Archive for February, 2013

2013 Changes to 401(k) Retirement and Pension Plans

February 25th, 2013

2013 Changes to 401(k) Retirement and Pension Plan LimitsIs your company familiar with this year’s changes to the 401(k) retirement and pension plan limits that were made effective January 1, 2013 by the IRS?

If you missed the updates, here’s what you need to know:

1.    Your employees’ elective contribution limits (assuming they participate in a 401(k), 403(b) or a 457 plan) have increased from $17,000 to $17,500 per employee.  Catch-up Contributions, which are the additional amounts over basic Internal Revenue Code (IRC) limits that employee participants age 50 or older may contribute to, remain the same in 2013. The catch-up contribution limit for those 50 or older is still $5500, and includes any employee that will reach the age of 50 in 2013.

2.    Defined ContributionPlans (retirement plans in which the amount of the employer’s annual contribution is specified) increased its limits from $50,000 to $51,000 per participant.

Helping employees plan their retirement is not easy when you have multiple employees to manage. It’s especially difficult when you’re not a retirement specialist yourself. How will you address the numerous questions employees bring forth this year with the changes, when you need to be concerned about your own company’s contributions and limits?

The co-employment relationship presents robust benefits for both the employer and the employee. Most PEOs grantaccess to fortune 500 quality benefits such as 401(k), Section 125 Plans and Flexible Spending. And, contrary to common misapprehensions, you CAN easily begin a new PEO contract on March 1, or the first of any month for that matter, versus waiting until January of next year.

Your PEO benefits are waiting. Call 877-636-9525 or contact us today to find the best Professional Employer Organization and employee retirement options for your organization.

3 Regulatory Areas Important to General Contractors

February 4th, 2013

Regulatory Areas That General Contractors Need To KnowIf you’re a small-sized general contracting company (or even a larger-sized company) responsible for the day-to-day oversight of building projects and employing many other contractors and vendors, there are a few regulatory changes on their way this year that you are going to want to pay attention to.

General contractors are often pressed for time moving from one project to another, and are used to relying on temporarily employed individuals to provide work when it’s needed. Although extremely important, employee management, compliance and human resources often get put on the backburner.

2013 presents itself with some areas you can’t ignore; if you do, you could find yourself in trouble with the IRS, Department of Labor, or the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), facing some hefty fines and compliance violations.

1.   Worker Misclassification: Worker misclassification has always been a bit of a gray area for business owners within the construction industry. It is estimated that in 2009 misclassification across all industries cost the government 2.7 billion in underpaid federal taxes, workers comp and unemployment insurance and it is estimated that up to 30% of companies may still be incorrectly classifying workers as independent contractors rather than employees.

The IRS and Department of Labor are working harder this year to correct misclassification amongst all industries. If your company is not in compliance, and select contractors should instead be classified as employees, you may face even harsher penalties than you would have in the past. Legislative reform may impose stricter compliance violation fines in the upcoming year.

2.   Underreporting: The IRS has invested heavily to identify underreporting employers and “find” all taxes owed to the government.  IRS examiners are looking for violations of compliance, and have powerful technological resources for triggering an audit.

3.   Immigration Reform: Immigration reform continues to remain a top priority for congress. What is your Company’s illegal immigration compliance strategy? Do you utilize E-Verify before hiring someone? Do you conduct background checks? Do you have a written policy for employment verification? Do you conduct your own additional audits of I-9 documents? Employee verification can be a timely task within itself.

Professional Employer Organizations specialize in the above 3 areas, and many are very familiar with the general contracting industry and the regulatory issues that business owners face.  If your PEO is not currently assisting your company with worker classification, reporting, and employee verifications, OR you do not currently work with a PEO and have questions about your company’s compliance, contact PEO Advantage today.