Employers Shift More Health Care Costs to Workers

It’s not that your paycheck feels smaller. It is smaller, thanks to the bigger portion that health care costs are siphoning from your take-home pay. Employers year after year have shifted more of the burden for health insurance costs to workers. And it’s no different for this year. Employees’ premiums rose by nearly 7 percent to $2,975 for 2014, not counting out-of-pocket costs, according to a survey released this week by Towers Watson and the National Business Group on Health, …

Stock Gains Push 401(k)s to Record Highs

Last year’s gangbuster stock market pushed 401(k) savings account balances to record highs, according to two major retirement account providers. Fidelity Investments says the average account balance at the end of last year reached $89,300, a 15.5 percent increase over the year before. For workers age 55 and older, balances averaged $165,200. Many workers roll over their 401(k) into an individual retirement account when they leave a job.  Adding up the balances of those who have both a 401(k) and …

Facebook, Others Scale Back 401(k)s

It’s bad enough that employers are doing away with traditional pensions and adopting 401(k)s that foist all the investing decisions onto workers, leaving them vulnerable to the vagaries of the market. Now, according to an analysis by Bloomberg, it appears that many big companies have gotten stingier with their 401(k) matching contributions and vesting schedules. These include IBM, Hewlett-Packard Co., Oracle Corp., Caesars Entertainment Corp., JP Morgan Chase & Co., Whole Foods Market Inc.  and Facebook. (Facebook, Bloomberg reports, gave …

Women 50+: What to Wear to Get the Job

The economy is tough. The job market – especially for those of us over 50 – is even tougher. But if you want to rejoin the workforce or land a new opportunity, the tips below can help you put your best foot forward. It’s been said that it takes all of seven seconds for a stranger to size you up. So make the best first impression you can by sporting an interview outfit that will knock their socks off. Jacqui …

Home Health Workers to Get Minimum Wage, Overtime Pay

By Susan Jaffe, Kaiser Health News The U. S. Department of Labor issued new rules Tuesday that mandate home health care agencies pay their workers the minimum wage and receive overtime pay starting in 2015. “Almost 2 million home care workers are doing critical work, providing services to people with disabilities and senior citizens who want to live in community settings and age in place in their familiar surroundings,” said Secretary of Labor Thomas Perez. But when it comes to …

Jobless Rate Inches Up for Older Workers

The dog days of August brought a slowdown in summer hiring. Employers created a tepid 169,000 jobs last month, less than what economists expected, and the  unemployment rate for older workers inched up to 5.1 percent, the government reported Friday. Men aged 55 and older saw their jobless rate decline in August to 5.4 percent from 5.6 percent the month before. The situation was reversed for older women: the rate rose to 5.2 percent last month from 4.9 percent in July. Nationally, …