Nonqualified Plans – Baiting the Benefit Hook

Attracting and retaining qualified employees and managers is always a challenge for companies of all sizes. Most employers realize competitive salaries are not the only things desired by the best workers. Sought-after employees also expect compensation packages to include valued benefits. A qualified retirement plan is a traditional component of many employee benefit packages. As a business owner, you’re likely to appreciate the advantages: Your contributions are tax-deductible and accumulate on a tax-deferred basis. However, these plans can be difficult to administer and contain many regulations restricting employee eligibility, participation, vesting, and employee contributions. What’s the alternative? Nonqualified plans offer the flexibility to selectively choose whom you’ll cover and how much you’ll contribute for each individual. Many companies use them to supplement or replace their qualified plans. Although there is a wide range of nonqualified plans from which to choose, executive bonus plans and deferred compensation plans are among the …

CONTINUE READING

A Look at Medicaid

For an increasing number of families, long-term care planning is becoming a topic discussed with an unfortunate frequency. When a once healthy and vibrant person needs full-time care—either suddenly or through the ravages of a progressive illness—staggering pressures can bear down on that person, their immediate family, and close friends. One of the first and most natural questions that comes to mind is the question of cost: Where will the money come from to allow the individual to live out the rest of his or her life in the most comfortable situation possible? For a fortunate few, long-term care insurance will provide the necessary funds. For others, the savings of a lifetime can be depleted in a relatively short period of time without proper planning. At some point, the discussion of funding care will no doubt turn to Medicaid, a difficult topic to deliberate when combined with the stress of …

CONTINUE READING

Becoming a Better Negotiator

Whether closing a sale, haggling over a price with a supplier, or discussing a raise with an employee, business owners negotiate nearly every day. While you may already be an effective negotiator, consider the following strategies to help maximize your negotiating skills. Negotiating does not have to be a zero-sum game. When two parties enter into negotiations, they are both looking to create something of value that did not exist before. Instead of taking an adversarial approach, think about how both parties can arrive at a mutually beneficial solution. Without abandoning your own interests and objectives, consider the interests of your negotiating partner. Reflect on what your priorities might be if you were in your partner’s shoes and how you can best accommodate those priorities. Do Your Homework Before approaching the bargaining table to negotiate an important deal, make sure you are fully prepared. If, for example, you are attempting …

CONTINUE READING

Beyond Pay and Policing: 4 Things Your HR Department Should Be Doing This Year

Your human resources department is going to be busy in 2018, but busy doing what? Are you going to spend another year drafting policies and punishing rule-breakers? Or will 2018 be the year your HR department becomes a real force to be reckoned with in your organization? It’s time for HR to tackle bigger issues than just payroll and compliance. Here are some suggestions on where to start. Improving Safety The safety of the workforce should always be a priority for everyone within an organization, but this responsibility most often falls directly to HR. It will be HR that will deal with worker’s comp claims, rising insurance rates and any Occupational Safety and Health Act violations that arise from unsafe practices, so it would benefit HR to spend more time on safety training in the future. “The role HR can play is to promote safety as a core value of …

CONTINUE READING

Common Employee Misconceptions About Benefits

The only way your employees will get the most out of their benefits, and for you to ensure your organization is getting a good return on its investment, is if they fully understand them. But in the Open Enrollment Survey done by Aflac in 2012, only 16 percent of employees reported feeling confident they hadn’t made any mistakes during open enrollment, and almost a quarter felt they hadn’t picked the right coverage for their needs. Employees can get the wrong ideas about their benefits, and miscommunication, apathy or ignorance can perpetuate those misconceptions. The cost of ignorance is high: Employees may not have the coverage they need, and you may be paying for coverage they’re not using. This guide will help you understand four common misconceptions employees have about benefits offerings and what human resources leaders can do to educate them. How Much They Cost Experts say one of the …

CONTINUE READING