Obama budget without ‘chained CPI’ would protect federal retirement benefits
We got together and wanted to tackle the hardest problem that could be solved by applying data to it, says Huang. The health-care system is a broken system, but health care is big Fertility was an interesting place to start. How the App Works Using Glows smartphone app, users enter in information about their menstruation cycles, exercise habits, basal body temperature and more. Because we are a data science company at heart, we want to be able to connect that kind of information so over time we may resource be able to identify new factors [regarding infertility], says Huang. After plugging in personal information, Glow gives users immediate feedback regarding any fertility issues they could potentially have, like polycystic ovarian syndrome. The app also uses big data to estimate fertility levels each day. Huang says he hopes to help more women conceive naturally using Glows big data app. Helping Employees Get Pregnant Because many women would likely hesitate before letting their employer know they were trying to get pregnant, Huang stresses that the Glow for Enterprise benefit is entirely anonymous.
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This promotes loyalty and a stronger work ethic. Most employee benefits are tax deductible and not subject to the employer share of payroll taxes. This means as a business owner, you will save money, not spend money by providing benefits. For every $100 of benefits provided, the business will save at least $7.65, the equivalent of the matching Social Security and Medicare required by the employer. Just because the HCTC expired at the end of 2013 doesnt mean it is dead. Every year tax provisions expire and then sometime during the year Congress revives them and makes them retroactive to the beginning of the year. According to my sources, Congress will take a look at all 55 expiring tax provisions in the fourth quarter. Many of them will fly again.
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If you've done a lot of job-related flying and charged your expenses on your personal credit card, the frequent flyer or reward points that accrue are not considered a taxable benefit, even if your employer reimbursed you for all your expenses. This change in the tax rules was announced in 2009 and is in effect for all subsequent tax years. There are a couple of critical caveats, however, in order to keep the non-taxable status. For one thing, you can't convert the points to cash. For another, your employer's plan to award you those reward points can't be designed as a form of remuneration to avoid taxes. Taxable benefits: Personal use of a company car. Low-interest or interest-free loans from your employer.
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Employee Benefits magazine – March 2014
The measure would trim benefits by a combined $1,500 after five years for federal employees hired before the mid-1980s those taking part in theCivil Service Retirement System. Democratic lawmakers, federal-employee unions and veterans groups have strongly opposed the chained-CPI. Many of them signed on to a letter last week from Rep. Allyson Schwartz urging Obama to avoid using the alternative inflation index. Switching to a chained CPI would be devastating for seniors, veterans, federal retirees, disabled individuals and others, the letter said. Obama has indicated he is willing to consider the benefit cut again, even though it will not be part of his own proposal, according to a recent Wonkblog article . Already, the president accepted a measure that requires federal workers who were hired after 2013 to pay an additional 1.3 percent toward their retirement benefits. He signed that provision into law as part of the budget deal Congress passed in December. MORE:Budget deal protects current feds, but new workers will pay more toward retirement Federal-employee unions have lashed out against the cut. The American Federation of Government Employees has said repealing the measure will be one of its top legislative priorities this year. Congress has created a second-class and third-class retirement system in which new federal employees earn less than their peers for no other reason than the date they were hired, AFGE national president J. David Cox said in a statement last week.This is an outrageous assault on living standards for the next generation of federal employees, and AFGE will fight this with everything weve got. Follow Josh Hicks on Twitter , Facebook or Google+ .
For the original version including any supplementary images or video, visit http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/federal-eye/wp/2014/02/24/obama-budget-without-chained-cpi-would-protect-federal-retirement-benefits/
Employee Benefits Administrator Helps Employers Make Sense of Recent Deadline Changes to “Pay or Play” Portion of Affordable Care Act
The few that still provide free health insurance, and more, are struggling to keep it up. That's the focus of a special report in this week's Business First, which looks at insurance and employee benefits. At many companies, employees are required to pay a portion of their health care costs. Those numbers are on the rise, as many companies can't afford to cover benefits in full any longer. Many small businesses are working with employee benefit companies to try and balance their expenses with the toll on employees. This week's Business First takes a look at employee contributions for healthcare. These figures are for all sized firms, for single coverage. 62 percent of workers pay up to 25 percent of their premium. 22 percent pay up to half of their premium. Only 14 percent don't pay anything. And two percent of workers pay more than half of their coverage. The numbers are for 2013.
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The Tax Benefits of Health Insurance and Fringe Benefits
The Midwest-based employee benefits administrator breaks down the timing for the final ruling by company size and provides helpful details on other ACA rule highlights. Appleton, WI (PRWEB) February 20, 2014 An employee benefits administrator with card-carrying members in all 50 states, Cypress Benefit Administrators is helping employers understand requirement changes now that the shared responsibility (pay or play) deadlines within the Affordable Care Act (ACA) have again been extended. The Wisconsin-headquartered company serves many large-sized employers affected by this ruling and has been following all changes since its inception. It breaks down the new timing set forth by the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) in early February as it relates to when employers must provide a minimum level of affordable health insurance before penalties may be incurred. As Cypress explains, the pay or play requirements only apply to employers with a certain number of full-time employees or full-time equivalent employees (FTEs). Each year, this number must be re-assessed. Employers with fewer than 50 employees (including FTEs) There is no penalty for not providing health coverage to employees.
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The impact of an ageing workforce on a benefits strategy
With this first step in our planned redesign, FreeERISA now highlights the most important plan facts in a graphical and easily understood dashboard. We calculate critical plan figures, red flags and more so that our community of advisors can spend less time sifting through data and more time pursuing sales," says Eric Ryles, Managing Director of Employee Benefits Data Products. "No other free 5500 database provides a better mix of search and analytical tools for the benefits and retirement industries." New 401k/Retirement and Employee Benefits Plan Research Tools and Data: The new FreeERISA features key plan facts and figures from the Form 5500 in a clean, graphical display. Visitors can now easily determine if a plan is a viable prospect without needing to first look through dense government documents. Information about plan strength indicators from Judy Diamond Associates' premium lead generation and plan research tool, Retirement Plan Prospector , is also integrated into the new FreeERISA plan dashboard. This includes general information about the plan's score and its number of red flags, both of which point to the quality of a plan's performance and structure. For the actual plan score and a list of the red flags, users are invited to subscribe to Retirement Plan Prospector. Links to news stories that are relevant to an individual plan will now appear alongside its dashboard to provide users with greater insight into the state of a plan and its market conditions. Finally, the tools that made FreeERISA a widely known resource for 5500 data for more than fifteen years are still central to the database. These include a simple search system and the ability to view reproductions of each plan's Form 5500. In the coming months, FreeERISA will continue to make improvements to its website and to the 5500-related news content throughout benefitspro.com to better serve the benefits and retirement communities. ABOUT FreeERISA The premier employee benefits and retirement resource on the Web, FreeERISA provides free access to all Form 5500s filed with the Department of Labor over the past two years, including data on retirement, health, life, and other benefit plans from more than 1 million U.S. companies.
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Some workplace benefits come tax-free
And OMG companies are signing up! Because they care about their employees happiness! Just makes my little heart go pitter-patter. Glow, which launched last summer, uses health markers and fertility signs to help couples conceive. Its not unlike Ovuline, which drills down on the biological markers of a womans cycle to identify the best time for conception, such as body temperature, cervical fluid, and more. The difference is that Glow also offers a programGlow Firstthat couples can sign up for as a sort of insurance policy. Couples pay $50 a month, and if they dont conceive after 10 months, Glow will pay for their fertility treatments. Those who manage to conceive on their own forfeit their money, which will be pooled to help pay for other couples treatments. Glow for Enterprise is a service that companies can sign up for as an extra health benefit for their employees, covering the $50 a month so that there are no out-of-pocket expenses for employees. The average IVF cycle runs about $12,000-$15,000. Few insurance companies cover fertility treatments and the Affordable Care Act, which goes into effect in January, will not require insurers to cover it.
For the original version including any supplementary images or video, visit http://vator.tv/news/2014-02-20-glow-for-enterprise-launches-as-unique-employee-benefit
Glow for Enterprise launches as unique employee benefit
Employees aged over 50 make up 27% of the UK workforce, and by 2020 that proportion is expected to rise to one-third, according to the Department for Work and Pensions report Employing older workers , published in February 2013. For many employees, this will mean having to save more of their income into a pension scheme to be able to afford to retire. Pensions auto-enrolment is helping to educate staff about the need to take responsibility for their own retirement income and save at least the required minimum contribution of 1% of salary into their pension. But the downside of the legislation, introduced in October 2012, is that it is creating a false sense of security, with many employees believing that pension scheme membership alone will automatically give them an adequate pension pot at retirement. Employers therefore have their work cut out to educate staff about their finances . Jo Thresher, head of money at work at benefits consultancy Jelf Group, says: Its about employers educating employees that [the minimum contribution of] 1% isnt enough, and just because theyve been put in a pension scheme doesnt mean theyve got a pension; it probably means theyve got a pot of money thats not worth very much. Employers could, of course, increase their own contribution levels, but this is not an easy proposition for HR and benefits professionals to pitch to their finance directors and fellow board members, particularly at a time when the world is just climbing out of recession. Darren Philp, head of policy at The Peoples Pension, says auto-escalation may be a more palatable proposition for employers boards to digest. This involves part, or all, of an employees future pay increases being paid automatically into their pension fund. As employees start getting pay rises, they might be encouraged to put a proportion of that into their pension and save for the longer term, he says. I think well hear more about this in the coming years. However, Philp warns that auto-escalation puts an onus on employers, and HR and benefits professionals to provide workplace financial education and management programmes to help staff understand the importance and implications of increased savings in the context of their desired lifestyle in retirement and the level of savings required to achieve this.
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The New FreeERISA Online Database is Here -- Redesigned to Better Serve the Retirement and Employee Benefits Communities
Or read the full Employee Benefitsdigital edition In this issue we announce the Employee Benefits Hot 100 benefits managers for 2014. You can read all about these movers and shakers in the benefits industry in Hot 100 on page 21 . As the UKs workforce ages, employers will have to reassess their benefits strategies to meet employees changing needs. Find out the key areas your HR department will need to review in Game changer (page 38) . Law firm Withers is a progressive organisation but has traditional values about benefits, keen to treat its employees in a personal way. Read Personal Touch (page 60) . Key articles this month include:
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