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"Whats New" page, even though some of the older links may no longer
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".com" or ".org" 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
What's new at EBRI this month:
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.
The EBRI Issue Brief
and EBRI Notes for the month of
July are available online for ordering. The July Issue Brief is entitled
"Employment-Based Health Insurance: A
Look at Tax Issues and Public Opinion." The July Notes article is "An Overview of Cash Balance Plans."
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.
June 15 Release of
the 9th Annual Retirement Confidence and 2nd Annual RCS Minority Surveys.
The annual Retirement Confidence Survey (RCS) gauges the views and attitudes of working
and retired Americans regarding their confidence in preparing for retirement. The
RCS Minority Survey examines retirement views and attitudes of African-Americans,
Hispanic-Americans, and Asian-Americans. Click here for the June 15, 1999, press release.
June 17 Release
of the 2nd Annual Small Employer Retirement Survey (SERS). The annual Small
Employer Retirement Survey (SERS) gauges the views and attitudes of America's small
employers regarding retirement plans and related issues. Click here for the June 17, 1999, press release.
EBRI Research Findings for 1998-1999:
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.
to Expand Health Care Choice and Improve Access for Working Families by Daniel H.
Johnson, Jr. is available from the Heritage Foundation.
Costs and Reducing Access: How Regulation Harms Health Consumers and the Uninsured
by Grace-Marie Arnett is available from the Heritage Foundation.
a Web site offering free investment news, tools, and advice, now offers SmartMoney
University, a state-of-the-art investor education resource online. SmartMoney.com is a
joint publishing venture of Dow Jones & Company and The Hearst Corporation.
(7/28/99) The Thompson Publishing Group published "Expense
Arrangement Qualifies as Accountable Plan: IRS Bases Ruling on Prior Characterization of
Commissions" in their Employer's Guide to Fringe Benefit Rules.
(7/27/99) Plan Sponsor has posted the June 1999 cover story, "Cash
Balance Converts" and a legislative article, "Coming
Clean on Cash Balance Conversions: New Legislation from Senator Moynihan Calls for
Disclosure of Any Reductions in Future Defined Benefit Plan Accruals" from the
(7/27/99) The Urban Institute presents number 3 in the series, "The Retirement
for Early Retirement in Private and Health Insurance Plans by Daniel Dulitzky.
here to read the 1999 American Compensation Association/Segal Company Survey of
Performance-Based Work/Life Programs.
(7/23/99) A new study sponsored by the U.S. Agency for Health Care Policy and Research
(AHCPR), Patients in Managed Care Plans Value the Role of Primary Care Physicians but
Want Them to be Coordinators, Not Gatekeepers, is available. Click
here for the press release dated July 20, 1999.
for Social Security Reform" by Dick Schreitmueller and Bruce Schobel is the
feature story in the July/August 1999 issue of Contingencies published by the
American Academy of Actuaries.
of Investing Social Security Trust Funds in Financial Markets is a report prepared
for the Committee on Investment of Employee Benefit Assets (CIEBA) by economists at four
leading firms: Goldman Sachs & Co., Morgan Stanley Dean Witter & Co., J.P. Morgan,
and INVESCO Global Strategies.
(7/20/99) The American Society of Pension Actuaries updates regularly a "Side
by Side Comparison of House and Senate Pension Reform Bills."
(7/20/99) The Joint Committee on Taxation (JCT) has released:
(7/19/99) IOMA has posted articles based on the results of the BARRA
RogersCasey/IOMA 1999 DC Plan Survey:
(7/16/99) The U.S. Department of Labor released
July 15 a new disclosure form with the purpose of helping companies evaluate the
expenses of adopting 401(k) plans. A
Look at 401(k) Plan Fees...for Employers explains the premise of the form. The
401(k) Plan Fee Disclosure Form is not legally required.
(7/16/99)The Employee Benefit Research Institute is cited in the following article: WHZ-101:
Evaluating Benefits by Cynthia E. Brodrick, Staff Reporter for theWhiz.com.
here for the "Statement of Norman P. Stein on Cash Balance Plans" presented
to the ERISA Advisory Council Working Group on Cash Balance Plans July 14, 1999.
(7/16/99) The Gerontological Society of America has posted a new report: Social
Security Reform and Older Women: Improving the System by Timothy Smeeding, Lou
Glasse, and Carroll Estes.
the Retirement Boom" by Jane Bryant Quinn, is posted on the Thursday, July 8,
1999, Washington Post online.
Pensions Disappearing, posted on July 14, 1999, from The Associated Press via the
(7/14/99) The consulting firm of William M. Mercer has released retirement plan
contribution limit projections for the year 2000 based on the expected level of inflation
in the third quarter of 1999. Employees may be able to contribute up to $10,500 in their
401(k) and 403(b) plans instead of the current $10,000. Employers may be able to calculate
pensions based on $170,000 compensation instead of the current $160,000 and use $85,000 as
the pay level for determining highly paid employees instead of the current $80,000.
here for "Compare Online Retirement Calculators" by Jane Bryant Quinn from
the Tuesday, July 6, 1999, Washington Post.
here for the National Health Expenditure Projections 1998-2008. "The
National Health Expenditure Projections presented here are based on the 1997 release of
the National Health Expenditures. The Projections are estimates of spending for health
care in the U.S. for the years 1998-2008. The Projections are presented by type of service
delivered (hospital care, physician services, nursing home care, etc.) and by source of
funding for those services (private health insurance, Medicare, Medicaid, out-of-pocket
(7/12/99) Read an article from Personal Financial Planning: "Tax
Planning for Health-Related Expenses" by Thomas R. Robinson And Lawrence C.
here to view the June 1999 Alliance For Health Reform's Issue Brief,
"Employer-Sponsored Coverage: Changes in the Wind?"
(7/9/99) The U.S. House Of Representatives Committee on Ways and Means has posted the
May 17, 1999, Committee Print titled: Medicare
And Health Care Chartbook.
(7/8/99) The Heritage Foundation has released an executive memorandum entitled Bill
Clinton's Risky Drug Plan by James Frogue.
(7/1/99) The U.S. Senate Committee on Finance held a
hearing on June 30 on pension reform legislation. The list of witnesses included Tom
Harkin, United States Senator from Iowa, and a panel consisting of:
J. Purcell, Specialist in Social Legislation, Domestic Social Policy Division,
Congressional Research Service; Washington, DC
D. Metras, Director, Total Compensation, Eastman Kodak Company, Rochester, NY, on
behalf of the Association of Private Pension and Welfare Plans (APPWP)
- Robert Hill, Esq., Trial Attorney, Denver, CO
J. Macey, Esq., Senior Counsel, AT&T/ASA, Inc., Somerset, NJ, on behalf of the
ERISA Industry Committee (ERIC)
D. Pearce, President of Alliance Benefit Group of Delaware, Inc., Wilmington, DE, on
behalf of the American Society of Pension Actuaries
Combs, Esq., Vice President and Chief Pension Counsel, American Council of Life
Insurers (ACLI), Washington, DC
Valentino, Watson Wyatt Worldwide, New York, NY, on behalf of the National Defined
here for a January 1999, Current Trends in Public Opinion survey from Wirthlin
Worldwide titled: Americans On The Job Part 2: Rebuilding The Employer/Employee