Spencer’s Benefits Reports NetNews – December 9, 2016

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News

December 9, 2016

 

How to meet Millennials’ unique benefits needs

Human resource professionals can strengthen employee recruitment and retention by reimagining workplace benefits through the lens of Millennials, according to a new white paper, “Millennials Come of Age,” recently released by Colonial Life. In the white paper, Colonial Life points out that, even though they’re the youngest generation in the workforce, Millennials value benefits as much as other generations, (citing LIMRA’s MarketFacts Quarterly, Number 1, 2016)….

(Read Intelliconnect) »

Over 60 percent of largest companies offer wellness plans

Just over 60 percent of employers with 1,000 or more employees offer wellness plans, according to a special report from United Benefit Advisors (UBA). The special report,
2016 Trends: How Employers Use Wellness Programs, based on the 2016 UBA Health Plan Survey, found that 18.4 percent of all employers offered comprehensive wellness plans, virtually unchanged from last year….

(Read Intelliconnect) »

December 8, 2016

 

Text: IRS Notice 2016-75, 2016 guidance with respect to the tax credit for employee health insurance expenses of certain small employers

(Read Intelliconnect) »

IRS provides relief for Wisconsin small businesses unable to obtain SHOP coverage for 2016

The IRS has issued transition relief allowing small businesses in Wisconsin to claim the employer health insurance credit under Code Sec. 45R even though they are unable to offer a qualified health plan (QHP) in 2016 through a Small Business Health Options Program (SHOP) Exchange because there are no QHPs available in the county in which they have their primary business address. Affected Wisconsin counties include Pierce, Polk and St. Croix. Similar relief was provided for 2014 for employers in certain counties in the states of Washington and Wisconsin under Notice 2014-6, and certain counties in Iowa under Notice 2015-08….

(Read Intelliconnect) »

Use of PTO plans continues to increase

Employers continue to migrate from traditional vacation/sick plans to paid time off (PTO) plans, according to a recent survey from Mercer. The
Absence and Disability Management Survey found that PTO plans are now in place in 63 percent of organizations (up from 50 percent in 2013 and 38 percent in 2010). PTO plans provide employees with more flexibility and reduce the need to determine (and track) what type of day off is being taken….

(Read Intelliconnect) »

December 7, 2016

Short-term disability plan was ERISA-exempt ‘payroll practice’

SunTrust’s short-term disability (STD) plan—which paid normal wages from general assets on account of work missed due to medical reasons—was an ERISA-exempt “payroll practice” under Department of Labor regulations, the D.C. Circuit ruled. Further, the court below appropriately applied a deferential standard of review in assessing the plan administrator’s denial of benefits to a SunTrust employee under the bank’s long-term disability (LTD) plan, the appeals court held, affirming both the lower court’s grant of summary judgment against her ERISA claim and the denial of her motion for reconsideration….

(Read Intelliconnect) »

Plan investment lineup of low return and high fee options did not establish claim for fiduciary breach

Plan participants failed to state a claim that plan fiduciaries breached duties of loyalty and prudence by: providing participants with a money market fund, rather than a stable value fund; providing retail investment options rather than lower cost institutional options; offering mutual funds that charged higher management fees, rather than a collective trust or separate accounts; failing to submit administrative services to competitive bidding; paying excess fees to a recordkeeper through asset-based revenue sharing; and failing to remove an underperforming small cap fund from the investment lineup, according to a federal trial court in California. The claims were generally not supported by facts that would allow for a reasonable inference of fiduciary breach. However, the participants were granted leave to amend their complaint….

(Read Intelliconnect) »

December 6, 2016

 

House passes Cures Bill allowing certain small business-sponsored HRAs

The House passed the much anticipated 21st Century Cures Bill (HR 34) on November 30 by a 392 to 26 vote. The bipartisan measure now heads to the Senate for consideration. Among its provisions, HR 34 would essentially exempt certain small employers who operate qualified Health Reimbursement Accounts (HRAs) from the penalties imposed by the Patient Protection Affordable Care Act (ACA)….

(Read Intelliconnect) »

PBGC deficit continues to grow due to increased multiemployer program shortfall

The Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation (PBGC) has released its Annual Report, showing that the PBGC’s deficit grew in Fiscal Year (FY) 2016 due to the increased deficit in the multiemployer plan program amounting to $58.8 billion. The increase resulted from additional multiemployer plans that the PBGC expects to run out of money and from decreases in the interest factors used to value the PBGC’s liabilities. However, the single-employer insurance program’s deficit narrowed to $20.6 billion at the end of FY 2016. The Agency protects the pension benefits of nearly 40 million Americans in private-sector pension plans and PBGC is already responsible for the benefits of about 1.5 million people in failed plans who otherwise might have lost their pensions….

(Read Intelliconnect) »

December 5, 2016

 

Robust benefits package essential in war for talent, SHRM survey finds

In today’s competitive war for talent, employers are turning to and bolstering their benefits packages to give them an edge over competitors, a Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM) survey report showed. According to the report, 95 percent of HR professionals rated health care as one of the three most important benefits to employees. Other top rated employee benefits included retirement savings and planning (71 percent) and leave (50 percent)….

(Read Intelliconnect) »

U.S. adults still skipping care due to cost

Compared to 10 other developed countries, U.S. adults are more likely to go without health care and to report struggling to afford basic necessities despite the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA). The Commonwealth Fund (CWF) compared patient experiences, finding that Americans were more likely to report difficulty in finding support for chronic illnesses. However, patients from all countries surveyed reported struggling to get health care outside of business hours without going to the emergency room….

(Read Intelliconnect) »