In this article, we outline some of the important house-keeping projects you can do to keep your benefits plan running smoothly.
With the approaching new year, we wanted to outline some of the important house-keeping projects you can do to ensure that your plan is running smoothly.
Adhering to these simple steps can reduce liability and risk to your organization and prevent surprises for plan members.
Review your Bill: You should review your bill every month, but taking special care at the end of the year might help you catch some commonly missed changes:
Plan members not actively at work: Such as employees on a parental leave, layoff, medical leave, or personal leave of absence.
New employees that have satisfied their waiting period and need to be add to the benefits plan: Employees added more than 31 days following the date they became eligible for benefits will have to answer health questions
Employees who have terminated employment with your organization should be removed from the plan unless a benefits extension has been arranged as part of a severance agreement.
Record Salary Updates: It’s best practice to report salary increases or decreases to your insurer carrier or to Vital Partners within 31 days of the effective date.
Income-based benefits like Short- and Long-Term disability benefits are calculated based on salaries reported in the insurer’s system.
If your organization conducts an annual salary update, set a reminder to update Vital Partners or your insurance carrier.
Taxable Benefits – Review your payroll system and billing statement to ensure that benefits are being deducted and that the tax treatment is correct. Remember that employees should be taxed in the province in which they live.
Diarize timelines for reporting any taxable benefit premiums.
Please consult this list to ensure that you’re treating benefits taxation correctly.
Remind Employees to Report Life Changes: Life changes fast, and plan members don’t remember to report that they are living in a common-law relationship, got married, or welcomed a new baby into their family. The beginning of the year is a good time to remind your team to keep you up to date if they have undergone a life event.
Make Sure Your Booklets and Branded Benefits at a Glance Documents are Up-to-Date: We recommend saving benefit plan materials on a shared drive to ensure that plan members can access the information when they need it most.
Consider listing publicly-funded resources: Plan members who are embarking on a wellness journey can turn to a variety of sources for help. Your benefits plan can be supplemented with programs that are available through community and government-sponsored programs.
Schedule Benefits Plan Communication: We are always happy to book an online or in-person benefits overview session. We recommend communicating in bursts to avoid overload. Quarterly themes include Mental Health Resources, your EAP program, being a savvy benefit plan consumer, and financial literacy resources. Please contact us if you’d like assistance.