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 Collection: Congressional Research Service Reports
Regulating Private Pensions: A Brief Summary of ERISA

Regulating Private Pensions: A Brief Summary of ERISA

Date: January 15, 2004
Creator: Purcell, Patrick
Description: This report briefly discusses the Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974 (ERISA), and how it protects the interests of participants and beneficiaries in private-sector employee benefit plans. ERISA covers a number of fringe benefits provided by employers, but most of its provisions deal with pension plans. Pension plans sponsored by the federal, state, and local governments, or by churches generally are exempt from ERISA.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
401(k) Plans and Retirement Savings: Issues for Congress

401(k) Plans and Retirement Savings: Issues for Congress

Date: July 14, 2009
Creator: Purcell, Patrick & Topoleski, John J.
Description: Over the past 25 years, defined contribution (DC) plans - including 401(k) plans - have become the most prevalent form of employer-sponsored retirement plan in the United States. This report describes seven major policy issues with respect to defined contribution plans: 1) access to employer-sponsored retirement plans; 2) participation in employer-sponsored plans; 3) contribution rates; 4) investment choices; 5) fee disclosure; 6) leakage from retirement savings; and 7) converting retirement savings into income.
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Supplemental Security Income (SSI): A Fact Sheet

Supplemental Security Income (SSI): A Fact Sheet

Date: January 8, 2008
Creator: Szymendera, Scott
Description: The Supplemental Security Income (SSI) program, Title XVI of the Social Security Act, was enacted in 1972 and implemented in 1974 to assure a minimum cash income to all aged, blind, or disabled persons. SSI is provided to eligible aged or disabled individuals or couples who have limited income and resources.
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Social Security and Medicare Taxes and Premiums: Fact Sheet

Social Security and Medicare Taxes and Premiums: Fact Sheet

Date: January 13, 2004
Creator: Nuschler, Dawn
Description: Financing for social security -- Old Age, Survivors, and Disability Insurance -- and the Hospital Insurance part of Medicare is provided primarily by taxes levied on wages and net self-employment income. Financing for the Supplementary Medical Insurance portion of Medicare is provided by premiums from enrollees and payments from the government. This report describes these taxes and premiums.
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Social Security: Raising the Retirement Age Background and Issues

Social Security: Raising the Retirement Age Background and Issues

Date: June 24, 2002
Creator: Kollmann, Geoffrey
Description: The Social Security "full retirement age" will gradually rise from 65 to 67 beginning with people who attain age 62 in 2000 (i.e., those born in 1938). Early retirement benefits will still be available beginning at age 62, but at lower levels. To help solve Social Security's long-range financing problems, it has been proposed that these ages be raised further.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation: A Fact Sheet

Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation: A Fact Sheet

Date: January 29, 2008
Creator: Topoleski, John J.
Description: The Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation (PBGC) is a federal government agency established in 1974 by the Employee Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA) (P.L. 93- 406). It was created to protect the pensions of participants and beneficiaries covered by private sector, defined benefit (DB) plans. These pension plans provide a specified monthly benefit at retirement, usually either a percent of salary or a flat dollar amount multiplied by years of service. Defined contribution plans, such as ยง401(k) plans, are not insured. The PBGC is chaired by the Secretary of Labor, with the Secretaries of Treasury and Commerce serving as board members.
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H.R. 6500, The Thrift Savings Plan Enhancement Act of 2008

H.R. 6500, The Thrift Savings Plan Enhancement Act of 2008

Date: July 29, 2008
Creator: Purcell, Patrick
Description: This report describes the various aspects of the Thrift Savings Plan Enhancement Act of 2008.
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Increases in Tricare Costs: Background and Options for Congress

Increases in Tricare Costs: Background and Options for Congress

Date: October 23, 2008
Creator: Jansen, Don J.
Description: In its FY2007, FY2008, and FY2009 budget submissions, the Department of Defense (DOD) proposed increases in Tricare enrollment fees, deductibles, and pharmacy co-payments for retired beneficiaries not yet eligible for Medicare. In passing the FY2009 National Defense Authorization Act, Congress included measures establishing demonstration projects intended to find ways to contain costs through increased use of preventive care services by TRICARE beneficiaries. The scope of these measures are limited. Defense health care spending will likely remain an issue for the DOD in the next Administration, and Congress can anticipate being asked to consider new proposals to constrain costs.
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Increases in Tricare Costs: Background and Options for Congress

Increases in Tricare Costs: Background and Options for Congress

Date: May 6, 2008
Creator: Best, Jr., Richard A.
Description: In its FY2007 budget submission, the Department of Defense (DOD) proposed increases in Tricare enrollment fees, deductibles, and pharmacy co-payments for retired beneficiaries not yet eligible for Medicare. The raises were justified by DOD as necessary to constrain the growth of health care spending as a proportion of the overall defense budget in the next decade. Many beneficiaries argued that the proposed hikes were unfair and unnecessary. The FY2007 Defense Authorization Act prohibited increases in premiums, deductibles, and co-payments prior to September 30, 2007. The FY2008 National Defense Authoriztion Act extended the prohibition of increases in co-payments and enrollment fees until October 2008 and Congress may move to extend them further.
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Increases in Tricare Costs: Background and Options for Congress

Increases in Tricare Costs: Background and Options for Congress

Date: July 25, 2008
Creator: Jansen, Don J.
Description: In its FY2007, FY2008, and FY2009 budget submissions, the Department of Defense (DOD) proposed increases in Tricare enrollment fees, deductibles, and pharmacy co-payments for retired beneficiaries not yet eligible for Medicare. In passing the FY2009 National Defense Authorization Act, Congress included measures establishing demonstration projects intended to find ways to contain costs through increased use of preventive care services by TRICARE beneficiaries. The scope of these measures are limited. Defense health care spending will likely remain an issue for the DOD in the next Administration, and Congress can anticipate being asked to consider new proposals to constrain costs.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
Increases in Tricare Costs: Background and Options for Congress

Increases in Tricare Costs: Background and Options for Congress

Date: August 15, 2008
Creator: Jansen, Don J. & Best, Richard
Description: In its FY2007, FY2008, and FY2009 budget submissions, the Department of Defense (DOD) proposed increases in Tricare enrollment fees, deductibles, and pharmacy co-payments for retired beneficiaries not yet eligible for Medicare. In passing the FY2009 National Defense Authorization Act, Congress included measures establishing demonstration projects intended to find ways to contain costs through increased use of preventive care services by TRICARE beneficiaries. The scope of these measures are limited. Defense health care spending will likely remain an issue for the DOD in the next Administration, and Congress can anticipate being asked to consider new proposals to constrain costs.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
Topics in Aging: Income of Americans Age 65 and Older, 1969 to 2004

Topics in Aging: Income of Americans Age 65 and Older, 1969 to 2004

Date: April 20, 2006
Creator: Purcell, Patrick J & Whitman, Debra B
Description: None
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
Topics in Aging: Income of Americans Age 65 and Older, 1969 to 2004

Topics in Aging: Income of Americans Age 65 and Older, 1969 to 2004

Date: April 20, 2006
Creator: Purcell, Patrick J & Whitman, Debra B
Description: None
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
Pension Sponsorship and Participation: Summary of Recent Trends

Pension Sponsorship and Participation: Summary of Recent Trends

Date: August 31, 2006
Creator: Purcell, Patrick J
Description: None
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
Standardized Choices: Medigap Lessons for Medicare Part D

Standardized Choices: Medigap Lessons for Medicare Part D

Date: March 8, 2006
Creator: Hahn, Jim
Description: None
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Side-by-Side Comparison of Medicare, Medicaid, and SCHIP Provisions in the Deficit Reduction Act of 2005

Side-by-Side Comparison of Medicare, Medicaid, and SCHIP Provisions in the Deficit Reduction Act of 2005

Date: January 30, 2006
Creator: Tritz, Karen; Tilson, Sybil; Stone, Julie; Peterson, Chris L.; O'Sullivan, Jennifer; Morgan, Paulette C. et al.
Description: From the summary: "This report provides a comparison of Medicare, Medicaid and State Child Health Insurance Program provisions contained in the Deficit Reduction Act of 2005 (S. 1932) as amended and passed by the Senate. The report compares the bill's provisions with current law."
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Retirement Savings and Household Wealth: Trends from 2001 to 2004

Retirement Savings and Household Wealth: Trends from 2001 to 2004

Date: May 22, 2006
Creator: Purcell, Patrick J
Description: None
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
Retirement Savings and Household Wealth: A Summary of Recent Data

Retirement Savings and Household Wealth: A Summary of Recent Data

Date: June 28, 2004
Creator: Purcell, Patrick J
Description: None
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
Older Americans Act Nutrition Program

Older Americans Act Nutrition Program

Date: April 29, 2004
Creator: O'Shaughnessy, Carol
Description: None
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Medicare Prescription Drug Benefit: An Overview of Implementation for Dual Eligibles

Medicare Prescription Drug Benefit: An Overview of Implementation for Dual Eligibles

Date: February 6, 2006
Creator: O'Sullivan, Jennifer & Tritz, Karen
Description: This report provides background information on the early stages of the implementation of the Medicare Part D outpatient prescription drug program. This report describes certain policies and implementation issues related to those who are not dually eligible.
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Medicare: Physician Payments

Medicare: Physician Payments

Date: June 24, 1987
Creator: O'Sullivan, Jennifer
Description: This report discusses payments for physicians services under Medicare that are made on the basis of a fee schedule.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
Medicare/Medicaid Reimbursement: Selected References

Medicare/Medicaid Reimbursement: Selected References

Date: August 1, 1984
Creator: Shirley-Reynolds, Saundra
Description: This report is a compilation of selected articles, books, and executive agency and congressional publications on Medicare and Medicaid reimbursement, primarily to health facilities and physicians.
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Nursing Homes and the Congress: A Brief History of Developments and Issues

Nursing Homes and the Congress: A Brief History of Developments and Issues

Date: November 1, 1972
Creator: Congressional Research Service
Description: None
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
Topics in Aging: Income and Poverty Among Older Americans in 2004

Topics in Aging: Income and Poverty Among Older Americans in 2004

Date: November 7, 2005
Creator: Whitman, Debra B & Purcell, Patrick J
Description: None
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department