• Private exchange adoption could catch many by surprise

    October 23, 2014

    Commentary: The migration of employers from defined benefit to defined contribution programs has been the subject of a lot of conversation in the employee benefits industry for the past seven or eight years. The Affordable Care Act has galvanized the industry’s move forward, and the availability of highly advanced technology is likely to accelerate this transition.

  • The nasty surprises behind 401(k) group annuities

    September 17, 2014

    Group annuities are common among 401(k)s because they appear to be cost effective, turnkey options. However, careful due diligence will reveal they are big aggressors when it comes to fees that hinder portfolio growth.

  • Tackling fantasy football in the workplace

    September 4, 2014

    Employees will play fantasy football and will do it in the workplace. It is incumbent upon HR and benefit managers to find ways to keep employees engaged and let them have some fun. But it’s also important to develop guidelines.

  • ERISA reflects bipartisan approach to employee benefits

    September 2, 2014

    On the 40th anniversary of ERISA, benefits attorney Howard Shapiro contemplates the differences between this landmark piece of legislation and another, the Affordable Care Act.

  • Forensic underwriting: A CSI approach to lowering benefit costs

    August 29, 2014

    Insurance underwriting is hardly dramatic enough to warrant a TV show, but there is a forensic component to the annual renewal process.

  • Reducing benefit costs while still valuing employees

    August 26, 2014

    Commentary: Financial services company BOK Financial enlists the help of a benefits communication vendor to boost participation in its consumer-directed health plan.

  • 3 common disability management questions

    August 25, 2014

    Many benefit managers – especially those at smaller companies – have never had to help an employee with an accommodation at work or help chart their path back to work after a disability leave.

  • Simplifying retiree benefits: Where less is more

    August 13, 2014

    Commentary: Health plan sponsors can reduce benefit management burdens by offering plans with fewer – but more meaningful – choices

  • Get started now on 401(k) plan changes for 2015

    August 5, 2014

    From fees and features to funds and fiduciaries, there's lots to consider when reviewing your 401(k) plan.

  • DOL limits employer contributions for medical FSAs

    July 7, 2014

    A recent technical release issued by the U.S. Department of Labor imposes severe dollar limits on employers wanting to make pre-tax contributions to the medical flexible spending accounts for eligible employees.

  • Remove IT roadblocks to make HR strategic again

    July 1, 2014

    Multiple vendors providing best-of-breed solutions that are not integrated with each other present budgeting, deployment and management costs and challenges for benefit managers.

  • 5 questions to coach your team through a mid-year review

    June 11, 2014

    People managers should not underestimate the impact of coaching their people to success around individual and shared goals. It’s one of the rare benefits that accrues to the organization as much as its employees.

  • How business can save America from health care

    June 9, 2014

    Commentary: One of America’s most enduring mysteries is why the organizations that pay for most health care don’t work together to force better value from the health care industry.

  • 5 fee-related best practices for 401(k) and 403(b) plans

    April 22, 2014

    Are your retirement plan fees market-competitive? Fees don't necessarily have to be the lowest cost, but they do need to be reasonable.

  • Getting beyond wellness mythology

    April 14, 2014

    Many wellness models are based on mythology. Myths like all plans should have disease management, or everyone needs to work on heart disease prevention. How to get past the noise and on to effective interventions? Look closely at your own group – its people, its illnesses, and its work environment.

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