Uncle Sam Bolsters Support of State-Sponsored Retirement Plans

The U.S. Department of Labor is paving the way for states to sponsor retirement plans for millions of private-sector workers who don’t have such programs on the job. About 68 million U.S. workers don’t have access to a 401(k) or similar workplace account, according to the Labor Department, even though studies show that employees are more likely to save for retirement if their employer offers a savings plan. More than half of the 50 states are either developing retirement savings …

What Workers Can Expect During Open Enrollment

Heads-up, workers. Open enrollment season is just around the corner. That’s when you’ll make your selections for the benefits you’ll receive next year. Here are a few changes you may see in your employer’s health plan for 2016, according to Tracy Watts, a senior partner with benefits consultant Mercer:   Telemedicine. More employers will be covering doctor visits done over the phone, Skype or FaceTime. These virtual visits cost a fraction of an in-person consultation. Health cost estimators. To help …

Feel Like You’re Paying More for Health Insurance? Blame Deductibles

Though workers have seen moderate increases in health insurance premiums in recent years, deductibles and the number of workers paying them have increased sharply, according to a new study by Kaiser Family Foundation. Five years ago, 70 percent of workers in an employer-sponsored plan paid a deductible, compared with 81 percent today, Kaiser found. Over that time, the average deductible has grown from $917 to $1,318 for single coverage. Together, this amounts to a 67 percent increase in deductibles in …

Disrupting the Way We Think About Older Workers

AARP has always believed in the value of older workers, that they can be a genuine asset in the workplace. Now we have new evidence to back that up. In the wake of the Great Recession, we took a fresh look at data about hiring and retaining workers who are 50 and older. The AARP study, “A Business Case for Workers Age 50+,” which came out just last month, not only confirmed earlier research but also indicated that today the …

Investors Win in Supreme Court 401(k) Decision

The U.S. Supreme Court this week sent a strong message to employers offering 401(k)s: You can’t just pick investments for the plan and then forget about them. This unanimous decision is expected to provide greater protection for 401(k) participants who increasingly rely on these plans to fund their retirement. And it may also trigger more lawsuits by workers unhappy with their investment options and the fees charged, legal experts say. “Participants over the long term should benefit from all of …

Those Pension Cuts and What You Need to Know

Congress recently carved a hole in a 40-year-old pension law that has prevented employers from cutting benefits earned by those already retired. This change applies to people covered under multiemployer plans that are in critical financial shape. Here’s what you need to know: What is a multiemployer plan? This is a pension covering workers and retirees from more than one employer in the same or related industries, such as trucking or construction. (Most of them were established under collective bargaining between …