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Year-End Checklist for Government Contractors

December 6, 2013 Written by: Written by Mike Rogers, Chief Compliance Officer

As 2013 draws to a close, it’s a good time for government contractors to review their prevailing wage benefits plans and make adjustments for the year ahead.

While this isn’t a comprehensive list, it gives you a starting point to work from and will put you in front of any changes you need to make to maximize your plan’s benefits for your company and your employees.

  1. If needed, make plan amendments to allow for profit-sharing contributions for 2013.  If you think you’d like to make profit-sharing contributions to your employees’ 401(k) plans for 2013, and your current plan document does not allow them, the amendment must be made by year-end.
  2.  Contact a retirement plan provider that specializes in prevailing wage plans for a fiduciary liability review.  If you are a company owner or officer, and your company offers a retirement plan for its workers, more than likely you are a fiduciary for the plan. Surprised? Most business owners are. A benefits provider that specializes in prevailing wage retirement plans can structure the plan to reduce your fiduciary liability and protect your personal and company assets.
  3. Do a plan review. The only constant is change. Is your plan document consistent with how your plan operates? Benefits providers that specialize in prevailing wage plan design can review your plan document and suggest changes that may improve it. Prevailing wage experts will also be able to tell you whether your plan document language is compliant with federal regulations. A traditional benefits provider is likely to be unfamiliar with the special provisions that apply to prevailing wage plans.
  4. Create an Affordable Care Act Strategy. Does it seem like 2013 went by at warp speed? Then 2014 won’t be any different. If your company will be subject to the provisions of the Affordable Care Act January 1, 2015, this is the time to develop your compliance strategy.
  5. Review Changes Which Affect Health Insurance Plan Design.  Full implementation of the Affordable Care Act has significant impact on plan design beginning January 1st.
    • Pre-existing condition exclusions are no longer permitted.
    • Grandfathered plans will no longer be permitted to exclude adult children who have health care coverage under the child’s employer’s plan.
    • Waiting periods greater than 90 days will no longer be permitted.
    • Annual limits on the dollar amount of “essential health benefits” for any individual are prohibited.
    • “Limited benefit” or “mini-med” plans and stand-alone health reimbursement accounts (HRAs) cannot be maintained after the 2013 plan year.
    • Non-grandfathered plans must provide coverage for certain clinical trials and cannot deny or limit coverage of routine patient costs for items and services furnished in connection with the trial, or discriminate against an individual based on participation in the trial.
    • Non-grandfathered, fully-insured plans offering coverage in the individual or small group market must provide “essential health benefits.”
    •  Maximum out-of-pocket limits (for 2014 these maximums are $6,350 for self-only coverage and $12,700 for family coverage).
    • Annual deductible may not exceed $2,000/$4,000 (as adjusted).
    • Transitional reinsurance fees will be imposed.
    • Employers may choose to allow Health FSA participants to carry over up to $500 of any unused balance at the end of a plan year to the immediately following plan year. This is only allowed if the Plan does not offer a “grace period”.

Interested in a review of your fiduciary liability and/or plan design? Contact us. We’ve specialized in benefits plans for government contractors for 30 years, and we have the expertise to ensure that your benefits plan both complies with applicable laws and works to the best advantage for your company and your prevailing wage employees.