Employee recruitment/retention and controlling costs top concerns for employers
LMC hosted nearly 100 employers for this year’s Share to Compare seminar, held July 19 in Urbandale, Iowa. Attendees received the results of this year’s benefit survey, a valuable resource for understanding how their benefits compare to other organizations in the Midwest and nationally.
While the survey remains open through October, participation records have already been broken. In his opening remarks, Rick DeBartolo, LMC senior vice president, underscored the important role the survey data has in shaping employee benefits decisions.
DeBartolo also addressed association health plans stating, “We know they are coming, and we’re reviewing the regulations.”
Key ERISA Requirements Tom Seltz, LMC compliance executive, presented an overview of ERISA plan meta-documents, which include:
Governing Plan Document
Summary Plan Description
Summary of Materials Modification
Summary of Benefits and Coverage
Summary Annual Report (5500s)
In his presentation, Seltz discussed the requirements, timing, distribution, common mistakes, and proper delivery.
Fiduciary Fitness Fiduciary is among the highest standards under the law, but who is a fiduciary and what responsibilities need to be met? Sarah Anthofer, a retirement plan advisor with LMC Financial Services, described the difference between a Named Fiduciary (a person named in the plan document) and a Functional Fiduciary (a person acting on behalf of the company). In her presentation, Anthofer covered:
Fiduciary and non-fiduciary tasks
How plan sponsors can get help meeting fiduciary responsibilities
What to look for when outsourcing fiduciary services
Documentation and recordkeeping requirements and best practices
Commonly overlooked responsibilities
Employee Benefits Survey Results A quick poll of the audience revealed that employee recruitment/retention and controlling benefits costs are the top two benefits objectives. Understanding how benefits compare to others is an important part of meeting those objectives. Seminar attendees received a printed copy of the survey results, and Ron Cornwell from Milliman presented some of the key findings.
Most employers offer two medical plans
HDHPs (High Deductible Health Plans) represent 1/3 of medical plans offered
PPOs (Preferred Provider Organizations) are still the most common medical plan (43%)
Medical plan deductibles continue to rise
Changes to plan design is the most common strategy for combatting health care costs
Health Care Inflation Addressing health care costs, Cornwell stated, “health care inflation continues to plague our economy. Change needs to occur soon.” With staggering prescription costs and a 715% variance in what providers charge for health care services, employers can no longer afford the status quo. In a self-funded medical illustration, Cornwell described how nearly 83% of the time, self-funding can offer cost savings. Telemedicine continues to grow in popularity. Free Market Medical as a plan feature is the latest idea gaining traction.
Best in Benefits Each year those employers whose benefits rise to the top are recognized as a Best in Benefits employer. Using the Benefits Positioning System, an employer can view where they rank and model scenarios to determine what strategies will help them rank higher. This year’s winners were announced and those who were in attendance shared some of what they believe makes them Best in Benefits:
Controlling costs for employees.
Complementing the medical plan with a 401(k) and ancillary benefits.
Carefully and intentionally investing in employee benefits as part of employees’ overall compensation.
Contributing to employees’ health savings accounts.
LMC wishes to thank everyone who participated in this year’s employee benchmark survey and those who spent part of their day with us at the seminar. Please contact a member of the employee benefits team with questions about the survey or for more information about what was presented at the seminar. If you have not yet participated in the survey or wish to review your information, the 2018 survey will remain open through October.
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