Author Archives: CorpStrat News

Employee Benefit Plan Limit for 2023

Many employee benefits are subject to annual dollar limits that are adjusted for inflation by the IRS each year. The following commonly offered Employee Benefits are subject to these limits:

  • High deductible health plans (HDHPs) and health savings accounts (HSAs)
  • Health flexible spending accounts (FSAs)
  • 401(k) plans
  • Transportation fringe benefit plans.



The IRS typically announces the dollar limits that will apply for the next calendar year well before the beginning of that year. This gives employers time to update their plan designs and make sure their plan administration is consistent with the new limits.

This Compliance Overview includes a chart of the inflation-adjusted limits for 2023. Due to high rates of inflation, all of these limits will substantially increase for 2023. Note that there are some benefit limits that are not indexed for inflation, such as the dependent care FSA limit and the catch-up contribution limit for HSAs.

Increased Limits

  • HSA contributions
  • HDHP limits for minimum deductibles and out-of-pocket maximums
  • Health FSA pre-tax contribution limit
  • Health FSA carryover limit
  • Monthly limits for transportation fringe benefit plans
  • Employees’ elective deferrals to 401(k) plans, pre-tax and Roth
  • Tax exclusion for adoption assistance benefits

Unchanged Limits

The following limits stay the same from year to year because they are not indexed for inflation:

  • Tax exclusion for dependent care FSA benefits
  • Catch-up contributions to an HSA



In connection with the increased limits for 2023, employers should review and revise participant communications and election forms, amend plan documents and summary plan descriptions, and update all payroll and/or human resources systems with the new dollar amount limitations.

Identifying and Retaining Key Employees

Identifying and retaining key employees is especially important in light of ongoing attraction and retention difficulties employers have been facing. According to Zywave’s 2022 Attraction and Retention Survey, more than 75% of employers consider attraction and retention to be among their top five business challenges. In response to changing work demands brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic and trends such as the “Great Reshuffle”—a mass movement of workers from their current roles to positions that meet their shifting job expectations and priorities—retaining employees has become increasingly difficult for employers.

In order for organizations to continue to succeed, it is important that they are able to find and retain their best workers. These workers are those who affect performance and drive business for their employers, making them critical assets. This article provides more information on key employees, explains how to identify them, and offers ways employers can retain such workers.

Key Employees Explained

So who are your Key Employees? Key employees are those whose skills, knowledge, and excellent performance can be linked to their organizations’ overall success. There are different attributes that may contribute to workers who are critical to their organizations. Often, these employees have special proprietary knowledge, additional certifications, degrees, or licenses that help their organizations function more efficiently.

Key employees may also help establish strong relationships within their organizations and with clients. The primary takeaway is that key employees have a tangible impact on their companies and they are difficult to replace.

Identifying Key Employees

To retain key employees, employers have to know how to identify them. The traits of key employees may differ between organizations. Here are some general indicators of such workers:

  • Exceed expectations—These employees consistently go above and beyond what they are expected to do.
  • Enhance strategies—Such employees proactively search for ways to improve their companies’ strategies and operations without being told to do so.
  • Affect performance—The presence of these employees is often connected to increased performance and their absence can have negative effects on overall results.
  • Impact business relations—Losing such employees may hurt relationships with clients and vendors.
  • Connect teams—These employees foster connections between various teams and help smaller team cultures blend into their companies’ larger cultures.

These attributes are important ones that can help employers make general determinations regarding which workers are the most irreplaceable within their organizations.

How to Retain Key Employees

Once you’ve identified your key employees, now you can begin the work of retaining them. Here are some ways employers can work to keep their key employees:

  • Identify your key employees. If employers cannot figure out who their key employees are, they are far less likely to be able to retain them.
  • Maintain open communication. Openly communicating with your key employees will help ensure that you’re aware of what their needs are. When there is a lack of communication, these employees could be driven to look elsewhere. 
  • Ensure competitive compensation. Key employees usually go above and beyond the duties set out in their roles. As such, employers should consider compensating them for that extra work so they feel their efforts are being valued. It may be a good idea to reevaluate compensation strategies before top-performing workers decide to leave for other organizations that may pay them more.
  • Provide learning and development opportunities. Employees who overachieve are often eager to learn more and want their organizations to help them do so. Employers should consider offering learning and development opportunities. This can both satiate employees’ desires to learn, as well as help their workers to enhance their skill sets.
  • Update Employee Benefits. Employers should ask their employees which benefits they get the most use out of and which additional offerings they might like to see. Part of retaining key employees is ensuring they receive benefits and compensation that match their needs. It is important to determine whether their current benefits offerings help achieve those goals.
  • As employers strive to keep key employees, it remains crucial to treat all employees fairly, particularly when making employment decisions related to compensation, promotions and learning and development opportunities. Organizations should ensure their performance management practices comply with all applicable employment laws.


Key employees are vital to the success of their organizations. It is important to figure out who these employees are and how to keep them. Employers should stay alert to indicators of key employees within their organizations and figure out those workers’ desires so they can implement effective strategies to retain them.

For more information on attraction and retention, contact CorpStrat today.

6 Common Mistakes to Avoid When Choosing a Health Plan

Health insurance may be one of the most critical annual purchases since it impacts your physical, mental, and financial wellness. Unfortunately, selecting a health insurance plan can feel overwhelming. With so many options, it can also be easy to make a mistake when selecting coverage.

This article explores six common missteps related to selecting a health insurance plan. Once armed with this information, it’ll be easier to avoid these mistakes and choose the best plan coverage for your situation.

Mistake #1: Rushing Through Enrollment Options

Many people rush when buying their health insurance or only rely on recommendations from friends, family and co-workers. Others may simply re-enroll with last year’s choices. But health insurance provides personal coverage, so it’s important to research and find what will work best for your health needs and budget. Read our full blog post to learn what to look out for before you finalize your decisions.

When it comes time to enroll in a plan, compare different policies and understand their coverages and associated costs (e.g., premiums). One of the best ways to ensure the policy is right for your health needs is to consider your medical requirements and spending in the next year. Don’t forget to confirm in-network coverage to ensure that your preferred doctor, clinic, and pharmacy is connected in the new plan. Then, you can find the most suitable plan and coverage in an effort to simplify your health care and make it more affordable.

Mistake #2: Overlooking Policy Documents

A lot of people skip through or don’t thoroughly read the policy’s terms and conditions. But often this is the best way to know what to expect from your health plan and what the plan expects of you. Don’t forget to read the fine print on each plan you consider to avoid surprise bills later on. Reviewing the policy’s inclusions and exclusions will help you make an informed decision that’s right for you.

Mistake #3: Misunderstanding Costs

Plans typically have a deductible, copays and coinsurance. Here’s what those terms mean:

The deductible is the amount you pay out of pocket before your health insurance starts to cover costs. A copay is a flat fee you pay upfront for doctor visits, prescriptions and other health care services. Coinsurance is the percentage you pay for covered health services after you’ve met your deductible.

When shopping for a plan, keep in mind that the deductible is tied to the premium. A low deductible plan may seem attractive until you understand that it generally comes with a higher premium—and vice versa. When shopping for a plan, look closely to see when you’ll have a copay and how much it will cost for various services.

Mistake #4: Concealing Your Medical History

It may be tempting to avoid sharing your medical history if you’re worried about being rejected or receiving higher premiums. However, it could hurt you in the long run when insurance claims are denied for existing conditions or undisclosed medical information.

Mistake #5: Ignoring Add-ons

Health insurance add-ons are often included separately and require an additional premium, which means many people don’t look at them. A standard health insurance plan may not cover certain situations, so reviewing all available options is essential. An insurance add-on could help bolster your overall health insurance coverage by offering extra protection.

Review the add-on covers offered with your health insurance policy and see if any would be helpful for you, your family or plans in the next year. Some common add-ons include critical illness insurance, maternity and newborn baby insurance, hospital daily expenses and emergency ambulance services.

Mistake #6: Selecting Insufficient Coverage

People may hold back on purchasing certain coverage to pay a lower premium. While that may seem advantageous in the short term, you’ll be on the hook for out-of-pocket costs when facing a medical emergency. This mistake may be accompanied by physical, mental and financial health consequences.

When selecting a plan, check that the policy provides adequate coverage for your medical needs and other essentials. The right health insurance can take care of yourself and ensure financial security.


Health insurance is an essential investment for you and your family. By avoiding common mistakes while buying health insurance, you’ll be better informed to enroll in a plan and other coverages.

As health care costs continue to rise, it’s more important than ever to carefully review available policies, consider your options and health needs, and, ultimately, select the best plan to protect your health and finances.

If you have more questions about health plans, contact your manager or HR.

How to Encourage Employee Healthcare Comparison Shopping

It’s a tough time for a lot of people out there: inflation is driving up the cost of everything from food to gas and your employees are feeling the sting. But even if this is the case, most Americans don’t realize they can comparison shop to make sure they’re getting the best price for their healthcare services. A survey from AKASA, a healthcare artificial intelligence company, revealed that nearly two-thirds (64%) of Americans have never tried to find the price of a specific healthcare service.

Paying more for healthcare doesn’t necessarily mean higher quality service or better outcomes. This is why shopping around for healthcare is so important, it can result in cost savings for both employees and employers. Today we’re going to talk about strategies employers can use to encourage employees to shop for high-value healthcare, which can help lower your organization’s health care costs.

1. Educate Employees

One of the first steps in helping encourage employees to shop around for healthcare is education. Employers have a unique opportunity to provide data and information to help employees understand the savings potential of healthcare comparison shopping.

Specifically, employers can help employees understand price variation and explain how to best shop around. According to Healthcare Bluebook data, U.S. healthcare prices vary an average of 650% for the same procedure. That’s a huge variance. 

Additionally, the federal government has started increasing price transparency for health care services, which can help with comparison shopping. For example, new rules require hospitals to post pricing online for various services and procedures. Starting next year, health insurers must share their negotiated prices with the public. So, as health care pricing gets more transparent, employers can really help employees better understand these price lists. 

2. Provide Transparency Tools

Employers can direct employees to user-friendly tools that break down pricing. Employers should connect with their benefits partners to understand what resources and transparency tools are already available for their employees. Some of these you’re already paying for but aren’t utilizing. There are also state-sponsored resources that offer tools to help consumers compare hospitals, health care facilities, and other providers in their state.

It’s essential to explain that if high healthcare costs are left unchecked, employees may experience reduced benefits or increased employee cost sharing. Of course, savings can help the organization, but it’s important to highlight how employees individually benefit.

3. Incentivize Behaviors

Another way to help make healthcare shopping top of mind for employees is to create rewards for certain consumer behaviors. Employers can create incentives for employees that use employer-provided price transparency tools to comparison shop for services and procedures.

Some employers may offer cash incentives, while others offer wellness program points. For example, wellness points could be redeemed for health savings account contributions or reduced cost sharing. As with any organizational initiative, employers should consider making it fun. Gamification (e.g., point scoring and social connection) can help facilitate friendly competition and increase employee engagement and motivation.


Healthcare costs are undeniably going to continue rising. Employers will need to take proactive approaches to reduce these costs. They have an opportunity to make employees feel empowered to take charge of their health and actively comparison shop for quality healthcare at the best price. A mix of education, provision of tools and incentivization may be the magic combination to help change employees’ health care shopping behaviors.

If you’re interested in learning more about this, give us a call. We’re here to help.  

Year-End Payroll Doesn’t Have to Be a Mess

Your year-end payroll doesn’t have to be a crunch.

Most Payroll and accounting departments are overwhelmed at year-end — there’s so much to get done and your team might already be stressed going into the holiday season. We think approaching your year-end early can help you be sure that you complete all of the important tasks, leading to a great Payroll close out. Here are our quick tips for a year-end Payroll that doesn’t stress everyone out:

1. Make sure you have all the right information.

A good start is to review all of your employees, and make sure that you have every thing needed for year and filing – addresses updated as well.

2. Keep the right things on your radar.

There is a host of issues you want to consider before year end including but not limited to:

  • Bonuses
  • Sick pay PTO payout
  • Personal use a company cars
  • Group term insurance in excess of 50,000
  • Maximums for retirement plans
  • consider any other taxable fringe benefits
  • Transportation, or moving expenses that are taxable

3. Get retirement plan discussions out of the way early.

Don’t forget partner and owners. Many of them may want to take salaries in order to max out retirement plans opportunities. Be sure to discuss this with your CPA or administrator early to avoid any confusion. 

4. Get started now.

A well thought through year-end plan that starts in early December will help you avoid the payroll crunch of the last week of the year when most payroll companies are overwhelmed and many are on vacation.

Need more tips? Check out our blog post:

7 Tips for Smooth Year-End Payroll Processing 2022:

If you need help with your year-end Payroll, give us a call. We’d love to help.