Welcome to Our News and Blog Section
Association News Releases and Information
A listing (by link) of older information distributed to the media is posted in this section.
Refer to it regularly to get re-acquainted with our past news and happenings.
The Manufacturers' Association's 112th Annual Event Featuring Astronaut Captain Mark Kelly - April 25th!
September 9 Association/Group Benefit Services Seminar Provides Tips on Expanding Total Employee Benefits Packages at Minimal Added Cost - (Lunch Provided)
Manufacturing and Business in the News
Where Are Manufacturers Most in Need of Help From Policy-makers? Overwhelmingly, with Help Attracting and Developing the Next-Generation Manufacturing Workforce
An Informative Video from Citrus College Outlining the Reality of Continued Education in Today's Changing Economy - in an era where society needs workers with technical and specialized skills in many types of trades
MA Executive Director Tom Palisin Joins Pennsylvania Manufacturers Association Forum (hosted by Rep. Mike Turzai) on state energy opportunities regarding natural gas
High-Tech Modern Technology and Innovation Help Drive the New Re-Emergence of Detroit as a Global Manufacturing Powerhouse
PA Secretary of Labor & Industry Hears Needs of Local Manufacturers, Educators in strengthening and growing the future of the state's manufacturing sector.
Manufacturers' Mull Disaster Recovery Plans at Recent Finance Forum It was more than just finance discussed at our June 18 Forum, as this story notes in the Central Penn Business Journal.
Industry Partnerships Are a Win for Everyone Pennsylvania's training partnerships lead to investment in leading skills that make business and industry more competitively on a national and global scale.
Ever wonder how Tesla makes its Model S? Watch this WIRED magazine video about their innovative factory and processes.
Association Blog Posts - Insights and OpinionsCheck back here from time-to-time to see what news and views we have posted relating to topics concerning the manufacturing, production and logistics community.
Group Benefit Services (GBS):
Have YOU Explained The 'Hidden Paycheck?'
Attracting employees in the manufacturing business has been a challenge lately. Manufacturer’s offers great salaries, and even better benefits.
But is that information being relayed properly with enthusiasm? During these times a lot of employees do not realize what their company does for them.
Maybe they need know what exactly the company does, how exactly does the benefit help them? I think at times as employees if we don’t get it deposited in the bank account Friday morning, then it is hard for us to visualize what the company is doing for us. If you are a client of GBS, through the Association, then we can provide you with a 'Hidden Paycheck'.
This is an exciting opportunity to actually put on paper the numbers to illustrate to the employee what the company is paying for them beyond the salary. The hidden paycheck includes a letter to the employee (typically at date of hire) showing the total compensation in dollar format and a breakdown of each benefit. So, there is a line for a salary, the paid time off/sick days/vacation days compensation, and the amount paid towards the employee fringe benefits like health insurance, short term disability, life insurance, long term disability, dental and vision insurances, etc.
There is a second page breaking down these numbers into what the funds are associated with each benefit. For example, under fringe benefits there are the medical benefit costs, 401k match cost, the educational assistance cost, and even the cost of workers compensation for that employee. There is a breakdown of paid time off including sick days and even holidays that the company pays for the employees to have off.
Lastly there is a total compensation package and percentages accompanied with a bar chart to tell the employee how much of the total compensation is benefits, salary and time off. For the company there is a breakdown of total compensation paid as well. It is the entire cost of all the benefits they provide to all of the employees. It’s basically line items of the company’s employee liability. This is a great snapshot to see what is being spent where for illustrative and even forecasting purposes.
The hidden paycheck is provided to companies that are a client of GBS for no additional cost. This is just another great reason to utilize our GBS's services and partnership with the Manufacturer’s Association. Contact GBS if you are interested in other services we can provide to you as an Association member. Just call Eric Bayne at (443) 541-8060.
Group Benefit Services (GBS):
Have You Forgotten the 'Three A's'? (HRAs, FSAs & HSAs)
Healthcare has been changing a lot lately, and educating ourselves on products available will help us make informed decisions. As health costs rise, so do premiums, deductibles and co-insurance. Health insurance plans with higher deductibles mean lower premiums.
A portion of the savings on premium can be used to fund a Health Reimbursement Arrangement, Health Savings Account or Flexible Spending Arrangement. This insures that you still have a great benefit package, because those who are actually utilizing the plan still have some protection against high out of pocket expenses.
The pro’s to implementing any of the 3 options, or in any combination, are that they all are used to either pay/reimburse for qualified medical expenses and contributions to all of these accounts are free of Federal, Social Security, Medicare and State Taxes (subject to the state). The differences which are discussed below would be the deciding factors in which account to choose to offer as an employer or participate in as an employee.
Here are the highlights of a Flexible Spending Arrangement (FSA’s): They can be funded by either employee or employer (though usually by employee), maximum contribution for medical expenses that can be elected is $2,550 (2015), there are also FSA’s available to fund parking and transit or the equally expensive dependent care pre-tax, and funds are available immediately at start of the plan year. Another notable feature is “use it or lose it”; basically employees are not able to keep funds employers can offer a $500 carryover or grace period 2.5 months, which is still limited.
Health Reimbursement Arrangements (HRA’s) are completely employer funded. The benefit amount that is set by employer is available to employees to assist with paying out of pocket expenses. Whatever the employer funds is available immediately of the start of the plan year for the employees to access. Whatever funds are leftover at the end of the plan year are the employers to keep. This is the most attractive feature of the HRA that the left over funds remain with the employer.
Health Savings Accounts (HSA’s) are used solely in conjunction with a High deductible health plan, which means they have a certain annual deductible and all of the expenses are first subject to the deductible, and then after deductible is met the insurance benefits will start to kick in. HSA accounts can be funded by the individual, employer, or employee with payroll deductions. There is a maximum contribution level of $3,350 individual and $6,650 for a family (2015). The funds are available as they are deposited in the account, employers and employees can fund at the same time. The most attractive feature of this account is that the account is owned by the individual and funds are rolled over year after year. The tax benefits of these accounts are why employees or employers elect to participate in them. Which account you choose is based on you or your company’s needs.
|Snapshot of Benefits||Typically employee sponsored arrangement where the entire fund is available beginning of plan year||Funded completely by employer, unused funds are owned by the employer||Account is owned by employee, so the funds and account can be carried over and it is portable if they leave|