What's New - November 2008

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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:

401(k) Balances and Changes Due to Market Volatility

Publications:

November 2008 EBRI Issue Brief - "Findings from the 2008 EBRI Consumer Engagement in Health Care Survey"

November 2008 EBRI Notes - "Retirement Annuity and Employment-Based Pension Income Among Individuals Age 50 and Over: 2007" and "Employer Spending on Benefits, 2007"

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New Survey Released March 19, 2008: Preparing for Their Future: A Look at the Financial State of Gen X and Gen Y - Press Release

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.

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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:

Reports
The Nation's Long-Term Fiscal Outlook: September 2008 Update. GAO-09-94R, November 6.

Testimony
State and Local Fiscal Challenges: Rising Health Care Costs Drive Long-term and Immediate Pressures, statement for the record by Stanley J. Czerwinski, director, strategic issues, for the Senate Committee on Finance. GAO-09-210T, November 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.


[11/26/08]  Internal Revenue Service:

[11/26/08]  U.S. Department of Labor:  2009 Form 5500 Revision

[11/26/08]  Watson Wyatt Worldwide:  Effect of the Economic Crisis on HR Programs

[11/26/08]  Vanguard Center for Retirement Research:  Target-Date Funds: Plan and Participant Adoption in 2007

[11/25/08]  National Institute on Retirement Security:  In It for the Long Haul: The Investment Behavior of Public Pensions

[11/25/08]  Vanguard Center for Retirement Research:  Spending the Nest Egg: Retirement Income Decisions Among Older Investors

[11/25/08]  Congressional Research Service:  Military Pay and Benefits: Key Questions and Answers

[11/25/08]  Social Security Administration Policy Brief:  “Distributional Effects of Reducing the Cost-of-Living Adjustments
[11/24/08]  Internal Revenue Service:  Retirement News for Employers [Volume 5, Fall 2008]

[11/24/08]  MetLife Mature Market Institute:  Boomers: The Next 20 Years, Ecologies of Risk

[11/24/08]  Kaiser Family Foundation:  The Fraying Link Between Work and Health Insurance: Trends in Employer-Sponsored Insurance for Employees, 2000-2007

[11/24/08]  U.S. Joint Committee on Taxation:  Estimates of Federal Tax Expenditures for Fiscal Years 2008-2012

[11/21/08]  U.S. Senate Committee on Finance:  “Baucus, Grassley, Kennedy, Enzi Announce Pension Protection Plans, Proposal Also Includes Tax Help for Families and Businesses

[11/21/08]  The Commonwealth Fund:  The Commonwealth Fund 2008 International Health Policy Survey in Eight Countries

[11/21/08]  Kaiser Family Foundation Survey Brief:  “Low-Wage Workers and Health Care

[11/21/08]  Social Security Bulletin:  “Social Security Beneficiaries Affected by the Windfall Elimination Provision in 2006

[11/20/08]  Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation:  Disclosure of Termination Information; Final Rule [as published in the Federal Register on Nov. 18, 2008]

[11/20/08]  Milliman, Inc.:  Milliman 2008 Pension Funding Study: 2007 Gains Reversed in First Quarter of 2008

[11/20/08]  Kaiser Family Foundation SnapshotsEmployer Sponsored Health Insurance - A Comparison of the Availability and Cost of Coverage for Workers in Small Firms and Large Firms

[11/20/08]  International Foundation of Employee Benefit Plans:  “Employers Want National Approach to Health Care--Still Believe Employer-Based System Works Best

[11/19/08]  Mercer:  “Mercer Survey Finds $1,000 Health Plan Deductible Was the Norm in 2008

[11/19/08]  The Segal Company Bulletin:  “Final Massachusetts Minimum Creditable Coverage Regulations

[11/19/08]  New America Foundation:  The Cost of Doing Nothing: Why the Cost of Failing to Fix Our Health Care System Is Greater Than the Cost of Reform

[11/19/08]  Bright Horizons:  The Lasting Impact of Employer-Sponsored Child Care

[11/17/08]  Aon Consulting Alert:  “Year-End Checkup for Benefit Plans

[11/17/08]  U.S. Department of Labor Wage and Hour Division:  The Family and Medical Leave Act of 1993; Final Rule [as published in the Federal Register on Nov. 17, 2008]

[11/17/08]  AARP Public Policy Institute:  The Costs of Doing Nothing: What’s at Stake Without Health Care Reform?

[11/17/08]  Center for State & Local Government Excellence Issue Brief:  “A Guide to Implementing GASB 45” 

[11/13/08]  U.S. Senate Finance Committee:  Reforming America’s Health Care System: A Call to Action [White Paper]

[11/13/08]  Internal Revenue Service:  Update for Weighted Average Interest Rates, Yield Curves, and Segment Rates [Notice 2008-105]

[11/13/08]  Center for Retirement Research at Boston College:  The Financial Crisis and State/Local Defined Benefit Plans

[11/13/08]  Contingencies:  “A Fragile Equilibrium: The Past, Present, and Future of Private Pensions

[11/12/08]  Watson Wyatt Insider:  “Year-End Pension Accounting Declines Might Be Milder Than Expected

[11/12/08]  Kaiser Family Foundation:  “Pulling It Together: Keeping the Health Reform Coalition Together” from Drew Altman

[11/12/08]  Midwest Business Group on Health:  Focus Group Research: Employees’ Readiness to Adopt Value-Based Benefit Design Strategies

[11/12/08]  Insure the Uninsured Project:  Health Care Systems Around the World

[11/10/08]  America’s Health Insurance Plans:  Innovations in Prevention, Wellness and Risk Reduction

[11/10/08]  National Association of State Retirement Administrators:  Public Fund Survey Summary of Findings for FY 2007

[11/10/08]  Social Security Administration Research and Statistics Note:  “Estimated Retirement Benefits in the Social Security Statement

[11/10/08]  Congressional Research Service:  Social Security: Calculation and History of Taxing Benefits [Updated October 21, 2008]

[11/7/08]  U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics:  Compensation Costs in State and Local Government, September 2008

[11/7/08]  Internal Revenue Service:  Employee Plans News [Special Edition, Nov. 5, 2008]

[11/7/08]  WorldatWork:  “The Implications of an Economic Recession on Health Plans

[11/7/08]  Hewitt Associates:  2008 Election Results: President-Elect Obama’s HR-Related Proposals

[11/6/08]  Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation:  “PBGC Announces Maximum Insurance Benefit for 2009

[11/6/08]  Center for Retirement Research at Boston College:  The Financial Crisis and Private Defined Benefit Plans

[11/6/08]  The Segal Group Spotlight:  “Implications of the Current Market Conditions for DB Plans and Possible Options for Dealing with the Challenges They Present

[11/6/08]  Social Security Administration:  Thinking of Retiring? – Some Things to Consider…

[11/4/08]  The Vanguard Group Regulatory Brief:  “IRS Updates EPCRS Correction Program” 

[11/4/08]  AARP Bulletin Today:  “How Much Do You Need to Retire?

[11/4/08]  Congressional Research Service:  Retirement Benefits for Members of Congress [Updated October 28, 2008]

[11/4/08]  Kaiser Family Foundation Issue Paper:  “Trends in Access to Care Among Working-Age Adults, 1997 - 2006

[11/3/08]  U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics:  Employment Cost Index--September 2008

[11/3/08]  Center for American Progress:  The Health Care Delivery System: A Blueprint for Reform

[11/3/08]  Mercer:  “What Price Universal Coverage? For Many Small Employers, Any Price Is Too High

[11/3/08]  Families USA Issue Brief:  “Limited-Benefit Plans: Expanding Coverage or Holding Your State Back?

[11/3/08]  Alliance for Health Reform:  Health Information Technology: More Than the Money?

Updated 11/26/08