How to Handle Employee Benefits
Although offering a comprehensive employee benefit plan can have a significant financial impact on a business, they are an excellent incentive to help keep employees satisfied and can help attract top talent within the industry you serve. Developing employee benefits can be a difficult task, due to all that needs to be considered including tax and legal components, funding and identifying the right vendors to meet your specific needs.
Mandated vs. Optional Benefits
Mandated benefits are those benefits that must be paid in whole or in part such as social security, unemployment insurance and workers compensation. Optional benefits are just that – optional. These typically include health, disability, and life insurance as well as leave of absence and a retirement plan. Some companies provide a benefit plan that includes bonuses, service awards and reimbursement of employee educational expenses just to name a few.
Why Employee Benefits
Offering employee benefits allows you to not only attract quality prospects to join your organization, but it helps you hold on to the talent you already have. Furthermore it helps with company morale and helps you compete against others within your industry.
The Cost of Employee Benefits
The cost of employee benefits will vary depending on what you want to offer your employees. By understanding the quality of each plan, including the benefits and restrictions, you will be able to settle on the plan that fits your organization. Asking the right questions early on will also help in understanding the costs involved. Some of these questions may include :
- Who is the insurance company?
- What doctors / hospitals are in network?
- What information must the employer provide and are there any “hidden” costs?
- How are the employees enrolled?
Employee Benefit Plan Audits
If you have an existing employee benefit plan, an audit may be a good idea to make certain your organization is operating in accordance with the requirements of the various regulatory bodies that oversee them, including ERISA and the Department of Labor. Plans
At BatesCarter, we are employee benefit plan audit specialists. We perform these types of audits as part of our core business, and we perform them very well. Our firm is a voluntary member of the AICPA Employee Benefit Plan Quality Center, a national initiative that provides us with the tools, education and research to help us meet the challenges of pension, health and welfare and 401(k) and 403(b) plan audits. This membership means we subject ourselves to additional scrutiny so that we can maintain the highest level of quality.