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What's new at EBRI this month:
of Benefits Survey: "Most workers are generally satisfied with their
employment-based benefits and continue to rank health care as the most important of their
employee benefits, according to the findings of the 2000 Value of Benefits Survey
conducted by WorldatWork in collaboration with the Employee Benefit Research Institute
2000 Retirement Confidence
Survey and Minority RCS: Results of the 2000 Retirement Confidence Survey (RCS)
and the 2000 Minority RCS were released on May 16, 2000, at an event at the National Press
Club in Washington, DC.
Evaluating the Archer-Shaw Social Security Proposal: Using the
EBRI-SSASIM2 Policy Simulation Model, the June EBRI Notes article closely
examines the Archer-Shaw 1999 proposal, which incoprates the key concept of individual
accounts that Gov. Bush has endorsed.
EBRI President's 1st
Quarter 2000 Report
The EBRI Issue Brief
and EBRI Notes for the month of
May are available online for ordering. The May Issue Brief is titled
"Voluntary Long-Term Care Insurance:
Best Practices for Increasing Employee Participation." The May Notes articles are "IRA
Assets Total More Than $2 Trillion" and "Nonelderly Individuals With
Employment-Based and Individually Purchased Health Care Coverage."
Small Employer Retirement Survey (SERS):
The 2000 Results of the
survey are available.
EBRI-ERF Policy Forum: The next EBRI-ERF policy forum, "The
Economic Costs of the Uninsured: Implications for Business and Government" will be
held on May 3, 2000, in Washington, DC. Click here for the agenda and links
to background materials, as they become available.
What's new in employee benefits:
News Online -- a daily update from the Society for Human Resource Management
- The following items have been added to the General Accounting Office's Web site in
Portable Document (PDF) format:
Health Parity Act: Despite New Federal Standards, Mental Health Benefits Remain Limited.
HEHS-00-95. 23 pp. plus 5 appendices (41 pp.) May 10, 2000.
Health Parity Act: Employers' Mental Health Benefits Remain Limited Despite New Federal
Standards. T-HEHS-00-113, May 18, 2000.
Employees' Health Program: Reasons Why HMOs Withdrew in 1999 and 2000. GGD-00-100. 19
pp. plus 3 appendices (4 pp.) May 2, 2000.
Drugs: Adapting Private Sector Management Methods for a Medicare Benefit.
T-HEHS-00-112, May 11, 2000.
21st Century Challenges Prompt Fresh Thinking About Program's Administrative Structure.
T-HEHS-00-108, May 04, 2000.
Health Insurance: Cooperatives Offer Small Employers Plan Choice and Market Prices.
HEHS-00-49. 29 pp. March 31, 2000.
Standards: Issues in HHS' Proposed Rule on Confidentiality of Personal Health Information,
T-HEHS-00-106, April 26, 2000.
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.
(5/30/00) The Commonwealth Fund has posted two reports of interest:
here for a May 23, 2000, report from American Banker: "Poll Shows 401(k)
Market Tough to Crack" by Matthew Hunter.
Policymakers Dont Know About Health Insurance talks about a recent book titled Pooling
Health Insurance Risks by Mark V. Pauly and Bradley Herring in which they "take
an in-depth look at the relationship between premiums and expected medical expenses across
the three major sources of private health insurance in the U. S.: large employment-based
group insurance, small group insurance, and individual nongroup insurance."
(5/25/00) "PWBA, IRS and PBGC announced the final computer-scannable 1999
Form 5500 formats and a new website (www.efast.dol.gov)
as part of the new ERISA Filing Acceptance System (EFAST). 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 PWBAs toll
free publications hotline, 1-800-998-7542. (News
(5/24/00) A newly
released Hewitt work/life survey of 1,020 U.S. employers by Hewitt Associates,
includes findings on flexible work arrangements, child care assistance, elder care
programs, and adoption benefits among other work and family employee benefits.
(5/23/00) On May 17, 2000, the American Society of Pension Actuaries (ASPA) issued a
press release stating that an ASPA survey confirms that the new comparability plans
expand small business retirement plan coverage.
OASDI Wage Bases: 2001--2009," from an Ernst & Young Tax Alert of May
10, are the estimated Social Security wage bases for 2001--2009 recently released by the
Social Security Administration. The actual Social Security wage base for year 2001 will be
released in October 2000.
Uninsured in America is an Online NewsHour with Jim Lehrer/Henry J. Kaiser Family
Foundation Partnership presentation with survey results and interviews.
(5/22/00) Read Individual
Social Security Accounts: The Mega-Issue of 2000, by Pete du Pont, published by
Intellectual Capital.com May 17, 2000.
Financial State of Hospitals: Post-BBA and Post-BBRA is a Ernst &
Young/HCIA-Sachs LLC study released May 1, 2000.
(5/22/00) The National Coalition on Health Care released
May 5 the report, Déjà
vu All Over Again -- The Soaring Cost of Private Health Insurance and Its Impact on
Consumers and Employers.
Your Retirement Plan Changes: Understanding Your Cash Balance Plan, an online
booklet from the American Academy of Actuaries, helps plan participants understand how
changes to company pension plans can affect retirement planning.
Investment Company Institute Education Foundation and the National Urban League
announced May 18, 2000, that they are joining forces to sponsor a national campaign in the
African-American community to promote greater awareness about investing
inspire individuals to become more educated about investing and to take advantage of
opportunities to accumulate wealth and secure their retirement
here to read the press release on AARP's new survey, "Money and the American
Family." AARP's Web site also provides a preview of an article in the July-August
2000 issue of Modern Maturity on the survey, "The
Allure of Money: America's Love-Hate Relationship With the Almighty Dollar."
(5/18/00) To download a copy of the 1992 U.S. Office of Technology Assessment (OTA)
paper titled, Does Health Insurance Make a Difference?, go to the OTA's
(5/18/00) The Employment
Cost Index for March 2000 was released April 27 by the U.S. Department of Labor's
Bureau of Labor Statistics.
(5/17/00) The Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ) has posted CAHPS®
(Consumer Assessment of Health Plans), an easy-to-use kit of survey and report tools
that provides reliable and valid information to help consumers and purchasers assess and
choose among health plans. The kit contains a set of questionnaires to ask consumers about
their experience with their health plans, sample formats for reporting results to
consumers, and a handbook to help implement the surveys and produce the reports.
(5/17/00) The Social Security Network has posted Social
Security Privatization: Eleven Myths. The Social Security Network has also created
a special section on "Social
Security and the 2000 Elections."
Capital I.Q., Vol. 2, from Deloitte & Touche, contains the following:
1) Voluntary Fiduciary Correction Program Offered by the Department of Labor:
--The VFC Process
--The Ambiguity of Fiduciary Breaches
2) Reporting to the Health Protection Data Bank & Uniform Standards for Health Data
3) COBRA Timetables Part 1Maximum Coverage Periods
(5/16/00) The report, Workers
Compensation: Benefits, Coverage, and Costs, 1997-1998, New Estimates, by the
National Academy of Social Insurance provides "the only comprehensive national data
on this state-run program. The study provides estimates of workers compensation
payments cash and medical for all 50 states, the District of Columbia, and
the few federal programs providing workers compensation benefits."
(5/16/00) Insure.com has posted Change
in Health Premiums: March 2000 to April 2000. "Average health insurance
premiums for HMO and non-HMO health plans in the United States rose slightly across the
board during April 2000. But compared to the same period last year, there's been a
dramatic jump averaging almost 8 percent, according to data from Ceridian Benefits
Services, a Palm Harbor, Fla., provider of employee benefits administration
(5/16/00) The Brookings Institution will hold a "Priorities 2000 National Issues
Forum" titled, Living
Longer: The Challenges of an Aging Population on May 25, 2000.
(5/16/00) The 1999
CFP Board Consumer Survey on attitudes/approaches to financial planning advice and
services has been posted by the Certified Financial Planner Board of Standards. Click
here to read the additional Summary of Consumer Attitudes.
Pensions At Risk, written by Michael Calabrese, is available on
Portfolio Choice, Trading, and Returns in a Large 401(k) Plan by Julie Agnew,
Pierluigi Balduzzi, and Annika Sundén is Center for Retirement Research at Boston
CollegeWorking Paper No. 2000-06.
here to read "Mutual Fund Assets and Flows in 1999," in Perspective,
February 2000, from the Investment Company Institute.
Benefits Held Captive" by Marilyn Ostermiller in the May 2000 Best's Review,
reports that "more companies are expected to move their workers compensation
and disability programs into a captive if the U.S. Department of Labor approves the
the Debate: Your Guide to Health Issues in the 2000 Election was developed as part
of a nonpartisan public education initiative of the Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation and
the League of Women Voters Education Fund. The guide provides basic facts about five key
health policy topics candidates are discussing in the 2000 election.
(5/12/00) The Investment Company Institute has posted the 2000 edition of the Mutual
Fund Fact Book.
(5/11/00) A nationwide survey, sponsored by the Jump$tart Coalition for Personal
Financial Literacy, found 12th graders' level of knowledge of personal finance basics to
be declining. Click
here for the press release. Click
here for the 2000 Jump$tart Questionnaire & Results.
(5/11/00) The Thrift Savings Plan (TSP), a retirement savings plan for federal
employees, has posted the Thrift
Savings Plan Highlights, May 2000, edition.
(5/11/00) The Silicon Valley-based accounting firm Mohler,
Nixon & Williams' seventh annual 401(k) survey, in which over 400 northern
California companies from various industries participated, is available online.
a Perk? Whatever It Takes" by Wendy Fawthrop is one of several May 8, 2000, Seattle
Times articles on employee benefits.
(5/10/00) The May 2000 issue of CFO Magazine includes an
article titled "Advice
With a Price," by Robert Stowe England, dealing with the issue of companies
offering workers Internet-based guidance for 401(k) investments.
(5/10/00) The U.S. Department of Labor's Pension and Welfare Benefits Administration
has posted the Private
Pension Plan Bulletin: Abstract of 1996 Form 5500 Annual Reports, Number 9,
the Numbers: Need Help Benchmarking Compensation, Benefits or Occupational Safety?
Chances Are the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics Can Help" is an article in the May
2000 issue of HR Magazine.
(5/8/00) The Federal Trade Commission's Consumer Protection site has added a
consumer education page on investments.
(5/5/00) The Employment Policy Foundation and the Society for Human Resource Management
Foundation have published a book entitled Paid Family Leave: At What Cost? Click
here for key findings.
(5/1/00) Stewart D. Friedman and Jeffrey H. Greenhaus address work and family conflicts
in their new book, Work
and Family - Allies or Enemies? What Happens When Business Professionals Confront Life
Choices which is forthcoming from Oxford University Press in June 2000.
(5/1/00) Representatives from a variety of health and medical companies discussed
Internet strategy for the medical community at the 5th
annual Wharton New Ventures in Health Care Conference on April 13.
(5/1/00) Rand E. Rosenblatt, Professor Of Law & Associate Dean For Academic
Affairs, Rutgers University Law School, presented
testimony February 24 on ERISA preemption before the Subcommittee On Employer-Employee
Relations of the Committee on Education and the Workforce of the United States House of
Representatives' hearing on "Erisa: A Quarter Century of Providing Workers Health