Most companies are receiving employee benefit renewals. In order to avoid benefits communication errors, it is wise to periodically review communications that employees have received in the past to gauge their perception and understanding. Ask yourself the following questions:
- Were these communications meant only to fulfill ERISA compliance regulations, and do they comply with current regulations?
- Has there been a discernible pattern to what benefit information was provided and when?
- Who was responsible for the content?
- Are communications written so that the benefits information provided is understandable and easy to read, i.e. in plain English?
- What language can be used in new communications to make them clearer and easier to read?
- What media (print, intranet, e-postings, e-mail) were used to distribute previous communications?
- Were these communications well received by employees? Were there many questions?
- Were past benefit communications prepared in-house or by consultants?
- How were past communications evaluated?
- How did you feel about the communications both as a responsible party and as an employee?
- How can you avoid past mistakes or mistakes other companies have made?
- Reminder: Investment options described in 401(k) summary plan descriptions must include not
only every available option, but the content of the description is governed by ERISA Section 404(c) and must also meet the requirement of the Securities and Exchange Commission if certain securities are involved.
UniqueHR provides benefits communications to our clients, ensuring that every employee receives pertinent information in order to make health plan decisions to best serve his or her family’s needs. Contact UniqueHR at 800-824-8367 for a complete benefits, payroll, human resources, and risk management evaluation.