What Robin’s Reading: May 2015

Robin Weingast Reading RecsWelcome to a new installment of “What Robin’s Reading,” our bimonthly feature that highlights what the Robin Weingast team is reading to stay current and up-to-date on the issues that will most impact our clients and their benefits planning.

This month we’re reading “Big threat to small biz workers in Obamacare case” and “States Scramble for ‘Plan B’ Ahead of Court Ruling on Obamacare.” This June, the Supreme Court will rule on King v. Burwell, a case that could alter the Affordable Care Act for the almost 8 million people in 24 states who rely on the federal exchange. Pending the ruling, millions of Americans stand to lose their subsidized coverage.

In a “Need to Know” post from last year, we explored how small businesses benefitted from the Affordable Care Act. With this ruling on the horizon, small businesses are particularly vulnerable to any changes to Obamacare. In the meantime, states are preparing for the ruling by creating workaround solutions that would ensure those covered under the Affordable Care Act don’t lose their healthcare coverage.

The Robin Weingast & Associates team is carefully watching to see how the ruling will impact all businesses — small or large. If you have questions, please contact us; we’re here to help.

Resource of the Month: Choosing a Retirement Solution for Your Small Business

Robin_Weingast_small_businessThere are over 27 million small businesses in the United States, and small businesses have accounted for 64% of the country’s job creation in the past 20 years. A small business is an independent company with fewer than 500 employees, and it’s becoming clear that small businesses are a vital part of the economic landscape.

The Robin S. Weingast & Associates team knows that small business owners are often so busy with the day-to-day realities of running their companies that it can be a challenge to find time to focus on other important areas – areas like employee benefits. That’s where we come in: using our 30 years of expertise, we work with small business owners to create custom plans that are tailored to each company’s specific goals and needs.

A key part of an employee benefit plan is a retirement savings plan. Retirement savings plans are not only beneficial as recruitment and retention tools, they also offer significant tax advantages to business owners. They are the cornerstone of a strong employee benefit plan, which is why this month’s resource is devoted exclusively to that topic. If you’re a small business owner, than download “Choosing a Retirement Solution for Your Small Business” today. This guide from the IRS offers a thorough look at the advantages and options that small business owners have for offering retirement plans.

Download “Choosing a Retirement Solution for Your Small Business” today.

If you’re a small business owner who wants to make sure you’re offering a competitive and financially advantageous benefits package to your employees, then download our resource and contact us today. Our team of experts will evaluate your current plan and recommend changes that work for you, your staff, and your bottom line.

The Robin S. Weingast & Associates “Resource of the Month” is a monthly feature that offers a resource guide about an important aspect of your business—including retirement plans, life insurance policies, and much, much more. Each resource guide that we feature will be available for you to download so that you can access our Resource of the Month whenever you need it. It’s the knowledge you need, right at your fingertips! Explore our Resource of the Month series.

Need to Know: A Change to the Affordable Care Act Can Mean Big Things for Your Small Business

Robin Weingast on how changes to the Affordable Care Act impact your small business.In early June, President Obama signed into law the “Protecting Access to Medicare Act.” A portion of this new law essentially repeals a provision of the Affordable Care Act that was particularly burdensome for small businesses (those with less than 50 employees). This provision held that small groups were prohibited from offering health plans with deductibles higher than $2,000 for single coverage and $4,000 for family coverage.

This comes as very welcome news to small businesses, which often need the most flexibility and options in order to offer employees health insurance that is both comprehensive and affordable. Small companies will typically use higher deductibles and other cost-sharing strategies.

It’s also a positive change for any employers who want to offer their insurance plans in conjunction with health reimbursement arrangements (HRAs). Previously, federal agencies rejected HRAs as an allowable way to ease the $2,000/$4,000 provision.

The new law was effective immediately upon being signed and is just one example of the many ever-changing rules and regulations that impact your employee benefit plan.

Why not leave the planning to the capable Robin S. Weingast & Associates team, who stay on top of what these legislative changes mean for your business? Contact us today and we can discuss a custom, comprehensive plan that leverages these new small business allowances, incorporates HRAs, keeps your employees satisfied, and makes sense for your bottom line. We’ll even conduct a free evaluation of your current plan to ensure that your benefits are working for you. Reach out today.

Need to Know: Startup Companies and Benefits

Weingast_startupEmployees of startup companies probably consider themselves pretty lucky. According to an article in Forbes startup employees benefit from the “startup culture,” which breeds collaboration as well as from a sense of ownership and visibility that comes from being with a company since its inception. For many startup employees, these factors alone are enough to keep them engaged and on board with the company for years to come.

But if you are at the head of a startup company, you may want to consider the impact of offering a formal benefits program to your employees.  A recent article in Entrepreneur reports that  “MetLife’s annual study of employee benefits trends found that benefits can be even more important than advancement opportunities and company culture in fostering employee loyalty.” This is a key factor to keep in mind, particularly when considering the time, money, and energy it takes to recruit and retain talented staff. In addition to keeping your staff happy, offering formal benefits may also be a way to distinguish you from competitors when you’re recruiting new staff, since “only 28 percent of businesses with fewer than 10 employees offer health insurance.”

Here are some important tips to keep in mind if you are thinking of establishing a formal benefits program for your startup company:

1)    Start with the basics, such as health insurance and disability insurance. Save the fancier perks for later, when you have established your company on solid financial ground.

2)    Manage expectations, for yourself and for your team. Offering any kind of formal benefits at all puts you in a better position than most small companies; asking for employee contributions is not only reasonable but will likely be necessary. And, avoid cutting back benefits at all costs.

3)    Take advantage of health-insurance subsidies, which are now available under the Affordable Care Act.

4)    Get a broker. You’re busy trying to make your business a success. Once you know the basics of what benefits you want to offer your employees, leave the details and logistics to a broker who knows the in’s and out’s of benefits planning. The best part? There’s no extra charge for using a broker.

Read the full article here.

Whether you’re an entrepreneur who wants to attract and retain the best staff as you build and grow a successful business or a leader at an established company that wants to gain a recruiting edge, the Robin Weingast team can help you establish and analyze your employee benefits. Contact us today for a free consultation or a free analysis of your current plan. Our business is to make sure your benefits are working….for you.

Resource of the Month: Combinations of Retirement Plans

You probably already know that under federal law, employers are allowed to have more than one kind of tax-deductible retirement plan. What you may not know are the ins and outs of the limits at both the individual and combined plan levels.

That’s why Robin Weingast & Associates has chosen “Combinations of Retirement Plans” as our May Resource of the Month. The guide will give you a detailed overview of:

1)   Individual Plan Limits
2)   Combined Plan Deduction Limits
3)   Combined Plans with 401 (k) Feature

It also provides this handy chart that explains the Allowable Combinations of Employer-Sponsored Plans:

Robin Weingast chart of allowable combinations of employer-sponsored plans

You can download the full guide here.


As always, the Robin Weingast & Associates team is available to discuss what combining retirement plans means for you and your business. Contact us today and we will be happy to assist you!

Miss a Resource of the Month?

Be sure to bookmark our Resource of the Month page so you have the knowledge you need right at your fingertips!