La. awaits millions in insurance payouts to fund its budget | N.Y. City Council agrees on inspector general for Police Department | Opinion: N.D. city is a model for flood mitigation
March 26, 2013
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Aon Public Sector Advisor: News from Aon's Thought Leaders
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Risk, Insurance, Claims & Safety
Fewer countries face higher political risk, Aon map shows
Political risk has increased for a dozen countries this year, a drop from the 21 that experienced an increase during 2012, according to Aon's most recent Political Risk Map. Risk fell in 13 countries, the map shows. Improvements for some Middle East countries highlight "the importance of strong corporate and financial institutions, which cushion the effects on individual countries," Aon says. (3/19)
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La. awaits millions in insurance payouts to fund its budget
Louisiana officials say that $56 million of the $88 million needed for the next fiscal year's operating budget depends on the settlement of insurance claims. The $56 million, which would come from the state's self-insurance fund, has drawn questions from lawmakers. The Office of Risk Management hasn't said how repairs to state buildings may be affected if the transfer is made, according to Charley Rome, fiscal analyst for the Legislative Fiscal Office. The Advocate (Baton Rouge, La.) (3/24)
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N.Y. City Council agrees on inspector general for Police Department
New York City Council Speaker Christine Quinn says council members have agreed on a bill to create an inspector-general position for the police department, but Mayor Michael Bloomberg says he will veto the measure. The inspector would help build a stronger relationship between the department and the community, Quinn says. Critics of the department have been urging the council to establish the position to increase accountability. The New York Times (free-article access for SmartBrief readers) (3/20), NY1 (New York City) (3/19)
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Workplace & Retirement
Workers shopping exchanges gravitate toward high-deductible plans
Workers whose employers gave them a lump sum to buy their own health insurance on a private exchange showed greater interest in higher-deductible plans, according to Aon Hewitt. Enrollment in preferred provider organizations dropped from 70% to 47%, while enrollment in consumer-directed plans rose to 39% from 12% in 2012. "When people are spending their own money, they tend to be more consumeristic," said Ken Sperling of Aon Hewitt. The Wall Street Journal (tiered subscription model) (3/17)
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Experts discuss how to plug 401(k) leakage
Getting to the root causes of 401(k) leakage is essential if U.S. workers are going to enjoy a secure retirement, experts told a Senate committee. Most 401(k) withdrawals are used to avoid circumstances such as foreclosure, but cash-outs and permanent withdrawals are far more damaging to retirement security, said Alison Borland of Aon Hewitt. A lack of other savings, such as for college and emergencies, also puts many Americans at risk for an underfunded retirement and is prompting more employers to discuss financial wellness, experts said. InvestmentNews (free registration)/The INsider blog (3/20)
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Poll Question
U. of Maine officials, faculty are at odds over work stoppages
The "work-to-rule" arrangement adopted by a union representing University of Maine faculty members has resulted in a complaint filed by the university system. Faculty members, who are seeking a 4.5% cost-of-living pay increase, refrain from taking part in voluntary activities under such an arrangement, but otherwise follow their contract terms, one professor said. "I don't think we have any precedent determining whether the things are or are not mandatory subjects of bargaining, and that will be an issue in this case," said Marc Ayotte, executive director of the Maine Labor Relations Board. Bangor Daily News (Maine) (free registration) (3/20)
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Judge blocks Mo. college's drug testing until case is decided
Most drug testing of students at Linn State Technical College in Missouri will be subject to a preliminary injunction until the case is decided, a federal judge said. The injunction also blocks the reporting of results, although some programs are exempt, according to the attorney for the college. The lawsuit was filed by the American Civil Liberties Union of Eastern Missouri. A hearing is set to take place in July. News Tribune (Jefferson City, Mo.) (3/22)
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Leadership & Management
Why HR departments should take data seriously
Big Data is changing the ways in which companies handle their finance and marketing operations, but HR teams have been reluctant to take the plunge, David McCann writes. That's a missed opportunity, experts say, not least because HR records are potentially a gold mine of actionable data. (3/22)
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News From Aon
New York City as a destination of choice for talent
Aon and the Partnership for New York City collaborated on a study to identify actions that could sustain New York City's long-term competitiveness. This study focuses on key drivers that assist in creating an enabling environment for industry and talent by comparing New York City to other relevant global locations across specific drivers. The study encompasses a wide array of information, including qualitative and quantitative assessments. Learn more.
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2013 People Risk Rating
Discover what people risk level your city has with this interactive Web tool.
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A thing is mighty big when time and distance cannot shrink it."
-- Zora Neale Hurston,
American author
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