You're Only As Knowledgeable As The Resources You Use
I said it before and I'll say it again, to be a top-notch employee benefit professional you have to love learning. Constant learning. You also need to develop a relevant list of resources you can access regularly to track legislation, trends, and general information.
Below is a sampling of the resources I access on a regular basis. Some I value more than others but I placed them in alpha order to make them easier to read.
The great thing about these resources is that most have robust websites, produce a daily or weekly e-newsletter you can subscribe to, or a blog you can follow. Check them all out and add your own. But remember, every resource you use has an agenda. There's nothing wrong with having an agenda. However it is important that you understand the intent of the publication you are reading. This allows you to build a database of resources that cover many different perspectives. For example:
- A publication may have a conservative or progressive point of view about legislative changes such as health care reform or,
- A publication may have a financial interest in promoting a concept or product.
- Code of Federal Regulations (CFR - ecfr.gov)
- Department of Labor (dol.gov)
- Employee Benefit Security Administration (EBSA)
- Internal Revenue Code (irs.gov)
- Medicare (Medicare.gov)
- Office of Personnel Management (OPM)
- Social Security Administration (SSA.gov)
- BenefitsLink - Health & Welfare Plans Newsletter
- Employee Benefits News
- Federal Employees Health Benefits Program
- BenefitsLink - Retirement Plans Newsletter
- Motley Fool
- Pensions & Investments
- 529 Plans - savingforcollege.com
- Bloomberg BNA (Bureau of National Affairs-HR)
- Cypen & Cypen Newsletter (public sector benefits)
- Employee Benefit Research Institute (EBRI)
- Healthcare Bluebook (more price transparency tools - http://www.mybenefitsall.com/HealthcarePriceTools.html)
- SCOTUSBlog (Supreme Court of the United States)
P.S. You’re probably thinking that I missed a major employee benefit resource by not adding SHRM to my list. Fair enough, but honestly, I almost never access SHRM for employee benefits information. If you do access SHRM when you have benefit questions, by all means add it to your list.
What resources do you use to keep track of employee benefit trends and general news?