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Have you heard about the newest employee perk?

What's one of the most cutting-edge employee benefits right now? Company-provided student loan assistance for employees who are paying back student loans.

With a record amount of student loan debt attached to the incoming workforce (visit finaid.org to see a student debt clock that now tops $1.3 trillion), companies that rely on a college-educated workforce--and want to attract and retain the best workers--are starting to offer student loan assistance to meet this immediate financial concern of many employees.

ACA and Employers: Terms to Know about Offers of Health Coverage

Under the Affordable Care Act, certain employers – known as applicable large employers – are subject to the employer shared responsibility provisions. You might be thinking about these topics as you make plans about 2017 health coverage for your employees. 

If you are an employer that is subject to the employer shared responsibility provisions, you may choose either to offer affordable minimum essential coverage that provides minimum value to your full-time employees and their dependents, or to potentially owe an employer shared responsibility payment to the IRS.

Here are definitions of key terms related to health coverage you might offer to employees:

Medicare Open Enrollment Begins October 15

What is the Medicare open enrollment period?

The Medicare open enrollment period is the time during which people with Medicare can make new choices and pick plans that work best for them. Each year, Medicare plans typically change what they cost and cover. In addition, your health-care needs may have changed over the past year. The open enrollment period is your opportunity to switch Medicare health and prescription drug plans to better suit your needs.

When does the open enrollment period start?

The Medicare open enrollment period begins on October 15 and runs through December 7. Any changes made during open enrollment are effective as of January 1, 2017.

During the open enrollment period, you can:

·         Join a Medicare Prescription Drug (Part D) Plan

IRS Announces New Waiver Procedure for Taxpayers Who Inadvertently Miss the 60-day Rollover Deadline

Background--direct and indirect (60-day) rollovers

If you're eligible to receive a taxable distribution from an employer-sponsored retirement plan (like a 401(k)) you can avoid current taxation by directly rolling the distribution over to another employer plan or IRA (with a direct rollover you never actually receive the funds). You can also avoid current taxation by actually receiving the distribution from the plan, and then rolling it over to another employer plan or IRA within 60 days following receipt (a "60-day" or "indirect" rollover). But if you choose to receive the funds instead of making a direct rollover the plan must withhold 20 percent of the taxable portion of your distribution, even if you intend to make a 60-day rollover. (You'll need to make up those withheld funds from your other assets if you want to roll over the entire amount of your plan distribution.)

October Is National Disability Employment Awareness Month

Observed each year in October, National Disability Employment Awareness Month (NDEAM) is led by the Department of Labor's Office of Disability Employment Policy (ODEP). The purpose of NDEAM is to build awareness about disability employment issues and celebrate the many and varied contributions of workers with disabilities. This year's theme is "InclusionWorks."

Employers, associations, and unions in all industries are encouraged to participate. To help organizations build awareness of this important initiative, the DOL has developed a number of resources, which can be accessed at dol.gov/odep/topics/ndeam/.

What is NDEAM?

Home Energy Tax Credits Save You Money at Tax Time

Certain energy-efficient home improvements can cut your energy bills and save you money at tax time. Here are some key facts that you should know about home energy tax credits:

Non-Business Energy Property Credit

Looking for Work May Impact Your Taxes

If you are looking for a job in the same line of work, you may be able to deduct some of your job search costs. Here are some key tax facts you should know about when searching for a new job: