Industry Voices

IMHO – Pocket 'Picking'

February 27, 2002 ( - There may be another Enron pension surprise coming - but taxpayers shouldn't reach for their wallets just yet, despite early reports. The online version of the February 27 Wall Street Journal cautions that 'US taxpayers could be on the hook' for losses in Enron's pension plan.

SURVEY SAYS: Bill Details

June 14, 2001 - Well, the details of a Patients' Bill of Rights may still remain to be worked out, but there isn't much doubt about the result, according to survey respondents. Nearly 60% (58%) expect employers to raise premiums -- as a result of insurance companies raising costs -- as a result of -- well, you get the point. Roughly a third (31%) expect coverage to be reduced in amount or scope as a result, while about 11% expect employers to do nothing, or be able to do nothing in the current labor environment..

SURVEY SAYS: Investment Policy Policies

May 2, 2002 ( - This week we asked readers, 'Do you have an investment policy for your defined contribution plan? And is it worth the paper it's printed on in terms of guidance?'

SURVEY SAYS: Web Site Results

January 11, 2001 - It doesn't seem to matter how much time you spend on the Web - the reader-respondents to yesterday's survey contributed a few sites that we hadn't stumbled across (yet). The diversity of readers and workers made tabulation a bit of a challenge - but we were gratified to find a popular response, and we're sure Dave Baker will be similarly gratified at the well-deserved frequency of citation of his site. Others frequently cited included (employee benefits research institute), (society of human resource management), and .

SURVEY SAYS: Cell Phones

May 10, 2001 - Yesterday we tried to gain a bit of insight into readers cell phone usage, particularly during that all-important commute. Respondents were nearly evenly divided in their habits, with slightly more than 46% eschewing the use of mobile phones for anything but emergencies. Of the remaining 54%, roughly 55% did so for personal business, 20% did so for work, and 25% did a bit of both.


August 9, 2001 - With two competing versions of a patients bill of rights waiting for Congress to return from the August recess, this week we asked what you thought of allowing patients to "opt out" of the right to sue their HMO --ostensibly with the benefit of a lower premium. Our readers were split almost down the middle on the subject, though 54% thought that we ought to consider alternatives to the mandatory coverage.

SURVEY SAYS: Bill Impacts

June 7, 2001 - We'll admit that with the bill not yet signed into law (today) - and the ink on the final bill barely dry - that yesterday's survey question might have come a bit early for some. But we were impressed with how many had already given it some thought - and were making preparations. According to our respondents, the catch-up contribution provisions for over-50 workers look to be the most impactful component of the legislation cited by nearly 22%. Next most frequently cited was the increase in the 401(k) limits (14%) and repeal of the same desk rule (11%), followed closely by the expansion of the deductibility limits in Section 404 and 415 (9%).

Survey Says: How Do YOU Spell "Relief?"

SURVEY SAYS: As we noted yesterday, our "acronymically challenged" legislators have given us a tax bill with a less than scintillating --or pronounceable -- name, EGTRRA ? short for the Economic Growth and Tax Relief Reconciliation Act of 2001. Various commentators, consultants and others have already adopted what THEY think the proper pronunciation is --but we wanted to know what YOU think.

SURVEY SAYS: Equal Pay? No Way!

April 5, 2001 - Equal pay for equal work seems a pretty basic concept -- but the reality is another matter, according to our readers. Overall 44% of respondents to our survey felt that men and women were paid equally for the same work. But the perception of reality was dramatically different depending on the sex of the respondent. A whopping 78% of female respondents said "equal pay, no way" (or words to that effect). A near mirror image 71% of male respondents thought that pay was equal for equal work.

SURVEY SAYS: New Year's Resolutions

January 4, 2001 - This week's question had to do with New Year's resolutions, as in - "Did you make any?" While perhaps not quite as "fashionable" as in year's past, roughly 58% of our respondents, made at least one this year, compared with 42% that opted not to - at least not at New Year's. Losing weight and exercising (more) were most commonly cited, with spending more time at home/with family a distant third.

IMHO (In My Humble Opinion): The Limits of Limits

One of the most visible - and eagerly anticipated - components of the proposed pension reform legislation is the increase in the 401(k) deferral amount from $10,500/year to $15,000.

Enthusiasm for this idea seems to be fairly widespread. It has been widely touted by any number of industry groups. Support has also shown up in a variety of individual investor surveys, including our own weekly readership survey that found it to be the most popular component of the proposal.

SURVEY SAYS: Egg-tray Or Extra?

August 2, 2001 - As we noted yesterday, our "acronymically challenged" legislators have given us a tax bill with a less than scintillating --or pronounceable --name. Various commentators, consultants and others have already adopted what THEY think the proper pronunciation --but we wanted to know what YOU think.