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

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Stephen Miller


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Articles by Stephen Miller

Seventy-five percent of health care spending is attributable to illnesses that are behavior-related and preventable, which explains why employers increasingly are focused on starting health improvement programs. Unfortunately, an all-too-typical employee response when asked about their employer’s program is, “I think we have something, but not many people use it.” So said Brad Cooper, CEO of US Corporate Wellness, a provider of employee wellness programs, during his presentation at the 2012 SHRM Annual Conference, held here June 24-27.

Five Frequent Errors

News Updates
July 13, 2012

The two-year omnibus highway transportation bill (H.R. 4348), passed by Congress on June 29, 2012, and signed into law by President Barack Obama on July 6, includes long-sought funding relief for employer-provided defined benefit pension plans. The measure, known as the Moving Ahead for Progress in the 21st Century Act (MAP–21), also raises the premiums that plans pay to the federal Pension Benefit Guaranty Corp. (PBGC).

News Updates
July 11, 2012

New Medicare taxes on high earners, imposed under the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA), mean big changes in wage withholding, executive compensation and personal financial planning for these employees.

Additional Wage Withholding Required in 2013

News Updates
July 10, 2012

Merit-based salary raises are by far the most frequently used incentive pay program. Unfortunately, they do a poor job of motivating performance, explained John A. Rubino, president of Pound Ridge, N.Y.-based Rubino Consulting Services, during his June 25 session on “Performance Pay Programs that Really Work,” conducted at the Society for Human Resource Management's 2012 Annual Conference and Exposition held here June 24-27.

News Updates
July 5, 2012
ATLANTA—Tom Brokaw, an icon of U.S. broadcast journalism as managing editor and anchor of “NBC Nightly News,” used his closing keynote address at the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM) 2012 Annual Conference to call on HR professionals to be part of a national dialogue focused on solving the nation’s challenges.
News Updates
July 3, 2012

While the vast majority of companies involved in mergers and acquisitions (M&As) use retention agreements to retain key talent, a survey by consultancy Towers Watson shows that companies that are most successful at retention begin the process early—identifying highly valued people and using financial and nonfinancial rewards to keep them onboard.

News Updates
June 27, 2012

While women and men in Asia have high career aspirations, more women than men experience lack of workplace flexibility as a career obstacle, according to the study Expanding Work-Life Perspectives: Talent Management in Asia.

News Updates
June 6, 2012

"Workplace flexibility is not a benefit and it's not a right; it's a business strategy," explained Teresa Hopke, a principal at the consultancy Life Meets Work, during her May 1 presentation at the Society for Human Resource Management's 2012 Talent Management Conference, held near Washington, D.C.

“Workplace flex is not like pizza Fridays. It’s an incredibly powerful, strategic business tool,” she added, quoting flexibility advocate G. Brint Ryan, CEO of Ryan LLC.

News Updates
June 5, 2012

Shaken by the realities of the Great Recession, American workers have adjusted their visions of retirement, according to the 13th Annual Transamerica Retirement Survey released in May 2012 by the nonprofit Transamerica Center for Retirement Studies. And most said they would switch jobs for a better retirement plan.

News Updates
May 30, 2012

Employers and their employees in the U.S. hold different perspectives on how to achieve retirement preparedness through 401(k) plans, according to the results of two newly released studies from Schwab Retirement Plan Services. The studies indicate that, despite efforts by employers to educate workers on the 401(k) offering, most workers remain disengaged and unprepared financially for retirement.

Unengaged Participants

News Updates
May 25, 2012

Some U.S. companies are offering additional paid time off for special circumstances, which might help employees maintain their work/life balance, according to Compdata Surveys' Benefits USA 2011/2012 report.

News Updates
April 23, 2012

Although the rate of health care cost increases, in the U.S. it is expected to remain stable in 2012. U.S. employers are taking more aggressive steps to manage their rising costs and improve employee health, according to the 2012 Employer Survey on Purchasing Value in Health Care by consultancy Towers Watson and the not-for-profit National Business Group on Health.

News Updates
March 26, 2012

On March 12, 2012, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) published a final rule outlining a framework for state-run health care exchanges under the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA). The exchanges are intended to offer private health insurance options that meet government standards and to coordinate the eligibility of low-income individuals for premium tax credits and other assistance.

News Updates
March 20, 2012

Implementing the requirements of the sweeping health care reform law means moving forward in the face of uncertainty, according to Amy Bergner, a partner with HR consultancy Mercer, speaking at the 2012 Society for Human Resource Management Employment Law & Legislative Conference held March 4-7 in Washington, D.C.

The two big unknowns are the results of a pending U.S. Supreme Court ruling and impact of the November 2012 presidential and congressional elections.

Supreme Court to Rule on Constitutionality—or Not?

News Updates
March 16, 2012

Most U.S. companies plan to increase the dollar value of the incentives they offer employees to participate in health improvement programs in 2012, according to an employer survey conducted by Fidelity Investments and the not-for-profit National Business Group on Health.

News Updates
March 12, 2012

Enrollment in health savings accounts (HSAs) and health reimbursement arrangements (HRAs) continues to grow, but contribution patterns to these account-based health plans are changing, according to a February 2012 report from the not-for-profit Employee Benefit Research Institute (EBRI).

News Updates
February 24, 2012

A steady cutback in nonperformance-based pay components 

News Updates
February 17, 2012

Research finds ties between workplace flexibility and positive business results

Workplace flexibility programs benefit employers of all sizes and industries, resulting in increased employee job satisfaction, lower turnover and lower insurance costs, according to a new report, Workplace Flexibility in the United States: A Status Report.

November 29, 2011