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 federal Defense of Marriage Act and the legalization of same-sex marriage in numerous states, 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
Enhanced to improve the scope of coverage regarding billing disputes over responsibility for medical treatments, lien filing fees and lien filing process.
Class-action lawsuits have been filed against nine of the nation's top universities claiming that employees and retirees were forced to pay millions of dollars in excessive fees relating to their 401(k) and 403(b) accounts in violation of the Employee Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA).
A self-selected, voluntary sample of 1,200 parents of school-age children reported that the opportunity to telecommute or work according to a flexible schedule was among the most important factors they look at when considering a potential job.
Certain District of Columbia employers are required to offer employees tax- or cost-free commuter benefits. Certain employers in New Jersey and Connecticut must comply with the New York City commuter benefits law if they have employees working in New York City.
In-depth review of the spectrum of District of Columbia employment law requirements HR must follow with respect to taxation of employee compensation.
In-depth review of the spectrum of New Jersey employment law requirements HR must follow with respect to taxation of employee compensation.
In-depth review of the spectrum of Connecticut employment law requirements HR must follow with respect to taxation of employee compensation.
Enhanced by the addition of a new law in New York City requiring employers to offer commuter benefits to full-time employees, enforced as of July 1, 2016.
HR and legal considerations for employers regarding employee benefit programs. Support on following regulations and requirements on this topic.