A 2016 Year-End Checklist
Year-end is such a busy time for business owners, and for good reason. There are many things to be aware of and to complete before the new year.
Hi, I'm Margie. I'm an HR consultant for Paychex, and I'm here today to discuss some year-end considerations.
Keep the following areas in mind when it comes to your own year-end planning:
- Group insurance policies and other health plans,
- Retirement plans, and
- Compliance with regulatory changes related to employee compensation.
First, group health plans. Many renew on December 1st or January 1st, so it's important to work with your agent, broker, or vendor to complete open enrollment and implement benefits for the upcoming calendar year. This includes making sure that all enrollment forms are submitted and processed, member ID cards have been shipped and received, and all waivers for coverage are signed and filed.
You may also need to take action if you offer an HRA, FSA or HSA plan. Keep in mind that FSAs and another pre-tax plans need to be set up before the new year begins.
For year end, you'll need to ensure that all enrollments have been processed, and debit cards have been shipped and received. Also, refer to your plan for details on grace periods or carry over options so you can provide proper guidance to your employees.
If you offer a 401(k) or other retirement plan, year-end is also an important time where you should ensure that all enrollment forms and contribution changes have been submitted and processed. Also, make sure that all beneficiary designation forms have been signed and filed.
Additionally, if you have a safe harbor plan and you want to make changes, you must do this before December 1st.
Remember that, while not mandatory, year-end also offers an opportunity for you to evaluate your match and make any changes.
2016 also brought regulatory changes related to employee compensation.
Keep in mind that beginning January 1st, many state and local jurisdictions increased their minimum wage rates, which affects overtime rates paid to your covered, non-exempt employees who work more than 40 hours in a work week. State laws may vary.
Finally, some other areas to consider for year-end planning.
If you have a paid time off policy in place, be sure to check whether it permits employees to choose a pay-out up of unused paid time off at the end of the year where permitted under state law. And thinking ahead to tax time, are employees addresses updated in your payroll system? The address on file affects where w-2s will be mailed. So an address that's no longer valid could mean delays in employees receiving them.
Year-end is a great time to ensure the information you have on file is up to date. This of course, is not an all-exhaustive list, and you should review your own unique year end items by consulting with and HR or payroll professional. For more information, please visit Paychex WORX.