November 2021

October 2021

September 2021

Taking care of business (associates)

While recently performing a HIPAA operational review for one of my clients (in their role as a sponsor of a group health plan), I asked for copies of their business associate agreements (BAAs). These are the agreements that are put in place to protect both covered entities and the business associate by setting clear expectations for the handling of protected health information (PHI).

Governance – the gift that keeps on giving

As I was ironing and naming the seemingly never-ending pile of school shirts for my son this week, I was thinking to myself that they were like the gift that just keeps on giving!

Promoting a healthy work-life balance

CIPD, in partnership with SimplyHealth, estimated that mental health problems affect one in six British workers each year. With mental health being the leading cause of sickness absence, it is all the more important for employers to promote a healthy work-life balance and do what they can to bolster mental health, which is supported by physical health.

Supporting employees out of lockdown and back into sport

‘Freedom day’ meant different things for different people, and employers can support their staff in adjusting to yet another ‘new normal,’ as dealing with change can create mental health challenges and lead to dips in productivity at work. Many employees will be embracing the opportunity to get back into sport, and this can be encouraged through flexible working and setting up work team and sporting challenges.

Pension scammers are much more likely to catch COVID-19 than be prosecuted

Martin Lewis, founder of the Money and Mental Health Policy Institute, was quoted in a BBC News article, saying: “The UK is facing an epidemic of scam adverts. Our advertising rules were set up to police soap manufacturers making false cleanliness claims, not to tackle sophisticated, psychologically adept, digital organised crime based around the world.

May you live in interesting times: How COVID-19 has changed the workplace health landscape

COVID-19 has impacted almost every area of our lives over the last year and a half, and the ripples of that impact will be felt for years to come. As has been the case in many periods of crisis or strife historically, the pandemic has engendered great efforts of innovation and creativity – from scientists who have produced the vaccine in an accelerated timescale, and businesses who have pivoted to remote working and online servicing, to health insurers and providers who have had to make a speedy shift to digital provision of healthcare.

How will the “booster” and full FDA approval of the Pfizer vaccine affect return-to-work efforts?

You may have heard that the Center for Disease Control (CDC) and Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) are reviewing new guidance to administer COVID- 19 booster shots in a strategic effort to combat diminishing immunity and the ongoing surge of the Delta variant. COVID- 19 is similar to many other vaccines in that a booster shot may be needed to build and sustain a strong immunity. For some diseases, protection wears off over time. Some viruses change or mutate, rendering the vaccines less effective.

Employers, vaccines and Delta

The Delta variant of the COVID-19 virus was primarily responsible for the surge of cases in India and is rapidly spreading worldwide. The CDC estimates that the highly infectious Delta variant is responsible for 82.2% of new coronavirus infections in the US. Employers now face numerous challenges over what they can do to keep the workplace safe.

August 2021

How to ensure your pensions offering matches your corporate values

From an emerging theme only a few years ago, to a key consideration for employers today, the integration of environmental, social, and governance (ESG) criteria into defined contribution (DC) pension investment strategies is now firmly on the pensions map.

Drawing a line in the sand

The last 18 months have tested the resilience of most of us at some point. As a full-time working parent, alongside managing elder care and periods of home schooling, it has certainly presented me with personal challenges. Now more than ever before did I find that my own health and wellbeing slipped further down the priority list.

How to use objective-centric engagement to improve financial literacy in the workplace

“I wonder if my company has ensured my life cover policy is written under an excepted group life arrangement, so my family don’t get an unexpected tax bill should the worst happen?” – said no employee ever.

The importance of sleep – and how to help your employees who struggle with it

If, like me, you find it a challenge to quieten your mind enough to get 4-5 hours of sleep per night on a regular basis, you will fully understand just how much of a negative impact sleep deprivation has on all aspects of your personal and professional life. After all, it is a known form of torture.

July 2021

The gatekeepers to employee health and wellbeing

The pandemic has shone a spotlight on the need for comprehensive employer wellbeing strategies. Workplace mental health should now be a standard agenda item for HR professionals as employees continue to overcome the impact of COVID-related physical illness, changes in working locations, hours, and remuneration.

Annual enrollment for 2022: Not business as usual?

It’s an understatement to say work and life have been anything but “business as unusual” since early 2020. And we’re still evolving and recovering. What does that mean for annual enrollment this year?

Something for everyone: How technology and digitalisation can improve the experience of employee benefits for all, regardless of location.

Our recent research with REBA highlighted that 66% of organisations already use technology for their employee benefits, with a further 22% either in the development stage or considering it in the next 12 months. This confirms what most of us probably already knew: benefits technology is on the rise.

Taking care in the sun

One of the major impacts of the COVID-19 lockdown was a loss of freedom to do what we wanted, when we wanted and where we wanted. We could not take advantage of the summer in the same way as normal, with holidays abroad being cancelled and travel restrictions at home making it difficult to visit even our own beaches, unless you were fortunate enough to live on the coast!

Buck podcast series – episode five of provider insight series

In the next episode in Buck’s Talking tomorrow, today podcast provider insight series, Jodi Geddes from Circle In shares how providing support for working parents is an essential consideration for forward-thinking organisations, and suggests simple, manageable ways companies can take action to better support parents.

Buck podcast series – episode four of provider insight series

The fourth episode in Buck’s Talking tomorrow, today podcast provider insight series, Kathy Abernethy from Peppy looks at how providing menopause support in the workplace in on the agenda of an increasing number of companies, and offers insight into why action needs to be taken, and how companies can start the conversation.

Buck podcast series – episode three of provider insight series

In Buck’s latest Talking tomorrow, today podcast, the third in our provider insight series, Jason Brennan from Wrkit takes us through how the results of their Global Working from Home Survey can help you establish the right environment for your people’s future. Have a listen!

June 2021

Buck podcast series – episode two of provider insight series

The second podcast in our Talking tomorrow, today provider insight series hears James Brown from Muhdo Health talking to Andrew Drake about epigenetics, and what we can do to improve our wellbeing through the best environment for our DNA to help us thrive. Have a listen!

How to build a financial wellbeing strategy that supports women’s needs

For every £1 men earn in the UK, women earn about 85p. 40% of women work part time compared to 12% of men. 86% of single parent families are headed by women. These are just some of the societal factors that can have some impact on women’s financial wellbeing.

Buck podcast series – episode six

The sixth episode in Buck’s Talking tomorrow, today podcast series is out.

Just because everyone else is doing it doesn’t make it right…

When I first started working as a consultant, advising employers on their pension schemes and benefit programmes, we would regularly be asked what everyone else was doing, what decisions they were taking, and the changes they were introducing. This herd mentality approach was safe.

Global Day of Parents

Employers and employees alike have strived for a ‘work-life balance’ ever since the term was coined. As we all know, maintaining a good work-life balance will improve overall happiness and wellbeing, and in turn contribute to a healthy environment whilst at work.

May 2021

Should employers be worried about long Covid?

In January this year, MP Layla Morgan told the All-Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) that there were an estimated 300,000 people living with long Covid. Ms Moran went on to warn more than half of people hospitalised experienced ongoing symptoms six months later, and of those who were not hospitalised due to Covid, one in 10 still experienced symptoms three months later.

Buck podcast series – episode five

The fifth episode in Buck’s Talking tomorrow, today podcast series is out.

Tomorrow we will be millionaires

Sadly, pension scammers are more likely to become millionaires than you are. There are more cases of fraud in the UK each year than any other type of crime. In case you were not aware of the scale of the problem, a report published by the police a couple of years ago confirmed that there were 842 known organised crime groups – involved in fraud – operating in the UK alone.

What Let It Go has taught me about unlocking better physical and mental health (and it’s not what you think!)

Physical health improves mental health. It’s a concept we’ve all heard before and, I suspect, many of us agree with. If you’re fitter and healthier in your body, there’s a good chance your mind will benefit too. For example, as far back as 2017, GPs were prescribing Parkrun as a way to treat both physical and mental health problems.

Buck acquires leading U.K. strategic employee communications agency Caburn Hope to offer full-service communication capabilities

The addition of Caburn Hope to the Buck family creates one of the most experienced and comprehensive employee communications consultancies in the U.K. market

How do you identify a vulnerable customer when it comes to financial services?

“A customer who, due to their personal circumstance, is particularly likely to experience financial disadvantage, loss or harm especially when the appropriate level of care isn’t acted upon.”

April 2021

March 2021

February 2021

Are you cyber security savvy?

What is cyber security then? An official definition is the ‘application of technologies, processes and controls to protect systems, networks, programs, devices and data from cyber-attacks.’

Financial decluttering

As we conclude the three-part series of ‘How to declutter your life’, take a step back and remember what you’ve achieved so far.

Buck podcast series – episode two

The second episode in Buck’s ‘Talking tomorrow. Today.’ podcast series is now out, where you can hear Andrew Drake talking to Ipsos MORI’s Michaela O’Reilly about their award-winning approach to mental health strategy.

Digital decluttering

Welcome to part two of ‘How to declutter your life’. This is another way you can help create space in your life by organising your digital footprint. It typically involves deleting files or accounts you no longer need. No heavy lifting required!

Physical decluttering

So here’s part one of ‘How to declutter your life’. This week is all about physical decluttering, which means it’s time to get some bin bags ready, put on some good (loud) music and have a good old clear out.

Buck’s new podcast series

Introducing the first in Buck’s brand new podcast series, ‘Talking tomorrow, today’, looking at topical issues for HR and reward professionals.

January 2021

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View further insights

For additional insights across broader pensions and benefits topics, check out Buck’s latest thinking.