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 Collection: Congressional Research Service Reports
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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Beneficiary Information and Decision Supports for the Medicare-Endorsed Prescription Drug Discount Card

Beneficiary Information and Decision Supports for the Medicare-Endorsed Prescription Drug Discount Card

Date: March 24, 2005
Creator: Justice, Diane
Description: On December 8, 2003 the President signed into law the Medicare Prescription Drug, Improvement and Modernization Act of 2003 (MMA, P.L. 108-173). This legislation establishes a Medicare prescription drug benefit, effective January 1, 2006. In the interim, the legislation requires the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) to establish a temporary program of Medicare-endorsed prescription drug discount cards. This report discusses the objectives and benefits of this legislation.
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Benefits for the Aged and the Federal Budget: Short- and Long-Term Projections

Benefits for the Aged and the Federal Budget: Short- and Long-Term Projections

Date: November 14, 2002
Creator: Storey, James R
Description: As the 108th Congress addresses short-term budget decisions, it may also want to consider the long-run impacts of those decisions and the major shifts in budget composition that are underway. Congress may be pressed to add new benefits in response to population aging, such as improved support for long-term care and broader Medicare drug coverage.
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Civil Service Retirement Bills in the 106th Congress

Civil Service Retirement Bills in the 106th Congress

Date: June 28, 2000
Creator: Purcell, Patrick J
Description: Among the civil service retirement issues addressed in bills introduced thus far in the 106th Congress are the correction of retirement coverage errors for federal employees assigned to the wrong retirement system; immediate eligibility for federal employees to participate in the Thrift Savings Plan (TSP); improved portability of pension benefits; and repeal of the temporary increase in employee retirement contributions that was mandated by the Balanced Budget Act of 1997. Other bills would expand TSP eligibility to include members of the armed services; improve pension coverage for temporary and part-time federal employees; and designate several categories of federal employees as law enforcement officers for purposes of determining their retirement benefits.
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Concurrent Receipt: Background and Issues for Congress

Concurrent Receipt: Background and Issues for Congress

Date: September 24, 2010
Creator: Henning, Charles A.
Description: "Concurrent Receipt" refers to the simultaneous receipt of two types of monetary benefits: military retired pay and Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) disability compensation. This report addresses the two primary components of the concurrent receipt program: Combat-Related Special Compensation (CRSC) and Concurrent Retirement and Disability Payments (CRDP). It reviews the possible legislative expansion of the program to additional populations and provide several potential options for Congress to consider.
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Converting Retirement Savings into Income: Annuities and Periodic Withdrawals

Converting Retirement Savings into Income: Annuities and Periodic Withdrawals

Date: December 1, 2008
Creator: Mulvey, Janemarie & Purcell, Patrick
Description: To a worker contemplating retirement, there is perhaps no more important question than "How long will my money last?" Congress has a strong interest in the income security of older Americans because much of their income is either provided directly from public programs like Social Security, or in the case of pensions and retirement accounts, is subsidized through tax deductions and deferrals. This report looks at strategies to help deal with the following risks: longevity, investment, inflation, and unexpected events.
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Converting Retirement Savings into Income: Annuities and Periodic Withdrawals

Converting Retirement Savings into Income: Annuities and Periodic Withdrawals

Date: December 1, 2008
Creator: Mulvey, Janemarie & Purcell, Patrick
Description: To a worker contemplating retirement, there is perhaps no more important question than "How long will my money last?" Congress has a strong interest in the income security of older Americans because much of their income is either provided directly from public programs like Social Security, or in the case of pensions and retirement accounts, is subsidized through tax deductions and deferrals. This report discusses risks involved with retirement fund disbursement and strategies for dealing with such risks.
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The Cost of Prescription Drugs for the Uninsured Elderly and Legislative Approaches

The Cost of Prescription Drugs for the Uninsured Elderly and Legislative Approaches

Date: January 16, 2001
Creator: Transportation and Industry Analysis Section
Description: The purpose of this report is to explain why many of those who are least able to afford high drug costs are those who are most frequently charged the most. This report describes the basic economic theory underlying price differentiation and, in the context of the pharmaceutical market, analyzes the role and behavior of pharmacy benefit managers (PBMs), pharmaceutical manufacturers, and retail pharmacies, respectively. It also looks at a number of the criticisms that have been made of the practice of differential pricing. Finally, this report discusses various policy approaches aimed at assisting the elderly to purchase prescription drugs.
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A CRS Review of 10 States: Home and Community-Based Services — States Seek to Change the Face of Long-Term Care: Indiana

A CRS Review of 10 States: Home and Community-Based Services — States Seek to Change the Face of Long-Term Care: Indiana

Date: December 15, 2003
Creator: Tilly, Jane; O'Shaughnessy, Carol & Weissert, Rob
Description: Many states have devoted significant efforts to respond to the desire for home and community-based care for persons with disabilities and their families. Nevertheless, financing of nursing home care, chiefly by Medicaid, still dominates most states’ spending for long-term care today. To assist Congress in understanding issues that states face in providing long-term care services, the Congressional Research Service (CRS) undertook a study of 10 states in 2002. This report, one in a series of 10 state reports, presents background and analysis about long-term care in Indiana.
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End-of-Life Care: Services, Costs, Ethics, and Quality of Care

End-of-Life Care: Services, Costs, Ethics, and Quality of Care

Date: February 23, 2009
Creator: Colello, Kirsten J.; Mulvey, Janemarie; Sarata, Amanda K.; Williams, Erin D. & Thomas, Kenneth R.
Description: This report provides information on various aspects of end-of-life care: (1) demographic and historical changes affecting death and dying in the United States (2) the definitions of end-of-life, palliative, and hospice care (3) costs associated with end-of-life care (4) end-of-life care laws and ethics (5) quality of care at the end of life and (6) policy issues that would modify or expand the federal government's role in addressing end-of-life care.
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Factors Affecting the Demand for Long-Term Care Insurance: Issues for Congress

Factors Affecting the Demand for Long-Term Care Insurance: Issues for Congress

Date: May 27, 2009
Creator: Mulvey, Janemarie
Description: This report will discuss the role of long-term care insurance (LTCI) in financing long term care (LTC) costs and current trends in the LTCI industry; factors affecting the demand for LTCI, including cost and complexity of the product and adequacy of consumer protections; and key features of legislative proposals in the 111th Congress to address these issues.
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Federal Spending for Older Americans

Federal Spending for Older Americans

Date: December 21, 2004
Creator: Grady, April; Lyke, Bob & Rimkunas, Richard
Description: None
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The Financial Outlook for Social Security and Medicare

The Financial Outlook for Social Security and Medicare

Date: March 19, 2001
Creator: Koitz, David Stuart & Kollmann, Geoffrey
Description: None
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The Financial Outlook for Social Security and Medicare

The Financial Outlook for Social Security and Medicare

Date: March 27, 2002
Creator: Kollmann, Geoffrey & Nuschler, Dawn
Description: None
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The Financial Outlook for Social Security and Medicare

The Financial Outlook for Social Security and Medicare

Date: April 28, 2003
Creator: Kollmann, Geoffrey & Nuschler, Dawn
Description: None
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The Financial Outlook for Social Security and Medicare

The Financial Outlook for Social Security and Medicare

Date: May 7, 1998
Creator: Koitz, David Stuart & Kollmann, Geoffrey
Description: None
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The Financial Outlook for Social Security and Medicare

The Financial Outlook for Social Security and Medicare

Date: March 29, 2004
Creator: Nuschler, Dawn
Description: None
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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.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
Housing for the Elderly: Legislation in the 106th Congress

Housing for the Elderly: Legislation in the 106th Congress

Date: December 8, 1999
Creator: Vanhorenbeck, Susan M
Description: None
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Implications of the Medicare Prescription Drug Benefit for State Budgets

Implications of the Medicare Prescription Drug Benefit for State Budgets

Date: June 23, 2004
Creator: Grady, April & Scott, Christine
Description: None
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
Income and Poverty Among Older Americans in 2007

Income and Poverty Among Older Americans in 2007

Date: October 3, 2008
Creator: Purcell, Patrick
Description: This report describes the income and poverty status of the 36.8 million Americans age 65 and older who were living in households in 2007. The report also describes how the proportion of total income received from each source differs between high-income individuals and households and low-income individuals and households.
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Income and Poverty Among Older Americans in 2008

Income and Poverty Among Older Americans in 2008

Date: October 2, 2009
Creator: Purcell, Patrick
Description: This report describes the sources and amounts of income received by the 37.8 million Americans aged 65 and older who lived in non-institutional settings in 2008. The report also describes how the proportion of total income received from each source differs between high-income individuals and households and low-income individuals and households.
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Income of Americans Aged 65 and Older, 1968 to 2008

Income of Americans Aged 65 and Older, 1968 to 2008

Date: November 4, 2009
Creator: Purcell, Patrick
Description: This report presents data collected by the Census Bureau in the Current Population Survey from 1969 through 2009 about the employment status and the sources and amounts of income received by people aged 65 and older.
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: 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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