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Showing posts from September, 2009

Take a Big, Deep Breath...

I've been all over the corporate office building and burning up email in the last few days. My level of activity has apparently raised alarm in places because we've had several quietly asked questions lately along the lines of, "What's going on?" Here's the skinny. Amy in Benefits is out on maternity leave (expected back Monday) and HR Manager Jack is in-and-out on Jury Duty until October 8th (thanks a lot, Smyrna). The HR Department most days is Dawn, Elaine, and me. Factor in lunch hours, days off, sick kids, Elaine's new grand baby and Jack's anticipated grand babies (arriving Friday) and we're operating with two people a lot of the time. You're seeing me because you're most likely not seeing anyone else from HR. Mystery solved! To quote Chevy Chase, "Sometimes a banana is just a banana." Jim

401(k) Catch-Up Contributions

I learned something today that should be passed along to our Nelson team, especially those 55 and older or who will turn 55 in the near future. The IRS guidelines allow maximum contributions up to $16,500 per year. This "maximum contribution limit" changes almost every year and is a feature in the law that prevents 401(k) plans from becoming a wealth building tool for executives rather than a retirement plan for all employees. If you're 55 and over you can also make additional annual deferrals known as "catch-up contributions." This feature allows older workers who may be behind in their retirement savings to contribute up to an additional $6,000 per year. In our plan, and most plans, the methodology for maximizing your contributions was cumbersome. You had to separately elect catch-up contributions. Then as Plan Administrators we had to wait until you had contributed your $16,500 maximum before directing the Record Keeper to accept your additional payro

I'll Take Care of That For You

In an recent conversation, just as a throwaway comment, our Live Events COO Vance Lawson quoted Zig Ziglar (paraphrasing here) that, "The world still opens up for people who say, "I'll take care of that for you"." I hadn't heard that in awhile, but it precisely sums up what I'm seeing and experiencing in this economy. The rules have changed and your policies no longer matter. What matters in chasing the fewer consumer dollars out there is doing what it takes to be of service to the customer and your employer. Simultaneously I'm overseeing three departments and rebuilding two boats. I see every day at work those who struggle and those who succeed with the tougher work loads. Off work, I'm spending my own scarce capital in the final stages of these two projects the type of which I never thought I'd do. In both the corporate and personal situations the demarcation of success is not necessarily the number of hours being worked, but the att