voice and visibility in the public policy-making process.”

(6/12/01) Deloitte & Touche has made available excerpts from “Health Care 2001,” an annual assessment of the health care industry produced in collaboration with VHA Inc.

(6/12/01) The Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation has released “Chart Pack: Recent Attitudes Towards Patients’ Rights and Managed Care.”

(6/8/01) From the White House Office of the Press Secretary on June 7, 2001: Remarks by the President in Tax Cut Bill Signing Ceremony [the Economic Growth and Tax Relief Reconciliation Act of 2001 (H.R. 1836)].

(6/7/01) The National Council on the Aging has launched www.BenefitsCheckUp.org to provide older Americans access to information about federal and state benefits to which they may be entitled.

(6/7/01)  On Excite News from Reuters: Japan's Lower House health and labour committee may vote Friday on legislation for a Japanese version of the 401(k) defined contribution plan bringing the government one step closer to legislation to be enacted by the close of parliament on June 29.

(6/6/01) Click here for The 2001 401(k) Providers Buyer’s Guide at CFO.com with charts showing:

  • High-End 401(k) Providers [providers with at least $8 billion in total 401(k) assets]

  • Midrange 401(k) Providers [providers with under $8 billion in plan assets]

(6/5/01) "The Taxation of Retirement Saving: Choosing Between Front-Loaded and Back-Loaded Options," a May 31, 2001, paper by Leonard Burman, William Gale, and David Weiner is available on The Brookings Institution site.

(6/5/01) In a press release dated May 22, 2001, Putnam Investments announced key findings from its study titled “Retirement Savings in an Unsettled Economy.”

(6/5/01) The April 2001 issue of Drug Benefit Trends features an article titled “Employers Offer Different Incentives to Encourage Generic Use.” [NOTE: Registration may be required to access the article.]

(6/5/01) The April 2001 issue of Drug Benefit Trends features an article titled “New Accreditation Program for Health Web Sites,” by Paula C. Ohliger. [NOTE: Registration may be required to access the article.]

(6/4/01) Plan Sponsor magazine has posted a two-part article titled “Bridging the Cultural Divide - Part One: Speaking Your Employee's Language” and “Bridging the Cultural Divide - Part Two: Know Your Employees.”  The articles address some of the issues faced in communicating employee benefit plan information to a multicultural work force.   The first article opens by mentioning EBRI’s 2001 Minority Retirement Confidence Survey which also touched on challenges that may be encountered in a diverse work force environment.

(6/4/01) On May 31, 2001, ING Aetna Financial Services issued a press release announcing key findings from its survey titled “Boomers on the Brink.”

(6/1/01) According to the description on their Web site, “The Consumer Driven Health Care Association (CDHCA) was formed to promote awareness of the new approaches to health benefit programs.”

(6/1/01) The Guide to Law Online, created by the U.S. Law Library of Congress for the Global Legal Information Network, is a metasite which indexes online resources for legal information worldwide.

(6/1/01) On May 15, 2001, Senator Bill Frist introduced in the U.S. Senate S. 889, Bipartisan Patients' Bill of Rights Act of 2001.  A Bill Summary & Status is available.

(6/1/01) The Administration on Aging has posted a variety of information resources pertaining to the Older Americans Act Amendments of 2000.  These include an overview and brief history, a summary of key changes in the 2000 amendments, and 35 frequently asked questions about the 2000 amendments, as well as additional resources.

(6/1/01) The Commonwealth Fund has made available a new report titled “Trends in Premiums, Cost-Sharing, and Benefits in Medicare+Choice Health Plans, 1999-2001,” by Marsha Gold and Lori Achman.

 (6/1/01) The Center for Studying Health System Change has posted its April 2001 Issue Brief titled “Tax Credits and Purchasing Pools: Will This Marriage Work?

(6/1/01) A new Web-based tool provides state-by-state employer-based health insurance data from the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality’s Medical Expenditure Panel Survey (MEPS) MEPSnet/IC Web site.

(5/31/01) The May 29 Compliance Alert, The Segal Company’s periodic electronic newsletter presents an “Overview of Title VI of HR 1836, as Passed by Congress.”  It “summarizes the provisions in H.R. 1836 that are most likely to be of interest to sponsors of employer-funded retirement plans.  (The provisions are marked to indicate the types of plan sponsors for which they are most likely to be of interest: C for corporate, PS for public sector and M for multiemployer.)”

(5/30/01) On May 26, 2001, the U.S. House and Senate approved a final compromise tax relief bill, the Economic Growth and Tax Relief Reconciliation Act of 2001 (H.R. 1836).  Click here for the final statutory text of the bill.  Go to pages 91-175 for the retirement savings provisions.

The U.S. House of Representatives Committee on Rules has posted a “Summary of Provisions Contained in the Conference Agreement for H.R. 1836, The Economic Growth & Tax Relief Reconciliation Act of 2001” (prepared by the staff of the Joint Committee on Taxation) and a “Joint Explanatory Statement,” which compares the House, Senate, and final version of this bill.

The American Benefits Council has posted a chart titled “Major Retirement Savings Provisions,” comparing current law, House, Senate, and final provisions of Title VI, “Pension and Individual Retirement Arrangement Provisions” from the “Joint Explanatory Statement” cited above.

This version of the chart from the American Benefits Council compares only current law and the final provisions of Title VI of the tax bill.

Additionally, Plan Sponsor magazine has posted “Pension Reform Provisions of The Economic Growth & Tax Relief Reconciliation Act of 2001”; while the Profit Sharing/401k Council of America has posted a document detailing the Internal Revenue Code sections affected by the changes to retirement savings provisions resulting from the passage of H.R. 1836.

The Joint Committee on Taxation has posted “Estimated Budget Effects of the Conference Agreement on H.R. 1836, the Tax Bill.”  (JCX-51-01, May 26, 2001. For Fiscal Years 2001 - 2011)

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