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Is it Time to Consider a New Plan Design?

You may have heard about a “cash balance plan” and wondered whether it would be something advantageous for your business.  A cash balance plan operates differently from other types of traditional retirement plans in that it combines features of both defined benefit and defined contribution plans. Technically, a cash balance plan is classified as a defined benefit plan, which means it is subject to minimum funding requirements.  Likewise, the investment of cash balance plan assets are managed by the employer or an investment manager appointed by the employer.  Since cash balance plans are a “benefit,” increases and decreases in the value...

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Consider Apprenticeships for Your Company

Finding qualified job candidates can be frustrating and time-consuming, especially when you’re searching for skilled workers. If this sounds like your situation, it may be time to consider an apprenticeship program. Apprenticeships are growing in popularity across the United States, and with good reason: these programs benefit workers and business owners alike. Employees learn necessary skills while earning a paycheck, and employers develop a staff of qualified workers trained to their specifications. Watch this video on apprenticeship programs. [caption id="" align="alignleft" width="1920"] Apprenticeships[/caption]...

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IRS, Treasury unveil proposed W-4 design for 2020

IR-2019-98, May 31, 2019 WASHINGTON – Today the Internal Revenue Service issued a draft of the 2020 Form W-4, Employee's Withholding Allowance Certificate (PDF), that will make accurate withholding easier for employees starting next year. The revised form implements changes made following the 2017 Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, which made major revisions affecting taxpayer withholding. The redesigned Form W-4 no longer uses the concept of withholding allowances, which was previously tied to the amount of the personal exemption. Due to changes in the law, personal exemptions are currently not a central feature of the tax code. “The new draft Form W-4 reflects...

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IRS Urges Taxpayers to do a Paycheck Checkup; use Withholding Calculator to help get right amount for 2019

IR-2019-107, June 10, 2019 WASHINGTON — The Internal Revenue Service today launched a special week-long  campaign encouraging taxpayers to do a Paycheck Checkup now to make sure they are having the right amount of tax taken out of their paychecks for 2019. The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (TCJA), enacted in December 2017, changed the way tax is calculated for most taxpayers. Most TCJA changes took effect in 2018. As a result, some taxpayers ended up receiving 2018 refunds that were larger or smaller than expected, while others unexpectedly owed additional tax when they filed earlier this year. For that reason, taxpayers...

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Reminder: PCORI Fees Due July 31

Fees Apply to Employers Sponsoring Certain Self-Insured Plans As a reminder, employers that sponsor certain self-insured health plans are responsible for Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute (PCORI) fees. Fees for plan years that ended in 2018 are due July 31, 2019. Employers must report and pay the required PCORI fees annually via IRS Form 720. For plan years that ended between January 1, 2018 and September 30, 2018, the fee is $2.39 multiplied by the average number of lives covered under the plan. For plan years that ended between October 1, 2018 and December 31, 2018, the fee is $2.45 multiplied by...

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Retirement Confidence Increases for Workers and Retirees

In its 28th annual Retirement Confidence Survey, the Employee Benefit Research Institute (EBRI) discovered that 64% of today's workers feel very or somewhat confident in having enough money to retire comfortably, up from 60% in 2017. And although far more retirees are very confident in their retirement prospects than workers (32% versus 17%, respectively), retiree confidence in their ability to meet basic expenses and medical expenses dropped from the previous year. Moreover, both workers and retirees question the role Social Security will play in future retiree income. Basic expenses and health-care costs a concern for many retirees Retiree confidence in meeting basic...

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IRS reminder: Tax scams continue year-round

IR-2019-104, June 5, 2019 WASHINGTON – Although the April filing deadline has passed, scam artists remain hard at work, and the IRS today urged taxpayers to be on the lookout for a spring surge of evolving phishing emails and telephone scams. The IRS is seeing signs of two new variations of tax-related scams. One involves Social Security numbers related to tax issues and another threatens people with a tax bill from a fictional government agency. Here are some details: The SSN hustle. The latest twist includes scammers claiming to be able to suspend or cancel the victim’s Social Security number. In this...

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Medicare Part D Creditable Coverage Notice Reminder

All group health plans that provide prescription drug coverage to Medicare Part D eligible individuals (whether actively working, retired, or disabled) are required to notify CMS whether or not the coverage provided is creditable. This disclosure is required whether the coverage is primary or secondary to Medicare. Employers must file their Disclosure Notice through the CMS website Instructions and guidance on completing the notice are also available. NOTE: If you are offering an actual Part D Plan, you are exempt from this filing requirement. Employers who have applied for a retiree drug subsidy are NOT required to complete this form. You will...

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IRS Releases 2020 HSA Adjustments

The IRS has released the 2020 inflation adjustments affecting Health Savings Accounts and High Deductible Health Plans. The 2020 IRS HSA limits are as follows: ITEM 2019 2020 Annual Contribution Limit – Individual $3,500 $3,550 Annual Contribution Limit – Family $7,000 $7,100 Annual Catch-Up Contribution Limit (Age 55 to 65) $1,000 $1,000 Minimum Deductible for HDHP – Individual $1,350 $1,400 Minimum Deductible for HDHP – Family $2,700 $2,800 Maximum Out-Of-Pocket for HDHP – Individual $6,750 $6,900 Maximum Out-Of-Pocket for HDHP - Family $13,500 $13,800 ...

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