It's not hard to guess the service offered by one of Hacienda's newer tenants, Employee Benefit Specialists. Just as the name suggests, the company provides turnkey employee benefit plans tailored to its clients, which cover a full range of public and private entities.
EBS, which first opened its doors in 1987 and moved to the park this summer, currently administers benefit plans covering dental and vision, Section 125 programs, COBRA, commuter and transit plans, reimbursement plans, and more.
Interested in the latest innovations in benefits? EBS has the answer.
"If you want to know the products that are going to take us through the next five years that the employees are all clamoring for, they're auto and homeowners (insurance), pet insurance, long-term care, and transportation benefits," says Joan Rhodes, the company's founder.
Demand for transportation-related benefits has grown dramatically since a 1998 change in tax laws that made many such benefits a pre-tax expense, which means that employers save money on payroll taxes and employees save on income tax. The Commuter Check program (see announcement below) is one popular way to offer transportation benefits.
It can be a challenging benefit to implement, however, especially for companies with offices in different regions. Different transit agencies will frequently have different prices and policies for their monthly passes, which must be reflected in the Commuter Check program.
"We've gone out and done the due diligence that's required to find out about the various transit authorities and designed communication pieces for each city, so an enrollment that's nationwide is simple for us to do."
EBS also handles the time consuming aspects of the plan such as sending the checks to employees' homes and reconciling payroll information, not to mention employee education and enrollment.
"We always say the only part the company has to play is to send us the payroll information and the money and we'll take it from there."
That same philosophy extends to all of the company's services. They provide free telephone access so that employees can check their accounts directly, without employer involvement, and will shortly introduce web access to accounts.
"We're also willing to create specially-designed products that you usually can't find through other third-party administrators," adds Rhodes.
For more information, contact EBS at (925) 460-3910.
Also in this issue ...