From the January 2013 issue of CeridianVoice.

January 2013 News Briefs

Job market outlook: what's ahead in 2013?

As it was in early 2012, economic uncertainty still weighs most on the U.S. labor market engine. Nonetheless, many organizations are optimistic for some labor improvement this year. Heading into 2013, surveyed employers have a "positive outlook" in 12 of the 13 industry sectors, according to Manpower. The strongest sectors for hiring in the first quarter are expected to be wholesale and retail trade, leisure and hospitality, and professional and business services. Read more at SHRM.

IRA contributions increase in 2013

The Internal Revenue Service has increased contribution limits for 401(k) and IRA plans. As of 2013, the maximum IRA contribution increases by $500 to $5,500; 401(k) and similar plans get a similar $500 contribution boost, to a $17,500 upper limit in 2013. The "catch-up" contribution limits for age 50 clients remain the same: $1,000 for IRAs and $5,500 for 401(k)s, 403(b)s, 457s, etc. For small business owners with a SEP IRA or a Solo 401(k) plan, the maximum contribution rises by $1,000, to $51,000, and up to $56,500 for those 50 and older. Read more at EBN.

Survey findings on workplace wellness initiatives released

New research from SHRM, commissioned by and conducted in collaboration with Alliance for a Healthier Minnesota, reveals new insights about worksite wellness initiatives in the U.S. The research also explores organizational commitment to wellness initiatives, return on investment related to wellness, concerns regarding the health of employees and reasons that prevent organizations from offering wellness initiatives. Read full survey results at SHRM.

Heading into 2013: your health law questions answered

The new health reform law will have large implications for consumers, state officials, employers and health care providers, including hospitals and doctors. While some of the key features don't kick in until 2014, the law has already altered the health care industry and established a number of consumer benefits. Find out which parts of the law are already up and running, what's to come and ways that provisions could still be altered. Read more at Kaiser Health News.

IRS issues changes to high-earners' Medicare tax

Beginning in 2013, the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA) increases the employee portion of FICA Medicare taxes on wages in excess of $200,000 for an unmarried taxpayer, $250,000 in the case of a joint return and $125,000 in the case of a married taxpayer filing a separate return by an additional 0.9 percent-to 2.35 percent. The additional tax differs from the standard Medicare tax in that there is no employer portion to correspond to the additional amount owed by the employee. By Jan. 1, 2013, U.S. employers should adjust their payroll systems to account for these higher FICA taxes. Read more at SHRM.