income, including parent loans for their child’s
Benefits Trends Ahead: What HR Professionals Should Watch For In 2020
The changing political landscape in Washington has
always filled the benefits industry with uncertainty, but
there are steps you can do to prepare.
●● Work with a benefits administrator. The
administrators and staff at Benefit Programs
Administration (BPA) work around the clock to
track and understand the latest in benefits and
●● Subscribe to legislative updates from the U.S.
Department of Labor and your state department of
labor (or its equivalent).
●● Subscribe to the Society for Human Resource
Management legislative updates.
●● Hold information sessions with employees to hear
concerns and answer questions about upcoming
policies that could affect your workforce.
●● Keep information on all new or incoming policy
changes in a system like a shared drive or online
company portal for employees to access at all
Zane Dalal is Executive Vice President
of Benefit Programs Administration.
In his role, Zane is responsible
for implementing and overseeing
companywide operations. Since
1991, Zane has been involved in all
departments within BPA providing him
the perspective and knowledge needed
to ensure the company is continuously
evolving and succeeding on all fronts.
Zane has a heavy focus on legal issues,
technology applications and company
Would you like to comment?
●● A unique component that would allow small
businesses to band together and create open
multiple employer plans (MEPs), rather than
offering a plan alone or requiring a ‘common bond’
between employers as under current law.
2020 Presidential Race
Finally, the 2020 presidential race is heating up and
candidates have their own ideas on how to protect
retirement in America, address the student loan crisis
and how to reform the healthcare system.
●● Healthcare. Many candidates are discussing
Medicare for all, a system that union members
are concerned about. A large benefit of union
membership is the health care negotiated by
unions with employers, and plans tend to be
very good. And while some unions support the
single-payer legislation put forth by Senator Bernie
Sanders (I-VT), others are not so enthusiastic.
Medicare for All moves every single person
from private, even employer-sponsored, health
insurance and over to a single-payer system. Many
union members enjoy their employer-sponsored
●● Student Loan Debt. Additionally, some candidates
are discussing canceling student loan debt. While
this may or may not become a reality, it changes
how employers are recruiting new talent and the
retention of existing talent. Employers who offer
student loan repayment as a benefit may need to
alter their plans to appeal to younger generations
with mounting student debt.
Senator Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) has specifics
outlined in her campaign to cancel student
debt. The Student Loan Debt Relief Act would
cancel or reduce student loan debt for millions
of Americans. Under her plan, over 95 percent
would have their debt significantly reduced and
almost 75 percent would have their loans forgiven
entirely. Families making under $100,000 would
have $50,000 in student loans forgiven, followed by
phase-outs for higher earners, canceling $1 of debt
for every $3 earned.
Senator Bernie Sanders (I-VT) has proposed a plan
to forgive all federal student loans, regardless of
Employee Benefits & Wellness Excellence presented by HR.com SEPTEMBER 2019 7 Submit Your Articles