07 Jan Incorporating Assumptions and Disclaimers into Your Total Rewards Communication Strategy
When communicating Total Rewards (TR) to their associates, some employers like to include certain disclaimers or assumptions. These elements can either be included directly on the total rewards statements or through an online system relating to the content.
If you’re considering incorporating assumptions and disclaimers into your employee benefits statements, here are a few things you should consider, as well as examples of each:
Ask A Lawyer To Weigh In
As part of the TR Communication development plan, include a step to have your attorney review the content. Too often employers ask for legal to review the site or document as the very last step in the roll out. Since it is not unusual for them to have some edits, it is best to learn about them sooner rather than later. It is easier to make changes to the content and the design early in the process.
Assumptions and Disclaimers may be included in the relevant section relating to the type of reward element to help put the values in their proper context. And there may be a statement or disclaimer included. Of course, the idea is not to include a lot of legal wording but help clarify what the associate sees.
Examples of Assumptions:
- Bonus compensation includes payments made for Calendar Year 2015.
- The cost of health and welfare benefits and insurance are for the latest period and may not reflect changes you have recently made to your coverage.
- Health and Welfare benefits have been calculated by annualizing premiums from the beginning of this year.
- Life insurance coverage and annualized premiums are based on the (Name of Insurance Company) records.
- The Retirement Savings Account amount shown includes any applicable rollovers and deferrals.
Examples of General Disclaimers:
- This site does not constitute a contract of employment or a guarantee of benefits or future employment. In the event of conflict between this information and the official Plan documents, the Plan documents govern.
- Certain elements in this Total Rewards Communication are not guaranteed or fixed. Examples are bonus and incentive pay, continuing education and training. These elements vary and are based on specific circumstances.
Again, having a lawyer look over your assumptions and/or disclaimers may be the most efficient, safest option for your business. Keep in mind that while you can draft your employee benefits statements however you like, it’s always a good idea to protect your organization against any possibility of litigation in every way that you can.
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