October 2017 Focus
Medicare Part D Notices
October 15th is just days away. Are your Medicare Part D notices ready? As we prepare for the fall open-enrollment period, all employers sponsoring group health care plans that include prescription drug coverage are required to notify, in writing, all Medicare-eligible individuals whether the drug coverage they have is creditable or non-creditable, based on the standard of the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) Standard Medicare Part D Prescription Drug plan. Most carriers provide information on creditable coverage to employers through their websites. Employers are also required to complete a Disclosure to CMS Form to report the creditable coverage status of their prescription drug plans. This disclosure is due annually, no later than 60 days from the beginning of the plan year.
Reminder: Form I-9 Update
The NEW Form I-9 came into effect on September 18, 2017. Have you implemented this change? It is important for companies to heed caution to I-9 compliance considering the atmosphere of increased enforcement. The U.S. Department of Homeland Security’s Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) can examine your organization’s records at-will, so it is a good practice to undergo regular I-9 compliance audits biannually.
Here are a few tips that will help you prepare for an I-9 inspection to help you avoid penalties from the federal government:
- Fill out all sections thoroughly and properly
- Update your roster of employees
- Have valid I-9 documentation
- Obtain all necessary signatures
- For full instructions for completing this form, click here.
Payroll Process Audit
Just as you conduct routine audits on other general ledger activity, you should also audit the payroll accounts. It is important to periodically verify that the transactions that post through your company's payroll system are accurate to protect you from the losses associated with calculation errors and potential fraud. In smaller businesses, a full payroll audit is more feasible than in larger companies where only a representative sample is taken. A full audit must include all present employees, and employees whose employment ended three months prior to the audit. A simple Payroll Audit Checklist is a helpful guide to ensure the optimal audit outcome is achieved.
Overtime Rule Overturned
We have been following and updating you on the controversial 2016 DOL Overtime Rule since it was first proposed. Now, as of August 31, 2017, a U.S. Federal Judge in Texas officially invalidated this attempt, which would have more than doubled the exempt salary threshold from $23,660 to $47,476. This means that the existing overtime regulations – which were last updated in 2004 – still apply.
The key thing for employers to recognize right now, however, is the Department of Labor (DOL) does recognize the need for an increase to the current salary threshold – just not to the level of the 2016 rule. So, this should not change the course of action employers have already taken in response to last year’s injunction. Employers should continue to update their job descriptions and ensure that their jobs meet one or more of the FLSA’s "white collar" duties tests (Executive, Administrative, Professional, Computer and Outside Sales).
2017 EEO-1 Form
The White House has officially suspended the recent Pay-Data revision to the 2017 EEO-1 Form, which would have gone into effect March 31, 2018, and required employers with 100 or more employees to report W-2 wage information and total hours worked for all employees by race, ethnicity, and sex within 12 proposed pay bands.
Therefore, the 2017 EEO-1 reporting cycle will not collect data about pay and hours worked from employers, but will continue to collect data on the race, ethnicity and gender of workers, by job category from all private employers with 100 employees or more and federal contractors with 50 employees or more and $50,000 in contract(s). These reports are required to be filed online with the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission's EEO-1 Joint Reporting Committee, and must include employment data from any pay period from October 1st through December 31st, with a filing deadline of March 31st each year.
Click here to view some FAQ’s about the 2017 EEO-1 Report.
Payroll and Human Resource Basic Training Class Dates
Do not wait, sign up today. Below is the current class schedule to be held at the Ridgeland Campus of Holmes Community College. The cost of each class is $300 and includes a desk reference for future use.
- Payroll Basics will be held Nov. 15th.
- HR Basics will be held Nov. 16th.
Classes are limited to the first 24 registrants. Click below to register for upcoming classes.
ProSential Group Webinars for October
As a client of MWG Employer Services, we are pleased to offer free, monthly educational webinars through ProSential Group. Previous webinars are available through the ProSential Group Client Portal. To register for this month’s webinars, click on the links below.
Motivating and Retaining Employees
Thursday, October 19th
FMLA and Employee Benefit Plans
Wednesday, October 25th