Stephen Miller, CEBS, is an online editor/manager for SHRM.

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Stephen Miller


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Articles by Stephen Miller

In January 2013 the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM) released a series of "State of Employee Benefits in the Workplace" reports, based on surveys fielded among SHRM members in 2012. Key findings highlighted the benefits most often used to help recruit and retain employees, and organizations' efforts to communicate the value of employer-sponsored benefits.


News Updates
January 22, 2013

On Jan. 2, 2013, the Internal Revenue Service published in the Federal Register a proposed rule, "Shared Responsibility for Employers Regarding Health Coverage," with guidance on complying with the requirement that large employers provide affordable health care coverage to employees under the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA). The proposed rule has a comment period that ends on March 18, 2013.

News Updates
January 7, 2013

Instead of a raise, some employees will see their take-home pay shrink in 2013 due to higher Social Security and Medicare taxes.

The maximum amount of earnings subject to the Social Security tax (taxable maximum) increasedto $113,700 from $110,100 as of January 2013, the U.S. Social Security Administration (SSA) announced on Oct. 16, 2012.

News Updates
January 4, 2013

On Jan. 1, 2013, Congress passed the American Taxpayer Relief Act of 2012 (H.R. 8), preventing the U.S. from going over the impending “fiscal cliff,” and President Barack Obama signed the bill into law the following day.

News Updates
January 4, 2013

The U.S. Internal Revenue Service published proposed Rules Relating to Additional Medicare Tax in the Dec. 5, 2012, Federal Register. The IRS also posted, in plain English, a Q&A for the additional Medicare tax.

News Updates
December 19, 2012

Employees in the U.S. with health care or dependent care flexible spending accounts (FSAs) should be reminded to spend the remaining balances in their accounts before the end of their plan year, when any leftover money must be forfeited—even though these accounts are employee-funded via salary deferral. Employers may (but are not required to) provide account holders with a grace period, which typically gives them until March 15 of the new year to spend their FSA funds.

Different Accounts, Different Rules

News Updates
December 17, 2012

The Obama administration issued three new proposed rules to implement provisions in the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA).

The rules, released on Nov. 20, 2012, and published in the Federal Register on Nov. 26, pertain to guaranteed issuance of coverage regardless of pre-existing conditions; essential health benefits that nongrandfathered plans in the individual and small group markets will be required to cover; and an increase in maximum allowable wellness program incentives.

News Updates
November 28, 2012

A poll of U.S.-based HR managers conducted just after Election Day found that many respondents had delayed enacting health care plan changes required by the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA).

News Updates
November 20, 2012

Americans are less confident now than just three years ago that they will have enough financial resources to last through their retirement years, according to a Pew Research Center survey on retirement planning conducted in the latter half of 2012.

News Updates
November 9, 2012

Workers with skills that are most in demand are likely to receive above-average raises in 2013, in part because it's easier for them to find new jobs, according to a compensation expert.

"In the U.S., we really have two job markets," explained Paul McDonald, senior executive director of pay consultancy Robert Half International, during an interview with SHRM Online.

News Updates
November 6, 2012
Major corporations are doing it. So are universities. And even state legislators are proposing it. The "it" is providing incentives to motivate individuals covered by health insurance to participate in wellness programs.
According to a United Benefit Advisors' survey released in May 2007:
News Updates
October 25, 2012

Just over half (56 percent) of employees eligible to participate in the their annual benefits open enrollment period last year felt “very confident” they’ll make the right decisions for themselves and their families this year, according to MetLife’s Benefits Election Poll. In contrast, nearly two-thirds of those who actively reviewed information last enrollment season felt “very confident” about making the right decisions this year.

News Updates
October 24, 2012

Six in 10 U.S. employers that provide retiree health care coverage are considering alternative strategies for delivering this benefit in light of market changes under the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA), according to newly released findings from a 2012 survey by HR consultancy Aon Hewitt.

Of those employers planning changes to their coverage, 63 percent are implementing or considering subsidized coverage through the individual market.

Health Care Reform's Impact

News Updates
October 11, 2012

Analysis of Generation Y participants—born between 1979 and 1991—in defined contribution plans revealed stronger selection of target-date funds and Roth 401(k) options compared to other age groups, according to data from Fidelity Investments, a large retirement plan services provider.

In the second quarter of 2012, Fidelity analyzed its approximately 11.9 million 401(k) accounts, including 2.2 million Generation Y participants. Among the findings, members of Generation Y were more likely than older participants to:

News Updates
August 21, 2012

While the number of employees on international assignments has remained relatively stable over recent years, the percentage of “global nomads” (employees who move from country to country on multiple assignments) and long-term expatriates has increased, causing challenges for employers when it comes to providing expatriate benefits.

News Updates
August 10, 2012

Since the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA) was enacted in 2010, health insurers have been preparing to operate in the new health insurance environment that begins in 2014—one that includes individual and employer-provided coverage mandates, guaranteed issue for coverage and health insurance exchanges.

News Updates
August 8, 2012

But employees reject paying more for failing to meet wellness goals  

Despite higher premiums and out-of-pocket costs for health care benefits, U.S. workers’ satisfaction levels with employer-provided health care coverage has either risen or remained the same compared to three years earlier, according to a survey by the National Business Group on Health, a nonprofit association of large employers.

News Updates
August 7, 2012

Many organizations’ pay decisions may be  unbalanced because they are too focused on external comparisons. Instead, they should spend more time looking internally to measure the actual business impact of their pay practices, according to compensation specialists who analyzed the results of the 2012 Metrics and Analytics: Patterns and Use of Value survey.

News Updates
July 27, 2012

The proportion of employees in the U.S. who work predominantly from home or another remote location has, over the last decade, more than tripled in many industries, while nearly doubling nationwide among all full-time workers, according to a 2012 report by The Conference Board, a not-for-profit business membership and research association.

News Updates
July 23, 2012

Stay on track with health care reform's approaching deadlines, or risk paying the penalties.  

News Updates
July 16, 2012