Employee Benefits Planning

Our strategy begins with concepts that govern our Guiding principles for client success. We are guided by our core principles: Competence, Objectivity, Independence, and Confidentiality. We use a unique consulting methodology that enables us to design an Optimal Employee Benefit Plan that is aligned with the client’s strategic objectives.

When designing a human capital plan, an HRM Model that includes Employee Benefits must be strategically aligned with business objectives for maximizing organizational and managerial effectiveness. Employee compensation and benefits are critical in managing human capital and benefits can comprise nearly 40% of total compensation. This may include health/life insurance, stock options, health incentives, employee assistance programs, and educational incentive. Businesses are constantly plagued by the question of how to attract, afford and retain the best talent. Some businesses dispense better benefits and compensation but face significant attrition and employee turnover that negatively affects the profitability of the firm. Strategically aligning the firm’s HRM model with business objectives is of prime importance because if it is not strategically aligned, it will not support the firm’s business model and competitive advantage in the market

EMPLOYEE BENEFITS PLANNING AND REGULATORY COMPLIANCE

Managing  employee benefits is an important and costly endeavor for employers. Though most employers are required to provide mandatory benefits such as Social Security contributions, worker’s compensation insurance and unemployment insurance, most other benefits are voluntary in nature and determined by the employer. Benefits programs vary greatly, but typically they include medical insurance, life and disability insurance, retirement income plan benefits, paid-time-off benefits, and educational assistance programs. Benefits selection and design are critical components in the total compensation costs. In some cases, benefits account for 40 percent or more of total compensation costs. Due to the employer cost investment and the importance of employee benefits in recruiting and retaining, employers should have a well-thought-out benefits plan design that meets both employee needs and employer objectives.

Our HR Consulting Strategy design, align to organizational strategy, implement and assist in managing Employee Benefit Plans to that can reduce the costs of regulatory Compliance. Federal laws sets minimum standards for most voluntarily established pension and health plans in private industry to provide protection for individuals in these plans. Laws require plans to provide participants with plan information including information about plan features, funding, minimum standards for participation, vesting, benefit accrual and discrimination among employee classes. The plan provides fiduciary responsibilities for those who manage and control plan assets; requires plans to establish a dispute resolution, grievance and appeals process for participants to get benefits from their plans and gives participants the right to sue for benefits and breaches of fiduciary duty; and, in the case of a defined benefit plan guarantees payment of certain benefits through a federally chartered corporation, known as the Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation – PBGC.

ERISA requires plan administrators to give plan participants in writing the most important facts they need to know about their retirement and health benefit plans including plan rules, financial information, and documents on the operation and management of the plan. Some of these facts must be provided to participants regularly and automatically by the plan administrator. One of the most important documents participants are entitled to receive automatically when becoming a participant of ahealth benefit plan or a beneficiary receiving benefits under such a plan, is a summary of the plan, called the summary plan description or SPD.

The plan administrator is legally obligated to provide to participants the SPD. The summary plan description is an important document that tells participants what the plan provides and how it operates. It provides information on when an employee can begin to participate in the plan, how service and benefits are calculated, when benefits becomes vested, when and in what form benefits are paid, and how to file a claim for benefits. If a plan is changed, participants must be informed, either through a revised summary plan description, or in a separate document, called a summary of material modifications, which also must be given to participants free of charge.

In addition to the summary plan description, the plan administrator must automatically give participants each year a copy of the plan’s summary annual report. This is a summary of the annual financial report that most plans must file with the Department of Labor. These reports are filed on government forms called the Form 5500. The summary annual report is available at no cost. To learn more about the plan assets, participants may ask the plan administrator for a copy of the annual report in its entirety.

The Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974, or ERISA, protects the assets of millions of Americans so that funds placed in retirement plans during their working lives will be there when they retire.

ERISA sets minimum standards for pension plans in private industry. For example, if your company maintains a pension plan, ERISA specifies when you must be allowed to become a participant, how long you have to work before you have a non-forfeitable interest in your pension, how long you can be away from your job before it might affect your benefit, and whether your spouse has a right to part of your pension in the event of your death. Most of the provisions of ERISA are effective for plan years beginning on or after January 1, 1975.

Having an ERISA Compliant Employee Benefits Pension plan can make the difference in rewarding and retaining valuable personnel, and avoiding claims under ERISA. Millennium can assist with establishing ERISA compliant Employee Benefit Plans. Our services include:

Providing participants with information about the plan including important information about plan features and funding. The plan must furnish some information regularly and automatically. Setting minimum standards for participation, vesting, benefit accrual and funding. Establishing detailed funding rules that require plan sponsors to provide adequate funding for the plan.

Establishing accountability of plan fiduciaries. ERISA generally defines a fiduciary as anyone who exercises discretionary authority or control over a plan’s management or assets, including anyone who provides investment advice to the plan. Fiduciaries who do not follow the principles of conduct may be held responsible for restoring losses to the plan. Preparation of Summary Plan Descriptions Summary of Material Modifications (SoMM)

In addition to the summary plan description, we automatically give participants each year a copy of the plan’s summary annual report. This is a summary of the annual financial report that most plans must file with the Department of Labor. These reports are filed on government forms called the Form 5500. The summary annual report is available at no cost. To learn more about the plan assets, participants may ask the plan administrator for a copy of the annual report in its entirety. ERISA sets minimum standards for pension plans in private industry. For example, if your company maintains a pension plan, ERISA specifies when you must be allowed to become a participant, how long you have to work before you have a non-forfeitable interest in your pension, how long you can be away from your job before it might affect your benefit, and whether your spouse has a right to part of your pension in the event of your death. Most of the provisions of ERISA are effective for plan years beginning on or after January 1, 1975. Having an ERISA Compliant Employee Benefit Pension plan can make the difference in rewarding and retaining valuable personnel, and avoiding claims under ERISA. Millennium can assist with establishing ERISA compliant Employee Benefit Plans. Contact us for a complimentary Review of your EBP We take governmental regulations and compliance seriously. We deliver “outsourcing solutions” customized to meet your specific objectives, while considering tax advantaged tax sheltering opportunities to protect the assets of your company and it’s employees. We can help establish ERISA compliant plans including:

ESOP Section 125 Cafeteria Plans Disability Plans Supplemental Income Protection Plans Section 403b Qualified Retirement Plans Employer Sponsored IRA’s Non Qualified Executive Compensation Plans Contact us for an analysis of your Employee Benefits Plan.

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