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The Changing Face of Retirement

A combination of social and economic forces is reshaping the way that most Americans think about and plan for their retirement. Increasing life expectancy, owing to improvements in medical technology, mean that retirement lasts much longer than in previous generations. The scrapping of pensions for many workers requires that retirees assume a greater financial burden during retirement. Economic uncertainty has shaken the types of income on which people previously relied. And more generally, the aging generation in this country is seeking greater engagement and meaning in their retirement years, along with a greater desire for community engagement and a sense of belonging. In the present, the result of all these factors is an increasing number of retirees who have gone back to work in order to secure an income: 47% according to polls by Merrill Lynch. For the future, 72% of respondents in pre-retirement age report that they actually want to continue working in their retirement years, and not for the reasons t ...

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Look for a better Healthcare.gov by 2015, say insiders

By now most people have seen a news story or blog covering the disastrous launch of healthcare.gov in 2013. To be sure, the very idea of the site was a tall order from the beginning: an intricate online marketplace that coordinates between contractors, vendors, government agencies and services, and of course, the customer. In the early days, the site was down more often than not, and it’s been estimated that only nine people successfully enrolled on the first day of the site’s launch. As the Department of Health and Human Services shifted to damage control and focused on fixing the massive problems with the site, they recruited a network of IT savants and technicians from across the country in the private and public sector. One such recruit was Paul Smith, a tech industry impresario and the founder of the communications tool EveryBlock.com (Smith sold the site to MSNBC in 2009). Even someone with Smith’s experience and knowledge underestimated the extent of the problem initially, imaginin ...

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Inherited IRAs can still face bankruptcy claims, Supreme Court rules

The U.S. Supreme Court recently issued a ruling in rare form, a unanimous vote to shed light on the way by which Individual retirement accounts that are inherited are to be handled in a situation of bankruptcy. The ruling could have implications on the ways in which people plan for their retirement. The case that was brought forth centered around a personal bankruptcy filing of an individual who inherited an IRA from her mother. The investment account was worth roughly $450,000 thirteen years ago. The individual who inherited the account promptly began taking monthly distributions. She filed for personal bankruptcy four years ago while the account had a value of $300,000. When those seeking payment cited the IRA as a means to pay the debt, the woman argued that the monies were not available for that purpose because of the legal exemption of retirement assets from bankruptcy claims. After trying her case in court and onto appeals court, the unanimous decision was eventually reached. The Supreme Court d ...

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Examining your organization’s anti-bullying policy

Bullying has made its way to the forefront of discussion as a result of incidents in schools, workplaces and even at home. A recent Zogby poll indicated that more than 25 percent of Americans felt as though they had been a victim of abusive behavior in the workplace. In another poll conducted by Monster Global Poll indicated that they had been bullied in terms of physical harm, “driven to tears, or had their work performance harmed.” Many states have taken legal action to prevent these scenarios. Legislation is underway in several states. Some organizations have taken the matter into their own hands by implementing various anti-bullying policies. Other organizations are facing challenges when it comes to creating such policies. There are general issues that prevent organizations from making these policies successful. There are also many legal implications. Defining bullying is one of the most challenging factors facing those who are trying to implement more specific policies. Additionally, ...

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Retaliation suits top the list of avoidable lawsuits

Retaliation suits have become the lawsuits most frequently cited against employers. In the eyes of many, these are the most ridiculous types of claims. The laws surrounding retaliation as a type of workplace discrimination have become more expansive recently. New legislation at the state and local level surrounding retaliation at work have made more provisions that employers must be aware of and abide by. In turn, retaliation has become the most cited charge filed by employees. The federal law Title VII within the Civil Rights Act, the Fair Labor Standards Act and the Family and Medical Leave Act do not allow employers to retaliate when an employee states they have experienced discrimination in the workplace. This also applies when an employee comes forward as a witness in any type of investigation. In addition, there are numerous statues in place that have prohibitions against retaliation. As a result of all the relevant legislation surrounding retaliation, the number of claims has steadily continue ...

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