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The following articles were posted in 2014.

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

The Forgotten Filing - 5500 Filings for Health and Welfare Plans

Employers who maintain a retirement plan for their employees are very familiar with the requirement to file an IRS Form 5500 and associated schedules each year. However, many employers are unaware that they may also have a 5500 requirement for their health and welfare plans, possibly including health, dental, vision, life insurance, short-term and long-term disability, and health FSA plans. The rules surrounding 5500 filings for health and welfare plans have changed a bit over the years, and remain somewhat confusing for most employers.

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Posted on June 03, 2014 by Ben Cohen, CEBS - Health and Welfare Practice Leader

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

HR Strategy: It's Not Just for Big Organizations Anymore - Part 1

Most (but not all) large organizations around the globe get it: linking their human capital strategies to both the way the organization competes in the marketplace as well as that organization’s specific strategic goals and objectives not only makes sense, it’s a requirement of success. Unfortunately, many small and mid-sized organizations seem not to have received that memo, and view HR as purely a tactical/operational entity, devoid of any tie to a strategy, designed solely to make sure that the organization is compliant with the myriad legal and regulatory requirements. But as not just HR professionals, but senior leaders in almost every organization know, the day-to-day operational aspects of HR must be tied directly to advancing and accomplishing specific HR strategies that will allow that organization to succeed in the marketplace.

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Posted on March 28, 2014 by Gary Kushner, SPHR, CBP

Employer Mandate for ACA Postponed and Transition Relief

Medium sized and large employers are once again receiving a reprieve from one of the key elements of the ACA, the employer mandate to provide affordable, comprehensive health benefits to full time employees or pay a fine. On Monday, February 10, 2014, the Treasury Department announced that employers with 50 to 99 FTEs will be given until the start of their 2016 plan year (an additional year) to comply. For employers with 100 or more full-time equivalents, the requirement is delayed but in stages. Rather than ensuring that the previously required 95% of full time employees are eligible for coverage to remain compliant in 2015, larger employers will be allowed to offer coverage for that plan year only to at least 70% of their full time employees instead. The change does not affect the individual mandate that went into effect on January 1, 2014.

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Posted on March 12, 2014 by Ben Cohen, CEBS, Practice Leader, Health and Welfare Benefits

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