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  • 17 Jul 2023 10:23 AM | Bill Brewer (Administrator)

    Overtime | Labor & Employment Law Navigator

    DOL Overtime Rule Coming Soon (No, Really This Time!)

    Author: Michael Cardman, XpertHR Senior Legal Editor

    July 13, 2023

    The US Department of Labor (DOL) yesterday submitted a draft overtime rule to the White House's Office of Management and Budget (OMB) for a final review.

    This means that the overtime rule is now at Step 4 of the 9-step federal regulatory process - and that the DOL is likely to issue a proposed rule within the next 100 days.

    Under Executive Order 12866, the OMB is required to perform a cost-benefit-cost analysis for any new regulation that is economically significant (a criterion the overtime rule is almost certain to meet).

    The OMB has 10 days to make a preliminary determination of whether or not the overtime rule is economically significant. After that, the OMB will have another 90 days to review the rule.

    However, this 90-day period may be extended indefinitely by the DOL or for as many as 30 days by the OMB.

    Already having delayed the overtime rule several times before, it's possible the DOL could delay it again. That seems unlikely, as each delay will make it more difficult for the Biden administration to defend the rule from an expected legal challenge.

    The DOL confirmed to XpertHR it had sent a proposed rule to OMB but did not respond to a request for comment about the timeline.

    HR professionals are eagerly awaiting the release of the proposed rule, as it will give them a strong indication of what they can expect to see in the eventual final rule.

    First and foremost, the DOL will likely propose raising the minimum salary for most employees exempt from the overtime requirements of the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) from its current level of $35,568 per year. Some experts anticipate the new minimum salary will be somewhere in the range of $46,800 to $52,000 per year.

    The DOL also may propose annual inflation adjustments and/or make changes to the overtime exemptions' duties tests.

    After a new overtime rule is proposed, the public will have at least 30 days to comment on it before the DOL can issue a final rule. Then the final rule would take effect no sooner than 60 days after it is published in the Federal Register, assuming it is classified as a major rule.

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    Source: XpertHR

  • 17 Jul 2023 10:17 AM | Bill Brewer (Administrator)

    Pay Increases Budgeted for 4% in 2024, Survey Finds | WorldatWork

    ARLINGTON, VA, June 29, 2023 — Salary budgets for U.S. employees are expected to remain high in 2024 as employers become accustomed to ongoing labor market challenges. According to the latest Salary Budget Planning Survey by WTW (NASDAQ: WTW), a leading global advisory, broking and solutions company, organizations are budgeting an average increase of 4.0% in 2024. Though down from the actual increase of 4.4% in 2023, the numbers remain higher than the 3.1% salary increase budget in 2021 and years prior.

    The survey found that more than two-thirds (70%) of U.S. employers budgeted for pay raises to be either the same or higher in 2023 than 2022. Less than one-quarter (14%) of companies have budgeted for pay raises to be lower than last year.

    While we are seeing lower salary increases forecasted for next year, they’re still well above the ones we’ve seen for the past 10 years.”

    Hatti Johansson | Research director, Reward Data Intelligence, WTW

    Concerns over a tighter labor market impacted by worker shortages is the most commonly cited driver influencing changes in 2023, cited by nearly two-thirds (61%) of respondents expecting changes in their salary budgets, followed closely by inflationary pressures (60%). Other factors prompting changes to salary budgets include concerns regarding employee expectations (24%), anticipated recession or weaker financial results (23%) and cost management (20%).

    “While we are seeing lower salary increases forecasted for next year, they’re still well above the ones we’ve seen for the past 10 years. This shows that companies are striving to stay competitive in an everchanging work climate,” said Hatti Johansson, research director, Reward Data Intelligence, WTW. “Those companies that have a clear compensation strategy as well as a pulse on the factors affecting it will be more successful attracting and retaining employees while keeping pace with an evolving environment in which yesterday’s certainties no longer apply.”

    According to the survey, more than half (51%) of organizations this year reported having difficulty with attraction or retention, compared with 57% last year. Respondents are expecting labor market pressures to ease, with only 35% expecting difficulties in 2024.

    In response to these ongoing pressures, organizations are taking action to attract and retain talent. Half (50%) of respondents have reviewed compensation of specific employee groups, and 28% are planning or considering doing so. Additionally, 44% are hiring people higher in relevant salary ranges, raising starting salary ranges (43%), reviewing compensation of all employees (42%) and enhancing use of retention bonuses or spot awards (40%).

    Non-monetary actions to attract and retain talent are in motion as well. More than half (59%) of respondents have broadened their emphasis on diversity, equity and inclusion, and 25% are planning or considering doing so. Nearly as many (58%) have increased workplace flexibility. While 46% of respondents have taken action to improve their employees’ experience, 41% are planning or considering doing so. Other measures taken include changing health and wellness benefits (36%), modifying reward elements of compensation programs (33%) and increasing training opportunities (26%). Almost half (43%) reported funding the increase in total compensation spend through total rewards optimization (up from 21% in 2022).

    “It takes more than compensation to attract and keep great talent, and the past few years have pressed companies to be more resourceful,” said Lesli Jennings, North America leader, Work, Rewards & Careers, WTW. “As workforces become more diverse, demanding and dynamic, the key is understanding their specific needs and preferences while providing the desired employee experience and career opportunities within the company.”

    About the survey

    The Salary Budget Planning Report is compiled by WTW’s Reward Data Intelligence practice. The survey was conducted in April to June 2023. Approximately 33,000 sets of responses were received from companies across 150 countries worldwide. In the U.S., 2,090 organizations responded.

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    Source: WTW

  • 17 Jul 2023 10:10 AM | Bill Brewer (Administrator)

    Why You Should Never Skip Your Annual Wellness Exam: Macomb Medical Clinic: Family Medicine Clinic

    Too many US adults are skipping wellness appointments that can help save their lives

    1 in 2 American adults admit to avoiding important health screenings 

    COLUMBUS, Ga.June 28, 2023 /PRNewswire/ -- Americans don't seem to be on a path to living healthier, longer lives, according to a study released by Aflac Incorporated, a leading provider of supplemental health insurance in the U.S.1 The Wellness Matters survey, conducted among 2,001 employed adults in the U.S., examines attitudes, habits and opinions about health and preventive care.

    51% of respondents who have had cancer said their diagnosis came as a result of a routine checkup or screening.

    The nationally representative survey finds that many — 1 in 4 — simply skip regular checkups because they are feeling healthy. Other reasons cited include conflicts with work hours (23%); not thinking about it (22%); dislike of going to the doctor (21%); insurance issues (21%); fear of hearing bad health news (18%); and time commitment to go to the doctor (16%).2

    According to the survey, about half of adults have avoided at least one common health screening, including tests for certain diseases and other exams. At the same time, 51% of respondents who have had cancer said their diagnosis came as a result of a routine checkup or screening.2

    Men and women do not see eye to eye on their current and future health.  
    Survey findings show the majority of men have a positive outlook regarding all aspects of their current health, including their ability to control it in the future: weight/BMI (56% men, 38% women); financial health (53% men, 40% women); mental health (66% men, 56% women); and physical health (69% men, 54% women). Hispanic men and women also have differing outlooks: weight/BMI (64% men, 45% women); financial health (57% men, 44% women); mental health (71% men, 62% women); and physical health (77% men, 63% women).2

    Generational points of view show wide gap in control over health.
    According to the survey, Gen Z [ages 18-24] feels the least control over their mental and physical health, yet they are the most likely to skip annual wellness visits that could empower them to feel more in control. Baby boomers [ages 57-65] (64%) and Gen X [ages 41-56] (55%) think preventive care is very important to their overall health and well-being, versus millennials [ages 25-40] (49%) and Gen Z (40%). 

    Managing health and wellness does not come easy for U.S. Hispanic population.
    Among Hispanic survey respondents, 31% indicate language is a barrier to accessing preventive care resources. As a result, 72% have avoided a wellness screening, compared to 46% who do not feel it is a barrier. Many Hispanic respondents also agree (61%) that health care providers and organizations need to better engage and educate the Latino community about the benefits of being proactive with their health and wellness.2

    Screenings work and lead to better outcomes.
    A significant number (72%) of Hispanic survey respondents diagnosed with cancer found out at a routine medical exam or regularly scheduled annual screening, compared to 46% of the general population.2

    An analysis of Aflac internal data reveals its cancer wellness benefit claims dropped in 2022 compared to 2019 — notably among younger generations. For every 1,000 Aflac policyholders, cancer policy wellness claims dropped 11% for those in their 20s and 9% for those in their 30s.3

    "The results of the Wellness Matters survey put a spotlight on the need for individuals to have a more proactive approach to their health care," said Tom Morey, chief actuary, Aflac U.S. "That is why Aflac is encouraging policyholders and others to take control of their health by building good health habits early, asking health and insurance providers questions, and prioritizing routine wellness checkups."

    Take wellness matters into your own hands  sooner rather than later. 
    According to the survey, individuals are more likely to schedule checkups and prioritize wellness screenings as adults if their parents or caregivers demonstrated good habits, such as scheduling childhood wellness appointments, early in life. Most individuals are self-motivated to go to the doctor, most notably Baby boomers (64%), followed by Gen X (45%), millennials (35%), and Gen Z (29%). Additionally, encouragement from loved ones and financial incentives can help motivate individuals to seek preventive care. Many (64%) say they benefit from friends and family who encourage them to go to the doctor for routine visits. Most (85%) are more likely to go to a routine checkup appointment if a cash incentive was offered to help with the cost.2

    Learn more at

    The 2023 Wellness Matters Survey was conducted among a nationally representative sample of 2,001 employed U.S. adults ages 18-65 in June 2023 by Kantar Profiles on behalf of Aflac. As part of the Hispanic population report, 200 Spanish-speaking respondents were added for a total of 580 respondents to ensure a robust understanding of this population. The additional 200 are not included in the general population report in order to maintain the nationally representative sample.

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    Source: Aflac

  • 17 Jul 2023 10:04 AM | Bill Brewer (Administrator)

    Group of young adults taking a selfie

    A survey from the Transamerica Center for Retirement Studies determined that 66% of Generation Z, those born between 1997 and 2012, are growing their retirement savings. That's a smaller percentage than previous generations, but members of Gen Z are saving sooner than those older than them. Kyla Scanlon, founder of the financial education company Bread, joined CBS News to talk about the findings.

    JUL 14, 2023

    Watch the 3 min 40 sec video reports here: 

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    Source: CBS News

  • 17 Jul 2023 10:01 AM | Bill Brewer (Administrator)

    Rachelle Akuffo

    Thu, July 13, 2023 at 9:31 AM PDT

    According to a study by the Transamerica Center for Retirement Studies, at least 55 percent of potential retirees plan to delay retirement and continue working. Yahoo Finance Columnist Kerry Hannon details the savings insecurities older U.S. workers are experiencing.

    Video Transcript

    RACHELLE AKUFFO: All right, well, a relaxing retirement may be a pipe dream for some with a new survey from Transamerica Center for Retirement Studies showing that 55% of people plan to continue working after they retire. Yahoo Finance's Kerry Hannon is here with the details. That's unfortunate. That's sad. I mean, is this a must?

    KERRY HANNON: Well, I'll tell you, I personally don't think work is a bad thing. There's a lot of good reasons to keep working in retirement. But this is noteworthy, because it's-- across generations, people are saying, hey, we simply aren't able to save enough for retirement right now. We don't have enough income.

    There's sort of this pervasive pessimism out there about outliving their savings. And so it appears to me to be a bit of a default reaction saying, well, you know what? I'm just going to keep working in retirement. Maybe not pedal to the metal, but there will be part-time work. And some are saying full-time. But shockingly, 15% did say they expected work to be their primary source of income in retirement which really surprised me.

    But here's the thing, it's the first time people are actually thinking about work and starting to put it in their head that you're not going to just have a cold stop at 65 or whatever year you may be bounced out of the workplace which does happen earlier if you get a layoff and hard to get back in.

    So, you know, but the number one reason people say that they plan to work in retirement, in some fashion, is because they're concerned about Social Security not being enough. The second reason is because they're worried they're not going to have enough income, enough savings in order to support their lifestyle in a comfortable way. And the third reason is to pay for health expenses, which you and I know is going to be a huge ticket item as people grow older. So those are the reasons we're seeing people thinking about it.

    The problem here why we say pipe dream, why you said that, is that employers aren't quite getting that yet. They aren't set up for these phased retirements, flexible work, letting their staff kind of shift into less stressful work and, you know, adjustable hours.

    They're not quite there yet. They're starting to understand that they need to offer this to retain employees, because of what? Rachelle, this is huge. The demographic shift is noteworthy. And there has been a steep drop in fertility rates. And so this, they're starting to feel the fact of a tight labor market.

    And in fact, they actually need some of these older workers to continue to work because I think what we're seeing-- this transformative thing in the workplace-- is by 2030, they're going to be more people over 65 in the United States than under the age of 18. This has huge implications in the workplace. So I think employers are going to start to get this.

    RACHELLE AKUFFO: I mean, I get that. My dad retired and came back to work. He loves what he does, and he's 80. And he's like, yeah, no, I'm good. I'm just going to keep working. So then for people who are thinking, you know, how do I prepare for longer working lives, what should they know?

    KERRY HANNON: Right. So it's not all doom and gloom. I mean, it's really important that if you are earning some income even if you saved appropriately, I mean, it keeps you from having to dip into your retirement accounts. You can push back your Social Security benefit to age 70.

    But what you need to do if you want to keep working in retirement, by all means, you've got to be prepared. You need to keep your skills up to date, you need to add certificates, and maybe even a degree if you need to. You have to be sharp. You have to be lean and mean and ready to take on work. No one's going to-- its you're not a charity case, so you have to perform. You have to stay healthy.

    One of the main reasons people step out of the workplace is for health reasons. Pay attention to exercise and eating with an eye to nutrition. And do some scoping around. Start early five years before you might retire. What would you like to do?

    You know, do some volunteering, some moonlighting. Try a few things out. What might be work that you can go to? So let's look at as you're not retiring from something, you're retiring to something, a new form of work that actually can be great for you financially as well as psychologically. So I hate to be such a Suzy Upsider here, but I do see the upside in it.

    RACHELLE AKUFFO: No, I like that. Retiring to something. It puts a different spin on it versus, you know, it's end of an era versus actually have something to look forward to and some shifts that I can enjoy. Great stuff as always. Our very own Kerry Hannon. Thank you so much.

    KERRY HANNON: Great.

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    Source: Yahoo Finance

  • 26 Jun 2023 8:47 AM | Bill Brewer (Administrator)

    By Kathryn Mayer ||| June 12, 2023

    Significant strides have been made in parental leave and family leave benefits programs over the past year, signaling that employers are getting serious about supporting employees in their home lives as well as their work lives, according to the 2023 SHRM Employee Benefits Survey.

    Paid maternity and paternity leave each saw 5-percentage-point jumps from last year and are now offered by 40 percent and 32 percent of employers, respectively, the new report finds. SHRM Research's survey of 4,217 HR professionals at organizations across all sizes, industries and sectors was conducted from Jan. 17 to March 8, 2023. The findings were released June 12 at the SHRM Annual Conference & Expo 2023 in Las Vegas.

    [For detailed charts filterable by industry, organization size and location, SHRM members can view the full 2023 Employee Benefits survey results interactive online tool:]

    Simultaneously, paid parental leave is now offered by roughly 4 in 10 employers (39 percent), a 6-point jump from last year, according to this year's survey. Paid adoption leave also jumped by 6 percentage points, with about a third of employers (34 percent) now offering it, and paid foster child leave is now offered by 25 percent of employers, representing a 3-percentage-point increase.

    "Paid leave for new parents increased across the board," said Daniel Stunes, manager of research operations with SHRM Research.

    That's likely because benefits are "all about family this year," added SHRM researcher Cal Engstrom. "Prior to the pandemic, a lot of benefits had been about focusing on individuals. But when COVID-19 hit, a lot of employers started to think about benefits that help not just their employees, but their loved ones as well."

    SHRM's survey results come as several organizations have recently enhanced parental leave benefits. In April, media company Thomson Reuters, a global firm with 26,000 employees, announced a 16-week paid parental leave program. The global benefit grants eligible employees who are welcoming a new child into their family through birth or adoption at least 16 weeks of paid time off, regardless of the employee's gender, sexual orientation or marital status. In addition, consumer health care company Haleon in January implemented a 26-week paid parental leave policy for all employees, while last month, global law firm Clyde & Co. rolled out a new parental leave policy, offering employees who have been with the firm for one year 26 weeks of paid leave to bond with a new child.

    There are likely several reasons behind the uptick, including rising employee expectations and calls for family leave and flexible time as a result of the pandemic.

    In fact, a survey released by insurance provider Unum in December found that paid family leave was among the top three noninsurance benefits U.S. workers most want. Another survey released by online insurance broker Breeze in November found that workers would rather their employer offer paid parental leave than an array of other benefits, including employer-paid fitness or mental health benefits, vision insurance, or student loan repayment assistance.

    Paid parental leave is "one of the benefits that, when you need it, it's really, really valuable," Stunes said. "And for employers, it's not super-expensive to the organization, and it's not like everyone's having a baby at the same time. While it can sometimes be difficult for teams to cover someone who goes out on parental leave, it's a one-off thing, and it's so beneficial to the parents."

    It's also possible that SHRM's 2022 survey results about parental leave—which found that leave for new parents was closer to pre-pandemic levels after all types of parental leave reached a pinnacle in 2020—made some HR and benefits leaders do some soul-searching and decide to step up their efforts, Stunes said. Last year's survey found that the number of organizations offering paid maternity leave was 35 percent in 2022, down from 53 percent in 2020. The number offering paid paternity leave was 27 percent, down from 44 percent.

    Outside of parental benefits, other types of family benefits are growing as well. Paid family leave so employees can care for an immediate family member became slightly more common, with one-third of employers (33 percent) now offering it. Meanwhile, nearly 2 in 10 employers (18 percent) provide paid leave to care for extended family.

    Similarly, pet insurance is a growing employee benefit, SHRM's benefits survey found. Nearly 1 in 5 employers (19 percent) now offer it, up from 14 percent in 2022.

    "People are considering pet health insurance to be very important," Stunes said, noting that the pandemic spurred a rise in pet adoption, which likely inspired employers to add the benefit. "It is about family—and pets are family. People are recognizing that more and more."

    Most Important Benefits

    While family and parental leave benefits are becoming more prevalent, employers continue to view health care as the most vital benefit offering, according to this year's survey. Eighty-nine percent of HR leaders said it was "very important" or "extremely important," with virtually all employers (98 percent) offering health coverage to their employees.

    What kind of health care coverage are employers offering? Preferred provider organization (PPO) plans remain the most common type offered (by 82 percent of employers), but high-deductible health plans (HDHPs) linked to a health savings account (HSA), health reimbursement arrangement (HRA) or flexible spending account (FSA) continue to gain popularity: 64 percent of employers offer such a plan, up from 61 percent in 2022. Meanwhile, of the 60 percent of employers that offer an HSA as part of their HDHP, 63 percent contribute to their employees' accounts.

    Group HRAs are trending downward, from 20 percent in 2019 to 15 percent in 2023, as are medical FSAs, which declined slightly for the second year in a row, to 62 percent.

    Tied for the second-most important benefit were leave and retirement savings and planning—81 percent of HR leaders said those benefits were "very important" or "extremely important." In general, the retirement landscape has changed little since 2022, the survey found, with the vast majority of organizations (94 percent) continuing to offer a traditional pretax defined contribution plan, such as a 401(k), 403(b) or 457(b). Of these employers, 84 percent provide a matching contribution, with an average maximum percentage salary match of 7.02 percent.

    Post-tax Roth retirement options continue to grow in popularity, jumping 3 percentage points to 71 percent this year. Of the employers that offer Roth plans, about 3 in 4 (74 percent) also provide employer matching, with an average maximum percentage salary match of 6.69 percent.

    Flexible work arrangements are also one of the top benefits offered by employers, the survey found—and for good reason. The pandemic spurred widespread adoption of flexible and remote work options, and it seems the majority of employers aren't turning back. Seventy percent of employers said flexible work is very or extremely important—the same percentage as in 2022. Although that's lower than in the thick of the pandemic—83 percent of employers said it was very or extremely important in 2020/2021—it's a significant increase from before the pandemic, when just 49 percent of employers cited the benefit's importance.

    Other Benefits Changes

    Also new this year? Perhaps in response to the Supreme Court's reversal of Roe v. Wade last year, 11 percent of employers said they are reimbursing employees for domestic travel expenses related to seeking medical care, and 6 percent are doing so for international travel, according to the survey.

    Coverage for weight loss surgery increased by 3 percentage points and is now offered by 28 percent of employers. Meanwhile, coverage for weight loss programs was up only slightly, at 20 percent, down from a five-year peak of 29 percent in 2019.

    Financial benefits, awards and bonuses are also in demand this year—likely a result of the financial stress employees are experiencing due to sky-high inflation, coupled with employers making moves to woo and keep workers in an employee-driven job market.

    Nearly a quarter of employers (23 percent) said they offer retention bonuses—up from 15 percent in 2019, the last time this benefit appeared on the SHRM survey. And nearly 6 in 10 employers (59 percent) currently offer referral bonuses, up from 53 percent in 2019.

    Though still not at pre-pandemic levels, the prevalence of nonretirement financial advice benefits rebounded notably this year. Nearly one in three employers (31 percent) currently offer online or in-person services—an increase of 10 percentage points from 2022.

    As the job market continues to be employee-driven, Stunes says employers are realizing that innovative and generous benefits are a good way to attract and retain talent.

    "I think companies are really looking for those benefits that are above and beyond," he said. "You expect health care, you expect some kind of leave, but then you see other benefits—maybe pet health insurance, maybe bonuses—and that is what is setting employers apart."


    Source: Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM)

  • 26 Jun 2023 8:43 AM | Bill Brewer (Administrator)

    CEO Pay Increased by 2.7 Percent in 2022 - CPA Practice Advisor

    May 24, 2023

    Weaker annual and long-term incentive awards contributed to sharp slowdown in total compensation increase.

    RLINGTON, VA, May 24, 2023 — Chief executive officers (CEOs) at the largest U.S. corporations saw their increase in total compensation slow dramatically in 2022, driven largely by a decrease in annual bonuses and slower growth in long-term incentives, according to a new analysis of proxy disclosures by WTW (NASDAQ: WTW), a leading global advisory, broking and solutions company.

    The WTW analysis found total pay for CEOs increased 2.7% in 2022, sharply lower than the 18.3% median increase in 2021. Additionally, the percentage of CEOs who received a reduction in total pay doubled from 21% in 2021 to 42% in 2022. Total pay, as reported in the Summary Compensation Table (SCT) in company proxy statements, includes base salary, actual annual and long-term cash bonuses, the grant-date value of long-term incentives (such as stock options, restricted stock and long-term performance shares), the value of perquisites, earnings from deferred compensation and the change in value of executive pensions.

    The analysis, based on 450 S&P 1500 companies that filed proxies disclosing 2022 pay by the end of April, found annual bonuses, which soared by 36.8% in 2021, declined 2.5% last year. While annual bonuses were lower, payouts remained above target (123% of target) in 2022, but this was well below 2021 when payouts were 148% of target. The value of earned long-term incentives rose 10% in 2022 – less than the 44% increase in 2021 but still building on 2021’s significant growth rate. Salaries for CEO increased 3.1% in 2022, following a year in which the average CEO salary remained unchanged.

    “CEO pay stabilized last year and is returning to levels typically seen before the pandemic,” said Don Delves, North America leader, Executive Compensation, WTW. “Given the stock market performance and lingering economic uncertainties, the fact that annual and long-term incentives weakened last year demonstrates the pay-for-performance model is working at most companies.”

    More companies adding ESG metrics to incentive plans

    The analysis also revealed over half of the S&P 1500 companies (56%) reported using an ESG performance measure in their annual incentive plan in 2022, up from 49% in 2021. The use of ESG performance measures in long-term incentive plans, however, remains relatively low – 8% in 2022 compared with 7% in 2021. A subset of 227 S&P 500 companies from the analysis also revealed growing interest in linking executive incentive awards to ESG measures. Twenty-one companies added an ESG measure to their annual incentive plans, while 47 companies expanded their use of ESG metrics. Additionally, 9 companies added an ESG metric to their long-term incentive plans while two companies expanded the use of ESG metrics in their long-term incentive plans.

    “We are seeing continued interest by boards in linking executive pay to ESG priorities, particularly those priorities they feel they may be linked to sustainable value creation,” said Kenneth Kuk, senior director, Work & Rewards, WTW. “Many boards of directors see executive incentives as an effective way to hold CEOs and other corporate leaders accountable to meeting ESG goals they believe are most critical to business strategy, such as carbon emission reduction and diverse representation for management and the workforce.”

    About WTW

    At WTW (NASDAQ: WTW), we provide data-driven, insight-led solutions in the areas of people, risk and capital. Leveraging the global view and local expertise of our colleagues serving 140 countries and markets, we help organizations sharpen their strategy, enhance organizational resilience, motivate their workforce and maximize performance.

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    Source: WTW

  • 26 Jun 2023 8:39 AM | Bill Brewer (Administrator)

    Wage growth slowing sharply in US, Indeed says | Fox Business

    Wage growth slated to return to pre-pandemic levels by 2024

    By Megan Henney

    U.S. wage growth has slowed sharply over the past year and is on pace to return to pre-pandemic levels by early 2024, according to new data from career site Indeed.

    The wage tracker – based on salaries for job advertisements listed on Indeed – showed that salaries were up 5.3% in May compared with the same time one year ago. That is a marked drop from January 2022, when wages were up about 9.3%, suggesting that employers are facing less competition for new hires.

    Based on the current trajectory, wage growth will likely return to its pre-pandemic range of about 3% to 4% late this year or early in 2024. 

    While the deceleration is broad-based, it is most pronounced in low-wage sectors. Posted pay for that group tumbled to 5.6% in May from 12.5% at the start of 2022. 

    "Broadly speaking, it is clear that the largest slowdowns in wage growth are happening in typically lower-paying sectors," wrote Indeed labor economist Nick Bunker, "After growing much more quickly than wages in other segments over the past several years, wage growth for low-wage and middle-wage sectors was identical in May." 

    Among the industries that are seeing a rapid decline in wages is the software industry, which has been at the forefront of high-profile layoffs and hiring freezes. Job postings in that sector have plummeted by nearly 60% over the past year, and posted wage growth is currently less than half of what it was in November.

    Other sectors proved more resilient. Wage growth among construction jobs remains almost a percentage point above its 2019 average – a "notable" spike given the rapid rise in mortgage rates over the past year, which has led to less residential and commercial development.

    The Indeed gauge underscores a separate report from the Labor Department released last week, which showed that average hourly earnings – a key measure of inflation – rose 0.3% in May, in line with analyst expectations. Wages are up 4.3% on an annual basis, the report showed.

    The Federal Reserve is closely watching wage growth as it fights stubbornly high inflation with the most aggressive rate-hike campaign since the 1980s. 

    Policymakers approved a 10th straight rate increase in May, lifting the federal funds rate to a range of 5% to 5.25%, the highest since 2007.

    Although the consumer price index has cooled from a peak of 9.1% in June 2022, it remains about three times higher than the pre-pandemic average despite the rapid increase in rates.

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    Source; Fox Business

  • 26 Jun 2023 8:32 AM | Bill Brewer (Administrator)

    Gender pay gap hits university faculty | Science | AAAS

    A Wisconsin school district has agreed to pay $450,000 and raise employee salaries to settle the commission’s claims.

    Published June 20, 2023 by Kate Tornone

    A Wisconsin school district has agreed to pay $450,000 to settle claims it paid female employees less than their male counterparts, the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission announced Friday.

    Verona Area School District paid nine female special education teachers and one female school psychologist less than more recently hired male employees for the same work, EEOC said. Each had comparable or greater experience than a male colleague but was paid $3,000 to $17,000 less.

    Additionally, while the female employees’ repeated requests for raises were denied, the district repeatedly negotiated and agreed to salary increases sought by male teachers, EEOC said.

    The commission sued, alleging the district had violated Title VII of the Civil Rights Act. To settle the lawsuit, the district agreed to the monetary relief and agreed to raise the salaries of the women involved. It also will review its pay policy, conduct anti-discrimination training and post a notice about the lawsuit, according to the EEOC’s announcement.

    “More than 60 years after the Equal Pay Act, it is not only illegal but unacceptable to treat men and women differently when negotiating and setting pay,” said Diane Smason, EEOC’s acting district director in Chicago, in a statement. “The EEOC will continue to vigorously investigate and enforce the law to make sure employees do not face such discrimination.”

    The school district’s board of education president, Meredith Stier Christensen, told HR Dive in a statement that the parties worked together to resolve the dispute without going to trial. Additionally, the board in 2021 adopted a new governance model that included the creation of clear, formalized systems to ensure that lawful and equitable hiring and compensation practices are in place, Stier Christensen continued. “As a result of our robust oversight practices, the Board has full confidence that our administration’s proactive steps to achieve this critical outcome have been successful.”

    Vice President Jennifer Murphy concurred: “We now have systems in place to effectively eliminate the type of concern raised in the EEOC complaint now and in the future.”

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    Source: HR Dive

  • 19 May 2023 10:16 AM | Bill Brewer (Administrator)

    Pill bottle spilled with coins flowing out from it

    You Can Put a Lot More Money Into Your HSA Next Year

    By: Pete Grieve | Editor: Julia Glum | Published: May 17, 2023 

    The contribution limit for health savings accounts (abbreviated HSAs) will get a large increase in 2024 to adjust for inflation, allowing Americans to save more money for medical expenses.

    HSAs are a type of account you can open if you have a health insurance deductible above a certain threshold — $1,600 for individuals in 2024 — and want to grow a cushion for medical expenses.

    HSA owners benefit from what's called a triple tax advantage. They can make tax-deductible contributions, therefore reducing their taxable income, and withdraw the funds for eligible expenses tax-free. The earnings also grow tax-free.

    HSA contribution limits for 2024

    The maximum amount of money you can put in an HSA in 2024 will be $4,150 for individuals and $8,300 for families. (People 55 and older can stash away an extra $1,000.)

    The contribution limit is adjusted by the IRS every year, but the 2024 increase is bigger than normal due to inflation. In 2024, the limit will be $300 higher than this year’s limit of $3,850 for individuals and $550 higher than the 2023 limit for families of $7,750.

    Maxing out a HSA isn’t feasible or recommended for everyone, but some Americans use them for retirement savings.

    Money you put in an account can be invested, which can make HSAs a helpful tool to prepare for medical costs you're likely to incur when you’re older. Qualified expenses include deductibles, copayments and other medical charges; HSAs can also be used to pay for prescriptions, over-the-counter medications, hearing aids and menstrual products. Funds can be used to pay for some Medicare expenses like Part B deductibles.

    The limit increase will allow people who are contributing to the max to put even more money into their HSAs next year.

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    Source: Money

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