Phased retirement offers option to retain firm knowledge
More companies will be able to use phased retirement to retain valuable skills and knowledge while providing mature workers with an alternative to the all-or-nothing approach to retirement, according to a report by The Conference Board, a global research and business membership organization. As a result of the newly passed Pension Protection Act of 2006, employers may now pay pension benefits to employees age 62 and older who are covered under a defined-benefit pension plan, even if they continue to work.
"Even though IRS regulations for implementing the Pension Protection Act have yet to be defined, the new law helps to make phased retirement a viable option for employers who want to capitalize on mature talent," say The Conference Board report authors Anna M. Rappaport and Mary B. Young. "As the U.S. workforce grows older and life expectancy continues to rise, the play book for retirement is being rewritten."
What the client wants, the client gets?
A colleague recently shared a "war story" with me. "One of our most important clients requested that my team’s technical report be adjusted," Carla told me (name changed). "He stated that his company’s review board had not approved it."
Apparently, the client’s eight- to 10-person review board thought, in a nutshell, that: a) the report sections and labels should be reorganized and renamed; b) the number of pages covering the project’s background should be proportional to the time periods under discussion; and c) the conclusions should not include potential technical limitations.
The client requested a new report from Carla’s team with his review board’s changes incorporated (note: not addressed, but incorporated). He sent her a marked-up report to "ease" the process. When Carla approached her team’s scientists and engineers regarding the "requests," not surprisingly, they did not agree with several of the client’s comments.
What employers want
Communication skills remain at the top of employers’ list when looking for potential employees, according to a report from the National Association of Colleges and Employers (NACE). Employers responding to NACE’s Job Outlook 2007 survey named communication skills and honesty/integrity as a job seeker’s most important skills and qualities.
Four merger myths
"With all the merger and acquisition (M&A) activity the architecture and engineering (A/E) industry has witnessed in the last few years, its surprising how many misconceptions or myths persist among buyers and sellers," says Steve Gido, CFA, a principal with ZweigWhite who specializes in merger and acquisition financial advisory services.
ZweigWhite conducts an annual survey on mergers and acquisitions in the A/E industry, and was involved in a financial advisory capacity in 15 transactions in 2006. Following are four myths and corresponding realities based on the firms research and experience.
While performing our various functions as civil engineers, it is always interesting to examine the reasons and motivations for our actions. As a group, we come from every background imaginable and represent cultures from around the globe. Nevertheless, as practicing engineers, we all are obligated to similar ethical codes and owe a duty to the public to act for their benefit. Even so, every individual is bound by their own personal morals and the culture of the particular firm for which they may be employed. When an individual’s personal moral code is in conflict with the firm’s, what is the resolution?