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A question from a student


Guest shelleyc
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Guest shelleyc

I am a student at the University of South Carolina and I am doing research on the best practices for Beneftis and any future trends that are looking popular in the world of benefits.

I would appreciate any information on where to find this information or any advice any of you have about the things going on right now in the world of benefits that are up and coming, and any information about how the future of Benefits is going to go.

Any insight would be great!

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Pretty big topic! You might also try reviewing some other sites for "hot" topics, such as ERIC or American Benefits Council. Perhaps then you will find a way to refine your scope.

Long-term care (LTC) is getting some press lately (but that is not an endorsement).

I'm a retirement actuary. Nothing about my comments is intended or should be construed as investment, tax, legal or accounting advice. Occasionally, but not all the time, it might be reasonable to interpret my comments as actuarial or consulting advice.

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Doing searches on any of the following topics (either within the above references or elsewhere) would provide a significant amount of information on "paradigm shifts" (I really hate using that phrase, but it fits here) occurring in benefits.

Benefits for spouses of same sex marriages and/or domestic partners.

Phased retirement (how can the benefits be arranged for people that step down in hours over time?).

Replacement of traditional plans with cash balance plans at many of the major employers (Watson Wyatt just produced a significant paper on this trend).

Consumer-directed health plans (covers many aspects such as Health Savings Accounts; mainly means that the individual has more responsibility in the choices in the marketplace for care and the prices paid).

Disease management arrangements (i.e., managing the entire health process through one person, rather than paying for care through multiple channels without any coordination).

Although not considerd a "benefit" in the historical use of the term, there are a variety of workforce-related changes that an individual would see as a benefit. For example, flexible work hours (particularly for family members), telecommuting, "banks" of time off instead of rigid structures of vacation time versus sick time, and other related issues.

As a plug (these are produced by my department), you may want to look at the articles over the past couple of years in our publication "Benefits Perspectives":

http://www.milliman.com/eb/publications/be...s_perspectives/

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