Wednesday, May 30, 2007

Employee Benefits Spring Meeting

Wed May 30
Pension Protection Act Part 1 – PPA Overview
Pension Protection Act Part 2 – Benefit Restrictions Under PPA
Pension Protection Act Part 3 – 10 Biggest Unresolved Issues with PPA

Thu May 31
Accounting Part 1 – What Hath FASB Wrought?
Financial Economics Part 1 – Learning the Ropes
Financial Economics Part 2 – Making It Real

Fri Jun 1
Future of Retirement Part 1 – Report from the Meeting – Headlines
Late Breaking Developments
Future of Retirement Part 3 – Stakeholder Tensions – What do you think?
Dialogue with Treasury and IRS

Ceridian Going Private - Who's Next?

The $5.3 billion buyout of Ceridian makes the company the latest among a number of HRO providers to go private. The offer was made by private equity firm Thomas Lee Partners and Fidelity National Financial and is expected to close in the fourth quarter. The price represents a 5% premium.

ACS founder and chairman Darwin Deason has been working to take his company private. Similarly in March, Kronos was acquired by private equity firm Hellman & Friedman Capital Partners for $1.8 billion.

"My immediate thought is, who is next?" says Neil McEwen, managing consultant at PA Consulting. "And my immediate answer would be Hewitt Associates." Rumors have been circulating for months that Hewitt, which has been struggling to revive its HR BPO business, might go private to get away from shareholder scrutiny. Jennifer Frighetto, a Hewitt spokeswoman, declined to comment.

Wednesday, May 09, 2007

Disability Benefits in Sweden

In recent years, there has been a boom in sickness and disability in Sweden. Thirteen percent of working-age Swedes live on some type of disability benefit. That is the highest proportion in the world. Yet, Swedes are the healthiest people in the world, according to the WHO. There are several dynamics at work. Sweden has a very generous welfare system. The government trusts people to be honest. Benefits are easy to get. Therefore, fraud has crept into the system. [This is known in the insurance business as moral hazard.]

But things are changing. The system cost too much and cannot be sustained. The government is cracking down. People are losing their benefits. People are being told to return to work, the gravy is over. For example, Lotta Landstrom has lost her sick benefits after two years. (Lotta is allergic to electricity, says her doctor.) Unfortunately, the government is having to provide training to people who need it because they have been out of the labor force for so long. [Ain't socialism grand, folks?]

[Wall Street Journal]