As the IRS is expected to follow through on the ACA mandate fervently, it is critical that employers comply with the ACA process to avoid any penalties from the Internal Revenue Service. As per the mandate, companies with 50 or more full-time employees (or those who work equivalent to full-time employees) are required to provide minimum essential coverage to at least 95 percent of their workforce, along with their dependents. The coverage must also meet the minimum value and should be affordable for employees.
Some organizations may feel like they can get away without following the proper guidelines but in the long run, there is far more value in adhering to the process than getting hit by multiple penalties. These penalties may result in a substantial amount of loss if you are not careful. Moreover, there are plenty of benefits for following the ACA compliance as well. Some of the benefits of monthly ACA compliance are given below.
1) Consistent Records of Coverage
The implementation of monthly ACA compliance allows you to have a record of the various offers of coverage available to your workforce. On a month-by-month basis, you can get more data when it comes to the number of employees who enrolled for or declined the coverage as well. The more employees you have, the more important it is to follow the monthly ACA compliance process.
2) Better Preparation
One of the best aspects of following monthly ACA compliance is that you get to know which employees will become eligible ahead of time so that the necessary documentation can be prepared in advance. This ensures that no employee ever misses any offers of coverage and helps the company to be more efficient when it comes to extending coverage to its employees.
3) Preventing Penalties
By following the proper monthly ACA compliance process, you will always be in a better position to check the information contained in IRS penalty letters and set the record straight whenever necessary. By not following the process properly, you might end up with penalties for no reason just because you don’t have the proper information recorded.
What is the Latest ACA Reporting Schedule?
1) 1094-C/1095-C has to be filed (paper) with the IRS by February 28, 2020.
2) 1095-C has to be furnished to your workforce by March 2, 2020.
3) 1094-C/1095-C has to be electronically filed with the IRS by March 31, 2020.
Failure to meet the above deadlines can lead to penalties under IRC 6721/6722.
Penalties for Not Following the ACA Mandate
If employers file the required ACA information after the deadline but within 30 days of the last day, they might have to pay up to $50 per return not filed. Once the 30-day period is over till August 1st, the penalty goes up to $110. After August 1st, the penalty will jump up to $270 per return not filled which can result in a ton of loss for the company overall.
So always pay on time to avoid huge IRS penalties.
Questions? Need Help with ACA compliance? Form 5500 or wrap plan documents?
Ever since the ACA came into being, a lot of organizations have always struggled to understand all the requirements and guidelines that came with it. It has always remained an issue for employers. Some companies, on the other hand, have chosen not to take it as seriously as they need to. Sometimes, employers send their reports and never heard anything back until much later, when they got swamped with waves of letters from the IRS.
What are the Different Types of Penalties Incurred by Employers?
There are mainly two types of penalties received by companies from the IRS. One pertains to the lack of coverage provided to employees by the employer and the other is related to the affordability of the plan offered. If an employer has refused to provide coverage to their workforce, then they can get hit with up to $2000 of penalty fees per employee. If the plan offered isn’tt affordable, the penalty fee may even go as high as $3000 per employee, which is a substantial amount of money for sure.
How to Stay ACA Compliant?
Looking into the ACA healthcare benefits is a complex process that can be quite overwhelming for employers or HR professionals. However, it can be broken down into smaller steps and implemented in a far simpler manner by taking a few things into consideration. Once your company has been identified as an applicable large employer, you need to start identifying employees that are eligible for health benefits. This can be done using different processes, each with their pros and cons. They are as follows:
1) Monthly Measurement
With this method, ACA eligibility is accessed on a monthly basis and is dependent on the number of hours the employee has worked the previous month. If he or she worked at least 130 hours during the month, then they can be considered as a full-time employee. This method is the easiest to implement and doesn’tt require complicated calculations.
2) Look Back Measurement
With this method, eligibility is determined based on a span of 3 to 12 months defined as the measurement period as opposed to on a month-by-month basis. This method saves time as employers need to do it only once or a few times a year. However, the risk of getting a bigger fine is higher in the event of mistakes or miscalculations being made. Implementation is also quite complicated, especially when new hires join the workforce causing overlaps of measurement periods.
3) Extending Coverage to All
This is probably the safest method to avoid raking in huge penalties. There is no need to access eligibility or face difficulty in implementing measurement periods. This method also attracts top talent due to the extended coverage, making the business more competent and efficient in the long run.
At the end of the day, every business owner needs to pick the method that best works for themselves and their businesses to ensure that they can stay ACA compliant and remove any possibility of getting huge fines from the IRS.
This is an annual report that your business needs to file with the Department of Labor (DOL) to report information about your 401(k) plan operations, investments, and financial conditions. In general, if you have a retirement plan such as the 401(k) and Profit-Sharing Plans, you need to file a Form 5500 every year you have the plan. The following are important Form 5500 Facts.
Who is Required to File the ERISA Form 5500?
Any sponsor of a plan that is subject to the Employee Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA) needs to complete Form 550. These may include:
1. Pension plans 2. Severance pay, life insurance, dental, or medical plans 3. Retirement arrangements 4. Annuity arrangements 5. Stock bonus, money purchase, 401(k), or profit-sharing plans
When Should it be Filed
The deadline for filing Form 5500 is the last day of the month after the seventh month following the end of the plan year. If your plan follows a calendar year plan, you have to file the form by July 31st. Nonetheless, you can always file Form 5558, which gets you an automatic two and half month extension. However, you have to file your Form 5558 before your Form 5500 deadline.
The one-participant plan applies to you if you are a business owner with no employees. However, the plan can cover you and your spouse.
If you are running a one-participant plan, you could either file a Form 5500-SF or the Form 5500-EZ. Form 5500-SF needs to be filed electronically while Form 5500-EZ needs to be filled in on paper and submitted to the IRS. In some instances, you may not have to file any 5500 form when you are operating under the one-participant plan. Generally, if the assets in your plan are no more than $250,000, you may be exempted from filing.Plans with less than 100 participants.
If your plan has less than 100 participants, you will need to file Form 5500-SF through EFAST.
There are stiff penalties for compliance that may include:
1. A fine of $10,000 or imprisonment for five years or both for any person that makes false representations or false statements, or knowingly conceals or fails to disclose any fact required by ERISA. 2. A fine of $2,063 for every day the sponsor refuses or fails to file an accurate or complete report. 3. Imprisonment of up to 10 years or a fine of $100,000 or both for knowingly violating the requirements of ERISA 4. A fine of $1,000 for failing to submit an actuarial statement according to the provisions. 5. A fine of $25 every day to a maximum of $15,000 for failing to file returns for bond purchase plans by the due date, annuities, and trusts, and certain plans of deferred compensation.
Retirement plans need to file Form 5500 every year to avoid heavy penalties. As a sponsor, it is very important to file Form 5500 on time and ensure the accuracy of the data reported to avoid stiff penalties. While it is not your typical tax return, the form is an important source of data by the DOL and the IRS for identifying what plans need an audit. The time spent reviewing that information will be time well spent. Overall, both the DOL, the IRS and you as the plan sponsor will benefit from having a well-operated employee benefit plan.
It is obvious we live in a world where technology has now become part of our daily lives. Technology has come to change so many things that were hard to accomplish to be easy tasks completed in a matter of minutes.
Technology has made life quite easy in all aspects not just in the business world. Communication has been enhanced greatly between people who are miles away but they can now see each other as they converse. Information from the head company will reach its branches in a short span of time thanks to technology.
However, there is no good thing that does not have its share of downfalls. Technology too has its limitations. Sometimes it may not be in compliance with the set ethics and standards. It has drastic setbacks in as much as it has made work much easier. In this article, you are going to learn about the benefits of technology in the compliance industry and also the disadvantages of technology as far as compliance is concerned.
Merits of Compliance Technology
It is through technology that compliance programs are able to reduce risk, enhance flexibility, increase efficiency and improve on their performance.
1. Reduce Risk
Your business requires you to roll out a risk-based compliance structure. Technology is known to manage risks more effectively. If you have sufficient knowledge on your compliance program as a complete loop then you have better chances of knowing how to handle when risks occur before they become catastrophic problems.
This will lead to an effective program and thus reduces instances of potential lawsuits. It ensures you reduce your expenses on insurance premiums. Risky activities will now have less impact on the organization’s core business.
Accessing real-time data enables you to find weaknesses and upcoming issues in your program. You will therefore be able to deal with that problem before it grows to a major disaster and hence continuance improvement of your program.
2. Enhance Flexibility
This is another benefits compliance of technology. Have a look back at the time when there were no electrical gadgets like phones and computers. Everything was just very slow and even misquoted. Information did not reach people at the right time.
But look at the world we live in today. Everything is so swift and accurate just like what is needed for the compliance programs. They are constantly changing and therefore people need to adopt real quick. The program ought to be scalable, changeable and flexible to help your employees get updated on any issues and also give them a chance to show their reaction. As companies grow and open up new branches in other areas, they also need to extend their compliance programs to these new entities to ensure benefits compliance is achieved as you run the program. This pushes the companies to move the compliance technology from desktop and static storage to cloud-based interfaces that are also mobile-friendly.
3. Increase Efficiency
An efficient compliance program needs to have a backbone. These are the driving factors of the same. They are normally the controls, procedures, and policies. The ancient types of programs did not make things run efficiently but technology has really eased the compliance programs and made it an easy task for people. It becomes easier to develop and upgrade that program, to refresh, review and even update it.
4. Improve Performance
A centralized type of compliance program is more efficient. In the old days, technology was not used as of now where business is keeping the program centralized and control from only one point. This definitely increases your team performance and the program as a whole. Integrated platforms allow the teams in the organization to link their data together and get to know how a part of your program affects the other.
These digital tools also use electricity for them to function. In case you do not have back-up generators to use when electricity is lost then the technology is useless at that instance. Some believe technology have made humans become lazy. Since most of these tasks are being done by machines you find that if the technology fails to work then probably no work that day. Whereas it could just be a simple task but humans are now used to the machine so they feel they cannot do it. Others might believe that the machines do more work in one day than humans do in a month and does a better job. Either way, technology compliance benefits businesses.
We make the process simple. We are ERISA compliance specialists.
‘Compliance’ is a term that is commonly heard in the business world. Having a business that is in compliance is often a goal for many small businesses. However, if you are wondering is your business ERISA compliant, it cannot simply be a goal. In fact, ERISA non-compliance is the law, and stiff penalties await any business that fails to follow the law.
The ERISA, or the Employee Retirement Income Security Act, is a Federal law that stipulates specific minimum standards for welfare plans, health plans and retirement plans that qualify. Although this sounds simple enough at first glance, right beneath the surface lies the confusion and complexity of the law that often stops small business owners in their tracks.
The complexity of the law is becoming even more evident, especially with the passing of certain legislation such as the PPACA, or Patient Protection And Affordable Care Act. This is also known as the Health Care Reform Act. The PPACA has a direct impact on health plans that are covered by ERISA.
The Department of Labor and the Internal Revenue Service are two Federal agencies that not only oversee these types of plans but also work to ensure the plans are enforced. These agencies are also paying very close attention to sponsors, those who are compliant and those who are not. Between 2008 and 2010, over 70 percent of these retirement plans were audited by the DoL (Department of Labor), and the penalties averaged over $400,000 per plan.
So, with all of this information, it can be nerve-wracking for business owners to know is your business ERISA compliant. Fortunately, there are several things that can be done to make sure businesses are indeed compliant.
All plan documents have to be compliant with the regulations and laws. Any amendments made to the documents have to be signed by the appropriate parties wherever applicable. All plan operations are also required to be in compliance.
Having A Summary Plan Description And Summary Of Benefits In Place
A summary plan description, or SPD, is information that informs participants about all of the terms and conditions of the plan. Some of the information included is:
Obligations Rights Benefits
These SPDs are typically given to participants, and ERISA compliance requires that these documents are automatically sent to participants within a certain time frame.
On the other hand, an SBC (summary of benefits and coverage) provides participants with general information and they also allow participants the opportunity to compare different health plans before choosing one.
Employers can choose to integrate these two documents, but failure to provide one or the other is an ERISA violation that can result in hefty fines.
Health Plans Compliant With ERISA
Almost all group health plans should have SPD. These types of plans include all key medical benefits, but also include plans for dental, wellness, and vision. It is important to remember that the rules for ERISA apply to more than just the main health benefits, so be sure you account for all of them.
Responsibility Of Plan Administrator ERISA compliance is the job of the plan administrator. This can be a designated person within the organization, or it can be the employer (sponsor of the plan). The plan administrator must be named in the SPD (summary plan description), and this person is not able to avoid liability for any SPDs by delegating tasks to other people in the organization.
Also, keep in mind that most TPAs (third-party administrators) are not usually designated to be plan administrators of ERISAs. However, they may assist with the distribution and drafting of a summary plan description if they are under contract.
Insurers are not responsible for creating SPDs for ERISAs either. They may decide to assist with benefit descriptions or certificates of coverage, but these items are not considered SPDs.
So, is your business ERISA compliant? These regulations can be difficult to understand, but by working with compliance professionals and resources, you will avoid making costly mistakes.
Do not hesitate to contact us if you or a business is in need of ERISA compliance services. We will provide best service for best price. Form 5500 Champions!
The European General Data Protection Regulation has attracted a lot of attention recently, but a lot of the focus has been on the huge (multi-million dollar) fines that a business could be hit with if they were found to be in breach of the regulations and they failed to protect the data of their customers. Vendors and suppliers are pushing that side of things as a way to boost sales for the products and services that they offer. The cost of being non-compliant is simply too great to ignore.
Focusing on the punitive issues that are associated with General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) is unwise, however, because there are some huge benefits to working towards compliance, and really business owners should be embracing the regulations as a motivator to help them make their business better, instead of focusing on the potential fines that make GDPR seem like an unnecessary burden.
Positive One: Improving Your Cyber Security
There is no excuse for being ignorant about cyber-security these days. Data breaches can cause downtime, are bad for PR, and can cause significant financial loss for you and your customers. Take cyber security seriously. The general data protection regulation legislation coming into effect is a good starting point for making your workflows more security-conscious.
A part of the legislation specifies that organizations must identify a security strategy, and take steps to improve their technical systems, to protect citizen’s personal data. It is almost impossible to regulate the integrity of a specific type of data (e.g. customer data) while leaving the rest of your IT environment behind. The regulations will force you to evaluate and improve your overall systems, and will force you to examine the rest of your infrastructure, build efficient workflows, and be systematic about security monitoring. This means that your organization will be less vulnerable to attacks, and you will experience viewer virus outbreaks, and be a less appealing target for low hanging fruit style attacks and exploits. This is one area where investing will save you money.
Positive Two: Better Data Management
A major part of compliance is knowing what information you currently hold on people. You will need to audit the data that you have, so that you can minimize what you are collecting and holding, and organize storage around that, as well as refining the way that the data is managed. Getting rid of redundant, obsolete or trivial files that do not have any business value is a good starting point. This means getting rid of old customer data that you do not need – things that hold no value to your organization, and that could actually pose an unjustifiable risk to your business if you were to keep it and it were then to get leaked as a part of a data breach.
Once you have analyzed all the data that you hold, you can start implementing mechanisms to fulfill other future requirements – such as making data searchable, and indexing it. This will benefit you in the future because if a customer decides to exercise their right to be forgotten then you will be able to comply with it. You can simply search for their data and remove it all in one go, thanks to the easily searchable systems that you have set up.
Positive Three: Improved Marketing Return On Investment (ROI)
A big part of the general data protection regulation comes down to ensuring that you have the consent of the person whose data you hold, and that you process that data within the confines of that consent. This means that you should purge ROT information, and make sure that all marketing leads opt-in. If you get rid of all of that ‘dead’ data, and purge lost leads and people that don’t want the info, you will have a lean, fine-tuned set of data that consists purely of people who definitely want to read your messages or get your calls. This means that you can experiment with niche marketing, you can tailor your messages to specific people, and hopefully get a much better response rate overall. The General Data Protection Regulation is forcing people to appreciate the value of quality over quantity and rewards people who spend their budgets wisely.
Positive Four: More Trust and More Loyalty
GDPR compliance is something that will help your business to form much stronger, more trusting relationships with the general public and with your customers. When you are gathering people’s consent to use their data, you have to explain to them what you are asking them to consent to. This means that your customers feel more comfortable because they can see that you are being transparent, and that you have a systematic approach to how data is being handled. General Data Protection Regulation makes it easy to show that you care about privacy, and that you will treat customer data responsibly.
Positive Five: Improve Your Business Culture
Today, it’s normal for businesses to be eco-friendly, animal-friendly, LGBT-aware, and generally ethical. That is something that did not seem possible as recently as ten years ago. Why not make the new culture be ‘privacy-friendly’, especially as we live in such a data focused world. The GDPR is all about making those initial steps towards respecting your customers, and this is something that will help you to get into the right frame of mind to foster an environment where customer privacy comes first.
Yes, complying with the General Data Protection Regulation legislation is difficult but it is something that is worth doing. Take this opportunity to review and revise your processes and put together an organizational structure that will encourage you and your employees to do things right, whether that means thinking about how you store data and what you store, thinking about what you collect from your customers, or thinking about how you communicate with them and what drives your marketing. It’s not going to be easy to bring your business into line with the GDPR if you have been doing things more casually for a long time, but it will make your business more sustainable, and make it look better for your customers, and your partners.
There are many law and accounting firms that will claim to provide the best assistance in ERISA compliance. Of course, it’s always disappointing when you receive a letter describing your non-compliance state as well as hefty fines for each employee. With the experienced and best ERISA benefits compliance consultants, you can avoid any of these costly surprises. You need consultants who can build a strong relationship with your business and provide exceptional knowledge and expertise in everything related to ERISA compliance.
You should find benefits compliance consultants with proven results, prior experience and guarantee a position of overall compliance. That way, you can always stay ahead of the Federal fines that might be imposed on you because of non-compliance. With the best ERISA consultants, you can always avoid the hassle of collecting the necessary paperwork or data and also keep the business operations running without any interruptions. Remember, there should be a process already in place to ensure that all the relevant compliance paperwork is completed and stored properly for easy access by the necessary parties.
As your ERISA compliance consultants we would set up the process effortlessly. That way, it can work in tandem with the scope of your business without any interruptions. If you run a business that’s successful enough to hire employees, you’re on the right track but you need to invest in your employees accordingly. You need to be in compliance with the Federal and local state regulations and laws. Here’s what you need to know about ERISA compliance to make sure your business hasn’t broken any rules.
What Is ERISA?
Created in 1974, ERISA stands for Employee Retirement Income Security Act. It is a Federal law detailing the type of information that should be filed and collected for employees to receivebenefits. The law has stated the minimum amount for voluntary pension as well as the health plans that should be used in the private sector. The Act provides enough protection for individual employees who are covered in such plans. Of course, it’s important to adhere to federal laws to avoid hefty fines but there are many more reasons why ERISA compliance is important.
For instance, it’s a good way to show respect to all the employees who play an important role in your business. Keep in mind that these people always commit their time and lives to the success of your business. According to the law, the management needs to compile proper paperwork of all the employees receiving the benefits. Most of the benefits included in the act include health insurance, retirement, welfare and much more.
The ERISA Act provides the relevant requirements for employers on how to handle their employees’ benefits. ERISA consultants teach your HR department everything there is to know regarding the legal requirements covering the act to guarantee compliance. Keep in mind that welfare plans for employees cover everything from disability, accident, death, medical, hospital access, surgical and accident benefits.
It’s quite often to forget that unemployment insurance benefits are facilitated through employer contributions that are administered through payroll assignments. The ERISA plan is also part of unemployment in relation to taxation of the employer and new hire forms. It also touches other areas such as days off, scholarships, legal services, training plans, severance, daycare and retirement programs.
ERISA consultants will describe in detail how the employer coverage plans actually work. There are many forms that should be filled and also making annual reports to the IRS, retirement plans and health funds. Therefore, you need to take enough time to find the best consultants for your ERISA compliance needs to make sure everything is being done right.
Is Your Business ERISA Compliant And Legally Prepared for 2018?
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What is the Letter 226-J Benefits Compliance Notification and What Does it Mean for An Employer?
Letter 226-J benefits compliance can be an intimidating topic. The letter 226-J is a latter that is sent to applicable large employers (referred to as ALEs) to inform them that they might be liable for something called an ESRP. This stands for employer shared responsibility payment.
To figure out whether an ALE might be liable for such a payment and how much they need to pay the government looks at the information that was provided by the employer in the 1094-C and 1095-C forms, as well as information that individual employees have provided in their own tax returns.
You will need to read the letter, and any attachments, carefully, to understand the process and the payment that the government thinks you are responsible for. The letter will also explain what you need to do next, and how to appeal if you think that the ESRP amount is incorrect.
Along with the letter, you will have been sent a form Form 14764 which you will need to fill out. That form will ask you whether you agree or disagree with the letter. If you disagree, then you will need to provide a full explanation of why you disagree, and indicate any changes that you want to see made. There is another form, called Form 14765, which will allow you to do that. Make sure that you get your response sent off by the deadline.
If you agree with the liability, then follow the instructions provided, and sign the response form, then return it along with payment in full. There is an envelope provided for this.
If you are concerned that the amount is incorrect, then you should check not only the letter, but also the information that was reported on 1094-C and 1095-C. If that information is inaccurate, then the IRS will not be able to calculate the ESRP payments correctly. Make sure that you keep hold of a copy of the letter, as well as any documents that you submitted, because they will all be needed if there is any need for an appeal.
If, for some reason, you are unable to do this task yourself, you can use Form 2848 to notify the IRS of Power of Attorney and to file a Declaration of Representative. This will allow another nominated person to deal with this on your behalf. The Form 2848 should specifically state the year that the declaration is for, and also note that it relates to the Shared Responsibility Payment.
Note that the ESRP itself is not a bill. Rather, it is a notification that you may be liable, and a proposal for a bill. You will need to review the letter, and the attachments, and complete the form by the date that is stated on the letter. After you respond, the IRS will review your response, reply by sending you an acknowledgement letter and notify you of their final decision.
If you still disagree with the decision, then you will have the right to appeal, and this will be laid out in the acknowledgement letter.
Do not delay when replying to the letter. It is important that you communicate promptly so that you can get all of the information to the IRS before it becomes a pressing matter. If you are late to answer them, then you may find yourself being penalized, and you will find that the appeals process should you disagree with the payment will be more onerous.
If you and your employees have provided accurate records throughout the year, then the letter should be correct and it will only be a matter of answering it and providing the payment that is requested. If you have budgeted correctly throughout the year then you will find that the payment should be around what you expected, and not an issue. If you are going to struggle to pay the amount due, then call the IRS as soon as possible to discuss your options, because failure to deal with these issues can leave you and your business in a crippling situation that is most likely bad for business.
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.
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
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.