Source: Olivia S. Mitchell and Elizabeth Kennedy, Knowledge@Wharton, April 2, 2019
The U.S. Treasury department’s move last month to allow private companies to pay lump-sum pension payments to retirees and beneficiaries, instead of monthly payments, is good news for companies that do not want to be saddled with long-term pension obligations – particularly for private sector employers who have underfunded pension plans.
However, lump-sum pension payments may not work out well for retirees who opt for them. While a debate has ensued on the merits and risks of lump-sum pension payments for employees, there are also wider concerns about the long-term impacts on the entire economy when retirees do not have sufficient financial resources to support themselves. Those concerns are assuming a new importance because of the rapid growth of the so-called gig economy with temporary workers and freelancers who don’t enjoy employer-sponsored retirement benefits.
The Treasury department’s latest move reverses an Obama-era pledge to bar employers from offering lump-sum payments. The fear was that those receiving a lump-sum payment might be shortchanged and also might be tempted to spend the money sooner. Around 26.2 million Americans receive pensions right now, though that number has been declining as businesses favor 401(k) plans instead…..
Source: Maureen Minehan, Employment Alert, Volume 36 Issue 6, March 18, 2019
Could you be forced to provide employees with 10 days of paid leave every year? That’s exactly what New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio is calling for. In January, he announced his intention to introduce legislation requiring private employers with five or more employees to provide at least 10 paid personal days each year to full- and part-time workers. If the measure passes, more than 500,000 employees would gain the ability to take paid vacation, de Blasio says.
Source: Bernard Yaros, Sarah Crane, Regional Financial Review, Vol. 29 no. 6, February 2019
The purpose of this article is to serve as a primer on U.S. fiscal multipliers in times of recession. We discuss the economic policies that Congress typically authorizes during a downturn and size them up against one another based on their multipliers. We analyze the impact on the economy of more government aid to states and localities, unemployment insurance benefits, food stamps, infrastructure, and various tax cuts.
Source: Jeremy Cohn, Regional Financial Review, Vol. 29 no. 6, February 2019
In this article we build two models using two measures of income inequality to test possible explanations of the growing income inequality over the last four decades. State-level data provide a broad and rich dataset for this exercise. While inequality will continue to increase, there is good reason to think that it will do so at a more modest pace than in recent decades.
Source: Brandi Vincent, Nextgov, March 29, 2019
Many federal agencies could be at risk of not meeting National Archives and Records Administration’s mandate to manage (and eventually send NARA) all records electronically by December 2019, according to a survey.
An overreliance on manual processes and fallible end-users paired with a lack of manpower and implemented automation are driving that risk according to a survey of 150 government decision-makers released Thursday by AvePoint Public Sector and custom research firm Market Connections.
The survey found that while 93 percent of respondents were “very confident” or “somewhat confident” their agencies are managing records to federal standards, a “vast majority” of agencies are not presently sending all their eligible records to NARA. Only 33 transferred all eligible records to NARA in fiscal 2018. The year prior, only 22 percent of agencies transferred eligible electronic records to the administration. Still, 61 percent of respondents rated their agencies’ progress at meeting the December deadline as “good,” or “excellent.”….
New Survey Reveals Why Federal Agencies Aren’t Transferring Records to NARA
Source: AvePoint Public Sector, March 28, 2019
…. Why Agencies Aren’t Transferring Records to NARA
The 2019 NARA Readiness Report directly asks respondents their reasons for not transferring records to NARA for disposition. Findings showed:
– Too many records / a lot of work / manpower shortage / difficult to manage—42 percent
– Cost / Budget—16 percent
– Work in progress—11 percent
– Lack of appropriate oversight / mismanaged—7 percent
– Compliance / data concerns—5 percent
– Other responses / Confidential—27 percent
Source: Bipartisan Policy Center, March 2019
From the summary:
In 2017, more than 70,000 people in the United States died from a drug overdose, with almost 50,000 of these deaths involving an opioid. The United States is facing a devastating opioid epidemic, and the federal government has responded by investing billions of dollars into prevention, treatment, and recovery efforts over the past two years. This includes efforts to curb the supply of both illicit opioids and unnecessary prescription opioids and to improve access to evidence-based treatment for opioid use disorder. Despite these actions, addiction policy experts believe that the end of the epidemic is not yet in sight.
Considerable attention has focused on the drivers of the opioid epidemic. However, less attention has been paid to whether the federal investments to address the issue are being effectively targeted to the communities most affected and to those with the highest overdose deaths. An effective response requires policymakers to know how resources are allocated and to use that information to minimize duplication and maximize the efficiency of limited resources. The federal government has not previously produced or made available a document that provides this information to the public or policymakers.
Source: Kevin J. Murphy, Tatiana Sandino, Harvard Business School Accounting & Management Unit Working Paper No. 18-027, Last revised: March 8, 2019
From the abstract:
We provide fresh evidence regarding the relation between compensation consultants and CEO pay. First, firms that employ consultants have higher-paid CEOs—this result is robust to firm fixed-effects and matching on economic and governance variables. Second, while this relation is partly due to consultant conflicts of interest, it is largely explained by the impact consultants have on the composition and complexity of CEO pay plans; notably, this impact fully mediates the consultant-CEO pay relation. Third, firms with higher-paid CEOs and more complex pay plans are more likely to hire a consultant. Lastly, say-on-pay voting patterns suggest shareholders view positively the advice consultants provide but only when consultants do not provide other services. We also find suggestive evidence of boards “layering” new equity incentive plans over existing ones, thereby increasing the impact of composition and complexity on CEO pay beyond the premium the CEO would demand for bearing additional compensation risk.
Source: Leila Schochet, Center for American Progress, March 28, 2019
More mothers would increase their earnings and seek new job opportunities if they had greater access to reliable and affordable child care. ….
….This report highlights the relationship between child care and maternal employment and underscores how improving child care access has the potential to boost employment and earnings for working mothers. Based on new analysis of the 2016 Early Childhood Program Participation Survey (ECPP), it demonstrates how families are having difficulty finding child care under the current system and how lack of access to child care may be keeping mothers out of the workforce. The report then presents results from a national poll conducted by the Center for American Progress and GBA Strategies, which asked parents what career decisions they would make if child care were more readily available and affordable. Finally, the report outlines federal policy solutions that are crucial to supporting mothers in the workforce. ….
Source: Ben Piven, Al Jazeera, March 27, 2019
Some Democrats want a Green New Deal that Republicans strongly oppose. Here are 5 key issues the deal seeks to tackle.
Source: Jane McAlevey, Catalyst, Vol. 2 no. 3, Fall 2018
As the labor movement has begun to show signs of a revitalization, we excavate a volume, long consigned to obscurity, from an earlier era. As Jane McAlevey observes, even though almost a century has passed since its initial publication, Steuben’s book remains astonishingly relevant today — which speaks both to the enduring facts of employment relations in capitalism, as well as to the efficacy of Steuben’s strategic perspective.