What's New - June 2007

Index to All Months                                                                                                    Return to Current Month

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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:

EBRI Publishes Detailed Look at U.S. Retirement System:  With the oldest of the nation’s baby boomers turning 60 this year, the nonpartisan Employee Benefit Research Institute (EBRI) has published an in-depth book on the U.S. retirement system and how it may change in the future.

June 2007 EBRI Issue Brief - "Minority Workers Remain Confident About Retirement, Despite Lagging Preparations and False Expectations"

June 2007 EBRI Notes - "Labor-Force Participation: The Population Age 55 and Older" and "Tax Expenditures and Employee Benefits: Estimates from the FY 2008 Budget"

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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.

EBRI Fact Sheet on PBGC - A four-page fact sheet with background information, key data and charts, and information links about the Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation (PBGC), the federal agency that insures the traditional pensions of about 44 million Americans.

Frequently Asked Questions About Benefits - This section of EBRI's Web site is designed to answer basic questions about major benefit issues and trends. It provides short, graphical answers, with links to the detailed data underlying the figure. In addition, references are provided to the relevant EBRI publication.


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
"Economic Insecurity Challenges" by David M. Walker, comptroller general of the United States, before the Rockefeller Foundation Trustees and Executives Dinner on Economic Insecurity in America, in New York, New York. GAO-07-1060CG, June 20, 2007. [Text]

"The Challenges and Opportunities of Demographic Change in America" by David M. Walker, comptroller general of the United States, before the Center for Productive Longevity's National Conference on the New Human Resources Frontier: Utilizing Older Workers for Competitive Advantage, in Washington, D.C. GAO-07-1061CG, June 7, 2007. [Slides]

"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 University of South Florida, in Tampa, Florida. GAO-07-937CG, May 30. [slides]

Reports
Retiree Health Benefits: Majority of Sponsors Continued to Offer Prescription Drug Coverage and Chose the Retiree Drug Subsidy. GAO-07-572, May 31. Highlights.

Testimony
Health Information Technology: Efforts Continue but Comprehensive Privacy Approach Needed for National Strategy, by Linda D. Koontz and Valerie C. Melvin, directors, information management issues, before the Subcommittee on Information Policy, Census, and National Archives, House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform. GAO-07-988T, June 19. 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.


[6/29/07]  Business Insurance:  "Health Cost-Sharing Could Cost More Overall: Study"

[6/29/07]  Hewitt Associates:  "HMOs Propose Highest Rate Increases in Four Years, According to Hewitt Analysis"

[6/29/07]  Medicare Payment Advisory Commission:  Report to the Congress: Promoting Greater Efficiency in Medicare

[6/29/07]  Congressional Research Service:  The Cigarette Tax Increase to Finance SCHIP

[6/28/07]  U.S. Department of Labor:  "Report on FMLA Request for Information Issued by U.S. Department of Labor" [News Release] Executive Summary. Full Report.

[6/28/07]  HR Policy Association:  "HR Policy Association Announces Retiree Health Access, First of a Kind Health Insurance Solution for Pre- and Post-65 Retirees: Major Companies Collaborate to Encourage Marketplace to Offer Innovative Solution to Retirees"

[6/28/07]  Centers for Disease Control and Prevention:  "New CDC Report Documents Percentage of People Without Health Insurance" [Media Brief]  Full Report.

[6/28/07]  Kaiser Daily Health Policy Report:  "Poll Finds Most Massachusetts Residents Support New Health Reform Law as Initial Deadline to Purchase Coverage NearsMassachusetts Health Reform Tracking Survey.

[6/27/07]  Committee on Investment of Employee Benefit Assets:  Defined Contribution Fee Disclosure Best Practices

[6/27/07]  Prudential Financial’s Pension Analyst:  "Pension Protection Act of 2006 Changes Affect Single-Employer Defined Benefit Plans in 2008"

[6/27/07]  Prudential Financial’s Pension Analyst:  "Pension Protection Act of 2006 Requires Major Changes to Multiemployer Defined Benefit Plans in 2008 and Beyond"

[6/27/07]  National Center for Employee Ownership:  The Employee Ownership 100: America’s Largest Majority Employee-Owned Companies [May 2007]

[6/26/07]  Society for Human Resource Management:  "Employee Benefits See Little Change from 2006"

[6/26/07]  U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics:  Health Benefit Costs and Establishment Size, March 2007

[6/26/07]  Institute of Medicine:  Learning What Works Best: The Nation’s Need for Evidence on Comparative Effectiveness in Health Care [Executive Summary]

[6/26/07]  Kaiser Daily Health Policy Report:  "Bipartisan Group of Senators Introduces Health Care IT Bill"

[6/25/07]  U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics:  Employer Costs for Employee Compensation--March 2007

[6/25/07]  Buck Consultants FYI:  "PBGC Issues Proposed Regulations on Variable Rate Premiums under PPA"

[6/25/07]  Investment Company Institute Research Fundamentals:  "Fees and Expenses of Mutual Funds, 2006"

[6/25/07]  Social Security Bulletin:  "Coping with the Demographic Challenge: Fewer Children and Living Longer"

[6/22/07]  MetLife:  5th Annual Study of Employee Benefits Trends

[6/22/07]  Internal Revenue Service:  Employee Plans News [Summer 2007]

[6/22/07]  National Education Association:  Characteristics of Large Public Education Pension Plans

[6/22/07]  Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Research Highlight:  "Reinsuring Health: A Proposal to Make Health Insurance More Affordable"

[6/22/07]  U.S. House Committee on Ways and Means Subcommittee on Health:  Hearing on "Beneficiary Protections in Medicare Part D" [with links to testimonies]

[6/22/07]  The Commonwealth Fund’s In the Literature:  "Estimating the Effects of Prescription Drug Coverage for Medicare Beneficiaries"

[6/20/07]  Sibson Consulting Bulletin:  "Federal Appeals Court Upholds EEOC’s Proposed ‘Erie County’ Exemption to the ADEA"

[6/20/07]  Watson Wyatt Insider:  "Senate Approves Drug Importation Provisions"

[6/20/07]  Congressional Research Service:  Social Security: The Notch Issue

[6/20/07]  Center for Retirement Research at Boston College:  Financing Long-Term Care: Lessons from Abroad

[6/19/07]  Sibson Consulting’s Capital Checkup:  "CMS Proposes Changing Deadline for Submitting Medicare Part D Retiree Drug Subsidy Applications"

[6/19/07]  Watson Wyatt Insider:  "Retirement Issues Remain on Legislative Agenda"

[6/19/07]  Principal Financial Group:  The Principal Financial Well-Being Index Executive Summary - Second Quarter 2007

[6/19/07]  Social Security Bulletin:  "Projections of Economic Well-Being for Social Security Beneficiaries in 2022 and 2062"

[6/18/07]  Business Insurance:  "DOE Scraps Plan to End Pension Reimbursements"

[6/18/07]  Pensions & Investments:  "Top 100 Plans Fully Funded"

[6/18/07]  Government Executive:  "Employee Groups Back Automatic TSP Enrollment, New Default Fund"

[6/18/07]  The Commonwealth Fund:  Aiming Higher: Results from a State Scorecard on Health System Performance

[6/13/07]  The ERISA Industry Committee:  "ERIC Unveils New Benefit Platform for Life Security: Major Employers Introduce Platform for New Option for Health and Retirement Security"

[6/13/07]  National Institute on Aging:  Growing Older in America: The Health & Retirement Study

[6/13/07]  U.S. Office of Personnel Management:  Results of the 2006 Federal Benefits Survey

[6/13/07]  Hewitt Associates:  IRS Issues Additional Proposed Comparable Contribution Regulations for HSAs

[6/13/07]  Managed Care Magazine:  "Mental Health Parity Gets Closer to Reality"

[6/13/07]  Buck Consultants FYI:  "CMS Unveils 12-Step Reconciliation Process for Retiree Drug Subsidy (RDS)"

[6/13/07]  Benefits & Compensation Digest:  "An Overview of U.S. Health Care Reform Proposals and Employer Initiatives"

[6/13/07]  Watson Wyatt Insider:  "Treasury Issues Final Regulations on 409A NQDC Rules"

[6/12/07]  U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics:  National Compensation Survey: Employee Benefits in Private Industry in the United States, 2005

[6/12/07]  Buck Consultants FYI:  "IRS Defines Normal Retirement Age"

[6/12/07]  Prudential Financial:  Compliance Checklist 2007: For Defined Benefit Plans, Defined Contribution Plans and 403(b) Plans That Are Subject to ERISA

[6/12/07]  Prudential Financial:  Compliance Checklist 2007: For Governmental and Nonelecting Church Plans, Non-ERISA 403(b) Programs, 457 Plans, and Other Nonqualified Executive Benefit Plans That Are Not Subject to ERISA

[6/12/07]  National Association of Health Underwriters:  "New Study: Supplemental Employee Benefits Are the Coming Trend"

[6/12/07]  Human Resource Executive Online:  "Debating Presidential [Health-Care Reform] Policies," by Dallas Salisbury

[6/11/07]  Buck Consultants FYI:  "IRS Issues Proposed Regulations on Mortality Tables under PPA"

[6/11/07]  National Conference of State Legislatures:  State Laws Mandating or Regulating Mental Health Benefits

[6/11/07]  The Commonwealth Fund:  ChartCart: “Online resource that offers free and convenient access to Commonwealth Fund charts”

[6/11/07]  The CPA Journal:  "TIPRA and the Roth IRA: New Planning Opportunity for High-Income Taxpayers"

[6/7/07]  Business Insurance:  "Massachusetts Agency OKs Minimum Required Health Coverage"

[6/7/07]  National Center for Policy Analysis Policy Report No. 298:  "Does It Pay to Save?"

[6/7/07]  The Christian Science Monitor:  "When Does It Pay to Take Social Security Benefits Early?"

[6/7/07]  Center for Retirement Research at Boston College:  Older Workers: Lessons from Japan

[6/6/07]  Sibson Consulting Spotlight:  "Carpe Opportunitatem: Think Beyond PPA’06-Required Participant Communications"

[6/6/07]  Center for Retirement Research at Boston College:  Literacy, Trust and 401(k) Savings Behavior [Working Paper]

[6/6/07]  Aon Consulting:  Spring 2007 Health Care Trend Survey

[6/6/07]  National Health Policy Forum Background Paper:  "The Fundamentals of Health Savings Accounts and High-Deductible Health Plans"

[6/5/07]  Internal Revenue Service Bulletin 2007-23:  Announcement 2007-55: Rollovers to Prototype Roth IRAs

[6/5/07]  TIAA-CREF Institute:  Designing Public-Sector Pensions for the 21st Century: A Risk-Managed Approach

[6/5/07]  AARP:  AARP Segunda Juventud Hispanic Retirement Study: Financial Matters [Overview].  Full Report.

[6/5/07]  Congressional Research Service:  Social Security: The Chilean Approach to Retirement

[6/5/07]  The Brookings Institution:  Evolving Beyond Traditional Employer-Sponsored Health Insurance

[6/5/07]  HealthCareCoach.com:  "How Can I Evaluate Health Reform Proposals?"

[6/4/07]  Aon Consulting:  2007 Benefits and Talent Survey

[6/4/07]  U.S. Department of the Treasury Internal Revenue Service:  Employer Comparable Contributions to Health Savings Accounts Under Section 4980G; Notice of proposed rulemaking and notice of public hearing [published in the Federal Register on June 1, 2007]

[6/4/07]  Watson Wyatt Worldwide:  "Rising Health Care Costs Worrying Workers, Watson Wyatt Survey Finds" [Press Release].  2007 Employee Perspectives on Health Care: Voice of the Consumer [Executive Summary]

[6/4/07]  Health Affairs:  "Setting a Standard of Affordability for Health Insurance Coverage -- Findings Using National Data Could Help Massachusetts Determine What Is ‘Affordable’ for Its Health Insurance Reforms"

[6/4/07]  The Wall Street Journal Online/Harris Interactive Personal Finance Poll:  "Sixty-Nine Percent of Employed U.S. Adults Receive Some Type of Retirement/Savings Benefit from Their Employer"

[6/4/07]  Governmental Accounting Standards Board:  "GASB Reconciles Disclosure Requirements for Governmental Pensions and Retiree Healthcare"

[6/1/07]  Sibson Consulting:  Rewards of Work Study: Benefit Satisfaction, Retention and Productivity

[6/1/07]  Sibson Consulting Perspectives:  "Why Benefits Matter and How to Maximize the ROI"

[6/1/07]  Watson Wyatt Insider:  "Executive Compensation Provisions Dropped from Minimum Wage Package"

[6/1/07]  ICMA-RC:  "DOL Weighs Stable Value Fund as a Default Option"

[6/1/07]  U.S. Joint Committee on Taxation:  Technical Explanation of the “Small Business and Work Opportunity Tax Act of 2007” and Pension Related Provisions Contained in H.R. 2206 As Considered by the House of Representatives on May 24, 2007

[6/1/07]  Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation:  Premium Rates; Payment of Premiums; Variable-Rate Premium; Pension Protection Act of 2006; Proposed rule [published in the Federal Register on May 31, 2007]

[6/1/07]  JPMorgan Chase & Co.:  Final Roth 401(k) Regulations Published

[6/1/07]  McKinsey & Company:  The Coming Shakeout in the Defined Benefit Market

[6/1/07] Society of Actuaries:  The SOA’s Committee on Living to 100 Research Symposia invites you to its third, triennial international symposium on high-age mortality and related issues taking place January 7-9, 2008, in Orlando, Florida.  Actuaries, demographers, gerontologists, and other professionals from around the world will be among those presenting papers on such thought-provoking subjects as:

  • mortality trends and projection methods;
  • theories on aging;
  • enhanced mortality rate and population projections; and
  • implications of an aging population for social, financial, health care, and retirement systems.

Click here for further information.

Updated 6/29/07