• 5 important Supreme Court labor and employment law decisions of 2014

    The Supreme Court in 2014 weighed in on key labor and employment cases, delivering opinions that promise to have significant ramifications for employers and benefit plans.

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  • 5 blog ideas that will turn your readers into clients

    In the age of social media marketing, a benefit firm’s blog presence can create a steady stream of communication with clients and prospects. Author and marketing consultant Mark Satterfield shares five blog post ideas that will help you attract new clients (and strengthen your relationship with existing ones) by establishing yourself as a thought leader in your field.

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  • Most unusual resume lies

    The pressure to stand out in a sea of applicants may tempt job seekers at brokerage firms and other businesses to be less than honest on their resumes. When CareerBuilder asked about the most unusual lie they've ever caught on a resume, employers recalled these doozies.

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  • Where your tech dollars are going

    EBA's first-ever technology survey reveals how benefits agencies plan to invest in internal systems.

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  • The top 50 large-group employee benefit brokerages in the U.S., part 2

    Employee Benefit Adviser, in partnership with business intelligence data analytics firm miEdge, introduces the first listing of top large-group employee benefit firms in the country to be ranked exclusively on health and welfare revenue. Revealed in descending order, the listing is based on Form 5500 Schedule A reporting data as of Nov. 7, 2014.

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  • The top 50 large-group employee benefit brokerages in the U.S., part 1

    Employee Benefit Adviser, in partnership with business intelligence data analytics firm miEdge, introduces the first listing of top employee benefit firms in the country to be ranked exclusively on health and welfare revenue. Revealed in descending order, the listing is based on Form 5500 reporting data as of Nov. 7, 2014.

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  • 6 ways brokerages are hurt by their own hiring practices

    A recent Reagan Consulting study found that independent insurance brokers are under-hiring, new employees are struggling and a huge majority of new hires come from within the industry.

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  • 4 tips for easing veterans’ return to work

    Tens of thousands of troops have returned to the U.S. in the past several years after serving in Iraq, Afghanistan and elsewhere. As Veterans Day approaches, it’s a good time for employers to reflect on the importance of hiring veterans and helping them adjust to the civilian workforce.

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  • Serve a niche market: the most unique job in each state, part 2

    Looking for a jump-start in establishing a specialty client base in your firm’s home state or satellite offices? Using the percentage share of a state’s workforce in a given occupation versus the percentage share of the nationwide workforce in that occupation, Mentalfloss and Economic Modeling Specialists Intl. have determined which jobs are “most unique” in each state.

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  • Serve a niche market: the most unique job in each state

    Looking for a jump-start in establishing a specialty client base in your firm’s home state or satellite offices? Using the percentage share of a state’s workforce in a given occupation versus the percentage share of the nationwide workforce in that occupation, Mentalfloss and Economic Modeling Specialists Intl. have determined which jobs are “most unique” in each state.

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  • Top 25 companies for culture and values

    A company’s culture and value system, which can include its employee benefit offerings and other perks, can make or break an employee’s job satisfaction. Here are the top companies for culture and values according to career site Glassdoor.com, based on employee reviews.

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  • 10 tips to protect your medical identity

    Employees have to be their own first line of defense to protect their medical identities and avoid future challenges. Here are some tips to share with clients to guard against medical identity theft, provided by ID Experts.

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  • 5 ACA issues employers should be following

    With the Affordable Care Act’s new reporting requirements fast approaching, employers and their benefit advisers need more than ever to keep abreast of what’s happening with the ever-changing health care reform law. Here are five ACA issues the national law firm Epstein Becker Green says employers need to be following.

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  • 6 factors to consider when recruiting new brokers

    A majority of insurance firms aren’t hiring enough new brokers/agents to grow their business. Reagan Consulting offers six factors to consider based on its recent recruiting and development study.

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  • 5 companies that dropped part-time employee health care

    Just 25% of companies that offered employee health insurance made coverage available to part-time workers in 2013, according to the Kaiser Family Foundation. That percentage will decline further with Walmart Stores Inc.’s announcement that it is dropping health insurance for part-time employees. Walmart joins a growing list of major retailers that have done the same.

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  • 10 tips for better communication during open enrollment

    Most employers think they are doing a better job communicating about the company’s employee benefits than their employees think they are. Benefit and payment solutions provider Alegeus Technologies offers tips for better communication during open enrollment.

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  • 10 ways to be more memorable

    Tips to help benefit advisers, benefit managers, and other benefit professionals stand out (in a good way).

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  • 8 major takeaways from ERISA litigation in 2014

    This has been a busy year in the courts, with litigation challenging a variety of issues in the employee benefits arena. Here are the eight major takeaways from 2014 litigation and impending cases with key lessons for fiduciaries, employers and benefit advisers and brokers from Davis Wright Tremaine LLP, a full-service international law firm.

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  • 5 ways to make a private exchange successful

    What components go into a well-run private exchange? Don Garlitz, SVP at exchange provider bswift, shares the five 'C's to look for when considering a private exchange platform.

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  • 5 most common resume mistakes

    Whether you’re looking to move to a new firm or hiring candidates for yours, the resume is a first impression and it needs to be a good one. Still, many job candidates routinely make mistakes that can lead to an instant rejection. Laszlo Block, the senior vice president of people operations at Google, shares these common mistakes and how to avoid them.

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  • 5 tips to make retirement education meaningful

    Through the use of education and communication, employers and benefit advisers can have a huge impact on their employees’ retirement readiness. Making that education meaningful, however, is key to employee engagement and understanding. Here are five tips from Grinkmeyer Leonard Financial and investment advisers with Commonwealth Financial Network on how to make retirement education meaningful.

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  • The Most Influential Women in Benefit Advising

    From technological innovators to compliance experts, plan design specialists to caring mentors, the 20 women chosen by EBA’s editors to receive our inaugural Most Influential Women in Benefit Advising award are not only making extraordinary contributions to the field overall, but are also elevating the status of all women in the profession in the process.

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  • 4 best practices for successful voluntary benefit participation

    Voluntary benefits are increasingly seen by employers as an affordable way to fill gaps in benefit programs. According to legal solutions provider ARAG, four factors can play a critical role in the success of an employer's voluntary benefit participation.

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  • 10 states with the highest uninsured rates post-ACA

    While the uninsured rate has dropped to a record low of 13.4% nationwide, according to Gallup figures, rates differ dramatically across states. Here are the 10 states with the highest uninsured rates in the aftermath of health care reform implementation, according to WalletHub.

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  • Top 10 cities to retire in

    Are your employees looking to retire somewhere cheap, or will an abundance of recreational activities or access to high quality health care be more important to them? WalletHub.com ranked the 10 best places to retire using five key dimensions -- affordability, jobs, activities, quality of life, health care -- and a variety of metrics, including cost of living, job prospects for those over age 65 and the availability of recreational activities.

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  • Top health data breaches caused by hackers

    The HHS Office for Civil Rights website of large data breaches lists at least 89 major incidents of hacking, which have become much more prevalent during the past two years. Here is a look at some of the largest.

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  • 10 states with lowest uninsured rates post-ACA

    While the uninsured rate has dropped to a record low of 13.4% nationwide, according to Gallup figures, rates differ dramatically across states. Here are the top 10 states with the best uninsured rates in the aftermath of health care reform implementation, according to Wallethub.

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  • 25 oddball interview questions for 2014

    Interviewing for a job is not what it used to be. These days, employers, including benefit agencies, are often looking for applicants with creative-thinking skills and those that stand apart from the crowd. Here are 25 of the most oddball interview questions posed to recent interviewees, according to career-site Glassdoor.com.

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  • 5 social media mistakes that cost you customers every day

    It’s important for benefit agencies and businesses of all kinds to build a social media presence as a means to attract and retain clients. Here are some of the biggest mistakes to avoid with social media and your company.

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  • Most unusual things employees were caught doing when they should have been working

    Productivity can be a big problem, even at benefit brokerages and agencies and other types of businesses. Employers recently shared some real-life examples with the staffing company CareerBuilders of some of the more unusual things they've seen employees doing when they should have been busy working.

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  • 6 tips for 2013 office holiday parties

    The most common questions ThinkHR, an HR and compliance solution-provider, gets during the holiday season is surrounding holiday parties. The group provides recommendations here for the perfect office-appropriate get together.

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  • 4 more possible changes to health care reform law

    Last week the White House reprieved for a year plans canceled under the Affordable Care Act, a move largely seen as trying to appease angered voters ahead of the 2014 midterm elections. This follows a one-year delay, announced in July, of the employer mandate. While Obamacare doesn't appear to be going away anytime soon, the moves demonstrate that the law is still quite malleable, and more changes could be coming.

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  • 6 wellness tips for flu prevention

    The flu costs businesses approximately $10.4 billion in direct costs for hospitalizations and out-patient visits for adults, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. In addition to encouraging workers to get immunized, employers can further minimize employee sick days and slow the spread of illness by communicating best practices in wellness and nutrition. Share these six preventive tips from Dr. Bruce Underwood, a certified nutrition and preventive care specialist with Healthy Futures, Inc., to keep workers and their families healthy this season.

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  • 6 job search tips for executives

    Job interview errors aren’t just a problem for entry-level applicants. Sometimes a spell on the C suite can render highly qualified talent underprepared for the job search process. You can’t assume that the tactics that worked on your job search three (or 30) years ago will work this time around. The rise of social media and the aggressive hiring market have led to conditions where even the most desirable applicants can falter. And don’t assume that you have an edge just because you’re comfortable on the other side of a job interview, either.

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  • 6 changes employees could see at open enrollment

    Employees generally don't spend enough time choosing their health benefits each year, with many blindly re-enrolling. This year especially that could be a risky and costly strategy as changes from the Affordable Care Act have transformed the insurance landscape. "In some cases, not making an active decision during enrollment means employees could get defaulted into a health care plan that doesn't meet their needs—or even worse—leaves them and their families with no coverage at all," says Craig Rosenberg, Aon Hewitt’s health & welfare benefits administration practice leader. "It’s up to employees to read the fine print and take an active role in understanding if and how these changes may impact them."

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  • Top 10 facts about the Hispanic market and life insurance

    LIMRA research has released two studies on effective ways for companies and financial advisers to connect to the Hispanic market for life insurance. Here are 10 important facts for professionals to know when trying to reach the Hispanic demographic.

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  • 3 tools for reducing the mental health stigma

    The World Health Organization’s World Suicide Prevention Day was this month, with a theme of “Stigma: A Major Barrier to Suicide Prevention.” Now in its 10th year, Suicide Prevention Day aims to combat the 800,000 suicides a year, and stigma is one of the areas where employers can really help.

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  • The workplace goes back to high school

    If you’re feeling nostalgic for the good old days as kids return to school this September, remember the workplace can still offer its share of high school drama to make you glad you've graduated. According to a recent CareerBuilder survey, the social dynamics in a typical U.S. workplace aren't all that different from a U.S. high school. In the survey, many employees admit their office has cliques and workers rank which departments are smartest and most attractive, suggesting that popularity contests don’t stop, even in the real world.

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  • 3 things that might surprise you about telework

    Telecommuting and working remotely remains a very popular draw for employees of all ages. Flexible work arrangements – though under fire from some well-known companies – can be a draw for high-value workers, as well as helping everyone achieve work-life balance.

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  • 3 Things business must do to save American jobs

    The Great Recession has masked the fact that employers and employees are headed for a “jobs cliff” at breakneck speed. In these excerpts from his new book, “Future Jobs,” workforce development expert Edward Gordon describes the danger of the coming talent train wreck and how to prevent it.

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  • 9 tips to help employees transition to public exchanges

    According to the Obama administration, the state insurance marketplaces set up under ACA are on schedule to begin open enrollment on Oct. 1. To aid in communicating health care reform changes this fall, here are nine tips for transitioning employees into the public marketplace from Sara Taylor, health solutions development leader at Aon Hewitt.

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  • 4 calls for medical help from employees

    The Grand Rounds’ recent Employee Benefit Expectation survey, the results of which were announced Wednesday, emphasizes the high value employees place on medical plans that can extended to newer shapes of families – same-sex couples, aging parents and medical dependents much older than 21. "The modern employee," the survey reads, "is looking for employers that recognize the changing state of familial responsibilities."

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  • Employee suggestions for improving trust around mobile privacy

    Although Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) is becoming a standard business practice, employees express concern about their privacy when using a mobile device for work purposes. In addition, there's a gulf between privacy expectations and reality, but employers can increase employee trust with these suggestions from employees surveyed in the MobileIron Trust Gap Survey.

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  • Employees can't get no satisfaction

    The Rolling Stones' famous lyrics may apply to the workplace as well as rock stars. According to a recent survey conducted by Philips North America, only 43% of workers are "very" satisfied with their current job. Here are five other takeaways from the work-life survey of 1,000 working Americans.

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  • Unique workplaces built to reflect company culture

    While companies are spending millions of dollars on branding, marketing, recruiting and managing, they’re typically overlooking their central office space to ensure they are proactively and purposefully communicating their story. An organization's office space is the singular point where staff members, prospective employees, customers and brand all come together. As attention and focus are made scarce by a constant barrage of information, the ability to have your brand stand out — and its story understood — has never been more critical. Kahler Slater, a global team of Experience Designers, presents four client workplaces that have transformed this critical touch point into a brand experience.

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  • 7 wealth destroying management styles

    Whether you’re running a small business or a giant corporation, leaders — and even trained MBA’s — are making major mistakes when it comes to their management styles, says corporate turnaround executive Kathleen Brush, author of The Power of One. She provides the top seven mistakes. [Images: Thinkstock]

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  • Relive the best of BF&E 2012!

    Benefits professionals and advisers enjoyed three days of exciting keynotes, including Meghan McCain, and informative sessions, expansive networking, and a rockin’ 80s party in tranquil Phoenix, AZ last week at the 25th Annual Benefits Forum & Expo. Experience moments you may have missed or relive the best of them in this special slideshow.

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  • 7 keys to 401(k) engagement

    Offering a 401(k) plan to employees is only half the benefit; sponsors need to design plan features to maximize enrollment and communicate the advantages of the plan. With strong plan construction and sound communication and financial education campaigns to support it, employers can help workers save and plan adequately for retirement.

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  • 2012 elections signal historic change for workplace benefits

    The results of the November election will dramatically affect major employee benefits issues, most notably health care. No matter who wins the White House, the makeup of Congress after the elections could also significantly influence how employers manage their workplace benefits. Chantel Sheaks, a principal in government relations with Buck Consultants, outlines how the most likely scenarios could determine benefits strategy for plan sponsors.

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  • HR and benefits professionals share their benefits communication pet peeves

    Some HR terms and buzzwords are overused and ineffective to communicate benefits information to employees and report to executives. EBN readers shared benefits vocab or phrases they despise on our LinkedIn Group and on Twitter. What HR word or concept would you add to the list?

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  • Plan ahead with Mercer's open enrollment checklist

    Against the backdrop of health care reform, planning and prioritizing health benefit programs for 2013 is an immediate need for plan sponsors. Employers may find strategies and tactics for rolling out plans to be more complex. Based on key survey findings, Mercer has developed a short checklist to help ensure an efficient and effective open enrollment season.

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  • Summer reading list for benefits professionals

    This summer, enjoy some educational reading while relaxing by the beach or pool. Have you read these must-read books that bring insight to the HR and benefits profession?

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  • 10 major concerns for health care reform after Supreme Court ruling

    Global consulting and actuarial firm Milliman identifies the major strategic considerations for plan sponsors, insurers, and advisers now that the Supreme Court has upheld the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act.

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  • Top 5 locations for recruiting, retaining and relocating employees

    Where does your city rank? Aon Hewitt’s 2012 People Risk Index measures the risks that organizations face with recruitment, employment and relocation in 131 cities worldwide by analyzing such factors as demographics, access to education, talent development, employment practices and government regulations. Here are the top five lowest risk cities -- in descending order -- in which to recruit, employ and relocate top talent. (Images: Thinkstock)

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  • Financial Fitness Challenge

    Retail salespeople, biomedical engineers, furniture makers and firefighters -- these and a host of other workers from around the country will face off this summer in The EBN-EBA Financial Fitness Challenge. Eighteen U.S. organizations will be giving their employees the opportunity to take a five-week online financial education course developed by our partner, The Educated Investor. The aggregated results of their efforts will be published by EBN and EBA. Here are 16 of the employers chosen for the first Financial Fitness Challenge.

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  • 7 tax-free benefits for employees

    During tax season, employees are sharply reminded of how much cash Uncle Sam takes from their paychecks. Many workers already take advantage of benefits such as tax-exempt health savings accounts, group term-life insurance and even tax-deferred benefits in retirement plans. Some fringe benefits, however, are lesser known for their tax-exempt status. Here are seven tax-free benefits that keep cash in employees’ pockets, as well may provide attractive deductibles to companies.

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  • 5 winning vacation benefits and policies

    Taking time away from the office has been shown to reduce stress and improve employee productivity. Here's 5 unique approaches to vacation benefits that encourage employees to unwind and return to work with renewed vigor.

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  • Health care reform stirs protests at Supreme Court

    In March 2012, the Supreme Court heard six hours of oral arguments over three days on the constitutionality of the individual mandate in the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, which would require nearly every person in the United States to purchase health insurance, whether through an employer, state exchanges, Medicare, Medicaid or private exchanges. The mandate, the most polarizing provision of the law, brought American from both sides of the issue to Washington, D.C., to converge on the Supreme Court steps to protest or advocate for PPACA.

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  • 6 tips to make sure your DC plan is successful

    Defined contribution plans are becoming more and more the primary employer-sponsored retirement plan for most Americans. Yet, along with participants’ need for strong performance, plan sponsors must deal with increased regulatory activity, governance requirements and fiduciary concerns. Mercer’s Toni Brown and Bill McClain share how to make sure your plan is as successful as it can be. For more information on DC plans, visit Mercer.com.

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  • 12 Most bizarre excuses for employee sick days


    It’s that time of year again when employees have trouble making it in to the office — and no, we don’t mean cold and flu season. Some employees, not quite ready to go back to the grind after extended holiday time off, may be looking for some extra time away. According to CareerBuilder, the highest period of employee absenteeism occurs between January and March, with 34% of employers noting that use of sick days peak in the first quarter of the year. Further, 29% of workers cite errands and plans with family and friends among the top reasons for calling in sick when they were well.

    Starting the year on a light-hearted note, EBN selected a dozen from CareerBuilder’s list of some of the most outrageous excuses employees have used to call in sick. We hope they’ll help you maintain your sense of humor as you endure the absenteeism of the winter months.

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  • Eight steps to a healthier holiday season

    Kaiser Permanente recently launched "Maintain Don't Gain" campaign to help employer's wellness efforts through the holidays. Part of the KP campaign includes an eight-week guide to help employees avoid winter weight creep. As we approach the holiday season and the winter months share these tips with employees to encourage winter wellness.

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  • 5 holiday benefits and perks to thank employees

    Spread some holiday cheer around your workplace this season with these creative and thoughtful end-of-year benefits and rewards to celebrate a workforce that has dutifully taken on extra work and stress during trying economic times. Whether it’s giving a small gift or throwing a holiday bash to show your care, employees will be thankful for your support and recognition. When they return to work in the New Year, make sure employees are listing “exercise more” and “eat fewer sweets” as their 2012 resolutions, not “find a new job.”

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  • 8 ways employees can use their flexible spending accounts before 2012

    As 2011 comes to an end, it’s time for employees with health care and dependent care flexible spending accounts to use up their remaining balances before the end of their plan year, when any leftover money is forfeited. Here are eight ways your employees can spend down their FSAs before 2012, courtesy of Save Smart, Spend Healthy.

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