Section 125 Premium Only Plan, or a POP Plan.
All employers know this an essential part of any group health insurance and ancillary benefit program. Section 125 is the part of the IRS Code that allows employees to purchase health insurance and other ancillary benefits tax free.
A Section 125 Plan legally allows your employees to pay their portion of medical insurance premium and other ancillary benefits premiums using pretax or tax-free dollars. Saves the company TAX dollars also!
How Employees Benefit from a Section 125 Premium Only Plan.
Employees eliminate paying income tax on premiums they pay through a Section 125 Plan. The premium is actually deducted before the taxes are calculated. This means an employee doesn’t have to make $300 in order to pay a $200 insurance premium because the tax liability is immediately eliminated.
The Government allows this to help make insurance more affordable. Employees save 22.65% to 40% of their pre-tax Section 125 premium deductions in just federal income taxes. The actual tax savings are on city, state, and federal income taxes, including Social Security and Medicare taxes on all money employees use to pay for their portion of insurance premiums.
Under a Section 125 POP employees take-home pay is increased which helps reduce the high cost of providing health coverage for family members.
How Employers Benefit from a Section 125 Premium Only Plan.
A Section 125 Premium Only Plan is unique in that it is one of the few employee benefit plans that will continually pay dividends back to the employer. A Section 125 Plan does this by eliminating the 7.65% in employer matching Social Security and Medicare taxes, and sometimes Federal and State unemployment taxes. Depending on the state, employers may also be eligible for worker’s compensation savings. Bottom line, employers who establish Section 125 Plans actually continue to realize tax savings year after year after year.
Who Can Participate in a Section 125 Premium Only Plan.
Employees of regular corporations, S corporations, limited liability companies (LLCs), partnerships, sole proprietors, professional corporations, and not-for-profits can all reduce payroll taxes by establishing a Section 125 Premium Only Plan. While the Code prohibits a sole proprietor, partner, members of an LLC (in most cases), or individuals owning more than 2% of an S corporation from participating in the Section 125 POP, owners may still benefit from the savings on payroll taxes by sponsoring the plan for their employees.
When Is The Best Time To Start a Section 125 Premium Only Plan? Contrary to popular belief a Section 125 Premium Only Plan can be started any time during the year. The best time to establish a Section 125 plan is when your group health insurance plan renews. Because most groups receive rate increases at renewal this is the ideal time to allow employees to sign a new Section 125 Election form prior to the new Plan Year. It is also quite acceptable to start a new short Plan Year anytime.
What About Existing Section 125 Plans Already In Place That Need To Be Updated?
If you already have a Plan you started years ago, you can amend and restate the Plan anytime. Our order forms address the amended and restated document dates. We simply need the original start date of your old plan so we can maintain the continuity back to the original start date. It’s not unusual for a group to misplace a Plan Document and need to replace it. This is a good time to update the old plan with current plan documents. If your document was written before 2002, it certainly needs to updated as soon as possible. So many changes have taken place in IRS Code and new laws that today’s Plan Document is almost 15 pages larger than documents prior to 2002. This means you may be making administrative decisions based on outdated information.
So I’ve Purchased A Section 125 Plan Document, What’s Next?
This question is asked more frequently than any other.
Administration of the plan is very simple. An outside administrator or software is not necessary to administer a Section 125 Premium Only Plan.
Every employee should receive a copy of the Section 125 Summary Plan Description and an Election Form. Election Forms should be signed by employees for specific approved deductions and kept on file. For your convenience we provide you with a one page summary of all Section 125 Plan Sponsor responsibilities. The document does not have to be filed with the IRS or the DOL, or any other government entity. Annual 5500 reporting was suspended in 2002 and no longer required.
You will be required to conduct Section 125 non-discrimination testing annually. We include DIY discrimination testing forms to assist you in this process. You’ll need to sign the Section 125 Plan Document in two place and have it available in the event of an IRS audit, or the DOL asks to see a copy, or an employee asks to view the document, or you need to refer to it for administrative guidance.
Contact us for information or request a Quote!