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You sometimes can boost benefits during union election

As a general rule, once a union organizing drive is under way at a nonunion workplace, management can’t make any changes to the terms and conditions of employment. But what if the changes management wants to make are ones that the company has routinely made around that same time of year? …

New resource helps you launch auto-Enroll 401(k)

Looking to increase participation in your 401(k)? With the government’s recent blessing, more employers are turning their 401(k) plans into “opt-out” plans rather than “opt-in.” …

Senate panel votes to stop police from ‘Double dipping’

Following reports that more than 8,000 state employees are “double dipping”—collecting a pension while returning to work to collect a state salary—some lawmakers have tried to stop the practice. Another 131 state employees are said to be triple dipping …

Partner with marketing to create effective benefits messages

More than half of all organizations rely on employee newsletters, special mailings and other printed pieces to increase enrollment in benefits programs, says a new study from the benefits consulting firm Watson Wyatt. Those pieces might not be as effective as you think. What you really need to do is convince employees to make some changes in how they manage their own benefits …

Supreme Court allows employees to sue for 401(k) losses

In a decision that could spark more lawsuits against retirement plan administrators, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled on Feb. 20 that participants in 401(k) plans could sue to recover losses if they think their accounts were mismanaged …

Attract and keep young workers with ‘Portable’ benefits

Your organization’s youngest workers learned an important lesson about the workplace from their parents: You can’t count on keeping the same job for your whole career. If you want your talented Gen Y employees to stick around, you’re going to have to change the way you look at employee benefits. Here are three things they want that might surprise you …

Michigan sues Tyco over state pension fund losses

 The state of Michigan is suing Tyco International, its auditors and four former executives for $50 million, the amount lost to state pension funds when a multibillion-dollar accounting fraud case sent the company’s stock prices plummeting in 2002 …

Alternative staffing models may save on employment costs

During these difficult economic times, small and midsized businesses are looking for ways to reduce their employment costs—while maintaining employee benefits and gaining a competitive advantage in the marketplace. Many employers are looking at alternative staffing models to meet those objectives …

Strickland seeks to downsize by offering early retirement


Gov. Ted Strickland has directed state agencies to draft proposals for offering early retirement incentives to trim their staffs and save money. Spokesman Keith Dailey said Strickland is concerned about the possibility of a recession and its potential impact on the state budget …

Consider hidden costs before cutting retiree benefits


Thirty-five percent of organizations offered retiree health benefits in 2007, up from 29% the year before, according to the Society for Human Resource Management. Even so, benefits analysts say organizations are under pressure to drop the coverage to save money and to lessen a costly liability line on their financial statements …