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How does your retirement plan compare when it comes to Automatic Enrollment?

Chances are your retirement plan is already employing the use of automatic enrollment.  Among non-government plans, the use of automatic enrollment remains at around seven in ten plans (71.4%). Unsurprisingly, most plans with auto enrollment offer it to new hires (94.5%). However, a solid quarter (25.4%) have auto-enrolled existing employees either as a one-time sweep or periodic sweep. Of those that do not automatically enroll employees, nearly one in ten are very likely to implement this feature in 2018. Key reasons for not implementing automatic enrollment for non-government plans include: not being perceived as necessary and not being a priority....

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Building a sales prospect pipeline for your business

An old business adage says, “Sales is a numbers game.” In other words, the more potential buyers you face, the better your chances of making sales. This isn’t completely true, of course; success also depends on execution. Nonetheless, when a company builds a pipeline to funnel prospects to its sales team, it will increase the opportunities for these staff members to strike and close deals. Here are some ways to undertake construction. Do your research First, establish a profile of the organizations that are the best candidates for your products or services. Criteria should include: Location, Number of employees, Sales volume, Industry, and Specific needs. Next, think lead generation....

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The fine line between a small business and a hobby

It’s a matter of work vs. fun, right? No, the difference, at least from a tax perspective, is that you can fully deduct business expenses from income.  Under the new tax law you can’t deduct any hobby expenses. No single factor is determinative, but you’re probably operating a business if: You have a profit motive. You keep accounting, inventory and other records. You invest significant time and effort. You need the income you  make from it. It’s been profitable for at least 3 of the past five years. You’ve conducted similar, profitable activities in the past. You expect assets you use to appreciate in the future. You consult professional...

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Reminder: New Procedures for Disability Plan Claims Effective Soon

New Rule Changes Disability Claim Processing Requirements Effective for disability benefit claims filed after April 1, 2018, a new rule from the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) requires ERISA-covered employee benefit plans offering disability benefits to provide additional procedural protections to claimants. The new rule ensures that protections for disability claimants parallel protections under the Affordable Care Act that already apply when workers file claims for group health benefits. These new protections apply to all ERISA-covered disability plans, regardless of how the benefit is characterized by the plan or whether the plan is a pension plan or a welfare plan. Changes to...

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Reminder: Group Health Plans Required to Offer Special Enrollment

Certain Events Trigger 30 or 60-Day Special Enrollment Periods Under HIPAA, certain events that happen to employees or their dependents trigger a right to "special enroll" in a group health plan. Special enrollment allows individuals who previously declined health coverage to enroll in coverage outside of a plan's open enrollment period. An employee and his or her dependents must be provided at least 30 days to request special enrollment in a group health plan because of: Loss of eligibility for other coverage, such as coverage from a spouse's employer; Termination of employer contributions toward other health coverage; or Certain life events, including marriage, birth, adoption,...

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Tax Help Available Ahead of April 17 Filing Deadline

IRS.gov Offers Many Easy-to-Use Online Tools With the April 17 federal income tax deadline fast approaching, the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) is reminding taxpayers that they can find most answers to their tax questions by taking advantage of the wide variety of easy-to-use online tools available on IRS.gov. The IRS's many online tools allow taxpayers to get answers to tax questions, prepare and file their taxes, or check the status of their tax refund. Notably, taxpayers get the same answers on IRS.gov as if they'd called and spoken with an IRS representative, and they can print out the answers to keep for...

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Virginia Expands National Guard Employment Protections

Law Effective July 1, 2018 A new law in Virginia expands certain National Guard employment protections (i.e., leave, reemployment, and nondiscrimination) to any person who is a member of the National Guard of another state who is employed or seeking employment in Virginia. Expanded Protections The new law extends National Guard employment rights (concerning leaves of absence; reemployment; and employment nondiscrimination) to any person who is a member of the National Guard of another state who is employed or seeking employment in Virginia. Prior to July 1, 2018, such rights extend only to members of the Virginia National Guard and the Virginia...

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How Does Your Retirement Plan Compare?

The Callan Institute conducted its 11th annual Defined Contribution (DC) Trends Survey in the fall of 2017. The survey incorporates responses from 152 plan sponsors, including both Callan clients and other organizations, and highlights key themes and findings from 2017 and expectations for 2018. Over the next few months, SIMA will share these findings so that you can ask yourself, How Does Your Retirement Plan Compare? This month, we look at the all-important company match.  Did you change your match in 2017? Most plan sponsors did not.  Only 2.3% reported making a change. On the other hand, nearly a quarter anticipate...

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Medicare Part D Disclosure Due to CMS by March 1

Online Form for Employers Offering Prescription Drug Coverage to Medicare Part D-Eligible Individuals The Medicare Modernization Act requires employers that provide prescription drug coverage to Medicare-eligible individuals to complete the Online Disclosure Form to the U.S. Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) to report whether such coverage is creditable prescription drug coverage. Creditable coverage means that the coverage is expected to pay, on average, as much as the standard Medicare prescription drug coverage. This disclosure is required annually, no later than 60 days from the beginning of a plan year—typically March 1st for calendar year plans—and at certain other times. Additional Disclosure...

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