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<< Older News  |  August 2, 2021

News

All News > Misc. Benefits

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Fringe Benefits: What's All the Fuss About?
Withum Smith+Brown, PC Link to more items from this source
July 28, 2021

"Some fringe benefits are tax-free and excludable from the employee's compensation. Most employers and employees are aware of these standard benefits and their tax treatment.... What about the not-so 'cookie cutter' benefits employers provide? Here is where a lot of the confusion arises[.]"

Tags: Misc. Benefits

Editor's Pick A Primer on Employer-Sponsored Family Building Benefits
Proskauer Link to more items from this source
July 13, 2021

"For many employees, so-called 'family building' benefits, such as group health coverage for in vitro fertilization treatment, adoption assistance, or reimbursement of surrogacy expenses, are just as or more important than compensation, retirement, or standard health benefits. At the same time, employers are reviewing family building benefit programs with an eye to whether such programs would help them meet their equitable workplace goals."

Tags: Health Plan Design  •  Misc. Benefits

Qualified Transportation Plans: An Overview for Employers (PDF)
VCG Consultants Link to more items from this source
July 12, 2021

"These benefits are not subject to [ERISA] and its related provisions, and therefore come with fewer compliance requirements.... The Code permits employers to provide four types of transportation benefits to employees on a tax-free basis."

Tags: Misc. Benefits

Harmonizing 'Tax Home' Concepts with Evolving Remote Work Arrangements (PDF)
Groom Law Group, via Tax Notes State Link to more items from this source
July 8, 2021

"An important issue that arises is whether an employer should reimburse employees for the associated travel costs to the [employer's physical location] to ease the transition -- or provide incentives for returning to traditional work locations. [The authors] highlight the historic federal tax rules regarding commuting and travel expenses; identify issues raised as more employers and employees transition to modified work arrangements; and offer recommendations for sensible interim policies in this area."

Tags: Misc. Benefits

Using Benefits Data to Create Voluntary Benefits
HUB International Link to more items from this source
July 1, 2021

"Your first task is to understand who your people are and where they are at in their life and work journeys.... Utilize benchmarking to discover benefits opportunities and gaps.... Apply analytics to benefits usage (or other data sets) to add to your perspective on options.... Analytics should also guide your benefits communications."

Tags: Health Plan Design  •  Misc. Benefits

Employers Need an Inclusive Family-Building Benefits Package
Segal Link to more items from this source
July 1, 2021

"Growing social equity concerns are propelling many employers to re-evaluate their benefits strategy to meet the needs of a diverse and changing workforce. A comprehensive approach to family-building, regardless of gender identity or relationship status, can be critical to talent attraction and retention."

Tags: Health Plan Design  •  Misc. Benefits

Employers Consider More Pet-Friendly Benefits in the Postpandemic Workplace
International Foundation of Employee Benefit Plans [IFEBP] Link to more items from this source
June 25, 2021

"A survey released in March ... found that 57% of surveyed pet owners said they would be most happy returning to their workplace if they could bring their pets with them. According to the same survey, one in two C-suite executives surveyed said they are planning to allow pets in the workplace once employees return to the office, and 59% would allow more flexibility for workers wanting to stay remote with their pets."

Tags: Coronavirus (COVID-19)  •  Misc. Benefits

Popular Voluntary Benefits Can Make an Impact
Corporate Synergies Link to more items from this source
June 23, 2021

"94% [of employers surveyed] said that voluntary benefits would play an important role in their benefits offerings over the next three years.... Nearly 70 percent of employees surveyed said that voluntary benefits 'positively influence their desire to work for and stay with their employer,' and nearly 3 out of 4 wanted more voluntary benefits offerings."

Tags: Misc. Benefits

Employers Make Enhancing the Employee Experience a Top Priority for Post-Pandemic Success
Willis Towers Watson Link to more items from this source
June 22, 2021

"Most respondents believe a positive employee experience is a key driver of engagement (82%), employee wellbeing (79%), productivity (79%), and ability to attract and retain talent (80%).... Less than one in seven (13%) say the pandemic has receded enough to end temporary pandemic-related policies and programs. The rest indicate they will be ready to do so during the second half of this year (59%) or in 2022 or beyond (28%)."

Tags: Health Plan Design  •  Misc. Benefits  •  Retirement Plan Design

In Colorado, Vacation Pay Must Be Paid Upon Termination of Employment, Even If Employer's Policy Says Otherwise (PDF)
Sherman Howard Link to more items from this source
[Guidance Overview]
June 18, 2021

"The Colorado Supreme Court has now definitively ruled that under the Colorado Wage Claim Act employers must pay employees' earned and determinable vacation upon termination and that any policy or agreement provisions forfeiting employees' rights to such payments are void." [Nieto v. Clark's Market, No. 19SC553 (Col. Jun. 14, 2021)]

Tags: Local Regulation  •  Misc. Benefits

Benefits Added During the Pandemic Likely to Remain
Society for Human Resource Management [SHRM]; membership may be required to view article Link to more items from this source
June 9, 2021

"As the COVID-19 pandemic upended workers' lives, employers responded by providing flexible work arrangements, addressing caregiving needs and supporting workers' emotional well-being. It now looks like many employers are planning to keep those offerings after the pandemic ends."

Tags: Coronavirus (COVID-19)  •  FMLA and Other Leave  •  Misc. Benefits

Bay Area Commuter Benefits Program Adds New Telework Option
ABD Insurance & Financial Services Link to more items from this source
[Guidance Overview]
June 4, 2021

"[E]mployers can establish a company-wide telework policy allowing employees whose assignments can be performed remotely to telework for at least one day per week. Program materials now include an Option 5 Guide to walk employers through this new option."

Tags: Misc. Benefits

Rethinking Commuter Benefits for a Hybrid-Work World
Society for Human Resource Management [SHRM]; membership may be required to view article Link to more items from this source
May 27, 2021

"As employers adjust their policies and benefits to meet the needs of a more distributed workforce, some are continuing to help with commuting expenses while others are deciding to redirect spending to support other benefits."

Tags: Coronavirus (COVID-19)  •  Misc. Benefits

Administration of Group Life Insurance – Not So Easy?
Dickinson Wright Link to more items from this source
May 24, 2021

"Occasionally, things do go wrong, and employers find themselves having to pay a life insurance benefit from their own coffers when a beneficiary pushes back against a claim denial.... [1] Participant fails to provide evidence of insurability.... [2] Failure to notify former employee of the right to convert.... [3] Promising coverage will continue beyond the policy terms."

Tags: Death Benefits & Life Insurance  •  Misc. Benefits

Employee Benefits Trends for 2021's 'Next Normal'
Voya Link to more items from this source
May 20, 2021

"[These] pandemic-prompted trends will play a big part in how employee benefits evolve: [1] Increased focus on employee financial health ... [2] Demand for more benefits options ... [3] Technology is at the center."

Tags: Health Plan Design  •  Misc. Benefits  •  Retirement Plan Design

Gifts and Bonuses in Exchange for Vaccination Can Trigger Legal Issues
The Hill Link to more items from this source
May 17, 2021

"Employers considering a vaccine incentive program should use caution, delaying if possible, for clearer guidance. However, if a program is moving forward, employers must make the program voluntary, should keep any incentives small in value, offer accommodations for medical exceptions and religious beliefs, and offer non-monetary or in-kind incentives to avoid violations."

Tags: Coronavirus (COVID-19)  •  Misc. Benefits

Pandemic Accelerates Employer Voluntary Benefit Offerings
Willis Towers Watson Link to more items from this source
May 14, 2021

"The pandemic is driving more employers to offer voluntary benefits, with nearly all employers (94%) expecting these employee-pay-all or unsubsidized benefits to hold great importance in their organizations during the next three years.... [The fastest growing benefits include] [1] Identify theft.... [2] Hospital indemnity.... [3] Pet insurance.... [4] Critical illness.... [5] Group legal."

Tags: Misc. Benefits

How the Pandemic Has Strengthened the Case for Offering Voluntary Benefits to Your Employees (PDF)
Cowden Associates, Inc. Link to more items from this source
May 14, 2021

"63% of employees surveyed expect at least one expanded benefit such as supplemental insurance or telemedicine options.... 57% of employees are at least somewhat likely to take a job with lower pay but with better benefits; and 48% strongly or completely agree that supplemental insurance benefits are part of a comprehensive benefits program, up significantly from 41% in 2019."

Tags: Coronavirus (COVID-19)  •  Death Benefits & Life Insurance  •  Disability Plans  •  Misc. Benefits

How Hybrid Work Could Impact Employee Benefits Strategy
HR Dive Link to more items from this source
May 13, 2021

"The types of benefits that have been introduced to support remote employees range from expanding telehealth benefits and access to programs that can address mental and health and well-being issues to incentives for redesigning home office spaces.... In some cases, choosing which benefits that fit employees' needs during the pandemic may be a task of observation. "

Tags: Coronavirus (COVID-19)  •  Misc. Benefits

Employers Brace for COVID's Mental Health Fallout as Workers Return
Bloomberg Quint Link to more items from this source
May 5, 2021

"[As] workers come back, employers must make access to wellness resources easy. Companies should subsidize online exercise classes, gym memberships and mental health programs.... New strategies unique to the pandemic can include outdoor video chats and 'walk-and-talks' with mental health professionals."

Tags: Coronavirus (COVID-19)  •  Misc. Benefits

25 Ideas for Benefits and Perks to Offer Remote Workers
HR Daily Advisor Link to more items from this source
May 4, 2021

"[T]he pandemic has forced many workers into a remote setting, leading to a situation in which many benefits and employee perks simply aren't as useful as they once were. Use this list to determine which voluntary benefits and perks you should offer your remote workforce."

Tags: Health Plan Design  •  Misc. Benefits

IRS Clarifies Rules for Deduction of Meals and Entertainment Costs
Alvarez & Marsal Link to more items from this source
[Guidance Overview]
Apr. 12, 2021

"The notice clarifies that the 100% deduction is available for food or beverages provided by a restaurant. The term 'restaurant' means a business that prepares and sells food or beverages to retail customers for immediate consumption either on- or off-premises. A restaurant does not include businesses that primarily sell pre-packaged food or beverages, not for immediate consumption."

Tags: Health Plan Administration  •  Misc. Benefits  •  Retirement Plan Administration

Text of IRS Notice 2021-25: Temporary 100% Deduction for Business Meal Expenses (PDF)
Internal Revenue Service [IRS] Link to more items from this source
[Official Guidance]
Apr. 12, 2021

"This notice provides guidance regarding the temporary 100-percent deduction for expenses that are paid or incurred after December 31, 2020, and before January 1, 2023, for food or beverages provided by a restaurant. In particular, the notice explains when the temporary 100-percent deduction applies and when the 50-percent limitation continues to apply for purposes of Section 274 of the Internal Revenue Code[.]"

Tags: Health Plan Administration  •  Misc. Benefits  •  Retirement Plan Administration

Employers Are Doubling Down on Efforts to Support COVID-19 Vaccinations and Health Reforms
National Alliance of Healthcare Purchaser Coalitions Link to more items from this source
Mar. 31, 2021

"83% will continue to allow people to work from home ... 81% are providing information on benefits of the vaccines, 76% are offering education for employees about eligibility, 69% on safety and efficacy and 67% on how to access and over 80% of very large employers anticipate providing onsite COVID-19 vaccines before the year is up."

Tags: Health Plan Design  •  Misc. Benefits

One Year Into the Pandemic, COVID-19 Fatigue Takes Hold
Society for Human Resource Management [SHRM]; membership may be required to view article Link to more items from this source
Mar. 17, 2021

"Twenty-six percent of people reported symptoms of anxiety disorder, more than three times the 8 percent ... in the second quarter of 2019.... [O]ne-quarter of individuals [claimed] to have experienced [depressive disorder symptoms], up from 6.5 percent in 2019.... 76 percent say their company should be doing more."

Tags: Health Plan Design  •  Misc. Benefits


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