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Safe Harbor Deadline for Small Retirement Plan Contributions

Safe Harbor Deadline for Small Retirement Plan Contributions ERISA requires a retirement plan’s assets to be held in a trust in order to ensure that the assets are used solely to benefit the plan’s participants and beneficiaries. The employer sponsoring the retirement plan is responsible for timely depositing participants’ contributions into the plan’s trust. The Department of Labor (DOL) requires employers to make these deposits as soon as the amounts can reasonably be segregated from the employer’s general assets. In addition, the DOL has established a safe harbor deadline for employers to deposit participant contributions into small retirement plans. An employer that sponsors a small plan (one with fewer than 100 participants at the beginning of the plan year) has the option of using this safe harbor for meeting the deadline for depositing employee contributions into the plan. To take advantage of the safe harbor, employers must deposit employee contributions (including plan loan re

Benefits Breakdown Newsletter - May 2022

Cybercrime and Benefits Plans According to recent estimates from the University of Maryland, a cyberattack occurs every 39 seconds. Data breaches and cyberattacks are daily headlines—and employee benefits plans are no exception to that threat. In fact, employee benefits plans are even more vulnerable as the coronavirus pandemic continues; organizations and benefits providers are relying heavily on electronic access, ultimately creating new vulnerabilities. Some examples of cyberthreats include phishing, malware and ransomware attacks. Virtually any type of employee benefits plan is vulnerable to hackers. These plans can be exposed to risks relating to privacy, security and fraud. Sensitive information contained in benefits plans is valuable to cybercriminals. Lost or stolen mobile devices, laptops and flash drives that hold personal information are additional tangible threats to benefits plans. These situations are especially concerning now that more employees are working from home. Gi

5 Ways HR Can Support Employees’ Mental Health

An employee’s mental health includes how they think, feel and act, and includes their emotional and social well-being. While mental health includes mental illness, the two aren’t interchangeable. An employee can go through a period of poor mental health but not necessarily have a clear, diagnosable mental illness. Additionally, an employee’s mental health can change over time, depending on factors such as their workload, stress and work-life balance.  While 1 in 5 U.S. adults experience mental illness annually, a recent study by Deloitte revealed that less than half receive treatment. A study from the Mental Health in the Workplace Summit also found that mental illness is the leading cause of disability for U.S. adults aged 15 to 44 and that more workdays are lost to mental health-related absenteeism than any other injury or illness.  Given its prevalence, you can expect that employees at your organization are experiencing mental health challenges or mental illness. That’s why it’s so

ERISA Compliance FAQs: Fiduciary Responsibilities Pt. 2

The Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974 (ERISA) is a federal law that sets minimum standards for employee benefit plans maintained by private-sector employers. ERISA includes requirements for both retirement plans (for example, 401(k) plans) and welfare benefit plans (for example, group health plans). ERISA has been amended many times over the years, expanding the protections available to ERISA benefit plan participants and beneficiaries. ERISA includes standards of conduct for those who manage employee benefit plans and their assets, who are called “fiduciaries”. This is a continuation of our Compliance Overview on frequently asked questions (FAQs) to help employers understand the basic fiduciary responsibilities applicable to plans under ERISA. How Do the Fiduciary Duty Rules Affect Plan Operation? Employee Contributions If a plan provides for salary reductions from employees’ paychecks for contribution to the plan or participants make payments directly, such as the payme

HR Toolkit - Employee Recognition

Employees want not only good pay and benefits, but also opportunities to contribute to their employer, customers and other stakeholders through their work, and feel valued and appreciated for their efforts in the workplace. Unfortunately, 65% of employees reported that it had been over one year since they received any form of recognition for their work, according to a Gallup poll. This HR Toolkit will further explain the significance of employee recognition , provide an overview of different types of workplace recognition programs and suggest a step-by-step process to implement an employee recognition program.  Download your copy today . For additional resources regarding best practices the remote workspace or more information about  employee benefits, our services and products , please contact HANYS Benefit Services by  email  or by calling (518) 431-7735. This HR Toolkit is not intended to be exhaustive nor should any discussion or opinions be construed as professional advice.  © 202

Benefits Breakdown Newsletter-April 2022

Personalizing Your Employee Benefits Offerings  Each workforce is comprised of unique individuals with diverse backgrounds and interests. So why opt for a one-size-fits-all benefits package? Instead, consider providing benefits options that are as unique as your employees. Doing so could be the attraction and retention tool that sets your workplace apart. In fact, 73% of employees said having customized benefits made them more loyal to their employers, according to a MetLife survey. Additionally, the survey found that 83% of employees would trade a small pay cut for better benefits options Benefits personalization will vary by organization, but here are some general tips you can consider when assessing your own strategy: Survey employees. One of the best ways to discover employees’ benefits desires is by asking them. Conduct focus groups. Similar to a survey, consider meeting with employees in groups to solicit benefits feedback. Maintain ongoing benefits conversations. As employees ag

ERISA Compliance FAQs: Fiduciary Responsibilities pt. 1

The Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974 (ERISA) is a federal law that sets minimum standards for employee benefit plans maintained by private-sector employers. ERISA includes requirements for both retirement plans (for example, 401(k) plans) and welfare benefit plans (for example, group health plans). ERISA has been amended many times over the years, expanding the protections available to ERISA benefit plan participants and beneficiaries. ERISA includes standards of conduct for those who manage employee benefit plans and their assets, who are called “fiduciaries”. This Compliance Overview is part 1 of a set of frequently asked questions (FAQs) to help employers understand the basic fiduciary responsibilities applicable to plans under ERISA. Who is a Fiduciary? Many of the actions involved in operating an employee benefit plan make the person or entity performing them a fiduciary. Using discretion in administering and managing a plan or controlling the plan’s assets makes th