The Due Date For Your 401K Form 5500 Is Now!

Form 5500 401k is due by the end of July, 2017! Do you help preparing or filing?

The IRS Form 5500 for the defined-benefit plans are always due seven months once the plan year has ended. For the Calendar Year Plan years, the date is 31 July which follows the plan-year. There are 2 extensions types that can apply that allow an IRS Form 5500 to be filed at a later date this includes:

When a plan sponsor has requested for an extension in regards to their corporate taxes, that will move the IRS Form 5500 due date from the 31 July to the 15 September

• When the plan sponsor has filed a Form 5558 that extends the actual filing date that will move the deadline for filing to the 15 October. The Form 5558 will have to be filed before the 31 July in order to qualify for this extension

The plan administrators are able to request extensions in regards to your due date for filing by:

• By filing the Form 5558 for an Application for Extension of Time in order to File Certain Employee Plan Returns. This needs to be sent to the Internal Revenue Service before or on the standard due date for filing. You will need to retain a copy of this extension with your permanent records of the plan. You are able to download this form directly from the Internal Revenue Service website.

How To File Your Form 5500

You will need to file a completed Form 5500 along with any related schedules to the Department of labor which will be specified in the Form 5500 instructions found under “Electronic Filing Requirement.” You can choose to use either an EFAST2-approved Vendor’s Filing System or the EFAST2’s Web-Based Filing System. For detailed information associated with electronic filing you can visit www.efast.dol.gov.

BC2 offers preparation services of the Form 5500 along with any related SAR and filing options. If you happen to be interested in these services it is advisable to make contact with us today! You can call from Monday to Friday on (515)244-2424 in order to speak to one of our consultants.

Rolling Dates

Most of the dates associated with the due date on the retirement plans will depend on the Plan Year. Most of the plans are typically administered on the calendar year. However, a large portion is actually administered according to the fiscal year. In many cases when the company that sponsors these plans runs on the fiscal year, the plan will typically run on this same fiscal-year. Here is a list of rolling-due dates:

• Compliance Corrections- 2 and ½ months after the plan year has ended

• Contributions For Deduction Purposes- 2 and ½ months for the corporations and 3 and ½ month for the others

• Mandatory Contributions- 8 and ½ months once the plan year has ended


Do you need help with IRS Form 5500 preparation and filing. Call us today at (515)244-2424

Or Request a Quote

www.bc2co.com

Employers Are Struggling With Changing Compliance Issues! Are You?

Changing benefits compliance issues have some employers irritated and confused!

Laws and regulations that affect the workplace are constantly changing. On top of that, employers have to keep up with industry-specific rules and regulations. The main challenges that employers face currently include keeping up with changing requirements for healthcare benefits and meeting new IT security requirements.

Why Do Regulations Change?

The Affordable Care Act made some major changes to the way employers have to provide benefits to their employees. There are new rules and regulations passed every year to help create a better and safer workplace for employees. The fact that a lot of business activities take place online also creates a need for new regulations, for instance when it comes to safely processing financial information. New regulations are also created in an effort to make consumers safer and to preserve the environment.

 

What Changes Could Employers Face In The Near Future?

The Trump administration is currently working on a new healthcare bill. This new bill will have an impact on the benefits that employers offer and will probably require a lot of business to offer different benefits. It is also possible that changes to immigration laws will affect the way employers hire new people and employers will have to keep up with new regulations regarding the use of technology.

Why Do Employers Struggle With Compliance Issues?

Complying with new laws and regulations is not always easy. Some laws are clear-cut and easy to implement. Others are more difficult to interpret and employers might not have access to clear answers regarding how these new regulations apply to them. Besides, a lot of new laws and regulations that affect the workplace do not receive a lot of media coverage. Unless employers make an effort to keep up with industry-specific news, they might not be aware that a new law is coming into effect.

How Can Employers Adjust To New Regulations?

It is important to have a plan of action to follow whenever new regulations are passed. Having a clear actionable plan will help employers adapt quickly and make the necessary changes. Employers should have some best practices in place to monitor industry-specific news and to keep up with new laws and regulations that are being passed, even if the mainstream media is not providing extensive coverage of these issues. Employers should also rely on audits to assess whether or not they are already complying with the new rules and to determine what needs to change. The next step should be to create a step by step plan that will be implemented to become compliant.

How Can Employers Become Compliant?

This really depends on the type of law or regulation that a business needs to comply with. An employer can become compliant with a new law by changing their benefits package, by providing additional training to employees, by upgrading their equipment or by putting new safety measures in place. Reaching out to legal professionals, cyber security experts and other professionals can be extremely helpful when an employer is not sure about the best course of action they should take to become compliant. Getting help from an audit service is also a good strategy since it can be beneficial to have an industry compliance expert review current business practices.

Why Do Businesses Need To Be Compliant?

Laws are passed in an effort to create a better workplace for employees, to protect consumers, to preserve the environment and to help businesses develop in a safe and sustainable way. Businesses that do not comply might be subject to fines but in most cases, employers will be given some time to make the necessary adjustments if an audit reveals some compliance issues. Keeping up with current laws and regulations is important because a business that is not compliant could face severe legal problems if an employee, a customer or even a business partner were to take legal action, either regarding the compliance issue or regarding another issue that could have been avoided by being compliant.

Keeping up with changing regulations is challenging for a number of businesses. It is important to have a detailed plan of action in place to find out about the latest changes, to assess current business practices and to determine what needs to change for the business to become compliant.


Have questions? Call us @ (515)-244-2424

Or E-Mail: info@bc2co.com

What Our ERISA Compliance Business Will Do For Your Company

Bc2 specialize in ERISA compliance and Form 5500 preparation.

Many accounting and law firms claim to be able to support your company in its efforts to be compliant. And, then the surprise letter arrives in the mail citing non-compliance and assessing thousands of dollars in fines for every employee affected by such transgressions.

Our ERISA compliance business will save you from extremely costly business-breaking surprises. We not only build a relationship with your company, but we provide a sturdy knowledge base that demonstrates expertise in all things ERISA compliance.

We even have proven client experience to show that we put you in the position to truly be compliant. This is one time to be ahead of the eight ball. No one wants to raise eyebrows at the Federal level. It is just another hassle and would cost a lot in pulling paperwork out of storage, off of old drives, while detracting resources from your business’s bread and butter: daily operations.

It is best to have a process in place that ensures all paperwork to be in compliance is completed and stored for easy access by HR. Our ERISA compliance business will set up such a process with you to ensure that it works within the scope of how your business already functions.

Congratulations if you own a business that is successful enough to hire on employees. Now, get ready to invest in them, according to the Federal laws and regulations, and local state laws as well. The Federal government’s ERISA is the topic here.

What Is ERISA?
The Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974 is also known as ERISA. It is actually a Federal law that on what types of information needs to be collected and filed away for employees who are going to receive benefits. It sets the bar for the minimum voluntarily pension, for instance, as well as for health plans for use within the private sector. In essence, ERISA provides protection for the individual employees who are parked in such plans.

Why Is ERISA Important?
While it is important to follow Federal laws to avoid costly fines, there are more compelling reasons to follow ERISA. For one, it is out of respect for the very people who contribute to your company, committing their time and lives to your success, essentially.

What Our ERISA Compliance Business Will Do For You
ERISA puts the obligation for administrative management of employee benefit plan paperwork on the employer who is providing such benefits. It includes plans such as retirement, health insurance, welfare and other benefits management. In other words, yes, ERISA makes requirements on employers about the way the benefits are managed.

As a compliance service provider, we ensure your company’s HR understand the legal requirements. This allows the HR team to adhere to ERISA properly. In addition, we recommend having HR management oversight to ensure that ERISA requirements are met.

What Does ERISA Cover?
As it turns out ERISA encompasses many different programs or welfare plans. In this case welfare plans refer to any funds, plans, or programs that give employees’s access to disability, death, and accident benefits, along with surgical, medical, surgical, and hospital access.

What many people forget is that unemployment insurance benefits are actually provided through contributions made by employers and administered through accurate payroll assignments by the employer on behalf of its individual employees. ERISA is very much connected to unemployment through new hire forms and taxation of the employer.

Other surprising areas touch by ERISA even include scholarships, days off, training plans, legal services, daycare, severance, and of course retirement programs.

ERISA Components
Reporting by administrators to the DOL and IRS simply means describing in summary how the employer’s coverage works.

ERISA Forms And Disclosure
Filing forms is a big part of the deal with ERISA. It requires annual reporting to the IRS on Form 5500/5500-SF. DOL welfare plan forms are required if there are more than 100 participants with full benefits. Other forms required by the IRS for retirement plans are not required to be filed at the same time as welfare plan forms.

Companies are under a lot of pressure to focus on their bottom line and in growing revenue. Turn to professionals like us to ensure ERISA compliance.


 

5 Form 5500 Changes In 2020

The Form 5500 is usually updated periodically to ensure that it stays current with the market and legal requirements.

The United States Department of Labor published a proposed rule on July 21, 2016 that seeks to improve and modernize Form 5500. Form 5500 is an annual report/return that employee benefit plans with over 100 lives covered are required to file. The changes are not likely to go into effect until the year 2020.

However, the proposed new developments are significant due to their focus on group health plans. The proposed rules are geared towards the elimination of current filing exemption for small group health plans and require group health plans to complete a new, detailed schedule.

benefits consultants group

Does Your Business Need Benefits Compliance Consulting?

Here are 5 proposed Form 5500 Changes In 2020

1.     Companies Must Ensure the Transparency of Information Filed to the Department of Labor

The information should include where the money is invested and what fees it attracts including whether they are reasonable. It is believed that it will also offer further insight into the number of participants enrolled, dependents, employees, COBRA, and COBRA dependents and information pertaining to rebate handling, TPA payments for Self-insured and Stop Loss benefits, as well as past due payments.

2.     Forms Should Offer More Information Pertaining to Group Health Plans

The proposal will require new forms and will also require employers that have 2 lives covered to file Form 5500s, which could result in close to 2 million additional plans to file, which is a 23 times jump. The only exceptions to the rule are the multiple employer welfare plans and arrangements holding their assets in trust. Such types of plans already have to file irrespective of the enrolled count.

3.     The new Schedule J Has over 30 questions That Have to be Answered

Schedule J covers fees, rebates, self-insured benefits, premiums, compliance questions, and much more. While most of the questions are Yes/No type questions, some of them dig deep when it comes to matters related to compliance.

4.     Data Has to be “mine-able” to Allow For Machine Readability

This proposal is quite significant for the Department of Labor that has stressed in a current report to Congress that there are some major areas where it lacks complete information such as plans with self-insured medical benefits and plans that have less than 100 lives covered.

5.     The Updating of the Information of Service Provider Fees

Proposed Schedule C actually lowers the reporting threshold down to $1,000 or more from $5,000 or more for the vendors that provide service to plans holding their assets in trust.

The proposed changes mean that advisers will need to be on top of the extra information that employer, TPA, and carrier provide. It will be a game changer in several different ways for the 5500.

What Do The Changes Mean?

The proposed Form 5500 Changes in 2020 mean that there will be extra work for all the parties involved including brokers, employers, and companies that are responsible for the preparation and form-5500 changesproduction of the forms. While the changes will be most likely implemented in year 2020, now is the time for stakeholders and advisers to start preparations.

It is always advisable to be completely prepared when it comes to the proposed compliance changes and compliance questions. One area in Schedule J, asks for more responses and details if a firm has the right documentation in place for its plan, which is something the Department of Labor has been pushing.

The Department of Labor has stated that the changes will be communicated through its website and it will be up to brokers to ensure that they educate themselves on the proposed changes and companies to decide on the plans to produce webinars, white papers, and education pieces for.

Final Thoughts

The proposed Form 5500 Changes in 2020 are quite significant. It is therefore important for employers to monitor the proposed changes and determine how they are likely to affect them once they are finalized. Employers that have small group health plans that have been previously exempted from filing Form 5500 should ensure that they get in touch with the service providers to evaluate their options when it comes to filing Form 5500.

What To Expect When Using DOL Audit Preparation Services

Did You Know That Our Company Can Help With DOL Audit?

The U.S. Department of Labor conducts audits in an effort to help organizations adjust their policies and priorities. The purpose of audits is to find problems and areas that could be improved upon to reduce the risks of bad management, frauds and other problems. Going through a DOL audit can be stressful and you might be wondering how the audit will take place. Thankfully, there are DOL audit preparation services that can help you get ready for this process and give you a better idea of what to expect.

How Does The DOL Conduct Audits?

Businesses and organizations are selected in function of different criteria. Some businesses are audited because of past problems while others are selected because of the industry they are in. Audits are sometimes required by the DOL because there is a suspicion of fraud or because of the results of past reports and audits. In a lot of cases, businesses receive a notice with some details regarding the process. However, some audits are conducted without any warnings.

Why Should You Consider Using DOL Audit Preparation Services?

An audit preparation service can help you get ready for this process. The DOL usually shares information regarding what they will be looking at during the audit and what the objectives of the audit is. The professionals who work for preparation services are familiar with this process and will help you make sure that all the necessary documents are made available to the inspectors from the DOL. They will also help you understand what the objectives of the audit are and make recommendations if the DOL did not give you more details regarding the auditing process.

What Should You Do After Receiving An Audit Notice?

In most cases, the DOL gives businesses very little time to prepare. This is why you should contact a preparation service right away. You will get to ask questions about the audit and depending on your situation, the audit preparation experts you work with might recommend that you contact the DOL to ask for a time extension so you can prepare the records that will be necessary during the audit. This will give you more time to prepare and to ask more questions about the audit.

compliance consulting

What Should You Ask When Talking To The Auditors?

Most DOL audits have a fairly narrow focus. The DOL inspectors will probably want to see your records for a specific time frame or talk to specific employees. The audit might be about industry-specific compliances, safety regulations or about payroll. If you have been audited before or if you have encountered issues with something like overtime compensation or minimum wage compliance in the past, the auditors will probably focus on this same area.

What If You Have Made Mistakes In The Past?

Keep in mind that DOL audits are not about looking at past mistakes. If there have been some issues in the past, you need to show that you have addressed them and that your organization is now entirely compliant. If some issues are found during the audit, the DOL will issue some recommendations and will probably check again in the near future to make sure that you have made the necessary changes. The DOL auditors will definitely want to review your records and make sure that you are not repeating the same mistakes but past errors won’t be an issue as long as you made some changes.

What If There Are Some Current Compliance Issues?

It is best to reach out to a DOL audit preparation service like us if you know the auditors will find compliance issues while going over your records. The audit preparation specialists you work with will advise you on how to deal with the auditors and on how to show them that you are addressing these compliance issues. It is best to cooperate with the DOL auditors and to be upfront about any compliance issues that they might find. The audit preparation specialists you work with will also give you an idea of what the outcome of the audit is likely to be and advise on how to reach a settlement with the DOL. If there is a serious issue with compliance, they will probably recommend that you seek legal counsel after the audit.

How Can Specialist Help You Prepare For The Audit?

The experts who work for Benefits Compliance Consultants or BC2 know how these audits are conducted and will be able to review your records to make sure they are complete. They might notice mistakes with the FLSA classifications you use or might recommend that you update job descriptions. They might notice some inconsistencies in your records or that some policies are not always applied.

Working with an audit preparation service will make the auditing process a lot less stressful. These professionals can conduct their own audit and make recommendations that will help you comply with the DOL.

Contact us today if you need help with DOL Audit!

Call Us: (515)-244-2424

Our Compliance Consulting Firm Can Help You Get Your Business Organized

There are quite a few reasons why business owners of all types reach out to consultants like www.bc2co.com. Many aspects of running a business require additional outsourced help without necessarily adding people to the payroll. It certainly is beneficial when you have consultants on your side to act quickly, help you problem solve, figure out solutions and find avenues for growth. Compliance is also key, and our compliance consulting firm is ready to serve you.

What is compliance all about? Well, if you are reading this post you probably have some idea but let’s pretend you don’t because there are many compliance issues that can arise, but let’s first talk about taxes. How do you feel about your taxes? Business owners can feel great about keeping the books and day to day operations, but when it comes to tax time, each new year can be a major headache. Not to mention, it’s not just the end of the fiscal year when business owners have to concern themselves with taxes. After all, you are making quarterly tax payments, filing receipts and keeping up with taxes throughout the year, aren’t you?

Do you need any documents prepared? Maybe you have been finding yourself with ongoing tax questions, and our compliance consulting firm could make things easier on you. It would be easier on everyone if taxes weren’t so difficult, right? There are people talking about wanting to change the tax laws, but we will see. Until then, we are here to serve you anytime you need consulting on any matters related to compliance issues.

What do you know about ERISA compliance? This has everything to do with employee benefits. We can even help you provide the best solutions of course. We will evaluate your business based on compliance laws and regulations and will help you determine how you need to move forward. Of course we aren’t in the business of compliance to out you as the business owner through the ringer. We want to help you succeed, and we are here to show you our undivided attention and dedication to finding the best and most affordable solutions for your business.

It matters who the compliance firms are networked with when it comes to helping you get things done. With the right connections, and we do have them, we can help you with all kinds of situations. What is your biggest concern right now? Where would you like us to get started? The introduction to our services began with tax compliance because that is an area where many business owners feel they need help.

Properly orientating, training and providing benefits to employees is also key as mentioned. Is your facility meeting safety standards? You don’t have to be told that this is huge. If there is anything wrong, it needs to be fixed. Safety standards must be revisited all the time to be sure your business is handling everything appropriately. What other kinds of compliance issues can arise? Why else would you need the services of our compliance consulting firm?

You can be sure that you are even going to find out more about what we can do for you when you call us. We will handle all of your questions. If there is something we can’t do, we can tell you why and still help you try and figure out what to do. We want to see you succeed as a business owner and not have to worry about compliance issues anymore. You can continuously consult with us as you see fit or check in with us again when you need our services in the future.

Understanding compliance can even be a little difficult if you are new to the game. That is even more of a reason to reach out to us so that we can go over all the concerns you have. Maybe a recent event has you questioning whether or not you need consultants to run a compliance check on your business. Don’t leave anything undone, and let us tell you if there are changes that need to be made. Perhaps you are told changes are necessary, but you don’t know what to do next. We can help you figure that out, too. For everything concerning compliance, we can assess what is going on and what is needed.

We are here to serve and help your business succeed with benefits compliance needs.

Request a quote here: GET QUOTE

Or call us at (515) 244-2424

Form 5500 Series for 2016 Plan Year Released by DOL

Benefits Compliance Consultannts Inc. was built up and is overseen by an informed and hard-working compliance expert Iris Thill. In the course of recent years, it has turned out to be progressively clear that there is a developing requirement for a gathering of committed tax experts to help businesses with benefits consulting and compliance issues.

Form 5500 Series for 2016 Plan Year Released by DOL

The DOL has officially published Form 5500 for its 2016 Plan Year. The released Form 5500 series includes Form 5500-SF, Instructions, and Schedules; and these advance information copies can so far not be filed, except in rare circumstances. Nonetheless, electronic filing of Form 5500 is still mandatory. Even though few changes have been introduced in the Schedules; Form 5500, including its main body, remains unchanged. Besides, the Instructions, along with separate IRS Guidance, calls for the skipping of IRS Compliance Questions, and also allows filers to omit the requested preparer information. Even so, the Instructions note that the maximum penalty associated with Form 5500 failures have been increased to $2,063 per day from the previous penalty of $1,100 per day. There are also changes made to matters relating to 401(k) plan and welfare filings. These changes have been summarized below:

1. Schedule A focuses entirely on insurance information. In line with this, it has excluded information pertaining to both Part III (which deals with information pertaining to Welfare Benefit Contract) and Part IV (which governs Provision of Information). Even so, Schedule A has still managed to cover the insurance facets which are related to Part III and Part IV. According to EBIA, this may have been brought about by oversight issues, and it is more likely than not to be remedied. EBIA also noted that it is still possible to know if these sections have also been omitted in EFAST2, which is the Schedule A version that is filed electronically.

2. Schedules H and I: These are related schedules. Schedule H pertains to Financial Information, while Schedule I pertains to Financial Information-Small Plan. In both Schedules, questions 4o and 4p have been removed. Questions 4o focused on taxable income derived from sources unrelated to business, and question 4p dealt with in-service distributions for each plan year. Question 4o has been substituted with a clearly defined question that focuses on the benefit plan. Even so, both schedules have instructed filers to skip lines that request trust information.

3. Schedule R, which deals with Retirement Plan Information, has instructed filers to skip IRS Compliance Questions that appear in Part VII. Likewise, these questions have also been altered following the removal of lines covering plan amendments, ADP/ACP testing, and tax law changes. According to EBIA, these deletions reflect changes that are to be made in determination letter program.

According to a commentary provided by EBIA, DOL has decided to minimize the number of changes, as it prepares to introduce significant (key) changes and modifications to ERISA Form 5500. These major changes are expected to take effect in 2019 Plan Year, and filers are expected to understand and comply with them. Meanwhile, filers are now expected to file complete Form 5500s in time, and also ensure that the information contained therein is accurate and up-to-date. This is one of the reason for increasing the maximum penalty. It is also expected that when significant changes have been made, the potential maximum penalties are likely to be increased so as to achieve compliance. More information about these matters can be obtained from previous posts published by EBIA, especially those related to ERISA compliance, 401(k) plans, Cafeteria plans, and self-insured health plans.

Do you need Form 5500 Service? Are you or someone you know in search of a national benefit compliance consultants company?

Request a quote

Learn more about our Form 5500 Preparation Services

Form 5500 Series Help

 

A Summary Plan Description Overview: Do You Need One?

A summary plan description is what your company will use to communicate the plans rights as well as the obligations of the beneficiaries as well as the participants.

It is a summary of all the materials that are found in the plan document, and it should be in such a way that it is completely understandable to the average participant or beneficiary of the said employer, that is you. It should have some particular requirements so that it can qualify to be described as a summary plan description for your company. Such things are such as the name of the plan which is imperative to clearly outline what it is all about.

The name of the sponsor or that is you as the employer. Another important aspect of all this is the brief description of the benefits that the employee will receive. This is extremely of high importance that this is made clear as it is what the plan is all about. This can be benefits such as life, medical disability as well as dental. Another vital part is the type of plan description which should define whether the plan is administered by you the employer, or the insurer or a contract. Another part is important to remember is that the eligibility terms need to be outlined too.

The employees’ eligible classes, waiting a period of the employment and effect date of participation and much more are presented clearly. The plan contributions sources need to be described too, whether they are employee or employer contributions as well as the calculation method. These and many more other things need to be part of the SPD so that your company can be in a position to operate efficiently.

Your company needs this plan to be able to make sure that the employees are well taken care of in case of anything that is related to their health, life, and so many other things. This is a complicated plan that needs the right kind of professionals so that it can be prepared by both the employer and the employee.

SPD summary plan description

To ensure that both the parties are satisfied, some guidelines need to be followed to the letter so that it will emerge as a great plan that both will be for. You can not run a company without this scheme for your employees, so you need it.

The government requires that you run your company with this plan in hand so that if anything should happen to your employees, they will already be covered. This is why the qualified professionals need to handle SPD Summary Plan Description, and this is where we come in. We will help you structure this plan in a meticulous way that will enhance the effectiveness of the employees in the company. The kind of way that we will be able to prepare this for you will be in such a way that it will be accepted by the employees as well.

Our vast experience will guarantee that you do get what you are looking for as we have worked with similar companies before.

Click Request a Quote in the menu or call us at (515) 244-2424

http://www.bc2co.com

Form 5500 Changes and the New Schedule J Information

Form 5500 Changes and the New Schedule J Information

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Under a brand-new proposition, the IRS/DOL might get rid of the exemption of small companies from the Type 5500 filing requirement as it associates with their health and well-being advantage Strategies. This would lead to around 2.7 MILLION extra companies being needed to submit Internal Revenue Service Form 5500. This requirement would most likely be effective for Plan years beginning on or after January 1, 2019.

Under this exact same proposition, a brand-new schedule (Schedule J) might be needed for ALL health and well-being Strategies. Totally guaranteed group health strategies with less than 100 individuals might be needed to finish a minimal part of (Schedule J) covering details on involvement, protection, insurance coverage business, and standard advantages.

– The number of people are getting COBRA protection under the Strategy.
– Who might be covered under the Strategy (staff members, retired people, partners, and/or dependents).
– Whether the Strategy has a high deductible.
– Whether the Strategy is an FSA or HRA (or has either as an element).
– Whether the Strategy is asserting grandfathered status under the ACA.
– Info about any refunds or compensations from a company, such as a medical loss ratio refund under the ACA.
– Overall premium payment and other information relating to stop loss protection.
– Details about company and individual contributions (for Strategies not finishing Set up H), and whether any contribution forwarding was unforeseen.
– Insurance claims payment info, consisting of:
————-Counts of insurance claims authorized and rejected, with a dollar quantity of insurance claims paid.
————-Counts of advantage insurance claim appeals (and outcomes of appeals).
————-Counts of advantage insurance claims adjudicated late.
————-Counts of pre-service insurance claims appealed (and outcomes of appeals).
————-Whether the Strategy was not able to pay insurance claims at any time throughout the year.
– For Strategies with insurance plan, whether premiums were paid prompt and whether any overdue payments led to protection lapse.
– Self-reporting of compliance with numerous federal laws (consisting of HIPAA, GINA, MHPAEA, and ACA).
– Whether the Strategy undergoes, and if so, has actually adhered to the Type M-1 filing requirements, a concern that would be moved from the existing Type 5500.

Lady Justice

ERISA compliance is the law and reporting and disclosure guidelines are ever altering. Contact Benefits Compliance Consultants, Inc. today at 1-515-244-2424 or email us at info@bc2co.com for a complimentary compliance evaluation and to find out how our business can conserve you time and cash.

What Benefits Are Subject To ERISA?

You might be surprised to find out what employer sponsored benefits are subject to ERISA. ERISA generally applies to the following benefit plans and fringe benefits, whether they are fully insured or self-insured:

  • Medical, Surgical, Hospital, or HMO Group Insurance Plans
  • Health Reimbursement Accounts (HRAs)
  • Health FSAs (Flexible Spending Accounts)
  • Group Dental Insurance Plans
  • Group Vision Insurance Plans
  • Prescription Drug Plans
  • Group Sickness, Accident, and Disability Insurance Plans
  • Group Life and AD&D Insurance Plans
  • Group Long Term Care Insurance Plans
  • Medical Reimbursement Plans
  • Wellness Programs (if medical care is offered)
  • Voluntary Insurance Plans*
  • Retiree Medical Plans
  • Employee Assistance Plans (EAPs) (if providing counseling, not just referrals)
  • Help Lines and Tele-Health Services
  • Dependency Counseling
  • Severance Plans
  • Group Business Travel Accident Insurance Plans
  • Prepaid Legal Services
  • Unemployment Benefit Plans
  • Vacation Plans
  • Business Travel Accident Benefits
  • Employer Provided Daycare
  • Apprenticeship or other Training Plans
  • Scholarship Plans
  • Holiday Plans
  • Housing Assistance Plans
  • 419A(f)(6) and 419(e) welfare benefit plans
  • Split Dollar Life Insurance Plans
  • Nonqualified Deferred Compensation Plans (if ongoing scheme to determine eligibility/benefits)
  • One employee plans

Certain self-insured or uninsured plans, such as sick pay, short term disability, paid time off, overtime, jury duty, and vacation pay, may be exempt if benefits are paid:

  • as a “normal payroll practice,”
  • to currently employed individuals (i.e., not retirees, COBRA participants, or dependents),
  • without prefunding or using insurance,
  • entirely from the employer’s general assets, AND without employee contributions.

 

ERISA compliance consulting group*Voluntary individual or group insurance plans, in which the employees pay all of the cost, and the employer’s role is limited to withholding premiums through payroll deduction and remitting them to an insurer, may be exempt from ERISA depending on the extent of employer involvement. However, even minimal “sponsorship or endorsement” (e.g., a company’s name on the brochures) by the employer may endanger this exemption. A voluntary individual or group insurance plan qualifies under the Voluntary Plan Safe Harbor if:

  • it is funded by group or group-type insurance,
  • it is completely voluntary,
  • there are no employer contributions, AND the employer does not endorse the plan.

The following does NOT constitute endorsement:

  • Permitting the insurer to publicize the plan
  • Collecting premiums by payroll deduction
  • Remitting premiums to the insurer

The following MAY result in loss of Voluntary Plan Safe Harbor status:

  • Selecting the insurer
  • Negotiating plan terms/linking coverage to employee status
  • Using the employer’s name/associating the plan with other employee plans
  • Recommending the plan to employees
  • Saying ERISA applies
  • Doing more than permitted payroll deductions
  • Allowing use of the employer’s cafeteria plan
  • Assisting employees with claims or disputes

ERISA generally does not apply to:

  • Cafeteria plans, §125 Plans, POPs (Premium Only Plans), Premium Conversion Plans, Pre-tax Premium Plans (However, the benefits funded by them are often subject to ERISA. NOTE: These plans must be referenced in the plan document and SPD if they are funding an ERISA Plan)
  • Dependent Care Assistance Plans (DCAPs, or Dependent Care FSAs)
  • Health Savings Accounts (HSAs) (if employer involvement is limited)
  • Paid Time Off Plans (PTO)
  • Adoption Assistance Plans
  • State mandated benefits, e.g., STD (if not enhanced beyond mandated benefits)
  • Educational Assistance or Tuition Reimbursement Plans
  • On-site Medical Clinics (if providing First Aid only—not treatment, e.g., flu shots)

Don’t be caught by surprise and subject yourself to DOL fines and potential audit… For a thorough explanation and examination of your benefits plan status, call or email the ERISA Experts at Benefits Compliance Consultants Inc. at 515-244-2424 or contact BC2 today through our email form!