Innovative Benefit Planning Blog

June is Men’s Health Month

Posted On: June 18, 2019 | Categorized as: Workplace Wellness

Men’s Health Month is celebrated across the country during the month of June with screenings, health fairs, media appearances, and other health education and outreach activities. The purpose of Men’s Health Month is to heighten the awareness of preventable health problems and encourage early detection and treatment of disease among men and boys. This month gives health care providers, public policy makers, the media, and individuals an opportunity to encourage men and boys to seek regular medical advice and early treatment for disease and injury. Getting recommended check-ups and screenings can keep disease away or detect problems early. View the chart below to review the preventative health by age.   Innovative’s Workplace Wellness Innovative’s Workplace Wellness assists employers in creating a culture of health. Our skilled wellness team works hand-in-hand with organizations to design and implement customized wellness programs that improve your population health and ultimately lower claims costs. Workplace…


EEOC Pay Data Collection

Posted On: June 18, 2019 | Categorized as: Employee Benefits

The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (“EEOC”) announced that it will collect information from applicable employers on employee pay and hours-worked—known as Component 2 data—for 2017 and 2018 as part of the annual EEO-1 report and the data is due by September 30, 2019. The Department of Justice filed a Notice of Appeal to challenge the collection of this data.  However, as of now, the appeal does not put the filing deadline on hold. The EEOC’s notice advises employers to begin preparations for submitting Component 2 data.  Link to Notice: https://www.eeoc.gov/employers/eeo1survey/index.cfm In previous years, employers just had to submit Component 1 data—race/ethnicity, gender, and job category information. But the Obama administration added the new Component 2 requirement on hours worked and total pay for employers with at least 100 employees to help the EEOC and the Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs identify pay disparities across industries and occupations. The purpose…


HR Person of the Year Awards Dinner

Posted On: June 18, 2019 | Categorized as: Company News, HR Consulting

Last week, Innovative attended the 19th Annual Delaware Valley HR Person of the Year Awards Dinner as a proud Silver Sponsor. Our very own Ryan Kastner was nominated as HR Consultant of the Year! A lovely time was had by all. It was truly a successful event, raising $9,290 to benefit Liberty USO. A big congratulations to all of the 2019 winners, especially our friend and client, Sue Learn! 2019 HR Junior Rising Star of the Year Bobby Lundquist - Guru Technologies   2019 HR Senior Rising Star of the Year Jillian R. Rosenthal, SHRM-CP - EwingCole 2019 HR Consultant of the Year - Small Company Betty Jean (BJ) Anderson, SHRM-SCP - Humareso LLC 2019 HR Consultant of the Year - Large Company Julie Kinkopf, Esq. - Weber Gallagher Simpson Stapleton Fires Newby, LLP 2019 HR Person of the Year - Small Company Jamie Lynn Rivero, MSHRD, PHR, SHRM-CP - Fox Run Brands 2019 HR Person…


Andrew May Earns Accredited Investment Fiduciary Designation

Posted On: June 18, 2019 | Categorized as: Company News, Retirement Plans

Innovative is proud to announce that Andrew May has been awarded the Accredited Investment Fiduciary designation from the Center for Fiduciary Studies, the standards-setting body for fi360. Andrew is a Financial Services Associate working in the retirement services department. He is responsible for servicing the firm’s qualified plan clients in the areas of plan consulting, compliance, financial wellness, and participant education. The AIF designation signifies specialized knowledge of fiduciary responsibility and the ability to implement policies and procedures that meet a defined standard of care. The designation is the culmination of a rigorous training program, which includes a comprehensive, closed-book final examination under the supervision of a proctor, and agreement to abide by the Code of Ethics and Conduct Standards. On an ongoing basis, completion of continuing education and adherence to the Code of Ethics and Conduct Standards are required to maintain the AIF designation.   About Innovative Innovative Benefit…


Benefits to Offering a 401(k) plan

Posted On: June 18, 2019 | Categorized as: Retirement Plans

According to the recent Jobvite’s Recruiter Nation Survey, after Healthcare, 401(k)s are considered the most valuable benefit to recruit and retain employees. Providing retirement benefits to your employees, such as 401(k) plans, is an important step in recruiting, retaining and promoting employee wellness.   Recruitment and retention: Recent trends demonstrate that recruiting for new employees is becoming more competitive. According to the 2018 Recruiter Nation Survey, 74% of recruiters believe hiring will become more competitive over the next year1. As employee recruitment becomes more competitive, it is up to the hiring organizations to set themselves apart from the pack to attract the best talent. Offering a 401(k) plan demonstrates that an organization is invested in the long-term outlook of its employees and of the organization.   Morale Boost: Providing a 401(k) to employees improves employee morale by reducing financial stress. A Study Conducted by the Social Market Foundation revealed that…


Self-Care for Caregivers

Posted On: June 18, 2019 | Categorized as: Workplace Wellness

National Women's Health Week was May 12-18 this year. Earlier this month, we focused on preventative health, by age, for women. But a large percentage of women fall into a different type of health risk category--being a caregiver for a friend or family member. Besides physical health, caregivers also need to focus on their mental and emotional health as well.   Women’s Health—Self-Care for Caregivers Upwards of 75% of all caregivers are female. There is increased awareness to a new population at risk - caregivers. As the world’s aging population grows at an unprecedented rate, so do the number of caregivers. According to the Family Caregiver Alliance, one-third of caregivers provide intensive care to their loved ones while suffering from ill health themselves. Emotional, physical and mental wear can cause a caregiver to develop a chronic condition. Many caregivers report poor eating habits, sleep deprivation, failure to exercise and postponement…


Innovative Myth Series #5: Plans With No Financial Consultant Receive The Best Fees And Fiduciary Protection From Their Qualified Plan Provider

Posted On: June 18, 2019 | Categorized as: Retirement Plans

See how Innovative's experience with reviewing "Retirement Plan Relationships" helped one client in negotiating lower administrative fees, increased services for the plan sponsor and streamlined administrative functions. Download full case study here. Let Innovative perform a complimentary review of your plan, contact our retirement planning team here.


April 2019 Compliance Recap

Posted On: June 18, 2019 | Categorized as: Employee Benefits

April was a busy month in the employee benefits world. The Centers for Medicare & Medicare Services (CMS) issued its parameters for the defined standard Medicare Part D prescription drug benefit for 2020. In the court case challenging the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act's constitutionality, the court will hear oral arguments during the week of July 8, 2019. CMS released its 2020 Benefit Payment and Parameters final rule and fact sheet. The Department of Labor (DOL) started its appeal of the court case that invalidated portions of the DOL's association health plans final rule. The DOL also released a statement regarding its enforcement of the final rule. The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) issued a notice that all Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 (HIPAA) enforcement actions will be governed by lower interim civil monetary penalty amounts as a matter of HHS' enforcement discretion, pending…


Are Target Date Funds Right for Your Participants?

Posted On: June 18, 2019 | Categorized as: Retirement Plans

In recent years, plan sponsors have increased the inclusion of Target Date Retirement funds in their investment fund lineup. In fact, J.P. Morgan estimates that 88% of new retirement plan contributions are expected to flow into Target Date Funds by end of this year1.  Here are some of the reasons these types of investments have become so popular: Many investors are unsure about where to start investing when it comes to selecting their allocation. They are faced with questions like “What mix of stocks and bonds should I be invested in?” Target Date funds help participants reduce the stress of having to make choices when creating this mix within their retirement plan lineup. Of course, even one’s decision to use Target Date funds should be re-evaluated regularly to ensure the investment accommodates an individual’s changing needs. The answer is not always simple as to whether you should invest your contributions…


National Women’s Health Week

Posted On: June 18, 2019 | Categorized as: Workplace Wellness

The 20th annual National Women's Health Week kicked off this past Sunday on Mother's Day, May 12, and is celebrated through May 18. Each year, this week serves as a reminder for women to make their health a priority and build positive health habits for life. What steps can you take for better health? To improve your physical and mental health, you can: Visit a health care provider for a well-woman visit (checkup), preventive screenings, and vaccines. Get active. Eat healthy. Pay attention to mental health, including getting enough sleep and managing stress. Practice safe behaviors, such as quitting smoking, not texting while driving, and taking steps to protect yourself from sexually transmitted infections. It's not always easy to take steps for better health but a great start is to reflect on your health goals, what motivates you, and what's holding you back from being your healthiest you.  In addition, getting recommended screenings and preventive care…


Colette Crosby Joins as Account Manager

Posted On: June 18, 2019 | Categorized as: Company News

As Innovative continues to grow, we are excited to announce another new member to the Innovative team. Please join us in welcoming Colette Crosby as Account Manager. Colette will be reporting to the Account Executives Elizabeth Ferroni and Shemelia McClain. As Account Manager, Colette will be responsible for supporting the Sales Representatives during the sales phase of the business, accounting for both the technical maintenance and the promotion of a very positive experience between Innovative and our clients. One of the many roles this position holds will include preparing quotes for clients and suggest contribution strategies, coordinating client voluntary administration services, and delegating the preparation of the Sales Presentation. Prior to accepting this position, Colette worked for MetLife Worldwide Benefits as the Underwriter consultant. During this time, she managed underwriting department activities, priced approvals for new business, and analyzed company financial conditions. Colette also has experience as a Financial Analyst…


Innovative Welcomes Eileen Green as Chief Operating Officer

Posted On: June 17, 2019 | Categorized as: Company News

Innovative is proud to announce that industry executive leader, Eileen Green, has joined Innovative as Chief Operating Officer. Reporting directly to our CEO, Terriann Procida, this key new position will be integral to ensuring that Innovative has the proper operational controls, administrative and reporting procedures to provide operational excellence across our company and for our clients. This role includes collaborating with the leadership team to develop and implement plans for the operational infrastructure of systems, processes and personnel designed to accommodate the rapid growth objective of our organization. Prior to accepting this position, Eileen spent over 22 years for a Philadelphia based employee benefits firm in various compliance and management roles, including 7 years as Executive Vice President and Director, Human Capital Division and 12 years as Chief Operating Officer and Chief Compliance Officer. During this time, she gained valuable experience participating in the implementation of strategic directives and skillfully…


New NJ Commuter Law

Posted On: June 17, 2019 | Categorized as: Compliance, Employee Benefits

Governor Murphy signed a new law on March 1, 2019, read here: Commuter Law, requiring certain employers to provide pre-tax commuter fringe benefits to employees.  New Jersey employers with at least 20 employees in the state will need to begin offering those employees pre-tax transportation fringe benefits covering commuter highway vehicle and mass transit costs. The program must be implemented by March 1, 2020, or the effective date of New Jersey Department of Labor and Workforce regulations, whichever occurs first. Covered Employers The benefit applies to employers and employees covered by New Jersey’s unemployment insurance law. Employers covered by a collective bargaining agreement (CBA) are exempt until any current CBA expires. The mandate doesn’t specify how soon after hire employers must be offered these benefits or impose any notice or posting requirements, but these issues may be addressed in the impending regulations. Mandated Benefit The pre-tax commuter benefit must comply with…


Innovative is Awarded the “Community Impact Award”

Posted On: June 17, 2019 | Categorized as: Company News

Innovative Benefit Planning is honored to announce we are the recipient of the “Community Impact Award”. Issued by the South Jersey Biz, Innovative is featured as one of the inaugural winners in their April 2019 publication. The award honors successful companies in South Jersey that, in addition to their business accomplishments, pledge to give back to the community around them in other ways. The South Jersey Biz article states, “There are many successful companies in South Jersey, but not all of their accomplishments have come from the inside of their workspace. Several have made it their mission to give back to the communities they serve, which is one of the keys to their success.” Innovative’s core value is to put people first, and we are dedicated to making the community a key part of our business by donating time, money and resources. As we celebrate our 30-year anniversary, to honor…


Allergy Friendly Recipe – Gluten Free and Vegan Thin Mint Cookies

Posted On: June 17, 2019 | Categorized as: Workplace Wellness

Allergy Recipe

Ingredients: For the cookies: 1 cup vegan buttery spread softened 1 1/8 cup organic cane sugar ¼ cup unsweetened applesauce 2 cups gluten free flour 1 cup unsweetened cocoa powder ¼ teaspoon salt 3/4 teaspoon pure vanilla extract 1/4 teaspoon peppermint extract For the coating: 3 cups dairy free chocolate chips 3/8 teaspoon peppermint extract Instructions: 1. Place the vegan buttery spread and the sugar in a mixing bowl and beat on medium speed until fluffy.  Add the applesauce and extracts and mix until combined. 2. Add the gluten free flour, salt, and unsweetened cocoa powder and mix on low speed until combined. 3. Divide the cookie dough into two parts and flatten into discs. Wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least an hour. 4. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper. Coat a rolling surface and the rolling pin with cocoa powder. Place one disc of the…



Innovative Celebrates National Pet Day at Burlington County Animal Shelter

Posted On: June 17, 2019 | Categorized as: Company News

National Pet day

To celebrate our 30-year anniversary and pay thanks to our amazing community and countless partners, Innovative has pledged to give back in 30 ways this year. We are dedicated to making our community a key part of our business in 2019. From local charities and non-profits to those in need and community service hours, our goal is to donate our time, money and resources in 30 ways by the end of the year. Countdown #24 was celebrating National Pet Day (April 11) at the Burlington County Animal Shelter. For 10 days, Innovative employees gathered a collection of pet items in the office based on things the shelter needed. On April 11th, six employees, Victoria Samadi, Andrew May, Kimberly Fisher, Rbhya Pal, Elizabeth Ferroni and Brooke Haramija brought the donations to the shelter, and then stayed for a two hour volunteer shift. They worked in pairs behind the scenes doing various…


March 2019 Compliance Recap

Posted On: June 17, 2019 | Categorized as: Compliance, Employee Benefits

March 2019 Compliance Recap

March was a busy month in the employee benefits world. The Department of Justice (DOJ) announced that it will not defend the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA) in the court case challenging the ACA's constitutionality. The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) updated two Q&As regarding ACA reporting for 2018. The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) published its 2020 Actuarial Value Methodology and 2020 AV Calculator. HHS also released a bulletin that allows grandmothered plans to be extended through 2020. A U.S. District Court vacated the bona fide associations and working owner provisions contained in the Department of Labor's association health plans final rule. The Department of Labor (DOL) released two information letters. One information letter clarifies when an authorized representative may receive claim-related notices on behalf of an ERISA plan participant. The other information letter addresses whether employees may delay taking FMLA leave and whether the statutory…


Allergy Prevention Tips

Posted On: April 5, 2019 | Categorized as: Workplace Wellness

Did you know that you can sign up for allergy alerts? You will get email notifications of allergy counts in your area. On days that the pollen count is high, avoid leaving windows to your home and car open. Pollen counts are the highest between the hours of 5am-10am. If possible, avoid outside exposure during this time. The best time for outside activity is immediately after a heavy rainfall. Avoid dry and windy days! Always wash your face and hands when returning inside to avoid lingering pollen. Remember your sunglasses. Sunglasses will protect your eyes from floating pollen. Saline sinus rinse as well as saline eye drops are great to keep on hand to remove pollen and quell allergy symptoms. When taking allergy medicine, remember to take it consistently! Allergy medicine works best taken on a daily basis. Wash bedding weekly in hot water as well as shower daily before…


Spring Has Sprung! But So Has Allergy Season

Posted On: April 2, 2019 | Categorized as: Workplace Wellness

Spring has sprung! But so has allergy season According to the Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America, allergies are classified as a chronic disease. So, what are allergies? An allergic reaction occurs when the body’s immune system treats an allergen such as pollen, as a harmful substance. The immune system overreacts and forms an antibody known as immunoglobulin E. When this antibody responds to allergens, you experience what is known as an allergic reaction. Allergy Symptoms Symptoms vary depending on type of allergy. Common allergy symptoms include itchy and watery eyes, sneezing, runny nose, hives and bloating. Additional symptoms that can be more serious reactions include swelling, redness, rashes, pain, tongue swelling, difficulty breathing, feeling faint, chest tightness, vomiting and diarrhea. A severe allergic reaction known as anaphylaxis can be life-threatening and requires immediate medical attention. If you have a severe allergy, it is crucial to keep self-injectable epinephrine on…


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