As the slow march continues to implement the ACA, we should all be reminded that there are key deliverables for clients and their advisers to focus on. But while focused on the ACA, let’s not forget that there are additional bills being implemented or introduced — not just at the federal level — that impact a business in how it pays its employees, how their jobs are classified, and how an employer may consider managing its workforce.
Also see: “30 must-follow benefit pros on Twitter.”
With respect to the ACA, the recently delivered 1094 and 1095 tax reports require attention now be directed at preparing for the 2016 reporting year. Specifically, clients and advisers should:
- clean up data sources so the process is efficient and forms are accurate this upcoming year;
- address evolving rules / requirements for reporting and be sure the client is ready;
- advisers and clients should be prepared to deliver within the timeframes communicated, while clients should not assume that filing extensions will be available this upcoming year.
Also, as a client focuses on the ACA, they should direct their attention to the new rules related to white collar exemption status under the Fair Labor Standards Act wage and overtime rules, assuming it applies to them. For some clients this may represent a significant adjustment in how they classify an employee including a review of benefit eligibility for any re-classifications, write a job description, pay or compensate an employee, and manage their workforce. For most employers these rules apply starting this upcoming Dec. 1, 2016.
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In some states and cities, bills addressing mandatory paid leave policies are continuing to be introduced and passed to compensate employees for time away. Not all states are focused on this. At the federal level, proposed bills have been considered and are currently in committees but are stalled. It is clear the trend to introduce and put these rules and regulations into place is growing. It would be prudent to monitor the situation.
Lastly, clients will still require advice and guidance on how to manage their employee benefit costs to a budget and to have a plan that attracts and retains employees while remaining cost competitive in a competitive marketplace.
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