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What's New - June 1998

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What's New At EBRI this month:

The EBRI Social Security Reform Program's Web site contains three new additions. The Links page now connects to over 120 sites related to Social Security on the internet. Items on the Links page were selected to provide a broad range of views on the Social Security reform debate from government, private partisan, and private nonpartisan organizations. In addition, EBRI's written testimony for the Social Security subcommittee's hearing on June 3, 1998, "Social Security for this Generation and the Next, " presents a brief overview of potential employer consequences under a system of individual Social Security accounts. Finally, an updated program fact sheet provides information on the new capabilities added to the EBRI-SSASIM2 Policy Simulation Model.

Results of the 1998 Retirement Confidence Survey (RCS) were released to the public at the National Press Club, on Tuesday, June 2, at 9 a.m. In addition to examining the public's attitudes and expectations regarding retirement planning and saving, this year's survey also includes a special report on minority groups (African-Americans, Hispanic-Americans, and Asian-Americans). Results of the first Small Employer Retirement Survey (SERS) were also released at the same press conference. This survey explores the small employer's decision concerning whether to offer a retirement plan to its workers. Release of the surveys coincided with a joint hearing of the Senate Special Committee on Aging and the Subcommittee on Employer-Employee Relations of the House Committee on Education and the Workforce, held at 11 a.m. on June 2. In addition to focusing on barriers facing small business, the hearing addressed the barriers that prevent individuals from accumulating retirement savings. Click here for the findings of both surveys. General information about the RCS and SERS can also be reached from that page.

401(k) Plans: One-of-a-kind information begins to flow from new EBRI database: this research will allow us to understand the behavior of participants in employer plans.

Results from the 1998 Health Confidence Survey (HCS), co-sponsored by the Employee Benefit Research Institute and Mathew Greenwald and Associates, were released April 30 at the National Press Club in Washington, DC. Click here to go to the HCS home page where you will find a summary of the results.

(6/30/98) How to Deal with Public Concerns About Health Insurance by Carrie J. Gavora is a June 24, 1998, Backgrounder from The Heritage Foundation.

(6/29/98) The Council of Economic Advisers recently released Explaining Trends in the Gender Wage Gap.

(6/26/98) The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics released June 15, 1998, news release #98-240: Employee Benefits in Small Private Industry Establishments, 1996.

(6/25/98) Paul Fronstin of EBRI is testifying today before the Senate Labor and Human Resources Committee at a hearing on health insurance coverage for 55-64 year-olds. The hearing will be held at 10 a.m. in room 430 of the Dirksen Senate Office Building.

(6/24/98) Social Security's $20 Trillion Shortfall: Why Reform is Needed, by Daniel J. Mitchell, is a recent report from The Heritage Foundation.

(6/24/98) The June 22, 1998, issue of the Washington Status Report from the research staff of Hewitt Associates updates the following issues: Medicare+Choice, education benefits, the health insurance deduction for the self-employed, and tax simplification.

(6/23/98) What is Good for the Goose is Good for the Gander: ERISA, Federal Employee Health Benefits Act and Medicare Claims Denial and Appeals Procedures and Remedies is a recent analysis from the Association of Private Pension and Welfare Plans.

(6/23/98) The following item has been added to the General Accounting Office's Web site in Portable Document (PDF) format: Private Health Insurance: Declining Employer Coverage May Affect Access for 55- to 64-Year-Olds. HEHS-98-133. 97 pp. plus 9 appendices (23 pp.) June 1, 1998.

If a title link above no longer works, click here for the GAO Index of Reports and Testimony, FY98, and search for the report by entering words or phrases from the title.

The report will also be added to GAO's searchable WAIS database in ASCII and PDF formats within the next 24 hours.

Any individual report may be retrieved directly in text and PDF formats with the following URL: http://www.gao.gov/cgi-bin/getrpt?RPTNO replacing RPTNO with the report number (e.g., GAO/OCG-98-1).

(6/22/98) Aon Consulting has released a new study, America@Work, on employee commitment and workforce retention.

(6/18/98) The June 15, 1998, issue of the Washington Status Report from the research staff of Hewitt Associates updates the following issues: COBRA health coverage, education benefits, and the health insurance deduction for the self-employed.

(6/16/98) Click here for the remarks by David M. Strauss, Executive Director, Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation, before the Corporate Legislative Benefits Forum, in Washington, D.C., June 15, 1998.

(6/16/98) Click here for the latest News Online compiled weekly by the staff of Pensions & Investments.

(6/15/98) The Georgetown University Institute for Health Care Research and Policy has established the Home Page for Kassebaum-Kennedy Consumer Guides giving state-by-state guidance to the law.

(6/12/98) Late-breaking news items from the weekly publication Business Insurance are posted every Friday before the Monday issue date.

(6/11/98) The June 8, 1998, issue of the Washington Status Report from the research staff of Hewitt Associates updates the following issues: 401(k) plan elections; Age 70-1/2 minimum distributions from retirement plans; SAVER Summit on Retirement Savings; Waivers of age discrimination rights and claims; Medicare Part B payments; and, Plain language requirements for government documents.

(6/10/98) The Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation (PBGC) announced June 8, 1998, the availability of the latest edition of the statistical reference book, Pension Insurance Data Book 1997, which tracks the experience of the single-employer insurance program and the defined benefit pension plans that PBGC protects.

(6/9/98) Click here for Back to the Drawing Board: Why Tax Reform is the Key to Health Care Reform by Carrie J. Gavora, a June 8, 1998, Backgrounder from the Heritage Foundation.

(6/9/98) Click here for Social Security Reform in Other Nations, a June 4, 1998, Heritage Lecture delivered by Estelle James.

(6/9/98) Click here for Bold Steps: Australia and Other International Examples of Social Security Reform by David Harris, a May 27, 1998, Heritage Lecture.

(6/8/98) Policy Challenges Posed by the Aging of America is a discussion briefing prepared for the Urban Institute Board of Trustees meeting, May 20, 1998. Contributing authors include Urban Institute researchers Len Burman, Rudolph Penner, Gene Steuerle, Eric Toder, Marilyn Moon, Larry Thompson, Michael Weisner, and Adam Carasso.

(6/5/98) Click here for IntellectualCapital.com's June 4-10 Issue of the Week, The Quest for Retirement Security.

(6/5/98) The Pension and Welfare Benefits Administration of the Department of Labor has established the Employee/Employer Advisor, an online tutorial, that includes a retirement savings program comparison chart showing the relative features of various kinds of retirement plans available under U.S. laws for small businesses.

(6/5/98) The Government We Deserve: Responsive Democracy and Changing Expectations, by C. Eugene Steuerle, Edward N. Gramlich, Hugh Heclo, and Demetra Smith Nightingale, Spring 1998, is available from the Urban Institute Press.

(6/4/98) Personal Savings Rate 1929 - 1997

The data contained in this Web page's personal savings rate chart and spreadsheet is compiled by the U.S. Department of Commerce, Bureau of Economic Analysis, and published in the Survey of Current Business. Personal savings is shown as a percentage of disposable personal income.

(6/3/98) How Government Policies Discourage Savings is the title of a June 2, 1998, Heritage Foundation Backgrounder by Daniel J. Mitchell.

(6/3/98) The following items have been added to the General Accounting Office's Web site in Portable Document (PDF) format:

If a title link above no longer works, click here for the GAO Index of Reports and Testimony, FY98, and search for the report by entering words or phrases from the title.

The report will also be added to GAO's searchable WAIS database in ASCII and PDF formats within the next 24 hours.

Any individual report may be retrieved directly in text and PDF formats with the following URL: <http://www.gao.gov/cgi-bin/getrpt?RPTNO> replacing RPTNO with the report number (e.g., GAO/OCG-98-1).

(6/2/98) Dallas L. Salisbury testified today on small employer retirement issues at a joint hearing held by the Senate Special Committee on Aging and the House Education and the Workforce Subcommittee on Employer-Employee Relations. Click here for a press release which describes the hearing and includes the witness list. Click here for his testimony.

(6/2/98) The June 1-7, 1998, Policy.com Issue of the Week is Social Security -- the system, reform and privatization proposals, and online resources for more information.


Updated 6/30/98

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