Archive for October, 2011

Health Care Reform: A Reason for Benefits Outsourcing

October 24th, 2011

With Health Care Reform attempting to broaden the population that receives health care coverage, the landscape is getting increasingly complex—and expensive. Employer health insurance premiums went up on average about 9% in 2011.

According to global services advisory and research firm Everest Group, benefits administration outsourcing has increased significantly in recent years because of the employers’ need for help to comply with health care reform measures. Their Benefits Administration Outsourcing Annual Report estimates the benefits administration outsourcing market is about $5.4 billion in annual contract value and finds that employers are outsourcing health and welfare services at four times the rate they are outsourcing pension-related services. 

Benefits administration outsourcing is one of the largest and most mature markets in human resources outsourcing. Buyers are increasingly turning to outsourced service providers, including PEOs. PEOs help employers navigate the complex legislations and compliance requirements, in addition to achieving cost reductions. PEOs have access to Fortune 500 quality health insurance packages plus previously unavailable benefits such as 401(k), Section 125 plan and Flexible Spending.

Solutions that meet employers’ current and future needs and offer differentiated offerings in a highly competitive environment are key contributors to a PEO’s success. But with over 800 PEOs to choose from, even finding a PEO can be difficult, never mind finding the right benefits! Introduced in 2011, PEO Advantage is the only PEO broker who guarantees to find you the perfect PEO, and delivers an in-depth risk-free evaluation that consistently saves clients over 25%.

PEO Advantage’s streamlined yet comprehensive process includes in-depth analysis, a proprietary reverse auction RFP process, easy-to-read reports, side-by-side comparisons that clearly show value and savings, cost projections and expert recommendations. PEO Advantage takes all the guesswork and hassle out of choosing the best PEO organization and gives employers everything they need to make an informed decision.

If you need help selecting a PEO for your organization, contact us.

America’s Most Dangerous Jobs: How a PEO Protects!

October 17th, 2011

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics’ annual report on workplace fatalities, 4,547 people died on the job in 2010. Although this number is slightly lower than 2009, the rate of fatal injury across all occupations is still 3.5 per 100,000 workers!

Occupations with the highest rate of fatal work injuries (deaths per 100,000 workers) are as follows:

  1. Fishers and related fishing workers: 116
  2. Logging workers: 91.9
  3. Aircraft pilots and flight engineers: 70.6
  4. Farmers and ranchers: 41.4
  5. Mining machine operators: 38.7
  6. Roofers: 32.4
  7. Refuse and recyclable materials collectors: 29.8
  8. Driver/sales workers and truck drivers: 21.8
  9. Industrial machinery installation, repair and maintenance workers: 20.3
  10. Police and sheriff’s officers: 18.0

 

Some industries are clearly much more dangerous than others, but regardless of what industry you’re in, employers are required by law to provide their employees with a safe work environment. Even one accident in your place of employment can be a violation of OSHA (Occupational Safety and Health Administration) standards.

So how does an employer stay up to date with all of the requirements under the OSHA standards? What if the standards require employee training in a specific language and environment?  The answer is simple: hire cost-effective and highly knowledgeable professionals—people that do this all the time! Many professional employer organizations (PEOs) allow you to outsource the OSHA compliance issues AND liabilities. PEOs are familiar with the specific OSHA standards, and are great at communicating, reducing risk, and staying up to date with compliance. They can even perform inspections to make sure business is being conducted safely at all times.

You certainly want to select a PEO that is most qualified for your organization’s specific needs, and has a strong background and experience. Even if safety training is in accordance with the OSHA standards, it needs to be delivered in a manner that employees can understand. For example, classes may need to be conducted in a language other than English for employees who speak limited English. If an employee is illiterate, it is a violation of OSHA standards to send the employee home to read the safety procedures or operators manual if they are going to have someone else read it to them.

OSHA is going to check safety and training records, and will even ask employees about specific information covered pertaining to their job. It is important to make sure training is conducted professionally and will pass an inspection. Protecting your employees, and protecting your business, is a lot easier with a PEO. To learn more about qualified PEOs in your area, contact us.

Selecting the Right PEO

October 10th, 2011

The National Association of Professional Employer Organizations (NAPEO) offers the following guidelines to companies considering a relationship with a PEO:

  1. Assess your workplace to determine your human resource and risk management needs.
  2. Make sure the PEO is capable of meeting your goals. Meet the people who will be serving you.
  3. Ask for client and professional references.
  4. Does the PEO have a demonstrated history of adherence to the industry’s professional performance practices, including responsible financial management of its business? Check to determine if the PEO’s financial statements are independently audited by a CPA, whether their risk management practices have been independently certified by the Certification Institute, or if their operational, financial, and ethical practices have been independently accredited by ESAC.
  5. Check to see if the company is a member of NAPEO, the national trade association of the PEO industry.
  6. Investigate the company’s administrative and management expertise and competence. What experience and depth does their internal staff have? Does the PEO corporate staffing allocation follow the priorities of the PEO’s marketed services? Does their senior staff have professional training or designations?
  7. Understand how the employee benefits are funded. Is the PEO fully insured or partially self-funded? Who is the third-party administrator (TPA) or carrier? Is their TPA or carrier authorized to do business in your state?
  8. Understand how the employee benefits are tailored. Determine if they fit the needs of your employees.
  9. Review the service agreement carefully. Are the respective parties’ responsibilities and liabilities clearly laid out? What guarantees are provided? What provisions permit you or the PEO to cancel the terms of the contract?
  10. Make sure that the company you are considering meets all state requirements.

 

These are great guidelines for selecting a PEO, but as a business owner or executive, you may not have time to conduct all the research. Selecting the RIGHT PEO your business requires industry knowledge and adequate time for interviewing all the candidates. What if someone could just do it all for you? What if offloading this task actually resulted in saving money on top of time?

A company like PEO Advantage will find a PEO for your business without all the work, except at PEO Advantage we’re more than just brokers. We real business partners, focused on selecting the RIGHT PEO for you, and our systematic yet personal approach works every time. From the in-depth evaluation and independent references to translating complex PEO quotes into easy-to-read comparisons complete with cost and savings details, we manage it all. Plus, we monitor results and conduct annual reviews so your HR solutions deliver value year-after-year.

Going to market as an individual company or organization can be intimidating and time consuming. PEO Advantage already has solid industry partnerships established, so why not take advantage of them? With 50-plus years of experience, proprietary reverse auction RFP process and expert negotiation skills, PEO Advantage consistently save clients up to 25% a year on custom-fit HR solutions. Best of all, accountability is built into every step.

PEO Advantage also specializes in high-risk and other challenging business scenarios. If you already have a PEO and your admin fee is more than 1.5% we know we can save you money.

What Exactly is a PEO?

October 6th, 2011

Small to medium sized businesses across America are discovering the incredible value of PEOs. With increasingly complex employee related matters such as health benefits, workers’ compensation, payroll, unemployment claims and more, it’s no wonder the PEO industry is on the rise. But what exactly is a PEO and how can a PEO help YOUR business?

A professional employer organization (PEO) is a single source provider of integrated services which enable business owners to cost-effectively outsource the management of human resources, employee benefits, payroll, workers’ compensation and other specialized services such as recruiting, employee training and development. Clients of PEOs are able to concentrate on the operational and revenue-producing aspects of their businesses, leaving human resources management to the experts!

PEOs provide immense value to the client, including:

  • Relief from employee administration
  • A wide range of personnel management solutions
  • Professional assistance with employment-related problems
  • Access to comprehensive employee benefits package(s)
  • Improved employment practices, compliance and risk management
  • Up-to-date information on labor regulations, workers’ rights and safety regulations
  • Quality benefits and recruiting assistance to attract and retain the best employees
  • Improved cost control
  • Reduced turnover
  • Reduced accounting costs
  • Reduced liability
  • Better employer/employee communication
  • On-time and accurate payroll
  • Efficient and responsible claims processing
  • Professionally written employee handbooks, policies, procedures and practices
  • And more!

PEOs serve as one of the most efficient outsourcing options for businesses from many different industries. NAPEO (National Association of Professional Employment Organizations) states there are over 800 PEOs operating in 50 states. The industry has grown immensely as PEOs attract more diverse, fast-growth clients. Although the average client of a PEO is a small or medium sized business, larger businesses are increasingly signing up too!

In many instances, PEOs make the perfect partners, providing the improvements that are instrumental in gaining a competitive advantage. Many PEOs and clients develop long-term relationships because they allow clients to reduce costs and free up time to devote to revenue generating activities.

For more information on PEOs visit www.NAPEO.org. If you need help selecting the PEO that is right for your company, feel free to contact the PEO experts at PEO Advantage.