What's New

What's New - February 2000

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What's new at EBRI this month:

Schwab Investment Forums, Online Live!

Dallas Salisbury
President and CEO, Employee Benefit Research Institute (EBRI)

DATE: Wednesday, Feb 16, 2000

TIME: 6:00 pm PT, 9:00 pm ET

TOPIC: Retiring With Confidence

The results from EBRI's ninth annual Retirement Confidence Survey are in. How are we doing in the drive for financial freedom? What are the biggest obstacles we face? How might we overcome those barriers? Retirement expert Dallas Salisbury takes your questions live on Retirement Wednesday.

Register now to participate in the forum.

New EBRI/ICI Analysis: The average account balance for active 401(k) participants grew by 26 percent from 1996 to 1998, largely due to the continuing bull market in equities, according to the latest analysis by the Employee Benefit Research Institute (EBRI) and the Investment Company Institute (ICI).

EBRI Press Release: For enhancing Americans' economic security, Jack Treynor is honored with the EBRI Lillywhite Award.

Iowa Retirement Confidence Survey: Results of the Iowa Retirement Confidence Survey were released by EBRI and the Principal Financial Group on Dec. 20, 1999, in Des Moines, Iowa.

EBRI Health Benefits Databook Released: EBRI released its new Health Benefits Databook on December 7. The 200-page book includes an overview of the health policy issues--including sources of coverage, the most recent information on the uninsured, and public opinion--along with more than 100 tables and charts of statistical data.

EBRI-ERF Policy Forum Materials: Background materials for the December 1, 1999, EBRI-ERF policy forum are available by clicking here (follow the links from the agenda).


What's new in employee benefits:

  • HR News Online -- a daily update from the Society for Human Resource Management

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.


(2/28/00) Health and Health Care 2010: The Forecast, the Challenge forecasts health and health care in the U.S. through 2010 and reports that the next decade finds most Americans living longer, enrolled in an HMO and paying more for their health care. The report was released February 23, 2000, by the Institute for the Future (IFTF) and The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF).

(2/28/00) "Health Coverage 2000: Meeting the Challenge of the Uninsured," a conference sponsored by Families USA, the Health Insurance Association of America, and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, included an "Overview of the Uninsured Problem" presentation entitled Economic Trends and the Uninsured by Paul Fronstin of the Employee Benefit Research Institute in Washington, DC on January 13, 2000.

(2/28/00) Click here for the Report of the Quality Interagency Coordination Task Force (QuIC) to the President, February 2000: "Doing What Counts for Patient Safety: Federal Actions to Reduce Medical Errors and Their Impact."

(2/28/00) Read Canada's 'Model T' Health-care System by Peter Hadekel in the Thursday, February 24, 2000, issue of IntellectualCapital.com.

(2/25/00) The Committee on Education and the Workforce, Subcommittee on Employer-Employee Relations held a hearing February 15, 2000, on: "The Evolving Pension and Investment World After 25 Years of ERISA."  The page provides links to testimony presented by John H. Langbein, Michael S. Gordon, John B. Shoven, and Teresa Ghilarducci.

(2/25/00) "A Closer Look at Clinton's Medicare Proposal" by James Frogue and Robert E. Moffit is a February 17, 2000, Backgrounder from The Heritage Foundation.

(2/24/00) On February 22, 2000, John M. Eisenberg, Director AHRQ, testified before a joint hearing of the Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pension (HELP) Committee and the Labor-HHS-Education Appropriations Subcommittee. As the operating chair of the federal Quality Interagency Coordination (QuIC) Task Force -- the group charged with developing the government's response to the Institute of Medicine's report -- Dr. Eisenberg presented the QuIC's four-part strategy, Response of the Quality Interagency Coordination (QuIC) Task Force, to reduce medical errors and improve patient safety throughout the nation's health care system.

(2/23/00) Revised January 2000, Stock Answers: Finding Historical Stock Prices by Nell Ingalls, a research librarian at the Suburban Library System Reference Service, will help you find everything you ever wanted to know about historical stock prices.

(2/23/00) Social Security Privatization and Financial Market Risk: Lessons from U.S. Financial History by Gary Burtless is a working paper from The Brookings Institution.

(2/22/00) Watson Wyatt Worldwide has released a new report that discusses cash balance pension plans: The Unfolding of a Predictable Surprise: A Comprehensive Analysis of the Shift From Traditional Pensions to Hybrid Plans.

(2/22/00) "LLRX.com is a unique Web journal, continuously published since 1996, with a special focus on a range of research and technology-related issues for legal professionals." It acts as a portal to all online legal research and to other meta research sites. Also available on the site is Zimmerman's Research Guide: An Online Encyclopedia for Legal Researchers, by Andrew Zimmerman.

(2/18/00) EBRI is featured in a February 18, 2000, CNNfn retirement planning article: "Debt woes hex Gen X: Retirement nest eggs can take a beating despite high-flying salaries" by staff writer Jeanne Sahadi.

(2/18/00) The Technical Answer Group, Inc. (TAG") has a complete list of the Maximum Benefit and Contribution Limits: 1996-2000.

(2/18/00) The 1998/99 Executive Benefit Survey of Fortune 1000 Companies is posted online by Compensation Resource Group, Inc.(free registration required).

(2/17/00) Click here for "Employee Ownership 100: America's Largest Companies That Are Over 50% Employee-Owned Through an ESOP, Stock Purchase Plan, or Other Broad-Based Ownership Plan" (current as of February 2000).

(2/17/00) freeERISA.com includes the Employee Benefit Research Institute (EBRI) in its Top 25 Sites for Benefits Professionals.

(2/16/00) The New York Times on the Web is carrying the February 16, 2000, special section on retirement.

(2/16/00) The Center for Mental Health Services, a Service of the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, has posted a "Bibliography of Materials Related to Behavioral Health Insurance Parity: Selected Articles and Reports," which includes the February 1997, EBRI Issue Brief, "Issues in Mental Health Care Benefits: The Costs of Mental Health Parity."

(2/15/00) The TimYounkin.com 401(k) Advocate site is an "Exhaustive site devoted to analyzing your 401(k) pension plan for defects that could cost you. Figure out if your plan is a plum or a lemon. Learn the lingo in this highly regulated industry, and find loads of links,"according to OnlineInvestor magazine, Jan/Feb 2000.

(2/14/00) "Whither Wear-Away?" from the Watson Wyatt Insider comments on cash balance pension plans.

 (2/14/00) Click here for the top line Survey Results of the Hispanic Business Roundtable Survey of Hispanics on health care, Social Security, education, taxes, and politics.

(2/11/00) The Social Security Bulletin, Annual Statistical Supplement, 1999 "has 400+ pages of the most comprehensive data available on the Social Security and SSI programs. The data cover many aspects of these programs -- from beneficiary counts and amounts of benefits to the status of the trust funds. The statistical tables also contain data on Medicare, Medicaid, veterans' benefits, and other related income-security programs. At the beginning of the Supplement are historical program summaries of the major programs and summaries of current legislative developments. The Supplement also has a glossary of program terms -- an essential reference for understanding the data in this compendium." Click here to go to a listing of the tables in the 1999 Statistical Supplement.

(2/11/00) Click here for employment cost index data through December 1999 from the Department of Labor’s Bureau of Labor Statistics.

(2/11/00) The Commonwealth Fund has released a January 2000 Issue Brief entitled "Prescription Drug Costs For Medicare Beneficiaries: Coverage and Health Status Matter," by Bruce Stuart, Dennis Shea, and Becky Briesacher.

(2/11/00) The Center on Budget and Policy Priorities has recently released an analysis entitled Senate Bankruptcy Bill Includes Costly Tax Cuts That Could Harm Lower-wage Workers by Iris J. Lav and Robert Greenstein.

(2/10/00) BenefitsLink has posted Benefits Provisions in Bankruptcy Reform Act of 2000 (Excerpted from the Congressional Record of February 7, 2000).

(2/9/00) The Heritage Foundation has posted:

(2/8/00) The Budget of the United States Government: Fiscal Year 2001 was transmitted to Congress on February 7, 2000, and covers the fiscal year beginning October 1, 2000.

(2/8/00) Click here for an abstract of the February 2000 Newsletter, "From Strength to Strength: Continued Improvement in the Funded Position of Multiemployer Pension Plans" from the Segal Company’s most recent annual Survey of the Funded Position of Multiemployer Plans, which was conducted in 1999.

(2/8/00) "The Year 2000 ERISA Reporting Calendars are now available" online from Watson Wyatt Worldwide. "Plan administrators of single and multiemployer pension and welfare benefits plans can access concise information on when, and how to file annual reports with the DOL, IRS and PBGC. Information on how and when to disclose tax and benefit information to U.S. plan participants, beneficiaries and alternate payees is also available."

(2/7/00) PWBA, IRS and PBGC announced February 3 the final computer-scannable 1999 Form 5500 formats as part of the new ERISA Filing Acceptance System (EFAST).

PWBA also launched the ERISA Filing Acceptance System - EFAST website to provide filers with information about filing requirements, electronic filing options, software availability, upcoming seminars, new publications, and most often asked questions and answers.

In Brief - 1999 Form 5500, a new publication that explains the major changes to the Form 5500 and its processing, is available on the website and through PWBA's toll free publications hotline, 1-800-998-7542.

(2/7/00) The Employment Policy Foundation's Employment Trends, February 2, 2000, reports "Temporary Workers–No Longer Growing" by Krishna Kundu.

(2/7/00) Deloitte Consulting and Deloitte & Touche have released a health care study entitled The Emergence of the e-Health Consumer.

(2/4/00) The latest report on the Employee-Retirement Systems of State and Local Governments, 1997-1998 has been posted by the Bureau of the Census.

(2/4/00) Click here for Finances of Selected Public Employee Retirement Systems (Quarterly).

(2/3/00) The Employment Policy Foundation has posted a comment letter filed with the Department of Labor on the administration's proposed rulemaking regarding Birth and Adoption Unemployment Compensation.

(2/3/00) "Aging's New Math" by Scott Burns is available at Worth Online, from the February 2000 issue. It discusses the "Installment Effect" on investment returns. You may have to register first to use the site.

(2/2/00) The Century Foundation announces the launch of a new Web site Ideas2000.

"Ideas2000 aims to promote the fundamental importance of issues in the contests to select the next president and Congress. The project will feature events, information, and commentary on ideas proffered in Campaign 2000."

"Idea Briefs—short, informative pieces that examine proposals for reforming and improving policy—form the cornerstone of Ideas2000. Each Idea Brief will state the idea for reform; describe the problem to be addressed; describe how the plan might work; state what evidence there is that the time is right for such reform; and tally the cost for the proposal." The first Idea Brief in this series is A New Minimum Social Security Benefit."

(2/1/00) The Federal Reserve Board released an October 1999 study written by economist Scott Weisbenner: Do Pension Plans with Participant Investment Choice Teach Households to Hold More Equity?

(2/1/00) The Commonwealth Fund has posted the following:

(2/1/00) Hewitt Associates has released the 1999 Trends & Experience in 401(k) Plans.

(2/1/00) Health Insurance Costs and Early Retirement Decisions by Richard W. Johnson, Amy J. Davidoff, and Kevin Perese is an August 1999, report from the Urban Institute.

(2/1/00) The following January 2000 Working Papers For The Retirement Research Consortium are available:

  • The Effects of Social Security Reform on Saving, Investment, and the Level and Distribution of Worker Well-Being by Barry Bosworth and Gary Burtless
  • The Adequacy of Household Saving by Eric M. Engen, William G. Gale, and Cori E. Uccello

(2/1/00) IOMA's Management Library is a research database of best-practice management strategies. This library is comprised of proprietary information from IOMA's 48+ specialized publications. It includes survey data, case studies, analyses and how-to advice not found anywhere else:

  • Case studies on actual companies and best business practices employed by them
  • Cost benchmarks
  • Competitive research information on your industry peers
  • Compensation benchmarks and studies
  • Over 1,500 practical, "how-to" management articles in subjects like: human resources, benefits, compensation; Corporate Financial Management, and much more.

(2/1/00) The National Bureau of Economic Research presents "Books in Progress -- Preliminary Chapters of Forthcoming Books and Journals:"



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