Overview: Employee benefit programs typically account for one-third of employee compensation costs. HR professionals are charged with managing this investment wisely. This includes ensuring compliance, controlling costs, having an effective communication strategy and making sure the benefits program attracts, retains and engages employees.
This is especially challenging in light of rising health care costs and an increasingly complex regulatory environment. With only so many dollars to spend on employee benefits a key part of the strategy is to determine how much to invest so that both the needs of the employee and the employer are met. The regulatory environment has a significant impact on how employee benefit plans are designed and administered as employers ensure plans are operated in compliance with ERISA, COBRA and HIPAA.
Having a benefits strategy that is linked to business strategy can serve as a significant competitive advantage for employers. Clearly aligning the vision of employee benefit programs with the employer's business goals demonstrates how HR functions as a business partner and contributes to the bottom line. Effective benefit communications can support this vision and will ensure that both employers and employees get the most from the substantial investment in benefits.
Trends: The newer requirements of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA), commonly referred to as Health Care Reform or Obamacare, in addition to the repeal of section 3 of the Defense of Marriage Act will challenge HR professionals in both the short and the long-term as they monitor developments and adjust benefit strategies accordingly.
Author: Tracy Morley, SPHR, Legal Editor
The Internal Revenue Service issued final regulations governing implementation of the 0.9 percent Additional Medicare Tax (AMT) on high income earners that took effect January 1, 2013 under the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA). The final regulations replace earlier proposed regulations by providing additional details regarding how an employer should proceed if it has not withheld the correct amount of AMT from an employee's wages. Employers must comply with the final regulations starting January 1, 2014.
In-depth review of the spectrum of Missouri employment law requirements HR must follow with respect to workers' compensation.
XpertHR's High-Tech Resource Center for HR helps high-tech employers handle their most challenging employment issues by bringing relevant resources together in one place for easy access.
The health care reform resource page can be used as a tool to help subscribers comply with the complex requirements of the Affordable Care Act (ACA).
The Health Care Benefits section of the Employment Law Manual has been expanded to include additional content on the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act.
Despite the DOMA decision handed down by the Supreme Court in Windsor, state laws still vary greatly regarding both the recognition of same-sex marriage and the taxation of benefits provided to an employee's same-sex spouse by an employer. This Quick Reference Chart summarizes federal and state law regarding whether same-sex marriages, civil unions and/or domestic partnerships are recognized, and whether the value of benefits provided by an employer to an employee's same-sex spouse or civil union or domestic partner is taxable. This chart will be updated when any changes in these laws occur.
Employer-sponsored health care benefits are an important part of the overall compensation package used to attract and retain employees. Employers, however, face a number of issues when deciding on employee health care benefits. This section assists HR professionals in understanding the different types of benefit plans (e.g., traditional indemnity, managed care), the benefits that may be offered (e.g., prescription drug, dental, vision), how cafeteria plans work and the impact of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA).
As mandated by the Ohio Bureau of Workers' Compensation, employers are required to post the Ohio Rebuttable Presumption Notice.
As mandated by the Ohio Bureau of Workers' Compensation, certain employers must post the Workers' Compensation Fund poster.
As mandated by the Job Service North Dakota, employers subject to North Dakota unemployment compensation laws must post the North Dakota Unemployment Compensation poster.
HR and legal considerations for employers regarding employee benefit programs. Support on following regulations and requirements on this topic.