BITTER PILL? – New Study Predicts Prescription Costs to Rise Sharply

July 19, 2000 ( - Prescription drug costs are expected to increase nearly 25%, and overall medical costs 12.2% over the next year, but most large employers plan to maintain their current proportion of medical costs with active employees, according to a new study by Watson Wyatt Worldwide and the Washington Business Group on Health.

PAY RAISE – HR Pay Up Strongly in Tight Job Market

June 28, 2000 ( - Salaries for human resource professionals are rising faster than average salaries - some twice as fast, according to a new study by William M. Mercer and the Society for Human Resource Management.

GE, union talks in final stage as workers protest

June 25, 2000 ( - Contract talks between General Electric and 14 unions representing some 38,000 GE workers went down to the wire Sunday night, with apparent agreement reached on some health benefits but the issue of pension benefits still wide open.

NY State Backs Annual Pension Increases

June 14, 2000 ( - In a first for one of the nation's largest pension systems, New York state lawmakers and governor George Pataki Tuesday agreed to give annual cost-of-living pension increases to retired state and local government workers.

CAR TALK: Big Three Automakers To Offer Same Sex Benefits

June 8, 2000 ( The nation's Big Three automakers will offer health care coverage to same-sex domestic partners of eligible employees. DaimlerChrysler, Ford and General Motors are following through on their agreement to consider the issue as part of last fall's contract negotiations with the United Auto Workers and other labor unions.

Costs of Living – Less Than Half Covered by Pension/Health Benefits in Retirement, DoL Says

June 5, 2000 ( - American workers appear to be coming up short when it comes to living in retirement, according to the latest report from the Department of Labor. The report, which covers developments between 1988 and 1994, indicates less than half of retirees over age 55 received employer provided pension benefits in 1994, and only one-third could count on lifetime health benefits.

Flooding the Market– Stock Options Getting More Expensive – Hewitt

May 31, 2000 ( - Stock options, long considered a relatively cheap way to retain employees in a tight labor market, are getting more expensive - and employers that have placed those programs on "auto-pilot" might want to reconsider their "options", according to a new survey by consulting firm Hewitt Associates.

HR Managers Leveraging Internet to Ease Health Plan Administration

May 26, 2000 ( - Trying to ease their administrative burden, a majority of human resource managers plan to expand their use of the Internet to administer benefits, while nearly a third will offer employees fewer health plans, according to a new nationwide survey of 503 employers.

401(k) Plans Still a Mystery to Most

May 22, 2000 ( - With only two out of a hundred receiving a perfect score in a recent 401(k) quiz, it is clear plan sponsors face an uphill task in educating plan participants.

A False Sense Of Security? – EBRI Survey Results

May 16, 2000 ( - Americans are more confident than ever about their retirement savings - but should they be? The 2000 Retirement Confidence Survey finds more confidence, more individual saving, and a higher degree of awareness of the need to save than ever before. However, shorter careers, longer lives and delays in social security eligibility may dampen that enthusiasm - and place additional burdens on plan sponsors to educate participants.

Class Action Lawyers Discover ERISA

May 12, 2000 ( - Win or lose, you've lost, as plan sponsors face increasing attacks from class action attorneys who are turning their attention to ERISA, warn ERISA lawyers, among them Sherwin Kaplan, until recently a top solicitor at the Labor Department.

Bill Would Allow Tax-Free PC Benefits

May 9, 2000 ( - A bi-partisan bill introduced Tuesday in the House of Representatives would make an employer's gift of a free computer or cheap Internet access tax free.

AFL-CIO Creates Retiree Organization For All American Workers

May 5, 2000 ( - In a move to consolidate the power of an aging workforce, the AFL-CIO this week announced the formation of a new national organization for retired workers. For plan sponsors, this might mean they have another, potentially powerful, interest group to keep in mind.

Creativity Counts in Getting, Keeping Workers

May 4, 2000 ( - A tight labor market is forcing employers to get creative in designing a better workplace. Workers are demanding - and getting - more choices in today's workplace, according to a new Hewitt Work/Life survey.

Time Running Out for US West Retirees

April 30, 2000 ( - Once again pension plan retirees are standing up to management - and the fate of a multi-billion dollar merger may hang in the balance, as some 45,000 US West retirees try to make sure that a $5.7 billion pension surplus doesn't disappear in the wake of a pending merger with Quest Communications. But they may be running out of time - and options.

Chamber of Commerce Chooses SunAmerica/ADP

April 27, 2000 - ( The U.S. Chamber of Commerce has endorsed a new SunAmerica/ADP alliance as the preferred pension provider for its nearly 3 million small business members, replacing Fidelity Investments.