Employee Benefits Week in Review (EBWiR) wishes you a belated Happy National Employee Benefits Day, which was Monday, April 4. Just in case you're not sure how to celebrate the occasion, International Foundation of Employee Benefit Plans (IFEBP) offers some fairly humorous suggestions. (My personal favorite: spiking the water cooler with Tamiflu to reduce flu-related absenteeism.)

Retirement survey says . . . : Next week is National Retirement Planning Week, another calendar observance still aspiring to reach greeting-card status. In advance of the holiday, the results of four major studies were published this week, including: Bankers Life and Casualty Company's Middle-Income Retirement Preparedness Study, Employee Benefit Research Institute's Retirement Confidence Survey, ING Retirement Research Institute's Shedding Light on Retirement and a poll by AP/LifeGoesStrong.com. The studies collectively arrive at the same basic conclusion: we are in the middle of a retirement crisis in this country. Major themes of the studies' findings include retirement advisors are ignoring middle-income Americans, retirement confidence is at an all-time low, Americans really need and want guidance and boomers are especially apprehensive about their retirement preparedness.

Benefits brokers descend on Nashville: Benefits Selling Expo, the largest and best annual gathering of employee benefits brokers, took place in Nashville this week. Mark Lacher, partner at Souderton, PA-based Lacher & Associates, was named Broker of the Year, among an impressive field of Broker of the Year Finalists. By far, the most lively and well attended event was Fred Thompson and Dee Dee Myers debate about the merits of health reform. Alan Katz kicked off the week's meetings on Tuesday with a keynote presentation on the shared characteristics of the most successful brokers, based on interviews with 200 sales professionals.

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