The HR Specialist: Compensation and Benefits

Once Plante Moran recruits a talented new hire, it keeps recruiting the same person throughout the employee’s tenure with the firm. One of the country’s largest certified public accounting and business advisory firms, Plante Moran boasts a turnover rate of less than 13%, among the lowest in the industry.

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21 U.S. CEOs received “golden parachutes” worth more than $100 million each between 2000 and 2011, according to a new report by GovernanceMetrics International.

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As businesses make their slow transition from layoff mode to hiring, they may find that job-seekers have changed their expectations of employee benefits. They’re beginning to demand everything from more comfortable work spaces to em­­ployer practices that nurture the psychological well-being of the workforce.

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For most employers, open enrollment for health insurance benefits in 2012 has come and gone. So now’s the time for comp and benefits professionals to start planning for the next health insurance renewal go-round. An early start will give you a fighting chance to keep costs under control in 2013.

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Employees who work for technology/wireless communications firm BTS enjoy a unique vacation benefit: They can use a company-owned condominium in Florida—and $250 in spending money. That’s just one of the generous benefits that CEO Sean Lane says are important for attracting employees long on ideas and energy.

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The IRS has clarified that em­­ployers can take a current-year tax deduc­­tion for a fixed amount of bonuses that will be paid to employees during the following year, even though the amount that each employee will re­­ceive, and even the identity of employees, aren’t known until after the tax year ends.

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Q. An employee’s spouse has become disabled. Even though this employee is younger than 59½, he’d like to take a distribution out of his 401(k) account. Can we accommodate him?

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Q. We reimburse employees for the business use of their personal cellphones. To cut down on paperwork, management has suggested that instead of having employees submit their cellphone bills, we give them a flat allowance. This sounds like we’re giving them extra pay. Would those allowances be taxable?

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Tax services firm Ryan & Co. measures employees’ work performance by results achieved, not hours worked. The result: an ultra-flexible workplace that allows employees to choose their hours, where they work and how much time to devote to work each day.

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Federal rules that took effect Jan. 1 require group health insurers to spend 80% to 85% of every premium dollar on medical care and health-care quality improvement. Insurers that fall short must start paying rebates to insurance plan participants, starting Aug. 1. Now the DOL has clarified how those rebates should be disbursed.

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