Compensation and benefits have long been key drivers in recruiting, attracting and retaining employees. Human resource professionals are integral to creating a compensation and benefits model that attracts talent, enhances engagement and retains employees—all while adhering to appropriate regulations and disclosure rules.
Outlook: President Trump supports rolling back Dodd–Frank and replacing it with "new policies to encourage economic growth and job creation." It is possible that the new administration could maintain some parts of the law, but the details are unclear at this point. The SEC currently has three Commissioner vacancies and therefore lacks a quorum to proceed to a vote on rules or other matters, leaving the impact of the following compensation policies unclear:
Section 127 of the Internal Revenue Code allows employers to provide and employees to exclude from income up to $5,250 per year in employer-provided tuition reimbursement for courses at the associate, undergraduate and graduate level. This benefit was reauthorized in one manner of another for more than 30 years and finally became a permanent part of the Internal Revenue Code in 2012, largely due to the advocacy efforts of SHRM and the SHRM-led Coalition to Preserve Employer Provided Education Assistance. A comprehensive and flexible benefits package is an essential tool in recruiting and retaining talented employees. Providing tax-free educational assistance and student loan repayment are important tools that employers utilize in order to accomplish this goal. Section 127, and now, with the expansion of this provision, provides employers the ability to invest in their own people, and to ensure that they are prepared for the increasingly competitive global marketplace
Outlook: During the tax reform process, the House bill, proposed eliminating employer-provided education assistance. The final bill, H.R. 1, did not contain the provision, essentially preserving tuition assistance. Efforts will now shift to expand and increase the benefit. The Employer Participation in Student Loan Assistance Act (HR 795), introduced in the House by Representatives Rodney Davis (R-IL), Jared Polis (D-CO), Scott Peters (D-CA) and Elise Stefanik (R-NY), would expand Section 127 of the Internal Revenue Code to include student loan repayment.
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