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On Allianz Global Benefits’ 5th anniversary, Dirk Hellmuth, CEO and Cyril Samson, Managing Director, take stock, review the achievements and successes and speak about where they want to be in five years’ time.

Allianz Global Benefits is the global employee benefits network of the Allianz Group specialized in implementing local employee benefits pro-ducts, insurance solutions and services into global programs. The headquarters of the network is based in Germany and operates a strong global network of more than 110 Allianz subsidiaries and selected external insurance partners in over 90 countries. Leveraging on the geographical scale, the expertise and the customer centricity of its network partners, AGB addresses the needs of multinational companies of managing employee benefits globally. AGB is a one-stop solution provider, this means that our clients can expect the full range of corporate life, accident, disability, health, pension and asset management solutions tailored to their needs. The high quality of local employee benefits plans provided by our local insurers is the backbone of our global solutions that include Multinational Pooling, Global Underwriting, Captive Reinsurance and Global Pension. Our aim is to provide multinational companies a truly flexible and holistic set of solutions for their global employee benefits programs delivered by the world’s most trusted financial service provider.

As concerns over vaping continue to grow, researchers and public health officials are investigating the causes of more than 40 deaths and 2,000 illnesses. It’s confusing even for experts. The term “e-cigarette” refers to a battery-powered device used to inhale an aerosol that typically, but not always, contains nicotine, along with flavorings and other chemicals, but not tobacco. The National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recognize e-cigarettes as a broad category that includes a variety of different products that operate similarly and contain similar components.

Exercise is recommended for people who are overweight or obese as a way to reduce their risk of developing type 2 diabetes and cardiovascular disease. But people don’t always have time to exercise as much as they would like, so finding ways to increase the health benefits of exercise is important. Our latest research has found a way to do just that, and it’s to do with timing. This means you might be able to get away with doing less exercise if other commitments, such as family and work, always seem to get in the way.

Professional sport is full of stories of elite athletes “choking” emotionally and mentally under the pressure of competition. One famous example is golfer Greg Norman, who was leading the 1994 U.S. Masters by six strokes at the beginning of the final round, but then lost by five strokes to Nick Faldo. And England football teams are well known for their struggles in penalty shoot outs.

History of Pooling at Allianz – Vaping and e-cigarettes – Hospital Price Transparency in the U.S. at Last? – To Lose Weight, Eat Less or Exercise More? – Exercise Before Breakfast Works Best – Controlled Breathing for the Rest of Us – Allianz Global Benefits Interview, Dirk Hellmuth, Cyril Samson

I tend to be overweight, and for the last few years my blood glucose levels have been putting me on the brink of Type 2 diabetes. I love my food, and it is often part of my social commitments. I’m a Spaniard, so there’s also the occasional tapas and glass of wine, or maybe a martini on Saturdays. As a physiologist, I know I need to take steps to control my blood glucose and weight. So early every morning, I spend a considerable amount of time pedaling away on a stationary bike.

New federal regulations finalized Nov. 15 require hospitals to make public all the prices they negotiate with insurers and health plans, starting in 2021. The aim is to untangle the hospital marketplace with a wave of consumer-friendly information that will promote competition that leads to lower costs. Hospitals are not happy, but advocates of well-informed, patient-centered health care should be cheering.

The saying that “whatever doesn’t kill you makes you stronger” is simplistic, disingenuous, and potentially destructive. While it’s true that some who experience horrible events are stronger for surviving them, this is probably only true if they were strong to begin with. In the face of horrible events, others are more likely to be traumatised and suffer for years or decades after.

It’s something most people do everyday, often without really thinking about it, but how you wash your hands can make a real difference to your health and the wellbeing of those around you.

Latest figures from the Office for National Statistics show that a record 32.54 million people are in work in the UK¹; a statistic that looks fantastic on the surface and one that many will celebrate, particularly from a political standpoint. However, mental health issues in the workplace and presenteeism because of mental health is also at an all-time high, with 22% of employees going into work in 2018 despite feeling mentally un-well – up from 18% in 2016². It is possible that there is a correlation between an increasing workforce and an increase in workplace mental health issues; but there are numerous confounding influencing variables which pose a challenge for companies.

Ageing is inevitable and is influenced by many things – but keeping active can slow ageing and increase life expectancy. Evidence shows that ageing alone is not a cause of major problems until you are in your mid-90s. And strength, power and muscle mass can be increased, even at this advanced age.

The world of work is fast changing. As life expectancy lengthens and labour markets shift, our working lives have become more complicated. The old expectations about how we work have become unsustainable – not least the expectation that we religiously travel to and from a fixed location ten times a week during rush hour, with all the knock-on effects that this has for carbon emissions.

What’s the first thing that comes to mind when you hear the term “post-traumatic stress disorder”? When I ask this question in public presentations, the answers are along the lines of “the military”, “soldiers” and “war”. Then, when my next slide displays military themed images, it seems as if I have ingeniously predicted the audience’s response.

Mental Health in the Workplace Across the Generations – Washing Hands Properly – Being Mentally Tough Can Be Taught – PTSD Also Affects Families – R&D: Better Flexible Work – How to Stay Fit into Your 60s

Aon: Personalizing Health – R&D: Processing Changes the Food We Eat – R&D: We Should Be Consuming Less Salt – History of Pooling: International Group Program IGP

To understand how healthy a food is, we generally look at its components – carbohydrates, fats and proteins, or the vitamins, minerals and other substances it may contain. But this purely “nutritional” vision overlooks one property that’s a key part of a food’s health potential – its structure. For example, serving a child a breakfast cereal made up of whole wheat or rice may seem like a good idea, but research shows that processing can significantly impact its nutritive qualities. Extrusion-cooking or puffing can transform wheat and rice into primarily a source of sugars that the child’s body rapidly absorbs, and many of the nutritive values of the original grains are lost.

The human body needs a tiny amount of sodium to function properly and this is typically found in salt (sodium chloride). But today most people consume way too much salt, increasing the burden of cardiovascular disease around the world. Health professionals have been trying to tackle this problem for decades, but face several barriers, including research that muddies the water about what safe levels of salt intake are. This has cast unnecessary doubt on the importance of reducing intakes. But our latest research has found flaws in these studies and suggests that salt intake should be reduced even further than current recommendations.

It isn’t surprising that employers are looking for ways to improve the health and engagement of their employees when their challenges are so evident: Medical inflation rates continue to be high globally, with the 2019 global average being 7.8%, reported by Aon1. Indeed, in many countries, this is much higher, even exceeding the local inflation rate by double-digit percentage points.

Global Employee Benefits at Gallagher, Interview Leslie Lemenager and LeAnne Stefl – Global Business Travel Insurance by Albatros – 2019 Transatlantic Conference Report – The History of Pooling at Generali

Representatives from Europe and North America met for the 11th Transatlantic Conference from Wednesday, June 19 through Friday, June 21, 2019 in the small hamlet of Bolton Landing in the Adirondack Mountains region of upper New York state. This edition of the annual Transatlantic Conference was hosted by the U.S. National Coordinating Committee for Multiemployer Plans (NCCMP) and co-organized jointly by the European Association of Paritarian Institutions (AEIP), the Multi-employer Benefit Plan Council of Canada (MEBCO), and the World Pension Alliance, chaired by PensionsEurope for the day devoted to pension topics.

Part of the Generali Group, Generali Employee Benefits (GEB) is a leading business line focused on providing solutions in the space of employee benefits for multinational corporations. With a network presence in more than 130 countries and around 25% market share, GEB offers an broad range of services and products that multinational employers may need for their workforce and their families, from locally admitted policies to cross border arrangements for mobile employees and expatriates, as well as the most sophisticated employee benefit solutions at a local level including multinational pooling and Reinsurance to a captive.

GBV interviews Tobias Winkler and Marcel Petschek of Albatros and discusses the changing face of employee benefits within the Lufthansa Group, trends in the travel industry, performance metrics and indicators and the road ahead. What role does Albatros (Delvag) play and how does it work within Lufthansa Group? Global Benefits Vision: Could you describe Albatros today? What is its role within Lufthansa, what it does, how it’s organised, where it

The number of workers on zero-hours contracts continues to rise in the UK. The Office for National Statistics (ONS) estimates that between October and December 2018 there were between 777,000 and 911,000 people working on zero-hours contracts. But the impact of such contracts seems to be underestimated by the government.

In June 2019, much of Europe was struck by early heatwave, with temperatures reaching nearly 46 Centigrade (115 Fahrenheit) in France, an all-time record. A heat wave is characterised by extremely high temperatures over the course of several days and nights. They have significant impact on our daily lives – we feel overheated and tired. When a heat wave strikes, many governments activate a “heat action plan”, advising those affected to drink water, avoid strenuous exercise, and stay cool. If not, one risks having a heat stroke, which can be potentially life-threatening.

People in China have used salt to prepare and preserve food for thousands of years. But consuming lots of salt raises blood pressure, increasing the risk of cardiovascular disease. Cardiovascular disease, which includes heart attack and stroke, now accounts for 40% of deaths in China.

Why should employers look to create a positive workplace culture? We sat down with Dr Leena Johns, Head of Health & Wellness at MAXIS Global Benefits Network, to discuss the, often unseen, impact of workplace culture on the productivity and health of employees.