Dear Valued Clients and Associates,
February is a month of hearts, love and valentine’s; it also happens to be the month my Grandmother was born and this year, she’s celebrating 91! I’m excited to head to Maine in a couple weeks to see her and soak up all the love I can get from my family there.
Speaking of love, how do you feel about your benefits broker?
You may like your broker, but are they really servicing your organization and your employees the way they should be or are they just collecting their commission and not offering you value-add services?
- Do your employees have direct access to your broker for help with claims questions and adjudication or do your employees have to call the carrier directly?
- Do they provide you with access to HR and compliance tools?
- Does your broker include an online benefits administration option?
- Does your broker administer COBRA for you?
- Will your broker administer your HRA for you?
- Do they market your plans every year and show you the comparison, so you know you are offering the best plans?
If you are not getting all of these things and more from your broker, we should talk!
PF Compass has held a 98% retention rate for over 20 years! If you’d like to learn how we can help you reach your employee benefits and compliance goals, let’s chat! Give me a call today 732-258-1032. Here is your February 2020 Newsletter with a combination of HR and Health related news. I hope you enjoy!
Cadillac Tax and Other Key ACA Taxes Repealed
The federal spending bill signed into law at the end of 2019 repealed three taxes and fees under the Affordable Care Act (ACA):
- The Cadillac tax
- The medical devices excise tax
- The health insurance providers fee
The Cadillac Tax
The Cadillac tax is a 40% excise tax on high-cost group health coverage. Its effective date was previously delayed several times. This tax is now fully repealed, beginning with the 2020 tax year.
The Medical Devices Excise Tax
The medical devices tax is a 2.3% excise tax on the sales price of certain medical devices. This tax is fully repealed beginning in 2020.
Health Insurance Providers Fee
The health insurance providers fee is an annual fee imposed on the health insurance sector. This fee is repealed beginning with the 2021 calendar year. Employers should be aware of the evolving applicability of existing ACA taxes and fees so they know how the ACA affects their bottom lines.
NJ Passes Commuter Benefit Law Effective 3/1/2020
New Jersey employers with 20 or more employees are now required to offer pre-tax transportation, or fringe, benefit accounts to all their employees.
When Does the Law Take Effect?
The law will become operative on March 1, 2020, or once the regulations are adopted, whichever comes first. If you don’t have a plan in place by March 1st you are potentially subject to fines.
How are Employers Affected?
The benefit must be offered to all employees, and an employee is defined, under the state’s unemployment insurance code, as someone hired by the employer to report to their work location. Employees covered by a collective bargaining agreement are excluded.
PF Compass can help navigate this new benefit, contact information provided at the bottom of this newsletter!
A New Year, a New Form W-4
The IRS released an updated version of its Form W-4, also known as the “Employee’s Withholding Certificate.” Employers use IRS Form W-4 to determine each employee’s federal tax withholdings. The new form is intended to harmonize tax withholding declarations with the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, which affected individuals for the first time during the last tax filing season.
Employees may complete a new W-4 each year or each time they experience a change in their personal financial situation. However, the new form does not invalidate prior versions, and employers are not expected to replace W-4 forms from previous years with the 2020 version.
Highlights of the New Form
- The new form will prompt employees to declare whether they have multiple sources of income (e.g., two jobs or two-earner households).
- New employees who fail to submit a Form W-4 after 2019 will be treated as single filers with no other adjustments.
- The new form uses a five-step process. Only steps one and five are mandatory.
Employers should become familiar with the updates to IRS Form W-4 and make it available for all new hires and employees who wish to amend their withholding declarations in 2020. Please note that employers are not required to update W-4 forms that were completed and filed on or before 2019.
Cholesterol Itself is NOT the Culprit to Heart Disease
Natural Medicine & Rehabilitation
February is National Hearth Month so I wanted to share this article from Natural Medicine & Rehabilitation in Somerset, NJ.
For years heart disease has been blamed on cholesterol and Cardiologists have been prescribing medications to lower cholesterol and suggesting patients eat a low fat diet. In the 1990’s the marketplace was flooded with low-fat / fat-free products… eating the right kind of fat and protein will signal your brain that it is full and satisfied, and would stop the sugar cravings.
Today we know that cholesterol alone is not the culprit to heart disease; the American diet, high in excess sugar and processed foods, is by far the main culprit!
NJ Requires Severance for Mass Layoffs
By: Daniel J. Munoz – njbiz.com
New Jersey will be the first state in the nation that will require larger employers to provide severance pay to workers affected by mass layoffs.
Senate Bill 3170, was signed by Gov. Phil Murphy on Tuesday. It was sparked by woes of Toys R Us workers who lost their jobs when the Wayne-based retail giant declared bankruptcy and closed down its nationwide chain.
S3170 will require New Jersey employers with at least 100 workers to provide 90 days notice – up from 60 days – ahead of a layoff where at least 50 workers are terminated. The bill also requires one week of severance for every year of employment. Businesses that fail to comply with the 90-day layoff notice would be on the hook for another four weeks of pay. The new rules take effect in six months.
Immediate Actions Needed by Retirement Plans to Comply with The SECURE ACT of 2019
By Wilkin Guttenplan CPAs & Advisors
On December 20, 2019, the Setting Every Community Up for Retirement Enhancement Act (SECURE Act) became law. The SECURE Act is landmark legislation that affects the rules for creating and maintaining workplace retirement plans for all employers (including for-profit and tax-exempt employers of all sizes). Whether you currently offer your employees a retirement plan (or are planning to do so), you should consider how these new rules may affect your current retirement plan (or your decision to create a new one).
New Jersey Joins Jurisdictions Banning Salary History Inquiries
By Ford Harrison – Labor& Employment Law Firm
Starting on January 1, 2020, employers in New Jersey are prohibited from requesting job applicants to answer questions about their current or previous salary or wages. There are exceptions for positions where federal law requires such information to be disclosed or in cases where wages and salaries are publicly available. The job applicant may also voluntarily share the salary information with the employer. Salary history may be confirmed, but only after the job offer is made.
To Read More, Click Here
Governor Signs Executive Order Establishing Coronavirus Task Force
Gov. Phil Murphy signed Executive Order No. 102, establishing the Coronavirus Task Force to coordinate all efforts to appropriately prepare for and respond to the public health hazard posed by the novel coronavirus (2019-nCoV). Governor Murphy also noted that Newark Liberty International Airport will serve as one of eleven major airports in the United States authorized to receive flights from China that require enhanced entry screening for coronavirus.
To read more, Click Here
30 Best Things to Do on Valentine’s Day for the Ultimate Date Night
By Rebekah Lowin – Country Living
I couldn’t send out a newsletter so close to Valentine’s day without including an article with some fun, out-of-the box ideas on ways to celebrate your special romance, no matter what your budget…
I found this article from Country Living that I really like. Remember, “the ultimate Valentine’s Day gift is time spent together.”
5 Must-Do’s for Employee Orientation
Employee orientation is an important piece of HR and employee management. A formal orientation is essential to setting a new hire up for success and helping your company maintain the corporate image and values you portrayed during the interview process. Employee orientation can also be designed for current staffers who are being promoted to a new position within the company and need a similar type of program. Learn the must-do’s for employee orientation in the video below.
Need Dental Insurance?
Delta Dental now offers individual policies – Search Plans, see prices and sign up online here.
Brandi Bowers | Benefits Consultant
PF Compass Employer Guidance & Benefit Solutions
Credits: Copyright © HR 360, Inc. All rights reserved., njbiz.com, Natural Medicine & Rehab, Wilkin Guttenplan – CPAs & Advisors, Ford Harrison – Labor & Employment Law Firm, njbmagazine.com, countryliving.com, nj.gov