Tag Archives: human resources

Human capital due diligence plan key during M&A transactions

An acquiring entity must accurately assess the advantages and disadvantages of a target company’s human capital to negotiate a good value. A thorough human capital due diligence process takes into account key talent capabilities, compensation, benefit plans, human resources (HR) policies, and more.

Milliman’s Radhika Philip and Danny Quant explore the due diligence process in their article “Human Capital Due Diligence in a Merger or Acquisition.” Their article focuses on three topics companies need to consider during the process related to key talent:

  • Assessing contractual obligations
  • Identifying key high-performing talent
  • Designing retention and termination packages.

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.

Milliman wins prestigious 2020 Gold Quill Award

Milliman recently won a 2020 Gold Quill Award in Human Resources and Benefits Communication from the International Association of Business Communicators (IABC).

Milliman received the award for its “Benefits = Coverage You Can Count On” Open Enrollment campaign, a new benefits brand designed to play off the firm’s actuarial roots. Milliman used a four-month multimedia campaign to roll out the new brand and promote active enrollment to its 2,900 U.S. employees.

Of the entry, judges commented, “Milliman’s key messages were well thought-out and creatively stated. The materials are highly likely to capture audience attention and engage them. Well done tackling a complex project, especially given that for the first time in two decades, Milliman was planning to transition to new benefit carriers.”

“We are honored to have been recognized internationally for outstanding achievement in communication,” said Vicki Gleeson, Milliman Chief Human Resources Officer. “The employee feedback we received mirrors the judges’ comments. They loved it!”

“We are always thrilled to support our clients in achieving their business and benefit objectives through effective communication,” said Julie Bentz, Principal and Communication Director, EB Admin Practice. “This win is especially meaningful for us, since we were working on behalf of our own company and our co-workers.”

For more than 40 years, IABC’s Gold Quill Awards have recognized excellence in strategic communication worldwide and are acknowledged as one of the most prestigious awards programs in the industry.

“Each year I am incredibly impressed by the work of the Gold Quill winners and this year is no exception,” said Stephanie Doute, CAE, Executive Director of IABC. “Gold Quill Award winners demonstrate a mastery of all elements of strategic communication and have the measurable business results to prove their success.”

How can employers communicate effectively to different generations?

What constitutes effective HR communication for Millennials, Gen-Xers, and Boomers today? In the latest episode of Critical Point, Milliman’s Heidi tenBroek and Jill Godschall discuss how generational differences, behavioral economics, and technology are driving change in the HR communications space.

To listen to the entire podcast, click here. Also, to hear past Critical Point episodes, click here.

Milliman wins prestigious 2018 Gold Quill Award

Milliman today announced that it has received the 2018 Gold Quill Award of Excellence in Human Resources & Benefits Communication at the International Association of Business Communicators (IABC) Excellence Gala in Montreal.

Milliman received the award for the campaign “A Fine Blend,” which it developed for client Southern Glazer’s Wine and Spirits. Milliman used a six-month multimedia campaign to introduce a new culture, harmonized benefits program, and online enrollment process to Southern Glazer’s 22,000 employees.

Of the entry, judges said, “We really like how Milliman’s campaign supported the client’s business outcome and has been measured in terms of a number. A number that makes the board of directors sit up and take notice of communication. Likewise, this very well executed campaign has met and exceeded the tactical objectives and targets. Very well done.”

We are honored to have been recognized internationally for outstanding achievement in communication and change management. But more importantly, we are thrilled to have supported the Southern Glazer’s human resources (HR) team in achieving their business, HR, and benefits objectives.

Milliman’s Julie Cannaday with client Southern Glazer’s Wine & Spirits HR leaders Michelle Toney, Margaret Walker and Nicole Boyd (from left) accept the 2018 Gold Quill Award of Excellence in Human Resources & Benefits Communication at the International Association of Business Communicators (IABC) Excellence Gala in Montreal.

For more than 40 years, IABC’s Gold Quill Awards have recognized excellence in strategic communication worldwide and are acknowledged as one of the most prestigious awards programs in the industry.

“Only exceptional work earns an IABC Gold Quill Award,” said Cindy Schmieg, ABC, IABC fellow, and chair of the awards committee. “Each entry is rigorously reviewed by multiple experienced communicators from around the world who are trained in applying IABC’s Global Standard of the Communication Profession. The award winners represent our profession of ethical practitioners contributing to organizational outcomes.”





Boomerang employees: What employers need to know

In general terms, a boomerang employee is an individual who leaves an organization and later returns. The often-used and well-known example is Michael Jordan and his stint as a baseball player before returning to playing basketball in the NBA. Lately, however, there is a new trend among boomerang employees. Some are returning to their previous employers, but not from another company. Instead, they are actually coming out of retirement. This movement has become popular to the point that companies are implementing formal programs aimed at rehiring retirees. Some see the rehiring as crucial, especially given how Baby Boomers are retiring at an exceedingly faster rate (current estimates show 10,000 file for retirement benefits per day) and the much discussed labor shortage that some industries are currently experiencing.

These boomerang programs are expected to grow, especially among larger companies with the resources to implement this type of program and take on the associated costs. In fact, phased retirement for federal government employees has been rolled out over the last few years. Such a program allows employees considering retirement to instead reduce their hours over time while still receiving retirement benefits as active employees.

For the most part, retirees are rehired to work less than 1,000 hours per year, which reduces some of the associated retirement plan costs. But if an organization has this type of program, or is looking to implement one, it is worth taking the necessary time to review retirement plan documentation as well other benefits policies regarding rehires. Some things to consider when reviewing the retirement plan are:

• Does a company’s plan exclude any types of employees?
• How does the plan define eligibility for employee and employer contributions (or eligibility for benefit accruals in a defined benefit plan)? (Read carefully—it’s very likely rehired employees will be immediately eligible for employee contributions, at a minimum, and that should be properly communicated.)
• Make sure to have resources in place, internally or through the plan’s third-party administrator (TPA), to answer questions and confirm operational compliance.
• Review the plan’s withdrawal options—are they flexible?
• Is a procedure in place to ensure that employees terminating employment in order to start retirement distributions have a bona fide break in service (as opposed to a brief, sham retirement before starting distributions and returning to work)?
• Lastly, consult with your ERISA counsel for clarification if there are any concerns or questions regarding Internal Revenue Service (IRS) rules and other legislation.

When reviewing the health insurance repercussions for the boomerang employee, the most important thing to consider is how many hours this employee will be working during the year. As an employer, if the rehired employee(s) are only scheduled to work 1,000 for the year (20 hours per week), as seems to be the trend, there is no requirement to offer these rehired retirees health insurance. The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act has strict rules on how rehires and new hires are classified and clearly defines full-time employees as those who work 30 hours per week.

However, the health plan specs should be reviewed carefully for items such as break in service rules, etc. The employer may wish to consider providing boomerang employees designated health insurance and retirement plan call center or HR resources to tackle these sometimes complex rules.

Taking a step back and looking at the big picture, there are many benefits to such a program. It can be great for organizational culture. “Retiree employees” know the ins and outs of a company and can continue to operate in familiar job functions or can step up to a mentor role; often they are happy to be working and create positive morale. There are also the benefits to the employer: not having to extensively train new hires; being able to implement flexible scheduling such as on an on-call, contract, or project basis; the ability to access years of historical data and information through individuals; and even using a potential retiree rehire program for retention purposes.

Overall, this is an interesting development in the human resources realm and serves as some food for thought.