EMPLOYEE BENEFITS UPDATE SPRING 2018

GEORGE JOHNSON & COMPANY

SPRING 2018


 

Dear Clients and Friends,

Welcome to our Spring issue of the GJC Advisor, Employee Benefit Plans edition.

At the end of February, our firm held an Employee Benefit Plans Update seminar for our clients and contacts. The seminar covered topics including:

  • Tax Reform Impact on Employee Benefit Plans
  • Affordable Care Act Updates
  • Plan Design Trends
  • Regulatory Update
  • Accounting & Auditing Update
  • Regulatory Oversight – Common Findings
  • Cybersecurity
Mitigating Healthcare Costs With HDHPs and HSAs: What Plan Sponsors Need to Know
It’s no secret that healthcare is expensive-and costs are likely to continue going up. While preferred provider organizations (PPOs) are still the most popular plan type, many companies are turning to consumer-directed, high-deductible health plans (HDHP) to help manage costs and are adding reimbursement accounts like health savings accounts (HSA) to help employees pay for expenses.
Still, employees have many misconceptions about HDHPs and HSAs. In fact, just a little more than half of Americans say they understand HSAs, according to a March report by the LIMRA Secure Retirement Institute and Insured Retirement Institute. Employers have difficulty understanding these savings vehicles as well.

With more companies using and integrating consumer-driven benefits like 401(k)s and HDHP/HSAs, there’s an opportunity for plan sponsors to learn more about ways to help employees optimize their funding for health and retirement wealth.

FOR EMPLOYERS 

First, why are companies moving to HDHPs?
What kind of out-of-pocket reimbursement accounts are out there?
Are companies required to contribute to an HSA?
What kind of administrative work is required with an HSA?
Can employers deduct the HSA contribution as a business expense? And are there any fiduciary responsibilities in offering an HSA?
Will an HSA help employees become better healthcare consumers? 
FOR EMPLOYEES
What is the benefit of having an HSA?
If I don’t spend the money in my HSA, do I forfeit it?
What can I use the money for?
Can I use the money for non-health expenses?

Can HSA dollars be invested in the stock market? 

 And I can use this money in retirement?
Read more…

Insight: Addressing the Need for HSA and HDPH Education
Funding rising healthcare expenses should be a central part of employees’ retirement planning, and HSAs paired with HDHPs can be an effective part of this planning. But given the misconceptions and confusion surrounding these vehicles, plan sponsors need to first fully understand the nuances of these vehicles to determine whether they will be a good fit for their workforce. Companies that do decide to offer HSAs and HDPHs need to then develop an effective communication strategy to educate their employees on how to take full advantage of these benefits.
FINANCIAL WELLBEING PROGRAMS: Today’s Tools for a Healthy, Productive Workforce
The American workforce is stressed out-and finances play a major role. Many workers say they’re living paycheck-to-paycheck, and the routine is stressing them out so much that it’s taking a toll on their health. Often, people bring their personal financial problems to work, resulting in absences, distractions, or other unproductive behaviors.
Where Health Meets Wealth: Defining Financial Wellbeing
 
Financial wellbeing is a broad term that employers are trying to define for the particular needs of their employees. And with four generations in today’s workforce, it isn’t an easy task.
Each generation has unique issues related to financial health beyond just saving for retirement and paying for health care. Studies have shown that employees want a trusted source, like their employers, to help them address this diverse set of issues.

 

Read more…

Insight: Developing a Plan Tailored to Your Employees’ Needs
 
One of the biggest challenges employers face is figuring out how to develop a financial wellbeing plan that is tailored to the needs of their employees. Given the range of financial needs-both across generations and within them-a one-size-fits-all financial wellbeing plan likely won’t be sufficient.
Developing an effective financial wellbeing program starts with getting to know your workforce. Fortunately, recent advancements in data analytics have resulted in powerful tools that employers can use to gain valuable insights into the characteristics and behaviors of their workforces.
Specific data that can be helpful in determining the aspects of a financial wellbeing plan that would be most beneficial for your workforce include:
  • 401(k) and HSA investment allocation
  • Number of 401(k) loans and average loan amounts
  • Number of 401(k) hardship loans
  • HSA usage (if applicable)
  • Contribution rates to 401(k) and HSA
  • Age and gender
  • Absentee rates
  • Social media intranet usage/hits

Technology is also playing a significant role in the adoption of wellbeing best practices by employees. Mobile applications, sophisticated algorithms, and online programs that empower the user to make smart financial decisions are turning these people from sideline watchers into active players.

Determining where a wellbeing program fits into the company priority scale is another important consideration. Just like their employees, employers have budgets to follow, and making the most out of what is available from all resources is critical. Create preliminary, attainable objectives to focus on the needs of your population and help measure the success of a financial wellbeing program. Then, leverage the power of data analytics to tailor your program to your employees’ needs.

 

SPOTLIGHT

Join GJC in welcoming our new Senior Tax Accountant, Danielle Moncure.

  Danielle is a certified public accountant who comes to us with over 5 years of related tax accounting experience. She graduated from the University of Michigan with a Bachelor of Arts, then continued on to Walsh College of Accounting and Business, earning a Masters of Science in Accountancy.

Her memberships include:

● American Institute of Certified Public Accountants
● National Association of Black Accountants – Detroit Chapter
● Michigan Association of Certified Public Accountants
● Michigan Women’s Tax Association
● American Society of Professional Estimators
● National Association of Black Women in Construction – Detroit Chapter
● National Association of Women in Construction
Travel is a hobby of Danielle’s. She considers herself a foodie who enjoys trying new cuisine out and about during her travel experiences. She is currently putting her Italian fluency to practice as she travels through Italy.
Welcome Danielle!
Coming together is a beginning.
Keeping together is progress.
Working together is success. 
– James Crook

 

Danielle Moncure, CPA

Senior Tax Accountant

COMMUNITY

Martin Luther King, Jr. Volunteer Service Day 2018
It has always been an important part of GJC’s social responsibility to continue our strong commitment to community service. We encourage our team members to volunteer and participate in events that serve a positive purpose within the community. Each year, our largest volunteer event honors the life and legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.
In January, our team volunteered at the Detroit Capuchin Soup Kitchen for the meal program. Since 1929, the Capuchin Soup Kitchen has served Metro Detroit by providing food, clothing, and human development programs to the people.
Our day consisted of helping serve a full-course, nutritious meal to hundreds of men, women and children.

 

The GJC Team at Capuchin Soup Kitchen, Detroit