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Posts made in July, 2018


As you know, the Employee Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA) issues requirements governing private pension, group life, and all health plans offered to your employees. One of those requirements involves a Summary Plan Description (SPD) for those benefits, issued when a new plan takes effect or when an employee becomes eligible to participate in the plan. These SPDs must also be issued upon request of any plan participant or beneficiary. Failure to follow procedures set forth by ERISA can result in litigation. Luckily these issues are easily avoided by keeping all SPDs up to date. What information is covered by the SPD? According to HGLaw.org, your SPD must include the following information: A description or summary of the benefits The plan name, sponsor, and administrator Funding mechanisms Participation and qualification guidelines Calculation methods for service and benefits Benefit vesting schedules Benefit payment procedures and timing Claims submission process Claims appeal process Address for service of legal process Circumstances that may result in ineligibility or a denial of benefits A statement of participants’ ERISA rights and other technical notices How often must I provide employees with a copy of their SPD? Providing this information to employees is your legal responsibility, and a new copy must be issued every ten years. Or, if any plan is amended or modified during a five-year period, a new SPD must be distributed. What else should I do? All ERISA compliance issues are complicated legal matters, and assistance from an ERISA compliance specialist is highly recommended. Your tax and legal advisors can guide you in matters regarding 1095 A forms, 1095 C forms, Affordability Calculations, and other related topics. You should also contact us about ERISA Summary Plan Description Wraps, to create one overall plan document and SPD. For more information, we can refer you to an ACA and ERISA Compliance company that has an expertise in this area. Source: HGLaw.Org...

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Retirement planning always involves your spouse, so that the two of you can plan for the future together. But when a large age gap exists between you, you will face a few more challenges. You’re less likely to retire at the same time, and this can lead to more consequences than you might think. So, if one of you is much older than the other, look more closely at these three areas of retirement planning. Social Security. If your spouse is much younger, then there is a good chance he or she will outlive you. Therefore, there might come a time during which they need Social Security survivor benefits. If you’re the higher income earner, or if your spouse doesn’t have a work record at all, then claiming your benefits too early can leave them with less to live on. Timing of Social Security claims is complicated for everyone, and even more so when there is a wide age gap between spouses. Examining all of your options carefully, and working with a financial professional, can help you decide which path to take. Long-term care. An estimated 70 percent of retirees will need long-term care at some point. You might plan to rely upon your spouse for your care, but there are two problems with this plan: He or she might not possess the nursing skills required, meaning you still need a nursing home or in-home nursing provider Your spouse will likely outlive you, and who will provide their nursing care when the time comes? The average annual cost of a nursing care facility is $82,000 to $92,000 per year. Luckily, long-term care insurance can cover this cost, if you had the foresight to enroll in a policy. Let’s talk about that now, before you retire, because enrolling in a policy at a younger age will mean more affordable premiums. Health insurance. What if your spouse relies upon your health insurance, provided through an employer? If you retire at 65 or later, you will enroll in Medicare… But what about your spouse? They will be left without health insurance, and taking on that expense can be risky. You have several options, such as working until they are eligible for Medicare, but that might not seem realistic if your spouse is a decade (or more) younger. Purchasing a health insurance plan independently is probably the safer way to go. Give us a call and we can walk you through your health insurance...

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