7 Things About the Affordable Care Act that Small Businesses Need to Know Right Now

    Posted by Sheryl Southwick on July 27th, 2015 in Affordable Care Act, Benefits

    This post is part of TriNet’s ongoing series about the Affordable Care Act and its effects on small business.

    The Affordable Care Act (ACA) is here to stay and any business owner with at least one employee is affected in some way. We know many of you, as small business owners, may be confused by the ACA, how it will impact your business and what you need to do to stay in compliance. That is why TriNet created a series of articles on the ACA to walk you through what you need to know and keep you informed of any upcoming changes.

    Here are the top seven things you should be aware of in regard to ACA and your business. We recommend bookmarking this page for easy future reference and, of course, contacting TriNet if you have additional questions: Continue reading this entry →

    Mandated Employer Retirement Plans: What They Mean for Small Businesses in California and Beyond

    Posted by Jon Siders on July 23rd, 2015 in Benefits, Retirement

    In 2012, California passed a law requiring companies with five or more employees to offer retirement plans. The California Secure Choice Retirement Savings Trust Act is expected to be implemented by the end of 2015. Right now, the act is undergoing a thorough analysis.

    Why do we need a state-mandated retirement bill?

    You may be wondering why California is pushing for a retirement account that will require more administration, committees and a long implementation. There are two main reasons:

    • According to the California State Treasurer, fewer than half (45 percent) of California’s private-sector workers age 25-64 work for an employer who sponsors a retire­ment plan. This number is less than the U.S. average of 53 percent.
    • Nearly half (47 percent) of California workers — public and private — are currently on track to retire with in­comes below 200 percent of federal poverty level (i.e., about $22,000 a year for one person).

    If you qualify, what does California’s retirement bill mean for your company?

    • You will be required to have a payroll deposit arrangement with your payroll company that allows your employees to participate in the savings program.
    • This retirement plan may not be as robust as the 401k plans employees would generally receive from a larger employer and may have limited options.

    So, what are your options?

    • If you currently offer a 401k to your employees, you can hold onto your plan, which will provide more options for investments and financial guidance.
    • If you don’t currently offer a 401k, you might want to consider offering one as they are powerful tools for attracting and retaining quality employees in an increasingly competitive war for talent.
    • If you want someone else to deal with this, we recommend engaging a professional employer organization (PEO), such as TriNet, that can provide you with 401k administrative options – along with health benefits, HR compliance and other solutions for your company.
    • If you don’t have a 401k plan and don’t adopt one before the California law takes effect, you may be defaulted into the state-mandated retirement account.

    While California is leading the way for this push into forced retirement plans, the trend is likely to spread throughout the nation. In fact, as I write this, 17 other states are also working on legislation to require similar state-sponsored plans.

    If California’s new retirement bill affects your company, please reach out to me with any questions regarding this legislation or managing your employee administration: Jon.Siders@TriNet.com; 858.202.5829



    Affordable Care Act (ACA) Changes Are Coming to U.S. Midsize Businesses – with Significant Impact for New York’s Finance Firms: Here is What You Need to Know to be Prepared

    Posted by Steve Edney on July 21st, 2015 in Finance, Human Resources for Finance

    First of a two-part series on ACA and the finance industry

    Beginning January 1, 2016 every U.S. firm with 51-100 employees will be migrated to the “small group market” for healthcare benefits, as part of Affordable Care Act (ACA) mandated changes. Currently, in many states the small group market encompasses firms with 50 or fewer employees. But for policies that renew in 2016, this market will be expanded to include companies with up to 100 full-time employees.

    Companies with 51-100 employees, who previously enjoyed the “economies of scale” benefits associated with being in the large group health care market, will become part of the small group market as of their first renewal on or after January 1, 2016.  While this change will happen across the U.S., we believe its impact will be very significant in New York State. Continue reading this entry →

    Same-Sex Marriage and Employee Benefits: What the Supreme Court Ruling Means for Employers

    Posted by Amanda Turner on July 14th, 2015 in Benefits

    On June 26, 2015, the Supreme Court of the United States (SCOTUS) issued a ruling in the Obergefell v. Hodges case, requiring that all states must recognize marriages between same-sex couples. For employers, this ruling raises questions surrounding what changes, if any, need to be made for employee benefit health plans. Many employees are also concerned about how their health benefits will be handled. (Note that uncertainty over retirement plan benefits for same-sex spouses have been mostly resolved following the US v. Windsor decision in 2013 so this article does not address those benefits). Continue reading this entry →

    Catchy Names Won’t Fix The Performance Review Pandemic

    Posted by Rob Hernandez on July 13th, 2015 in Performance Management, TriNet Cloud, TriNet Perform

    This post was originally published on the TriNet Cloud blog.

    If there’s one thing that many of us in the HR space are getting tired of, it is the painfully egregious articles that insinuate performance reviews are dead. Performance reviews are not only alive and well, they are evolving, adapting, and delivering value to companies who stop abusing and misusing them – and start leveraging their core purpose. That purpose is ultimately to check in on performance.

    What should be dead, however, is the poor implementation and misuse of annual reviews. A performance review can have an immense impact on an employee’s compensation, on their personal and professional development, and their relationship with their team and with the company as a whole. It’s a powerful tool that should be used for a greater good. Continue reading this entry →