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1099-MISC: Who should receive them, why proper classification is essential, and how to remediate errors

Form 1099-MISC is due to vendors by Jan. 31 for payments made the preceding year to non-corporate independent contractors. The IRS requires form W-9 to be completed before any payment is made to a vendor. Businesses do NOT have to issue a 1099 to any vendor that indicates on the Form W-9 that they are a corporation unless the payments were to an attorney. Employee or Contractor?  To determine if an individual is an employee or an independent contractor, consider the IRS 3-Factor Test: The Behavioral Test:  Does the company control or have the right to control what the worker does and...

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Odd word, cool concept: Gamification for businesses

“Gamification.” It’s perhaps an odd word, but it’s a cool concept that’s become popular among many types of businesses. In its most general sense, the term refers to integrating characteristics of game-playing into business-related tasks to excite and engage the people involved. Might it have a place in your company? Internal focus Sometimes gamification refers to customer interactions. For example, a retailer might award customers points for purchases that they can collect and use toward discounts. Or a company might offer product-related games or contests on its website to generate traffic and visitor engagement. But, these days, many businesses are also using gamification internally....

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Defensive Investing

Here’s an example of the times we live in: Company A is 10 years old. They employ 383 people. Despite revenues of $115 million, they lost $30 million in the last year. Company B is 100 years old. They employ 18,000 people. They made almost $700 million of profits on $9.5 billion of revenue over the same time period. Which company is worth more? For a brief moment, it was Company A, also known as Beyond Meat. Despite being small and unprofitable, Beyond Meat’s market cap topped that of Conagra (Company B). Who can make sense of that? Maybe plant-based meat substitutes...

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FINAL RULING: New Overtime Rule Effective 1/1/20

On September 24, 2019, the U.S. Department of Labor announced a final rule to make 1.3 million American workers newly eligible for overtime pay. The final rule updates the earnings thresholds necessary to exempt executive, administrative and professional employees from the Fair Labor Standards Act’s (FLSA) minimum wage and overtime pay requirements, and allows employers to count a portion of certain bonuses/commissions towards meeting the salary level. The new thresholds account for growth in employee earnings since the thresholds were last updated in 2004. In the final rule, the Department is: raising the “standard salary level” from the currently enforced level of...

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How Data Analytics Can Help You Make Retirement Plan Decisions

If you’re not using data analytics to help you make progress toward improving participant outcomes, then you could be missing out on a key component of plan governance. Data analytics are becoming a meaningful part of defined contribution plan governance for retirement plan fiduciaries. Data analytics can provide detailed information on different participant segments and help sponsors recognize pain points in their plans. Defining Pain Points Think about using detailed analytics to break down plan data into specific employee segments based on key factors like age, job category, and tenure. Analytics highlight the employees and groups most at risk of retirement savings shortfalls,...

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Standing and Treadmill Desks

Standing and treadmill desks have been a rising trend in business settings across the country. Although experts agree that sitting for extended periods of time throughout the day can be dangerous for your health, there is little agreement on the results that standing or treadmill desks have on employees. The impact of implementing standing or treadmill desks will likely be determined by a variety of factors unique to your workplace and employees. Here are some factors to keep in mind while considering the use of these desks at your organization. Advantages Standing and treadmill desks may provide several benefits for your employees and...

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Social Media at the Office

For employers who allow or encourage employees to access social media while at work, the benefits are clear: employees are more apt to engage in wellness programs and stay informed about employee benefits, more likely to provide feedback.  These employees also often feel as though they are part of a community and involved in your organization’s corporate culture. While the advantages of allowing access to social media sites outweigh the potential hazards for most organizations, social media use does pose a number of security risks to your company. Read on for a list of the most common risks associated with social media...

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