April 2018
Stay Current Newsletter
art1Student Loan Repayments -Now Part of Your Company Benefit Package?

According to the Fed , the average student loan debt for the Class of 2016 graduates was $37,172, up 6% from the previous year. There are 44.2 million Americans that contribute to the $1.48 trillion-dollar student loan debt total. According to an article on Student Loan Hero, the average monthly student loan payment is around $351.

Missed our blog? Read it here.

art2 New Form W-4 and Online Withholding Calculator Released

The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) has released new versions of Form W-4 and its online withholding calculator to help taxpayers check their 2018 tax withholding following passage of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act in December 2017. The IRS urges taxpayers to use these tools to make sure they have the right amount of tax taken out of their paychecks.

Among other things, the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act increased the standard deduction, removed personal exemptions, increased the child tax credit, limited or discontinued certain deductions, and changed the tax rates and brackets. If changes to withholding should be made as a result of these changes, the IRS withholding calculator gives employees the information they need to fill out a new Form W-4. Employees must submit the completed W-4 to their employers.

Article reprinted with permission from HR360.com

art3HR Done Right Blog: Recruiting Strategies During Low Unemployment

Many employers are struggling to find the talent they need in today's job market. The Employment Development Department (EDD) reported a 4.5% unemployment rate in California, and some northern California counties have unemployment rates below 3%. Last month we discussed how increasing employee engagement can help to reduce turnover. A strong recruiting strategy is equally vital in your arsenal, therefore our topic of this month's post. 

Click here to read the HR Done Right blog.

art4Counting Employees Vital to ACA Compliance

Employers are reminded that it is important to know how many full-time employees they have in order to ensure compliance with the employer shared responsibility ("pay or play") provisions of the Affordable Care Act, which apply to applicable large employers (ALEs).

Determining ALE Status
Whether an employer is considered an ALE for a particular calendar year depends on the size of its workforce during the preceding calendar year. For example, employers will use information about the size of their workforce during 2017 to determine if their company is an ALE for 2018. Employers with an average of at least 50 full-time employees in the preceding calendar year-including full-time equivalent employees-are generally deemed ALEs for the current calendar year.

Identifying Full-Time Employees
In general, for purposes of pay or play:
  • A full-time employee is, for a calendar month, an employee who is employed on average at least 30 hours of service per week. However, 130 hours of service in a calendar month is treated as the monthly equivalent of at least 30 hours of service per week.
  • A full-time equivalent employee is a combination of employees, each of whom individually is not a full-time employee, but who, in combination, are equivalent to a full-time employee.
For additional rules on determining who is a full-time employee, including what counts as an hour of service, click here.

Article reprinted with permission from HR360.com

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