Category: Benefits

From 401(k) plans to vacation policy, this topic gives HR and Compensation professionals specific strategies on how to handle benefit plans. Articles also provide guidance to brokers, advisers and consultants.

Individual Mandate Repeal May Result in Millions Fewer Insured but No Major Premium Hike, RAND finds

Repealing the individual mandate would result in 12 million fewer adults with health insurance in 2014, but would bump up premiums for coverage only by 2.4 percent, researchers at the RAND Corporation say. No Death Spiral … Health insurance premiums would only be 2.4 percent higher than they would be with an individual mandate and […]

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IRS to Hold Public Hearings on Governmental Plan Updates

The IRS and the Department of Treasury is still seeking public input on future standards to determine whether a retirement plan is a governmental plan under Code Section 414(d). According to the IRS, more guidance is needed for Section 414(d), as the statutory rules for governmental plans differ from those for nongovernmental plans. Further, changes […]

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Federal Defense of Marriage Act Found Unconstitutional … Again

Employers with employees who seek coverage under their benefit plans for their same-sex spouses would be justified in wondering exactly what they should do under federal law. The federal Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) is still in force, but the Obama administration will not enforce or defend it. And now another court has found it […]

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Steps to Reduce Conflict, Prevent Violence in the Workplace

Violence in the workplace is one of several concerns when you have conflict between employees. HR professionals need to take complaints and investigations seriously to ensure that situations don’t escalate, and they also need to be sure that safety and other legal obligations are being met. In a BLR webinar titled “Workplace Conflict Resolution: Peacekeeping […]

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So You Provide Meals for Your Employees. Is the Chef’s Salary Part of the ‘Direct Cost’?

One of the keys to this determination is comparing the cost of providing the meals to the revenue the operation brings in. There are “direct” and “indirect” costs, the latter of which do not go toward the calculation of the cost-to-revenue ratio that determines whether you are providing a de minimis benefit (and therefore one […]

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Four Tips on Reviewing and Updating COBRA Notice Procedures

The failure to administer COBRA continuation coverage notices correctly can cost employers and plan administrators money, time and aggravation, says COBRA expert Paul M. Hamburger, Esq. of Proskauer Rose LLP. He provides four tips they can use to help avoid COBRA notice missteps: (1) prepare clear, accurate and complete COBRA notices; (2) be sure to […]

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Another reform rule delayed, offering temporary relief for business

The administration doesn’t mind taking the occasional detour on its route to health reform implementation, it seems, perhaps because until the Supreme Court decides on the constitutionality of its “individual mandate” (oral arguments will be March 27), the fate of the law’s employer provisions has to be considered uncertain. Backpedaling also may be occurring with […]

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IRS Releases 401(k) Compliance Check Survey Results

There are more than half a million 401(k) plans in the United States, covering 60 million Americans, says the IRS. That is just some of the information in the 401(k) Compliance Check Questionnaire Interim Report, which the IRS released on Feb. 16, 2012. The report summarizes survey responses from 401(k) plan sponsors that filed a […]

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‘Occasionally’ Providing Meals to Employees — What Does it Mean for Employer Tax Compliance?

How can an employer best determine whether employer-provided meals qualify as de minimis fringe benefits under the federal tax code? The employer must take into account how frequently the meals or meal money are provided, either on an employee-by-employee basis, or on the basis of the work force as a whole. Then, how should an […]

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