SHRM Supports Newly Introduced Tax-free Education Assistance Amid Pandemic

The Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM) is supporting newly introduced legislation that would temporarily increase the amount of tax-free education assistance that employees can receive from their employers, as businesses adjust to economic changes brought about by the COVID-19 pandemic. The legislation also would permanently modernize qualified education assistance to cover expenses for tools and technology required for educational programs. Section 127 of the Internal Revenue Code enables an employee to exclude from income up to $5,250 per year in employer-provided assistance for tuition, fees, books and certain supplies for course instruction or training that improves or develops the employee's capabilities. Employers are not required to provide assistance under Section 127. However, if an employer chooses to do so, the benefit must be offered to all employees on a nondiscriminatory basis that does not favor highly compensated employees.

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Are you worried about the unintended consequences of AI? ChatGPT and other generative AI software will forever change the landscape of work. How should your organization engage with GenAI to benefit the business while maintaining security and privacy? Exactly where AI will take us may be uncertain, but you can navigate it intell


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Payroll

When I Work Launches Payroll to Revolutionize Workforce Management for Small Businesses

When I Work | January 08, 2024

When I Work, a market leader in shift-based workforce management software used by more than 200,000 workplaces worldwide, is excited to announce its new product, When I Work Payroll. When I Work Payroll is designed to make it incredibly easy for small businesses to run payroll. Because the employee schedule and time tracking data are on the same platform with payroll, businesses can pay their hourly workers quickly, with a single click. There's no data entry or uploading timesheets, so there's less chance for errors, letting small business owners spend time on their customers, instead of being stuck in the back office. "It's been great to have all of our scheduling and payroll information in one place. We don't have to verify numbers in two places anymore—we're able to verify and run payroll in 10 minutes now," said Tim Hogg, owner of Tressia, a popular North Carolina restaurant. Payroll from When I Work is comprehensive. Your employees track their time by clocking in and out of the mobile app and our payroll software calculates all the data in real time, including hours, breaks, overtime, and paid time off. When I Work automates payments and tax filings to make everything transparent. Employees can update their own payroll forms and personal information through the app. The system automatically handles taxes and sends direct deposits. When I Work also files your payroll taxes with the IRS. "We consistently hear stories from small business owners about the countless hours they spend manually syncing and reconciling errors between systems," said Kavitha Radhakrishnan, Chief Product Officer at When I Work. "Our customers want an easier alternative to legacy payroll software, and they have a long history of trust with us, so we created Payroll for them. Now our small business customers can focus their valuable time on what they do best—building their teams and running their business." About When I Work When I Work is a market leader in shift-based workforce management software and delivers a powerful, employee-first experience that creates happier and more productive teams. Trusted by more than 200,000 workplaces worldwide, When I Work puts scheduling and collaboration at the center of workplace operations and brings empathy, agility, and consumer simplicity to the small business workplace.

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HR Practice

Modern HR Software Solutions Introduce New Features to Enhance Workplace Efficiency in 2024

Factorial | February 05, 2024

With the New Year underway, many businesses are reevaluating their HR software solutions to increase efficiency and effectiveness in the evolving HR management landscape. Gartner data highlights that businesses frequently replace HR software due to system inefficiencies, missing features, and reliability concerns. Key reasons for dissatisfaction include inefficiency (34%), insufficient functionality (29%), and unreliability (13%). In response to these challenges, modern HR software solutions are offering five new features designed to enhance efficiency within its software AI-powered Applicant Tracking System : New AI-powered Applicant Tracking System (ATS) to streamline the traditional CV screening process, a major bottleneck in recruitment. This innovative feature allows hiring managers to assess applications based on various criteria such as company values, job descriptions, CVs, offer letters, and custom questions. The result is a significant reduction in screening time, ensuring a comprehensive evaluation process. Geofencing Precision: Geofencing Precision addresses challenges faced by organizations with multiple locations or flexible policies. By incorporating geofencing capabilities into its time-tracking features, HR software solutions help prevent unauthorized overtime, a key contributor to increased labor costs and decreased workforce productivity. This enhancement allows HR leaders to enforce accurate clock-ins at designated workplaces, thereby reducing labor costs and enhancing employee accountability. Insights V2 Data Analytics. Insights V2 provides organizations with comprehensive data for informed decision-making. Users can now filter company data using multiple parameters, simplifying the process of checking and exporting valuable metrics in real-time. This timely and accurate insight is crucial for strategic decision-making. Time-Saving Documentation: Time-Saving Documentation enables users to pre-fill forms with document templates and fillable PDFs. This streamlined process, combined with personalized data, enhances efficiency for employees verifying information, meeting the growing demand for tools that simplify administrative processes. Seamless Payroll Integration: HR software solutions are seamlessly integrating payroll and benefits administration with HR management processes. This aims to enhance organizational efficiency by reducing manual errors, improving accuracy, and fostering collaboration between HR and finance departments. Recognizing this, Factorial, a leading provider of HR software solutions, is introducing innovative features from AI-powered applicant tracking to payroll integration. Jordi Romero, Co-founder and CEO of Factorial, emphasizes, "These new features reflect our dedication to empowering HR teams globally. By harnessing the power of technology, we aim to transform the way organizations approach human resources, fostering efficiency, collaboration, and success." As businesses strive for greater efficiency and effectiveness in the new year, Factorial is committed to providing support and solutions. About Factorial Founded in 2016, Factorial offers people-centric solutions for HR teams, automating processes so they have more time to dedicate to the people within their organization. With over 75,000 users across 65+ countries, Factorial serves clients such as KFC, Booking.com, and Whisbi. Factorial became Europe's newest Unicorn in 2022 following a Series C investment round.

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Employee Benefits

Employee Navigator and MGIS Announce Partnership

Employee Navigator | January 10, 2024

Employee Navigator, one of the nation's leading benefits and HR solutions for brokers, and MGIS, a national insurance manager offering specialized insurance programs for doctors, have announced a new partnership to bring leading-edge HR and benefits technology integrations to doctor group practices. The new partnership builds on MGIS's relationship with Reliance Matrix, a leading benefits and absence provider, and its unique Employee Navigator integration. "We believe the partnership with Employee Navigator will transform the employer and employee benefits experience," said Jeff Brunken, President of MGIS. "Through our relationship with Employee Navigator, our mutual clients will benefit from the technology-enabled efficiencies and ease of business that are so important in today's insurance marketplace. These integrations will help to drive participant engagement and client retention for our benefit brokers." Through the Employee Navigator relationship, MGIS clients will benefit from a dedicated support team that will help brokers build out a full-service enrollment experience and provide additional case management support, at no additional cost. As always, MGIS account managers also provide white-glove, specialized account management and billing support, all critical features for brokers and administrators. "MGIS has a long history of offering the highest quality insurance program for doctors. We're confident that our customers will receive an enhanced benefits experience through MGIS and Employee Navigator," said George Reese, CEO of Employee Navigator. "This partnership provides seamless, integrated benefits administration and will lead to a positive enrollment experience for brokers, employers and participants." In 2023 MGIS announced its exclusive partnership with Reliance Matrix, a national leader in benefits solutions and absence management. Together, MGIS and Reliance Matrix serve doctors in all practice settings and medical specialties. An Employee Navigator carrier partner since 2022, Reliance Matrix more than doubled the number of benefit plans and employer clients enrolled and managed on the Employee Navigator platform in 2023, through more than 150 unique broker partners. "Employee Navigator has played a big part in our overall success in the small and midsize employer market, thanks in part to our unique streamlined billing solution available on the platform," said Paula Hanson, AVP Benefit Technology Solutions for Reliance Matrix. "Our proprietary process raised the bar on service and convenience and continues to win fans among brokers and clients." Marketed through independent brokers and agents, benefit solutions include Disability Guard for Doctors™, a unique long-term disability product blending the highly valued policy provisions of an individual product with the guaranteed issue and simplified administration of a group long-term disability plan, as well as short-term disability, group life and Accidental Death & Dismemberment plans. MGIS also supports a High Limits Disability Insurance program, offering an increased level of protection for high earners, providing more robust and holistic protection for doctors above and beyond any group long-term disability and individual disability coverage. For those groups offering the high limits program, this specialized product will also be available on Employee Navigator as part of an integrated, holistic enrollment experience. About MGIS MGIS is a leading national insurance program manager experienced in building and managing specialized insurance programs for doctors. MGIS partners with highly rated insurers and focuses on disability and life insurance for practices of all sizes, types, and medical specialties. Insurance policies managed by MGIS are backed by the underwriting companies of Reliance Matrix and Certain Underwriters at Lloyd's, and are marketed exclusively through select brokers and insurance advisers. MGIS services are provided by MGIS affiliated companies: The MGIS Companies, Inc., Medical Group Insurance Services, Inc., and MGIS Underwriting Managers, Inc. About Employee Navigator Employee Navigator is a rapidly growing benefits and HR software company integrated with over 400+ of the nation's leading insurance carriers, payroll companies, and TPA's. Its platform delivers brokers and employers a truly connected digital experience, streamlining the management of everything from online enrollment and onboarding to ACA reporting, time off tracking, and more. The company currently works with more than 5,000 brokers, providing benefits administration and HR products to over 175,000 companies and 14+ million employees and dependents.

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Recruitment & Retention

Retirement Expectations Evolve as Workforce Ages According to Principal® Survey

Principal Financial Group® | January 16, 2024

The picture of retirement is evolving with more Americans turning 65 in 2024 than any year1 before. According to new research from Principal Financial Group®, expectations around how and when to retire by generation vary greatly – placing increased focus on employee engagement and personalized investment strategies to help improve financial security and retirement readiness. Phased retirement appeals to younger workers who want to retire earlier According to the Principal Financial Well-Being IndexSM, among Americans in the workforce, gradually decreasing hours is the most desired way to retire (52%) and is most preferred by Generation X (67%) and millennials (56%). Baby boomers and Generation Z report similarities in how they want to retire, with nearly half preferring to move immediately from working full-time to not working at all. This echoes the most common approach taken by current retirees surveyed2, a group in which just over one quarter (28%) either transitioned careers or gradually phased down from their primary career. “Attitudes and expectations for retirement continue to evolve, and we expect the desire to approach retirement in phases will continue to grow with future generations,” said Chris Littlefield, president of Retirement and Income Solutions at Principal®. While there are some similarities in how generations want to retire, they have different expectations on timelines and the age at which they plan to retire. The youngest generation, Gen Z, expects to retire at 55 – approximately 10 years earlier than baby boomers (68) and Gen X (64), and four years sooner than millennials (59). Employees prioritize saving for retirement The survey revealed employees are focused on balancing basic needs with long-term savings outcomes against a backdrop of ongoing economic pressures that continue to top their list of concerns. Employees of all generations ranked saving for retirement as their top financial priority, followed by affording basic needs and paying off consumer debt3. "Saving for retirement is the No. 1 financial priority for employees surveyed, which validates that access to workplace benefits and financial wellness programs is helping Americans save for retirement and achieve better financial outcomes,” Littlefield said. “Going forward, increased personalization as well as tailored savings and investment strategies that take into account an individual’s financial goals, lifestyle, health care needs, dependent care obligations, retirement income expectations, and other unique factors will help achieve improved financial security in retirement.” Retention and recruitment of older employees critical for business success Employee interest in phased retirement has added value for employers. Most employers (77%) agree that the knowledge older employees have about their company is crucial to their business’s success. Employers concerned with “having valuable employees retire” are more likely to take actions to either retain them or hire employees who previously retired from other companies. Despite this, not all employers have experience with offering phased retirement. Only 11% of small and midsized businesses4 reported they offer phased retirement job opportunities on a regular basis compared to nearly one quarter of large businesses5. However, interest is there, as 61% of businesses that don’t offer a phased retirement still receive questions from employees about the options. See all results and insights from the latest Principal Financial Well-Being IndexSM (PDF). According to the Alliance for Lifetime Income This wave included a survey of 137 individuals between the ages of 50 and 75 who consider themselves retired or have previously fully retired and gone back to work. In order to be included in the survey sample, employees must work full-time, and their employer has to offer either health insurance or retirement as an employee benefit. Businesses with 2-499 employees Businesses with 500-10,000 employees About the Principal Financial Well-Being IndexSM The Principal Financial Well-Being IndexSM surveys business owners, decision makers and business leaders aged 21 and over who work at companies with 2-10,000 employees and offer either health insurance or retirement as an employee benefit. The nation-wide survey, commissioned since 2012, examines the financial well-being of American workers and business employers. In 2020, the Well-Being Index was transformed from an annual survey to a regular pulse, offering three waves, revisiting questions and measuring sentiment regarding timely issues in the small and midsized business marketplace. In the first pulse of the Well-Being Index in 2022, the employee audience was added to the survey to compare and contrast key sentiment from employers. The survey was commissioned by Principal® and conducted online by Dynata from November 6-13, 2023, with a total of 500 business owners, decision makers and business leader participants and a total of 200 employee participants. This wave included a survey of 127 individuals who consider themselves retired or have previously fully retired and gone back to work. The research report focuses on providing a holistic perspective on key trends and timely issues in the small and medium business market. About Principal Financial Group® Principal Financial Group® is a global financial company with 19,500 employees1 passionate about improving the wealth and well-being of people and businesses. In business for more than 140 years, we’re helping more than 61 million customers1 plan, protect, invest, and retire, while working to support the communities where we do business, and build a diverse, inclusive workforce. Principal® is proud to be recognized as one of the 2023 World’s Most Ethical Companies® by Ethisphere2, a member of the Bloomberg Gender Equality Index, and a “Best Places to Work in Money Management3.”

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Spotlight

Are you worried about the unintended consequences of AI? ChatGPT and other generative AI software will forever change the landscape of work. How should your organization engage with GenAI to benefit the business while maintaining security and privacy? Exactly where AI will take us may be uncertain, but you can navigate it intell

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