COMPENSATION & BENEFITS

Health care costs growing slower than expected

08/28/2014
Spending on health care rose less than 0.3% this summer, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, a strong sign that the health-cost curve may be flattening over the long term.

Sweet dreams: The upside of lying down on the job

08/28/2014
Some employers are encouraging workers to sleep on the job. The Society for Human Resource Management’s 2014 poll of HR pros says 6% of workplaces have nap rooms where employees can catch up on their Z’s.

Coming soon: $10.10 hourly wage for fed contract workers

08/27/2014
Under proposed regulations, the minimum wage for employees who work on new or renewed federal contracts or subcontracts, including employees with disabilities who work under special certificates, will increase to $10.10 an hour, from $7.25 an hour, beginning Jan. 1, 2015. Final regs should be released shortly. Here are the contracts to be covered.

36% of Americans haven't saved a dime for retirement

08/27/2014
Over a third of all Americans (36%) have not saved any money for retirement, according to a new Bankrate.com survey.

Where child care costs your employees the most

08/26/2014
According to ChildCare Aware of America, a child care advocacy organization, day care takes up a larger share of the family budget than housing in every region except the West.

Remind retirement plan participants: Don't neglect stock investments

08/26/2014
Most Americans are unaware that the stock market is booming, according to a new Gallup poll. The S&P 500 gained 30% in 2013, yet only 7% of those polled knew that, and only 52% believe now is a good time to invest in stocks.

Survey: 2015 health costs to grow 6.5% or less

08/25/2014
Large employers’ health care benefit costs are expected to increase 6.5% in 2015, slightly lower than this year’s rate of increase. Most employers, however, say they’re planning changes to their benefits programs that should limit cost growth to 5% or less when all is said and done.

Common payroll pitfalls and how to avoid them

08/25/2014
The American Payroll Asso­­ci­­a­­tion’s 32nd Annual Congress revealed fixes and solutions in some potentially dangerous gray areas.

Employer slammed for failing to honor IRS tax levy

08/22/2014
When the IRS knocks on your company’s door with a wage levy against an employee, don’t pretend there’s no one home. A federal trial court has ruled that a company that ignored an IRS wage levy is on the hook for the levied amount—plus a 50% penalty.

City pushes financial wellness alongside medical checkups

08/22/2014
Just as it encourages employees to have their medical checkups, the city of Winter Park, Fla., pushes its staff to complete an annual financial well-being checkup.

Vacations: When we do take them, they're too brief

08/21/2014
According to the U.S. Travel Association, 61% of employees leave three or more vacation days on the table every year, and they’re less likely to use up those days if they’re allowed to carry them over to the following year.

Benefits for terminally ill worker: How can we help?

08/21/2014
Q. A 26-year-old employee has terminal cancer and can’t work any longer. Our company is small and doesn’t offer health insurance, and she is not covered on an individual policy. Is it a correct protocol to lay off this employee so she can receive unemployment and other benefits, such as Medicaid?

What to do when schedules affect child-support obligations?

08/20/2014
Question: We have weekly-paid employees who regularly work four consecutive weeks and then take two weeks off. As a result, some have trouble maintaining their monthly child support obligations. How might we work with the state agencies to accommodate our pay frequency so employees don’t end up in arrears?

Can 'resign & rehire' trick bypass open enrollment?

08/19/2014
Q. An employee failed to participate in open enrollment, thereby losing her insurance coverage. Can she resign and be immediately rehired to enroll in our medical plan as a new hire?

80,000 nonemployees download MGM staff's healthy eating app

08/19/2014
MGM Resorts International em­­ployees who want to eat healthy while at work can check their progress on their smartphones. So can lots of others, it turns out.
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