Evolving risks of unauthorized practice of law

Posted 2 CommentsPosted in Employee Benefits

revised March 10, 2016 This post contains information collected in several attempts to clarify and digest opinions about the unauthorized practice of law as it pertains to my own employee benefits practice.  I presented these issues to two of my own attorneys in 2013 and neither was able to offer an opinion at that time. I am looking […]

Script of new introductory video

Posted Leave a commentPosted in Computers and Internet, Employee Benefits, Financial Planning, Gardening, Hobbies, Small Business

This is the working script to my new personal introduction video that will be recorded soon and then made into a multi-media video some time after that: “Hello, this is accountant Tony Novak with a quick 10 point personal introduction: 1. The value I bring to clients today comes directly from experience and relationships built over several decades […]

Where is small business health insurance headed?

Posted Leave a commentPosted in Employee Benefits, News and Politics, Small Business

This article was written for 2014 and then updated for 2017. Little has changed. These points are still not well understood or agreed upon by professionals in the small business health insurance field: Quality of information: Most of the information published in this field appears to comes from those with a vested economic interest and/or political […]

Whole life insurance revisited

Posted 1 CommentPosted in Employee Benefits, Financial Planning, News and Politics, Tax Planning

One of the most maddening topics for me as an adviser has been whole life insurance for working class clients. It is clear that whole life insurance is the #1 financial vehicle of choice for the “top 5 percenters” in the wealth scale, often through the corporate entities that they control, but what about the […]

Relief to small businesses that use safe harbor provisions in their employee benefit plans

Posted Posted in Employee Benefits

This excerpt by Cohen and Clark as printed in Employee Benefit News explains IRS’s new standard on softening of the allowance to suspend employer contributions to plans during difficult business conditions: “The final regulations modify the “substantial business hardship” standard for suspending or reducing safe harbor nonelective contributions, replacing that standard with an “operating at […]

Feds confirm that more small employers are bypassing health insurance reform laws

Posted Leave a commentPosted in Employee Benefits

This post was originally published in 2013 but is now updated for 2016. Background: The Affordable Care Act encourages small businesses to provide employer-sponsored group health insurance but does not require them to do so. The two best options for small businesses that choose to not offer group health insurance are: 1) offer supplemental insurance that is […]

MassMutual sets the pace for retirement plan services

Posted Leave a commentPosted in Employee Benefits, Financial Planning

Congratulations to my brother, John Novak, who has been a leader at MassMutual Retirement Services for many years. Since long before we were born, MassMutual has been one of the top financial companies to consider for a wide range of business and personal financial services. Apparently even more people are realizing this over the past two years as so […]

New tax law limiting out-of-pocket medical expense deduction makes new planning strategies necessary

Posted Leave a commentPosted in Employee Benefits, Financial Planning

Beginning next year, tax deductions for out-of-pocket medical expenses will become more difficult than ever before for individuals. The current limit allows a deduction for expenses exceeding 7.5% of income. The new threshold for 2013 is 10% of income. Fewer individuals will qualify and those that do will find more of their expenses will be not […]