HR Support on Employee Benefit Programs & Strategies

Editor's Note: The benefits challenge - balancing compliance, communications, competitive advantage and cost.

Tracy MorleyOverview: 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

Latest items in Employee Benefits

  • Taxation of Employee Benefits: Missouri

    Type:
    Employment Law Manual

    The value of health insurance benefits provided to an employee's same-sex spouse or partner and/or their dependents is taxable in Missouri.

  • Taxation of Employee Benefits: Michigan

    Type:
    Employment Law Manual

    The value of health insurance benefits provided to an employee's same-sex spouse or partner and/or their dependents is taxable in Michigan

  • Taxation of Employee Benefits: Arkansas

    Type:
    Employment Law Manual

    The value of health insurance benefits provided to an employee's same-sex spouse or partner, and/or their dependents, is taxable in Arkansas.

  • Same-Sex Marriage Legalized

    Date:
    31 July 2015
    Type:
    Editor's Choice

    On June 26, 2015, the Supreme Court ruled in Obergefell v. Hodges that the Constitution requires all 50 states and the District of Columbia to license same-sex marriages and to recognize such marriages that are lawfully licensed and performed out of state.

  • Health Care Benefits: Wyoming

    Type:
    Employment Law Manual

    In-depth review of the spectrum of Wyoming employment law requirements HR must follow with respect to health care benefits.

  • Health Care Benefits: Wisconsin

    Type:
    Employment Law Manual

    In-depth review of the spectrum of Wisconsin employment law requirements HR must follow with respect to health care benefits.

  • Health Care Benefits: West Virginia

    Type:
    Employment Law Manual

    In-depth review of the spectrum of West Virginia employment law requirements HR must follow with respect to health care benefits.

  • Health Care Benefits: Washington

    Type:
    Employment Law Manual

    In-depth review of the spectrum of Washington employment law requirements HR must follow with respect to health care benefits.

  • Health Care Benefits: Virginia

    Type:
    Employment Law Manual

    In-depth review of the spectrum of Virginia employment law requirements HR must follow with respect to health care benefits.

  • Health Care Benefits: Vermont

    Type:
    Employment Law Manual

    In-depth review of the spectrum of Vermont employment law requirements HR must follow with respect to health care benefits.

About this topic

HR and legal considerations for employers regarding employee benefit programs. Support on following regulations and requirements on this topic.