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06/19/2012 – Triton HR Monthly e-Newsletter
Triton HR Monthly e-Newsletter
Please accept our complimentary June e-newsletter that provides timely and key Payroll/HR related topics impacting your business. With each edition, Triton HR's team of HR specialists and internal staff will guide you through the evolving landscape of governmental policies and changes. Our goal is to offer snap-shots of relevant topics that should be considered and addressed within your organization.
June 2012 - Payroll, HR, Benefits Administration
May 3, 2012
Small Businesses: Are You Clear on the Affordable Care Act?
Unfortunately, most of the media coverage of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act has focused on mid-sized to large employers, who face more requirements than much smaller ones. If your company employs fewer than 250 employees, at least one and possibly more requirements under healthcare reform may not apply to you. Before you spend unnecessary time or money, check out these five exceptions to the law.
- You needn’t provide healthcare benefits now. Most employers are not currently required to do so until 2014.
- You may not ever have to provide such benefits. In 2014, most employers with 50 or more workers will be required to provide health insurance coverage for their employees or pay a penalty if they choose not to do so. But if you employ fewer than 50 people, you do not have to provide coverage, and you will not be penalized.
- You must apply for your tax credit. If you have fewer than 25 full-time employees or full-time equivalents (combining part-timers to find the number of people working full time), you may be eligible for the Small Business Healthcare Tax Credit. You will be if (a) you pay at least 50 percent of the cost of your employees’ coverage, and (b) they have average wages of less than $50,000 a year. But you must claim your tax credit. To determine the amount you’re entitled to, consult your accountant and complete IRS form 8941.
- You don’t have to report benefits on your W-2s. Healthcare reform generally requires employers to report the cost of coverage under an employer-sponsored group health plan on employees’ W-2s. But the requirement was optional for all employers in 2011. And it is still optional for companies that will file fewer than 250 W-2 forms for 2012. Reporting will remain optional for smaller employers until further guidance is issued.
- You must provide proper COBRA notice. If you have 20 or more employees and you provide them with group healthcare coverage, they are entitled to continued coverage under COBRA if they retire or are terminated. You can require employees to pay the full cost of such coverage plus a 2 percent administrative charge. But you must notify your plan administrator within 30 days of any employee’s leaving the company so that the administrator can send him or her the proper notification.
Tip: All of this information applies only if the U.S. Supreme Court does not invalidate one or more provisions of the healthcare reform law. Until the justices issue their ruling, which they are expected to do in June, all bets are off.
May 21, 2012
Dr. Oz Helps with California's Pilot Wellness Initiative 'Health Happens'
Creators of a new pilot state government wellness program hope it will demonstrate how investing in health improves lies and saves money. Health Happens in the Workplace is a partnership among several state agencies, unions, Kaiser Permanente, the California Endowment, and HealthCorps. HealthCorps is a nonprofit organization founded by Dr. Mehmet Oz and his wife Lisa.
The wellness program evolved from a study of healthcare costs for state employees insured by CalPers. It found that 22.4 percent of medical expenditures in 2008 were for treating chronic diseases that could be prevented through changes in diet and increased physical activity.
The study found that interventions such as workplace wellness programs could result in substantial savings. For example, a 1 percent reduction in costs could net an annual savings of $3.6 million. The 2-year pilot will focus on increasing physical activity, eating better, and reducing stress. HealthCorps is donating staff and resources to support the effort.
State Treasurer Bill Lockyer stated, "We owe it to taxpayers to do everything we can to better control the costs of the healthcare benefits we provide public employees.” And we owe it to those workers to help them lead healthier lives.” Lockyer said he could personally attest to the goals, adding, "I’ve lost about 40 pounds, and I feel great.”
2013 Proposed Budget Will Help States Provide Paid Family Leave, Says White HouseThe White House says its proposed budget for fiscal year 2013 will help states provide paid family leave to workers.
According to a White House statement, "Too many families must make the painful choice between the care of their families and a paycheck they desperately need. The Family and Medical Leave Act allows workers to take job-protected unpaid time off, but millions of families can’t afford to use unpaid leave. A handful of states have enacted policies to offer paid family leave, but more states should have the chance.”
To support this effort, the proposed 2013 budget would allocate a $5 million State Paid Leave Fund within the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) to provide technical assistance and support to states that want to establish paid-leave programs.
The proposed budget preserves resources added to worker protection agencies under the Obama administration and includes $1.8 billion for these agencies.
The budget document also includes a $6 million request for DOL’s Wage and Hour Division for increased enforcement of the FMLA and the Fair Labor Standards Act.
IRS Sets 2013 HSA Contribution Limits
The annual HSA contribution limit will increase $150 to $3,250 in calendar year 2013 for an eligible individual with self-only coverage. The contribution limit for family coverage will increase $200 to $6,450, then recently announced.
For calendar year 2012, a high deductible health plan (HDHP), which must be used in conjunction with HSAs, is defined as having:
- An annual deductible of at least $1,250 for self-only coverage or $2,500 for family coverage (compared to $1,200 and $2,400 in 2012); and
- Annual out-of-pocket expenses (e.g., deductibles, co-payments, and other amounts, but not premiums) up to $6,250 for self-only coverage or $12,500 for family coverage (compared to $6,050 and $12,100 in 2012).
This new HSA contribution limits are effective for calendar year 2013. The IRS notice is available online.
About Triton HR
Triton HR is spearheading a complete HR solution by combining Human Capital Management, Payroll Services, Time and Labor Management, and Group Health Benefits (Triton Benefits Solutions) for many small to mid-size organizations. With over 100 years of combined industry experience, Triton HR uniquely offers comprehensive web-based technology to deliver its services through a single portal, in real time. Triton HR’s user-friendly Payroll/ HRIS application assists clients in managing their employees efficiently and with ease. A dedicated service team is assigned to every client. In addition, Triton HR’s buying power will also save client’s money by reducing HR and Benefits-related costs. If you are looking for the greatest return on your investment, Triton HR will be your provider of choice.
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