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Data Shows Employees Like to Auto-Enroll for Retirement Plans

As employees start to pitch in for their later years in life, retirement plan contributions start to lag. Experts say the current 3 percent isn’t enough—and that number should be between 10-12 percent instead. A new survey shows more companies are automatically registering their employees for company 401(k) plans, but the average amount that is used to start employee accounts at remains at 3 percent of employee pay.  The recent survey, “Trends in 401(k) Plans and Retirement Rewards,” found that 56 percent of the respondents enroll automatically into a 401(k) plan. That number is up 12 percentage points from 2009 when the survey was last completed. The survey, which was completed by 476 people, was done by the American Benefits Institute (the research division of the Washington-based American Benefits Council) and Scottsdale, Arizona-based WorldatWork. "We know automatic enrollment is a very significant tool," says Lynn Dudley, American Benefits Council senior vice president. "W ...

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U.S. Employers Report Less Difficulty in Hiring

According to the Talent Shortage Survey conducted by ManpowerGroup, the number of employers having difficulty finding the right talent for open positions in the U.S. has decreased. The survey indicates 39 percent of employers nationally still had difficulty hiring for open positions vs. 49 percent reported in 2012. While the overall percentage has decreased, employers still report difficulty finding skilled trade, with carpenters or chefs remaining the most difficult positions to fill for the fourth year running. In addition to skilled trade workers, respondents also indicated sales, information technology and drivers also ranked high on the list of difficulty. According to the survey, here is the list of Top 10 Most Difficult Jobs to Fill: Skilled Trades Sales Representatives Drivers IT Staff Accounting & Finance Staff Engineers Technicians Management/Executives Mechanics Teachers These jobs listed above remain consistent year after year as the ...

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Employee Retirement Planning at Record Low

According to the 23rd annual Retirement Confidence Survey, nearly one third of all respondents say they are not at all confident about being able to afford a comfortable retirement. This is the lowest amount of confidence that respondents have ever had to the question. Also, 22 percent of respondents say they expect to work longer than they had originally planned.  "This is a lesson for workers today," says Mathew Greenwald, co-author of the study conducted by the Employee Benefit Research Institute and Mathew Greenwald & Associates Inc. "Do not put off saving." Out of the 251 retirees and 1,254 workers (age 25 or older) who took part in the survey, 57 percent say they have less than $25,000 in investments and household savings. However, survey results show 82 percent of eligible workers take part in a plan. A new question in the survey this year shows plan sponsors could actually play a major role in helping workers save. Of the employees who were not offered a 401(k) plan, 44 percent repor ...

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Budgeting For Flexible Spending Accounts

It is estimated that approximately 30 million individuals in the U.S. are currently enrolled in Flexible Spending Accounts. Flexible Spending Accounts, or FSA’s, allow employees to set aside money, not subject to payroll taxes, which can be used for qualifying medical expenses. For 2013, $2500 is the cap for FSA’s. By setting aside this money, employees who fall under the 40% tax bracket will realize $1000 in savings. Despite the advantages, a survey conducted by Mercer revealed that less than 40 percent of employees offered an FSA option participated. Those that participated set aside less than the allowable amount, with $1420 being the average reported in this survey. One fear employees have is not using the set aside funds before expiration of the plan year. If the funds are not utilized, the remaining money will be lost. The Employers Council for Flexible Compensation estimates that on average employees leave $500 or more of unused funds in their FSA accounts annually. This has been a ...

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Telecommuting Might Affect Upward Mobility in Career, Survey Says

In the wake of Yahoo Inc. CEO Marissa Meyer’s decision to discontinue telecommuting options for her employees, the conversation about the affects of working from home moves forward.  Most executives agree that allowing employees to telecommute improves productivity and gives working parents the opportunity to continue their careers. This information comes from a recent survey published by Korn/Ferry International on April 12. They are a global provider of talent management solutions. Although most responses indicated that the opportunity to telecommute has a positive effect for employees, 60 percent of respondents believe that working from home can hinder positive career mobility. This information is according to the April 12 survey. Almost 80 percent of those who took the survey noted that their employer allows employees to telecommute. Roughly 58 percent say they telecommute. The survey indicated that an overwhelming 94 percent of respondents believe that telecommuting is an imperative ...

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