Friday, 26 January 2018 14:19

Changes to Federal Tax Withholding for 2018

The IRS recently released updates to the income-tax withholding tables for 2018. This change updates the 2018 tax tables in accordance with the tax reform legislation enacted at the end of the year (HR1). Employers should update their tables as soon as possible, but at least by February 15th.

The IRS states that the new law “makes a number of changes for 2018 that affect individual taxpayers. The new tables reflect the increase in the standard deduction, repeal of personal exemptions and changes in tax rates and brackets.” The IRS is also working on revising the withholding tax calculator on their website to assist individuals in determining their withholding on the form W-4.

As a result of the table change, employees should generally see an increase in their take home pay. We have already seen increases to take home pay ranging from 1.5% to 2.5%. As a reminder, now might be a good time to increase your contribution to your 401k retirement plan. Adding an additional 1% to your retirement plan will likely result in a slight increase to your take home pay and an increase to your retirement account, resulting in a “win-win” scenario.

Additional information regarding the updated withholding tables can be found here:
Published in IRS
Friday, 03 November 2017 11:28

401(k) Contribution Limit Increase

On October 19, the IRS announced an increase in the contribution limits for employees who participate in 401(k), 403(b), and most 457 plans. For 2018 the new limit will be increased from $18,000 to $18,500. However, the catch-up contribution limit for employees aged 50 or over remains unchanged at $6,000 annually.

Published in Pension
Thursday, 09 April 2015 18:00

MassMutual RetireSmart Mobile App has an app

MassMutual is dedicated to continuous innovation, with the goal of helping participants retire on their own terms. We’ve been working on some exciting new enhancements for them here at MassMutual, including the launch of MassMutual’s RetireSmart mobile app.

The free app is available for Android and Apple devices, and can be found by searching “RetireSmart” or “MassMutual” in the app store. The RetireSmart app lets participants stay connected from wherever they are.

Participants simply enter their username and password, just like they would to access today.

 Using the app, Defined Contribution plan participants who access their accounts through will be able to view many of the current features they use today. For more detail, be sure to read through the RetireSmart mobile app flyer

 To ensure sponsors and participants are well prepared to benefit from this new app, an email communication will be sent to sponsors on April 10 followed by an email to participants on April 17.

 If you have any questions in the meantime, please contact StaffScapes for assistance.

Published in Employee Benefits

The Internal Revenue Service announced today that contribution limits for 401(k) plans and individual retirement accounts will increase due to cost-of-living adjustments.  The maximum amount of contributions an employee can make to their 401(k) plan is determined each year by the IRS.  "Many of the pension plan limitations will change for 2015 because the increase in the cost-of-living index met the statutory thresholds that trigger the adjustment” according to a release from the Internal Revenue Service.  

For the 2015 plan year, employees can contribute up to $18,000 as an elective payroll deduction to their 401(k) plan.  In addition, if the employee is age 50 or older, they can contribute an additional ‘catch-up’ contribution of $6,000, resulting in a maximum contribution of $24,000 (if age 50 or older).  This limit applies only to the employee’s contribution, and does not include any employer paid matching amounts. Employees wishing to contribute the maximum contribution allowed may find it easiest to break the annual limit into equal amounts per pay period, to ensure that they don’t contribute over the limit. 

2015’s 401(k) limit of $18,000 applies to both Traditional and ROTH 401(k) plans. In a Traditional 401(k) plan, employees make tax-deductible (pre-tax) contributions. These contributions grow without being taxed on dividends or earnings until after the money is withdrawn for the employee’s retirement account.  As those funds are withdrawn, they are then taxed at the employee’s income tax rate. In a ROTH 401(k) plan, employees make contributions with after-tax dollars. These contributions grow without being taxed and can be withdrawn at retirement without being taxed. The decision for which 401(k) plan to participate in is up to the employee – pay taxes up front with a ROTH 401(k) or at retirement with a Traditional 401(k).

StaffScapes provides and manages a 401(k) retirement plan for our clients. Please This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. to see how we can benefit your employee’s futures with our retirement plans!


Published in Employee Benefits
Thursday, 11 September 2014 10:14

Happy 40th Anniversary ERISA

The Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974 (ERISA) was signed into law on Labor Day, September 2, 1974 by President Gerald Ford.  This federal law provides protection to participating employees in employer sponsored health and retirement plans.

Forty years ago many employers offered employees retirement packages and pensions. Where an employee would work for many years at a company, get the symbolic gold watch and a monthly pension check for the remainder of their lives. These pensions are known as defined benefit (DB) plans. 

Before ERISA, if the business closed or filed bankruptcy, what would happen to the pensions? They would go away with no way for the employee to afford to retire.  That’s where ERISA stepped in, to ensure that employees have retirement plans that they can count on without worrying if their next monthly pension check would arrive in their mailbox.

In today’s economy, corporations very rarely offer the golden goose defined benefit (DB) pensions, and it now falls on the employee’s shoulders to prepare for retirement through retirement plans, like IRA’s and 401(k)’s.  These plans are where the employee defers a percentage or fixed amount per paycheck into a retirement account, and the employer may offer a matching percentage of each payroll deferral. These plans are known as defined contribution (DC) plans, and are also governed by ERISA. 

ERISA shortened vesting periods (maximum of 5 years for vesting schedules), protecting participating employee’s rights to collect retirement benefits they had earned, without having to work for decades to have a financially secure retirement. ERISA also created the Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation as a safety net in case a pension plan sponsor failed.

ERISA provides a set of rules and guidelines for employers and plan sponsors, replacing a vast array of state and federal laws that were insufficient to provide guidance and protection. That set of rules encouraged growth in defined benefit (DB) plans that occurred in the decades after ERISA's enactment. ERISA also provided a clear outline of fiduciary responsibilities for employers and plan sponsors for both defined benefit (DB) and defined contribution (DC) plans.

StaffScapes has partnered with MassMutual’s Retire SMART  to assist both employers and employees with retirement planning.  StaffScapes can help employers with ERISA compliance and employees plan and prepare for retirement through our 401(k) plans.  Please contact us so that we can assist you in all of your benefit compliance needs.


Published in ERISA
Thursday, 18 June 2009 18:00

401k Safe Harbor Provision Changes

The IRS has amended it's rules on Safe Harbor contributions to allow employers to terminate the match during these hard times.

On May 18 the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) published proposed regulations that could provide relief to employers whose plans provide for safe harbor non-elective contributions. The relief allows employers to amend their plan to reduce or suspend future safe harbor non-elective contributions without terminating the plan if the employer is encountering a "substantial business hardship" (as set forth in certain criteria established by the IRS). While the suspension of employer contributions may potentially have an impact on employee morale and the perception of the employer's benefits program by potential employees, employers who meet the criteria may find that these regulations provide welcome and necessary relief from future safe harbor non-elective contribution funding requirements and a viable alternative to terminating the plan.

Published in Employee Benefits
Tuesday, 22 January 2008 17:00

401K Benefits

Offering 401k plans to enhance your benefits

401K Benefits are available through StaffScapes.  Employees can use 401K plans to save money for retirement and can reduce the amount of money you pay for federal and state taxes. 

Contact StaffScapes today to see how to get your plan started today.  StaffScapes is a Professional Employment Organization (PEO) that can provide large benefits for small companies.  Find out how you can save money now.  303-466-7864 or visit our website at

Published in Employee Benefits
Thursday, 10 January 2008 17:00

PEO - Professional Employers Organization

Why should I consider using a PEO?

Professional Employer Organizations (PEO) are quickly becoming one of the best ways to handle employment for small to medium sized businesses. Previously called employee leasing, these firms have become more professionaland are widely accepted by regulators. 

A PEO takes over all the administrative aspects of being an employer. This includes hiring, progressive discipline, firing, payroll, employee manuals, handling complaints, employee benefits, safety, and workers compensation. The small business retains the ability to keep or remove persons from their staffs and the culture of that small business stays the same, but without the headaches associated with employment. 

A PEO acts like your very own Human Resources Department. They offer employee benefits previously reserved for Fortune 500 companies. Complete health & dental, 401k retirement, section 125 cafeteria plans and disability plans are just some of the offerings.   

StaffScapes, Inc. has been serving Colorado and surrounding areas for over 12 years. Contact our office to learn more at 303-466-7864 or email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

Monday, 26 November 2007 17:00

Transamerica 401(k)

StaffScapes, Inc 401(k) Profit Sharing Plan is undergoing fund changes in 2008.

The investment choices shown below will be undergoing changes effective February 15, 2008:

The investment manger will change.
The name of the investment choice will change to reflect new investment management company.
The asset category and long-term investment style of these investments choices will remain the same.

Diversified Investors Small -Cap Value Ret Opt will change to Diversified Investment Adv. Inc.

Janus Small Cap Value Ret Opt. will change to Janus Capital Group.

Balances in the above investment choices will not be transferred; the new managers will begin managing the investment choices effective February 15, 2008. These changes do not require any action on your part.

Published in Employee Benefits
Sunday, 07 October 2007 18:00

401k Plans

The benefits of investing in a retirement savings plan

One of the many benefits a PEO provides to it's clients and employees is a 401k retirement plan. Transamerica is the provider of the StaffScapes, Inc 401k plan. What are the benefits of investing in a retirement program?  Transamerica web site has many tips and education materials about starting, investing, and managing a retirement program. Click on the link below to learn more about Transamerica and retirement planning.

The Benefits of Investing in a Retirement Savings Plan

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