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and not current news, we hope you will understand our policy and the use for which it is
What's new at EBRI this month:
Statement of Jack VanDerhei before
the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee, Hearing on Hybrid Pensions,
September 21, 1999.
1999 Health Confidence Survey
(HCS): Press Release Outlines Preliminary EBRI HCS Findings from EBRI 's
Survey Which Examines Americans' Confidence in the Health Care System Click here to go to a page with links to the
Survey Questionnaire, a later press release, and Fact Sheets from the results of the
- Age Differences
- Confidence in Health Care Today
- Confidence in the Future of Health Care
- Gender Differences
- Health Status Differences
- Satisfaction with Managed Care
- Managed Care Confusion
Savings Game Special: On Friday, September 17, 1999, WJLA-TV Channel 7
will air the second "Savings Game" Choose to Save special from 9 p.m. - 10 p.m. in the Washington, DC metropolitan area. The
special will feature real people in various stages of retirement preparedness, tips,
educational resources, and more. The 1998 Savings Game special won a Capital Area
The EBRI Issue Brief
and EBRI Notes for the month of
September are available online for ordering. The September Issue Brief is
entitled "Employment-Based Health
Benefits: Who Is Offered Coverage vs. Who Takes It." The September Notes articles are
"Implications of Investing Social Security Funds in the U.S. Stock Market" and
"Public Opinion on the U.S. Health Insurance System: Gender and Plan Type
Severing the Link Between Health Insurance and Employment:
With Congress likely to take up patients' rights and tax bills this fall, a new book by
the Employee Benefit Research Institute (EBRI) lays out how the nation's employment-based
health insurance system may be affected by tax code changes. The book also contains
results from a new survey that indicates strong public support for the existing
employment-based health insurance system.
The book is available free to reporters by contacting Danny Devine at (202) 775-6308 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
It is based on proceedings of the Spring 1999 EBRI policy forum, underwritten by a grant
from the Princeton, NJ-based Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, which brought together more
than a hundred experts from all perspectives to discuss how tax changes might affect the
American system of health insurance.
An Overview of Cash Balance Plans:
This feature article from the July 1999 EBRI Notes outlines the pros and cons of
"cash balance" retirement plans, which have generated strong interest among
employers and workers, as well as considerable news coverage.
Employee Tools: Results of the 1999 Retirement Confidence Survey (RCS)
and the 1999 Small Employer Retirement Survey (SERS) show we are making progress in
educating Americans about the need to make retirement savings and planning a priority, but
we must do more to help. To that end, we have created two new retirement planning tools
based on the results of this years RCS-the Retirement Readiness Rating and the
Retirement Personality Profiler.
- The Retirement Readiness Rating (R3)
measures how well individual workers are doing in terms of preparing for their retirement.
Individuals answer a series of 11 questions and receive tips on action items they can take
that will help them improve their financial preparations for retirement.
- The Retirement Personality Profiler
asks individuals a short series of questions and then determines whether the individual is
a Planner, Saver, Struggler, Impulsive, or Denier. Based on their retirement personality,
the Profiler provides tips on how the individual can do a better job of planning and
saving for retirement.
What's new in employee benefits:
- The American Compensation Association provides listings of human resources-related
congressional bills with links to the bills and to background information on the bills.
news items from the weekly publication Business Insurance are posted every
Friday before the Monday issue date.
here for the latest available issue of the Washington Status Report from the
research staff of Hewitt Associates.
here for the daily edition of the Society for Human Resource Management's newspaper, HR
here for the American Compensation Association's Compensation & Benefits
- 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, FY99, and search for the report by
entering words or phrases from the title. Reports will also be added to GAO's
searchable WAIS database in ASCII and PDF formats within 24 hours of the original
posting. 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).
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.
GOP Offer Plans for the Uninsured: Democrat Wants Universal Coverage; GOP Would Make
Premiums Deductible" is an MSNBC story published online.
Presents Health Plan for Almost All the Uninsured" is a headline in today's New
the Strain" is the feature story on ERISA in the September 1999, issue of Plan
Sponsor. The page also provides a link to the table of contents of the issue.
(9/27/99) Available on the Investment Company Institute Web site:
here for highlights of Vice President Gore's September 22, 1999, remarks on the need
for Medicare reform. The remarks noted the release of a new report on Medicare HMOs and
prescription drug benefits, Medicare+Choice:
Changes for the Year 2000, by the Department of Health and Human Services.
(9/24/99) Most of Tuesday's testimony from the Senate Health, Education, Labor and
Pensions Committee's Hearing
on Hybrid Pension Plans is now available.
(9/23/99) The Senate
Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee has archived the September 21, 1999,
Hearing on Hybrid Pensions as an Internet broadcast for you to review.
(9/23/99) The House Committee on Education and the Workforce has released an American
Worker Project (AWP) report on labor law: "Securing
the Future of America's Working Families."
Private Health Coverage to Uninsured Hispanic Americans" by Roberto Garcia de
Posada is a recent Backgrounder from the Heritage Foundation.
here for the Defined Contribution Plan Investing, September 1999, article
titled: "Conversions to Cash Balance Plans Highlight Importance Of DC/401(k)
(9/21/99) "The Hewitt 401(k) Distribution Rollover Analysis represents more than
193,000 defined contribution plan distributions nationwide in 1998." Click
here for the press release with links to supporting documentation such as bar charts
and tips for making 401(k) plan distribution decisions with hypothetical calculations.
(9/20/99) The September 2, 1999, white paper: The
Coming Medical Group Failure Epidemic: Access to Medical Care for Millions of Californians
is at Risk, has been posted by the The California Medical Association.
(9/20/99) The Health Insurance Association of America (HIAA) released September 8 a
study titled Tax
Deductibility of Long-Term Care Insurance Premiums: Implications for Market Growth and
Public Long-Term Care Expenditures (Summary of Research Findings) by Marc A. Cohen
and Maurice Weinrobe.
(9/17/99) The 1999
Report on the American Workforce is the fourth report on the American workforce
prepared by the staff of the Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor.
(9/16/99) "The notion that tax provisions permitting taxpayers to keep more of
their own money are equivalent to federal spending was challenged August 4 in a new study
released through a
press release by Joint Economic Committee (JEC) Vice Chairman Jim Saxton. Though alien
to most taxpayers, this concept of so-called "tax expenditures" is deeply
ingrained in the federal budget process and tilts decision-making by undermining
incentives for personal saving and investment. The new JEC study, Tax
Expenditures: A Review and Analysis, explains the intellectual origins of this
idea and its incorporation into the budget process." The report specifically cites
the pension exclusion as an example.
(9/15/99) Business Wire has posted this press
release: Hewitt Study Shows More Than Half of 401k Plan Participants Opt for Cash When
Changing Jobs. "The study indicates that 57 percent of 401(k) plan participants
choose to take cash payments when changing jobs, instead of rolling over the balance to
their new employers' plans or IRAs."
(9/14/99) The Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation (PBGC) has posted the Pension
Insurance Data Book 1998.
(9/14/99) The Employment Policy Foundation's Economic Bytes for September 10,
1999, reports on "Paid
Parental Leave: A $14 Billion to $128 Billion Entitlement."
(9/13/99) Business Week frontier Online interviewed Dallas L. Salisbury for the
online daily briefing. See "Caveat
Emptor: A Critical Look at Buying Health-Insurance Policies Online: The head of the
Employee Benefit Research Institute talks about the obstacles to making an informed
(9/13/99) A report documenting the spread of domestic partner benefits was released
September 7 by the Human Rights Campaign: The
State of the Workplace for Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgendered Workers. A
of employers with non-discrimination policies and domestic partner benefits is also
available on the HRC Web site.
Afford to Get Sick: A Reality for Millions of Working Americans" by John Budetti,
Janet Shikles, Lisa Duchon, and Cathy Schoen, a report based on The Commonwealth Fund
1999 National Survey of Workers Health Insurance, was released September 2,
Retirement Savings: Are Ballpark Estimate Type Planning Worksheets Accurate Enough
to Help Consumers?" by Barbara O'Neill is in the Summer 1999 issue of The
Forum for Family and Consumer Issues.
Purchases Individual Insurance? A Comparison of New York State, Regional, and National
Patterns, 1994-1997 by Kenneth E. Thorpe is available on the Web site of the
United Hospital Fund of New York.
(9/7/99) The Kaiser Family Foundation has posted the report by Barents Group LLC
of Benefits Offered By Medicare HMOs, 1999: Complexities and Implications.
(9/3/99) The feature story of the September-October issue of Contingencies is on
cash balance pension plans. Click
here to read: Retirement in the Balance: What Are Cash Balance Pension Plans?, A
Workable Alternative To Defined Benefit Plans by Larry Sher, Some Serious Questions About
Cash Balance Plans by Norman Stein, There's No Need To Retire Tradition Pensions by David
sponsored by the Health Insurance Association of America (HIAA), is part of HIAA's
initiative to increase health coverage by building on the foundation of the private
(9/3/99) Just a reminder that Selected
Congressional Research Service (CRS) Reports are available online.
Hopes, Little Trust: A Study of Young Workers and Their Ups and Downs in the New Economy
is a new AFL-CIO study of young workers' attitudes toward work and the economy.
Balance Plans: Will Congress Take the Media Bait?" is the second in a series of Insider
articles from Watson Wyatt on cash balance pension plan issues.
(9/1/99) The Employment Policy Foundation released its 1999
American Workplace Report, "A Century of Progress...A Century of
Change," which traces key trends in the workplace, the workforce, incomes, and living
standards over the past one hundred years.
Sponsor Exchange, a new source on the Internet, provides a Web site for interaction
and research among the plan sponsor community.
(9/1/99) Celebrate 401(k) Day on September 7, 1999! The Profit Sharing/401(k) Council
of America (PSCA) provides free
communication tools which can be modified to fit your company's needs. The PSCA
site also provides an Annual
Retirement Check-up worksheet.