Welcome to Ratliff Law Firm employee benefits portal.Before it is explained how to effectively design and execute employee benefits plans, let’s define “employee benefits” and put it into the scope of your overall business. “Employee Benefits” are, in essence, the extras your employees receive by working for you. These benefits range from the most mundane fringe benefits (free coffee in the break room) to the most complex of non-qualified deferred compensation arrangements with multiple election features. Pause to consider the incredible flexibility you have as an employer when creating a benefits plan. You can compensate your employees with almost any benefit imaginable. Now consider that each of these benefits may have different tax and compliance regulations to follow. Furthermore, some of these benefits plans can even help in your overall business planning, while others would be inefficient or worse, dangerous for your business planning (“planning” including, by way of example, financial forecasting, budget decisions, succession strategies, and estate planning). The need for competent and trustworthy legal services in plan design and administration should now be clear; how to do it is the purpose of this portal.
All benefits break down into 4 general categories:
- Qualified retirement plans,
- Health and welfare plans,
- Executive compensation, and
- Fringe benefits.
We will explore the first three of these categories in the sections below.
Before we turn to these categories, however, the motivation for creating a benefits plan must be discussed. Employee benefits plans, above any other objective, are created to attract, retain, and motivate the employees of your business (“ARM”).
Did you know? As owner, officer, or director of your business, you are also considered as an employee for these purposes.
Increasingly in today’s job market, benefits such as retirement plans and healthcare plans are becoming key reasons that employees will take a job over another (attraction), stay with a certain business despite another opportunity arising (retention), and work harder to grow the business (motivation).
Employers can also obtain an important secondary effect, such as aiding in overall business planning, tax minimization, and in many cases comprehensive estate planning (where estate planning should be as much for income tax minimization as for estate and gift tax minimization). For more information on these benefits, as well as the types of benefits plans available to you, continue reading through our portal.
Welcome to Ratliff Law Firm employee benefits portal. Below you will find eight links which will inform you on the numerous issues encountered in the employee benefits world and how Ratliff Law Firm can help you navigate them successfully. We encourage both employers and their advisors to begin with our introduction and read how we can use employee benefits to gain compliance, but also better your overall business as well. Note that at the bottom of this and every page is a “previous” and “next” link to enhance your experience.