Our editor's blog includes breaking news and opinions on pressing benefits issues. Visit ebn.benefitnews.com/blog/daily_diversion to take a break, see what's new and share your thoughts and experiences. A sample from recent posts:
DOL outlines common mistakes in VCP submissions
We're all human, and humans make mistakes - thus, why pencils have erasers, games allows mulligans and the IRS offers the Voluntary Correction Program.
VCP, which gives retirement plan sponsors the opportunity to self-correct tax missteps before they balloon into complex and costly problems, is greatly valuable to benefits pros.
But, of course, humans being humans, even when working within VCP to correct plan mistakes, plan sponsors naturally ... make mistakes. So, the IRS recently released a tip sheet to help plan sponsors avoid common errors in VCP submissions.
Correcting a mistake while correcting a mistake? It's almost like a benefits version of "Inception."
That said, make like Leonardo DiCaprio and check out the IRS tips for mistake-free VCP submissions at www.irs.gov/retirement/article/0,,id=156238,00.html. And as always, leave your thoughts in the comments about your company's strategy for avoiding retirement plan errors.
what your inbox says about your work habits
Technology never ceases to amaze me. Fifteen years ago, I never would have dreamed that I'd watch videos on my phone, read magazines on an e-reader or grocery shop sitting in front of my computer. Heck, in those days, I still was trying to get my head around Hotmail and Napster!
Now, I have no idea how I ever lived without electronic bill pay and iTunes, and love that there's an app for nearly everything.
The latest case in point is a funny new app from Xerox called the Business of Your Brain app. It analyzes your emails and calendar notices to identify those distractions that steer focus away from work.
Among other things, Business of Your Brain will tell you:
* Which colleague with whom you have the most meetings.
* Who sends you the most emails flagged with that infamous "high alert!" red exclamation point.
* Which buzzwords in email subject lines most often drain your focus away from work.
* The colleagues that send the longest emails, or ones who annoyingly reply all just to say "thanks."
* Whose emails you most often delete without reading.
I think this is pretty hilarious, but Christa Carone, Xerox chief marketing officer, asserts the app "gives some not-so-subtle nods to taking back control of your workday." Do you agree? Share your thoughts in the comments.
EBN's monthly podcast series, where we get exclusive insights from benefit managers, consultants and innovators behind great new products. This month, EBN spends five minutes with:
George Pantos, executive director of Healthcare Performance Management Institute. He sits down with Online Managing Editor Kathleen Koster to discuss the advantages of self-insuring health care plans.
Sam Fleet, president of AmWINS Group Benefits. He talks to Managing Editor Andrea Davis about how the role of third-party administrators has changed in the wake of health care reform.
Download these, and other episodes of "Five Minutes With..." at ebn.benefitnews.com/podcasts.
Our regular web discussion series brings in industry experts on a variety of topics to offer free presentations and Q&A sessions. Visit our website and see upcoming issues of our e-newsletter, EBN inBrief, for detailed speaker information and registration instructions for this month's sessions.
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Chat with other benefitmanagers about issues in your business via our discussion boards. You can even suggest new story topics to the editors!
On facebook, you can exchange ideas and best practices and chat with our editors and your benefits colleagues. To join us, sign up at facebook.com, join the EBN group, and become a fan of the EBN Facebook page at http://tinyurl.com/cg72ca.
On twitter, you can follow EBN at twitter.com/ebnmagazine, and Editor-in-Chief Kelley Butler at twitter.com/ebnews_editor.
This month, BTV brings you an interview with Scott Holsopple, president and CEO of Smart401k. He shares his views on the importance of providing advice to help employees invest in their employer-sponsored retirement plans. Tune in to this and other videos at ebn.benefitnews.com/video.
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