What do all of these employee benefits acronyms stand for, you ask? We cannot guarantee that all the lingo you’ll hear about employee benefits compliance is included on our list, but it’s a good place to start.
Employee benefits compliance is a complex topic, and all of the abbreviations make things even more difficult. Whether you’re trying to understand the latest developments in health care reform law or trying to make sense of your company’s health insurance plan documents, you are likely to run into many of these acronyms. We know that not everyone can become an expert on employee benefits compliance, but everybody can understand the issues much better with this helpful reference list.
EMPLOYEE BENEFITS COMPLIANCE
List of Acronyms
AA – Affirmative Action.
ADA – Americans with Disabilities Act.
A federal law that prohibits disability discrimination in employment.
ADEA – Age Discrimination in Employment Act. A federal law that prohibits age discrimination in employment.
BIW – Bi-Weekly (paid a bi-weekly rate for a defined number of pay periods).
BFOQ or BOQ – Bona Fide Occupational Qualification. A minimum qualification requirement needed as a prerequisite to being able to do a particular job. A defense in certain disparate treatment claims.
CHIPRA – Children’s Health Insurance Program Reauthorization Act.
COBRA – Consolidated Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act. A federal law that requires certain employers to offer employees, their spouses, and dependents a temporary period of continued health care coverage if they lose coverage under an employer’s group health plan.
DSI – Discretionary Salary Increase.
DOB – Date of Birth.
DOL – U.S. Department of Labor, and used for state labor offices.
DOT – Dictionary of Occupational Titles. A federal title classification document that categorizes and describes the type of work typically associated with job titles and places titles into statistical reporting categories.
EAP – Employee Assistance Program.
EBSA – Employee Benefits Security Administration.
EEO – Equal Employment Opportunity. Backed by legislation and executive orders, used to notify the public that an employer provides equal treatment and opportunity for all job applicants and employees.
EEOC – U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission. Responsible for enforcing federal laws that make it illegal to discriminate against a job applicant or an employee because of the person’s race, color, religion, sex (including pregnancy), national origin, age (40 or older), disability or genetic information.
EPA – Equal Pay Act, or U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.
EPPA – Employee Polygraph Protection Act. A federal law that generally prevents employers from using lie detector tests either for pre-employment screening or during the course of employment, with certain exceptions.
ERISA – Employee Retirement Income Security Act. A federal law that sets minimum standards for group health plans and retirement plans.
FLSA – Fair Labor Standards Act. A federal law that ensures fair treatment of employees and establishes the employment categories of exempt and non-exempt.
FMLA – Family and Medical Leave Act. A federal law requiring certain employers to provide employees with unpaid, job-protected leave due to certain family and medical reasons.
FOIA – Freedom of Information Act. Requires agencies to disclose records requested in writing by any person, subject to certain exceptions.
FSA – Flexible Spending Arrangement. Allows employees to be reimbursed for certain medical expenses. FSAs are usually funded through voluntary salary reduction agreements with an employer.
FTA – Full-time annual salary.
FUTA – Federal Unemployment Tax Act. With state unemployment systems, FUTA provides for payments of unemployment compensation to eligible workers who have lost their jobs. Most employers pay both a federal and a state unemployment tax.
HCFA – Health Care Financing Administration. The federal agency responsible for oversight of Social Security and Medicare.
HCTC – Health Coverage Tax Credit. Pays a percentage of health insurance premiums for qualified individuals and their families.
HIPAA – Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act. A federal law designed to improve portability and continuity of health insurance coverage.
HMO – Health Maintenance Organizations. Alternative local/regional health insurance providers that generally require participants to use their doctors and clinics, unless treatment is required when participants are traveling or living out of the region.
HRA – Health Reimbursement Arrangement. Employees are reimbursed tax free for qualified medical expenses up to a maximum dollar amount for a coverage period. An HRA must be funded solely by an employer.
HRMS – Human Resource Management System. Information system for management of employee and position data.
HRY – Hourly (paid at an hourly rate for hours worked).
HSA – Health Savings Account. Designed to help individuals save for future qualified medical and retiree health expenses on a tax-free basis.
I-9 – I-9 Form. Used for verifying the identity and employment authorization of individuals hired for employment in the U.S.
IRA – Individual Retirement Account. A trust or custodial account for the exclusive benefit of an individual or his or her beneficiaries.
IRCA – Immigration Reform and Control Act.
IRS – Internal Revenue Service.
KSA – Knowledge, Skills, or Abilities.
LEAP – Labor Education Action Program. A program that provides training for employees.
LIFE – Legal Immigration Family Equity Act.
LWO – Leave without pay.
LWP – Leave with pay.
MSA – Medical Savings Account. Designed to help self-employed individuals and employees of certain small employers meet the medical care costs of the account holder, the account holder’s spouse, or the account holder’s dependent(s).
NLRA – National Labor Relations Act.
NRA – Nonresident Alien. An individual who is not a U.S. citizen, does not have a green card, and is not a resident alien for tax purposes. NRAs are taxed under an entirely different system.
OSHA – Occupational Safety and Health Administration. The federal agency responsible for ensuring safe work
PPO – Preferred Provider Organization. A network of doctors, hospitals, and others that provide services that contract with a health insurer to provide services to its members.
PTO – Paid Time Off. A system of paid days off work for employees that combines personal, sick, vacation, or other employer-provided leave into one bank.
RA – Resident Alien. An individual who is not a U.S. citizen and does not have a green card, but who has passed the substantial presence test for U.S. residency. A resident alien is taxed like a U.S. citizen.
RIF – Reduction In Force. Reducing the workforce through a plan that includes layoffs or retrenchments.
SL (SLxx) – Salary Level (for professional employee position, non-statutory salary charts).
SS – Social Security.
SSN – Social Security Number.
SSA – Social Security Administration.
SEP – Simplified Employee Pension Plan. Allows employers to contribute to traditional IRAs set up for employees.
SIC – Standard Industrial Classification.
SIMPLE Plan – Savings Incentive Match Plan for Employees. Allows employees and employers to contribute to traditional IRAs set up for employees.
TPA – Third Party Administrator.
USCIS – U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services.
USERRA – Uniformed Services Employment and Reemployment Rights Act. A federal law that prohibits employment discrimination on the basis of past military service, current military obligations, or intent to serve.
WARN – Workers’ Adjustment and Retraining Notification Act. Requires most employers with 100 or more employees to provide notice 60 days in advance of plant closings and mass layoffs.
WC – Workers’ Compensation.
WCB – Workers’ Compensation Boards.
If you need expert guidance on how to best manage employee benefits compliance for your organization, we are here to help.