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Why Your Business Needs a Long-Term Benefits Strategy

You know the drill, renewal time rolls around and for many it’s a scramble to re-evaluate the benefit options you’re providing employees. Often times, you don’t even know what new options or emerging strategies are available for your organization. So, with the clock ticking, you start the process of reviewing how to potentially cut costs and make critical decisions that will impact your business and employees.

Starting this process at renewal time is often too late. Instead, your organization needs to develop both short- and long-term strategies to accommodate the ever-changing environment. Without a plan, you may be forced to…


Strategies for Effective Benefits Programs

According to the Kaiser Family Foundation’s 2015 Employer Health Benefits Survey, health insurance premiums for employers have cumulatively increased by 65% from 2010 to 2015 while overall inflation has only increased cumulatively by 11% over the same time period.

Several strategies have emerged in response to the dilemma all employers face at renewal time each year. Most are available to all sizes of employer; others may be limited to large or self-insured employers. However, many insurance carriers are offering these tactics to their small group segments, therefore having a basic understanding of all six of these strategies is important for…


Social Security Strategy

Deciding when to begin taking social security benefits is an extremely important decision in your retirement planning process. The optimal age to begin receiving your benefits depends on factors such as your income needs, life expectancy and your desired date of retirement. You are eligible to receive full social security benefits at your full retirement age which varies depending on your date of birth as shown below:

Year of Birth                                   Full Retirement Age
1943-1954                                         66
1955                                                  66 and 2 months
1956                                                  66 and 4 months
1957                                                  66 and 6 months
1958                                                  66 and 8 months
1959                                                  66 and 10 months
1960 or later                                      67

                                                                                        Source: ssa.gov

According…


Five Things Every Employee Benefits Program Needs

In today’s competitive business world, a comprehensive benefits program is critical to making your company an employer of choice. Here are five things every good employee benefits program should consider:

Culture and Engagement: Gallup estimates only 32% of U.S. employees are engaged – meaning they are involved in, enthusiastic about and committed to their work and work place. Employee benefits play an important role in employee engagement, but as costs continue to escalate, employers have to make tough financial decisions. Benefits changes need to align with your company culture in order to attract and retain quality employees.

Affordability and expanded choices:…


Reporting Updates for Post-Employment Benefits Other than Pensions

In 2015, the Governmental Accounting Standards Board (GASB) released a new reporting standard specifically related to post-employment benefits (OPEB) other than pensions. This new standard, GASB Statement No. 74, “Financial Reporting for Postemployment Benefit Plans Other Than Pension Plans,” revised the reporting requirements previously mandated under GASB 43. Public OPEB plans are required to comply with the new requirements beginning with the first plan fiscal year after June 15, 2016. Most of GASB 74 applies to plans administered through trusts in which contributions are irrevocable, trust assets are dedicated to providing OPEB to plan members and trust assets are…


Benefits Cost Containment Strategies

Most employers today are searching for ways to control their health benefit costs. According to Conrad Siegel Actuaries’ annual Medical and Prescription Drug survey, many are turning to consumer-directed health care and tightened spousal rules.

The survey revealed that employer premium sharing remains steady as a percentage of overall premiums, as employers change the benefit plan design instead of shifting more premium costs to employees. The average percentage of the medical premium that employees paid for single coverage in 2015 was 15% which has remained relatively constant over the past several years. The average premium share for family coverage was…

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