Have you heard?
11 things you should resolve not to do at work in 2011 (excerpt)
Heartlessly criticizing others
Beating yourself up
Taking yourself too seriously
Blending into the woodwork
Wasting time via social media
Redesigning 401(k) Match Can Spur Workers to Save (excerpt)
Treasury & Risk, December/January 2011
“The employer match is a great motivator in spurring better retirement savings behavior.”…
Traditionally, the most popular match was 50% of up to 6% of pay, Reiskytl says. As the number of defined-benefit pension plans declined, many companies moved to bolster their 401(k) match, and while the most common is still 50% on 6%, 100% on 6% is now a close second. …
… 401(k) plan participants should be saving a far higher portion of their salaries than 6%. An Aon Hewitt analysis of 2 million workers that took into account their access to other sources of retirement income, such as Social Security and pension plans, found that to ensure a comfortable retirement, on average, employees should be saving roughly 13% to 14% of their pay.
Q: How often should an entrepreneur review and update his/her business plan, and what areas should be watched most closely?
A: Conduct a regular annual review. This doesn’t need to be overly extensive – look for changes in your target market, areas that may need to be re-prioritized, and ways to improve the efficiency of your operations.
Every 3-5 years is when you do a more comprehensive review, and look for ways to really move the needle.
Finally, review your plan after a major shift in your industry or other critical event.
Rhonda Abrams, Founder and CEO
The Planning Shop
EMPLOYEE ASSISTANCE & WELLNESS: Health And Financial Concerns Impact Employee Productivity – Self-Efficacy Program Helps
Health Resources Publishing, January 24, 2011
The popularity of employee wellness programs has increased steadily over the last five years. Thirty-seven percent of employers now offer wellness programs, up from 33 percent in 2008 and 27 percent in 2005, according to MetLife’s Annual Employee Benefits Trends Study….
This upward trend reflects recognition of the impact of a struggling economy on the workforce. In the same study, 68 percent of employees stated that over the last 12 months they were affected by increased feelings of job insecurity, a decrease in the quality of their work, an increase in their workload, or distraction at work due to financial worries.
Improving employee productivity remains the third most important benefits coverage to employers with 84 percent reporting it as a very important benefits objective, up from 79 percent in 2008, the study found. Controlling benefits costs is now the top benefits objective for employers edging out employee retention for the first time since 2006.
MedPAC’s Latest Recommendations
Homecare Insider, January 24, 2011
On January 13, 2011, the Medicare Payment Advisory Commission (MedPAC) voted to recommend that Congress impose several changes to the home health Medicare benefit. Those recommendations include the following:
Medicare should conduct medical reviews in counties where aberrant utilization is prevalent.
Congress should freeze home health payment rates in 2012 and amend the healthcare reform law to accelerate payment rebasing.
Case mix adjustment model should be revised to no longer use levels of therapy utilization to determine payment amounts.
A co-pay should be required for Medicare home health episodes that are not preceded by an inpatient hospital or skilled nursing facility stay. Low-utilization payment adjustment episodes would also be excluded.
A reprisal of a 2010 recommendation, which stated that steps be taken to prevent providers from stinting care in response to payment rate changes.
Of great and immediate concern to providers is the recommendation of a co-pay for Medicare home health episodes. This recommendation could require Medicare beneficiaries to pay a 150 dollar co-payment for each episode of home health care. This dollar amount was offered merely as an illustration as no specific details were offered as part of the recommendation. The co-pay would also apply to dually eligible beneficiaries, which could leave states that are already fincancially strapped with financial obligation.
In response to MedPAC’s recommendations, the National Association of Home Care and Hospice is promising development of a comprehensive advocacy plan and vows to uphold the interest of homecare providers.