Small Benefit Plans

Foundation Publication Search Results

These summaries were compiled from Foundation Publications Search, a database of articles, research reports and books published by the International Foundation and the International Society of Certified Employee Benefit Specialists.


Large Taft-Hartley DB Plans: Did Larger Equity Allocations Finally Pay Off?
Waid, Robert J.; Benefits Magazine; v53 no11 pp 38-43 Nov 2016; journal article

Availability : International Foundation of Employee Benefit Plans
Abstract : For the fourth year in a row, the author compares the asset allocations of large and small Taft-Hartley defined benefit (DB) pension plans. He discusses why large plans finally did a little better than small plans for the 12-month period ending March 31, 2016.
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The Top 10 ACA Traps for the Unwary.
Garner, John C.; Benefits Magazine; v53 no9 pp 22-26 Sep 2016; journal article

Availability : International Foundation of Employee Benefit Plans
Abstract : Although the Affordable Care Act (ACA) is more than six years old, employers and employees are still figuring our the law's complexities. Identifies ten situations that could cause problems.
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Large Taft-Hartley DB Plans: Did Larger Equity Allocations Pay Off?
Waid, Robert J.; Benefits Magazine; v52 no11 pp 24-29 Nov 2015; journal article

Availability : International Foundation of Employee Benefit Plans
Abstract : For the 12 months ending March 31, 2015, smaller Taft-Hartley defined benefit plans saw slightly better investment performance than others. Wilshire Associates Inc. looked at clients' trust plan performance and asset allocation and holdings over five years, comparing plans with more than $1 billion in assets with those having less than $1 billion. The large plans average 72 percent equity like assets, compared to 62 percent for small plans, and 93 percent of large plans invested in alternatives but only 49 percent of small plans. Due to somewhat more exposure to domestic equities, small plans outperformed large plans for the two years ending March 2015. Small plans' performance was enhanced by the stronger U.S. dollar, higher allocation to U.S. fixed income, use of U.S. debt as an asset class, overweighting growth and alpha.
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Increase Employee Engagement With Games.
Newsbriefs; v32 pp 15-17 2nd Qtr 2014; journal article

Availability : International Foundation of Employee Benefit Plans
Abstract : Speaking at the 32nd Annual International Society of Certified Employee Benefit Specialists Employee Benefits Symposium, Kathryn Yates of Towers Watson said that about half of employees do not read benefits communications and about half of those who do do not understand them. A FUJIFILM Holdings America Corporation factory found that a benefits game for smart phones helped them take healthy actions. FUJIFILM's Carolyn Gordon said that she was skeptical of the game, but its implementation resulted in health assessment participation rising from 17 percent to 54 percent in a year. Vlad Gyster, CEO of game provider Airbo, said that gaming is affordable for small organizations. Gyster said that his company's early attempt to create a scoreboard for its games resulted in server issues and 97 percent disengagement until Airbo allowed people to remove themselves from the scoreboard.
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ACA Nondiscrimination Provision: Impacts on Small and Midsize Employers.
Starkman, Jay; Miraglia, Dorothy; Benefits Magazine; v50 no8 pp 26-31 Aug 2013; journal article

Availability : International Foundation of Employee Benefit Plans
Abstract : The Affordable Care Act (ACA) prohibits discrimination by insured, nongrandfathered group health plans favoring highly compensated employees and imposes costly penalties for violations. Without attractive health benefits, employers will have to take different approaches to lure executives. It is unclear whether nondiscrimination testing rules will be borrowed from those used for self-funded plans, including the definition of highly compensated individual. The type of safe harbor plan designs and the effects of an individual waiving coverage are unknown as of summer 2013. Different waiting periods for different employee classes, varying contribution amounts and plans available only to certain employees will not be allowed. Costs of noncompliance could be especially burdensome to smaller businesses.
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Conversation With Joshua Gotbaum.
Vogel, Chris; Benefits Magazine; v50 no4 pp 10-12 Apr 2013; journal article

Availability : International Foundation of Employee Benefit Plans
Abstract : PBGC director Joshua Gotbaum says that his report on multiemployer plans reveals the importance of such plans, which provide lifetime income for ten million people and allow small businesses to offer retirement plans without administrative difficulties. Most multiemployer plans, Gotbaum says, can recover from the 2008 financial crisis on their own, but a minority are severely distressed and need help. He says that the PBGC's multiemployer plan efforts could be improved by granting the agency the authority to set premiums and by redesigning the multiemployer plan program. Gotbaum says the Pension Protection Act is helping multiemployer plans recover from the crisis and that the PBGC is examining proposals for reform from multiemployer stakeholders.
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HSA Programs for Groups: Employer Versus Employee Responsibilities.
Johnson, Whitney R.; Benefits Quarterly; v28 no3 pp 43-51 3rd Qtr 2012; journal article

Availability : International Foundation of Employee Benefit Plans
Abstract : Employers and employees of a group health plan with a health savings account (HSA) have shared compliance responsibilities. Employers wanting to allow employees to make pretax deferrals to an HSA need to establish Section 125, or cafeteria, plans, which generally do not require an IRS filing. The most complicated compliance issue for employers is comparability testing, a process similar to 401(k) plan nondiscrimination testing involving a long and complex set of rules. Small business owners have additional rules, based on the type of small business, for contributions to themselves. HSA money must be held by an approved HSA custodian, who tracks distributions and deposits. Individual HSA owners must substantiate the use to which they put their distributions, determine their own eligibility, ensure their contributions do not go over the federal limit, manage their own HSA balances and pay taxes on their HSAs.
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Retirement Plans for Small Employers.
Stich, Julie; Benefits Magazine; v49 no7 pp 11-12 Jul 2012; journal article

Availability : International Foundation of Employee Benefit Plans
Abstract : Several retirement plans are suitable for small businesses. Simplified employee pension plans give employers flexibility in how much to contribute, do not allow employee elective contributions and ensure employees are always 100 percent vested in their plans. Savings Incentive Match Plans for Employees (SIMPLE plans) IRAs, available to employers with 100 or fewer employees, also 100 percent vest employees, require either matching contributions or nonelective contributions by employers, and allow employees to make elective deferrals. SIMPLE 401(k) plans are similar but are qualified plans, though they are not subject to nondiscrimination and top heavy rules. Single participant and safe harbor 401(k) plans are simple to run compared to other 401(k) plans and offer employees the ability to make tax-advantaged elective deferrals.
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Wellness Strategies for Smaller Businesses.
Neely, Marc; Benefits Quarterly; v28 no3 pp 16-19 3rd Qtr 2012; journal article

Availability : International Foundation of Employee Benefit Plans
Abstract : Small businesses often cite limited resources as a reason for not implementing a wellness program. However, by taking several steps a small business can create an effective wellness program. A culture of health must begin with management, and internal advocacy will help reduce employee mistrust of changes. Wellness programs should be targeted based on data specific to the company's population, which can be gained from employee surveys, health risk assessments and, if available, historical claims data. Incentivization and impact measurement are also important when creating a wellness program.
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A Decade of Great Change: And Great Benefits.
Vandermillen, Luke J.; Benefits Quarterly; v28 no2 pp 18-20 2nd Qtr 2012; journal article

Availability : International Foundation of Employee Benefit Plans
Abstract : A close look at the small and midsized firms recognized on The Principal's annual lists of 10 Best Companies for Employee Financial Security reveals an evolution in benefits offered and how they are managed. The focus of the outstanding companies is on helping employees become financially stable and secure, usually by stressing engagement in defined contribution pension plans. Automatic enrollment and deferral increases, matching catch-up contributions and targeted participant education are the norm. The firms demonstrate a trend toward customized benefits for employees' specific needs and a focus on physical fitness and wellness. They work with financial professionals and benefits brokers to craft benefit plans for their workforce and communicate benefits effectively. By keeping their employees' needs in mind, these organizations have been able to do the right thing for their business.
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Group Purchasing: A Good Approach for Employee Benefits?
Haraden, Patrick J.; Benefits Magazine; v48 no4 pp 32-36 Apr 2011; journal article

Availability : International Foundation of Employee Benefit Plans
Abstract : Many small employers are purchasing employee health benefits as part of a purchasing group of other employers. The two types of group purchasing models are multiemployer plans, collectively bargained plans maintained by multiple employers, usually within the same industry, and multiple employer welfare arrangements (MEWAs), consisting of two or more unrelated employers. Many small employers are asking their brokers about the possibility of aggregating with other employers to achieve better rates, technically a type of MEWA. Unfortunately, some states mandate that small employers in MEWAs must still pay small employer rates. Health care reforms instituted by Massachusetts in 2006 offer a potential model for group health insurance and for the health insurance exchanges mandated by the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA). The PPACA also mandates member-run health insurance cooperatives in the individual and small group markets.
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Sizing Up Health Care Reform: What Small and Midsize Companies Need to Know.
Miraglia, Dorothy L.; Benefits Magazine; v48 no2 pp 30-35 Feb 2011; journal article

Availability : International Foundation of Employee Benefit Plans
Abstract : With little HR support, small and midsized companies face a heavy administrative burden under the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act. They must decide about offering health insurance, meet pressing deadlines and consider the pros and cons of grandfathering. Extra reporting requirements take effect in 2011 and 2012. Those sponsoring flexible spending accounts, health reimbursement arrangements and health savings accounts must be aware of changing coverage for over-the-counter drugs. Starting in 2012 employers must provide a summary of benefits and coverage explanation and detail the aggregate cost of health insurance on each employee's W-2 form. Further requirements and penalties take effect in 2014, including vouchers to purchase individual insurance.
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Small Businesses May Now Find Online 401(k) Plans More Feasible.
Gutrich, Mark; Benefits & Compensation Digest; v45 no8 pp 28-29, 31-32 Aug 2008; journal article

Availability : International Foundation of Employee Benefit Plans
Abstract : In the past, small business owners sometimes skipped offering 401(k) plans because they perceived the plans as too costly or cumbersome. Today, small business owners may want to be aware of technological and regulatory developments and a changing marketplace. More than 40 percent of small business owners said in a recent survey that the ability to attract and retain employees would be a major reason to offer a 401(k) plan.
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