HR Support on Employee Retirement Benefits

Editor's Note: Educate employees to help prepare them for retirement.

Tracy MorleyOverview: The days of guaranteed employer-provided pension and health insurance are long gone. These days, employees are primarily responsible for ensuring they can retire comfortably. This is not always easy, since many employees start saving too little too late.

Even though the rules of the game have changed, employers can still serve as a valuable resource to employees when it comes to retirement planning. Employers can be proactive in their efforts to educate employees on the importance of saving for the future; encourage employees to contribute to a retirement plan; explain how investment strategies change based on factors such as age, the number of years left to retirement and individual goals; ensure employees fully understand their retirement plan's periodic benefit statements and other materials available to them including the plan's Summary Plan Description (SPD); and encourage employees to research retirement planning options on their own or with a financial planner.

Employees that receive education and support from their employer have a better understanding of what they need to do in order to prepare for retirement.

Trends: Employers continue to be creative in their efforts to educate employees on the importance of saving for retirement and retirement planning in general. More than likely, auto-enrollment and escalation features will become more prevalent as a means to help employees invest for their future.

Author: Tracy Morley, SPHR, Legal Editor

Latest items in Retirement Benefits

  • Taxation of Employee Benefits: Kansas

    Type:
    Employment Law Manual

    In-depth review of the spectrum of Kansas employment law requirements HR must follow with respect to taxation of employee benefits.

  • Taxation of Employee Benefits: Kentucky

    Type:
    Employment Law Manual

    In-depth review of the spectrum of Kentucky employment law requirements HR must follow with respect to taxation of employee benefits.

  • Taxation of Employee Benefits: Ohio

    Type:
    Employment Law Manual

    In-depth review of the spectrum of Ohio employment law requirements HR must follow with respect to taxation of employee benefits.

  • Annual Retirement Plan COLAs and Fringe Benefit Limitations

    Type:
    Quick Reference

    This chart provides employers with a comparison of the current and prior year retirement plan cost of living adjustments and fringe benefit limitations. It helps employers ensure that they are withholding the correct amount of taxes from the pay of employees who receive various benefits. The chart will be updated annually when new amounts are announced by the Internal Revenue Service, which is usually by the end of October.

  • Social Security and Medicare Tax Rates and Benefit Amounts

    Type:
    Quick Reference

    Employers and employees each contribute into the Social Security retirement system via Social Security and Medicare (FICA) taxes. This Quick Reference chart provides employers with a comparison of the current and prior year Social Security taxable wage base, FICA tax rates and Social Security benefit amounts.

  • 2015 Pension Plan Limits Announced, 401(k) Deferral Limit Increases to $18,000

    Date:
    24 October 2014
    Type:
    News

    The Internal Revenue Service has announced the tax year 2015 cost-of-living adjustments affecting dollar limitations on benefits and contributions under qualified retirement plans and other inflation-adjusted amounts. Many of the pension plan limitations will increase for 2015 because the increase in the cost-of-living index met the statutory thresholds that trigger their adjustment. Other limitations will not change because the relevant thresholds were not met.

  • Social Security Wage Base Increasing to $118,500 for 2015

    Date:
    23 October 2014
    Type:
    News

    The Social Security Administration has announced that the Social Security taxable wage base will be $118,500 for 2015, as adjusted for inflation. As in prior years, there is no limit on the amount of wages subject to Medicare tax withholding. The Social Security and Medicare (FICA) tax rates will not change for 2015.

  • Retirement Benefits Handbook Statement

    Type:
    Employee Handbooks

    Employers seeking to advise employees of any retirement benefits offered to employees as part of their overall benefits package should consider including this model policy statement in their handbook.

  • Supreme Court Decision on Employee Stock Ownership Plans: Employment Law Manual Updated

    Date:
    26 June 2014
    Type:
    Editor's Choice

    The Supreme Court has issued a decision interpreting requirements regarding the administration of an employee stock ownership plan (ESOP) under the Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974 (ERISA). In Fifth Third Bancorp v. Dudenhoeffer, the Court eliminated the special presumption of prudence to which ESOP fiduciaries had been entitled.

  • Supreme Court Narrows ERISA Plan Fiduciaries' Defenses in Employee Class Actions

    Date:
    25 June 2014
    Type:
    News

    A unanimous Supreme Court in Fifth Third Bancorp v. Dudenhoeffer has reversed the 6th Circuit Court of Appeals - with ramifications for employers that offer a defined-contribution retirement savings plan with investment options in an "employee stock ownership plan" (ESOP). In its decision, the Supreme Court resolves a split among the federal circuits by eliminating the special presumption of prudence to which ESOP fiduciaries had been entitled.

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HR guidance on helping employees prepare for retirement.