March 2018 Focus
New Form W-4 (2018) Issued by IRS
The IRS has released the updated Form W-4. Employers are not required to obtain new W-4s from employees, as the revisions were made to function with the old W-4; however, employers should advise employees to review their pay stubs to ensure the appropriate amount is being withheld. If a new W-4 is necessary, employers should advise employees to use the updated tax withholding calculator to get the most accurate results.
401(k) Hardship Withdrawals Eased by Budget Act
The Bipartisan Budget Act of 2018 (H.R. 1892) (the "Budget Act") was signed into law by President Trump on February 9, 2018. This two-year budget agreement includes several provisions that significantly impact employee benefits, particularly 401(k) plans. Under the current rules, hardship withdrawals are limited to the amount contributed by participants. Furthermore, participants must wait six-months after making a withdrawal before they can make new contributions, and they must take a loan from their plan account before taking a hardship withdrawal.
The new rules, effective January 1, 2019, allows participants to not only withdraw their own contributions, but also take any earnings and company contributions as part of their withdrawal. In addition, the six-month suspension on deferrals after a withdrawal will be eliminated, along with the requirement for participants to take a loan before a hardship withdrawal.
Health Related Provisions: While the Budget Act does not alter any of the ACA's tax provisions, it does extend and modify numerous healthcare programs. You will see the continuation of funding for community health centers, and extension of the Children's Health Insurance Program (CHIP) for an additional four years, resulting in full-funding through fiscal year 2027.
Employee Handbooks – 2018 is the Year to Update!
With the federal government's focus on deregulation, combined with the complexities of everchanging laws and regulations, employers have enough to maintain. Having an up-to-date employee handbook is more important now, than ever before. Companies should pay close attention to state and local laws regarding wage and hour requirements, background checks, and leave entitlements. Current areas of concern in 2018 include, but are not limited to, drug-related laws, guns in the workplace, and diversity and inclusion.
Employers have always been urged to review and update their handbooks annually. However, to ensure your business is compliant with all federal, state, and local laws, 2018 is undoubtedly the year to completely reconstruct your policies and procedures. It is especially important for employers to consider the following areas when updating employee handbooks:
- Sexual Harassment
- Arbitration Agreements
- Wellness Programs
- Disability and Other Accommodations
- Pregnancy/Parental Leave
- Social Media and Workplace Conduct/Violence
Should you find yourself in question as to whether your current handbook is up to date with current laws and regulations, MWG Employer Services has a team of highly-experienced HR professionals that would be happy to assist you. Whether you simply need updates to your current handbook, or a new, modernized version created, our team can help!
Simply visit our website at mwgemployerservices.com or call us directly at 877-759-5765
ProSential Group Webinars for March
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.
Managing Virtual Employees
Tuesday, March 20th
Surviving a Department of Labor Audit
Thursday, March 29th