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6 Types of Retirement Plans: Differences and Overview

Employee Benefits, Family, Health Care, HR, Human Resources, Insurance, Retirement, Wellness, PTO, Health Care Cost

Financial wellness matters to employees. Unfortunately, however, a large portion of the workforce is not financially healthy. From an overload of debt to living paycheck to paycheck, individuals often struggle to maintain financial balance and make ends meet. When employees stress about finances, that stress doesn’t check itself at the office door when the employee arrives at work. Financial stress impacts an employee’s ability to do her job, which can lower productivity and eventually affect the bottom line.

Financial stress can harm mental and physical health. In the American Psychological Association’s 2019 Stress in America survey, 60% of respondents reported money as a significant stressor, which has been recorded at a similar level for the past few years. In a Bank of America Merrill Lynch report, 40% of employees said they spent three or more hours dealing with personal finances weekly, and 56% of employees revealed that they experience financial stress. Money management and financial stress are also cited as top reasons why many married couples file for divorce. These stats partly indicate why so many employees seek out employers that have a well-rounded benefits package with some type of retirement savings plan.  

by Chris Freitas

5 Benefits of Paid Parental Leave

Employee Benefits, Family, FMLA, Health Care, HR, Human Resources, Insurance, Wellness, Leave of Absence, PTO, Health Care Cost

Approximately 93% of fathers and 72% of mothers make up the U.S. workforce, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Because many of the men and women who are not currently parents will be at some point, family-friendly benefits are essential to offer as part of an organization’s employee value proposition.

However, in 2018, only 17% of workers had access to paid family leave, leaving approximately  80% of American workers without paid family leave. Further, 93% of low-wage workers who are in the bottom quarter of wage earners have no access to paid family leave, and 94% of part-time workers have no access to paid family leave. Almost all of the 193 countries in the United Nations offer paid parental leave to its citizens; the United States is one of the rare exceptions. The United States is also the only country out of the 41 in the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) and the European Union that does not mandate some level of parental leave benefits for employees.   

by Chris Freitas

Designing a Time Off Program to Keep Up With the Times

Employee Benefits, Health Care, HR, Human Resources, Insurance, PTO, Health Care Cost

The workforce of the U.S. is more diverse than ever before. For that reason, it’s necessary that employers design a time off program that caters to the cultural and demographic diversity of their employees. Otherwise, retention, job satisfaction, and work productivity could take a hit. 

As a result of this cultural and demographic diversity, time away from work is one of the hot benefits topics for the HR world. It’s no secret that millennials entering the workforce believe that flexibility and time off are important factors when considering a job opportunity and employer. But it’s not just millennials who are seeking time off throughout the year: The baby boomer, Gen X, and Gen Y populations are also seeking a better work-life balance. These earlier generations may want time off to spend with children or grandchildren, and — like millennials — simply to enjoy life. As a result, organizations are looking at their time-off policies to find ways to meet the requests of their employees.

Religious diversity also prompts conversations about time-off policies. Employees are speaking up and requesting time off to practice their religious beliefs and observe their holidays. Though many organizations still offer the same standard eight to 10 holidays off throughout the year, some organizations are looking at ways to offer floating holidays or to allow employees to trade in holidays. These options allow employees to take time off for holidays of their choice.  

Per SHRM, statistics show that employees are remaining in jobs for only 18 to 36 months instead of the historically standard three to five years. Employees don’t like the idea of starting with a limited number of days off and not acquiring more until they meet a particular milestone, which is often three to five years in many organizations.

by Chris Freitas

ASK THE EXPERTS: OVERTIME AND PAID TIME OFF

Human Resources, PTO

Question: Should we include holidays, PTO, vacation, or other leave taken during the workweek in calculating overtime premium pay under FLSA rules?

by Chris Freitas