Benefits news you may have missed: August 3-7

What the pandemic is teaching us about benefits: From the importance of wellness to the shortcomings plaguing employer plans, here are four lessons we’ve learned so far from COVID-19. Read more here.

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Employers’ strategy for getting employees healthy during COVID: virtual fitness: While the coronavirus pandemic has put a spotlight on other aspects of wellbeing, notably mental and financial health, a handful of employers are making sure physical health stays in the spotlight, too. Pinterest, Best Buy, Pfizer and more employers are looking to get employees moving–from home. Read more here.

How COVID is changing employees’ plans for retirement: COVID-19 is driving employees’ anxiety about long-term retirement savings and prompting more to believe they’ll have to retire later than originally planned because of the tumultuous environment and volatile economic climate, according to new research from Charles Schwab. The financial services firm’s survey of 1,000 workers found that saving enough for a comfortable retirement continues to be workers’ leading source of significant financial stress. On average, 401(k) participants believe they need to save $1.9 million for retirement, an increase of 12% from the $1.7 million reported in last year’s survey. Read more here.

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How employers can address Black workers’ mental health: Between COVID-19, racial tensions and the return to work, the mental health of all Americans is being challenged. Many are easily feeling overwhelmed by work and home responsibilities, which can exacerbate symptoms of anxiety, depression and stress. For Black employees, that can look slightly different. Read more here.

HR’s latest challenge: Managing natural disasters in a pandemic: As Tropical Storm Isaias rolls up the East Coast, employers are getting a vivid reminder to check their longstanding policies and plans for managing natural disasters. As with so many things this year, the pandemic has changed the way organizations will handle hurricanes and similar disasters. Read more here.

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Employees want more recognition while working from home: Three out of five employees believe employee recognition and appreciation is more important while working from home, yet only one out of five employees (26%) say their company has implemented new ways to reward and recognize them since the current pandemic started, according to data from Snappy Gifts. Here’s what this data means for HR leaders. Read more here.

Continuum’s solution for financial stress: faster pay, education: The customer care provider partnered with instant pay company Branch to give employees financial education and more frequent access to their pay. Read more here.

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Kathryn Mayer
Kathryn Mayer is HRE’s former benefits editor and chair of the Health & Benefits Leadership Conference. She has covered benefits for the better part of a decade, and her stories have won multiple awards, including a Jesse H. Neal Award and honors from the American Society of Business Publication Editors and the National Federation of Press Women. She holds bachelor’s and master’s degrees from the University of Denver.