How to Help Employees in Retirement Planning?

How to Help Employees in Retirement Planning

In a recent wellness survey, it was found that jitters over potential health issues and rising health care costs in retirement plans are most common concerns among baby boomers. Higher deductibles and co-pays are only worsening the looming retirement disaster as all these factors lead to significant increment in medical costs forcing employees save little for retirement. Circumstances like continuously changing norms of the health care reforms, unclear future of ACA etc. have confused employees in making decisions to choose the right retirement benefit plan.

Afflicted with several fallacies and procrastination, employees need to dedicate enough time to learn basic concepts and become retirement ready. Employers also must provide employees with complete benefit education so that they can get knowledge on how to get the most from a benefit package and what to save for retirement, emergency funds, etc.

What are you doing to save for your retirement? Here are the tips:

  1. Use the Right Approach:

Optimized planning is essential for achieving valuable benefits from your retirement program. With a planned approach, employees can allocate predetermined part of their salaries for retirement plans and can invest funds in areas that can have a positive impact on their finances  and contributing in appropriate retirement savings. Right planning decisions will help you manage your financial future.

  1. Use Various Investment Saving Tools:

Legislative reforms, rules and regulations are uncertain and with the new administration, even the fate of ACA is known. Thus, in such situation, several saving tools must be considered and employed in order to stay sufficiently prepared for the rising health care expenses and save enough for retirement.

  1. Take Assistance from Benefit Adviser:

Several plans and programs are available in health care market for retirement savings and this might confuse employees as to which one they should go with. Therefore, it is preferable to  take assistance from a benefits broker or adviser who can help select the right retirement saving plan that is both cost-effective as well as useful for you.

  1. Measure Your Expenses, Save for Retirement:

With constantly increasing health care costs, it is hard to keep up with the inflation but delay in retirement saving can have adverse effect on your post retirement lives. Thus, to stay ahead with the changing times, take accurate measures to manage your expenses and save money smartly to save big for your retirement.

  1. Lock-in to Protect Your Retirement Savings:

People choose a smaller-sooner reward over a larger-later reward. But when you talk about retirement planning, you must safeguard your money for ahead considering long-term results. Adopt retirement saving schemes that restrict you on early money withdrawals. So, do a little math and think sensibly to save more money for future.

To Sum Up: 

Planning for retirement has never been an easier task, no matter what workforce generation you belong to! To stay prepared and organized with changing Health Care Reform is mandatory and one cannot escape the upcoming changes. Thus, every individual must take into consideration all their specific needs and circumstances before crunching on any saving plan and think smart to stay financially strong and rest assured at the time of their retirement.

How Small Businesses Can Balance Employee Benefit Requirements with Costs!

How Small Businesses can Balance Employee Benefit Requirements with Costs

Providing a good benefit package help small businesses to attract and motivate employees, but the quickly changing health care regulations exhilarate small businesses with increased costs. A recent study predicted that there will be a 20% increase for next 3 years in health care costs.

As a business owner, adopting profitable benefits enables you to retain and motivate your talent pool to create a win-win situation for your business.

Here are the few tips, small businesses can follow to minimize health insurance costs:

Encourage Wellness Programs:

Promoting health and wellness programs can help you minimize benefits cost and enable employees to work with their full potential. These wellness programs may include providing gym membership on discount rates, emphasis on benefits of walking and exercising, recommending fitness clubs and so on. All these wellness programs increase employees’ self-confidence and reduce overall health insurance cost.

Adapt The Benefits Employees Care About:

Dropping the benefits employees are not likely to use can save you money which you can utilize in other administrative tasks. A conversation with the employees guides you about the benefits employees are most concerned. Be assured that employees use the benefits offered to the them to the fullest, to value the cost you invested.

Choose the Best Benefit Option:

Explore the expectations of employees about benefits and based upon those requirements, look out for benefit options that satisfy all your employees’ needs. A quality benefit package must be affordable for employees covering all the requirements.

Manage Cost Using Technology:

Along with the cost of premium, cost of operating benefits is a component that makes benefits exorbitant. Employing online automated tools like Benefit Administration software, payroll manager, Employee Self Service portal, HRIS tools are the ways through which you can minimize your benefit costs to a great extent which saves your resources too.

Consider Health Saving Accounts:

A high deductible health insurance plan combined with Health Spending Account(HSA) and Health Reimbursement Account(HRA) is a captivating option for small business owners to reduce their benefit cost. These tax-exempted accounts allow employees to pay for their out-of-pocket medical expenses and carry forward the unused money to future years.

Be Prepared for Effects of Health Care Reforms:

Small business owners need to be updated with the rapidly changing rules and regulations to remain in compliance with law. Health care tax credit, one implementation of this law can enable small businesses to provide health insurance for their employees as a mean of minimizing health insurance costs. Businesses having no more than 25 employees can obtain this credit in which they will need to pay at least half the cost of healthcare coverage for employee.

The Takeaway:

Being aware of system’s mechanics, comparing health insurance benefits, provider’s record are the first actions to do when it comes up to saving your health insurance cost. Communicating the benefit choices to the employees and clarifying them all the things is a good step keeping your health insurance cost under control and getting a better benefit management.

Prioritize Your Employees Well-Being! Now?

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While compensation is a factor to consider, it’s not the sole motivator to attract talented resources to your organization. There is something else that millennial look for in their job search. Besides monetary benefits, they consider companies that offers incredible benefits and perks along with their regular income.

Recruiting and attracting workforce is not enough, organizations also need to focus on retaining their talent pool. Investing on your employees is equally important as investing in your business.

Perquisites and benefits are no longer just “nice to have” but they have become “a must have” component for every employee.

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So what are the benefits that employees really care about?

  • Medical/Dental/Vision Insurance

Health insurance continues to be a must have part of any employee benefit plan. With the health Care Reform, it is more critical for employers to provide their employees with affordable and beneficial plans. Make sure that you provide a different and better plan option than that of your competitors and your plans cover specialists and preferred physicians in the network.

Besides health insurance, employees also seek vision, dental and other disability insurances. Having vision and dental insurance along with health insurance is like adding value for the employees.

  • 401k and Retirement planning

Organizations have multi-generation workforce and every generation has its own needs. Most employees, especially baby boomers want to have a secured future and retirement planning is a must for them. Thus, 401k offers financial security to these employees when their pension plan becomes nonexistent. Every employee may not have a strong financial planning. So they are highly interested in having retirement assistance with proper plans.

  • Flexible Working Hours

One of the most important benefit every employee seeks for is the flexibility of time. Nowadays, in most families both the parents are working to provide financial support to their household. Hence, flexible work timing has become the key to attract the employees to your workplace. This doesn’t mean that the employee won’t meet the minimum working hours a week, rather they will have the privilege to manage their schedule outside the normal 9 to 5 work cycle.

  • Paternity/Maternity Leave

Parental leave is the most expected and desired leave for every employee. It’s a difficult decision to make a choice between growing a career and starting a family. Along with maternity leave, companies must have wise paternity leave policy. This will not only retain employees but will also make them know that you understand the value of a family, health and happiness. Some companies also offer financial support during that time.

  • Paid Time Off (PTO)

PTOs are every employee’s favorite! With most of the days working, paid offs can make all the difference. It allows the employees to take a break without any fear of losing pay which in return enhance their productivity on other working days. Many people value vacation over salary, and paid leave is a good way to attract them to work.

  • Office perks and Celebrations

Since employees spent majority of their time at their work place, employers are trying hard to create a more enjoyable space as a means to keep the employees active, engaged and healthy. to make a more dynamic work environment, setting up extracurricular activities in premises can be a good option. For example, having a pool table/TT table, gaming room, gym facility, free coffee and snacks. Companies can also arrange celebrations including holiday dinners, annual office party, and many more.

  • Performance Bonus, Recognition and Rewards

To boost employee productivity and output, companies should offer regular bonus or rewards to the employees. This bonus can be monetary or non-monetary. People join companies with a notion that they will grow within the organization. Every individual wants to be appreciated and recognized for their hard work. If the employees are not appreciated, they will end up leaving the organization. So, to engage and motivate employees, employers must always thank them for their hard work and dedication.

The Bottom Line

All these Employee Benefits are great because they not only attract new talented individuals but also helps in retaining them. These benefits promote a healthy working culture and are meant to appreciate and reward the employees for their contributions to the organization. It may not be possible to adopt all of these for every organization, but employer should always focus on employee retention and satisfaction. So, instead of considering these benefits as an expense, organizations should consider it as an investment and enjoy high return.

Prepare For A Smooth Open Enrollment Well-In-Advance!

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As open enrollment is just around the corner, most of the HR get busy in developing plan offerings, strengthen employee communications and maintaining technology platforms to make things streamlined. Although the pre-enrollment period is daunting and error prone, but careful preparation and proper planning can help you lower the burden and stress quotient with better results in a form of successful open enrollments.

How can HR and Benefits teams deal with this Open Enrollment Hustle?

Prepare Your Annual Activity Time Table!

By preparing your annual activity list that includes all your projects and tasks to be handled at this time of the year, you will get the fair idea about the time you have and how much you need to devote to open enrollment and administration processes. If any important project is scheduled during the busy season, try to reschedule it to some other time or if possible pass it to some other team. Make appropriate changes, review them and try to find a free space for the open enrollment preparations.

Categorize and Present your Offerings!

Actively discuss your benefit plans through strong communication channels. Since most of your employees might focus on few specific programs that they have already planned about such as medical, dental, vision and voluntary life, they just overlook other beneficial plans.

Thus, in order to bring out the best benefit packages for your employees, try focusing on current requirements. Categorize your offerings on the basis of what programs need to be included in current enrollment sessions. Other additional benefits and perks could be provided during the year.

Get Some Expert To Take Care Of Your Enrollment Processing!

Consider bringing in a benefits industry expert to talk in an easy-to-understand language about the benefits plan, and guide employees as per their convenience.  Also, go through all the questions you have received from employees in the past and consider developing a Q&A document that answers frequently asked questions.

Apart from guiding your workforce, so that they can choose the best benefit plans, schedule time with your broker to adjust all the spills such as confirm requirements, deadlines, and data needs. Make sure that you have perfect coordination and communication with all your parties that can provide you with regular updates and managing deadlines.

Transfer The Information Into Employee Hands Directly!

Any plans governed by the Employee Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA) should be directly transferred to employee’s hands whenever possible. Posting documents or information internally will not do the whole task. Set up a meeting with employees personally, answer their queries and give them relevant information. Tie your meeting with some reward to get the maximum employees show up.

Take on Technology! 

Since technology is the biggest key in driving successful open enrollments, as a part of your pre-enrollment preparations, check if your existing solution provider is meeting all your benefit administration needs or not! If not, then better start looking for a new one! Go with the feedbacks and features for the selection before the open enrollment period starts. Whatever be the case, when you are ready with a system, encourage your employees to login to the enrollment portal and explore it. This will make them confident in using it while enrolling themselves for the upcoming year.

The Bottom line:

No doubt, open enrollment is a very busy time, and things need to be simplified to make it successful. By making careful planning well in advance and dividing your year into appropriate segments to categorize benefits will help you to lower down the complexities occur at the last time.

TeemWurk Ben Admin can be your partner when it comes to administrating and processing employee enrollments during the open enrollments period giving you more efficiency, compliancy and a successful employees’ benefits processing.

Deal Smartly with ACA Challenges to Stay Compliant!

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Affordable Care Act (ACA) has hit the employers’ serenity in a big way and forced them to remain compliant with the new changes. According to reports, in 2015, only 70% full-time employees had to be offered health care coverage, which after some new amendments, rose to 95%. This has led to more burden on the employers adding up more compliance issues, affordability calculations and high concerns regarding employment status and calculations.

Here are the four topmost employer concerns revolving around ACA Compliance:

Employers Are Getting False Hopes!

After witnessing stringent rules and complexities, most of the employers get a false hope that compliance requirements will be delayed or removed (due to its complications). As a result, they wait for the expected outcome. But, most of them, get severe penalties due to late filings. Sometimes, Internal Revenue Service (IRS) does give the extension, but this does not mean that employers can get away from penalties in case of non-compliance or missing any important deadlines.

Lack Of ACA Knowledge!

Understanding the basic requirements and employee eligibility for offering coverage as per ACA mandates is the major requirement in attaining compliance and saving yourself from the heavy penalties. But, most of the employers don’t know which workers qualify as full-time employees and what they have to do as per the rules. This creates a baffling situation for most of the employees and makes the whole process little troublesome.

Clearly, ACA eligibility is one of the toughest parts and remains an area of concern for the employers as they move through the calendar. For this, you need to have an ongoing, accurate, and focused team to track evolving federal rules and regulations. This will help you stay compliant.

Lack Of Proper Resources!

Filling a simple IRS form is not so easy task as it seems to be. Most of the HR departments assumed IRS filing as a cakewalk and did not put much efforts to contemplate on the vital requirements. But, now they are realizing that they need a lot of information and tech assistance from different departments to comply by all the requirements and submit the forms to IRS within the given time limit.

How Can An Experienced Broker Help?

It is no surprise that with the rising complexities and challenges revolving around ACA compliance, employers do need an expert assistance to fulfill the requirements. This is how a broker’s role comes into picture!

But, many employers get into trouble after choosing the wrong broker. As they couldn’t handle the basics and also provide their clients with wrong information leading to ACA troubles. Therefore, choosing the right broker is the way to get things through without any violations.

 A broker can help his/her clients by providing the solutions rather than just doing the business. They can act as a consultant and trusted advisor to their clients and can save them big from the heavy ACA penalties. Therefore, it is very important to have a right broker by your side. Do proper research before choosing any!

Putting All Together:

Observing things superficially and not understanding the complete scheme can cost you big and may increase your burden. Therefore, it is better to have proper details and knowledge of each and everything that is related to ACA before it gets too late. A comprehensive broker can help you largely by guiding you to the right path alleviating your ACA troubles.

 

Merge Wellness Programs With Benefits to Ensure Employee Well-being & Engagement!

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Employee wellness programs have become a new criterion to measure any organization’s performance and its capability to engage and satisfy its workforce. Moreover, wellness programs do not remain the same and have evolved becoming more comprehensive and innovative now. Therefore, it has become very crucial to frame your organization’s wellness programs smartly that will not only make your present employees happy but also help you attract some new skilled candidates.

The foremost requirement of taking care of employee wellness is offering them relevant and appropriate benefit plans. Here are the few things that can help you in making your employee benefit plans right and attractive:

Expand Your Benefits Range!

Benefit offerings are not just limited to providing coverage for few dental check-ups and flu treatments, they have become much wider with new concerns and issues that need to be addressed. For example: what effect your offerings will make on the mental and emotional health of your employees? Will they be able to fulfill their healthcare needs by your offerings? And also how can you measure how apt your offerings are for your employees?

Instead of offering narrow benefits, opt for plans that work and will fulfill the needs of your employees. The best way to measure the success is by analyzing employees’ engagement and morale change you will witness with the  time.

Personalize Your Offerings By Segmenting Your Workforce!

Create a personalized platform to segment employees and determine their healthcare needs and requirements. This will help you deliver the right choices to them and your employees will find it easy to choose the right fit for themselves. But also make sure that your employees’ privacy  is not compromised on this. Make them understand that their information is fully protected by HIPAA rules. This will create a sense of assurance among your employees that will help them use your tech resources and other wearables involved in your benefit programs.

Encourage Your Employees To Participate!

Apart from benefit offerings, design your wellness programs properly to help your workforce fight and reduce stress. More employers are adopting this strategy and according to a  poll conducted by NPR recently, 51% of the employees agreed that they have formal wellness or health improvement programs in their employers’ offerings. These plans can be anything from weight control to nutrition to gym offers to smoking cessations, even drugs rehabilitations. But, even after offering such wide comprehensive programs, only 40% participated in the programs.

Therefore, offering your employees wide range of choices will not serve you the right purpose. Instead, make sure are they interested in the same. Know their preferences first and try bring out the similar offers and encourage them further to participate.

The Bottom Line:

The wellness programs have evolved a lot and keeping your offerings limited to same obsolete ones will not just degrade your brand value among your employees, but will also hamper their engagement. Therefore, it is very crucial to pack your offerings with comprehensive benefits and also, motivate your employees to opt those that can solve their present problems and meet their needs. Above are some points discussed that will help you prepare your benefit offerings strategies for the smooth enrollment.

Challenges and Their Solutions for Smooth HR Tech Incorporation!

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As technology advances, you have to make sure that your team is well prepared for the change. According to recent statistics, more than 40% of the employers are now willing to spend money on tech & tools to revamp their administration and benefit enrollment processes for better productivity. Since your HR department is responsible for managing your entire workforce, and to help them overcome technical hurdles, it is very important for you to have a proper system for smooth and efficient administration and functioning.

But, incorporating HR tech. solutions is not an easy task it seems to be and proper knowledge and guidance are needed to avoid any unwanted clash between the user and service provider later on.

Choose Your Up-To-Date Broker!

Challenge: Many comprehensive and experienced brokers still work in an outdated and obsolete manner. Sometimes, they are not able to give the right guidance regarding the latest changes taking place in Affordable Care Act (ACA) mandates, Federal Rules or any other related provisions.

Solution:  Again, it can only be done through your matter of choice. Do your work before making your mind. Look out for a broker who is very well aware of the changes happening in present laws and regulations. This will help you to stay compliant as well as choose the right services. Go for the list of satisfied as well as unhappy clients for a better decision. Also, make sure that your broker takes in use right tools and technology to help you stay compliant as well as updated.

Choose Your Service Provider Wisely!

Challenge: You and your broker have to choose not just a reasonable tech service provider, but also the one who can provide you the software that will take care of your present as well as future needs and requirements.

Solution: It’s your duty to scrutinize deep into the product qualities and ask questions to add an extra layer of clarity and thus reduce the potential ambiguity and regret.  Go through their client’s list and gather the genuine feedbacks as much as possible. Also, go for the demo and ask for the trial.

Security Concern!

Challenge: Keeping your employee sensitive information protected is always “a significant challenge”. As the technology expands within the organization, so as the privacy and security concerns. According to a recent report, only 9.3% of the tech solutions meet the definition of high security.

Solution: There are two phases of the solution to this problem:
1.    Choose HR software which is high on security parameters and compare them in terms of features, and cost-effectiveness.
2.    Provide employee training on how to keep secure data and prevent privacy breaches.

Think About The Future Scenarios Too!

Challenge: It can never be anticipated that when future trends become present needs, therefore, make sure that your chosen technology gives a room for scalability. Services like private benefits exchange might seem far post in today’s dynamics. But you never know when the trend will take a new turn.

Solution: It is very crucial to ask the basic- yet extremely important- question that whether the HR software is going to benefit your company in the coming future or not! Make sure your software is loaded with up-to-date technology. Look out for the features you think you might be required in the coming time.

Post-Sale Services!

Challenge: Tech providers do a lot of lip service before making the deal. But, once it’s done, there is quite a disappointment regarding the post-sale customer support services.

Solution: Check references and get to know what you are getting into. Have a contract signed for post-sale services to keep it as a proof. Go for the service provider that provides extraordinary customer support services.

Last words:

Your responsibilities don’t end with the decision to incorporate tech tools in your human capital management department. There is more to it that begins with selecting the right broker and tech service provider and ends with assuring the impeccable support services. Above are the few challenges and their solutions that will help smoothen your technology incorporation process.