An ‘EZ’ Solution for your Employee Benefit Plan Reporting and Disclosure Requirements
Our past two blog posts were about the requirement to report and disclose information on employee benefits plans. If you are feeling a bit overwhelmed by this, especially if you didn’t know about these requirements before, we have a solution to help!
OA’s Platinum Partner status with EZ ERISAPlan makes it easier than ever for you to meet your obligations and comply with the rigors of ERISA and HIPAA and related laws, all with the industry leading warranties. We can provide you with the solutions in an EZ and cost affordable way.
If you need all of these, there is an All-in-One Subscription that provides all of these to you at a bundled price!
No Worries It’s Warrantied!
The EZ ERISAPlan tool provides our clients with an industry leading written warranty. Unlike other providers that have wishy-washy contract provisions to protect you, we protect you with our two-part Warranty:
- $1,000,000 of Penalty Protection! If you are penalized on a document that is produced on the EZ ERISAPlan site, the Warranty covers those penalties to $1,000,000.
- Legal Services Warranty! If you are audited by the government on an EZ ERISAPlan document, EZ ERISAPlan will send you a lawyer for free!
This is a simple and complete solution to solve your compliance requirements…contact us today to learn more and ensure your plans are covered!
Reporting and Disclosure Guidance for Employee Benefit Plans… Part 2
The Reporting and Disclosure Guide for Employee Benefit Plans provided by the Department of Labor’s Employee Benefits Security Administration is an excellent tool for both employers and employees when it comes to understanding reporting rules under the Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974 [ERISA].
The Guide provides information on the following topics:
- Basic Disclosure Requirements for Pension and Welfare Benefit Plans
- Additional Disclosure Requirements for Welfare Benefit Plans That Are Group Health Plans
- Additional Disclosure Requirements for Pension Plans
- Pension Insurance Premiums – single employer and multiemployer defined benefit plans
- Standard Terminations and Distress Terminations
- Overview of Form 5500 and Form M-1 Annual Reporting Requirements
The starting point of basic disclosure requirements for pension and welfare benefit plans is the Summary Plan Description [SPD]. This document informs participants about their plan and how it operates, which includes all benefits, rights, and obligations under the plan. All participants or beneficiaries receiving benefits of the plan must receive this document and it must be disclosed to participants within 90 days of becoming covered by the plan or within 90 days after first receiving benefits for plan beneficiaries.
For the complete list of disclosure requirements and all other information regarding retirement, health, and other workplace related benefits, visit the Department of Labor Employee Benefits Security Administration.
With the beginning of a new year, employers that offer employee benefit plans have many reporting and disclosure requirement deadlines that will be approaching before you know it. Employers often focus on reporting information on the retirement plans such as the pension, 401k, or 403b plan they offer, but are often unware that the same reporting and disclosure requirements may also apply to the welfare benefit plans, which include your medical, dental, life, disability, and other similar programs.
For more assistance on reporting requirements for your employee benefit plans, refer to the Reporting and Disclosure Guide for Employee Benefit Plans provided on the Department of Labor’s website.
We are pleased to assist another organization with their search for an executive leadership position. Our client the Ohio Library Council is seeking an Executive Director to lead the statewide professional association which represents the interests of Ohio’s public libraries, their trustees, associates, and staff.
The Ohio Library Council is the singular statewide professional association which represents the interests of Ohio’s public libraries. The membership of the OLC is composed of public library systems, library trustees, Friends of the Library groups, library staff members, other library institutions, and library-related commercial vendors. The OLC’s mission is to be the forum by which Ohio’s public library community is strengthened through advocacy, education, collaboration, and innovation.
The Executive Director serves as the organization’s chief administrator by providing management and oversight for all OLC’s programs and initiatives. S/he acts as the key spokesperson and the face of the organization. As such, the Executive Director is the primary liaison to all internal and external partners/stakeholders, government officials, and the larger community of library-oriented organizations, professionals, and associates. Additionally, as a principle advisor and strategic partner to the Board of Directors, s/he also ensures that strategic action plans are successfully implemented and that outcomes are thoroughly reported.
As the top executive officer, the organization’s goals and objectives are, in essence, the charge of the Executive Director. By creative and judicious usage of the OLC’s collective resources and capital s/he will:
- Advocate the interests of Ohio’s public libraries, with a focused commitment to ensure adequate state funding.
- Develop high-quality public library administrators, staff members, Trustees, and Friends through unsurpassed education and training.
- Position the OLC as the collective voice for Ohio’s public libraries and the authoritative source of information on issues impacting Ohio’s public libraries.
- Sustain an organizational structure that is flexible and responsive to members’ needs, inspires member engagement, and reinforces organizational success.
You should bring the following education, experience and qualifications to the role:
- 10 or more years of relevant career experience [including supervisory experience] is required.
- Experience as a leader in a small- to medium-size professional association or not-for-profit organization is required.
- Experience with the principles and practices of association management is required.
- Experience interacting with donors, grantors, senior level executives, community stakeholders, and high-profile individuals is required.
- Experience collaborating with and influencing board members or trustees is required.
- Experience developing and executing strategic plans is required.
- Experience working as part of a senior management team is required.
- Experience in media relations and as an organization spokesperson is required.
- Bachelor’s degree in business administration, library science, or a related field is required. Master’s degree is preferred.
- A CAE [Certified Association Executive] credential via the American Society of Association Executives [ASAE] is preferred.
- Experience with the purposes and function of libraries is preferred.
- Experience in a member-based organization is preferred.
Position Benefits Include:
- Comprehensive healthcare benefits including medical, dental, vision, life, and more.
- Generous paid time off benefits.
You can find the posting here or you can send your resume and cover letter to firstname.lastname@example.org . If you have a colleague who may be interested, please feel free to share this with them.
Just a quick note to let you know that Ohio’s Fair Employment Law poster has been updated.
These postings should be displayed in a conspicuous place in the workplace for all employees to see, such as a break room, copy room, or other common areas for employees. If your organization has multiple facilities in Ohio, postings must be displayed in each facility. For employees that work remotely from an office location, these policies and regulations should be sent to the employees, provided in hard copy form, or provided electronically for these employees to access as well.
You can download your own copy here.
Your payroll company may provide posters as part of their service at little or no cost. Check with them to see if they can provide these to you.
There are paid services you can use that provide these posters. An internet search should be able to turn up a number of options…just be aware that while it may be more convenient to pay a service to provide these posters, especially if you operate in multiple jurisdictions, you can always find them for free at the local, state, and federal agencies.
It has been our privilege to work with several public libraries, and this month’s success story is about our latest collaboration.
Cleveland Public Library is the driving force behind a powerful culture of learning that will inspire Clevelanders from all walks of life to continually learn, share and seek out new knowledge in ways that are beneficial to themselves, their community and the world. They are the People’s University, the center of learning for a diverse and inclusive community.
OA was recommended to CPL based on the work we had done for another large system. CPL needed to recruit a Chief Talent Officer, and wanted to work with a firm that understood the landscape of both top HR talent and also the public sector. The team of Mark Fiala and Ryan Sheehan worked together on behalf of the selection committee at CPL.
Our project partner was Tena Wilson, Deputy Director and Chief of Staff for Cleveland Public Library. She said:
OA was recommended to us by trusted colleagues in the public library space. We were aware of their success sourcing and screening public sector HR talent, and their strategic approach to recruitment.
Like most recruiting consultants, they spent time with us to understand our expectations for the role, the characteristics we sought in the ideal candidate, as well as drafting for the job description, job posting, and screening questionnaire. Of great significance, they provided valid and reliable benchmark compensation data.
Just as important to us is how they treated candidates. CPL has a sterling reputation in the community and we wanted our values demonstrated in the recruitment process. The OA team worked hard to make the candidate experience meaningful and respectful. No finalist candidate wants to find out that they will not be offered the position, but Mark and Ryan made sure that communication was open and direct.
On top of all of that, they were fast!…they jumped on this project and soon we had a number of quality candidates to choose from. It made our final selection easy, and we are excited to welcome our new leadership team member.
This month’s success story features our work with the Mandel JCC. The J builds, connects and strengthens the Jewish community and the greater Cleveland community through exceptional life-long programs and services that reflect the richness of Jewish life and enhance physical, intellectual, and spiritual well-being.
OA was approached based on our experience working with not-for-profit organizations to benchmark compensation and recommending approaches to enhance compensation program administration.
Vice President of Human Resources Sara Hodgson said:
OA was recommended to us by one of our trusted advisors to assist us with understanding how competitive our compensation was, and how we could be more effective at managing our programs. They worked with us to understand what our goals were and then developed a plan to address our needs.
Throughout the project they spent time with us reviewing data, asking questions, and making sure they were providing the analysis we needed to make decisions about our program. They provided data from both general and also industry-specific sources and qualified them to make sure the data was valid and reliable.
We needed a comprehensive review and OA provided analysis on our staff compensation and made recommendations regarding compensation philosophy, program administration, and pay structures. Additionally, they helped me present the findings to my leadership team in a way that was clear and meaningful to them.
This month we have been sending out reminders on HR best practices: reviewing and updating your employment posters and making sure your employee handbook is current. Our last New Year’s HR resolution is to recommend you conduct an HR audit. An HR audit is simply a review of processes and activities to ensure you are working efficiently, effectively, and in a compliant manner.
There are probably many priorities you are dealing with right now. You have probably just wrapped up your annual enrollment and are already working on performance reviews and merit increases. While you may not be able to dive into an audit until the second quarter, getting your plan together now can help you get started quickly once the end-of-the-year / beginning-of-the-year activities subside.
It’s easy to fall into the trap of doing things the same way each year. But there are so many new tools to help get the HR paperwork handled more efficiently, it’s worth taking a step back and assessing what you are doing and ask yourself:
- Why is it done this way?
- Are there ways I solve similar problems in other aspects of my life that I can apply here?
- Where do I spend most of my time? Does it add value? Do other perceive this work as meaningful?
- For any given process, if I review the number of steps involved, can I combine or reduce some?
- What else could I do if some of these other tasks took less time?
How should you go about reviewing your HR processes?
- Break it down…start with employee relations, then work on training, recruitment, compensation, etc. If you cannot conduct a complete audit at once, select a function and work on it over the month. The following month move on to the next one.
- Document the steps involved in each task and then see what can be reduced or combined. Pro tip: turn your documentation into a policy and procedure, so that if you need to train someone else to back you up, you have it all documented.
- Get some third-party input. You can have an HR consultant spend some time performing the review for you. The value of this approach is that you can get it done faster, and sometimes a fresh set of eyes can be valuable in providing insights into ways to improve. You’ll also get a full report that you can use as your roadmap for process improvement and getting compliant.
When should you conduct an audit?
- If you have a transition in your HR function, an HR audit can help the new HR leader set priorities.
- If you expect new processes and systems to be implemented, reviewing processes and tasks can help make the implementation run more smoothly and give you a clearer idea of requirements and outcomes.
- If there will be a change in key stakeholders…if there is an acquisition or divestiture, new leadership, or large groups of new employees, it might be a good time to conduct a review.
Human Resources audits are one of our specialties. We have the tools to conduct a thorough analysis and provide recommendations to be more compliant and more effective and efficient. If you need help starting your HR audit or have or other Human Resources consulting needs, contact us and check out our blog for more helpful resources.