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.

Contact us at (515)244-2424 or CONTACT for your benefit plan compliance review today.

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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Discover The Facts About The Benefits Compliance Form 5500 Preparation For Business

If you are reading this page you may need Form 5500 Preparation for business.

As of 2016, those who need to file Form 5500 for the employee Benefit Plan can do so electronically. This form and the need to file it was formulated by the Internal Revenue Service and Department of Labor as well as the PBG Corporation. It is for the purposes of collecting information about employee benefits provided by the companies they work for and the information includes pension plans and health plans.

Who Needs To File This Form?

Any company who sponsors any plan that falls under ERISA we’ll need to file this form. It can include plans for severance pay, profit-sharing, life insurance, 401K plans, dental and medical insurance, and stock bonuses. As well, it can include any type of retirement arrangements or pension plans including annuity agreements.

If a company has fewer than 100 employees that fall under these plans, then they only need to file the short form. If a company is outside of the US and its employees are nonresident aliens then they can file the EZ form. Any company needing the forms can find them at the Department of Labor website.

About Form 5500

ERISA is a term that references the ‘Employee Retirement Income Security Act’. This is an annual report of employee benefits provided by a company. Any company that falls under ERISA will be required to file this report annually. Among the plans that require the submission of this form, can include trust, various accounts, and other investment arrangements that would need reporting on this form.

The IRS and the Department of Labor along with the PBG corporation have worked together to consolidate some of the forms and reports to reduce the burden created by having too many different forms to submit. Those employers who comply with this new form submission will meet their reporting requirements and satisfy the IRS and the DOL.

Additional Requirements

Submission will need to reflect the accurate details of the particular year the form is being submitted for. Requirements related to submitting this form will vary depending on the type of plans being reported on and their particular arrangements. There is a quick reference chart to help employers understand their responsibilities and help guide them with filling out the report correctly.

Changes In The Report

There were changes in the maximum penalty that can be applied for a failure to report. Instructions on reporting have been updated. The penalty that can be applied to employers who refuse to comply with this reporting mechanism can be as much as $2,063 a day. These increases went into effect in August of 2016. From 2017 on, the penalty amount will be adjusted based on inflation each year on January 15th.

How To Get Help When You Need It

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Any employer or administrator that has questions or is unsure how to correctly fill out the form can contact a help line at 1-866- GO-EFAST. It’s also possible to reach their website anytime of day or night and any day of the week. On the website, you’re able to check frequently asked questions as well as the status of your filing and view any filings that have been posted. As well, you can access the website for the IRS any time of day or night and view any forms or publications or instructions that they have as well as answers to frequently asked questions regarding taxation.

Reporting Welfare Benefits

Any employer or administrator who manages an employee welfare benefit plan, whether that plan provides all or part of the benefits, must file the Form 5500 unless they have been given a special exemption. There are some special provisions based around whether the plan covers less than 100 participants or more than that number, and this information can be found on lines 5 and 6 of the instructions.

When To File

Any forms and accompanying statements must be filed by the 7th calendar month of the end of the plan. None of the forms should include details that exceed 12 months. Include the beginning and ending dates of the information being provided and place that in the Box on part 1 in line B.

These are the basics of filing this form.

For more information and to avoid stiff penalties this form should be submitted annually as required by law.

Get Form 5500 preparation for business.

Retirement In Your 60’s: How Much Should You Have In Your 401k Plan?

Retirement age might seem far away from you for now, but it doesn’t mean that it’ll never come. Preparing for your future is never too early or too late. Everything that you’ll be saving up from your salary right now will pay off in the future. But it can be very difficult to save up most of the time especially if you’re in your 20’s and you’re still enjoying your life. There are still things that you want to buy and places that you want to go to. All of these things might make you lose focus and end up with no savings at all.

So what should you do to have enough savings in the future? 401(k) plans are now being offered by employers to their employees. You might have heard about them before in your office but had no idea what it is. You may already have one. This article will help you understand how it can help you with your lifetime savings.

The 401(k) Plan

The 401(k) is basically a retirement plan that is sponsored by an employer. It helps employees manage their savings better and their future finances by taking a part of their salary and investing it in their savings. It is just like pension funds but more flexible. This is because you can control the money that you want to invest. There are plans that you can invest in bonds, stocks, and money market investments.

How Much Will You Receive For Retirement?

It’s easy to say how you’ll be saving up for your future and how you plan to become a millionaire by the age of 50. But it is not easy to do it. And one of the reasons why is because you are not sure of how much you should be saving up. Lack of proper planning for your retirement and for your personal finances make you unfocused on your goals.

If you don’t have a clear plan, you won’t reach your target savings. And this is how a 401(k) plan becomes very useful for you. The amount that you want to save is automatically removed from your salary, therefore preventing you from spending it on things that you don’t need like that shoes that you saw in the mall last week or that bag that you have been eyeing for months now.

Let’s go back to the question. How much are you going to receive for your retirement if you invest in a 401(k) plan? While it is impossible to say a specific amount because the economy is always changing, experts were still able to estimate how much money you are likely to have in your plan once you retire in your 60’s.

According to them, assuming that you have a $1,000 balance in your plan and start your career at the age of 22, with a salary of $40,00 an annual increase of 3%, a contribution rate of 10%, and returns of 8% annually, your balance can amount to $3.1 by the age of 66. This money is already more than enough for you and your family when you retire.

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What Are The Benefits Of This Retirement Plan?

It is very motivating to know the potential amount of money that you can get through a 401(k) plan. And to make you even more motivated to save up, here are some benefits that come with this retirement plan.

• The amount of money that you contribute to your 401(k) is exempted from tax. This means that your taxable income is lowered. In addition to this, the dividend, as well as your capital gains that are earned through your 401(k), are also not subject to taxes until you withdraw it from your retirement plan.

• Some retirement accounts like the IRAs limit people from contributing once they turn 70 ½ which is unlike 401(k) plans that will allow you to contribute as long as you want while you are still working.

The 401(k) plan is undoubtedly a good way of making your savings earned. The amount of money that you can save up using this plan is also really good. However, the bottom line for every savings plan is that you are always in control of your money. You can either save a lot or end up having none at all. If you are not mindful of your expenses, you won’t succeed even if you have a 401(k) plan.

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401k Form 5500 Filing Services

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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

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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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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.

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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.

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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!

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