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Vendor Management

Is your pension consultant biased? 10 questions to ask

11/01/2006

It’s getting harder to find a good pension consultant: The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) is warning employers that some consultants fail to disclose their conflicts of interest, and that can cloud the objectivity of advice they give you and your employees …

Head off rising costs: Explore reasons for high claims

11/01/2006

You can look forward to smaller increases in health-plan costs for 2007, even though medical and prescription drug-plan costs are still expected to run at more than twice the rate of general inflation, according to the 2007 Segal Health Plan Cost Trend Survey …

Retailers’ lower drug prices may stem soaring premiums

11/01/2006

Employers may end up the unintended victors in a potential prescription-drug price war in Florida. When Wal-Mart, the nation’s largest retailer, announced recently that it would sell generic drugs for just $4 per prescription, it didn’t take long for Target, the second-largest retailer, to follow suit …

Attract and Retain Part-Timers With Dental Discount Plans

10/01/2006

It’s obviously easier to recruit and keep good part-time or entry-level employees if you offer some type of health benefit. That’s why more employers are turning to the growing number of low-cost dental discount plans available from big health insurers …

Outsourcing training? You’ll still pay for injuries

10/01/2006

If you outsource employee training programs that include self-defense or other physically demanding work, be aware that the waivers signed by your employees may mean you will have to pay for any injuries …

Résumé-Screening software: legal risks and precautions

09/01/2006

The federal job anti-discrimination law (Title VII of the Civil Rights Act) prohibits two types of discrimination: disparate treatment and disparate impact. Because automated tests, such as résumé-screening programs, are blind to applicants’ race, religion, gender and national origin, they likely can’t create a disparate-treatment case. However, such programs can still have a disparate impact on minorities …

To boost productivity, teach money management

09/01/2006

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 …

Case study: Look closely at consultants’ motives

08/01/2006

The Texas Insurance Commission filed charges against consulting giant Mercer HR Consulting and its client, the Houston Independent School District, claiming the company had charged the school district $20 million since 2000 and then gave the district more than $800,000 in rebates …

EAP phone therapy is legit, but choose vendors wisely

03/01/2006

EAP-provided telephone counseling is controversial but becoming more common. Still, quality varies among vendors. Screen potential teletherapy providers carefully using the following six questions …

Take Employees’ Pulse With Low-Cost Online Surveys

03/01/2006

Web-based surveys let you collect employee feedback on everything from benefits to where to hold the holiday party. Online surveys are cheaper and easy to administer. Here are some of the best online survey sites …