Tag: Retiree

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A recent mortality study conducted by the non-profit Society of Actuaries indicates that life expectancies for both women and men have increased by roughly two years since 2000. To be precise, the study showed that the average 65-year-old woman in the U.S. is expected to live 88.8 years, up from 86.4 in 2000. Life expectancy for the average U.S. man age 65 is now 86.6 years, up from 84.6 in 2000.

While this may be good news for retirees and their families, it’s not necessarily good news for their retiree medical benefits. Also known as “post-retirement health insurance,” these benefits are typically employer-sponsored benefit plans for retired workers 55 and older.

Many baby boomers covered by retiree medical plans are relying on future employer-paid medical benefits, but are likely to be disappointed to learn that these benefit plans can be changed or terminated. ERISA-governed benefits plans typically contain a “reservation of rights” provision allowing the plan sponsor to change or terminate all or parts of the plan.

Escalating health care costs and increased risk concerns have forced many employers to reduce or eliminate retiree medical benefits. In a recent survey titled “2015 Survey on Retiree Health Care Strategies,” Towers Watson uncovered additional factors influencing employers to reconsider their approach to retiree medical benefits, including:

— Increased financial reporting requirements for benefit-related balance sheet liabilities

— Ongoing administrative expenses

— ERISA obligations, such as reporting, disclosure, and fiduciary responsibilities

— Lack of an efficient funding vehicle

Traditionally, employers have been able to control expenses and risk by such cost-cutting measures as, for example, shifting costs to retirees, limiting or ending benefits for new hires, capping the company subsidy, and changing retiree eligibility requirements. Employers are finding, however, that these conventional actions are still falling short of the amount of cost and risk control needed.

Passage of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act has created new ways for employers to meet the retiree medical needs, while still controlling cost and minimizing risk. For Medicare-eligible retirees, for example, nearly 80% of employers are either using or considering using the services of a private Medicare exchange to aid retirees with their individual coverage.

Additionally, new insurance products now allow employers to “de-risk” heir balance sheet by transferring the retiree medical benefit liability to an insurance company through the purchase of a group annuity. The annuity then allows retirees to receive tax-free funding for life, which they then can use for their medical benefits.

For pre-Medicare retirees, many employers have determined that the individual plan market and public health insurance exchanges will provide a functional alternative to employer-sponsored coverage. Towers Watson reports the following as part of their survey results:

— Eight percent of retiree medical plan sponsors are confident in the public exchanges as a viable alternative for 2015, with the confidence level rising to 35% by 2017.

— Fifty-three percent of employers surveyed said they will reassess their current approach to providing pre-Medicare health benefits by 2017 to take into account public insurance exchanges and federal subsidies.

— Seventeen percent of employers said they would consider ending coverage for pre-Medicare retirees altogether. When doing so, they would provide access via a private exchange which would then act as a coordinator to the public exchanges.

With public and private exchanges simplifying access to, and easing the process of buying individual plans, many employers will evaluate alternative retiree medical benefit strategies that will controls costs while still meeting retiree medical needs.

April, 2015

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Source by Mark Johnson, Ph.D., J.D.

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Is someone in your office workplace or someone that is close to you set to retire in the near future and you are looking for ideas on what to get him or her? Try a health and fitness themed gift basket. There are hundreds of different variations of baskets that can be made depending on the budget, gender of the person, general likes and dislikes, and where a person lives. Part of the gifts can be serious and the rest can be gag gifts. Here we will try and supply some different ideas for both men and woman that can neatly fit into a gift basket.

Gift Basket Themes

1. Golf Lovers Basket

It may be a bit cliché but a large majority of retired men intend to play a lot of golf and a golf driving range gift certificate or golf course membership would fit perfectly in a gift basket. It can be a center piece of a golf themed gift basket which could include golf gloves, tees, balls, shoes, and any other golf related item you can think of. For a gag you can get the DVD Dwarf on Golf or all used products in the basket before giving the real basket.

2. Exercise or Fitness Theme

Many people say they want to exercise more but the eight do not have the time or they don’t want to spend the money. If you think your retiree would be interested in a gym member ship you can center a gift basket on a gym gift card and take those excuses away. You can include weight lifting gloves, exercise clothes, protein and nutritional bars, vitamins, head bands, and other like gym going products. Again, for a laugh you can personalize a T-shirt, towel, a big supply of sports cream for all the aches and pains, make a funny exercise tutorial or whatever else you can think of that would be funny.

If a gym membership is not ideal but you think the person would want to exercise you can still do a gift basket but gear it more towards exercises that can be done at home. Include some exercise videos (P90X or Turbo Jam for example), exercise bands, weighted aerobics gloves, yoga mat, exercise cloths, different fitness drinks and foods, small weights, roller blades, running shoes, and so on. The combination or themes are truly endless. Again, for fun you can include a funny videos, exercise for the “never even though of beginning” manual, a funny list of do’s and don’ts, and a funny list of motivational quotes.

3. Day Spa Theme

For the person that needs to relax and be taken cared of send them to a spa for a day so they can get that much needed massage, acupuncture treatment, and aroma therapy. The basket can include some soft nature music, candles, lotions and oils, massaging tools, foot soaker, facial creams, and anything else that will go along with the theme. The mockery that can be created with this can get crude in a hurry, but having funny labels on the lotions, creative titles of manuals, hair waxing products, toe jam cures, and so on. Like I said this one could get funny so have fun with it.

4. Sports and Recreational Themes

A lot of people are fanatical about a specific sport, so you can do a football themed gift basket including tickets to a game, or for a tennis player buy a racket. Where I live people are nuts for the Ohio State Buckeyes so buying a golf bag with Brutus the Buckeye on the side, or football jersey with his or her name on the back would go a long way. To get a laugh buy something that is totally irrelevant to the sport like ping pong ball for a golfer or soccer ball for a basketball fan. A big gag is making a basket of a rival sports teams products, but keep it inexpensive because most of it will never see the light of day.

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Source by Keith Morales

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