Rise of the flex economy

Employer benefit plans need more attention from benefit professionals and seasoned benefit professionals want more flexibility in their work

BenStaff, short for benefit staff, solves two problems at once. Employer benefit plans need more attention from benefit professionals and seasoned benefit professionals want more flexibility in their work while being paid a good wage. BenStaff does both.

Our professionals can do in 10 hours what many multi-tasking HR admins do in 40 hours. We dedicate and monitor the work of our benefit professionals to ensure quality management, avoiding common mistakes.

“The rise of the independent workforce is reshaping the life-Screen Shot 2014-08-26 at 7.41.40 AMwork balance for thousands of Americans and altering the relationship many others have with their employers.”

Read the article, “Flex Economy

Top jobs:
#1 Construction manager, $39
#2 Accountant, $30/hour
#3 Material moving machine operator, $25

Our BenStaff benefit professionals fit nicely into these pay ranges. Interested in hiring one of our experts, call Don, interested in coming to work at BenStaff? call Don.

DOL sues CEO

US Department of Labor sues former CEO of Charlotte, NC, Web
development company to restore more than $100,000 to 401(k) plan

Screen Shot 2014-08-26 at 9.59.01 AMCHARLOTTE, N.C. – The U.S. Department of Labor is suing Garrison Enterprises’ former chief executive officer and chairman of the board, Cameron Garrison, to restore $103,481.37 to the Web development company’s 401(k) pension plan. The lawsuit follows an investigation by the department’s Employee Benefits Security Administration that found employees’ contributions to the 401(k) plan had been commingled with the general assets of the company, a violation of the Employee Retirement Income Security Act.

“Employees contribute to their retirement plans with the expectation that the funds will be there when needed,” said Isabel Colon, director of EBSA’s regional office in Atlanta. “The Labor Department will not tolerate the diversion of these funds for other uses.”

U.S. Department of Labor story link

A Money discussion everyone can understand.

The key question for you is if your credit card was maxed out at $107,000 would you borrow more? Would a bank give you more?

Congress and our President are arguing over how much more to spend on your credit card.


In the first box below, as of August 31, 2013, the United States (you and me) has borrowed $16,738,650,000. That number is nearly 17 Trillion dollars. You and me owe this amount. Think of this like your own monthly bills. This is what you owe on your credit card for purchases you made in the past.

August 2013
United States Public Debt

What does that mean to you? Let’s make it personal. If you are working and paying taxes you are among 155,486,000 (155 million) people. This is the group who will pay this credit card bill. Simply put, if each person working paid an equal share of the 17 Trillion each working person owes $107,000. This is $107,000 the government already spent and does not count what they are going to spend tomorrow.

Here’s the math, $16,738,650,000 billion in debt / 155,486,000 tax payers = $107,000 per tax payer. So, pay up.

Bureau of Labor Statistics
Number of taxpayers who will pay the debt.

The key question for you is if your credit card was maxed out at $107,000 would you borrow more? Would a bank give you more?

Congress and our President are arguing over how much more to spend on your credit card.

A Note about older posts

Old “Blogger posts” have been consolidated into this one posting location.

Over time I have posted blog pages, written articles, spoken on TV or been interviewed about employee benefits, healthcare, retirement and topics like that. I’ve not been consistent where these things have been located.

If you know of posts I should retrieve, please let me know.


Changing Expectations


Changing Expectations

Yesterday I spent three hours with students in their 20s who are thinking about working in the HR and benefit field. It is a surprise to see the generational difference, to understand what their expectations are for their benefit plans and, in particular, for their future and their retirement.

For the generation that I’m part of, –now just turning 50– we expected a retirement similar to that of our parents, with Social Security, a pension and health care upon retirement. Now, most of my generation is facing the future without a defined benefit plan, no pension and no real savings because the value of homes has gone down, pay is going down and opportunities for work have changed.

In contrast to our experience, the generation before us retired with pensions because more than 50% of employers had them. So they have the benefit of having a pension and Social Security and, in many cases, some form of health care.
Today’s economics for the “50 somethings” or late Baby Boomers, looks much more bleak because we prepared thinking we would have the same options as the preceding generation. We’re facing the reality that that’s no longer true.
I can identify with the 99% crowd that is currently walking Wall Street. We went to high school. We went to college. We got our degrees. Now, what do we have to show for it?
In our work serving the membership of unions, we find that union brothers and sisters have value because they have a voice in the workplace that many people in my generation, the 99% crowd in particular, do not have. Without a voice, we must settle for whatever leftovers corporate management is willing to give.
Again, I turn my mind to the students I was teaching last night and their expectations. I couldn’t get past one of the students who said, “Well, I want to retire at age 45. In fact, I’m going to retire at age 45.” By the end of the class when I was comparing the risk in a defined benefit contribution plan to the pension plan of the previous generation, it became evident that this student thought that that may not only never happen, but he was obviously wondering how much he would have to earn to get to a pension that looked like what someone has today.
It’s an unfortunate fact that in our culture and our world we’re currently faced with economic and global conditions that no CEO, CFO or others in the C-suite are able to combat. The rank and file members of all races, colors and creeds are discriminated against just by the virtue of the growth of the global economy. A global economy also lifts people out of abject poverty, so how can we complain about that? Nothing in life is fair, and the economics of life today are certainly not fair. However, if the predictions for equilibrium and being able to have an increase in pay are accurate, we won’t see that until 2050.
In my work with my staff at BenStaff, we have one singular focus. That is to raise the value of the benefits that companies can afford to reach the beneficiaries at the bottom line.
Part of delivering what’s best for the beneficiaries is also to communicate the realities. If you’re in your 20s and you want to retire at age 45, then you need to prepare. You need to find companies that are willing to support your dreams and aspirations and you need to work hard.
This is neither a liberal nor conservative viewpoint. It’s just reality. Corporations have to fight the global trends and we in America who have aspirations to retire like the older generation have to adjust our dreams and aspirations to the reality that corporations can offer.