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Articles by Jessica Marquez

Retirement Plan Proposals Abound

September 11, 2007
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During the past few months, a number of coalitions have come up with their own proposals for new and improved defined-benefit and defined-contribution plans.
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When Pigs Fly New Symbol of Union Protest

September 11, 2007
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During the past several months, labor organizers in New York City have been introducing the ‘greedy pig’ balloon to employers at their work sites. Union officials were concerned that the days of the inflatable rat—long used to protest at nonunion locations—might be numbered, as lawsuits by employers fighting the use of the rodent at their job sites began to pile up in recent years.
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The Default Dilemma

September 7, 2007
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A year after pension reform eased concerns about automatically enrolling workers in 401(k)s, employers are still grappling with which investment options to use in their plans. Here, Workforce Management sorts out the positives and negatives of the Department of Labor's qualified alternatives, as well as stable-value funds.
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The Fight Over QDIA

September 7, 2007
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Two interest groups-life insurers and the mutual fund industry-are squaring off over which qualified default investment alternatives, or QDIAs, companies should be allowed to offer employees under the Department of Labor's "safe harbor" provisions. Here are excerpts from the dueling comment letters submitted to the department.
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Drug Maker's HR Business Formula

August 24, 2007
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HR executives at AstraZeneca Pharmaceuticals U.S. sat down to discuss what the company could do to get all 12,000 of its employees focused on driving business performance. Penny Stoker, vice president of human resources, discusses how her HR team is handling the challenges the fast-moving pharmaceutical market presents.
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Opening the Books on Training and Development

August 20, 2007
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Training budgets are rising, but HR and chief learning officers still worry that if their companies hit hard times, their training budgets will be the first to get cut. Annual learning reports can demonstrate to top managers why training is important.
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Employers Take Action to Retain Retirees

August 7, 2007
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Larry McDaniel knows that the government can’t provide a quick fix to the challenges his company faces in retaining retirees. So when the Internal Revenue Service came out with guidelines in May around phased retirement, there was little surprise that they were of no help to his company, Marathon Oil Corp.
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Managing the CEO Sweepstake at GE

August 2, 2007
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In 2000, there was a very public horse race going on at GE. Who would succeed Jack Welch? Here, GE’s Bill Conaty discusses how he and Welch handled the business world’s equivalent of the Kentucky Derby, with the media betting on one of three CEO candidates.
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GE's People Power Conaty Made Jack Welch a Believer

August 2, 2007
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GE human resources chief Bill Conaty looks back on his role in creating General Electric’s celebrated—and controversial—corporate culture. Conaty shares how he got one of HR’s harshest critics—and the larger corporate world—to recognize HR as an important business partner.
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Halo Effect The Myth of Employee Satisfaction

July 26, 2007
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Too often, observers and executives make assumptions about business performance that are not based in fact. For example, if a company is doing well financially, the assumption is that its leader is a brilliant and gifted individual, the corporate culture is amazing, and the people are the best. That, according to author Phil Rosenzweig, is the halo effect.
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