• 5 ideas for a positive open enrollment season

    July 23, 2014

    Benefit advisers and employers should follow these suggestions from Mercer on ways to make open enrollment 2015 successful for companies and employers alike.

  • NARAB II passes Senate in key advancement

    July 17, 2014

    The bill that would establish a federal clearinghouse for state-by-state broker and agent licensing has successfully passed the U.S. Senate as an amendment to the Terrorism Risk Insurance Act, known as TRIA. It was previously left off another insurance industry bill at this point in the process.

  • Dangers of social media recruitment: Why benefits managers could be at risk

    July 17, 2014

    Commentary: In today’s ubiquitous social media environment, employers face tremendous risks when utilizing social media as part of the hiring process. Even the most stringent recruitment process can become infiltrated with discriminatory practices, whether it’s intentional or not. Human resources professionals continue to struggle with this.

  • Senators introduce bill to counteract Hobby Lobby decision

    July 10, 2014

    Sens. Patty Murray (D-Wash.) and Mark Udall (D-Colo.) on Tuesday introduced new legislation to counter the debated Supreme Court Hobby Lobby decision, which favored religious exemptions to certain contraception methods.

  • 'Aggressive' compliance enforcement a top concern for employers

    July 8, 2014

    As reports of more DOL audits continue to spook benefit advisers into talking compliance with their clients, employers are confirming that they, too, are fearful of federal agencies’ monitoring.

  • Will minimum wage hikes impact employers?

    July 3, 2014

    Over the past two months, minimum wage increases have either been signed into law or enacted in states from coast to coast. With many more locales still considering changes, management and legal authorities recommend employers – of all sizes and industry – revisit their pay structures.

  • Why employers need ADA-compliant policies

    July 2, 2014

    The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission’s vigorous zeal for employer compliance with the Americans with Disability Act is not showing any signs of letting up. As a result, legal advisers in the labor and employment field recommend that employers of all sizes conduct a thorough review of their policies and accommodations.

  • Industry reacts to Hobby Lobby decision

    July 2, 2014

    Earlier this week, the Supreme Court ruled that, as applied to closely held corporations, Obamacare’s contraception mandate requiring employers to provide workers with no-cost access to contraception violates the Religious Freedom Restoration Act. Reaction to the case, Burwell v. Hobby Lobby Stores, Inc., was swift, although most legal experts believe it is not likely to have broad implications for the majority of employer-sponsored health care plans.

  • Why worry about ERISA?

    July 2, 2014

    If it “smells like a benefit plan,” you likely have to follow ERISA, said one speaker at the National Association of Health Underwriters annual convention in Scottsdale, Ariz. Here are some general tips benefit advisers need to know about complying with this law, for your clients and their employees alike.

  • 10 ACA questions small employers should be asking

    June 27, 2014

    “The majority of Americans, including many small business owners, are still confused about the health reform legislation,” according to Health Partners America, a broker training and education organization. Here are 10 FAQs about the Affordable Care Act and its implications for small businesses.

  • A less-than-happy checkup

    June 27, 2014

    There are few smiles as the ACA’s effect on dental coverage begins to be better understood. Coupling dental benefits with health care coverage may have unintended consequences — and complicate access for employees.

  • 10 ACA questions your small-employer clients are asking

    June 25, 2014

    “The majority of Americans, including many small business owners, are still confused about the health reform legislation,” according to agent training and support organization Health Partners America. Here are 10 common FAQs small group clients have about the ACA so that you can be prepared to answer them.

  • Critical checkpoint approaches for HIX fix in Mass.

    June 25, 2014

    When he ran for president in 1988, Michael Dukakis infused the phrase “Massachusetts Miracle” into stump speeches to describe the state’s economic transformation. That same description could apply if a costly and controversial plan to fix the state’s Connector exchange succeeds.

  • 5 tips to establish an internal controls system for 401(k) plan compliance

    June 23, 2014

    Recently, the Internal Revenue Service has focused enforcement activity on examining the implementation of a strong internal control system. The IRS has publicly stated that if a plan is selected for audit the agent will use their evaluation of the plan’s internal controls to determine whether the scope of the examination will be focused or expanded.

  • IRS targets Roth feature in 401(k) plans

    June 16, 2014

    The IRS has launched a compliance check program to better understand how plan sponsors are complying with Roth deferral provisions in 401(k) plans. If asked to participate, failure to to respond could trigger an audit.

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