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New DOL resource helps workers plan for retirement


One simple, inexpensive way to help older employees plan for their retirement years: Point them to a new 44-page booklet from the U.S. Labor Department, Taking the Mystery Out of Retirement Planning …

To boost productivity, teach money management


At least 15 percent of Americans are so stressed out about money that it affects their work, and about half say they spend more than 20 hours a week dealing with financial matters, says a Virginia Tech study. One solution: Ease employees’ financial pains—and bolster your organization’s retirement plan participation rates—by teaching employees how to better manage their money …

401(k) participation hints at employees’ longevity


If you’re wondering whether a new employee will stick around, look at whether he or she signed up for your retirement plan. A new study confirms that employees who forgo employers’ retirement plans also tend to change jobs frequently …

New pension law creates extra duties, questions for HR


Even though some provisions of the new landmark pension law don’t take effect for 16 months, HR professionals need to start educating themselves immediately. The changes amount to the most sweeping reforms of pension law in more than 30 years …

Feds Standardize Process for ‘Abandoned’ 401(k) Plans


Each year, an average of 1,650 sponsors of 401(k) plans abandon their plans, often because the employer goes out of business or merges with another. When that happened, the U.S. Labor typically petitioned the courts to take control of the plan and distribute the 401(k) assets to employees. But new Labor Department rules streamline that process …

Steer Clear of ‘Take It or Leave It’ Early-Retirement Offers


If you plan to lay off employees, structure early-retirement offers carefully to avoid age-discrimination lawsuits. In particular, avoid making "take-it or leave-it" offers that force employees to choose between resigning with a severance package or being terminated …

Popularity of 401(k) plans continues to grow


In the past two decades, 401(k) plans have become the dominant retirement plan offered by employers. In fact, 64 percent of plan sponsors responding to a recent Hewitt survey said a 401(k) accounts for their organization’s primary retirement-savings program …

Retain benefit eligibility after FMLA leave


Q. We understand that employees on FMLA leave don’t lose investment toward retirement plans. Leave time is counted as work time. But our policy says that if employees are out for more than 30 days, their anniversary dates will change. Accrued paid-time off and vacation time will be based on the new anniversary date. Can we do this? —K.A., Connecticut

Reverse age bias is rarely an issue with early retirees


Q. Are there any specific rules defining “early out” retirement packages offered to employees? Our company is planning to offer early outs. Our criteria mandate that an employee must have worked 15 years and be at least 50 years old. But we have employees who have worked as long as 28 years, but fail to meet the 50-year-old criterion. Is this age discrimination in a reverse sort of way? —T.G., Florida