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Workplace Wellness: Healthy Food Options

Most full-time employees eat at least one or two meals at work each workday. Not only are a significant number of meals eaten in the workplace, but work is also where employees are most susceptible to distracted or stress-related eating. As an employer, you can help your employees make healthy meal and snack choices. Good nutrition is an essential part of a healthy lifestyle, and healthier employees can mean increased productivity, fewer sick days and fewer on-the-job accidents. Health care costs associated with poor diets account for roughly $200 billion each year in lost productivity and medical expenses. Serving unhealthy food...

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Workplace Wellness: Stress Management

Initiatives for Stress Management Stress is a leading contributor to many health problems, and the workplace can often be a major source of stress. Lowering stress can lower the risk of medical conditions and can help employees feel better on a day-to-day basis. You can implement various activities to help reduce employee stress, which can improve health and morale—and productivity. Managing Workplace Stress As an employer, you can take several steps to ensure that the workplace is not contributing unduly to employees’ stress levels. Make sure that workloads are appropriate. Have managers meet regularly with employees to facilitate communication. Address negative and illegal...

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Health Savings Accounts: Features Your Employees Will Thank You For

For the majority of future retirees, medical expenses pose significant risk to any retirement plan, and they are only projected to rise. Medical cost estimates for couples throughout their full retirement, assuming both partners are 65, has increased $15,000 from 2016 to 2017, bringing total projections to $275,000, after Medicare coverage. Even for professionals with 401k balance projections at their target retirement age over $1 million dollars, this figure is daunting. At the same time, employers seek cost-effective strategies to enhance their benefits offerings.  While the ever-coveted employer 401k match may seem like the most direct way for employers to help...

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HHS Increases Civil Penalties for HIPAA Violations

Privacy and Security Rule Violations Impacted by Rule On Jan. 17, 2020, the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) published a final rule increasing the civil monetary penalties for violations of the HIPAA Privacy and Security Rules. HHS is required to adjust these penalties for inflation each year. Effective Jan. 17, 2020, the following civil penalty amounts apply to violations of HIPAA’s Privacy and Security Rules: For each violation where the covered entity does not know about the violation (and by exercising reasonable diligence, would not have known about the violation) the penalty amount is between $119 and $59,522. If the...

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2020 DOL Penalty Amounts for ERISA Violations Issued

The U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) has increased the penalties employers face under ERISA for group health plan reporting and disclosure failures. These new amounts apply to penalties assessed after Jan. 15, 2020, and include the following: Summary of Benefits and Coverage (SBC): Failure to provide group health plan participants and beneficiaries with an SBC may now result in a penalty of up to $1,176 per participant or beneficiary. Employer CHIP Notice: Failure to provide a CHIP Notice to employees in states that offer group health plan premium assistance through a state Children's Health Insurance Program may now result in...

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Motivating Savings with Financial Wellness and Plan Design

Resolution season is upon us. January through March are the peak motivation months.  That special time of the year when people are eager to make positive strides toward physical, financial, professional, or personal goals.  On average, 42% of Americans make money-related resolutions.  However, in less than 6 months, half of the once dedicated forget about their goals.[1] But, as we all know, it takes longer than 6 months to reach a meaningful savings goal. So, how can you, as a plan sponsor, use the resolution momentum to inspire your employees to save for retirement? This article we will discuss holistic ways...

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TRACED Act Offers Consumers Additional Protections Against Robocalls

Whether at home, work or on a cell phone, it's a scenario many Americans have found themselves in: answering a phone call only to find out it's from an unwanted robocaller. In fact, the number of unwanted robocalls in this country has skyrocketed in recent years. The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) ranks unwanted robocalls highest on their list of consumer complaints.1 TRACED Act Fortunately, consumers have won additional protections against unwanted robocalls under recent legislation signed by President Trump, the Telephone Robocall Abuse Criminal Enforcement and Deterrence (TRACED) Act. One of the main goals of the TRACED Act is to establish rules...

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How Protected is Your 401(k) Plan? – Plan Sponsor Guide

Technology is evolving fast, but cybercriminals are evolving just as fast. Cybercriminals are now going after plan sponsor’s company 401(k) plans, and you could be liable if disaster strikes!  You should be aware of the multiple cyber threats that can affect your plan and the protective measures available to help you thwart those threats. Our guide provides you with many ways you can help protect your plan, inform yourself of possible threats, and engage plan sponsors to actively protect their accounts. Click to download the plan sponsor guide....

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The Cost of Financial Stress: Plan Sponsor Infographic

Many financially stressed employees confess to spending 3+ hours of their work week distracted by personal finances, that’s 156 hours per year! This means you could be losing up to $5,260 per employee in productivity. So, what can employers do? Here are three ways employers can help employees manage financial stress: 1. Offer financial wellness programs 2. Encourage more savings with a company match 3. Provide financial education Check out this guide to managing your employees' financial stress.  ...

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Market Commentary from Ashley Vice, CFA, CFP®

Time to read: 8 minutes We’re starting the new decade amid a record economic expansion. While it hasn’t been a particularly strong expansion, it certainly has been durable. The widespread narrative this time last year was that without a trade deal with China, the economy and the market wouldn’t get traction. Clearly that was not true, as unemployment declined from 4% to 3.5% and the S&P 500 advanced more than 30% including dividends. What’s driving the economy today is a tsunami of technology. Tablets, smartphones, apps, streaming services, cloud computing, the 5G rollout, etc. It’s raising productivity, boosting profit margins and will bolster...

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