Tip for the Week: “Less is… More!”

This week we tackled Fit/Gap for the Benefit sessions and the 2 remaining HR sessions.   It was a full week of meeting with the business owners to discuss new functionality for Benefits and verification of BTRG’s understanding of our client’s current business process for Core HR.

We discussed the following list of new features for Benefits in PeopleSoft HCM 9.1.  The changes discussed below were originally introduced in PeopleSoft HCM version 9.0.  There were no new enhancements for Benefits or Benefits Administration in the PeopleSoft HCM 9.1 release.  The following also lists our observations based on the feedback we received from user involvement:

  • New Rate Table Configuration
    • A single rate structure replaces the old flat, age-graded, salary percentage and service rate tables. This common architecture standardizes the definition of all rate tables.
    • Our client will utilize this new functionality and will need to adjust reports, queries and any processing that utilizes the rate tables.  They also gain the ability to consolidate multiple rate table ids into one due to the increased configurability.  Less is more!
  • Life and Disability Plan Enhancements
    • All attributes calculating coverage for life insurance and disability plans are centralized in a common formula-based component. You can select from existing formulas to calculate life insurance coverage or create your own coverage calculation formula.
    • The new age reduction and coverage formula features were of great interest to our client.
    • Custom calculations and processing will be retired and manual updates will be eliminated when these features are upgraded.  Again, less customizations = More!!
  • Simple Rate Plans
    • Simple Rate Plans are established to help you easily set up long-term care insurance, employee assistance plans, legal plans and other types of insurances that only require an associated rate.
    • Our client customized PeopleSoft version 8.9 to allow for simple plans to be created.  This customization will be replaced with the PeopleSoft 9.1 upgraded functionality.
  • Savings Plan Enhancements
    • Savings Plans were enhanced to provide limit processing and limit overrides. It now supports 402(g), 457 and 401(a) limit extensions, hardship withdrawals and contribution suspensions.
  • Medicare Entitlement Enhancements
    • Fields were added to track Medicare entitlements and enrollments. These fields were also added to the eligibility tables for Benefits Administration.
  • Dependent Coverage
    • Benefits Administration is configured to allow overage dependents to remain covered in plans until your policy says they are no longer eligible. Events can now be configured to maintain dependents and coverage when employees are migrated from one plan to another.
    • Our client will utilize the new feature when they implement the Benefits Administration functionality.  Currently they only run Base Benefits.
  • Certifications and Validations
    • New ability to associate certification questionnaires with certain dependent relationships or with certain plan types (wellness plans, for example).

We completed the week with reviews of our client’s current state assessments for Add and Maintain Personal Data, Add and Maintain Job Data, Merit Increase process and the Bonus Award process.  Visio diagrams and process narratives were reviewed, updated and approved by the business owner’s.

One of our overriding themes is always “Less is More”.  We try to focus our recommendations around making the system as close to ‘vanilla’ as possible while taking FULL advantage of all it has to offer.  With our years of experience we have seen numerous ways our customers have been able to be creative in utilizing delivered functionality to meet all of their business requirements while reducing customizations.

Deliverables: Benefit Session Agendas; Meeting Minutes from the Fit/Gap sessions, Final Current State Assessment Visio and Word documentation

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