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Big Data to Drive Participant Outcomes

If you want to predict the wants, needs and fears of participants when it comes to retirement planning, consider the potential of predictive analytics. "Big data" is a bite-size term often used instead of the nerdier “predictive analytics." The use of big data is steering plan sponsor actions towards enhancing 401(k) participant outcomes and providing insights into consumer behavior. But what’s the best way to jump on this moving train? Predictive Analytics and Your 401(k) Plan First, predictive analytics is “using many techniques from data mining, statistics, modeling, machine learning, and artificial intelligence to analyze current data to make predictions about the future,” as...

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How Employers Should Handle MLR Rebates

The Affordable Care Act's medical loss ratio (MLR) rules require group health insurance issuers to provide rebates if their MLR—the amount of health insurance premiums spent on health care and activities to improve health care quality—falls short of the applicable standard during a reporting year. Each year's rebates are issued to plan sponsors by September 30 of the following year and have three months to distribute the rebate to eligible plan enrollees. Employer Distribution The MLR rules provide that issuers must pay any rebates owed to persons covered under a group health plan to the policyholder, who is then responsible for distributing...

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Employers Are Expected to Spend More on Health Care and Wellness in the Next Year

According to Optum’s Wellness in the Workplace study, more than 80% of employers plan to spend more on health care and wellness in the next year than in previous years. Health Care Spending The cost of providing employer-sponsored health care has been steadily increasing over the years. According to the Kaiser Family Foundation, the average health insurance premium for family coverage was $19,616 in 2018, with employers paying 71% of that cost. Premiums are expected to continue to increase, which means employer health care spending will increase too. Wellness Spending To mitigate rising health care costs, improve attraction and retention, and increase employee well-being,...

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DOL Issues New Salary Limits for Overtime Exemptions

Final Rule Takes Effect Jan. 1 On Sept. 24, 2019, the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) announced a new final rule that updates the salary thresholds that some individuals must meet in order to qualify for a minimum wage and overtime exemption under the federal Fair Labors Standards Act (FLSA). The final rule becomes effective on Jan. 1, 2020. As expected, this final rule increases the standard salary level for the executive, administrative and professional exemptions from $455 to $684 per week ($35,568 per year). It also increases the highly compensated employee salary level from $100,000 to $107,432 per year. In addition, the...

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IRS Confirms ACA Pay or Play Penalties Still Apply – See Q&A including payment info

No Waiver or Transition Relief is Currently Available Recently, the Internal Revenue Service released an information letter regarding the Affordable Care Act's employer shared responsibility (pay or play) penalties. The information letter is intended to clarify the applicability of the penalties in light of President Trump's 2017 executive order broadly directing federal agencies to waive, delay or grant exemptions from ACA requirements that may impose a financial burden. The information letter: Confirms that the ACA's pay or play penalties continue to apply to applicable large employers (ALEs) that fail to offer affordable, minimum value health coverage to their full-time employees (and dependents). ...

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What are Multiple Employer Plans and Should You Consider One?

A Multiple Employer Plan (MEP) is a qualified retirement plan for two or more employers who are not related. It can be particularly appealing to smaller businesses for a number of reasons. MEPs can be easier and may be cost effective to operate, allowing employers to focus on running their businesses while a professional manages the administrative and legal aspects of the plan. This can potentially help you attract and retain top talent. Learn more about MEPs in our short 2-minute or let us know if you'd like to discuss by reaching out to [video width="1920" height="1080" mp4=""][/video]...

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DOL: Employees May Use FMLA Leave for IEP Meetings

Opinion Issued in Case with Doctor’s Certification Employees may take leave under the federal Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) to attend their child’s Individualized Education Plan (IEP) meetings, according to a recent opinion letter from the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL). Although DOL opinion letters are specific to the facts presented, employers can look to them for guidance on the DOL’s interpretation of the law. In the letter, the DOL said the parent’s attendance at a school IEP meeting to address the educational and special medical needs of her children with serious medical conditions (as certified by a health care provider)...

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Open Enrollment Season – A Checklist for Employers

Here at SIMA we offer a comprehensive set of tools and support materials to ensure your employees remain engaged, educated, and, most of all, enrolled in a plan that helps them make better decisions for a healthy physical and financial future. Here are just a few things to do before, during, and after the enrollment period. Pre-Enrollment:  4-10 weeks before Open Enrollment Plan kickoff event around enrollment Send a letter, email, or text message about upcoming enrollment period Print flyers or order materials to hand out at enrollment event Open Enrollment:  1-2 weeks before and during Open Enrollment Send reminders about...

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August 1 IRS webinar to help employers, tax pros understand payroll taxes

IR-2019-133, July 29, 2019 WASHINGTON — The Internal Revenue Service will conduct a webinar August 1 for employers and tax professionals focusing on employment and payroll taxes. Federal law requires most employers to withhold federal income taxes from their employees' wages. These taxes must be deposited, along with the employer and employee portion of Social Security and Medicare taxes, and reported to the IRS. Last year, the IRS processed over 30 million employment tax returns and collected over $1 trillion in employment taxes. The free 60-minute webinar is open to tax professionals, employers and anyone else interested in the topic. Tax pros can...

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