Employee Benefit Guidance & Compliance Solutions

Posts Tagged "employee benefits"

Everything to know about COBRA Compliance

By on Oct 28, 2020 in COBRA | 0 comments

COBRA compliance is a complex process in which many businesses struggle. Many companies are intimidated by the intensive manuals and the strict timelines that come with COBRA compliance. The most effective tool while proceeding with COBRA compliance is knowledge and understanding of the process. In this post, we wanted to lay out the ground rules and basics for COBRA compliance. But, of course, you can streamline the process by contacting us for a COBRA administration consultation that would take care of everything for you! The Basics If you are an employer that holds over 20 employees, federal law requires, and some states as well, that you continue medical care coverage to employees that have separated from the company. There are however a number of things that must be considered to determine who is eligible and what they are to receive exactly. COBRA stands for the Consolidated Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act, which was enacted in 1985. According to the act, coverage must be continued for 18-36 months for those eligible and depending on the circumstances of the change in employment. Penalties involved The last thing that you want to see is an invoice charged by the IRS for $110 per day. The worst part is, that the fee is per each qualified beneficiary who did not receive coverage. COBRA penalties can be extensive, that’s why it’s imperative to stay in compliance! Keep in mind that potential penalties do not include the possibility of a lawsuit and legal representation. If the IRS also learns that non-compliance continued after their notice, the minimum tax levied is $2,500. That’s why it’s preferable to have experts guide you on the subject, such as the team here at PF Compass! Number of Employees When counting how many employees an organization employs, part-time employees must also be factored into the equation. Each part-time employee must be considered as a fraction of a full-time employee. You must also factor in the number of hours they work as well. This means that a mix of part-time and full-time employees could very well equate to you having to offer COBRA. Take precautions into noting that some states have COBRA similar laws that may enforce the same regulations for organizations...

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How to Change Benefits Brokers

By on Oct 23, 2020 in Human Resources | 0 comments

Many businesses receive poor consulting or service from their brokers. But why don’t they make a change and shift to a new brokerage? Well, it’s mostly because they believe that changing brokerages is a difficult and lengthy process. A process that is full of paperwork, tons of communication, and significant changes to their original plans. But we are here to tell you that it isn’t! In fact, PF Compass makes switching brokers very easy! Let’s explain why you shouldn’t dread changing brokers. You Don’t Have to Switch Insurance Carriers or Benefits Packages There is a large misconception that when you switch brokerages, you have to switch insurance carriers as well as change benefits packages. To many businesses, this would be a headache and a large inconvenience. But, that’s not the case. You can keep the same insurance carriers as well as benefits packages. All you have to do is notify your insurance carrier that you are being represented by a new broker instead of your old one. This is done by simply submitting a Broker of Record (BOR) which PF Compass and most brokerages provide to you; all you have to do is sign it. This allows us to renegotiate rates with the same insurance carrier and make sure you get the best value and best benefits package. There Aren’t Any Time Constraints There isn’t a set time period where you have to switch brokers. You can do it at any time! You can submit your BOR whenever you’d like, and since changing your benefits package and the insurance carrier isn’t necessary, you don’t have to worry about the hassle of acquiring a new plan from the ground up. Your employers won’t notice a change in their benefits at all and plus there will be no internal service change. Whenever you have found a broker that you deem acceptable to be in accordance with your insurance and benefits plan, you can make the shift whenever you’d like! We Offer Digital Support We here at PF Compass make the switch seamless. We are one of the few brokerages that offer full digital support when making the change. In fact, it’s up to you whether you would like to do it...

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2020 – New Rules for Salaries and Wages

By on Jan 3, 2020 in Human Resources | 0 comments

2020 – New Rules for Salaries and Wages By Maggie Johnson     As we start the new year, there are a number of changes in employment law affecting the payment of salaries and wages by New York and New Jersey employers. Here’s an overview of the new regulations. Overtime Exemptions The US Department of Labor has issued a final rule for overtime exemptions effective January 1, 2020. The salary test under federal law for exemption from the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) now requires a minimum salary of $684 per week up from $485 per week. Under the highly compensated employee test, the minimum annual salary must be $107,432 increased from $100,000. Pre-Employment Salary History Questions 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. New York’s similar law is effective January 6, 2020. It also prohibits employers from asking job applicants about their salary or wages at current or former jobs, or using that information to decide whether to make a job offer or to refuse to interview an applicant. Pre-Employment Testing Employers who hire employees in New York City should also note that pre-employment testing for marijuana will be banned in that city effective May 2020. There are exceptions for certain job applicants. For example, police officers, commercial drivers, teachers, construction workers, those who care for patients in medical nursing homes. Although the new law prohibits pre-employment marijuana testing, it does not excuse an employee from going to work under the influence of marijuana or prohibit drug testing current employees. Pre-Tax Commuter Benefits The state of New Jersey’s commuter benefit law goes into effect on March 1, 2020. It applies to any employer who employs 20 or more workers in New Jersey. The law requires applicable employers to offer pre-tax commuter benefits to its employees for certain eligible commuter...

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By on Jul 30, 2019 in Human Resources | 0 comments

Free Employer Services and No-cost Employee Benefits? How your county’s TMA (Transportation Management Association) can help you find mobility and sustainability solutions.   By Leanne McGowan, Business Development Manager at RideWise, Somerset County’s TMA     Most NJ employers and HR professionals don’t realize that their local TMA can be a valuable tool. RideWise TMA in Somerset County, for example, can provide resources, programming and best practice consults on a variety of transportation-related matters, and help your business meet transportation-related sustainability, safety and wellness goals, alleviate pressure on HR and other staff, as well as offer opportunities for employee engagement. Leanne McGowan, Business Development Manager at RideWise, suggests the following to her corporate, business, municipal and non-profit clients, “Think of us as a sustainability partner, transportation options resource and no-cost benefit for employees. We’re happy to help with the basics like transit information, ridesharing registration and vanpooling formation, but can also help you develop strategic partnerships in the community that add value.” Services are customized based on each worksite’s unique needs. Formed in the late 1970s or early 1980s to help find solutions to transportation problems, TMAs form partnerships with businesses, organizations and local government to provide commuter information and services. The roles of many TMAs have expanded over the years, and in New Jersey, TMAs can give the business community a voice in local/regional/statewide transportation decision-making. A recognition program that employers can take advantage of is New Jersey Smart Workplaces, which awards worksites that offer transportation-related sustainability, safety and workplace wellness information, programs and policies to employees. According to McGowan, “most companies are already offering information and benefits to their employees that meet one of the four qualifying “Smart Workplace” levels, and we are happy to recognize them for their efforts.” A few examples of actions that help employers become NJ Smart Workplaces are designating a contact for employee commute inquiries, offering traffic alerts, informal or formal telecommuting, teleconferencing or compressed work week policies, Lunch & Learns on a range of topics from the benefits of walking and bike safety workshops to winter driving safety, and onsite amenities such as a gym or cafe. Qualifying as a NJ Smart Workplace also helps an employer earn points toward the...

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