Wednesday, April 17, 2019

WEBINAR: Doing Good While Doing Well

More and more investors are seeking to combine their personal values with their investment decisions without sacrificing long-term results. But how important should the focus on socially responsible investing strategies be?

Join us on May 14 at 11 a.m. for Doing Good While Doing Well, a free webinar that explores socially responsible investing. Attending this webinar with Strategic Benefit Services and Nixon Peabody will help you determine if socially responsible, or ESG, investing makes sense in your retirement plan. Learn more about:
  • the potential value of ESG investing to investors and plan sponsors;
  • ESG investment fund ratings and reporting standards;
  • fiduciary oversight challenges for ESG investing and compliance best practices; and
  • key tools and resources for consideration.

PRESENTERS:
William Desormeau 
Vice President, Strategic Benefit Services

Bill is responsible for providing financial and investment advisory services on retirement plans.


Eric Paley
Partner, Nixon Peabody

Eric Paley advises clients on how to comply with the laws governing their employee benefits programs

Friday, April 12, 2019

New Whitepaper: Doing Good While Doing Well

Plan fiduciaries are seeing increased interest in socially responsible, or impact, investing as an option in their plan offerings.

Socially responsible investing began as a practice of negative screening or avoiding companies that profit from alcohol, tobacco, gambling, firearms, or similarly perceived categories. It has since evolved and expanded in focus to represent environmental, social and governance issues.

Many investors question the balance between focusing on making socially responsible investments and planning for long-term successful results. Can both be achieved, or does a focus on ESG mean a sacrifice of portfolio performance?

This new whitepaper addresses that question, while reviewing the origins, evolutions and performance indicators of socially responsible investments. Download “Doing Good While Doing Well” to learn more. To begin talking to a retirement plan advisor, please get in touch by email or by calling (855) 882-9177.

Monday, March 25, 2019

Federal vs. New York family and medical leave laws – Part 4

The federal Family and Medical Leave Act provides eligible employees of covered employers with unpaid, job-protected leave for specified family and medical reasons.

In addition to the federal FMLA, New York has laws regarding pregnancy leave, adoptive parents leave, blood donation leave, bone marrow donation leave, military spouse leave and paid family leave (effective Jan. 1, 2018).

The comparison chart below concludes our review of federal vs. New York family and medical leave laws. This chart reviews leave requests, certification requirements, as well as other laws.

Monday, March 18, 2019

Federal vs. New York family and medical leave laws – Part 3

The federal Family and Medical Leave Act provides eligible employees of covered employers with unpaid, job-protected leave for specified family and medical reasons.

In addition to the federal FMLA, New York has laws regarding pregnancy leave, adoptive parents leave, blood donation leave, bone marrow donation leave, military spouse leave and paid family leave (effective Jan. 1, 2018).

The comparison chart below continues our review of federal vs. New York family and medical leave laws regarding an intermittent leave, reinstatement rights and the maintenance of health benefits during leave.

Monday, March 11, 2019

Federal vs. New York family and medical leave laws – Part 2


The federal Family and Medical Leave Act provides eligible employees of covered employers with unpaid, job-protected leave for specified family and medical reasons.

In addition to the federal FMLA, New York has laws regarding pregnancy leave, adoptive parents leave, blood donation leave, bone marrow donation leave, military spouse leave and paid family leave (effective Jan. 1, 2018).

The comparison chart below continues our review of federal vs. New York family and medical leave laws regarding the type of leave and criteria for a serious health condition/serious injury or illness.

Monday, March 4, 2019

Federal vs. New York family and medical leave laws – Part 1

The federal Family and Medical Leave Act provides eligible employees of covered employers with
unpaid, job-protected leave for specified family and medical reasons. For example, under the FMLA, eligible employees may take leave for their own serious health conditions, for the serious health conditions of family members, to bond with newborns or newly adopted children or for certain military family reasons.

In addition to providing eligible employees with an entitlement to leave, the FMLA requires that employers maintain employees’ health benefits during leave and restore employees to their same or equivalent job positions after leave ends. The FMLA also sets requirements for notices, by both the employee and the employer, and provides employers with the right to require certification of the need for FMLA leave in certain circumstances.

In addition to the federal FMLA, New York has laws regarding pregnancy leave, adoptive parents leave, blood donation leave, bone marrow donation leave, military spouse leave and paid family leave (effective Jan. 1, 2018). Review the comparison chart below to learn more regarding the types of employers covered, employees eligible and leave amount.

Tuesday, February 26, 2019

2019 ACA compliance overview — Employer shared responsibility rules

The Affordable Care Act has made significant changes to group health plans since it was enacted in 2010. Many of these key reforms became effective in 2014 and 2015, including health plan design changes, increased wellness program incentives and employer shared responsibility penalties.

Changes to some ACA requirements, such as increased dollar limits, take effect in 2019 for employers sponsoring group health plans. To prepare for 2019, employers should review upcoming requirements and develop a compliance strategy.

This article provides an overview of the employer shared responsibility rules.

Thursday, February 21, 2019

Strategic Benefit Services named a PLANADVISER Top 100 Retirement Plan Adviser for the 3rd time

PLANADVISER has named Strategic Benefit Services as one of its 2019 Top 100 Retirement Plan Advisers. PLANADVISER’s Top 100 Retirement Plan Advisers is an annual list of the retirement plan advisers and adviser teams at the top of their respective peer groups in terms of assets under advisement or number of retirement plan clients—including sponsors of defined contribution, defined benefit and nonqualified plans.

“SBS is honored to be again recognized by PLANADVISER,” said James J. Kelley, president, SBS. “We are also grateful to our clients for continuously placing their trust in us. We strive to build real relationships with our clients, creating a shared fiduciary responsibility with the companies we advise.”

SBS is categorized by PLANADVISER as a large team, having met this year’s eligibility standards of $3.5 billion or more retirement plan assets under advisement or 200 or more plans. SBS was previously named to PLANADVISER’s list in 2017 and 2016. SBS has been providing retirement services to leading healthcare, not-for-profit and corporate organizations for more than four decades. We provide trusted advisory and consulting services including plan design, vendor management, investment selection and monitoring, operational oversight, and on-site education and communication. SBS also provides services in support of employer mergers and acquisitions, defined benefit plan de-risking strategies and other complex matters including DOL and IRS audits. SBS conducts business in accordance with our values, in a manner that is in the best interests of our clients, with an ultimate goal of assuring our clients’ employees are ready for retirement.

Wednesday, February 20, 2019

2019 ACA compliance overview — SBC and HIPAA

The Affordable Care Act has made significant changes to group health plans since it was enacted in 2010. Many of these key reforms became effective in 2014 and 2015, including health plan design changes, increased wellness program incentives and employer shared responsibility penalties.

Changes to some ACA requirements, such as increased dollar limits, take effect in 2019 for employers sponsoring group health plans. To prepare for 2019, employers should review upcoming requirements and develop a compliance strategy.

This article provides an overview of requirements for Summary of Benefits and Coverage and Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act certification documents.

Thursday, February 14, 2019

2019 ACA compliance overview — Cost-sharing limits

The Affordable Care Act has made significant changes to group health plans since it was enacted in 2010. Many of these key reforms became effective in 2014 and 2015, including health plan design changes, increased wellness program incentives and employer shared responsibility penalties.

Changes to some ACA requirements, such as increased dollar limits, take effect in 2019 for employers sponsoring group health plans. To prepare for 2019, employers should review upcoming requirements and develop a compliance strategy.

This article provides an overview of cost-sharing limits applicable to non-grandfathered plans.

Friday, February 8, 2019

2019 ACA compliance overview — Plan design changes

The Affordable Care Act has made significant changes to group health plans since it was enacted in 2010. Many of these key reforms became effective in 2014 and 2015, including health plan design changes, increased wellness program incentives and employer shared responsibility penalties.

Changes to some ACA requirements, such as increased dollar limits, take effect in 2019 for employers sponsoring group health plans. To prepare for 2019, employers should review upcoming requirements and develop a compliance strategy.

This article provides an overview of plan design changes for grandfathered plans and an update on FSA contributions.

Wednesday, February 6, 2019

Q4 Market Recap: “Bookends” of volatility in 2018

The year 2018 ended as it began, with significant market volatility. Some market analysts believe the combination of algorithmic trading and the elimination of the uptick rule may be contributing factors. Ironically, some volatility is a necessary evil for investors who view a stake in equities as essential to reaching their longterm goals.

Read the Q4 Market Recap to learn more about the individual periods of market volatility throughout 2018 and the root cause behind them.

If you have any questions, or would like to begin talking to a retirement plan advisor, please get in touch by calling (855) 882-9177 or e-mail us at sbs@hanys.org.

Tuesday, January 29, 2019

Congratulations to Cobleskill Regional Hospital

Congratulations to Cobleskill Regional Hospital on being named a finalist for PLANSONSOR’s 2019 Plan Sponsor of the Year in the nonprofit defined contribution <$250 million category!

The Plan Sponsor of the Year annual award program recognizes retirement plan sponsors that show a commitment to their participants’ financial health and retirement success.

Strategic Benefit Services is proud of all that you have accomplished!

Wednesday, January 23, 2019

7 questions employees should ask about Paid Family Leave

1. If I started my continuous leave in 2018 and it extends into 2019, am I eligible for the benefits at the 2019 rate and an extra two weeks?

You get the benefit rate and number of weeks in effect on the first day of your leave.

2. If I started my intermittent leave in 2018 and it extends into 2019, am I eligible for the benefits at the 2019 rate and an extra two weeks?

You get the benefit rate and number of weeks in effect on the first day of a period of leave. When more than three months passes between days of Paid Family Leave, your next day or period of Paid Family Leave is considered a new claim under the law. This means you will need to file a new Request for Paid Family Leave and that you may be eligible for the increased benefits available should this day or period of Paid Family Leave begin in 2019.

3. I had a new baby in the fall of 2018. Can still take Paid Family Leave in 2019 to get the enhanced benefits?

Yes, you can take Paid Family Leave for bonding with a new child at any time within the first 12 months of the child’s birth, adoption or foster care placement, provided that you remain an eligible, covered employee.


To read all 7 question and answers, click here for a downloadable version. Questions and answers can also be found on paidfamilyleave.ny.gov.

If you have any questions, or would like to begin talking to an employee benefits consultant, please get in touch by email or by calling (855) 882-9177.

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