Category: News

14 Aug

The HSA opportunity clients miss

Odds are your clients are struggling with higher insurance costs and worried about incurring any future medical bills. Here’s one option advisors can help them explore: health savings accounts. These accounts, which are offered in combination with high-deductible health insurance plans, provide a unique opportunity for clients to save. Better still, they afford triple tax […]

08 Aug

California Supreme Court: Employers are on the hook for certain off-the-clock work

The California Supreme Court last week issued an opinion concluding that Starbucks must pay its employees for off-the-clock duties that take several minutes per shift. In issuing its opinion, the Court rejected the coffee giant’s request to invoke a federal wage rule (known as the de minimis doctrine) that excuses employers from paying employees for […]

30 Jul

3 things employers need to know about Congress’ effort to expand HSAs

Health savings accounts are at the top of the health policy agenda as Congress grapples with how to rein in ever-rising costs. House and Senate committees have held several hearings over the past few months on how to expand HSAs and update the rules, and House on Wednesday just passed two healthcare bills containing a broad array […]

29 Jul

Signing up for Medicare while covered by employer’s health plan

You have a seven-month window to enroll in Part A, which is free and covers hospital services. The enrollment period begins three months before the month you turn 65 and ends three months after your birthday month. You can enroll in Medicare online at or visit your local Social Security office, even if you’re not ready […]

16 Jul

Question of the Month: Penalties for failing to comply with Section 125 requirements

Q.What are the penalties for failing to comply with Section 125 requirements, such as failing to follow a cafeteria plan document’s terms? A: An operational failure occurs when a plan fails to follow its cafeteria plan document’s terms. There are several potential penalties for operational failures, including: Cafeteria plan disqualification Requiring the cafeteria plan to comply […]

06 Jul

When is a ‘bonus’ really a ‘commission’? A reminder to ensure pay plans comply with state laws

In the past, we have highlighted some of the legal risks of employing commission-based employees, as well as some of the methods for limiting those risks. A new court decision out of Illinois provides a good reminder that vaguely described policies and restrictive payment rules can expose employers to large liabilities. In this case, a longtime office furniture salesperson worked under a […]

05 Jul

To Identify the Best Candidate, Ask the Right Questions

Are the questions you’re asking potential employees truly helping you identify the best candidate? Increasingly, employers are learning that questions don’t need to be interesting, just effective. Instead of asking a candidate about their favorite superhero, which is essentially another way of asking them what their super power would be, ask them what they like to […]

04 Jul

What works for not working: Rethinking your vacation policy

Summer is approaching, which means your employees are probably looking to get away for a well-deserved vacation — or, at the very least, a staycation that includes unplugging for the week. The low unemployment rate and an increasing number of job openings signal to employers that they need to offer more time off to compete […]

03 Jul

Avoiding red flags: How to lower your plan’s audit risk

Are only the largest retirement plans audited? The truth is that plans of any size can be audited by the IRS and the DOL. Your plan could be selected for a random audit, or as a result of IRS datasets that target certain types of plans. However, lots of audits are triggered by specific events. […]

03 Jul

New tax laws driving interest in alternative savings plans

The tax reform law has had one interesting consequence for the retirement industry: It has driven up interest in different types of savings plans that work in tandem with 401(k) plans to help company owners and highly compensated employees set more money aside for retirement. Mike Weintraub, president of Relation Insurance Services’ retirement division, says […]