Employee benefits planning takes place at multiple points in the work environment. Freedom Benefits can offer assistance at every stage to ensure the most efficient and successful experiences.
Recognize the Demand – Employee benefit planning often starts with recognition that employees request certain programs that they do not think they can easily accomplish without employer involvement. Health coverage, dental coverage and 401(k) plans are among the most requested benefits.
Financing Strategy– The second step is deciding what budget the employer chooses to devote to this. This is always under the control of the small business employer. Some benefits are paid entirely by the employer, others are paid entirely by the employee. Most employee benefits are paid through a combination of employer and employee contributions.
Tax Planning – Most employee benefit plans are deigned to minimize taxes. Tax treatment is primarily determined by the design and documentation of the benefit plan.
Coverage Details and Documentation – The employer finalizes details about eligibility and how the benefits will be run on a day-to-day basis. This is key to efficiency and employee satisfaction.
Employee communication and enrollment – Employees, along with their spouses, must understand the benefits prior to enrollment. Feedback from employees is important in benefit plan design and periodic adjustments. Larger employers periodically outsource this function but in small businesses we think that it makes sense to give employees ongoing real-time access to a benefits adviser.
Plan Administration – Employee benefit plans coordinate with payroll processor and the business accounting system. Changes in one system usually trigger affect changes in the other. It often makes sense for small businesses to have one person responsible for coordination of all of these crucial financial management tasks.
Annual Reporting and Adjustment– Some employe benefits have required reporting requirements that are normally completed with annual tax reporting. This is the ideal time to make any adjustments that will improve the operation of the benefit plan.