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How the housing situation affects your ability to hire the right employee.

Relocation benefits are under attack from budget-minded companies. Many of the classic relocation packages are going by the way side in an attempt to avoid some huge expenses generated by trying to hire employees that are underwater with their current homes. The old-school relocation packages frequently covered losses associated with the newly-hired employees selling their old homes at a loss. With the real estate situation in the U.S., nowadays, this can create a huge burden on the hiring company. A recent Prudential Real Estate and Relocation Services report stated 74 percent of surveyed companies projected relocation program costs to increase in 2011, with 65 percent reporting a "high to extreme" impact of the current real estate market. As a business owner, you should make sure you understand the total cost associated with hiring candidates being served up from your recruiting staff, or outsource. Taking a $50,000 hit on the relocation for a $80k per year employee, can make the choice very difficult. If ...

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NFL Players looking to move their lawsuit beyond Workers’ Comp and into the area of Negligence

The NFL is currently a defendant in over 20 lawsuits around the country claiming it negligently misled several hundred players about the dangers of head injuries and concussions. Experts anticipate the NFL to utilize and exclusive remedy defense in liability litigation brought by hundreds of former pro football players who suffer from concussion-related injuries and cognitive disorders. The “exclusive remedy defense” is built upon the original nature of the workers compensation insurance system. An employee gives up the right to sue an employer when they are injured. In return, the employee accepts a slate of employee benefits. This leaves the employee with this “exclusive remedy” of addressing work related injuries. Exclusive remedy also includes the concept that the issue of who is at fault is never raided. The employee has access to the benefits whether the employer is at fault or not. Experts state the NFL will probably attempt to claim players who suffered concussions should ...

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Increased risk and lower investment growth are threatening pension plan benefits

Pension plans normally include a well funded investment strategy to help provide the financial support retired employees expect during post employment years. As companies fund these pension benefits packages, they make choices about how to invest the funds to, ideally, grow to cover the financial liabilities and responsibilities. But, with interest rates near record lows, finding the right investments to create the growth of the finaincial pool have continued to become a challenge. In addition, with an aging workforce and increased anticipated expenses, being able to properly fund a pension plan has become very difficult. According to a report from consulting firm Milliman, market value assets for the 100 largest corporate defined benefit plans increased $12.3 billion to $1.22 trillion in 2011 from $1.21 trillion in 2010. But, pension liabilities rose $248.7 billion to almost $1.7 trillion in 2011 from $1.4 trillion in 2010. Companies with pension plans that are now less than 80 percent funded must abide ...

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Manufacturers lobbying to turn weight-loss surgery into a standard benefit.

Weight loss device manufacturers are pushing for weight-loss surgery to become a standard part of benefits packages. The manufacturers are talking about the advantages of having a more lean workforce. Weight loss can help prevent a variety of life-threatening illnesses and help save billions of dollars in health care costs for companies. The manufacturers include Allergan Inc, the makers of the LapBand silicone cuff that restricts the top part of the stomach to lower food intake. Other companies involved offer surgeries like stapling a portion of the stomach and redirecting portions of the food intake to lower portions of the intestines to limit the nutritional absorption. The manufacturers are pursuing acceptance of all kinds of bariatric (weight loss) surgery in an attempt to get the entire category approves by private and public insurers. The benefits of weight loss include Lower instances of injury. Fewer cases of diabetes. Shorter work-loss situations related to illnesses.  ...

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How will employees learn about new options for Retirement Annuities?

On February 2, 2012, the Internal Revenue Service and the Department of Treasury released a number of pieces of guidance intended to ease the availability of annuity distribution options in defined benefit plans and IRAs. The guidance included: Proposed regulations containing exemptions from certain required minimum distribution rules under the federal Tax Code for qualified longevity annuity contracts. Proposed regulations to allow defined benefit plans to distribute benefits as part lump sum and part annuity on more favorable terms than now permitted. A revenue ruling addressing how to apply the qualified joint and survivor annuity (QJSA) and qualified pre-retirement annuity rules to a profit-sharing plan that offers deferred annuities. A revenue ruling that provides rules for securing annuity distributions for the rolled-over amounts from certain defined contribution plans to defined benefit plans. It’s not just the usually IRA and 401(k) distribution rules anymore. As a bu ...

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