Infographic highlights trending compensation benefits for healthcare workers during COVID-19 pandemic

Healthcare workers on the front lines of the COVID-19 crisis are treating patients around the clock to help them recover. As a result, many workers have fallen ill and been forced to quarantine indefinitely, while some have even lost their lives. In the U.S., hospitals, clinics, and other healthcare organizations are adjusting their benefits and compensation policies to support their employees during these uncertain times.

The following infographic highlights results from the Milliman Northwest Healthcare COVID-19 Pulse Survey, which summarizes key actions local healthcare employers are taking to address issues in the face the coronavirus pandemic. For more perspective on the survey and benefits and compensation landscape, read Lauren Busey’s article “Managing benefits and compensation for healthcare workers in the time of COVID-19.”

Increasing female advisors can help individuals make financial decisions

In these trying times, many investors are relying on trained professionals to help them understand the markets and stay committed to their long-term goals. While gender should not determine the quality of financial advice, it is noteworthy that eight out of 10 people giving the advice are men.

Our new societal and economic pressures create a greater sense of urgency for many financial decisions: assessing investment risk tolerance, retirement timelines, college funding, and healthcare costs. Now more than ever, people need financial “helpers.” By increasing the number of female advisors, a greater number of clients can benefit from the unique perspectives and life experiences women bring to help people navigate critical financial decisions. The “Great Lockdown” could be an opportunity and rallying cry to challenge more women to step into an advisory career.

In this article, Milliman’s Sheila Jelinek, Suzanne Norman, and Michelle Richter explain what makes an ideal financial advisor, whether women are better investors, and the business opportunity for female financial advisors.

Leverage pension plan to meet HR challenges related to COVID-19

Defined benefit (DB) pension plans have historically been used as an effective human resources (HR) tool, enabling employers to attain desired objectives, such as attraction, retention, and orderly workflow patterns. However, pension plans can also be used as a strategic tool to help mitigate HR challenges during the COVID-19 pandemic.

In this brief, Milliman’s Ryan Rowland outlines several ideas for employers to consider in connection with their DB pension plans as well as caveats to be aware of as you evaluate your organization’s staffing needs during this crisis.

Communicating with employees during COVID-19 pandemic

In the midst of the COVID-19 crisis, there are even more challenges to communicating about benefits. Communication budgets have been cut, employees are working remotely, and attention is understandably focused elsewhere.

Milliman consultants Jennifer Bolton and Julie Bentz offer six practical tips to break through the barriers:

  1. Build your benefits brand.
  2. Cut through the clutter.
  3. Repeat to retain.
  4. Get creative with your delivery.
  5. Give it to them straight.
  6. Answer common questions.

To read their full article, click here.

Coronavirus-related distribution considerations for DB and DC plan sponsors

A plan sponsor may wish to offer coronavirus-related distributions (CRDs) during 2020 from a single-employer defined benefit (DB) plan as well as, or in addition to, a CRD from its defined contribution (DC) plan. Lump-sum payments from a DB plan may be treated as CRDs, similar to withdrawals from DC plan accounts.

If a plan sponsor chooses to offer CRDs from both the DB and DC plans, careful joint plan administration coordination needs to be taken as the total CRDs to an individual cannot exceed $100,000. In this Benefit Alert, Milliman’s Bret Linton, Vicki Mazzie, and Vanessa Vaag explain in more detail coronavirus distributions for DB plans under the CARES Act.

COVID-19 gives rise to multiemployer pension funding relief considerations

Now that the United States Congress has passed another COVID-19 stimulus bill, attention has shifted to the next phase, which could include legislation directly affecting multiemployer pension plans. Addressing system-wide changes is a difficult undertaking as history has shown that sometimes pension reform measures have the unintended consequence of negatively affecting the defined benefit system. This Multiemployer Alert by Milliman’s Joel Stewart and Yutaro Seki provides a summary of past multiemployer pension funding relief as well as recent proposals.