Don’t Whack the Tobacco Differential Messenger!

Boss and Business game

It’s open enrollment season at Frenkel Benefits and, like clockwork, at least one of our client account managers calls me in to work closely with their client on implementing or updating a tobacco differential in their medical plan. It’s a somewhat tricky thing to do, so I’m happy to help. However, inevitably – when we… [Read More]

Are Annuities a Viable Retirement Solution?

A basket of golden eggs

As more Baby Boomers close in on their ultimate retirement date, the dilemma of how to offer them choices for cashing out their retirement accounts becomes a pressing issue. I’ve seen many employers design their plans to pay out a lump sum only – leaving the retiree to figure out how to structure their income… [Read More]

The “Sitting Disease” is Killing Your Employees

The Sitting Disease is Killing Your Employees

As I deposit a check through an app on my phone (for my bank that’s less than 6 blocks from my apartment) I realize just how easy humans have it nowadays. In an age of convenience we’re more sedentary than ever. The average office worker sits for around 10 hours each day – moving from… [Read More]

Health Savings Accounts – the Tax Advantage Triple Threat

Health Savings Accounts – the Tax Advantage Triple Threat

As Tax Day comes and goes every year, it makes me think of the money I owe Uncle Sam and if I did everything I could to reduce my taxable income, like take advantage of any pre-tax benefit options available to me through my employer-sponsored programs. Did you know that Health Savings Accounts (HSAs) can… [Read More]

More Pre-Tax Dollars – Are You Offering Commuter Benefits Yet?

commuter benefits

It is time to implement a commuter benefits program. Governed by Section 132 of the IRS code, a commuter benefit program allows employers to set aside money from their paycheck on a pre-tax basis, similar to a Healthcare Flexible Spending Account (FSA) plan. These pre-tax dollars are used to help pay for the subscriber’s mass… [Read More]

ACA Gyrations: Politics Affecting Real Lives


In this blog we have been highlighting the debate surrounding the Affordable Care Act. The thing that our politicians seem to lose is that the “debate” impacts real people. In speaking with the Harvard Business Review, Robert Reich recently discussed the current debate: the definition of full-time work. ACA defines eligible full-time employees as those… [Read More]

Going and Growing Global? Don’t Forget Wellness


It’s becoming much more common to see American companies seeking global expansion. As American employers expand their benefits strategies globally, wellness deserves a strategic global game plan as well. Transferring over a wellness program from one country to another without modifications or sensitivity to culture can instantly doom a wellness program in the new country…. [Read More]

Dropping the Ball on COBRA Notifications Can Be Expensive


The DOL has stepped up enforcement of COBRA compliance violations, and penalties can be steep. It’s hard enough to keep up with changes in the federal law, but New York and other states have passed laws extending COBRA continuation beyond federal requirements. This means employers must stay on their toes to provide a wide range… [Read More]