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Shawn Pynes, Principal, Director of Employee Benefits Division

Shawn Pynes 
is Principal
and head of the Employee Benefits Division of Barney & Barney. Shawn has 25 years of insurance experience and manages a team of 190 employee benefits professionals in San Diego, Orange County and San Francisco.
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Recent Posts

Life Science Companies Receive Best In Health Insurance with Beyond Benefits

By Shawn Pynes, Principal, Director of Employee Benefits Division

clock August 28, 2017 at 10:00 AM

The skyrocketing employee benefits rates have been a concern for the past several years, especially for life science companies with fewer than 100 employees, who are stuck with age-based rates.

Under a Trust, multiple companies come together as a common entity, giving them access to richer benefit plans at more affordable rates. Our Beyond Benefits Trust, designed for Biocom member companies, does just this.

With more than 250 life science companies and over 20,000 employees and dependents enrolled, the Beyond Benefits Trust allows member companies to attract key talent and protect their bottom line.

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Taming the Tech Beast: Introducing Marsh & McLennan Agency's Tech Advisor Service for Human Resources Professionals

By Shawn Pynes, Principal, Director of Employee Benefits Division

clock April 25, 2016 at 10:00 AM

The Affordable Care Act has imposed many new healthcare requirements impacting the already complex world of benefits administration and overloading human resources professionals even further. Employers have responded in a variety of ways, including implementing new technologies to manage the additional workload.

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Topics: Employee Benefits, Technology

2014: Employee Benefits Year in Review

By Shawn Pynes, Principal, Director of Employee Benefits Division

clock December 18, 2014 at 10:00 AM

When it comes to employee benefits, history may well remember 2014 as “The Year of Change.” The Affordable Care Act (ACA), in particular, brought its share of challenges for many companies and individuals. As we head into 2015, let’s take a look at what happened this past year and where I believe we’re headed.


Here are a handful of ACA changes or delays in legislation that took place in 2014:

  • The Employer Mandate was delayed until 2016 for employers with 50 – 99 Full-Time and/or Full-Time Equivalent employees
  • Non-grandfathered, non-ACA compliant Small Group and individual health plans that would otherwise be cancelled may now continue to be offered until 2016
  • Medical coverage plans that do not include hospitalization or physician services were determined to not constitute a Minimum Value plan
  • Additional Section 125 Cafeteria Plan permitted election changes were introduced
  • Premium Reimbursement Plans that reimburse individuals for individual policy or Exchange coverage (post-tax and pre-tax) are in violation of the ACA

As ACA legislation evolves, we will continue to communicate the latest information. Relevant updates to the law are published each month in Barney & Barney’s Legislative Compliance Newsletter and urgent information is shared through Breaking News features found here.


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Topics: Employee Benefits

Offering Employee Benefits Post-Health Care Reform

By Shawn Pynes, Principal, Director of Employee Benefits Division

clock October 1, 2014 at 10:00 AM

As health care costs continue to escalate, employers are faced with a strategic challenge: How do they offer employee benefits without costing themselves a fortune?

To plan properly, mid-sized employers need alternative solutions to manage their health care costs, while attracting and retaining talent. In our view, two of the most effective approaches in achieving those objectives are self-funding or a private exchange.

Download our latest white paper on controlling healthcare costs.

The Self-funding Option

For companies with a healthy employee demographic, a growing or stable workforce, and favorable claims experience, self-funding can be an excellent long-term solution to control costs. Self-funding provides potential savings through reduced administrative and regulatory fees, decreased taxes, and improved cash flow. With a self-funded model, the employer assumes direct risk for the payment of claims, rather than contracting with an insurance company to cover claims costs.

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Topics: Employee Benefits, Health Care Reform, Market Trends

Beyond Benefits - Employee Benefits Solutions for CA Life Science Industry

By Shawn Pynes, Principal, Director of Employee Benefits Division

clock September 2, 2014 at 10:00 AM

With Beyond Benefits, Life Science and Biotech companies now have a cost-effective and hands-off solution to administer their employee benefit programs. Our member companies today save an average of $1,000 per employee per year. Check out our video to learn more about how our program works and how to join the Beyond Benefits pool to start saving today.


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Topics: Employee Benefits

How Tech Companies Can Purchase Employee Benefits

By Shawn Pynes, Principal, Director of Employee Benefits Division

clock May 19, 2014 at 10:00 AM

When is something worth doing twice?

When it works very well.

The Benefits Technology Trust is similar to a highly successful trust program we pioneered two years ago that enables life science and biotech companies to pool their purchasing power to buy employee benefits at more competitive prices.

Since the Beyond Benefits trust launched in January 2012, 185 biotech firms have saved more than $5.8 million in annual medical premium. In total, Beyond Benefits now covers more than 5,500 employees.

Opportunity For Tech Companies

The Technology Trust operates much like Beyond Benefits and addresses a genuine problem for growing tech companies: How to attract and retain the best technology talent. In California in particular, the biggest impediment to growth for many tech companies is getting the right people.

Established tech companies such as Google, Facebook, Oracle and others typically offer rich benefits programs. That’s a challenge for private or pre-IPO companies that don’t have the revenue to support similar benefits packages.

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Topics: Employee Benefits, Health Care Reform, Technology

Employee Benefits…There’s an App for that?

By Shawn Pynes, Principal, Director of Employee Benefits Division

clock April 14, 2014 at 10:00 AM

Your Employee Benefits Communication Solution in One Handheld Place

There is no denying it… We are glued to our phones these days. We constantly want to be in touch through email or text and enjoy surfing the web, playing Candy Crush, checking online banking, maybe dating and more. Even the health care industry is creeping onto our cellular and tablet devices. Insurance companies now have applications that allow members to schedule appointments and doctors can even use mobile apps to make treatment decisions. Crazy, huh?

To hit a little closer to home for you as an employer, companies are using the technology their employees already interact with to their advantage. They’re developing personalized apps to allow employees easy access to benefits communications, plan details and insurance company information.

Here at Marsh & McLennan Agency, we developed the iBenefits app. This provides employees with 24/7 access to customized  benefits information. Employers big and small are finding it useful in more ways than one. Specifically:

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Topics: Employee Benefits, Human Resources, Technology

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