Quick Hits - June 22, 2022 - American Society of Employers - ASE Staff

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Quick Hits - June 22, 2022

Resignations are estimated at 41% in 2021:   The U.S. job market may be cooling down, but Aon survey data shows that the Great Resignation had a real impact on employers throughout the past year, the global professional services firm said in a June 2 statement.  Using data collected from a study of nearly 2,000 employers, Aon found that voluntary employee departures rose 41% in 2021 compared to the prior year. In all, about 22% of employees left their jobs in 2021, 17% of them voluntarily. Aon said the industries with the lowest voluntary departures included energy, construction, and financial services.  Most employers in the survey said they planned to continue hiring, with 40% stating that they would hire “aggressively” in 2022. Pay proved to be a focus as well, with average budgeted salary increases reaching 5.2% in 2022, up from 4.5% in 2021.  Source:  HR Dive 6/13/22

One approach to stop turnover – 100% employer paid healthcare:  The average U.S. worker pays $1,299 toward an individual premium or $5,969 toward a family premium each year, according to a 2021 survey from the Kaiser Family Health Foundation. With job openings still hovering near all-time highs and the unemployment rate stuck at 3.6%, founders are finding one of the best ways to attract and retain talent is to bring that out-of-pocket number down to zero. Nearly half of the 475 companies on Inc.'s 2022 Best Workplaces list now offer entirely employer-paid health insurance. And 90% of employers rank health as the benefit their workforce values the most, according to the Society for Human Resource Management Benefits Survey. For any business owner thinking about making the switch, Founding CEO Arlo Gilbert says the return on investment is clear even in the short term.  "It pays itself back very quickly," he said. "The math works out very well. Your employees are not spending their time thinking about health care. Instead, they are consuming the health care that they need and want, and then they're back at the office."  Source: Inc.

Bringing back retirees: In 2021, more than half of people 55 and older said they were retired, according to data from the Pew Research Center, and that number is expected to increase as more baby boomers leave the workforce. But days filled with leisure, grandkids, and golf don’t always materialize for everyone who hands in their work ID after decades on the job. An estimated 1.5 million retirees reentered the U.S. labor market in 2021, according to analysis by job search platform Indeed. While money was a top reason for returning to work, a 2019 survey by Home Instead, a senior care provider platform, found that 44% returned to “fight boredom,” and 22% said they wanted to work to keep their minds sharp. “They're coming back not necessarily because they want to relive their career, but to fulfill a specific need,” Joe Galvin, Vistage’s chief research office, says. “So you have to understand what the motivations are and build the appropriate performance expectations that align with that.”  Also, given all, create messaging to bring this workforce to your organization.  Source: EBN 6/14/22

Google settles pay bias suit for record amount:  Google has agreed to pay $118 million to resolve a California state court class action brought on behalf of over 15,000 female former employees who accused the tech giant of underpaying women.  The agreement will resolve nearly five years of litigation in San Francisco Superior Court. In addition to the fund, which covers approximately 15,500 California-based female Google employees spanning hundreds of job titles, Google has agreed to have independent experts analyze its hiring and pay equity practices. The lawsuit, filed in September 2017, accused Google of paying women less than men for equal or similar work. The women said the company slotted female employees into lower "salary bands" than those of men, put them in lower-paying positions, and failed to promote them. They claimed that the problem stems from Google's former practice of asking candidates about their salary history and that it persists because the company has done nothing to correct its course.  Source:  Law360 6/13/22

Do you have employee reimbursement policies? The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau has issued a request for information seeking comment on the prevalence and impacts of “employer-driven debt.” Employer-driven debt can cover an array of products and practices, including an employee’s up-front purchase of equipment and supplies that is essential for their work or that the employer requires. “In other instances, workers may have to agree to debt products where the debt must be repaid if the employee leaves the employer before a certain date. For example, a company may provide training to a new hire, and require that the training’s cost be paid back if the employee leaves or is fired within a set period,” the Bureau explained in a press release. Comments on the RFI are due by September 7.   Employers who have such policies should review and recognize that the administration is likely to curtail them in the future.  Source: CFPB 6/9/22

IRS planning to audit retirement plans:  On June 3, 2022, the IRS Employee Plans division announced a new pilot program for retirement plans beginning in June 2022 (the “Pilot Program”). Under the new Pilot Program, the IRS will notify retirement plan sponsors 90 days in advance that their plan has been selected for an audit (a “Pre-Audit Letter”). The plan sponsor will have 90 days to review its plan documents and plan operations and to correct any compliance issues that may be discovered. The Pilot Program is intended to promote compliance while reducing audit costs.  The IRS announcement does not indicate whether all retirement plans selected for an audit will be offered the Pilot Program. Additionally, while not explicitly stated, it appears that the Pilot Program will apply to IRS examinations of both IRC 401(a) and 403(b) retirement plans. Sponsors and administrators who receive a 90-day IRS Pre-Audit Letter should work with their attorneys and other advisors to conduct a self-audit to identify any compliance issues and address them within the 90-day window. Source: Ice Miller LLP 6/9/22



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