What the Fed’s Move Means for Annuities

What the Fed’s Move Means for Annuities

In a signal of confidence in the strength of the economy, the Federal Reserve raised interest rates in the middle of March to a range between 0.75% and 1%. This move is a sign that the economy is expected to continue to grow, albeit slowly, and that inflation is at an acceptable level of close to 2%. As a result, experts say annuities brokers should be ready for greater interest from consumers who want to save. “An increase in interest rates will definitely increase the interest in annuities,” says Lou Cannataro, senior partner at Cannataro Park Avenue Financial. Investors are searching for safe ways to grow capital, he says, and many have reverted to high-dividend-paying stocks without giving proper analysis to the amount of risk in such portfolios. Read on to learn more about what higher interest rates mean for the economy overall and annuities in particular. Subdued Inflation — …

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5 Ways to Calm Stress at Work

5 Ways to Calm Stress at Work

When Aon Hewitt, a human resources and management consulting company, polled thousands of employees to find out the source of stress in their lives, the top four reasons all had one source – work. That doesn’t mean most people hate their jobs or are miserable at the office. The reality is anyone who works has probably experienced tension, anxiety and assorted worries related to their work environment from time to time. In fact, the American Psychological Association (APA) points out that even if you absolutely love what you do, your job can include stressful pressures such as having to meet deadlines. Problems develop, however, when stress at work is chronic. And, if you lack coping strategies, it can result in a variety of health woes. According to the National Institutes of Health (NIH), chronic stress can trigger digestive symptoms, headaches, sleeplessness, depression, anger and irritability. People who experience stress regularly …

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Predicting the Future: Companies Utilize Advanced Metrics to Predict Workforce Needs

Predicting the Future: Companies Utilize Advanced Metrics to Predict Workforce Needs

In challenging economic times, organizations are frequently struggling with tough decisions about their workforce. What will the future hold? Should they reduce staff or prepare to get an early jump on the competition? To answer these and other important questions, a growing number of firms are turning from a reliance on workforce metrics that focus primarily on what has happened in the past to workforce metrics developed specifically to analyze what lies ahead. These predictive analytics can help HR departments move away from using only data like head counts and turnover rates to figure out the best hiring, retention and, if necessary, staff reduction strategies that will be needed down the road. Thanks to novel software tools and expert statisticians, 21st-century advanced metrics are beginning to offer organizations the ability to actually peer into the future with more precision. However, so far the number of companies using predictive workforce analytics …

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Using Flexible Schedules: Better Work, Healthier Employees

Using Flexible Schedules: Better Work, Healthier Employees

Personal crises impacting employees can encompass more than individuals becoming sick or injured. Stressful and often unexpected responsibilities and worries include having to care for an elderly parent, ill child or newborn or supporting a newly unemployed or underemployed spouse. The result for the worker may be financial strain as well as a detrimental impact on mental and physical health (in some cases even triggering alcohol and drug abuse). For the employer, the employee’s problems may translate into absenteeism and reduced productivity. Increasingly, however, HR leaders and managers are realizing that creating flexible work schedules can help employees in times of crisis – and it can also be a strategy that benefits both the workforce and the company, in general. Academic researchers, business and labor leaders, and government and military officials gathered in Washington, DC, to discuss this topic at a Focus on Workplace Flexibility conference sponsored by the nonprofit …

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4 Topics Your Employee Handbook Should Cover – But May Not

4 Topics Your Employee Handbook Should Cover But May Not

An employee handbook is a great way to communicate a variety of information about your company to employees. Most employee handbooks contain nondiscrimination policies, terms of employment, alcohol and drug policies, and rules about using technology and social media. There are other topics your employee handbook should include, however. Here are 4 types of information your employee handbook should cover, but might not. 1.  Media Relations Chances are that your company will draw media attention at some point. Whether it’s for a snazzy new product or a serious scandal, you need to have the right people lined up to do the talking to reporters and bloggers. Include information in your employee handbook about whom the company has designated to speak to the media on its behalf – and make sure every employee knows to transfer calls from the media to the appropriate contacts. Avoid blanket prohibitions about speaking to the media …

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