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.

16 Mar

TrussU Presents: Preventing and Responding to Harassment

Join Jeff DeWolf and Stephanie Moore, PHR, SHRM-SCP on March 20 for a FREE lunchtime webinar: “Preventing and Responding to Harassment.” There is still time to register! https://www.eventbrite.com/e/truss-webinar-preventing-and-responding-to-harassment-additional-session-tickets-43846623431

 

13 Mar

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

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/ .

15 Feb

Merchants Bonding Company names Truss among it’s Surety Elite

Merchants Bonding Company recognizes top contract surety agencies and agents for their surety excellence and year-over-year achievements. Demonstrating uncommon excellence in surety, Champions are recognized as experts in the surety industry and considered among the most influential and trusted surety professionals in the United States.

Elite surety partners have demonstrated:

Top Surety Professionalism
Commitment to Future Growth
Understanding of our Common Sense Underwriting Approach

13 Feb

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

The issue of harassment is top of mind to many right now. Join us for a FREE webinar as we discuss the “why” and “how” of preventing and responding to all instances of discrimination and harassment in your organization.

Hosts: Jeff DeWolf, Practice Leader and Stephanie Moore, SPHR, Senior Consultant

February 27, 2018
12 p.m. – 1 p.m. CST

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.

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-tickets-42240084229 

08 Feb

Congratulations to our 2017 Surety Partner of the Year…. Zurich!

We are pleased to recognize Zurich, N.A. as our Surety Partner of the Year. Congratulations! You have been a pleasure to work with throughout the last two years.

At the end of each year, we look back at the year and take stock. One of the most important aspects of the Surety Department is the relationships we have with all our surety partners. We hold each relationship in high regard, but alas each year we must identity just one surety partner that’s provided an exceptional level of service throughout the year. The award recognizes not only the branch manager and the underwriters, but also takes into consideration in the organization who helps the Truss Surety Department to succeed. Therefore we do consider the number of accounting differences, errors and slowness in responding to all of our requests and more.

2017 Surety Partner of the Year

Past award winners include

  • 2007 – Zurich
  • 2008 – CNA Surety and United Fire & Casualty Company
  • 2009 – Merchants Bonding
  • 2010 – Old Republic Surety Company
  • 2011 – Old Republic Surety Company
  • 2012 – Berkley Surety
  • 2013 – Old Republic Surety Company
  • 2014 – CNA Surety
  • 2015 – Merchants Bonding Company
  • 2016 – Liberty Mutual Insurance and Zurich
  • 2017 – Zurich

Thanks again to Zurich for a job well done and good luck to all of our sureties in 2018!

02 Feb

February 2018 TrussConnect

2017 ACA Reporting Requirements and Deadlines

A quick reminder that as a part of the Affordable Care Act (ACA), some employers are required to complete and send forms 1094/1095 to employees and the IRS at the end of each tax year.

Who has to report?

  • All Employers with 50+ Employees
  • ALL Self-Insured Employers (including carrier level-funded)

When are the 2017 forms due?

  • 1095 Forms to Employees: March 2, 2018
  • 1094 Forms to IRS: February 28, 2018

What can Truss do to help you?

Truss has partnered with DIY1095, a complete Do-It-Yourself form generation engine that delivers a simple, easy-to-use mechanism all to help you produce 1094/1095 forms.

  • What is the cost? $250 for employers with under 100 employees and $500 for employers with 100 or more employees.

If you have any questions about the ACA reporting or the DIY1095 product, please contact your Truss client advisor.

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

Hosts: Jeff DeWolf, Practice Leader | Stephanie Moore, SPHR, Senior Consultant

February 27, 2018
12 p.m. – 1 p.m. CST

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.

In this free webinar, 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-tickets-42240084229 

Two West and Spencer Fane Present: Fiduciary 101

Join Two West Companies and Spencer Fane LLP as they help plan sponsors understand and comply with the strict legal obligations that apply to plan fiduciaries under the Employee Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA). Each webinar is pre-approved for one HRCI or Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM) recertification hour.

February 7, 2018
Noon CST 401(k) https://register.gotowebinar.com/register/4126647847074964483
1 p.m. CST 403 (b) https://register.gotowebinar.com/register/8976312162218220547

For a complete list of upcoming webinars visit http://www.twowestcompanies.com/boardroom-webinars/

 

Happy Valentine’s Day

Happy Valentine’s Day from your friends at Truss.