What's New - May 2007

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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:


EBRI Publishes Detailed Look at U.S. Retirement System:  With the oldest of the nation’s baby boomers turning 60 this year, the nonpartisan Employee Benefit Research Institute (EBRI) has published an in-depth book on the U.S. retirement system and how it may change in the future.

May 2007 EBRI Issue Brief - "Sources of Health Insurance and Characteristics of the Uninsured: Updated Analysis of the March 2006 Current Population Survey"

May 2007 EBRI Notes - "Income of the Elderly Population Age 65 and Over, 2005" and "ERISA Pre-emption and Health Care Reform: A History Lesson"


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:

"Saving Our Future Requires Tough Choices Today: Fiscal, Retirement, and Health Care Insecurity," by David M. Walker, comptroller general of the United States, before the Association for Advanced Life Underwriting, in Washington, D.C. GAO-07-843CG, May 2. [slides]

Employer-Sponsored Health and Retirement Benefits: Efforts to Control Employer Costs and the Implications for Workers. GAO-07-355, March 30.  Highlights.

Federal Employees Health Benefits Program: Premiums Continue to Rise, but Rate of Growth Has Recently Slowed, by John E. Dicken, director, health care, before the Subcommittee on Oversight of Government Management, the Federal Workforce, and the District of Columbia, Senate Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs. GAO-07-873T, May 18. 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.

[5/31/07]  Sibson Consulting’s Capital Checkup:  "2008 Minimums and Maximums for Health Savings Accounts Plans and High-Deductible Health Plans"

[5/31/07]  U.S. Department of the Treasury Internal Revenue Service:  Mortality Tables for Determining Present Value; Notice of proposed rulemaking [published in the Federal Register on May 29, 2007]

[5/31/07]  Buck Consultants InsightOut:  "New Accounting Standard Provides Greater Flexibility for Informally Funded Nonqualified Plans"

[5/31/07]  Business Week:  "A Costly Glitch for 401(k) Heirs - A Law Giving Nonspouses a Tax Break Doesn’t Always Apply. How to Protect Your Kids"

[5/31/07]  Center for Retirement Research at Boston College:  Do People Plan to Tap Their Home Equity in Retirement?

[5/31/07]  Business Insurance:  "Airline Provision Would Allow Higher Interest Rate"

[5/31/07]  America’s Health Insurance Plans:  Who Buys Long-Term Care Insurance? A 15-Year Study of Buyers and Non-Buyers, 1990-2005

[5/31/07]  AARP Public Policy Institute:  In Brief: Can 1 + 1 = 3? A Look at Hybrid Insurance Products with Long-Term Care Insurance

[5/31/07]  U.S. Department of the Treasury Internal Revenue Service:  Distributions From a Pension Plan Upon Attainment of Normal Retirement Age; Final regulations [published in the Federal Register on May 22, 2007]

[5/31/07]  U.S. House Committee on Education and Labor Subcommittee on Health, Employment, Labor, and Pensions:  Hearing on "Health Care Reform: Recommendations to Improve Coordination of Federal and State Initiatives" [includes links to testimonies]

[5/31/07]  National Conference of State Legislatures:  2007 Bills on Universal Health Care Coverage: Legislatures Fill in the Gaps

[5/31/07]  Kaiser Commission on Medicaid and the Uninsured:  SCHIP Turns 10: An Update on Enrollment and the Outlook on Reauthorization from the Program’s Directors

[5/31/07]  Congressional Research Service:
Genetic Non-discrimination in Employment: A Comparison of Title II Provisions in S.358 and H.R.493, 110th Congress
Genetic Nondiscrimination in Health Insurance: A Side-by-Side Comparison of the Title I Provisions in H.R.493 and S.358

[5/31/07]  Kaiser Daily Health Policy Report:  "Sale of Chrysler Likely to Affect Health Benefits for Union Employees, Retirees"

[5/31/07]  Watson Wyatt Worldwide:  "Effect of Pension Reform on Retirement Plan Sponsorship Unclear: Fifty-Eight Percent of FORTUNE 100 Offer Pension Plans, Watson Wyatt Analysis Finds"

[5/31/07]  Pension Rights Center:  Covering the Uncovered: Final Report of the Conversation on Coverage

[5/31/07]  National Academy of Social Insurance:  Social Security and Retirement Income Adequacy [Overview]  Full Brief.

[5/31/07]  The Pensions Regulator [U.K.]:  Corporate Plan, 2007-2010

[5/31/07]  Milliman, Inc.:  Milliman Medical Index 2007

[5/15/07]  The Wall Street Journal Online/Harris Interactive Health-Care Poll:  "The Public Is Willing to Support Many Options to Expand Health Insurance Coverage, But Not All"

[5/15/07]  Business Insurance:  "HSA Contribution Limits Set to Increase"

[5/15/07]  Aon Consulting Forum:  "Insuring Medical Stop-Loss in a Captive"

[5/15/07]  The Commonwealth Fund:  Health Care Opinion Leaders’ Views on Priorities for SCHIP Reauthorization

[5/10/07] MetLife Mature Market Institute:  It’s Not Your Mother’s Retirement: A MetLife Study of Women & Generational Differences

[5/10/07] Center for Retirement Research at Boston College:  Employers Lukewarm about Retaining Older Workers

[5/10/07] American Hospital Association:  When I’m 64: How Boomers Will Change Health Care

[5/10/07] American Business Collaboration for Quality Dependent Care:  The New Career Paradigm: Flexibility Briefing

[5/9/07] Women’s Retirement Security Act of 2007Full Text of S.1288

[5/9/07] Workforce Management:  "Special Report: Consumer-Driven Health Care" [registration may be required]

[5/9/07] Journal of General Internal Medicine:  "Consumer Directed Healthcare: Except for the Healthy and Wealthy, It’s Unwise" [Opinion]

[5/9/07] Center on Budget and Policy Priorities:  What the 2007 Trustees’ Report Shows About Social Security

[5/9/07] Employee Benefit News:  "Target Practice: Keeping Investors on Target with Target-Date Retirement Funds"

[5/9/07] Investment Company Institute:  2007 Investment Company Fact Book

[5/7/07] U.S. House Committee on Education and Labor Subcommittee on Health, Employment, Labor, and Pensions: Hearing on "Retirement Security: Strengthening Pension Protections" [with links to testimonies]

[5/7/07] Pensions & Investments:  "Bill Would Expand 401(k) to Part Timers"

[5/7/07] Society of Professional Benefit Administrators:  "What Is Employee Health Benefits Self-Funding?...and Why Should It Be Encouraged as Good National Policy"

[5/7/07] Employee Benefit News:  "Mental Health Survey Reveals Problems and Opportunities"

[5/4/07] The Segal Company’s Capital Checkup:  "Maryland Will Not Challenge Appellate Court Decision Upholding a Lower Court’s Ruling That the State’s ‘Fair Share’ Law Is Preempted by ERISA"

[5/4/07] Sibson Consulting Bulletin:  "Massachusetts’ Cafeteria Plan Mandate"

[5/4/07] Center for Retirement Research at Boston College:  Employers and Older Workers: CRR Survey Data

[5/4/07] The Aspen Institute:  Savings for Life: A Pathway to Financial Security for All Americans [Overview]. Full Report.

[5/4/07] AARP:  Mission Retirement: A Retirement Planning Video [requires the latest version of the Flash Player]

[5/3/07] Business Insurance:  "Big Firms Don’t Favor Retiree Health Benefits"

[5/3/07] National Conference of State Legislatures:  2007 Comprehensive Health Care Reforms: Side-by-Side Comparisons

[5/3/07] National Health Policy Forum:  Health Care Price Transparency and Price Competition [Background Paper]

[5/3/07] Center for Studying Health System Change Issue Brief:  "High-Performance Health Plan Networks: Early Experiences"

[5/2/07] U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics:  Employment Cost Index--March 2007

[5/2/07] Transamerica Center for Retirement Studies:  "Small Business Employees Significantly Trail Their Large Company Counterparts in Retirement Savings and Preparedness" [Press Release].  Small Businesses vs. Large Companies [Survey Results]

[5/2/07] Vanguard Center for Retirement Research:  Early Adoption of the Roth 401(k)

[5/2/07] Contingencies:  "Pension Policy and Public Retirement Systems"

[5/2/07] Congressional Budget Office:  Labor Productivity: Developments Since 1995

[5/2/07] Internal Revenue Service:  Public Comment Invited on Recommendations for 2007-2008 Guidance Priority List [Notice 2007-41]

[5/1/07] 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.

[5/1/07] Congressional Research Service:  Required Healthcare Contributions, Fair Share Legislation, and RILA v. Fielder

[5/1/07] The Segal Company Capital Checkup:  "CMS Announces Indexed Medicare Part D Amounts for 2008"

[5/1/07] Congressional Research Service:  The Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation and the Federal Budget

[5/1/07] Center for Retirement Research at Boston College:  The Social Security Fix-It Book: A Citizen’s Guide

[5/1/07] Expedia.com:  2007 International Vacation Deprivation™ Survey Results

Updated 5/31/07