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The Financial Marathon

A Marathon for Everyone Recently, I went to cheer on a friend running in her first marathon. The excitement of watching thousands of people accomplish such an amazing goal was an experience like no other. I waited at the last bend before the finish line so I’d have a good vantage point for cheering my friend on. What I did not expect was the wave of emotion that washed over the faces of each runner as they saw the finish line for the first time. There were people from all walks of life, from young athletes trying to beat previous race...

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Opinion Letters Provide an Insight on How the DOL applies the Law to Specific Facts

On Jan. 7, 2020 the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) issued two opinion letters that clarify how the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) applies in specific situations. Opinion letters provide the DOL’s official opinion on how the law applies in specific situations. Employers that rely on opinion letters may be able to establish a “good faith defense” under the law. As a result, employers should become familiar with these letters and review their practices to ensure compliance with FLSA requirements. FLSA 2020-1: Lump Sum Nondiscretionary Bonuses Must Be Included in Regular Rate In its first letter, the DOL asserts once again that...

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Cadillac Tax Repealed / PCOR Fee Renewed

The SECURE Act President Trump has signed a year-end spending package that will fund the federal government through September 30, 2020.  The Setting Every Community Up for Retirement Enhancement  (SECURE) Act of 2019 is included in that spending package.  The SECURE Act contains significant changes to retirement plan regulations.  It also contains some significant changes affecting employer health plans. Repeal of the Cadillac Tax The SECURE Act fully repeals the very controversial Affordable Care Act (ACA) excise tax on high-cost employer-sponsored plans, more widely known as the Cadillac Tax.  The Cadillac Tax would have imposed a 40% excise tax on the cost of...

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Medicare Part D Creditable Coverage Notice Reminder

All group health plans that provide prescription drug coverage to Medicare Part D eligible individuals (whether actively working, retired, or disabled) are required to notify CMS whether or not the coverage provided is creditable. This disclosure is required whether the coverage is primary or secondary to Medicare. Employers must file their Disclosure Notice through the CMS website Instructions and guidance on completing the notice are also available. NOTE: If you are offering an actual Part D Plan, you are exempt from this filing requirement. Employers who have applied for a retiree drug subsidy are NOT required to complete this form. You will...

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10 Employee Retention Resolutions for 2020

With a new year upon us, your attention is likely focused on setting financial and productivity goals for your business. As you plan, make sure to look at one area you may have overlooked: employee retention. Employee retention has a huge impact on your bottom line, and now is a great time to make some employee retention resolutions that will pay off all year long. Watch the video below to learn 10 key employee retention resolutions for 2020. [embed]https://hr360.wistia.com/medias/26o5f6fqaf?wvideo=26o5f6fqaf[/embed]   ...

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New Summary of Benefits and Coverage Template Will Be Required for 2021

Recently, the Departments of Labor (DOL) and Health and Human Services (HHS) issued an updated template and related materials for the summary of benefits and coverage (SBC). These materials are required to be used for plan years beginning on or after Jan. 1, 2021. This means that the updated template must be used for the 2021 plan year’s open enrollment period. The SBC is a concise document providing simple and consistent information about health plan benefits and coverage. Employers should prepare to use the new SBC template and related materials for the 2021 plan year. Prior to the beginning of the 2021...

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5 Performance Review Best Practices

Performance reviews are an annual ritual for many employers, but their usefulness has been debated for years. To make sure you—and your employees—get the most out of performance reviews, follow these five tips. Perform formal evaluations at the same time for everyone each year. While this increases the workload of managers and supervisors during review time, it forces direct comparisons of employees and establishes a nonbiased system. Have regular meetings with supervisory staff. Supervisors will learn from each other’s experiences. Provide adequate training and insist on candid observations. Clearly communicate to employees what their duties are and what satisfactory performance is....

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Upcoming Group Health Plan Compliance Dates

Employers must comply with numerous reporting and disclosure requirements throughout the year in connection with their group health plans. Listed below are upcoming important compliance deadlines for employer-sponsored group health plans, organized chronologically. For these requirements, the information provided herein shows the deadlines that apply to calendar year plans. For non-calendar year plans, these deadlines will need to be adjusted to reflect each plan’s specific plan year. January 2020 Employers that filed 250 or more IRS Forms W-2 for the prior calendar year must file Forms W-2 with the Social Security Administration and furnish Forms W-2 to employees by Jan. 31 of...

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IRS Releases Final Forms and Instructions for 2019 ACA Reporting

The 2019 ACA Reporting is Due in Early 2020 The IRS has released final 2019 versions of Forms 1094-C, 1095-C, 1094-B, and 1095-B that employers will use in early 2020 to report on the group health insurance coverage they offered during the 2019 calendar year. Instructions on how to complete Forms 1094-C and 1095-C and Forms 1094-B and 1095-B for the 2019 calendar year have also been released. The 2019 forms and instructions are substantially similar to the 2018 versions. Note that Section 6055 reporting continues to be required, despite the fact that the individual mandate penalty has been reduced to $0....

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DOL Issues 2020 Form W-4

Employers Must Begin Using the New Form Jan. 1 On Dec. 5, 2019, the Internal Revenue Service released an updated version of its W-4 form, also known as the “Employee’s Withholding Certificate.” Employers use IRS Form W-4 to determine each employee’s federal tax withholdings. The new form is intended to harmonize tax withholding declarations with the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, which affected individuals for the first time during the last tax filing season. Employees may complete a new W-4 each year or each time they experience a change in their personal financial situation. However, the new form does not invalidate prior...

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