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
To help employers comply with the laws on fringe benefits in Hawaii, XpertHR has added a new Taxation of Employee Compensation: Hawaii section to the Employment law Manual.
In-depth review of the spectrum of Hawaii employment law requirements HR must follow with respect to taxation of employee compensation.
Updated to reflect forthcoming amendments covering penalties and credits, medical reimbursement disputes, reporting requirements and selection of medical providers.
Updated to incorporate a law encouraging employers to offer a group disability income protection plan, effective July 29, 2016.
This webinar discusses what the Supreme Court's term will mean for HR and in-house counsel with expert insights and analysis from Anthony Oncidi, who heads the labor and employment practice group in the Los Angeles office of Proskauer Rose, and XpertHR Legal Editor David Weisenfeld.
The IRS has issued proposed regulations that confirm the position it took in Notice 2015-87 with regard to unconditional opt-out payments - payments made to employees who forgo group health benefits, which increase the amount of their monthly premium by the amount of the payments. The proposed regulations, which also cover eligible conditional opt-out payments, would take effect for plan years beginning in 2017.
Updated to reflect a forthcoming law increasing ERISA civil penalties.
Updated to reflect IRS guidance issued in July 2016 on the modified determination letter program.
HR and legal considerations for employers regarding employee benefit programs. Support on following regulations and requirements on this topic.