Benefits – Ultimate Software's Blog http://blog.ultimatesoftware.com Thoughts on Putting People First in the Workplace Thu, 17 Aug 2017 13:05:17 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=4.8 ACA Superhero Challenge – Will you pass the test? http://blog.ultimatesoftware.com/aca-superhero-quiz/ http://blog.ultimatesoftware.com/aca-superhero-quiz/#respond Wed, 30 Mar 2016 12:34:53 +0000 http://blog.ultimatesoftware.com/?p=473 With fast-approaching deadlines and ever-changing guidelines, it’s no surprise that the Affordable Care Act is leading to some additional stress and anxiety these days. Take a break and test your knowledge with our ACA quiz to see just how much you know about healthcare reform. See how you did compared to others and be sure […]

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With fast-approaching deadlines and ever-changing guidelines, it’s no surprise that the Affordable Care Act is leading to some additional stress and anxiety these days. Take a break and test your knowledge with our ACA quiz to see just how much you know about healthcare reform. See how you did compared to others and be sure to share your results with your peers and social networks! You’ll also gain access to our updated ACA eBook, packed with key dates and guidelines to help your organization stay compliant. Good luck!

 

 

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12 Days of HCM – #1 The Affordable Care Act (ACA) http://blog.ultimatesoftware.com/12-days-of-hcm-affordable-care-act-aca/ http://blog.ultimatesoftware.com/12-days-of-hcm-affordable-care-act-aca/#respond Mon, 07 Dec 2015 14:01:51 +0000 http://blog.ultimatesoftware.com/?p=399 A lot crossed the minds of HR professionals this past year, from new concerns over ACA compliance to ongoing challenges with employee engagement. Over the next 12 days, we’ll highlight some of the hottest HCM topics from 2015 and take a look ahead to 2016. The Year of ACA Throughout 2015, it probably felt as […]

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A lot crossed the minds of HR professionals this past year, from new concerns over ACA compliance to ongoing challenges with employee engagement. Over the next 12 days, we’ll highlight some of the hottest HCM topics from 2015 and take a look ahead to 2016.

The Year of ACA

Throughout 2015, it probably felt as though you couldn’t go a day without hearing, “ACA.”

From employee eligibility to forms 1094-C and 1095-C, the ACA has been on the minds of many in HR—and all of us at Ultimate. We’re committed to helping our customers remain proactive with ACA compliance. As a certified and IRS-approved transmitter, Ultimate offers an ACA Toolkit to assist with all required printing, reporting, and filing, as well as ACA Employer Services for organizations who prefer an extra hand from our expert team.

As 2016 filing deadlines become a reality in the U.S., HR leaders can rest easy knowing Ultimate’s removing the stress and confusion surrounding ACA compliance.

We provided an exclusive demo of our ACA Toolkit and Services at the 2015 HR Technology Conference in October. See what people are saying about Ultimate’s tools for navigating healthcare-reform compliance.

 

To follow our 12 Days of HCM series on social media, use the hashtag #12DaysofHCM.

 

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Total Compensation Statement http://blog.ultimatesoftware.com/total-compensation-statement/ http://blog.ultimatesoftware.com/total-compensation-statement/#respond Wed, 29 Aug 2012 13:01:36 +0000 http://blog.ultimatesoftware.com/?p=129 With the Labor Department reporting that employers posted the highest number of job openings in four years and the July jobs report showing more jobs were added than expected, it seems that the job market is finally beginning to recover. With a recovery, though, there will come a renewed competition for skilled and knowledge-based workers. […]

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With the Labor Department reporting that employers posted the highest number of job openings in four years and the July jobs report showing more jobs were added than expected, it seems that the job market is finally beginning to recover. With a recovery, though, there will come a renewed competition for skilled and knowledge-based workers.

With that being said, I pose the following question:

As an employee with an annual salary of $50,000 would you switch to another company, doing the same exact work for just $60,000?

If you are like most people, you might jump at the opportunity. After all, a 20% raise in salary far exceeds the average 2.9% annual salary increase that US employers are expected to give in 2013. However, if you jump ship only taking into account annual salary and not total compensation you might be in for a rude awakening.

Let me take a moment to explain why. By definition, total compensation refers to the sum of cash, benefits and non-cash allowances provided to an employee. While the definition may seem simple, many employees fail to completely connect with its real meaning. For some people it is a lack of understanding, but for most it is simply a lack of visibility. Whatever the case, all employees should have a very clear understanding of their total compensation.

So going back to my question, what if I said that on top of your salary, your current employer provides a 10% bonus, matches 50% of 401k contributions, contributes $400 to your $500 monthly medical and dental premium and provides two personal days on top of your two weeks of annual vacation time. Compare that to the other company that gives a 5% bonus, will only match 25% of your 401k contributions $250 of your $500 monthly medical and dental premium and provides no additional personal days on top your two weeks of vacation time.

Still think the answer to my question is obvious? Given the visibility to all the components of your total compensation package, then you can easily see your current employer provides you with an annual total compensation of approximately $62,285 vs. the other employers $66,750. Still willing to jump to another company? Maybe. Maybe not.

How can you help an employee understand their total compensation? By providing Total Compensation Statements you can help reduce turnover and avoid the cost of replacing an employee, which Towers Watson estimates at 2 ½ times an employee’s annual salary. I am not a finance guy, but spending a few dollars a year to provide all employees with a Total Compensation Statement to avoid the costs of unnecessary turnover seems like a great return on investment.

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United Stationers: An Open Enrollment Success Story http://blog.ultimatesoftware.com/united-stationers-an-open-enrollment-success-story/ http://blog.ultimatesoftware.com/united-stationers-an-open-enrollment-success-story/#respond Mon, 04 Jun 2012 13:44:26 +0000 http://blog.ultimatesoftware.com/?p=190 Back in March I wrote on the importance of choosing the right benefits and how providing decision support to employees is critical. In my role at Ultimate, I speak with many Ultimate Software open enrollment customers to better understand how they are leveraging UltiPro’s benefits enrollment solution to streamline benefits administration and help employees make […]

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Back in March I wrote on the importance of choosing the right benefits and how providing decision support to employees is critical. In my role at Ultimate, I speak with many Ultimate Software open enrollment customers to better understand how they are leveraging UltiPro’s benefits enrollment solution to streamline benefits administration and help employees make informed benefits decisions. Many customers do a great job of leveraging their open enrollment solution—and I wanted to share one example of a true benefits enrollment process best practice from our customer, United Stationers. United Stationers is a leading North American wholesale distributor of business products that has found tremendous success with UltiPro for open enrollment. They’ve not only achieved quick adoption of the solution, but through effectively communicating and educating on available benefits, they’re helping those employees make smart and informed benefits decisions.

How did they do this? Let’s take a step back.

With almost 6,000 employees, 64 distribution facilities, 24-hour operations, and a workforce with limited computer knowledge/access (only a small percentage have company emails), United Stationers was faced with many challenges. These challenges included:

  • How to efficiently administer employee benefits to such a large, dispersed and diverse workforce?
  • How to ensure that they’re effectively communicating and educating employees on all the benefits being offered?
  • How to provide employees with the tools they need to make informed benefits decisions?

After years of using a phone-based open enrollment process, United Stationers took the plunge and conducted their first online open enrollment in 2011. Remarkably, within the first year they were able to achieve a 94% employee completion rate. These amazing results were achieved by:

  • Planning early – United Stationers started planning their implementation, communications and training materials 3-6 months in advance
  • Communicating over various channels – mailings were sent to associates homes, a Sharepoint site was set up as well as an UltiPro Welcome Page Gadget
  • Providing tools that easily explain benefit plans and changes – United Stationers offered kiosks for their associates to leverage the online solution and prepared easy-to-use & accessible training materials – all with consistent messaging
  • Being available to employees for questions and support – because questions were inevitable they held open forum Q&A sessions, built step-by-step guides, trained HR Services, and created a special email box for annual enrollment questions.
  • Leveraging the capabilities of their online open enrollment solution to the fullest – through UltiPro’s robust messaging capabilities, they were able to include session information, benefit plan information, education and comparison tools – basically everything their people needed to make informed benefits decisions.

There are many organizations like United Stationers. Organizations with progressive thoughts around how to administer, communicate and roll out important employee benefits information but with a disbursed, offline workforce. If you want to streamline benefits administration and enable employees to make informed benefits decision, do what United Stationers did. Start planning early, engage your people through various channels. and take full advantage of your solutions capabilities.

Because if you truly want to put your people first it is imperative that you prove it through a great benefits experience.

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Buying a House, Saving for Retirement and Choosing Benefits http://blog.ultimatesoftware.com/buying-a-house-saving-for-retirement-and-choosing-benefits/ http://blog.ultimatesoftware.com/buying-a-house-saving-for-retirement-and-choosing-benefits/#respond Tue, 20 Mar 2012 12:23:24 +0000 http://blog.ultimatesoftware.com/?p=93 Today I want to talk about something that is very important to all of us: choosing the right benefits. I relate to this because as someone with a wife and two small sons at home, it’s absolutely critical that I choose the right benefits for my family. Given that I’m responsible for HR & Benefits […]

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Today I want to talk about something that is very important to all of us: choosing the right benefits. I relate to this because as someone with a wife and two small sons at home, it’s absolutely critical that I choose the right benefits for my family. Given that I’m responsible for HR & Benefits within Ultimate’s UltiPro and I’ve spent my entire career studying and managing benefits solutions, I am fortunate to have the knowledge and tools necessary to make informed benefits decisions. Unfortunately, for most people, knowing how to differentiate and select benefits can be confusing and daunting. This fact is very concerning because outside of buying a house and saving for retirement, choosing the right benefits is probably the most important decision a person will make.

At this point you may be thinking, “He’s just saying this because he has spent his career in benefits.” This may be true but let me explain it from my vantage point.

The reality is that benefits are important because of their potential impact on one’s personal and financial well-being. Based on recent data from Mercer, an employee’s annual healthcare cost for a family of four is expected to top $10,000 in 2012. That is approaching almost $1,000 per month! At that level, we are in the ballpark of a monthly mortgage payment. This is where the similarities end. The reason is that unlike buying a house, if you choose the wrong benefit plan you could suffer catastrophic financial losses should you get sick or have a health problem that is not covered. Even worse you might not even be able to get the medical treatment you desperately need. I think this makes it pretty clear why understanding how to choose the right benefits is important.

What’s ironic is that most people spend only a few minutes choosing their benefits and do so with very little information. This is where the need for benefits decision support comes in. As a business owner or HR leader who wants your people to make informed benefit decisions, it is critical that you provide the tools for them to do so. This includes: 1) definitions of key benefit terms, 2) the pros and cons of each benefit plan being offered, and 3) comparison tools that can be used to determine the benefit plan that is best tailored towards their unique personal situation. Historically speaking, people have relied on their employers to provide the information needed to make informed benefits decisions. This approach, however, is becoming ineffective at a very rapid pace. This is because the younger generations entering the workforce rely almost solely on their social networks for all kinds of advice. Now I’m not new to the workforce, but soliciting benefits advice from my friends and family using my social network seems like a much better approach to me.

So my message is, take your time and be wise in your benefits decisions. If you are the person responsible for benefits management in your organization, take it upon yourself to provide your people with the information and tools they need to make informed benefits decisions. Put yourself in their shoes. Failure to do so can have terrible consequences for everyone.

Here’s to putting people first.

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