Know about discriminatory practices to avoid. Federal employment discrimination law does not prohibit employers from requesting or obtaining criminal history information about applicants and employees. However, an employer’s use of such information could result in a claim of discrimination.
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For many employers, performance evaluations have become obsolete and for others they still exist, but only as a small part of a much grander process. Unfortunately, the annual performance evaluation by itself seldom provides any benefit, is often dreaded by managers and employees alike, and can be incredibly time consuming.
HIPAA rules require group health plans to provide special enrollment opportunities to certain employees, dependents, and COBRA qualified beneficiaries. Being aware of special enrollment situations is important, along with making sure special enrollment rights are communicated.
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Malware ramps up, hacktivist sentenced, mortgage docs exposed, router hijacking and more.
A benefit plan must not discriminate in favor of highly compensated employees (HCEs) and key employees with respect to eligibility, contributions, or benefits. To ensure compliance, all 401(k) plan sponsors should understand the basics of nondiscrimination testing and, considering the complexity of the rules, make sure this critical duty is being done right. Even if a plan sponsor relies on a third-party administrator (TPA) to perform the nondiscrimination testing, the plan sponsor is responsible for the consequences of noncompliance, which could include tax consequences for plan member investments.
Earlier this year, Congress passed (and the President signed) the Bipartisan Budget Act which included several provisions affecting qualified retirement plans. As employers look ahead at planning for a new calendar year, let’s take a moment to discuss the change to hardship distributions employers may consider adopting. New legislation did not change what might constitute an individual hardship, but it does make hardship withdrawals easier to obtain for participants.
Perhaps the best analogy for a robo-advisor is the self-driving car: it’s cool and impressive — sometimes even useful — but in many situations the technology can be incompatible or downright dangerous. Robo-advisors can provide useful advice to the small-balance investor who wants to get pointed in the right direction, but if you are beyond this point, proceed with caution.
On June 9, 2017, the Department of Labor finally permitted the long-awaited fiduciary rule to go into effect. Broadly, the rule fulfilled its initial promise: requiring all financial professionals who offer advice related to retirement savings to provided recommendations that are in an investor’s best interest. But many details still need to be reconciled over the next six months.
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Retirement plan sponsors are only indirectly affected by the fiduciary rule because the rule’s disclosure and compliance obligations fall primarily on the shoulders of investment advisors. But, depending on how the fiduciary rule’s status is resolved, it is possible that plan sponsors may be receiving updates and/or new disclosures from their investment advisors in the future. Plan sponsors should review any updates and disclosures they receive from their investment advisors and consider whether any new information affects their fiduciary duties to the plan participants.
We recognize that employees of all ages make important contributions to any organization. The goal is to help employees have the financial security to allow them to make the choice to retire when the time is right for them and to enjoy their retirement years. This benefits both the employees and the employer. While the benefits for the employees are fairly easily understood, the benefits to the employer may be less obvious.
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