White Papers

Two New HRAs Coming in 2020

In a June 2019 Notice (“Final Regulations”), the IRS has reversed course on a couple of ACA-related items and now allows two new forms of Health Reimbursement Arrangements (HRAs) for plan years beginning on or after January 1, 2020. The new rules make it easier for employers to provide health coverage to their employees through HRAs. In some cases, employers now have the option to offer some or all of their employees either a traditional group health plan or a defined-contribution to an HRA to reimburse employees for the purchase of individual or Medicare health coverage.

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Posted on September 06, 2019 by Gary B. Kushner, SPHR, CBP, President and CEO

2018 HSA Limits and HDHP Designs Announced

Starting in 2007, the Tax Relief and Health Care Act of 2006 (TRHCA) requires that the IRS release the upcoming year’s new HSA limits prior to June 1st.

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Posted on May 05, 2017 by Gary B. Kushner, SPHR, CBP, President and CEO

Small Employer Healthcare Relief Act Now a Reality

With the December 7, 2016 passage of the long-awaited Cures Act and President Obama now signing it into law, many small employers and their employees can rejoice that an onerous IRS ruling will be overturned. Starting January 1, 2017, small employers that do not offer group health insurance to their employees will have a tool to provide a tax-favored reimbursement to their employees. And more good news: there’s transition relief retroactive for all plan years beginning on or before December 31, 2016 that the onerous penalties announced by the IRS in Notice 2015-17 are no longer in effect.

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Posted on December 08, 2016 by Gary B. Kushner, SPHR, CBP, President and CEO

Possible Implications on HR of a President Trump and Republican Congress

For the next two years, a President Trump bolstered by majorities in both the House and Senate could be expected to make a large number of legislative and regulatory changes that would impact HR, employers, and employees nationally. Only two days after the election, here are some of the possible changes signaled during the 2016 campaign and in various white papers offered by campaign and Congressional staffers.

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Posted on November 10, 2016 by Gary B. Kushner, SPHR, CBP, President and CEO

2017 IRS Limits Announced

As in past years, the IRS has finalized the limits for retirement plans and health and welfare plans.

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Posted on October 22, 2016 by Gary B. Kushner, SPHR, CBP, President and CEO

Does My Retirement Plan Need an Audit

The end of July is creeping closer for calendar year plans and usually arrives sooner than expected for 401(k) plan sponsors. The IRS Form 5500 filing deadline can surprise employee benefit plan administrators when their TPA contacts them with news that their retirement plan has grown in size and now requires a plan audit. As an employer, it’s important to be familiar with the plan audit requirements before it’s time to file your Form 5500.

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Posted on July 08, 2016 by Terri Norman, QKA

Timely Deposits into a 401(k) Account

Today’s 401(k) plan sponsors are subject to an array of what often seem complex fiduciary responsibilities with respect to carrying out their duties to plan participants and beneficiaries. However, meeting these duties need not be difficult, and for some functions, there are specific rules to help guide the employer.

For example, the Department of Labor, (DOL), has guidance to help clarify regulations regarding the timeliness for depositing participant payroll deductions that represent contributions or loan payments to the plan.

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Posted on October 28, 2015 by Lori Kiess, Account Manager - Retirement Plans

2016 IRS Limits Announced

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Posted on October 22, 2015 by Gary B. Kushner, SPHR, CBP, President and CEO

HR Implications from the Obergefell Supreme Court Decision on Same-Sex Marriage

In a landmark 5-4 decision issued on June 26, 2015, the US Supreme Court declared the same-sex marriage was legal in all 50 states, and that each state had to recognize a same-sex marriage legally performed elsewhere, either in the US or abroad. The decision was an extension of the 2013 Windsor Supreme Court decision invalidating Section 3 of the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA), which had significant impact on employer-provided benefits covered by ERISA. The Obergefell decision will require employers to review many of their HR policies and programs.

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Posted on July 24, 2015 by Gary B. Kushner, SPHR, CBP, President and CEO

IRS Grants Temporary Relief for Small Employers and S Corporations on "Employer Payment Plans"

On February 18, 2015, the IRS issued Notice 2015-17, granting temporary relief to small employers paying for individual (rather than group) health insurance coverage for its employees. The relief period covers all of calendar year 2014 and from January 1, 2015 through June 30, 2015. This is a significant development, particularly for 2014, when many small employers weren’t even aware of the more stringent rules issued in 2013 concerning these reimbursements.

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Posted on February 23, 2015 by Gary B. Kushner, SPHR, CBP, President and CEO

Full Review of Health and Prescription Drug Claims Utilization Analysis

In a previous white paper, we discussed the value of examining health and prescription drug claims utilization for use in targeted wellness and plan design considerations. Today, we’re going to review the process and what data an employer should receive and be reviewing and analyzing, as well as a sample analysis and report.

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Does Your Retirement Plan Require a Fidelity Bond?

A fidelity bond protects the plan from risk of loss due to fraud or dishonesty on the part of persons who manage the plan assets. The bond should cover at least 10% of the value of plan assets in the preceding year.

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Posted on November 03, 2014 by Marla Shires, Account Manager, Retirement Plans

2015 IRS Limits Announced

The IRS has announced the benefit contribution limits for tax year 2015.

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The Changing Nature of Work and the Worker – Part 1

It is no surprise that employers globally have noted a change in how work gets accomplished, but they are just beginning to notice that their workers may not have the same approach, demographics, or attitudes of their former employees from four decades ago. In the first of this series, we explore the demographic shifts and trends over the next decade and beyond.

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Posted on October 17, 2014 by Gary B. Kushner, SPHR, CBP, President and CEO

401(k) Plan Self Audit

Maintaining a compliant 401(k) plan can be a complicated process, and involve multiple components and service providers. However, as a Plan Sponsor, you are responsible for the compliance of your plan. To help, the IRS has provided a list of questions that you, as a Plan Sponsor, must be able to answer to ensure compliance with IRS regulations. These questions are designed to help you document and evaluate your plan’s policies, procedures and internal controls.

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Posted on September 15, 2014 by Tom Voinaroski, Senior Retirement Plan Advisor for Kushner & Company

Analysis of Health Claims Data Drives Appropriate Plan Design and Targeted Wellness

Today, the analysis of data drives advances in commerce more than nearly anything else. The power of Amazon is less in the products sells and more in the algorithms that determine what you might buy next, and the ability to address that need. The same is true in health care claims data. Data drives the ability for employers and insurers to address trends in claims data via plan design, plan election steerage, incentives and disincentives for use and participation, and targeted wellness programs.

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ACA Reporting for Individual and Employer Mandates

Two key items within ACA – the Individual Mandate and the Employer Mandate – require information from employers who offer health coverage to their employees. This information will tell the government who was offered coverage (and who elected it), whether the coverage was comprehensive and met all ACA requirements, and whether that coverage was affordable. That information is required to be provided to the government through two Internal Revenue Code sections—6055 and 6056—by an insurance company and/or employer.

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Your Organization’s Future

Where do your organization’s leaders of the future work today? Look around, they’re sitting in the offices right down the hall from you. You’ve probably noticed by now that because you tied the organization’s hiring strategies to the training and development of your people as part of not only total rewards but also performance management, many people can be more engaged in your organization’s focus.

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Posted on July 15, 2014 by Joel Kushner, SPHR

DOMA Decision Reminder of Change in Marital Status Requirements in Benefit Plans

The Supreme Court’s decision to overturn DOMA (Defense of Marriage Act) in the summer of 2013 (see more DOMA article, DOMA webinar/video) prompted a flurry of regulatory activity and compliance actions. Now that the dust has settled, we thought that this might be a good time to review some of the benefit impacts of the DOMA decision as well as actions that may be necessary for any change in marital status – marriage, divorce, or death – regardless of same or opposite sex spouse.

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Posted on May 12, 2014

Will ACA Drive Early Retirements?

My dad worked in a very stressful management job, and while it paid well, it didn’t provide him the satisfaction he was looking for. When he was 55, he had a heart attack. He survived, but the scare caused him to re-evaluate his priorities, and he decided to follow his dream of owning his own small business. In addition to researching business ideas and locations, he was also researching the options available to him for health insurance. What he found, though, was that his heart attack was a pre-existing condition and most health coverage wasn’t available to him, and what was available was unaffordable.

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Posted on May 08, 2014 by Ben Cohen, CEBS - Health and Welfare Practice Leader

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