Cowden View

Why You Need Compensation Benchmarks

When you are looking to hire new talent for an open position, how do you determine the right compensation for the job? Obviously, you must set it within a range that works with your budget. But how do you know if you’re spending too much or offering so little that the best applicants won’t even

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Promoting a Wellness Program to Address Rising Health Plan Costs

While you may not be able to stop health costs from rising, there are ways savvy employers can avoid spending more on health care for their employees. Instead of addressing and paying for health care when expensive problems arise, you and your employees can get ahead with preventative health care programs or strategies. By implementing

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Breathe Easier: Help Your Employees Quit Smoking

The modern American workplace is home to a curious ritual: the smoke break. Is there any other habit that employers indulge that lowers productivity and endangers health more than tobacco use? Smoking costs more than $300 billion each year in the United States. Much of that cost comes in the form of higher medical bills.

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Spectrum of Pension Risk Management Options

One of the most important parts of a compensation strategy are retirement benefits. Your employees want to know that they’ll be financially secure when they stop working. Offering competitive retirement benefits allows your employees to focus on their work and productivity without worrying about the future. With an effective retirement strategy, you can draw in

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What Does Retirement Really Cost?

Thinking about retirement is often scarier than it should be. Retirement should be a celebration of an individual’s accomplishments. After years of hard work, a person can finally relax and enjoy some well-deserved time for themselves. However, many people find they are unprepared for the costs of retirement and can’t enjoy or think about it

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Avoiding Open Enrollment Nightmares

While open enrollment is a crucial part of a benefits program, anyone involved with the open enrollment process will have nightmare stories to share. Workers are often confused or simply don’t want to spend the time to make their selections. They make poor choices or skip enrollment, and consequences echo throughout the rest of the

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Offering One-Time Lump Sums for Defined Benefit Plans

Defined benefit plans are attractive to employees because they offer the security of steady income after retirement. But these plans come with costs to the employer, as the company must manage investments and pay for administrative costs and government insurance protection. In some cases, it can make more sense for the employer to offer a

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So You’ve Decided to Defease Your Pension Plan

Defined benefit (DB) plans are a pretty great deal for employees: Over a period of time, they become vested, and then “magically” upon retirement, they’re “gifted” with monthly payments to fund their retirement. For nearly 100 years, these plans were the de facto retirement option for many Americans. They were a big factor in employee

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Creating a Communication Plan to End Your Defined Benefit Plan

Your company has made the difficult choice to terminate your defined benefit plan. How do you communicate to your employees the reasons for your decision and its effect on their retirement options? What must employees know to make informed elections during the termination process? And how can you ensure that the process goes smoothly and

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Nondiscrimination Under the Affordable Care Act

On May 13, 2016, the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) issued a final rule implementing Section 1557 of the Affordable Care Act (ACA). This rule prohibits discrimination based on race, color, national origin, sex, age, or disability in health programs and activities that receive Federal financial assistance from the HHS, that are run

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