United Benefit Advisors Insight and Analysis Blog

IRS Releases Information Letter on Returning HSA Contributions to an Employer

Posted by: Karen Hsu    Mar 14, 2019 4:30:02 PM

shutterstock_564470320Generally, a person’s interest in a Health Savings Account (HSA) is nonforfeitable. However, in the past, the Internal Revenue Service’s Notice 2008-59 described limited circumstances under which an employer may recoup contributions made to an employee’s HSA.

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Topics: IRS, HSA

Sharpen Those Soft Skills

Posted by: Bill Olson    Mar 12, 2019 4:29:21 PM

shutterstock_661818811Knowing how to code or being well versed in Artificial Intelligence or Virtual Reality are some ways for a recruit or employee to set themselves apart. In many companies, though, it’s soft skills like time management, public speaking and oral communication, leadership, and even emotional intelligence that are desperately needed, according to the LinkedIn 2018 Emerging Jobs Report.

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Topics: employee communication, employee education, soft skills

Hot tips for winter driving

Posted by: Bill Olson    Mar 7, 2019 4:24:44 PM

shutterstock_181434695Driving in wintry conditions can be nerve-wracking even for the best drivers. Snow, fog,  and black ice can make it hard to see and even harder to control your vehicle. But if you follow some basic tips, you’ll be more likely to keep your cool and get to your destination without mishap.

Before you hit the road

First things first: Make sure your vehicle is in tip-top condition. And don’t wait till the last minute to do this, in case mechanics find issues that need repairs or need to order in parts. Check the battery, lights, cooling system, tires, windshield wipers and defrosters to make sure everything’s working correctly.

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Topics: employee wellness, employee health

Who’s Ghosting Who?

Posted by: Bill Olson    Mar 5, 2019 3:44:31 PM

shutterstock_153117149Ghosting is a term coined by millennials to describe someone who disappears or is unresponsive without explanation. It may be in the online dating world or even after meeting IRL (that’s in real life). Or, it may be leaving a party without letting anyone know. And now, it’s popping up in the world of hiring and recruitment. It’s even made the Federal Reserve’s Beige Book, a national overview of economic trends, according to Quartz at Work.

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DOL’s Annually Adjusted Federal Penalties

Posted by: Karen Hsu    Feb 28, 2019 3:47:52 PM

shutterstock_434519134DOL’s Annually Adjusted Federal Penalties

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Topics: Adjustments, Department of Labor, inflation

In Pursuit of a Better Meeting

Posted by: Bill Olson    Feb 26, 2019 6:24:38 PM

shutterstock_727613272Groans and sighs often greet the ping of a meeting invite hitting an inbox. While it may be impossible to make meetings more fun than the office holiday party, it is possible to lessen the dread, increase morale, and improve the results of a meeting.

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Topics: time management, meetings

Tackling Workplace Bullying

Posted by: Bill Olson    Feb 19, 2019 4:16:51 PM

A recent study reports more than half of employees in global businesses witnessed or experienced workplace bullying. While that’s alarming, research focused on the U.S. says closer to 75 percent of employees have been impacted by workplace bullying.

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Topics: employee wellness, health related lost productivity, bullying

Seeds of Change

Posted by: Bill Olson    Feb 12, 2019 1:07:03 PM

Has anyone ever said to you, “Eat your vegetables!”? Have you ever admonished your own kids to do the same? Are you guilty of throwing away the banana your mom packed in your lunch bag, or ignoring that apple you brought to the office — the one that’s now shriveled up and inedible?

Chances are you can answer “yes” to at least one of the above. While many people are trying to include more fruits and veggies in their diets, most of us could probably do better — in fact, most of us should probably eat twice what we’re currently eating. That’s because fruits and vegetables fill an incredible variety of essential nutritional needs and can help protect against certain diseases. These may include heart disease, type 2 diabetes, stroke, and even some cancers. They can also help reduce the risk of digestive and eye problems.

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Topics: healthy lifestyles, vegetables, diet, fruits

The Ins and Outs of Warming up and Cooling Down

Posted by: Bill Olson    Feb 5, 2019 2:30:05 PM

OK, you’ve made it to the gym, you’ve donned your sneakers, and you’re ready to go! Or are you? If you’re headed for a workout, whether by yourself or in a group, it’s really important that you arm up before you get into it, and cool down when you’re done.

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Topics: employee health, exercise

Proposed 2020 Benefit Payment and Parameters Rule

Posted by: Karen Hsu    Jan 29, 2019 2:50:29 PM

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) released a proposed rule for benefit payment and parameters for 2020. CMS also released its draft 2020 actuarial value calculator and draft 2020 actuarial value calculator methodology.

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Topics: Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, Affordable Care Act, Benefit Payment and Parameters rule