Recent revisions to the administrative requirements associated with employee benefits plans have proven to be overwhelming with many employers. According to the Guardian’s recent survey of American businesses, small businesses regularly report difficulty understanding their obligations under their benefits plans and how they fit into overall compliance with the law. Since adequately managing benefits compliance means being prepared to oversee your plan administrator’s compliance while taking the steps you are obligated to take on your end, this information gap is an issue.
What can be done about this? Small companies overwhelmingly report they have compliance high on their list of priorities, but less than a third have a plan in place to get better about it and stay abreast of future changes. Clearly, more needs to be done. A large number of representatives of small companies also reported difficulty understanding the ins and outs of benefits policies as a major contributing factor.
Benefits specialists can take the initiative in helping small business benefits compliance get better because they are uniquely positioned to address the issue. By providing both employers and their employees with clear language explaining how the plan works and what they are obligated to do under the law, you give them an opportunity to get the most out of all their benefits. That leads to savings in the long run, because companies can better evaluate which benefits are used enough to be worthwhile investments, and employees with healthier, happier lives tend to be more productive, leading to a virtuous circle of improvement within organizations.
Small companies do a lot with limited resources, and their benefits providers need to acknowledge that and meet them where they are, providing the information they need to understand everything from the perks of their plans to the costs in administrating and complying with the law when reporting information about coverage and costs. Reach out to your clients today, and start the conversation about what benefits compliance can do to help improve their entire experience with providing and administering their employee welfare benefits plans.
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