16 Apr

Truss Alert: Transitional Relief Extended Again

On April 9, 2018, the Department of Health and Human Services (HHA) extended transitional relief plans through December 2019. Transitional relief applies to plans that existed before healthcare reform, and that have been allowed to continue without meeting all the Affordable Care Act (ACA) requirements.

For employers, this may allow them to retain plans that are less expensive than ACA compliant plans which utilize uniform rating methodology and are not subject to health underwriting.

Complete details from insurance carriers have not yet been received, but we anticipate all will allow employers the option to continue their transitional relief plans.

We will continue to alert you to any details as they emerge.

For more information the HHS issued this Final Notice of Benefit and Payment Parameters (NBPP) for 2019, as well as a press release offering a brief summary of the regulations.

Have questions? Contact your advisor today: 913.341.8998

02 Apr

REAL MEDIA FEATURED CEO STEVE NICHOLSON IN LINKEDIN BUSINESS SERIES

Real Media LLC recently introduced a new LinkedIn business series called “Real Talk.” Joel Goldberg hosts KC Metro CEOs, Business Owners, Thought Leaders and Influencers to talk about what they do, how they do it, and what they are doing in our community. We are proud to be a part of this new series and our CEO Steve Nicholson was featured in the first episode. Check-out Real Media’s LinkedIn page for updates, clips, and future guests! These area leaders are great people doing great things!

https://www.linkedin.com/feed/update/urn:li:activity:6382706713233096706

02 Apr

In Case You Missed It: TRUSSU Webinar: Preventing Harassment and Discrimination

This free webinar discusses the “why” and “how” of preventing and responding to all instances of discrimination and harassment in your organization.

You’ll learn what the EEOC considers an effective program of prevention, training, and response. You’ll also learn about training options available for consideration. Finally, you’ll get practical instruction into how to conduct your own internal investigations in response to a complaint of harassment, discrimination, or retaliation. The recorded webinar is available here: https://trussadvantage.wistia.com/medias/g6cnrl2mz0

30 Mar

April 2018 TrussConnect

TrussConnectBanner4Pardot

Real Media Featured CEO Steve Nicholson in LinkedIn Business Series

Real Media LLC recently introduced a new LinkedIn business series called “Real Talk.” Joel Goldberg hosts KC Metro CEOs, Business Owners, Thought Leaders and Influencers to talk about what they do, how they do it, and what they are doing in our community. We are proud to be a part of this new series and our CEO Steve Nicholson was featured in the first episode. Check-out Real Media’s LinkedIn page for updates, clips, and future guests! These area leaders are great people doing great things!

https://www.linkedin.com/feed/update/urn:li:activity:6382706713233096706

In Case You Missed It:
TrussU Webinar: Preventing Harassment and Discrimination

This free webinar discusses the “why” and “how” of preventing and responding to all instances of discrimination and harassment in your organization.

You’ll learn what the EEOC considers an effective program of prevention, training, and response. You’ll also learn about training options available for consideration. Finally, you’ll get practical instruction into how to conduct your own internal investigations in response to a complaint of harassment, discrimination, or retaliation. The recorded webinar is available here: https://trussadvantage.wistia.com/medias/g6cnrl2mz0

Join the Two West 4.01K Race! (Insert flyer attached)

We invite you to join our friends at Two West in supporting Junior Achievement of Greater Kansas City by participating in the 4.01K Race for Financial Fitness-Virtual Edition. This fitness challenge event is a great way to log the workouts you were already going to do from April 2 – 19 and compete against others in your peer group. Or it’s a great reason to start working out!

As a sponsor of this event, Two West will make a contribution to Junior Achievement for each friend of Two West that signs up. There are a limited number of free entries so register today! Deadline to register is April 2. www.racery.com/r/401k-race-financial-fitness-virtual-edition/

Join us! Here are a few of our upcoming webinars

April 19, 2018: Investing in your Portfolio presented by Two West Advisors
Our financial education webinars are designed to help you make that plan.

May 2, 2018: A Fiduciary’s Approach to Investments Edition presented by Two West Advisors

Understand the fiduciary implications of investment selection, follow best practices, and maximize participant outcomes.

 

 

30 Mar

Join Two West in the 4.01K Race for Financial Fitness!

We invite you to join our friends at Two West in supporting Junior Achievement of Greater Kansas City by participating in the 4.01K Race for Financial Fitness-Virtual Edition. This fitness challenge event is a great way to log the workouts you were already going to do from April 2 – 19 and compete against others in your peer group. Or it’s a great reason to start working out!

As a sponsor of this event, Two West will make a contribution to Junior Achievement for each friend of Two West that signs up. There are a limited number of free entries so register today! Deadline to register is April 2.

30 Mar

New Disability Claims and Appeals Procedures

As a reminder, the Department of Labor (DOL) delayed the effective date of new claims procedures for disability-related benefits (including claims under group health plans and retirement plans that require a determination of disability by the plan administrator) issued by the Obama Administration. These were originally effective January 1, 2018. On January 5, 2018, the DOL announced these procedures will now take effect April 1, 2018.

These regulations modify the procedures that must be followed by ERISA plans when ruling on disability-related claims and appeals. Discretionary disability determinations ( i.e., where a plan does not simply rely on a determination made by a third-party, such as the Social Security Administration or a long-term disability insurer) will now be subject to many of the same rules that already apply to health claims. Any plan that fails to follow these procedures could find it harder to defend against litigation filed by a plan participant or beneficiary.

Presumably, disability insurers will be ready to comply with these regulations by the April 1 date. But sponsors and administrators of self-funded plans that require discretionary disability determinations should consider taking the following steps:

  • Come into substantive compliance with the regulations by April 1. This may require coordination with a third-party administrator when disability claims are not administered by a fully insured carrier.
    • If you currently have an up to date Wrap Plan Document (WPD), adopt any necessary plan amendment, if possible by that same date. It is not entirely clear that IRS guidance would allow a welfare plan amendment to be adopted retroactively.
    • If you do not currently have a Wrap Plan Document, create one. Truss has two partnerships for WPD creation. The pricing for these services comes directly from the partner and varies based on needs. Your dedicated Truss Client Advisor can discuss options with you further.
  • If appropriate, issue a Summary of Material Modifications (or revised Summary Plan Description). Although ERISA allows ample time for doing so, a more prompt SMM may put the plan sponsor in a better position in the event of litigation.
  • Update any internal policies or procedures for resolving disability-related claims. For the most part, this will require conforming those policies to ones already in place for health claims when disability claims are not administrated by the fully insured carrier.

Note: Wrap Plan Documents (and any applicable amendments) are legal documents that should be drafted and/or reviewed by your ERISA attorney. Truss cannot offer legal advice.

06 Mar

Truss Alert: IRS Announces Changes to 2018 HSA Family Contribution Limits:

On Monday, March 5, 2018 the IRS announced that the previously released maximum family contribution limit for a Health Savings Account is reduced from $6,900 to $6,850 in 2018. This change is effective immediately, and any family contribution to an HSA exceeding the $6,850 could be subject to taxes and penalties.

This HSA contribution change is a result of a provision in H.R. 1 (“Tax Reform”) that changed the way inflation-related increases are calculated from the Consumer Price Index (CPI) to the new factor known as “chained CPI.”

For more information, please see the IRS Bulletin No. 2018-10.

Have questions? Contact your advisor today: 913.341.8998

06 Mar

March 2018 TrussConnect

TrussConnectBanner4Pardot

Don’t Count on Luck When it Comes to Protecting Your Business

Merchants Bonding Company Named Truss a Champion in Surety 

Merchant Bonding Company recognized the Truss Surety team for their excellence and year-over-year achievements. Champions represent some of the top surety professionals in the nation while demonstrating surety professionalism, commitment to future growth and understanding of common sense underwriting approach.

Learn more about Merchants Bonding Company.
http://trussadvantage.com/our-services/surety-bonds/

TrussU Presents: Preventing and Responding to Harassment, Keeping the EEOC Happy

Hosts: Jeff DeWolf, Practice Leader  |  Stephanie Moore, SPHR, Senior Consultant
March 20, 2018  |  12 p.m. – 1 p.m. CSP

Due to the popularity of our first free webinar on this topic, we are offering this second session.

Unless you’ve been living on a different planet, you know that harassment is still alive and well in our society. Employers are obligated to provide a safe and respectful work environment for employees. To do this, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission expects us to both prevent and respond to discrimination and harassment in our work places.

Join us as we share our thoughts on best practices for demonstrating your commitment to preventing workplace disrespect and responding to it should it occur. While we’d like to keep the EEOC happy with our efforts, it’s the right thing to do to keep our employees happy with their experiences at work.

Space is limited to 50 participants.
One Professional Development Credit Available (HRCI and SHRM)
Register today at: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/truss-webinar-preventing-and-responding-to-harassment-additional-session-tickets-43846623431

Two West Featured in Dimensional’s Newsletter

The winter edition of Dimensional’s DC Dimensions features an in-depth discussion with Two West Advisors’ CEO Marko Ungashick, AIF® and CIO Vern Cushenbery, CFA, CPA. In this feature, “Focusing on Income for Better Outcomes,” they dive into their views on America’s failing retirement plan system and what they believe is the key to solving the income puzzle.

Two West believes that America’s retirement plan system is ready for a makeover and they are focusing their efforts towards educating plan sponsors and participants and providing the tools and investment solutions needed to help shift the focus towards a sustainable income in retirement.

For more details about how Two West is working to help create better outcomes for retirees, read the latest edition: http://www.twowestcompanies.com/dc-dimensions-feature/ .