2014 Industry Forecast: Top Three Trends In Employee Benefits - Karmazyn211's Blog
2014 Industry Forecast: Top Three Trends In Employee Benefits
Gone are the days of one-size-fits-all benefits. Offering benefits through private exchanges gives employees the ability to shop the market to discover the best plans at the best prices, and allows for employers to accommodate the needs of a diverse workforce. By providing personalized options for both Baby Boomers in search of retirement planning and Millennials seeking additional benefits beyond health insurance, such as auto and home coverage, employers can meet the multi-generation needs of their workforce. "The younger employees have become accustomed to choice and customization," according to Embry. "Insurance exchanges offer both, allowing employers to evolve to meet the needs of employees at all life stages." 2. Retirement planning is less rigid, more flexible for retirees. With a movement from group plans to individual-focused plans, retirees now have quality, competitive alternatives to consider as they plan for retirement. Employers are offering comprehensive benefits to retirees and their families to supplement traditional group retiree plans, such as health care for pre-65 retirees, Medicare Supplement insurance and Health Reimbursement Account options to allow retirees a supreme level of customization to fit their lifestyle needs. "The biggest expense in retirement is health care," said Embry. "Retirement is not just about how much money you"re going to have; it"s about understanding what your expenses are going to be.
Arthur J. Gallagher Acquires Texas-Based Employee Benefits Analysis Corp.
SMEs have the flexibility and agility to set their own packages and benefits to suit specific staff needs and build a high-performance, fun and productive working culture. A Guide to Employee Benefits and Trends in 2013 A recent survey carried out by Aon Hewitt into trends for employee benefits found some interesting insights into various UK business approaches. Of those surveyed, the majority of employers were focusing on their preparations for auto-enrollment . Additionally, when it came to pension schemes and their participation, defined-contribution schemes had grown greatly since 2012. A Guide to Employee Benefits and Trends in 2013 Flexible Benefits The results also showed the flexible benefits programmes are still a key factor for many businesses, and they are continuing to deliver excellent levels of staff satisfaction, which is crucial for employee engagement and the businesss bottom line. In bigger organisations, flexible packages are still leading the way and bringing the biggest results. Around 50pc of these large employers are using flexible schemes, and the approach is now considered to be mature, prevalent and best practice. In fact, flexible benefits often referred to as flex are a growth area across all business segments. In 2011, only 20pc of respondents were offering flexible benefits schemes, but by 2012 the figure had rose to 52pc. This years results showed that 44pc of business respondents with staff of 500 or more offered flex, and an additional 44pc of businesses were planning to implement such schemes within three years. Flexible benefits schemes are also increasing in popularity amongst SMEs with workforces of fewer than 500 staff, and predictions suggest that rapid growth will continue. These benefits include things such as the ability to buy and sell additional holidays, to make increased pension contributions, to buy shares in the employers business, to buy tax-efficient childcare vouchers, computers or other items, to receive special offers on local products and services and to work from home or agree flexible working arrangements.
Small Business Employee Compensation and Benefits Lag
Liazon"s advanced cloud computing infrastructure and robust security protection ensures continual access and safeguards confidentiality of data transmission, making them a natural partner for CBIZ. "Our award-winning decision support and education platform, along with CBIZ"s deep domain insurance experience and know-how, will help users make smarter benefits selections, and the expense tracking tools will help them manage and pay expenses year-round," explains Alan Cohen, chief strategy officer and co-founder of Liazon. "We"re confident our platform"s logical flow will help today"s and tomorrow"s employee find the right benefits package for them and their families." Following the introduction of the CBIZ Health Care Reform Analyzer tool, which brought clarity to the financial implications of the Affordable Care Act to CBIZ clients, CBIZChoice is the next solution that offers clients additional controls for costs, compliance and risks, while also providing operational benefits and the potential for increased profitability. "We envision our clients will achieve maximum efficiency through our proven model of consistency and experience. CBIZChoice will offer products to reduce risk for our clients and streamline their administration needs," shares Evelyn. "Our ability to provide the vital advice and expertise that businesses seek on wellness solutions, payroll and tax advisory services are now offered via a single destination. This continues the advancement of our resources and services that are uniquely suited to support the growth and success of our clients." For more information and for photos of CBIZChoice, please visit our blog by clicking here. About CBIZ, Inc. CBIZ, Inc. provides professional business services that help clients better manage their finances and employees. CBIZ provides its clients with financial services including accounting, tax, financial advisory, government health care consulting, risk advisory, merger and acquisition advisory, real estate consulting, and valuation services. Employee services include employee benefits consulting, property and casualty insurance, retirement plan consulting, payroll, life insurance, HR consulting, and executive recruitment.
How to use offshore employee benefit trusts
Employee Compensation has Been Growing More Slowly at Smaller Establishments BLS figures show that total compensation increased only 1.8 percent between 1990 and 2013 at establishments with fewer than 100 workers, when measured in inflation-adjusted terms. At establishments with between 100 and 499 workers, and establishments with 500 or more workers, over the same period, real total compensation rose 19.7 and 19.8 percent, respectively. Wage stagnation has been the norm at smaller establishments. Between 1990 and 2013, real wages increased only 0.9 percent at locations with fewer than 100 employees. At establishments with between 100 and 499 workers, they went up 14.1 percent, while at concerns with 500 or more employees, they rose 13.2 percent. Retirement benefits have grown more slowly at smaller establishments. When measured in inflation-adjusted terms, the per employee cost of retirement savings grew only 1.3 percent between 1990 and 2013 at establishments with fewer than 100 people, versus 64.2 percent at locations with between 100 and 499 workers and 62.7 percent at concerns with 500 or more workers. Spending on employee health coverage has grown more slowly at smaller establishments. Real spending on employee health coverage rose 58 percent at establishments with 500 or more workers between 1990 and 2013, and 68 percent at concerns with 100 to 499 employees.
CBIZ, Inc. Launches Private Benefits Exchange for Small to Mid-Sized Employers
Gallagher & Co. announced the acquisition of Employee Benefits Analysis Corp. in Addison, Texas. Terms of the transaction were not disclosed. Established in 1995, Employee Benefits Analysis Corp. (EBAC) is an employee benefit brokerage firm that offers a wide range of group employee benefit products and consulting services. EBAC specializes in complex self-funded and fully insured designed benefit plans, merger and acquisition implementations, and the administration of comprehensive employee benefit programs including retirement plans, online enrollment systems, wellness programs and cafeteria plans for their clients throughout the United States. Kevin Towery and his associates will continue to operate from their current location under the direction of John Neumaier, leader of Gallaghers south central employee benefits consulting and brokerage operations.
Jonathan Rose Inducted as Fellow of American College of Employee Benefits Counsel
Sparks, who was chosen for the accolade at the Employee Benefits Awards 2013 , has spent more than 25 years in employee benefits and reward. What has winning an Employee Benefits award meant to you? Recognition is always a good thing, but recognition from your peers in the industry is just the best. It was such as honour just to be on the shortlist among some esteemed colleagues, but to go on to win was a fantastic surprise. What have you done to communicate your Employee Benefits award win to your organisation and to employees? I have shared the award with my colleagues at British Airways and got a round of applause at a departmental meeting.I have had lots of congratulatory emails from my colleagues, external contacts and third-party suppliers too (not to mention my mum).The trophy has pride of place on my mantelpiece. What would you say to other employers to encourage them to enter the Employee Benefits Awards 2014 ? The Employee Benefits Awards represent an opportunity for reward practitioners to shout about what they do well.The standard of entries is really high, and the awards help us to share best practice and bright ideas. Enter the Employee Benefits Awards 2014 .The entry deadline is 18 December.
Employee Benefits Awards help share best practice and ideas
But in recent years, such schemes have come under increasing scrutiny from HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) (see box), which has taken a heavy-handed approach to organisations considered to be trying to reduce their tax bill. EBTs are discretionary trusts set up by employers to hold employee assets, such as remuneration and shares, and used to minimise employees income tax and national insurance obligations. Stephen Woodhouse, a partner in the tax practice at Deloitte, says: A private employer will often want to have an EBT because it needs to provide a market for people to sell their shares. Some public organisations may also have EBTs for this purpose, and to avoid the complexity of using Treasury shares. EBTs are also used for mergers and acquisitions. Andy Goodman, a partner at accountancy firm BDO, says: An employer could have made a disposal of a business and have a lump sum that is fully taxed and now wants to allocate it to employees. That is put in an outside pot [the EBT], where the directors will no longer be able to touch it. EBTs can also protect assets from creditors in the event of an employer going into administration. Offshore trusts In most, but not all, cases, EBTs will be set up offshore. Nigel Davies, a consultant at law firm Charles Russell, says: If a trustee is UK-registered and it acquires an asset from an employer to satisfy a future share liability and then the share price goes up and [the trustee] disposes of the asset in settling the option, then technically it makes a capital gain, which could be taxable.
A Guide to Employee Benefits and Trends in 2013
office, has been inducted as a Fellow of the American College of Employee Benefits Counsel. The induction ceremony was held at the colleges annual meeting and dinner held in New Orleans on November 9, 2013. Fellowship in the college is reserved for those attorneys that meet demanding criteria, emphasizing both excellence in the quality of practice and serious contributions to the publics understanding and appreciation of employee benefits law. Rose was elected by prominent employee benefits practitioners for his record of notable achievement and dedication. Jonathans esteemed place in the world of ERISA law comes as no surprise to me, said Alston & Bird ERISA Litigation Group Leader H. Douglas Hinson. However, I am thrilled that he has been recognized by American College of Employee Benefits Counsel. It is a huge and well-deserved honor. Roses practice is focused on the representation of plan sponsors and fiduciaries involved in ERISA and related employment litigation. In addition, he advises plan sponsors and fiduciaries of qualified and non-qualified pension and welfare benefit plans on compliance with the wide range of fiduciary duties required in the administration and investment of plan assets, including the prudent selection and oversight of investment and other service providers, disclosure obligations and prohibited transaction issues. Rose also advises plan sponsors and fiduciaries on issues involving plan design and maintenance of tax qualified status.
Fidelity National Financial Inc : Hortica Selects Digital Insurance as Nationwide Employee Benefits Partner
Based in Edwardsville, Ill., Hortica is a mutual insurance company specializing in serving the needs of horticultural businesses. Customers include retail florists, garden centers, nurseries, landscape contractors, greenhouse growers, wholesale floral distributors and interior plantscapers. "In response to the complexities created by the Affordable Care Act, Hortica determined it could better serve clients by partnering with an employee benefits firm that is national in scope, yet able to offer customized solutions to each business," says Mike Sullivan, Digital"s executive vice president and chief marketing officer. "Digital Insurance is an ideal partner because we have the reach and flexibility to serve all types of employers, regardless of their size or location." Hortica"s customers will be served by the local offices of Digital Benefit Advisors or through the Digital Express division, which is based in Atlanta. Digital offers an expansive array of benefits solutions whether a business has thousands of employees requiring comprehensive advisory services or a two-person shop with minimal needs. A private insurance exchange, Digital Benefits Marketplace, is among the options available. It provides a simple, new approach to employee benefits that enables employers to control benefits expenses with fixed costs, known as defined contributions. "Hortica chose Digital Insurance as our employee benefits partner to provide customers access to its impressive suite of services and capabilities," says Hortica President Mona Haberer. "In spite of the rapidly changing health insurance arena, this partnership ensures Hortica"s existing clients continue to receive the high level of service they are accustomed to, while significantly enhancing our ability to grow our book of employee benefits business nationwide." "We"re pleased to work with Hortica, an established company known for its impeccable service," explains Sullivan. "There are many companies specializing in industry verticals, like Hortica, that want to retain the P&C portion of their business, but require additional expertise to operate and grow the benefits sector. There are few agencies like ours with a national reach that can provide flexible solutions to any size client." About Digital Insurance Digital Insurance ( www.digitalinsurance.com ) is the largest,most technologically advancedemployee benefits-only agencyin the U.S.Distinguished by its focus on innovation and education, the company creates greater value for employers and inspires individuals to become more engaged health care consumers. Its largest division, Digital Benefit Advisors ( www.digitalbenefitadvisors.com ), is a national network of experienced, local market experts who deliverexpandedofferingsto businesses and organizations.