What's New - July 2007

Index to All Months                                                                                                    Return to Current Month


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.


What's new at EBRI this month:


July 2007 EBRI Issue Brief - "Retirement Income Adequacy After PPA and FAS 158: Part One--Plan Sponsors' Reactions"

July 2007 EBRI Notes - "Experts Track Continuing Evolution of U.S. Pension System"


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:


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:

"Our Nation's Long-Term Fiscal Challenge: State and Local Governments Will Likely Face Persistent Fiscal Challenges in the Next Decade," by David M. Walker, comptroller general of the United States, at the National Press Club, Washington, D.C. GAO-07-1113CG, July 18.

Federal Retirement Thrift Investment Board: Many Responsibilities and Investment Policies Set by Congress. GAO-07-611, June 21. Highlights.

Retirement Decisions: Federal Policies Offer Mixed Signals about When to Retire. GAO-07-753, July 11.

Defined Benefit Pensions: Conflicts of Interest Involving High Risk or Terminated Plans Pose Enforcement Challenges. GAO-07-703, June 28. Highlights.

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


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.

[7/31/07]  SHPS:  2007 SHPS Health Practices Study: What Every Self-Insured Employer Should Know

[7/31/07]  Center for Studying Health System Change Issue Brief:  "Massachusetts Health Reform: Employers, Lower-Wage Workers and Universal Coverage"

[7/31/07]  Kaiser Commission on Medicaid and the Uninsured:  SCHIP Reauthorization: Key Questions in the Current Debate

[7/31/07]  University of Michigan Retirement Research Center:  Winners and Losers: 401(k) Trading and Portfolio Performance [Working Paper]

[7/26/07] Internal Revenue Service:  Revised Regulations Concerning Section 403(b) Tax-Sheltered Annuity Contracts; Final Rule [published in the Federal Register on 7/26/07]

[7/26/07]  Internal Revenue Service:  Employee Plans News [Special Edition, July 2007]: “The 403(b) Regulations Finally Go Final”

[7/26/07]  Internal Revenue Service:  IRC 403(b) Tax-Sheltered Annuity Plans [General Information & Resources]

[7/26/07]  U.S. Department of Labor Employee Benefits Security Administration:  ERISA Coverage of IRC Section 403(b) Tax-Sheltered Annuity Programs [Field Assistance Bulletin No. 2007-02]

[7/26/07]  Investment Company Institute:  The U.S. Retirement Market, 2006

[7/26/07]  Fidelity Investments:  Building Futures VIII: Highlights of Findings

[7/24/07]  Watson Wyatt Worldwide:  "Pension Plan Freezes Slowing, Watson Wyatt Finds"

[7/24/07]  Investment Company Institute:  Frequently Asked Questions about 401(k) Plans [401(k) Investments]

[7/24/07]  Society of Actuaries and American Academy of Actuaries:  Pension Actuary’s Guide to Financial Economics

[7/24/07]  Health Affairs:  "Consumerism and Controversy: A Conversation with Regina Herzlinger" [Interview]

[7/23/07]  The Commonwealth Fund:  The Commonwealth Fund/Center for Studying Health System Change Survey of Retiree Health Benefits, 2005: A Chartbook

[7/23/07]  Buck Consultants FYI:  "Massachusetts Delays Section 125 Plan Filing Requirement and Provides Additional Guidance on Disclosure Requirements, Free Rider Surcharge"

[7/23/07]  Kaiser Daily Health Policy Report:  "Massachusetts To Revise State Law Mandating Residents Have Health Insurance"

[7/23/07]  Plan Sponsor:  "What Will Your Health Care Cost in Retirement?" [consists of slides used in a June webcast]

[7/20/07]  Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation:  Multiemployer Plan Election Procedures under the Pension Protection Act of 2006

[7/20/07]  Business Insurance:  "House Panel OKs Mental Health Parity Bill"

[7/19/07]  Business Insurance:  "House Panel to Vote on Mental Health Parity Bill"

[7/19/07]  U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics:  Working at Home in 2006

[7/19/07]  American Academy of Actuaries Issue Brief:  "Women and Social Security"

[7/19/07]  Watson Wyatt Worldwide:  "IASB Decision Clarifies Asset Ceiling Calculations" [U.K.]

[7/18/07]  Milliman’s Client Action Bulletin:  "IRS Issues Further Roth 401(k)/403(b) Guidance"

[7/18/07]  AARP:  Enhancing 401(k) Value and Participation: Taking the Automatic Approach -- A Report for AARP Prepared by Towers Perrin

[7/18/07]  Benefits & Compensation Digest:  "Automatic Contribution Arrangements in Government DC Plans"

[7/18/07]  ICMA-RC:  "Senate Approves National Save for Retirement Week Oct. 21-27, 2007"

[7/17/07]  Milliman, Inc.:  Monthly Benefit News and Developments, July 2007

[7/17/07]  Kaiser Daily Health Policy Report:  "Sen. Enzi Introduces 10-Step Proposal to Expand Access to Health Care, Insurance, CQ HealthBeat Reports"

[7/17/07]  California HealthCare Foundation:  Snapshot: Employer Health Insurance Costs in the United States

[7/17/07]  Wellness Councils of America:  Embracing Workplace Wellness: How to Leverage Your Wellness Efforts for Maximum Results, by Jeff Rubleski

[7/13/07]  The Wall Street Journal (via National Center for Policy Analysis):  "‘Auto-Enroll’ Retirement Plans Take Off"

[7/13/07]  International Foundation of Employee Benefit Plans:  Multiemployer Benefit Plans--Q&A

[7/13/07]  The American Journal of Managed Care:  "Incentive Formularies and Changes in Prescription Drug Spending" by Bruce E. Landon et al.

[7/13/07]  Urban Institute:  Nonprofit Governance in the United States: Findings on Performance and Accountability from the First National Representative Study

[7/12/07]  Kaiser Family Foundation:  health08.org [a new web site covering election news, analysis of health care issues addressed by the presidential candidates, and polls related to the election]

[7/12/07]  Office of U.S. Senator Tom Harkin:  "Senator Tom Harkin (D-IA) Unites Healthcare Advocates and Business Leaders with Legislation That Would Help Americans Lead Healthier Lives, Lower Healthcare Costs"

[7/12/07]  AARP:  The State of 50+ America: 2007

[7/12/07]  Congressional Research Service:  Pay Discrimination Claims Under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act: A Legal Analysis of the Supreme Court’s Decision in Ledbetter v. Goodyear Tire & Rubber Co., Inc.

[7/11/07]  Kaiser Daily Health Policy Report:  "ERISA Could Hurt States’ Efforts to Expand Health Coverage of Uninsured Residents"

[7/11/07]  AARP:  Automatic IRAs: Are They Administratively Feasible, What Are the Costs to Employers and the Federal Government, and Will They Increase Retirement Savings? [A Preliminary Report Prepared for AARP by Optimal Benefit Strategies, LLC]

[7/11/07]  Employee Benefit News:  "How to Tell the Difference between Financial Education and Advice" [registration may be required]

[7/11/07]  International Accounting Standards Board:  "IFRIC Issues Interpretation on IAS 19--Defined Benefit Assets and Minimum Funding Requirements"

[7/10/07]  U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics:  Health Benefit Costs by Region

[7/10/07]  Watson Wyatt Worldwide:  "Many Workers Struggle with Basic Health Benefit Terms, Watson Wyatt Survey Finds"

[7/10/07]  Kaiser Daily Health Policy Report:  "Massachusetts Health Advocates, Lawmakers Raise Concern About Amount Employers Must Pay Toward Worker Health Insurance Premiums"

[7/10/07]  Buck Consultants FYI:  "IRS Rulings on Retiree Health Benefits Reinforce Need for Careful Plan Design"

[7/9/07]  Kaiser Family Foundation:  Change in Percentage of Families Offered Coverage at Work, 1998-2005

[7/9/07]  Buck Consultants FYI:  "IRS Provides Clarity on Partial Terminations"

[7/9/07]  AllianceBernstein:  Evolving Fiduciary Duty Standards for Defined Contribution Plan Sponsors: The Impact of New Thinking about Employee Participation and Investment Selection

[7/9/07]  Equal Employment Opportunity Commission:  Coverage Under the Age Discrimination in Employment Act; Final rule [published in the Federal Register on July 6, 2007]

[7/6/07]  Internal Revenue Service:  Elimination of Schedule P of Form 5500 Series [Announcement 2007-63]

[7/6/07]  Prudential Financial’s Pension Analyst:  "Pension Protection Act of 2006: Summary of Prudential Retirement’s Publications"

[7/6/07]  Wilshire Consulting:  2007 Report on Corporate Pension Funding Levels

[7/6/07]  National Center for Policy Analysis:  Medicare: Past, Present and Future

[7/6/07]  American Medical Association:  Competition in Health Insurance: A Comprehensive Study of U.S. Markets [2007 Update]

[7/6/07]  The Segal Company’s Capital Checkup:  "Multiemployer Plan Considerations as Massachusetts Health Care Reform Begins to Take Effect"

[7/5/07]  The Segal Company’s Capital Checkup:  "Massachusetts Starts to Implement Landmark Health Care Reform"

[7/5/07]  Kaiser Family Foundation:  Maternity Care and Consumer-Driven Health Plans

[7/5/07]  America’s Health Insurance Plans:  A New Generation of Behavioral Health Coverage: Perspectives from Interviews with Medical Leaders

[7/5/07]  Sibson Consulting Spotlight:  "Meeting the Challenges Introduced by PPA’06: Preparing to Satisfy New and Revised Compliance Requirements"

[7/5/07]  International Foundation of Employee Benefit Plans:  "GASB Requests Input on Public Employee Pension Standards"

[7/5/07]  Watson Wyatt Insider:  "Government Provides Detail on Personal Accounts" [U.K.]

[7/2/07]  Watson Wyatt Insider:  "IRS Challenges ‘Greater of’ Cash Balance Transitions"

[7/2/07]  Congressional Research Service:  Pension Funds Investing in Hedge Funds

[7/2/07]  JPMorgan Chase & Co.:  "IRS Publishes Proposed PPA Mortality Regulations"

[7/2/07]  Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis:  Employee Ownership: Economic Miracle or ESOPs Fable?

[7/2/07]  Internal Revenue Service:  "IRS Launches Four New ‘Life Cycles’ on IRS.gov to Help Tax-Exempt Organizations Comply with the Law"

[7/2/07] 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 7/31/07