WBEZ | benefits http://www.wbez.org/tags/benefits Latest from WBEZ Chicago Public Radio en Allstate to trim retirement benefits http://www.wbez.org/news/allstate-trim-retirement-benefits-108085 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/main-images/Allstate_130717_AYC.jpg" alt="" /><p><p>Less than a month after it laid off more than 300 workers, Allstate Corp. announced on Monday plans to trim employee retirement benefits.</p><p>The Northbrook-based company said the move will boost its book value from $1.70 to $2 per share.</p><p>Jim Ryan, a senior analyst at Morningstar Inc., said the move will be difficult for employees but that it&rsquo;s what the market dictates.&nbsp;</p><p>&ldquo;That&rsquo;s certainly something common among a lot of companies,&rdquo; he said. &ldquo;To the extent that if a lot of companies do it and others don&rsquo;t, those [who] don&rsquo;t are disadvantaged on a cost basis.&rdquo;</p><p>Ryan also said he believed that Allstate would have a strong future because of plans to broaden its e-surance and online customer base.&nbsp;</p><p>Beginning this summer, the company will no longer offer life insurance to its retirees and introduce a new formula for employee pensions, reducing its contribution obligation.&nbsp;</p><p dir="ltr" id="docs-internal-guid--6673237-ed63-921a-926c-01b586830a17"><em>Aimee Chen is a WBEZ business reporting intern. Follow her at <a href="https://twitter.com/AimeeYuyiChen">@AimeeYuyiChen</a>.</em></p></p> Wed, 17 Jul 2013 11:06:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/news/allstate-trim-retirement-benefits-108085 Changing Gears: A live conversation about the future of unions http://www.wbez.org/blog/city-room-blog/2011-03-08/changing-gears-live-conversation-about-future-unions-83435 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/Wisconsin Labor Protests_Getty_Justin Sullivan.JPG" alt="" /><p><p style="text-align: center;"><img src="http://llnw.wbez.org/blog/insert-image/2011-March/2011-03-08/Wisconsin Labor Protests_Getty_Justin Sullivan.JPG" style="width: 496px; height: 361px;" alt="" title="Getty/Justin Sullivan" /></p><p>As legislative fights over the rights and benefits of public sector employees continue in Wisconsin, Ohio and Indiana, <a href="http://www.nytimes.com/2011/02/19/us/19union.html">some are calling this a watershed moment</a> for Big Labor.&nbsp;</p><p>Historically, the Great Lakes states have been a <a href="http://www.google.com/search?q=history+of+organized+labor+in+the+midwest&amp;ie=utf-8&amp;oe=utf-8&amp;aq=t&amp;rls=org.mozilla:en-US:official&amp;client=firefox-a#q=history+of+organized+labor+in+the+midwest&amp;hl=en&amp;client=firefox-a&amp;hs=IWh&amp;rls=org.mozilla:en-US:official&amp;prmd=ivns&amp;tbs=tl:1&amp;tbo=u&amp;ei=vnB2Tff2L8Gp8AbFr4X2CA&amp;sa=X&amp;oi=timeline_result&amp;ct=title&amp;resnum=11&amp;ved=0CGQQ5wIwCg&amp;bav=on.2,or.&amp;fp=843bcea0b5a68ac4">bedrock of the labor movement</a> - going all the way back to the <a href="http://www.encyclopedia.chicagohistory.org/pages/571.html">labor struggles of the late 19th century</a>.&nbsp; But as more midwestern states and taxpayers find themselves strapped for cash, unions are coming under fire.&nbsp;</p><p>And the conversation is not just about pensions and health care benefits.&nbsp; It also includes curbing or eliminating collective bargaining rights.&nbsp;</p><p>That's raising an even bigger question:&nbsp; Should the Great Lakes states should follow the lead of their Southern counterparts and adopt expanded Right-to-Work laws?</p><p>That's just one of the questions at the heart of the Changing Gears live special Tuesday at 1pm CT called &quot;Hard Labor&quot;.&nbsp;&nbsp;</p><p>We're talking with a range of experts about the current battles - and their possible implications for organized labor in the industrial Midwest.&nbsp;&nbsp;</p><p>Do unions have too much influence?&nbsp; Not enough? &nbsp;And what role should unions play in the economic future of our region?</p><p>Click on the audio icon at the top of the page to hear the special broadcast.</p><p><em>Changing Gears is an editorial project by WBEZ Chicago, Michigan Radio, and Ideastream in&nbsp;Cleveland exploring the future of the industrial Midwest.</em></p><p><iframe scrolling="no" height="550px" frameborder="0" width="470px" src="http://www.coveritlive.com/index2.php/option=com_altcaster/task=viewaltcast/altcast_code=ab22b5cde8/height=550/width=470" allowtransparency="true">&lt;a href="http://www.coveritlive.com/mobile.php/option=com_mobile/task=viewaltcast/altcast_code=ab22b5cde8" &gt;Changing Gears "Hard Labor" Live Chat&lt;/a&gt;</iframe></p></p> Tue, 08 Mar 2011 17:38:00 -0600 http://www.wbez.org/blog/city-room-blog/2011-03-08/changing-gears-live-conversation-about-future-unions-83435 Time, benefits running out for jobless Hoosiers http://www.wbez.org/story/benefits/time-benefits-running-out-jobless-hoosiers <p><p>Things could go from bad to worse this weekend for thousands of unemployed Indiana residents. Beginning this Sunday, federal unemployment benefits will run out.</p><p>Many who are out of work are on federal extension 1 (EEUC &ndash; Emergency Extended Unemployment Compenstation), which provides 20 weeks of federal assistance.</p><p>But workers will lose those benefits because the U.S. Congress has been unwilling to extend them.</p><p>&ldquo;Based on this, we&rsquo;re estimating about 4,000 Hoosiers a week will begin exhausting their benefits as of this Sunday,&rdquo; said Valarie Kroeger, spokeswoman for the Indiana Department of Workforce Development, the state&rsquo;s unemployment services agency.</p><p>But the draught on unemployment benefits will likely continue. Even more unemployed Hoosiers are at risk of losing benefits as the weeks go on, Kroeger said.</p><p>According to Kroeger, an additional 16,000 people are on the Extended Benefit (EB), which provides up to 13 additional weeks of assistance through the federal government. &ldquo;It&rsquo;s a benefit of last resort,&rdquo; Kroeger said.</p><p>Many Hoosiers on start to lose EB benefits starting Dec. 12.</p><p>Kroeger said unless Congress extends unemployment benefits for all programs, there&rsquo;s not much states like Indiana can do.</p><p>&ldquo;They&rsquo;re Congress. They can do pretty much whatever they want,&rdquo; she said.</p><p>But Kroeger said the state of Indiana can still provide some services to unemployed residents.</p><p>&ldquo;Our Work One centers can help Hoosiers get back in the workforce. Whether it be through resume development, whether they need to brush up on their career skills, computer skills or if they need training,&rdquo; Kroeger said. &ldquo;We also have business consultants that are out in the community working with local businesses and they know who&rsquo;s hiring. So if you come to our Work One centers we can work with you to find someone who is hiring in your field and help you get your foot in the door.&rdquo;</p><p>Unemployment news isn&rsquo;t much better in Illinois. The Illinois Department of Employment Security estimates 127,000 people in the state could lose jobless benefits this month.&nbsp;</p></p> Sat, 04 Dec 2010 16:07:00 -0600 http://www.wbez.org/story/benefits/time-benefits-running-out-jobless-hoosiers