ERISA Procedures For Disability Provider Plans Went Into Effect April 1

For employers that sponsor a disability benefit plan governed by ERISA, March and April of 2018 represent an important period of time.

Claims filed later than April 1 must be in compliance with a new Department of Labor rule issued back in December of 2016. Among the plans falling under this umbrella are certain qualified retirement plans, health and welfare plans as well as non qualified plans for deferred compensation. The purpose of the new requirements is to boost disclosures to participants in the plans and to increase impartiality of those who make decisions concerning the plans.

Categories Of Affected Plans

In a general sense, the new regulations are applicable toward any plan that falls under the auspices of the Employee Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA). Every plan, including those related to disability benefits, that involves the claims adjudicator of that plan to make disability determinations before rendering a payment decision is part of the new layout. Thus, all employers need to take a fresh look at plans providing benefits, waiver of accrual allocation rules or accelerated vesting due to disability.

Impact On Qualified Retirement Plan Operation

It may be necessary to update retirement plans if their plan administrators are charged with determining disability. But, if such determinations are made by third parties such as the Social Security Administration or other entity, there may be no need for an update.

While it is true that non qualified deferred compensation programs largely fall outside of the ERISA regulations, they are subjected to the statutory claims regulation rules. As such, these plans will require compliance with the new rule if their administrators are the ones to make disability decisions.

Implications For Welfare Plans

The majority of plans covered by ERISA are in fact insured, and therefore broadly speaking, it is the disability carrier’s duty to make changes to claim processes and procedures. Employers and/or plan administrators ought to communicate with the insurers to ensure that coverage certificates will be appropriately updated to achieve compliance with the new rule by April 1 of 2018.

Short-term disability plans that are self-insured and that qualify as a payroll practice may also not require revision, given that they are exempted from ERISA. It should be noted, though, that administrators of such plans may wish to adopt part of even all of the final rule’s provisions, in keeping with best practices. Also, it is important that summary plan description documents and wrap plans be updated and disseminated to all plan participants.

Key Changes Within The New Rule

Every claim and appeal must now receive adjudication in a way that fosters the impartiality and full independence of those making benefit decisions. Much like the rules pertaining to group health care plans promulgated as part of the Affordable Care Act, determinations related to the compensation, hiring, promotion, termination or other issue impacting an adjudicator must never be made with an eye toward the chances that individual will support benefits denials.

Bolstered Disclosure Rules

First, a claim denial, whether at the first denial stage or later as part of an appeal, must have as part of it a discussion about the decision itself. This should include the rationale for any disagreement with the vocational expert, treating doctor or other expert who assessed the claimant; the opinions of experts secured by the plan; and a Social Security Administration disability determination offered to the plan by the claimant.

Furthermore, a denial notice needs to include all guidelines, internal rules, standards and protocols utilized in rendering an adverse claim decision (or in the alternative, a statement that no such criteria exist). There also must be a formal statement that the claimant at issue is entitled to be provided with all relevant documents upon request.

Right To Receive, Review And Refute New Facts Prior to Decision

So that all reviews are full and fairly rendered, plans are required to give claimants all new evidence or rationales used in making the benefit determination. This material must be provided to the claimant immediately and with enough advance time before the decision date so that a response by the claimant is possible. This way, claimants have an opportunity to present their side at the level of an administrative appeal instead of having to wait until the issuance of a denial.

Exhaustion Of Remedies

In cases where a plan has not met all of the claim procedural requirements, normally a claimant would have been declared to have exhausted all available administrative remedies and a lawsuit against the plan could be commenced. But, plans can still be in compliance if their rule violation was deemed non-prejudicial, de minimis, the result of good cause or something the plan could not control, made in the context of a good faith exchange and not part of an overall pattern of violation.

Rescission of coverage is in and of itself an adverse benefit adjudication. Rescission of disability coverage made retroactively is also an adverse determination and is subject to the appeals process. It must be noted that termination of coverage because of premium nonpayment does not equate to a coverage rescission.

It is necessary for all notices to be rendered in a manner that is both linguistically and culturally proper. In the same vein as the ACA rules pertaining to group health care plans, if the relevant claimant’s address of record is within a country with more than 10 percent non-English speakers, claim denial documents must be accompanied by a statement in the appropriate language, indicating how language interpretation services may be accessed.

Disclosures Regarding Contractual Limitations Time Frame

Plans with restrictions on the time period available for claimants to file lawsuits need to include on their denial notices information regarding this limit. For instances, if the relevant state has a normal limitations period of five years, but the plan’s contract states that the period is just three years, denial notices must state this fact along with the exact expiration date. Best practices suggest that this type of notice should also accompany denial notices for group health plans and other plans.

Ultimately, every employer potentially affected should make certain to review the new regulations alongside their plan documents to ascertain which rules are relevant to their activities. Furthermore, updates to SPDs should be promptly undertaken in order to achieve full compliance with the new disclosure measures outlined above.


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Stay Compliant With An Annual Wrap Form Review

Its time for an annual review and update of your wrap form documents.

If you would like to stay compliant with your business, you may want to consider doing an annual wrap form review. It’s always good to review the performance of your company, and by doing so, you can identify certain aspects of your business that need to be improved. This is true with not only companies, but individuals. You may be in charge of people that your company that you are having to review on an annual basis. It is only through these reviews that positive changes can be made and problems can be addressed. Let’s look at how you can stay compliant with an annual wrap form review.

Why Annual Reviews Are Always Necessary

Reviews are always going to be necessary for a business. You could have a small company, or a very large corporation. The reviews that you subject your company to could be looking at departments, individuals, or even managers. The reason that you need to have this done at least once a year is to keep track of problems that may be occurring. This could lead to loss in revenue, or even legal problems. When you know what’s going on with every aspect of your business, this can make it more compliant with local laws and regulations that you should be focused on.

The Importance Of Staying Compliant

Compliance is a scary term for many but in the world of business, it is in reference to rules and laws that must be abided by. There will always be state and federal laws and codes that you must follow, and within the context of your business, there are rules and regulations that you have likely set up. When employees are not aware that they are causing problems, or when departments are not compliant with rules that must be adhered to, this can cause a lot of problems. You could find yourself in the midst of a lawsuit, or at the very least, departments may cause your business to lose money.

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How To Conduct Annual Reviews

Annual reviews should be done with each individual that is part of your business. You will want to do this with all of your workers in each department. Then, you will want to interview the managers or department heads to talk to them about not only the employees, but their own performance, to make sure they are on track. It is also possible to benefit from reviewing the president of the company, CEO, or CFO. These people are experts in their industry, but they are being paid top dollar for their services. You need to make sure that they are compliant in every way that they must be.

Will It Take Long To Review Everyone?

It will not take very long to interview everyone that is part of your business. You can set up times to interview each person that is there. Once this is done, you can evaluate this information, make recommendations to individuals, and every department that you have as part of your company or corporation. Those that choose not to do this are at the mercy of mistakes that can be made every day. Unless people are alerted to performance issues, or not being compliant with laws and regulations, they will continue to do so without knowing. Once they are made aware of problems that they may be causing, or rules and codes that they are violating, it is now up to them to get back on track.

To stay compliant, it is important to use annual wrap form reviews that can help your company stay profitable. Compliance with laws and ordinances is something that simply must be done. If you haven’t done this before, it’s a great place to begin to develop this relationship with everyone in your company, plus they will know that you are holding them accountable for their performance. You can find out more about annual wrap form reviews and get the guidance you need by contacting us. Compliance with rules and regulations, as well as laws and ordinances, is something that must be done, and these reviews can help resolve any adverse situations.

Letter 226-J Benefits Compliance Notification Received By Office?

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.

ACA Compliance: Employers Must Continue Until Change To Law Is Certain

A majority of employers have struggled to comply with the Affordable Care Act (ACA) that was passed in 2010. This is mainly due to the fact that ACA’s regulations and guidelines established a broad framework that where many aspects of compliance were different from the original plan of legislators. A lot of information on the act became clearer much later after the law was planned. Fast forward a few years later and we have a new administration with its own unique agenda and policies. Many employers are now unsure about the future of ACA compliance.

The election of President Donald Trump in last year’s election is the origin of the debate on ACA compliance. The President is said to have issued a series of executive orders earlier on in the year where he instructed various regulatory bodies such as the IRS to be more lenient to employers in regards to ACA compliance. However, the instructions of these orders were immediately put aside by the IRS claiming no formal law had been passed to remove ACA compliance.

Employers mainly find it difficult to comply with the act due to the numerous changes that occur to its regulations. Keeping up with these changes is necessary in order to maintain compliance. The future of ACA regulations is therefore very much uncertain until solid updates can be provided by the various regulatory bodies on the issue. Much of the act however remains the same so there are some fundamental regulations that employers can be certain of following. Some of the fundamental ACA compliance areas include:

– Avoiding market reform penalties under Section 4980D

– Avoiding employer mandate penalties under Section 4980H

– Reporting on Forms 1094 and 1095


Reporting

To add onto this, employers are still required to keep track of their data for annual ACA reporting. The IRS has a big role to play in terms of assisting employers with ACA compliance. Many employers cite difficulties with compliance due to problems with the systems provided by the IRS. The IRS has attempted to solve these problems by asking for periodic audits of its systems. The most recent audit highlighted key problems with its systems such as Tax Identification Number matching errors, missing portions of line 14 data and many more. These problems are being actively addressed to ensure that employers face no problem with complying with the Affordable Care Act.

IRS Penalty Notices

Another issue raised in regards to compliance is on the complexity of forms 1094 and 1095. Because of how the forms have been formulated recent years, the IRS has found it quite difficult to process them in time. This results in the IRS pushing its compliance deadlines every now and then. Notices on compliance penalties are also affected by this delayed process. In the end, the complexity of these forms contributes to the difficulty in ACA compliance. As a consolation, this is an issue that needs to be addressed by the tax body and not employers so all we can do is wait for something to be done.

Compliance Rules

ACA compliance is still a relatively difficult area for many employers across the U.S. Keeping up with the frequent changes and updates as well as strictly adhering to ACA rules and regulations can sometimes seem impossible. However, failure to comply with the Affordable Care Act leads to employers being penalized in the long run which is not a good thing. Attempting any processes or transactions that are forbidden by this law can result in huge annual penalties which can sometimes go up to thousands of dollars. Employers must therefore continue with ACA compliance until advised otherwise.


ERISA compliance is the law and Benefits Compliance Consultants, Inc. is an ERISA expert.  You simply can’t know everything there is to know about ERISA services.  And, if you’re hesitant to work with a benefits consultant because of the cost, you need to realize that our benefits consultants group can actually save you money, resources and time.  The only way to keep up with all of the changes is with the assistance of a professional company like ours.  Let our highly skilled professionals help make certain that your Plan is in compliance with the law.

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IRS Expands Tax Relief to Victims of Hurricane Irma in Florida; Extension Filers Have Until Jan. 31 to File

Hurricane Irma victims in Florida have until Jan. 31, 2018, to file certain individual and business tax returns and make certain tax payments, the Internal Revenue Service announced today. This includes an additional filing extension for taxpayers with valid extensions that run out on Oct. 16, and businesses with extensions that run out on Sept. 15.

The IRS is now offering this expanded relief to any area designated by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), as qualifying for either individual assistance or public assistance in Florida.

The tax relief postpones various tax filing and payment deadlines that occurred starting on Sept. 4, 2017 in Florida. As a result, affected individuals and businesses will have until Jan. 31, 2018, to file returns and pay any taxes that were originally due during this period.

This includes the Sept. 15, 2017 and Jan. 16, 2018 deadlines for making quarterly estimated tax payments. For individual tax filers, it also includes 2016 income tax returns that received a tax-filing extension until Oct. 16, 2017. The IRS noted, however, that because tax payments related to these 2016 returns were originally due on April 18, 2017, those payments are not eligible for this relief.

A variety of business tax deadlines are also affected including the Oct. 31 deadline for quarterly payroll and excise tax returns. Businesses with extensions also have the additional time including, among others, calendar-year partnerships whose 2016 extensions run out on Sept. 15, 2017 and calendar-year tax-exempt organizations whose 2016 extensions run out on Nov. 15, 2017. The disaster relief page has details on other returns, payments and tax-related actions qualifying for the additional time.

In addition, the IRS is waiving late-deposit penalties for federal payroll and excise tax deposits normally due during the first 15 days of the disaster period. Check out the disaster relief page for the time periods that apply to each jurisdiction.

The IRS automatically provides filing and penalty relief to any taxpayer with an IRS address of record located in the disaster area. Thus, taxpayers need not contact the IRS to get this relief. However, if an affected taxpayer receives a late filing or late payment penalty notice from the IRS that has an original or extended filing, payment or deposit due date falling within the postponement period, the taxpayer should call the number on the notice to have the penalty abated.

In addition, the IRS will work with any taxpayer who lives outside the disaster area but whose records necessary to meet a deadline occurring during the postponement period are located in the affected area. Taxpayers qualifying for relief who live outside the disaster area need to contact the IRS at 866-562-5227. This also includes workers assisting the relief activities who are affiliated with a recognized government or philanthropic organization.

Individuals and businesses who suffered uninsured or unreimbursed disaster-related losses can choose to claim them on either the return for the year the loss occurred (in this instance, the 2017 return normally filed next year), or the return for the prior year (2016). See Publication 547 for details.

The tax relief is part of a coordinated federal response to the damage caused by severe storms and flooding and is based on local damage assessments by FEMA. For information on disaster recovery, visit disasterassistance.gov.

For information on government-wide efforts related to Hurricane Irma, visit www.USA.gov/hurricane-Irma.

Article First Appeared On: https://www.irs.gov/newsroom/irs-expands-tax-relief-to-victims-of-hurricane-irma-in-florida-extension-filers-have-until-jan-31-to-file


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How To Create A Successful Employee Benefits Strategy

What kind of benefits do you offer to employees? A good employee benefits strategy is crucial to the success of a business venture since an attractive benefits package will attract new talents and help you increase your retention rate. Besides, employees will be more motivated and more positive if they have access to a good benefits package for themselves and their family.

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Creating An Ideal Benefits Package

Healthcare and retirement benefits are the two main elements of a good benefits package. These are the first things prospective employees will look at and good healthcare and retirement benefits can make the difference between someone accepting a job offer or rejecting it. However, you should think about offering other types of benefits. You can create an attractive package for your employees by offering perks such as paid vacations, health and wellness programs, life insurance, stock options or even childcare. Even small perks like a company gym or the possibility to occasionally work from home can make a difference.

Complying With Current Rules And Regulations

Many employers are currently facing a serious HR challenge due to the changing healthcare laws. High health insurance premiums do not facilitate things. Employers should have a policy in place to keep up with changing rules and regulations and to make the necessary changes. Employers also need to make sure that they are compliant with minimum wage regulations and with laws regarding overtime.

Establishing A Budget For Benefits

Employers need to dedicate a significant portion of their budget to offering attractive benefits. This strategy will benefit them on the long-term since valuable employees will be less likely to seek other opportunities. Offering good benefits is also an investment that will help an employer attract new talents. It is important to create a benefits package that is adapted to the current budget of an organization. Benefits will have to be adjusted if there are budget changes.

Giving More Control To Employees

Not everyone has the same needs. A young single employee will have different priorities than someone who has children. Employees will look for different things when comparing benefits packages and you should think about giving more control to employees, for instance by letting them choose between different healthcare plans or by giving them to possibility to make more significant contributions if they want to save up more for their retirement or want to sign up for additional perks like dental care. Transparency is important. Employees should know exactly how much they are contributing to the benefits package and what kind of benefits they have access to.

Listening To Employees

Employers should listen to what employees have to say regarding benefits and other perks. Having regular discussions on the topic and encouraging everyone to submit their suggestions is a good way to find out what kind of benefits employees would like to see. Businesses are limited by their budget and should make compliance a priority but the benefits packages they offer should also be shaped by the expectations of their employees. Encouraging employees to play an active role in the development of benefits package is the best way to create packages that will make job offers look more attractive for new talents.

It is possible to offer great benefits packages even with high healthcare premiums and changing regulations. Businesses need to have strict policies in place to monitor these changes and to make sure that their current package is compliant. Businesses should also listen to their employees to find out what matters to them and think about offering flexible benefits packages to increase employee retention and to attract new hires.

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.


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Compliance Issues: What to Consider When Updating Benefit Plans

Benefits Compliance: What a company should consider when it decides to update its benefit plans?

The government annually checks whether companies and firms remain compliant with the law when it comes to how they implement their insurance policies. Agencies such as the IRS require employees and firms to submit forms that prove compliance with government guidelines. This is done not only to keep standards, but also to ensure that employee benefits are given proper attention and care.

With changes in guidelines every year, it can easily be assumed that your firm should reshape its benefit plan in order to meet those guidelines. Therefore, whether you are going to be designing a new benefit plan for a new plan year, or if you are simply going to be updating an existing plan you have, you need to know the factors that your firm must consider in order to make your benefits compliance easy. The Affordable Care Act includes specific requirements that must be met before the government deems your plan compliant with the law. Here are some of the things you need to keep in mind.

  • Fair Labor Standards Act overtime rules. The changes in the entitlement to overtime compensation can affect the benefits that an employee can receive. Therefore, as part of your benefits compliance agenda, you must ensure that your firm is ready to keep the staffing costs neutral in consideration of the changes you will make regarding the benefits your employees receive.
  • HIPAA security and electronic transactions. Double check whether you need to make any upgrades on how you safeguard the personal health information of your employees by checking the latest requirements set under the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act guidelines. Ensure that the vendors you coordinate with are also following the guidelines imposed by HIPAA and other related government agencies.
  • Mental health. As part of the benefits compliance process, the Department of Labor will also be checking if you comply with the requirements for mental health benefits. Your firm needs to confirm that the plan you offer meets the guidance on substance use disorders and mental health benefit coverage. When you are selecting vendors, ensure that you consider their compliance with the Addiction Equity Act and the Mental Health Parity.
  • Nondiscrimination rules and health benefits. The size of the benefits you provide your workers are monitored by government agencies such as the Department of Health and Human Services. Federal agencies continue to issue regulations which will greatly affect how you design your benefit programs. With the ACA in place, you need to make sure that your plan includes all the required health benefits prescribed by the ACA, and that it has nondiscrimination rules in place as well.
  • Strategy and reporting. You also need to double check the design of your health plan and the requirements you impose that your employees will need to comply to. Your firm must check whether the medical coverage and options you provide meet the minimum necessity. You should also check whether the price of your health benefits match standards for affordability. Make the necessary adjustments for your firm to be compliant with the ACA.
  • Wellness programs. To ensure benefits compliance, if your wellness program includes biometric screening, health risk assessment, or collects information from the employee’s spouse, you need to make sure that your program meets the regulations set up by the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission. Your program also needs to be compliant with the Genetic Information Nondiscrimination act and the Americans with Disabilities Act. You should speak to vendors to ensure that your wellness program meets the expectations of the law.

Read more about what benefits are subject to ERISA.

The earlier you start planning your benefit plan, the better it would be. Effective planning is key in passing checks and audits made by government agencies. Compliance will, aside from keeping your firm’s reputation, attract more employees and will generally improve business. Companies that offer good benefit packages are sought after by applicants due to the high costs of insurance policies, medical treatments, and medicines.


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Back To the Basics: Form 5500

Form 5500: The Basics

One of the most important government forms you need to complete to secure your retirement plan is form 5500. If you work for a company that offers either a retirement plan or a 401 (k) plan, you should be annually completing the form since the plan began to be implemented. Every year, the Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation, the Department of labor, and the IRS check if your company is still able to protect you, and whether your plan continues to be compliant with the set regulations.

The form is always heavily scrutinized by many individuals and government offices, so knowing what it does, what it contains, and when to file it is of extreme importance.

What is Form 5500?

If you work for a firm that offers a tax qualified retirement plan such as the 401(k) or something similar, during the time you worked for that firm, you should have been filing form 5500 every year since your business started adopting the plan.

The form looks almost the same as other forms issued by the IRS; the only difference being this form is not just held by the IRS, but also by other government bodies such as the Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation and the Department of labor. Each of these agencies have their own set goals when they look at your form, but ultimately, what they are trying to ensure is that your plan is being operated for your benefit and that it is being correctly processed every year.

  • The IRS uses the information on your form to determine your tax compliance. The IRS is the agency responsible for the regulations that allow tax benefits and retirement plans to be implemented to both workers and employers.
  • The Department of labor uses the information on your form to ensure that the plan your company is using is not breaking any rules. It is also used to make sure that the company keeps your rights protected and secure. The DOL monitors how the company operates the plan.
  • The Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation monitors what is written on your form to determine whether the firm you work for is compliant in providing you with the benefits you ought to receive, regardless if the firm has moved on to using a new plan.

In summary, the 5500 form is used not only for law enforcement, but also for analysis. The government checks how many businesses offer retirement plans, whether workers are recipients of any type of benefit, how many large and small plans are available to people at a given time, and what new regulations may be enforced in order to improve the present situation.

What are “small” and “large” plans?

Plans that are assessed in your form are categorized as being either “large” or “small”.

If the plan had less than one hundred members on its first day of implementation, the plan is considered to be a “small” plan. Those that exceed that number are called “large” plans. It is those firms that have large plans that need to file the 5500 every year, while firms with small plans only have to complete a simpler form called the form 5500-SF.

A plan can continue to be considered small if the number of participants does not exceed 120 at the start of the new plan year. Every participant regardless of whether they are active or not are considered in the head count.

When should it be filed?

The form 5500 should be filed after the end of the plan year, on the last day of the seventh month. If you need more time, you need to file form 5558, which can extend the deadline for another two and a half months.

The form is never the same every year, and there are always changes introduced in order to ensure that it matches the needs of firms and workers today. Every year, the IRS imposes new changes to the form, and the IRS simply sends instructions to firms on what has been updated on the form.


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Healthcare Reform To Make America Great Again

Any reform effort should start with Congress. Since Obamacare became law, conservative Republicans have been using reforms that can be provided individually or as part of more thorough reform efforts. In the staying sections of this policy paper, several reforms will be used that need to be thought about by Congress so that on the first day of the Trump Administration, we can start the process of bring back faith in government and economic liberty to individuals.

It is not adequate to merely reverse this dreadful legislation. We will deal with Congress to make sure we have a series of reforms all set for implementation that follow totally free market concepts which will bring back economic flexibility and certainty to everybody in this nation. By following free enterprise concepts and working together to develop sound public policy that will widen healthcare access, make healthcare more budget-friendly and enhance the quality of the care available to all Americans.

However none of these positive reforms can be achieved without Obamacare repeal. On the first day of the Trump Administration, we will ask Congress to immediately provide a full repeal of Obamacare.

healthcare reform and compliance benefitsGiven that March of 2010, the American individuals have actually had to suffer under the unbelievable economic concern of the Affordable Care Act— Obamacare. As it appears Obamacare is particular to collapse of its own weight, the damage done by the Democrats and President Obama, and abetted by the Supreme Court, will be difficult to repair unless the next President and a Republican congress lead the effort to bring much-needed totally free market reforms to the health care market.

Congress must act. Our chosen representatives in the House and Senate should:

We require to reform our psychological health programs and organizations in this country. Families, without the ability to obtain the info had to help those who are ailing, are frequently not provided the tools to assist their enjoyed ones. There are guaranteeing reforms being established in Congress that needs to receive bi-partisan support.

To reduce the number of people needing access to programs like Medicaid and Children’s Health Insurance Program we will have to set up programs that grow the economy and bring capital and tasks back to America. The best social program has constantly been a task– and looking after our economy will go a long way to decreasing our reliance on public health programs.

To reform healthcare in America, we need a President who has the leadership abilities, will and courage to engage the American people and encourage Congress to do what is best for the nation. These straightforward reforms, together with many others I have actually proposed throughout my project, will make sure that together we will Make America Great Again.

Entirely repeal Obamacare. Our elected agents must remove the specific mandate. No person must be needed to purchase insurance coverage unless she or he wishes to.
Modify existing law that hinders the sale of medical insurance across state lines. As long as the strategy bought adhere to state requirements, any supplier should be able to offer insurance in any state. By enabling full competitors in this market, insurance expenses will decrease and consumer complete satisfaction will increase.
Businesses are allowed to take these deductions so why wouldn’t Congress permit individuals the same exemptions? We should examine fundamental choices for Medicaid and work with states to make sure that those who desire healthcare coverage can have it.

Enable people to use Health Savings Accounts (HSAs). Contributions into HSAs must be tax-free and ought to be enabled to collect. These accounts would end up being part of the estate of the individual and might be handed down to beneficiaries without fear of any capital punishment. These plans should be especially attractive to young individuals who are healthy and can manage high-deductible insurance strategies. These funds can be used by any member of a household without penalty. The versatility and security offered by HSAs will be of great benefit to all who participate.

Require rate transparency from all doctor, especially medical professionals and healthcare companies like centers and healthcare facilities. People should be able to shop to find the finest rates for procedures, tests or any other medical-related procedure.

Almost every state currently offers advantages beyond what is required in the present Medicaid structure. The state federal governments know their individuals best and can handle the administration of Medicaid far much better without federal overhead.

Remove barriers to entry into complimentary markets for drug service providers that offer safe, reputable and cheaper items. Congress will require the courage to step away from the special interests and do exactly what is right for America.

The reforms detailed above will reduce healthcare expenses for all Americans. They are just a place to begin. There are other reforms that may be considered if they serve to reduce expenses, remove uncertainty and offer financial security for all Americans. And we must also do something about it in other policy locations to lower health care expenses and concerns. Implementing immigration laws, getting rid of scams and waste and stimulating our economy will ease the economic pressures felt by every American. It is the moral obligation of a country’s government to do exactly what is best for the individuals and exactly what is in the interest of protecting the future of the nation.

Offering health care to prohibited immigrants costs us some $11 billion every year. We could eliminate healthcare expense pressures on state and regional governments if we were to merely impose the present immigration laws and limit the unchecked giving of visas to this nation.

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