It was March 2014 when I received a phone call as I was working in my office. The person on the other end introduced herself as Dr. Linda Houston-Feenstra, chief cardiac nurse of Loma Linda University SACHS Heart Clinic. She said that she has heard about my work on persuasive technology, in particular how it can influence attitude or behaviour change in people. She wanted me to assist her with her heartfailure patients.
Wearing a fitness tracking device could earn you cash from your health insurance company. At first, this sounds lucrative for the people who participate, and good for the companies, who want healthier insurance customers. But it’s not quite so simple.
Grief can seem desolate for those in the thick of it who often feel unable to imagine a way out of their suffering. But, as time passes, the pain usually dampens or becomes more fleeting.
Research suggests that around 70% of people will experience an illogical sense of being a phoney at work at some point in their careers. It’s called the impostor phenomenon (also known, erroneously, as a syndrome). These impostor feelings typically manifest as a fear of failure, fear of success, a sometimes obsessive need for perfection, and an inability to accept praise and achievement. The phenomenon is also characterised by a genuine belief that at some point you, as the “impostor”, are going to be found out for being a fake in your role.
Every surface we touch has its own unique chemical properties. It’s because of these properties that some materials stick to surfaces, while others slide off. For a person, a sticky surface may be a minor annoyance, but for a bacterial cell, surface attachment can be a matter of life and death. Bacteria have evolved their own surfaces to be sticky, like Velcro.
With large international companies managing and financing their group-wide risks centrally, there is a pressing need for a central risk management tool. Captive concepts, which have been around for many years, answer this need and have become very popular in risk management.
Whistleblowers have been making headlines almost every month this past year – and this follows a string of scandals such as LuxLeaks, Panama and the Paradise Papers as well as Dieselgate and Cambridge Analytica, which have exposed the limited assistance available for people seeking to expose wrongful corporate behaviour in the public interest. Only 10 EU member states have comprehensive legislation in place, with others offering partial protection at most. At EU level, there are some existing instruments in place that provide for whistleblower protection, but these have varying levels of detail and remain predominantly limited to financial services, transport safety and environmental protection.
After 60 years of fierce debate, France has finally decided to reform its income tax system and to shift the burden of income tax collection from the State to employers, thus aligning itself with all other EU Member States and most western countries which deduct income tax under a Pay As You Earn (PAYE) system. As of 1 January 2019, employers will be compelled to collect income tax through deducting it from their employees’ salaries and to pay it to the French Tax Department.
Global Benefits Vision: Hello Wendy – please tell us about your background and your career to date. Wendy Liu: I am an actuary by background, and I started my career in consulting before joining Zurich. The majority of my career has been related to global employee benefits. I began on the U.S. domestic side, expanded to international benefits and now am based in Europe covering global benefits.
In the December 2018 issue The “Macron” French Tax Reforms – Claire Toumieux, Camille Wattrelos EU Commission Propose Directive to Protect Whistle Blowers – Markulf Behrendt, Inge Vanderreken Fighting Infection-Causing Biofilms – Nicholas Fitzkee Toxic Workplaces Are Feeding the Impostor Phenomenon – Amina Aitsi-Selmi, Theresa Simpkin The Five Stages of Grief Don’t Come in Fixed Steps – Nick Haslam Could Your Fitbit Data Be Used to Deny Health Insurance? – Andrew Boyd Why Health Apps Are Like the Wild West – Michael L. Millenson Can Persuasive Technology Change Behavior? – Samir Chatterjee Wendy Liu, Zurich Global Employee Benefits Services – Interview How an E.B. Captive Can Help HR – Paul Woehrmann, Reto Heini
In the December 2018 issue The “Macron” French Tax Reforms – Claire Toumieux, Camille Wattrelos EU Commission Propose Directive to Protect Whistle Blowers – Markulf Behrendt, Inge Vanderreken Fighting Infection-Causing Biofilms – Nicholas Fitzkee Toxic Workplaces Are Feeding the Impostor Phenomenon – Amina Aitsi-Selmi, Theresa Simpkin The Five Stages of Grief Don’t Come in Fixed Steps – Nick Haslam Big Data and Health Insurance Could Your Fitbit Data Be
We study how the flu virus spreads between people. While we strongly encourage everyone to get the flu vaccine, the findings from our study on the stability of flu viruses in the air can provide useful information for parents, teachers and health care officials to limit the spread of flu in the community.
Cross Border Benefits Alliance Paris Seminar on Cross-Border and Pan-European Pensions – The French Perspective
Cross Border Benefits Alliance Europe was launched on 6 December 2017 in Brussels, and advocates and lobbies for easing cross border pensions and benefits across EU borders. They hold an annual plenary conference in Brussels each year and hold local seminars and meetings such as this one, in different cities in the European Union.
We are ten years on from the Financial Crisis and I’m sure many readers of this article will think of the television pictures of the Lehman Brothers‘ bankers clearing their desks into cardboard boxes and leaving their building on 14 September 2008. That was one of the immediate physical manifestations of the crisis that had started in 2007 and whose root cause were the losses in the US sub-prime crisis (see “The Big Short” movie for a full explanation of it). But what exactly is the legacy of the Financial Crisis? It is tempting to answer, like others have done to past revolutions, that it’s too early to tell…
The mandatory pension plan in Mexico is, as of today, a Defined Contribution (DC) type. This plan was formally introduced in 1997; before this, the mandatory pension plan was a Defined Benefit (DB) type on a PAY-AS-YOU-GO basis. Workers who entered this mandatory pension plan after July 1, 1997 had to join the new plan. On the other hand, workers who were already in the labour market before that date could choose between either of the plans to retire.
For over a century, we have relied on a simplistic measure to determine if someone is a “healthy” weight or not. This is the body mass index (BMI) – the ratio of a person’s weight to the square of their height. The limits of this ratio are clearly demonstrated by professional rugby players; most of whom would be classified as “overweight”, despite having less than 10% body fat.
In the early 20th century, the leading cause of death was infectious disease. Epidemics erupted with little warning, seemingly out of the blue. When the “Great Influenza” struck in 1918, it killed thousands of people a week in American cities and spread like wildfire around the globe. My great aunt, still a teenager, and living in the San Francisco area, was one of its estimated 50 to 100 million victims worldwide.
During my second year of graduate school, I moved in with my sister’s family to save money. “You must get the flu shot if you are going to live here,” my sister declared. Both of my nieces were under the age of 5, putting them at a high risk of flu complications; therefore, it was critical that I do my part in, first, getting vaccinated to minimize my risk of getting the flu, and second, not passing the flu to a vulnerable population. A key part of this was, and still is, washing my hands regularly.
If you do nothing else the next few days, get a flu shot. The best time to get a flu shot is by the end of October, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention advises. Considering the severity of last year’s flu, it is especially important for everyone over age six months to be vaccinated. This includes pregnant women.
In the November 2018 issue The Financial Crisis – A Decade Later – Lessons Learned? – Peter Devlin Unraveling Public Pensions in Mexico, The Example of Universities – Denise Gomez CBBA Academic Conference, Paris – A Report Stop Measuring Obesity with a Ruler – Tim Spector The Best Foods for a Good Night’s Sleep – Sophie Medlin Flu Lasts for More Than an Hour in Air and on Surfaces – Seema Lakdawala, Linsey Marr Get A Flu Shot Now – Patricia Schnabel Ruppert Influenza’s Wild Origins in Animals – Jonathan Runstadler Why Washing Your Hands Well Is So Important to Protect from The Flu – Michelle Sconce Massaquoi
In the November 2018 issue The Financial Crisis – A Decade Later – Lessons Learned? Peter Devlin Unraveling Public Pensions in Mexico – The Example of Universities Denise Gomez CBBA Academic Conference, Paris – A Report Stop Measuring Obesity with a Ruler Tim Spector The Best Foods for a Good Night’s Sleep Sophie Medlin Flu Lasts for More Than an Hour in Air and on Surfaces Seema Lakdawala, Linsey
The Pooling Market in 2018, A Position Paper, by Ludovic Bayard, Roland de Crombrugghe, Mauro Dugulin, Michael Hansen, Wendy Liu, Morten Unneberg, Peter de Vries Pensions – A Multi-Faceted View from Ireland, by Brian McGarry, Conor Murray, Padhraic Kelly, Orla Ormsby, Brid McDonnell, John Lucey, Andy Kelly Brexit Timeline The New Data Protection Scheme in Germany – What HR Departments Must Know – GDPR4HR, by Tobias Neufeld Who Wants to Join a Union? by Thomas Kochan, Duanyi Yang, Erin L. Kelly, Will Kimball Medical Myth: The Need for Eight Hours of Sleep Each Night, by Leon Lack New Book, ‘The Mind of the Leader’ – an Interview with Authors Jacqueline Carter and Rasmus Hougaard Employee Benefits Captive Integration – Chris Burns, Brian Quinn, Marc Reinhardt
In the October 2018 issue The Pooling Market in 2018, A Position Paper Ludovic Bayard, Roland de Crombrugghe, Mauro Dugulin, Michael Hansen, Wendy Liu, Morten Unneberg, Peter de Vries Pensions – A Multi-Faceted View from Ireland Brian McGarry, Conor Murray, Padhraic Kelly, Orla Ormsby, Brid McDonnell, John Lucey, Andy Kelly Brexit Timeline The New Data Protection Scheme in Germany – What HR Departments Must Know – GDPR4HR Tobias Neufeld
GBV: Thank you all for agreeing to this interview. Can we start with a history of captives in general and of the use of captives for employee benefits over the past 25 years?
Invesco Director Brian McGarry starts off by reminding us that a pension plan not only constitutes tax-advantaged deferred compensation, but that a well-thought out and well-communicated plan has a distinct, positive impact on employee retention. Experienced Personal Financial Advisors Conor Murray and Padhraic Kelly continue by explaining the importance of striking the right balance between our human and financial capital.
Of the European countries, Germany has always had the strictest data protection rules. This includes the legal framework that governs employer’s rights to process personal information of their employees, e.g. to do their payroll, or establish benefit schemes, during recruitment or in workforce investigations. The statutory rules applicable in Germany until May 24, 2018, the Old Federal Data Protection Act (Bundesdatenschutzgesetz – BDSG-old), were based on the European data protection directive and provided for a comprehensive and restrictive scheme for the processing and transfer of personal data, including employees’ data in the workplace. On May 25, 2018, these rules were replaced by the new European General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) which is binding in all EU member states.