March 15, 2013
CITY Council chambers can seat 350, so we're assuming that's the number of union members who filled the chambers with shouting and whistling loud enough to have Council President Darrell Clarke recess the session about 10 minutes into Mayor Nutter's budget address. The mayor had begun yelling his speech over the din, but finally finished delivering it in the mayor's reception room. So, here's the math: It took only 350 people to put a halt to city government Thursday. As union leaders declare victory in shutting down a budget address, we can't help wondering: Victory over what, really?
November 8, 2012
Question 1 Do you approve an amendment to the New Jersey Constitution, as agreed to by the Legislature, to allow contributions set by law to be taken from the salaries of Supreme Court Justices and Superior Court Judges for their employee benefits? (93% of the vote) Yes . . . 1,274,618 No . . . 774,121 Question 2 Do you approve the "Building Our Future Bond Act"? This bond act authorizes the State to issue bonds in the aggregate principal amount of $750 million to provide matching grants to New Jersey's colleges and universities.
November 8, 2012 |
The Greyhound Lines Inc. employee on her way home from work Monday said she's the kind of worker who prides herself on always being on the job. So she's not happy that Greyhound is docking her for Oct. 29 and 30 - the two days that the entire region was shut down due to Hurricane Sandy. "I'm totally upset," she said. "I think it's horrible. They were closed anyway. " Because the employee would like to keep her job, she doesn't want her name published, but she acknowledged that companies are in a tough spot, too. After all, they couldn't make any money when they were closed.
October 19, 2012
New Jersey voters have two ballot questions to consider, one would give a boost to higher education, and the other would require judges to pay more for employee benefits. Voters should say YES to a $750 million bond issue for the state's public and private universities. The state hasn't approved a bond issue for higher education in nearly a quarter-century. Meanwhile, state funding for colleges has been slashed. The bond money would be used to expand classroom and lab space. Community colleges as well as state universities and private colleges would benefit.
October 19, 2012
Gerald E. "Bud" Faller, 80, a longtime employee benefits and pensions specialist in the Philadelphia area, died of heart failure on Sept. 20 at his home in Hillsboro Beach, Fla. Mr. Faller had a long career in employee benefits and pension business, retiring in 2007. He joined First Investment Annuity Co. in Philadelphia in 1968, as vice president for sales. He later managed the sales offices of Great West Life & Annuity Co in Philadelphia and New Jersey. He also operated businesses of his own in Philadelphia, New York, and New Jersey.
August 27, 2012
Susan Hoffman is a cochair of the employee benefits litigation practice group at Littler Mendelson P.C. Was the traditional pension plan killed by greedy corporate executives? No, it was killed by laws, accounting rules, and a changing workforce. Before the Employee Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA) was passed in 1974, many companies sponsored pension plans, but only for those who could work long enough to earn them. My truck driver father had no pension because he had a heart attack at age 50 - before his eligibility date.
June 18, 2012 |
Several of the nation's largest health insurers drew attention last week by saying they would maintain certain popular consumer provisions in the 2010 health reform law even if the Supreme Court strikes down the statute in a ruling expected this month. Humana Inc., Aetna Inc., and UnitedHealth Group Inc. said they would continue offering preventive health services, such as immunizations with no direct out-of-pocket costs for consumers, allow children to stay on their parents' plans until they turn 26, and keep the third-party appeals process for denials of coverage mandated by the 2010 Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act. But a local employee benefits expert said the insurers' announcements were probably not as significant as they first appeared to be. "I think it was really just a PR move," said Joseph McGinty, vice president of employee benefits consulting at the Graham Co., a Philadelphia employee benefits and insurance firm.
April 4, 2012 |
It was just a routine grocery trip for Nancy Haas of Marlton, but as she left the Mount Laurel Wegmans, a stiff wind prompted a quickened pace to her car - where a man stepped forward, a bouquet of flowers in his hand. Haas was startled. And a bit wary. This is, after all, 2012, when danger lurks even in suburban parking lots, and strangers bearing flowers can be, well, creepy. But David Friedman calmly explained that he wanted only to brighten her day - and that he would be happy if she could accept the flowers.
October 22, 2011 |
Robert Gordon Chambers, 62, formerly of Bryn Mawr, a lawyer and employee-benefits expert, died of melanoma Tuesday, Oct. 18, at the Levine and Dickson Hospice House in Huntersville, N.C. Mr. Chambers had been with the law firm of Montgomery, McCracken, Walker & Rhoads in Philadelphia for more than 20 years, and then was a partner with Duane Morris in Philadelphia for five years. In 2004, he joined the law firm of McGuire Woods in Charlotte, N.C. In his law practice, he counseled employers, trade associations, and corporate executives regarding tax-qualified retirement plans, and negotiated the employee-benefits aspects of business transactions.
September 19, 2011 |
PHILLY IS ON track to star in a real-life disaster movie. But not the kind where residents fall victim to an incurable disease, evil aliens or savage apes. Call it: "Attack of the Underfunded Pension Plan. " Not scary? Consider this: The pension plan for city workers has less than 50 percent of the money it needs to pay projected benefits. Because the city is obligated to keep the fund going, there could be less cash in the coming years for cops, firefighters and libraries.