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Sue Swanson

(720) 858-6288


Mike Edwards

 Dir. of Financial Services (720) 858-6289


Andrea Levine

 Senior Account Executive

(720) 858-6287


Mitch Laycock

 Account Executive

(720) 858-6297 

Everyone wants financial independence backed by stability and security, and FSG's Financial Planning Team can help you achieve this. Whether it's investment/retirement planning, estate planning, or disability/life insurance, our team provides trusted advice with the goal of protecting and growing your assets. Contact Mike Edwards at (720) 858-6289 to learn how we can help.
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Did you miss a previous edition of the Financial Focus? Fear not! Our website includes  a full archive of past newsletters. Articles include helpful information about topics such as social security retirement regulations and information about employer sponsored health plans. Get caught-up today!

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In This Issue - February 2017
IRS Extends Due Dates for ACA Information Reporting
401(k) Fiduciary Liability
Employment Practices Liability Insurance
Active Portfolio Management
IRS Extends Due Dates for ACA Information Reporting
Similar to last year, the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) has issued notice giving employers an additional 30 days to deliver employee notification, and providing IRS filing deadlines for Affordable Care Act (ACA) information in 2017. The deadline to distribute these forms to employees has been extended from January 31 to March 2, 2017. The deadlines for filing forms 1094 and 1095 with the IRS are listed below.

ACA Information Reporting Form
2016 Tax Year Deadlines
(forms filed in 2017)
Forms 1095-B and 1095-C due to employees (to be postmarked if mailed, or sent by e-mail if applicable conditions met).
March 2, 2017
Forms 1094-B, 1095-B, 1094-C and 1095-C due to IRS if filing on paper.
February 28, 2017
Forms 1094-B, 1095-B, 1094-C and 1095-C due to IRS if filing electronically.*
March 31, 2017
  • Employers of any size that sponsored a self-insured health plan providing minimum essential coverage must distribute to enrolled employees and file with the IRS Form 1095-B, showing health plan enrollment. 
  • Applicable large employers with 50 or more full-time employees or equivalents (when combining part-time hours) must distribute to enrolled employees and file with the IRS Form 1095-C, showing compliance with employer shared responsibility/minimum essential coverage requirements. If these employers self-insured their health plans, they may use Form 1095-C in lieu of Form 1095-B. 
  • For IRS filings, Forms 1095-B and 1095-C are accompanied by transmittal forms 1094-B and 1094-C
  • Starting in 2016, all organizations with 50 or more full-time employees or equivalents must insure 95% of their full-time employees to avoid liability under the ACA's shared responsibility provisions, and the resulting penalties. It is 95% for each month, not 95% for the year. If you had a month below 95%, you're exposed and potentially face penalties for the months below the threshold. Penalties can be triggered if any full-time employees sought subsidized coverage through the ACA's health insurance marketplace, also known as the public exchanges. 

The magnitude of completing ACA reporting can be great, and if this is your first year completing this task, you may find your payroll or third party vendor can be a tremendous help in this reporting process. There are free resources available as well, such as online instructions for employers to complete the necessary forms. In addition, the IRS ACA website has helpful frequently asked questions. 

COPIC Financial Service Group is a great resource in helping you navigate these regulations. Please contact us with your questions, as we are always happy to help! Andrea Levine can be reached at (720) 858-6287.

401(k) Fiduciary Liability: A Confusing Minefield for Employers
Employers are keenly aware of the regulatory and market shifts occurring as the result of the Affordable Care Act. But are you aware of the regulatory changes occurring to 401(k) and other retirement plans? There have been legislative and regulatory adjustments to what constitutes "fiduciary responsibility," as well as litigation that redefines the term in common law.

Altogether, retirement plans are undergoing an extreme amount of change at the same time as the organizations themselves are being forced to adapt. This gives senior executives (who often serve on fiduciary committees) a nearly impossible task: execute for the organization and execute fiduciary duties almost perfectly.

However, under the law, fiduciaries are provided some relief if they choose a qualified third party to assist in their fiduciary duties.

The area of fiduciary liability (also known as 3(16) services) is misunderstood, oversold by providers, and potentially detrimental for members who don't understand the issues surrounding fiduciary liability. One of the solutions to many of the issues surrounding this liability is to shift as much of it as possible to a third party.

COPIC Financial Services Group has joined forces with TAG Resources to provide fiduciary liability coverage. TAG Resources can accept fiduciary liability on behalf of an employer and becomes a named fiduciary. Employers who have not delegated the named fiduciary role to an outside expert remain named and carry the liability for accuracy and compliance of their 401(k). Here are some key questions you should ask your 401(k) provider regarding their fiduciary role:

  • Are you serving as a fiduciary? 
  • If yes, will you accept fiduciary status in writing and give an unambiguous written description of the covered services and fees? 
  • What is your experience in these matters, and what is your financial ability to make the plan whole in the face of your fiduciary breach? 
  • What fiduciary duties do I retain? 

If you have questions or would like more information, please contact Mike Edwards at (720) 858-6289.

Securities and Investment Advisory Services offered through Woodbury Financial Services, Inc., Member FINRA, SIPC and Registered Investment Adviser. COPIC Financial Service Group and Woodbury Financial Services, Inc. are not affiliated entities.
Employment Practices Liability Insurance 
From the moment you start the pre-hiring process through an exit interview, your business is vulnerable for an employment practices claim. An insurance solution called Employment Practices Liability Insurance (EPLI) offers coverage associated with employment-related accusations. This coverage applies to your owners, directors, officers and employees, and can sometimes extend to third party liabilities.

Why Choose EPLI?
According to a recent study, more than half of all employment-related liability claims are filed against employers with fewer than 50 employees. The study also reveals that less than 2% of small businesses have EPLI coverage, and three out of five employers will be sued by a prospective, current, or former employee. 

Claims Come With High Price Tags
Employment-related claims can be extremely costly, especially in cases that drag on for years. There were 89,385 discrimination claims filed in 2015. Of these claims, 35% were based on racial discrimination, 30% on disabilities, 30% on gender, and 23% on age. Most claims had multiple allegations. One carrier reported the average duration of a claim was 275 days. The average cost to defend a claim for that carrier was $150,000 and the average settlement was $200,000.

EPLI provides coverage for the following alleged wrongful employment practices: 
  • Harassment 
  • Discrimination 
  • Actual or alleged wrongful dismissal, discharge, or termination 
  • Employment-related libel, slander, humiliation, defamation or invasion of privacy 
  • Wrongful failure to employ or promote, wrongful demotion or negligent evaluation 
  • Wrongful discipline 
  • Vicarious liability for intentional acts 
  • Punitive damages 
  • Coercion or humiliation in relation to race, marital status, gender, age, physical and/or mental impairments, pregnancy, sexual orientation and any other protected class established by federal, state and local statutes 
Many EPLI policies offer the following inclusions and add-ons: 
  • Free consultation, human resources assistance and other risk management consultative services 
  • Coverage for defense costs outside the policy limits (for qualifying risks) 
  • Coverage for claims brought by third parties 
  • Volunteer workers can be added as additional insureds 
  • Extended reporting periods may be added 
The need for a solution has become so important to the success of small companies that insurers are offering EPLI policies with comprehensive coverage and affordable prices, and plans that are specifically tailored for smaller businesses. COPIC Financial Service Group can provide an immediate indication on EPLI coverage by simply providing us with your number of owners and full and part-time employees. For more information, contact Mitch Laycock at (720) 858-6297.
Active Portfolio Management: How to Screen Funds
When taking an active role in investment portfolio management, it's important to screen for funds using certain criteria. While there are many factors to consider, two specific traits can be important to examine----expense ratio and management ownership.

  1. Funds with lower expense ratios tend to outpace indexes more frequently than their active peers.
  2. Investment firms whose managers invest more of their own money in their funds have tended to outpace their active peers more frequently as well. 
  3. Funds that share these two traits have, on average, added more value with improved success rates versus a benchmark index, and were associated with greater average risk-adjusted returns.
Read the article from American Funds Capital Group for more details about the research behind this, and learn how a third trait----low downside capture----can help create more resilience in your retirement and investment planning.

For more information on these portfolio management suggestions and other investment strategies, contact Mike Edwards at (720) 858-6289.
Even if you are not currently in the market for insurance
products, we are always available to help make sure you are
getting the best coverages at the best prices. Call us at
(720) 858-6280!


Sue Swanson
President, COPIC Financial Service Group

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Copyright 2016 by the COPIC Trust. All rights reserved. No part of this publication can be produced or transmitted in any form or by any means without written permission from the publisher.

  COPIC Financial Service Group, Ltd. is an insurance brokerage firm representing a variety of insurance carriers. Products offered by COPIC Financial are not issued by COPIC Insurance Company.