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U.S. Department of Labor Announces Change to SCA Fringe Rate

August 2, 2017


The prevailing health & welfare fringe benefits issued under the McNamara-O’Hara Service Contract Act (SCA) awarded before January 1st, 2017 with Option Years on or after August 1st, 2017 will utilize the new fringe rate of $4.41.

Additional SCA Health & Welfare Fringe Benefit Rate Information

All service contracts awarded on or after January 1st, 2017, that contain paid sick leave (EO 13706) will utilize the newly reduced $4.13 SCA health & welfare benefit rate. The DOL memorandum is posted on the Wage and Hour Division (WHD) website.

For more information: Click Here To Read The Full Memo

 

John Malnar Joins Fringe Benefit Group as Chief Operating Officer/Chief Financial Officer

June 12, 2017


Austin, June 12, 2017 — Fringe Benefit Group, an industry leader in the design, implementation and administration of benefit plans for hourly workers, today announced that John Malnar has joined the company as Chief Operating Officer/Chief Financial Officer (COO/CFO). Malnar brings significant operational and financial leadership experience to Fringe Benefit Group, most recently having served as CFO for two high-growth companies headquartered in California.

In his new role, Malnar will leverage nearly two decades of financial services experience to manage corporate and financial operations, oversee business analytics and reporting, and assist with strategic initiatives. Malnar most recently served as CFO of YapStone Holdings, Inc., where he worked closely with the company CEO and president on financial reporting, company strategy and operational efficiencies. During his tenure at YapStone, he was a key contributor to acceleration of the company’s revenue and profitability growth, being named a finalist for the 2015 Los Angeles Business Journal Private Company CFO of the year. Prior to YapStone, Malnar served as CFO at PayPros, which was acquired by Global Payments, Inc., and over a decade in New York at BlackRock, Merrill Lynch and JP Morgan. He graduated from the University of Texas at Austin, with honors.

“Fringe Benefit Group is growing at a fast pace and we are looking to John to help us manage that growth and identify new opportunities to streamline our business processes. He has many years of experience helping grow successful companies and we are excited about bringing his talents to our organization,” said Travis West, CEO of Fringe Benefit Group.

Fringe Benefit Group offers plan design, compliance, claims and benefits administration for insured and self-insured major medical, retirement, Minimum Essential Coverage (MEC), and specialty benefits plans (e.g., dental, vision, life and disability coverage) to companies with hourly employees via its two national brands, The Contractors Plan and The American Worker. Fringe Benefit Group works closely with more than 600 brokers across the U.S.

About Fringe Benefit Group

Fringe Benefit Group and its affiliate companies have designed and administered programs that simplify the benefits process for employers with hourly workers since 1983. Through its nationwide network of independent brokers and agents, Fringe Benefit Group offers products from the industry’s leading carriers and is recognized for its full-service suite of tools and services designed specifically for employers with hourly and part-time workers. For more information, visit www.fbg.com, www.thecontractorsplan.com or www.theamericanworker.com.

How Acosta May Lead If Confirmed As Secretary Of Labor

March 1, 2017


President Trump has nominated attorney Alexander Acosta to head the Labor Department. With over two decades of public service, Acosta has a reputation for having a competent management style and a distinct respect for justice which may provide some insight into how he may lead the Labor Department.

Currently, Acosta is the Chairman of U.S. Century Bank and dean of the Florida International University College of Law. But perhaps influencing his character and career direction most may have been his first job after graduating Harvard law school, where Acosta clerked for Supreme Court Justice Samuel Alito when he was a judge on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 3rd Circuit. Justice Alito has been described as a conservative jurist with a libertarian streak; words also used at times to describe Acosta.

Later Acosta was appointed by President George W. Bush to the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) and then served as Assistant Attorney General for Civil Rights.

While at the NLRB it was reported that Acosta usually demonstrated an independent and nonpartisan approach when evaluating cases, often voting alongside fellow Republicans in favor of employers in the major cases while also not shying from occasionally siding with unions. However, during his time in the CRD, Acosta and those working under him were deemed as having a tendency to hire more like-minded conservatives.

Looking at Acosta’s previous work experiences may suggest that he is someone who could competently execute and reinforce the broader theme of Trump’s conservative agenda. At this time, Acosta has had several major unions endorse him, and surprisingly this has not discouraged his support within the business community. As it stands now, Republicans are looking to move him through the confirmation process as swiftly as possible.

Overtime Department of Labor Rule Blocked, Challenge Pending.

November 23, 2016


A new rule from the Department of Labor, which would have made millions of Americans eligible for overtime pay, was blocked by a federal judge yesterday. The decision indefinitely pushes back the December 1 effective date while the judge weighs a challenge to the requirement. An estimated 4.2 million workers were to be newly eligible for time-and-a-half wages for each hour they put in beyond 40 a week under the new rule.

What does it mean for you?

This is a nationwide preliminary injunction which means no one needs to immediately comply with the changes. The Court believes rule challengers are likely to prevail on merits. The challenge will also give the new Trump administration an easy path to withdraw new rules if it wants to.

Deadlines Extended for Furnishing Forms 1095-B and 1095-C in Early 2017

November 21, 2016


The IRS has extended the due dates for furnishing 2016 Forms 1095-B and 1095-C to covered individuals and full-time employees, respectively, from January 31, 2017, to March 2, 2017.

In addition, the IRS is also extending good faith penalty relief to reporting entities who can show they made good faith efforts to comply with the calendar year 2016 information reporting requirements.

To read the entire IRS release, Click Here.

DOL Issues Paid Sick Leave Final Rule

November 3, 2016


The U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) issued its final rule that requires federal contractors to provide paid sick leave. The sick leave final rule implements Executive Order 13706, signed by President Obama back in Sept. 2015, to require contractors to provide up to 56 hours of paid sick leave annually to their employees beginning in 2017. A covered employee can earn one hour of paid sick leave for every 30 hours worked.

The final rule allows employees to use paid leave in cases of illness or injury of the employee or a family member; the need to obtain a diagnosis or receive medical care; or the need for leave results from domestic violence, sexual assault, or stalking.

The final rule will apply to all covered contracts solicited and awarded on or after Jan. 1, 2017. Federal contracts covered by final rule include:

  • Contracts for construction covered by the Davis-Bacon Act.
  • Service contracts covered by the Service Contract Act (SCA).
  • Concessions contracts even those exempt from the SCA.
  • Contracts involving federal property or lands in which services are provided to federal employees, their dependents, or the general public.

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U.S. Department of Labor Announces No Change to SCA Fringe Rate

August 1, 2016


The prevailing health & welfare fringe benefits issued under the McNamara-O’Hara Service Contract Act (SCA) will remain $4.27.

Additional SCA Health & Welfare Benefit Rate Information

As mentioned above, all service contracts awarded on or after July 29th, 2016, will continue using the $4.27 SCA health & welfare benefit rate. However, Hawaii employers who provide health insurance under Hawaii law should use $1.78 per hour. The DOL memorandum is posted on the Wage and Hour Division (WHD) website.

For more information: Click Here to Read the Entire Memo

Fringe Benefit Group Selects Pentegra Trust Company as Trustee

August 1, 2016


Fringe Benefit Group, Inc., an industry leader in the design, implementation and administration of benefit plans for hourly workers, today announced that it has selected Pentegra Trust Company (“Pentegra Trust”) as the trustee for The Contractors Plan Master Trusts. As the discretionary trustee for The Contractors Plans, Pentegra Trust provides investment management services for the multiple employer trusts, including selection and monitoring of the investment funds made available to The Contractors Plan retirement plan participants.

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SBA Publishes Final Rule That Affects Construction Contracting

June 29, 2016


On May 31, 2016, the US Small Business Administration (SBA) published a final rule amending its regulations to make them easier to understand and use, as well as to increase the chances for small business prime contractors to partner with other businesses while maintaining their standing as an eligible small business. Since the federal government relies heavily on small businesses for construction, these changes should significantly impact construction contracting.

Prior to the final rule, the regulations were regarded as ambiguous or having numerous issues concerning application.  The SBA believes that the final rule provides clarity which should lead to more potential work for small businesses while not imposing any new costs.

 Some of the key areas addressed in the final rule include:

  • Changing the performance requirements applicable to small business and socioeconomic program set-aside contracts and small business subcontracting, and authorizing similarly situated subcontractors to count toward the performance requirements.
  • Allowing a joint venture to qualify as small for any government procurement as long as each partner to the joint venture qualifies individually as small under the size standard corresponding to the NAICS code assigned in the solicitation.
  • Amends SBA’s regulations pertaining to the nonmanufacturer rule and affiliation rules including the treatment of software as a commodity and the elimination of waiver requests for procurements within the Simplified Acquisition Threshold (SAT).

 SBA’s intent with the final rule was to benefit small business concerns by allowing them to use similarly situated subcontractors in the performance of a set-aside contract, thereby expanding the capacity of the small business prime contractor and potentially enabling the firm to compete for and obtain larger contracts. It also strengthens the small business subcontracting provisions, which may result in more subcontract awards to small business concerns.

 The federal government relies on small business for construction to a much greater extent on a percentage basis than it does across all federal procurement. Overall, the federal government spent $437 billion on goods and services in FY15. Of this amount just 22% was performed by small business.  During the same period the federal government spent $31 billion on construction, maintenance of facilities, and materials, 45% of the total was performed by small business.

 The SBA’s rule takes effect June 30, 2016.

Fringe Benefit Group Consolidates Entities

June 1, 2016


Fringe Benefit Group, Inc. an industry leader in the design, implementation and administration of benefit plans for hourly workers, today announced that it has consolidated several of its related companies into the Fringe Benefit Group, Inc. organization. Plan Benefit Services, Inc. and Employer Plan Services, Inc. (EPSI) have changed their legal names to Fringe Benefit Group, Inc.

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