Because achievement comes in many forms FP: Individual Tax & Financial Planning
EB: Employee Benefits RP: Retirement Plans

White Paper:

Creating Competition through Limited and Tiered Provider Networks

With the continued upward pressure on cost and pricing constraints imposed by Health Care Reform, insurers and health plans are exploring new ways to drive consumer and provider behavior.

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White Paper:

Managing Retirement Benefits
in Today's Economy

Employees and employers, now more than ever, need to take the appropriate steps to ensure that prudent decisions are made in respect to employees saving at an adequate deferral rate, establishing an appropriate asset allocation mix, and planning to replace income throughout their retirement.

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Final regulations for Employer Shared Responsibility under the ACA

On February 10th the government issued final regulations regarding the “Employer Shared Responsibility” (ESR) requirements of the Affordable Care Act. This is often referred to as the law’s “Pay or Play” feature.

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Form 5500 - Electronic Filing Requirement

There is a new mandatory electronic filing requirement (known as "EFAST2") that now applies to your Form 5500 filings.

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Recent Industry News

At the Summit

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Retirement Plans
July 2015
Q2 2015 Market Update Available!

July 2015
New White Paper Available

Going Beyond Full Disclosure - A View From the Summit

Revenue sharing and its impact on plan participant accounts continues to be a hotly discussed topic within the retirement plan industry, especially in light of recent Supreme Court rulings, class action suits and DOL scrutiny.

April 2015
Q1 2015 Market Update Available!

January 2015
Q4 2014 Market Update Available!

October 2014
IRS Announces 2015 Pension Plan Limits

The Internal Revenue Service recently announced the cost of living adjustments affecting dollar limitations for pension plans and other retirement-related items for Tax Year 2015.

August 2014
Congress Provides Pension Funding Relief for Defined Benefit Plan Sponsors

Congress recently passed the Highway and Transportation Funding Act of 2014 (HTFA) and President Obama signed the bill into law on August 8th. This legislation includes an extension of MAP-21 pension interest rate smoothing as a revenue
item to help finance the Highway Trust Fund.

March 2014
Department of Labor Update

Proposed Regulation to Require a Guide to Assist Plan Fiduciaries in Reviewing 408(b)(2) Disclosures

Employee Benefits
July 2015
First ACA Information Returns Due in 2016

The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) released draft forms for 2015 to help employers prepare for the new information reporting provisions under the Affordable Care Act (ACA).  Employers are required to report for the first time in early 2016 for calendar year 2015.

June 2015
California Regulations Add Additional Leave Notice Requirements

The California Fair Employment and Housing Council has released new regulations concerning the California Family Rights Act.  The new regulations are effective July 1, 2015.

June 2015
Massachusetts Earned Sick Leave Law Generally Effective July 1, 2015

The Massachusetts Office of the Attorney General has released the earned sick time Notice of Employee Rights and also has issued revised guidance concerning the safe harbor from the law for certain employers with existing Paid Time Off (PTO) policies. 

June 2015
Reminder: PCORI Fees Due by July 31 for Employers Sponsoring HRAs and Other Self-Insured Plans

Fees to fund the Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute (PCORI) are due July 31 from employers that sponsor certain self-insured health plans, including health reimbursement arrangements (HRAs) that are not treated as excepted benefits.

May 2015
HSA Contribution Limits and Minimum Deductibles Adjusted for Inflation

The IRS has released the 2016 inflation adjusted amounts for health savings accounts (HSAs).

February 2015
Blue Cross Blue Shield Follow Up to Anthem Data Breach

The data breach that affected Anthem has also had an impact on some Blue Cross Blue Shield of Massachusetts (BCBSMA) members. We received the following communication from BCBSMA late yesterday afternoon. Although it's directed to us as insurance brokers, we're passing it along to you in the event you want to give your employees an update on what is transpiring and what steps they may take to protect themselves. We will continue to monitor this situation and provide you with updates as we receive them.

Here is the Blue Cross communication:

"As previously communicated, Anthem Inc., a company that operates Blue Cross plans in 14 states, was the victim of a sophisticated cyber-attack.

January 2015
HIPAA Certificate of Creditable Coverage Requirement Eliminated

Because "Pre-existing Condition" limits are no longer allowed under law, as of December 31, 2014, health plan sponsors are no longer required to provide a HIPAA "Certificate of Creditable Coverage" to individuals terminating from a plan.

Plan administrators should no longer provide the HIPAA certificate to employees whose termination date occurred after 12/30/2014.

Note that individuals losing coverage as the result of a COBRA qualifying event (at termination of employment, for example), or at the end of their COBRA period of coverage will be able to enroll in a "Marketplace" or "Exchange" plan (if eligible) without pre-existing condition restrictions.

Individual Tax & Financial Planning
October 2014
Summit Financial Strategies Market Insight

Over the past few days, the market has taken investors on a roller-coaster ride, and I suspect many of us are feeling a bit queasy. No one likes to be jerked down and up and back down again. What’s going on?

November 2013
New White Paper Available!

Net Investment Tax in 2013

Starting in 2013 high income taxpayers [whose income is at or above $200,000] may be subject to two new Medicare taxes which consist of a 0.9% tax on earned income and self-employment income, and a 3.8% tax on net investment income.

October 2013
Tips for Managing Your Finances After a Divorce

Summit Financial Strategies Financial Planning Insight

August 2013
Clarifying the Home Office Deduction for both Employees and Business Owners

Summit Financial Strategies Tax Insight

July 2013
Alternative Investments

Summit Financial Strategies Financial Planning Insight

Today’s economic landscape is forcing us to reconsider what we thought we knew about diversification.

July 2015
Market Update for the Quarter Ending June 30, 2015

April 2015
Market Update for the Quarter Ending March 31, 2015

January 2015
Market Update for the Quarter Ending December 31, 2014

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Securities and advisory services offered through Commonwealth Financial Network, Member and, a Registered Investment Adviser. Fixed insurance products and services, as well as benefits consulting and plan administration, offered by Summit Financial Corporation are separate and unrelated to Commonwealth. Fixed insurance products and services, as well as tax services, offered by Summit Financial Strategies, Inc. are separate and unrelated to Commonwealth. This communication is strictly intended for individuals residing in the states of AL, AZ, CA, CO, CT, DC, DE, FL, GA, IL, ME, MD, MA, MI, NV, NH, NJ, NY, OH, OR, PA, RI, SC, TN, TX, VT, VA. No offers may be made or accepted from any resident outside these states due to various state regulations and registration requirements regarding investment products and services.