On June 7, 2018 I have the privilege of representing Marsh & McLennan Agency (MMA) in sponsoring the Bay Area CFO of the Year Awards presented by the San Francisco Business Times and Larkin Street Youth Services. As a Board member of Larkin Street, I am proud to support this nonprofit’s ground-breaking work, while honoring world-class CFOs leading their organizations.
Small and midsized tech companies face many challenges, but none may be as difficult as attracting and retaining talent. The task is especially difficult given what these high-growth companies are up against in Silicon Valley. Consider the following:
- Google offers one-on-one consultations to new parents to help them find child care facilities
- Intuit has onsite fitness centers for employees and offers $650 for gym memberships and exercise class fees
- Netflix now offers a year of paid maternity and paternity leave for salaried employees
- Twitter employees receive Zipcar discounts, access to in-office yoga and Pilates classes, and dry cleaning and laundry services
In addition to competing against cash-rich tech companies, smaller firms are grappling with increasing healthcare costs and are stuck in a new pricing system that doesn’t allow for effective rate negotiation. According to a survey by Mercer, a Marsh & McLennan Agency (MMA) sister company, employers predict that health benefit cost per employee will rise by 4.2% on average in 2016 after they make benefit plan changes, such as raising deductibles or switching carriers. This is consistent with actual cost growth in 2014 (3.9%) and the expected cost growth for 2015.
So how does a promising tech company bring in the talent it needs when the tech giants are grabbing up the skilled employees with higher salaries, generous 401(k) plans, and impressive healthcare benefits?
One way small and midsized technology companies can compete is to take advantage of a small business trust. A relatively new way to lower employee benefit costs, tech companies are pooling their collective buying power to compete with the giants on robust healthcare benefits.
Administering employee benefits can be time-consuming, but applying technology can help dramatically improve the process.
So what are the most effective ways to manage your benefits program, both from an employer’s and employee’s perspective?
Whether you’re in the early stages of looking for an online solution for your organization or already have one in place, here are five reasons technology will support your long-term goals and what to look for in a benefits administration platform.
1. Streamline enrollment information collection
Many companies have no organized approach to collecting enrollment data. Even today, with so much technology available, many companies still rely on a paper-based process to enroll employees or update benefits information.
With an online system, data collection is aggregated centrally and can be easily accessed and managed by the HR team from any location. Online data management is particularly important for complex benefits offerings, especially for employers with multiple offices, contribution strategies, and eligibility requirements.
2. Incorporate ACA tracking and reporting into your system
The "Affordable Care Act" (ACA) created two new duties to report healthcare information.
Individuals offered company-sponsored health insurance must state whether they had coverage that met the ACA’s requirements. Companies considered an Applicable Large Employer (ALE) also must report that they have complied with the ACA. To verify that information, the IRS created two forms, IRS Form 1095 C and IRS Form 1094 C. Employers can be fined $100 per day for each 1095 C form that has not been submitted to the IRS.
An online benefits administration system can integrate payroll, time and attendance information, so all of the data can be accessed in one location and transmitted seamlessly to the IRS.