By Kim Bishop, Employers Business Solutions
Most companies are not aware of the Federal rules and regulations stemming from offering benefits to their employees. If they provide benefits to even just one employee, there are certain regulations they need to comply with. These rules pertain to ERISA, the IRS, and the Department of Labor. It is estimated that 92% of companies are out of compliance.
Last year over $1.2 Billion in fines and penalties was assessed to companies found to be in error, some with as few as three employees.
Where companies fail is by not having the required Summary Plan Descriptions (SPD’s) for each of their benefits, correct Section 125 Plan documents (which saves them money), the specific DOL Notices, all compiled in a format they needed to have completed back in 2013.
Companies typically lack the information, or may get misinformation from their benefit advisor. Insurance companies DO NOT provide these documents, as it is specific to each Employer. These regulations also include benefits besides health insurance, such as: Dental, Vision, Life, Disability, EAP programs, etc. It is the responsibility of the company to have them created specifically for them, compiled in a manner per the Federal rules.
Your benefit advisors job is to keep you out of harm’s way, thus you want to avoid “cheap” services found on the internet- these still leave you out of compliance in one or more areas.
When should you be in compliance? Yesterday. So if you haven’t taken care of this yet, you may want to do so right away. The stress and expense is not worth it.
The good news: It’s really not that hard or expensive to stay in compliance. If done correctly, the final cost is close to “$0”, while also saving the business money in other areas.
[Kim Bishop is a published author and speaker in the areas of employee benefits, compliance, and healthcare reform. Kim uses the services of a local Reno company- Employers Business Solutions to help her clients. www.