Employee Benefit Guidance & Compliance Solutions

Monthly Newsletter February 2019

Posted by on February 1, 2019 in Newsletters

Dear Valued Clients and Associates,

Did you set a New Year’s Resolution? How’s it going? Maybe your resolution was to double and triple check how compliant your organization is?

This month I want to talk a little bit about compliance regarding POP/Section 125. If you are not familiar with what this is, POP stands for Premium Only Plan which is a way for employees to pay for their benefits with pretax dollars. Here are some things to consider:

  • Are you an LLC, S Corp or Partnership and contributing to your POP plan? If you are, there is reason for concern.
  • Is your POP discriminatory??
  • Do you have a written POP doc? When was the last time it was updated?
  • Do your employees reenroll prior to the beginning of each year?
  • Does your document allow rollover?
  • Is it part of your onboarding process for new employees?

All these issues could lead to disqualification and penalties from the IRS and Department of Labor.

If you would like a review please contact me, PF Compass can help! Give me a call or email me to schedule some time to meet and discuss – no obligation!

Here is your February 2019 Newsletter with a combination of HR and Health related news. I hope you enjoy!



Thoughts on RIFs and Lay Offs

By: Maggie Johnson, PF Compass in-house HR Consultant

It’s said that employees are an organization’s most valuable asset. A stable workforce creates a workplace with no paranoia of job loss, high employee morale, increased knowledge and job skills, and higher productivity. Often, a company that has been recognized as a Best Place to Work has a stable workforce.
However, reductions-in-force (RIFs) and layoffs often happen these days as companies merge with or acquire other organizations, change and/or re-organize to become more competitive, or to cut labor cost when business is failing.

To read more about RIFs and Layoffs, visit our BLOG here.



A little more on Premium Only Plans/Section 125

Employers and employees can both benefit from properly implementing a Premium Only Plan, also referred to as POP, Section 125 or Cafeteria Plan. The extent of an employee’s advantages arising from cafeteria plan participation will depend on the employee’s tax status, the amount of his or her taxable income and pre-tax salary reduction elections, the scope of state and local laws, and the cafeteria plan’s features.
While employers will save on their share of FICA (Social Security and Medicare) and FUTA (federal unemployment) taxes.

To learn a bit more click here.

Want help setting up a POP at your organization or making sure what you have is set up properly with the right documentation? Contact me now



Deadlines to Furnish Forms 1095-C and 1095-B to Employees Fast Approaching

The IRS deadlines to furnish Forms 1095-C and 1095-B to employees in early 2019 are fast approaching. The deadlines are as follows:

  • Employers with 50 or more full-time employees (including full-time equivalent employees) generally must furnish a Form 1095-C to all full-time employees no later than March 4, 2019.
  • Self-insured employers with fewer than 50 or more full-time employees (including full-time equivalent employees) generally must furnish a Form 1095-B to all responsible individuals–typically the primary insured, an employee or former employee, or other related person named on the application for insurance–no later than March 4, 2019.

The deadline for employers to file all Forms 1095-C and 1095-B with the IRS remains February 28, 2019 (or April 1, 2019, if filing electronically). For more information, read the instructions for Forms 1095-C and 1095-B



Trump Pledges To End HIV Transmission By 2030. Doable, But Daunting.

Noting that science has “brought a once-distant dream within reach,” President Donald Trump on Tuesday night pledged to eliminate HIV transmission within 10 years. To read the full article, click here



Calculating OT? Double-Check Your Math

Overtime (OT) is typically calculated by multiplying an employee’s hourly rate by 1.5–pretty easy, right? It depends who checks your math. The Department of Labor (DOL) recently published an opinion letter on pay rates, as they relate to calculating OT. According to the letter, you can vary employees’ average hourly rates from week to week–assuming the average hourly pay is always above the Fair Labor Standards Act’s minimum wage threshold. However, employers using this method should be cautious when determining OT pay. The DOL specified that a company may not “arbitrarily choose the regular rate of pay” on which to base OT–it must be based on fact and “mathematical computation.” In the simplest terms, this means: use an employee’s actual pay rate when calculating OT pay.



Transparent Hospital Pricing Exposes Wild Fluctuation, Even Within Miles

The federal government’s new rule requiring hospitals to post prices for their services is intended to allow patients to shop around and compare prices, a step toward price transparency that has generated praise and skepticism. To read more, click here.



Retaining Talent: Are Your Leaders the Problem?

It’s no secret that bad bosses can send employees running, but what’s considered “bad” these days? To many businesses, it means being unempathetic.

Empathy is recognizing emotions in yourself and others, and using that understanding to influence your actions. Lately, companies are seeking leaders who exhibit high emotional intelligence because they maintain better rapport with employees and can keep them on board.

In fact, when it comes to retention, an empathetic leader is sometimes more important than pay, according to a recent study from Businessolver. Over two-thirds of workers in sectors like tech and health care say they would make concessions on pay if it meant having a more empathetic boss. Moreover, 90 percent of workers are more likely to stay with a company if it empathizes with their needs, according to the same study.

Making it Work for You

Experts suggest forming a culture of feedback at your company. Employees at all levels should feel comfortable offering feedback. Additionally, leaders should consider holding one-on-one meetings with employees to discuss what they need for success. Remember: when workers are comfortable sharing with empathetic leaders, your business can focus on improvement and growth.



Tech Advice for HR Departments of One

HR departments of one, in which a single person manages all aspects of a company’s HR processes, are often the first to say they need some kind of technology to do their jobs. However, many also say their business’s owners typically hate to spend money on HR—and that’s why the HR professional is often asked to rely on the technology and software the company already has to manage all HR functions.

That can create some problems. To read more, click here



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.



I am constantly looking for ways to improve this newsletter, comments and suggestions are welcome. Thank you!


Brandi Bowers | Benefits Consultant
PF Compass Employer Guidance & Benefit Solutions

461 Somerset St. North Plainfield NJ 07060
Tel (732) 258-1032


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Source Credits: Copyright © HR 360, Inc. All rights reserved., OCA125.com, SHRM.org, Kaiser Health News

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