Plans, Perks & Pay | Employee Benefits & Executive Compensation Blog


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By Jeffrey Herman on January 2, 2018 at 11:30 AM

Taxpayer writing a checkSection 11081 of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act — the new tax reform law passed by Congress in late 2017 — repeals the so-called “individual mandate” under the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (also known as the ACA, or more informally as Obamacare).

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By Jeffrey Herman, Kara Krawzik on November 27, 2017 at 2:41 PM

Word "penalty" spelled out with wooden blocks and additional wooden blocks with letters on it surrounding the wordFor the 2017 tax year, the IRS has made it even more difficult for large employers to avoid penalties under the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA), and major questions remain about how employers can avoid penalties due to missing or incorrect Social Security numbers.

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By Jeffrey Herman on October 16, 2017 at 12:55 PM

Word "liabilities" written on a chrome carabinerBusinesses with a large number of union employees can often feel trapped in union-sponsored pension plans. This is because “withdrawal liability” — i.e., the employer’s share of an underfunded multiemployer pension plan’s liabilities — can be huge, easily in the tens of millions of dollars. However, as explained below, there is an exemption that employers in the building and construction industry can rely on to avoid withdrawal liability.

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By Jeffrey Herman on August 29, 2017 at 9:49 AM

Fired businessperson carrying out their belongings in a boxSeverance plans are designed to provide income to employees who are terminated, laid off or voluntarily quit. In contrast, a supplemental unemployment benefits (SUB) plan is designed to supplement a former employee’s state unemployment benefits after an involuntary termination.

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By Jeffrey Herman on July 21, 2017 at 9:50 AM

Man holding fork and knife with a plate of moneyThe U.S. Tax Court ruled on June 26, 2017, that the Boston Bruins of the National Hockey League could deduct the full cost of meals before the team’s 41-plus away games in the regular season and playoffs. The decision provides a clear path for professional sports teams — and potentially other employers in similar situations — to realize additional tax savings.

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By Jeffrey Herman on February 10, 2017 at 8:00 AM

Q&A on chalkboardThanks to the 21st Century Cures Act, beginning Jan. 1, 2017, some employers can now offer employees a new type of health reimbursement arrangement, called a Qualified Small Employer HRA. Primarily governed by 26 U.S.C. § 9831(d), these HRAs are designed to help subsidize employees’ purchase of health coverage on the exchange, although they can also be used to help pay for other medical expenses.

The following questions and answers explain how these new HRAs work.

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By Jeffrey Herman on September 14, 2016 at 9:25 AM

Stack of papers with magnifying glassUPDATE (Sept. 29, 2016):
On Sept. 23, 2016, the Department of Labor announced that the deadline for submitting comments would be extended by more than two months, to Dec. 5, 2016.

The Department of Labor (DOL) — jointly with the IRS and the Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation — has proposed major revisions to the Annual Returns/Reports under the Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974 (ERISA), more commonly known as Form 5500s. The proposed revisions will require plan sponsors to provide more information, some of which may open the door to litigation risks.

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By Jeffrey Herman on August 25, 2016 at 9:23 AM

An employee stock ownership plan, or ESOP, is a type of defined contribution retirement plan in which employees’ accounts are invested primarily in stock of the sponsoring employer. In other words, the ESOP literally owns the corporation — whether partly or fully — allowing the employees to benefit from its success.

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By Jeffrey Herman on July 6, 2016 at 9:10 AM

As employers struggle with the cost of providing health coverage to employees, more businesses are turning to private health insurance exchanges. Inspired by public exchanges under the Affordable Care Act (ACA), in a private exchange, a company’s employees or retirees can compare and select from a variety of health plans. The employer contributes the same amount of money toward the premiums for each participant, leaving the employees to make up any difference.

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By Jeffrey Herman on June 22, 2016 at 9:41 AM

The Cadillac Tax is one of the least popular parts of the Affordable Care Act. In a nutshell, the law creates a 40 percent tax on the cost of health insurance premiums to the extent they exceed certain threshold amounts — currently $850 a month ($10,200/year) for individual coverage and $2,325 a month ($27,500/year) for all other coverage. Employer contributions to employees’ Health Savings Accounts are also subject to the tax.

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