Thursday night (February 9th), Dominion will be releasing some additional enhancements to the Benefits Administration feature. These enhancements focus on the ability to add voluntary short and long-term disability plans to enrollments. A large part of this enhancement focuses on obtaining annual salary/wage information to use in the calculations for these plans as well as to use in voluntary life plan elections. Enhanced features are explained below.
Disability Plan Setup
The setup of disability plans will have new requirements to incorporate additional policy benefit election options and cost calculations.
- The company administrator will have the ability to set up plans in multiple methods based on the official Disability policy.
- Specific Percentage of Salary (e.g. 40%, 50%, 60%, etc.)
- Specific Benefit Amount(s) (e.g. $100, $200, $300, etc.)
- Based on each method the company administrator can set limits (minimum and maximum) to the benefit amounts that can be selected by the employee.
- The company administrator will have the ability to set the frequency of the payout to properly communicate the benefit amount that will be received by the employee.
- The software will allow for the cost to be ‘banded’ by age, tobacco use, and gender.
- The cost will be able to be defined by a rate per. ($10 or $100 is typical)
- Rounding rules will be able to be specified for cost, benefit and salary purposes to ensure benefit and cost amounts are in line with the disability policy guidelines.
Employee Salary Designation
With the enhancements developed for disability and life benefits comes a need to establish an employee’s annual salary to be used for the benefit and cost calculations for these plan types.
Enrollment setup will now include an additional step for designating annual salary information for employees if life or disability plans within the enrollment include a requirement for an annual salary to be used for calculations and limit validations. The list of employees on this new enrollment page will be limited to only those employees eligible for life and/or disability with salary required.
- The preferred ‘Employee Salary Determination Method’ can be assigned on the new Employee Salary Designation page of the enrollment process. It can also be populated on the Employee > Benefits Eligibility page under the Salary Determination Method field or mass updated through the Employee > Global Changes page. Please note, if the fields are not populated for the Employee > Benefits Eligibility page prior to saving the new page of the enrollment process, the enrollment will not use the employee salary benefit default method.
- Three methods will be given to the company administrator to assist with determining the annual salary.
- Hourly Employee - The annualized salary will be calculated by taking the ‘Average Hours’ * their ‘Default Rate’ and will then be annualized based on the employee's pay frequency. Average hours will be determined by the on-screen settings which include the ability to set the number of historical payrolls to find the average hours and for the user to specify which earnings should be used to determine the hours.
- Salary Employee - The annualized salary will be calculated by taking the current payroll salary and annualizing based on the employee’s pay frequency.
- Hourly/Salary Employee - This will look at the average pay from processed payrolls and will be annualized based on the employee’s pay frequency. Average pay will be determined by the on-screen settings which include the ability to set the number of historical payrolls to find the average pay and for the user to specify which earnings should be used to determine the pay.
- Hourly/Salary/’Special’ circumstances - The company administrator user can set the amount of their choice freely with no specific factors.
- A mass update functionality will be available on the new enrollment screen for the user to assign a Salary Determination Method in bulk to multiple employees. The company administrator user can use filters at the top of the screen when doing a mass update. Employees will need to be selected in order to use this tool by selecting the ‘checkbox’ next to the employee’s name. Once triggered the mass update will be applied to those selected employee(s).
- Data entry on this page provides an ‘auto-save’ mechanism for most input fields and displays a save message at the top of the screen as confirmation.
- On-screen elements reference ‘Outliers’ and a filter will be provided to show any ‘Outliers’. Outliers include the following situations:
- Employee has no ‘Method’ selected.
- Employee with computed salary values (Projected vs Average) exceeding a difference of 10%.
- Employees with an annual salary set to $0.00.
- An on-screen ‘status’ tool notifies the user how many employees are incomplete. This is based on how many employees are eligible and how many of these eligible employees do not have an amount assigned greater than $0.00.
Deduction Integration functionality is now available for Life Event Enrollments.
In addition, a setting has been added which will give company administrators the ability to specify whether the employee benefit costs should integrate to the Employee > Deduction screen or not. Prior to this change, the deduction integration was required with each open enrollment.
Report and CSV Changes
Each open enrollment and life event enrollment includes a report page and a CSV report file. These reports have been edited slightly to accommodate new field requirements.
- Added ‘Benefit Percent’ and ‘Benefit Frequency’ columns
- Added ‘PlanBenefitPercent’ column (for percent-of-salary plan setups)
- Added ‘PlanBenefitFrequency’ column (for plans setups with payout frequency)
How This Will Affect the Employee Enrollment Process
Employees eligible for life or disability plans will be allowed to select a benefit/coverage amount and see it’s associated cost.
Please note, an employee will not be allowed to select a disability plan until an annual salary has been set for them by the admin.
How Will These Changes Affect Current Clients for Disability and/or Life?
Previously defined disability plans will continue to function as before using the ‘Basic’ plan setup. However, there will no longer be a way to add ‘Basic’ disability plans or coverage options when setting up new disability plans.
The ‘Percent of Salary’ additional limit option for life plans will now limit employee selections accordingly. Please reference this field on your life plans to ensure the salary limit is entered appropriately for your policy.
Billing for the Benefits Administration feature is based on the number of benefit eligible employees which are specified on the Employee > Benefit Eligibility page. An employee is deemed as benefit eligible if they are marked as ‘Yes’ for the ‘Benefit Eligible?’ field and have a ‘Benefit Eligibility Date’ which is on or before the pay period end date for the current payroll being processed. If no ‘Benefit Eligibility Date’ is entered and the employee is marked as ‘Yes’ for ‘Benefit Eligible?’, the employee will be assumed eligible.
If you have questions on any of these feature enhancements, please feel free to reach out to Briana Cline at firstname.lastname@example.org or 616.243.8795.