Tuesday, May 15, 2018

Taxability of Disability Benefits

Many employers provide disability benefits to their employees as part of a comprehensive employee benefits package. Disability benefits replace a percentage of pre-disability income if an employee is unable to work due to illness or injury for a specified period of time. Employers may offer short-term disability coverage, long-term disability coverage, or integrate both short- and long-term disability coverage.

Group disability benefits can be structured in a number of ways. The taxability of these benefits generally depends on how the premiums for the coverage are paid. For example, if an employer and its employees split the cost of premiums for disability coverage, and the employees’ premiums are paid on a pre-tax basis through a cafeteria plan, the disability benefits are fully taxable to employees.

This Compliance Overview answers common questions regarding the taxability of disability benefits.

Monday, May 7, 2018

Q1 Market Recap: Taxes, Tariffs, and Tech

After nine consecutive quarters of gains, the S&P 500 lost 0.76% in the first quarter of 2018. The 0.76% loss masked a spike in volatility driven by the reduction in corporate tax rates in the Tax Cut and Jobs Act, stiff tariffs on imported steel and aluminum, and the prospect of new government regulation of technology firms.

Read the Q1 Retirement Market Recap to learn more about the 1st quarter market volatility. Also included are tips on managing defined benefit plans in the feature on "Can You Invest Your Way to Plan Termination?"

If you have any questions, or would like to begin talking to a retirement plan advisor, please get in touch by calling (800) 388-1963 or email us at hbs@hanys.org.

Tuesday, May 1, 2018

Assessing the Merits and Challenges of Financial Wellness

Financial wellness is an increasingly popular topic, but there is no consensus about their value. Financial wellness is achieved when people can confidently manage their daily finances (budgeting and debt elimination) while successfully meeting both short- and long-term savings goals (emergency reserves, specific purchase, college savings, and retirement). While clear advantages and perceived value have been identified, several obstacles remain.

In Assessing the Merits and Challenges of Financial Wellness, we evaluate whether financial wellness programs are a wise choice and welcome addition to the traditional employee benefits package.

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