27 Dec

Truss, Lever1 form Strategic Partnership to Help Clients

This article originally appeared on September 19, 2016 in the Kansas City Business Journal.
by James Dornbrook

kcbizjournallogoTwo Kansas City companies formed a strategic partnership to offer each others clients a wider variety of streamlined and efficient business solutions.

Overland Park-based Truss LLC, formerly known as Cretcher Heartland/Power Group, is the second-largest independent insurance brokerage based in Kansas City, with 170 employees and more than $450 million in premium volume. The company is teaming up with Kansas City-based Lever1, a professional employer organization (PEO) that offers outsourcing services for human resources, payroll, employee benefits and workers’ compensation.

An example of combined services Truss and Lever1 are now offering is a benefit package designed to help business owners find the best solutions for the upcoming health care renewal season.

“We’ve been talking for about nine months about how the success and growth of Truss could benefit from adding a PEO into its fold of service offerings,” said Lever1 President Erica Brune, a 2016 Women Who Mean Business honoree. “Historically, PEOs and insurance brokers have thought of each other as competitors, but we’re going to do more than just share leads. By partnering, we’re going to have a unique relationship where we’ll both be servicing our same set of clients, just doing it together.”

Original press release: Truss Lever1 Press Release

22 Dec

Happy Holidays!

Happy Holidays!

Wishing you Happy Holidays and a Wonderful New Year! As a reminder, Truss will be closed on Friday, December 23rd, Monday, December 26th, and Monday, January 2nd. Thank you for a wonderful 2016 and we look forward to serving you in 2017!




20 Dec

Truss Presents: Affordable Care Act Year One Review

aca-webinarPlease join us for a lively discussion and review of the Affordable Care Act 2015 as we revisit the processes that were undertaken to comply with ACA. We will share what we learned throughout 2015 – including successes, challenges, vendor reviews and – most importantly- what adjustments may need to be made for 2016 to help the process run more smoothly and how to address any inquiries you receive from the IRS.

Tuesday, October 11, 2016 10:30 – 11:30 a.m. CST / 11:30 a.m. – 12:30 p.m. ET
Guest Speaker: Scott Millson, Principal with MillsonJames and creator of DIY1095
Sign-up today!

16 Dec

Truss CEO Talks Business on The Grill Nation Show

2On February 6, our CEO Steve Nicholson sat down to talk with Jason Grill about all things Truss.

Lucky for you, you can still listen to the Grill Nation Show here!

Click on the 02.06.16 Grill Nation podcast; Steve’s segment begins at the 21:30 mark.

15 Dec

ACA Deadline Extended

The IRS has released a notice that they are extending the deadline to send 1095-B/1095-C forms to your employees (applicable individuals) from January 31, 2017 to March 2, 2017. This does not affect the actual filing deadlines, which remain February 28th for paper, and March 31st for e-file. 

Additionally, “good faith effort” is being applied this year, just as it was last year. If an employer is deemed to have made a “good faith effort,” then they will not be subject to fees or penalties. Incomplete or inaccurate forms will not be subject to a penalty, as long as they were filed on time and the filer was acting in good faith. For more information visit: www.irs.gov.

13 Dec


Early this year the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) announced its final Overtime ruling. As a reminder, the purpose of this new rule is to modernize the regulations that govern the exemption of “white collar” employees – executive, administration and profession (EAP) – from the minimum wage and overtime protection of Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA). The changes made to the three tests required for the FLSA’s EAP exemption to apply include:

  1. Salary base test
      With the new rule the standard salary level will increase from $455 to $913 per week and the highly compensated employees (HCE) total annual compensation requirements will raise from $100,000 to 134,000.
  2. Salary level test
      The new rule allows employers to use nondiscretionary bonuses and incentive payments (including commissions) to satisfy up to 10 percent of the new standard salary level.
  3. Duties test
      No changes made.

This new rule does take effect on December 1, 2016. Automatic updates will happen to the thresholds ever three years starting on January 1, 2020. While additional legislation or judicial action is being considered which may alter or delay this timeline, we recommend preparing as though this rule will take effect December 1, 2016.

13 Dec

Preventing a Social Engineering Attack

Protect your employees — and company —by following these tips for helping to prevent a social engineering attack. No matter how tight a security network is, hackers will exploit employees to execute a variety of hacking techniques and phishing scams via social engineering tactics. Remember to educate your employees on this important information.

  1. Never provide confidential information, data or credentials via email, chat messenger, phone or in person to an unknown source.
  2. If you receive an email with a link to an unknown site, DO NOT click it immediately. Review the URL to ensure it is not suspicious. Hackers can create emails that appear to have come from a known source but are not legitimate. If it looks fishy, it probably is!
  3. Before clicking on links in emails, or on websites, look for misspellings, @signs and suspicious sub-domains.
  4. Look out for uninitiated or automatic downloads when clicking on links. It could be malware piggybacking on your system. Report such activity immediately to your security manager.
  5. Follow ATE AWARENESS, TRAINING and EDUCATION. No matter the level or position of an employee, all employees should be held to the same level of security awareness.
  6. Website administrators should regularly check for any private or confidential information that could have been inadvertently uploaded.
  7. Block USB devices in order to reduce the risk of baiting. Baiting is when an attacker tempts users with free, or found USB drives, and relies on their curiosity – if the device is plugged in then the attackers can access the network.
  8. Use two—factor authorization in order to make it difficult for hackers to enter your system.


07 Dec

Truss Presents: Recruiting & Hiring Best Practices

Recruiting Webinar Sept 21

Finding and attracting the best talent is key to building a successful business. This webinar will help you identify and hire the right people for your organization so you can be an employer of choice in your industry. We’ll focus on writing appropriate job descriptions, effective and compliant interviews, and essential documentations during the selection process.

Wednesday, Sep 21, 2016 12:00 PM – 1:00 PM CDT
Host: Jeff DeWolf, Truss Human Capital Practice Leader
Speaker: Rebecca Seaman, SPHR, SHRM-CP

Sign-up today!


01 Dec

Reminder: 2017 FSA Contribution Limit $2,600

The IRS recently released Revenue Procedure 2016-55, which officially raised the Flexible Spending Account (FSA) salary reduction contribution limit from $2,550 to $2,600.  This change will be allowed at the group’s first renewal on or after 1/1/2017.

There are no changes to the already released HSA limits for 2017 at this time. For more information about this change, please visit: www.shrm.org.

24 Nov

Happy Thanksgiving!

Happy Thanksgiving