Product Release | 11.17.2016


Product Release - 11.17.2016

No turkey here... just a Flock product update stuffed with more amazing features. Seconds anyone? "May your stuffing be tasty, and your turkey be plump. May your potatoes and gravy have barely a lump. May your pies take the prize while Flock frees-up your time, so you can keep it all off your thighs :)"

Performance Improvements / Enhancements for Company Administrators

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Time-off enhancements
This added functionality allows our company administrators to better manage existing time off policies. You can now approve and/or cancel past and/or future time-off requests on demand. Flock will automatically email the involved parties and automatically recalculate the time off available/taken. We also save you some time with employee self-service. If time-off has been approved and not taken yet, an employee can cancel the request and Flock will automatically email all parties involved and recalculates the available balance. 

Defined Contribution health care is now supported
We are excited to announce a retail like experience for employees when an employer wants to offer a defined health care (DC) arrangement. It can take many forms, but a common thread is to reframe how you offer and present the group health care products to your employees. Traditionally you build benefits around certain health care plan offerings. With a DC approach, you're building around a set dollar amount. Employees have more options to choose between the products they need and don't need, selections that fit their lifestyle and financial needs. 

Help to ensure employees enroll in benefits
This new feature will ensure an employee submits their election decisions during the enrollment process. If the employee attempts to leave the final step in the benefits enrollment process, they will see a pop-up informing them they need to complete the final step or they will not be enrolled in the elections they have selected. Employees who neglect to enroll or waive coverage will automatically receive emails from Flock as well until they enroll/waive and submit the election(s).

Validation for a spouse <18 years
This enhanced feature will ensure fewer errors can be made by an employee during the enrollment process. If the employee enters a spouse/domestic partner date of birth which is <18 years, Flock will make them confirm this data is accurate or allow them to correct the data prior to it being saved and passed on to the carriers/vendors.

More employee self-service
Company admins no longer need to assign a W-4 each time an employee chooses to update their tax withholding. Now, employees can simply go to their own profile, select the compensation tab, then W-4. Once the employee updates the W-4, it's saved to their personal profile. Flock will automatically email the company admin that the employee has updated their W-4 and the changes will be included the next payroll change report. 

Flock keeps an eye on privacy
We take privacy seriously and have added the ability for your employees to mask and unmask their social security numbers and date of birth on-demand. As employees become mobile and use smart devices in public places, peering eyes can be of a concern when employees view their Flock profiles. These worries can subside, employees can control and decide when they want to see or keep masked these two important pieces of personal data.

FSA transit/parking elections and changes
Encouraging your employees to use public transit also helps them save on taxes, while at the same time enabling employers to save on payroll taxes... it's a win-win! Broker partners and company admins can now help employees (when needed) enroll or change FSA transit/parking elections by simply choosing them from the benefits tab and enrolling or changing their election. This will also be reflected on the employees benefit summary page and in the next benefit change report/payroll change report. 

Company Administrator easier delegation
You can delegate, to get the work completed, and still having visibility to ensure it's been accomplished. No longer do you need to follow-up to ensure the employees complete their assigned tasks. You can now simply specify another person within your organization, assign the on-boarding tasks to them, and the assignee can see any outstanding tasks and have the ability to notify, mark as complete or delete the task. 

We love to over-communicate
Flock now has a comprehensive summary email available to both our broker partners and company admins which informs you of a new hire, or when a life event benefit change/enrollment occurs. The email summary includes the choices the employee made and indicates the employee cost per pay period along with the effective dates. It's a simple way for Flock to provide a heads-up on a new benefits change/enrollment, and a simple way for you to cross reference the benefits change report. Of course, if you find it's too gobble-gobble for your liking, your broker can turn the emails on/off whenever you request it.

Performance Improvements for Broker Partners

More products added with our Unum partnership
We announced earlier in 2016 an integrated partnership with Unum, and the voluntary products being offered though Flock. Our partnership continues strong with Unum, and we have added even more product types to the list of options for our broker partners and mutual clients. We now host an integration for enrollment in whole life insurance and individual short-term disability. 

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Defined Contribution health care is now supported
We are excited to announce a retail like experience for employees when an employer wants to offer a defined health care (DC) arrangement. It can take many forms, but a common thread is to reframe how you offer and present the group health care products to your employees. Traditionally you build benefits around certain health care plan offerings. With a DC approach, you're building around a set dollar amount. Employees have more options to choose between the products they need and don't need, selections that fit their lifestyle and financial needs.

Calculation based on variable age factors
Don't worry when the carriers create different ways to calculate rates, based on age factors. Flock now defaults the age calculation based on the EE, Spouse/DP and dependents to their current Age/DOB. However, with a simple drop down selection you can change it on the fly, select criteria to  be a "fixed date" in time or when the plan began or will begin. Math can be confusing and we simplify it, so all you do is test it and launch it.

Co-Share rate calculations (blended and/or no family rate)
This is a new & exciting change and a great way to save time for our broker partners. Flock can already handle all kinds of co-share arrangements between the employers and the employees. We just added the ability to calculate the contribution with a blended rate between the EE + Spouse and creating a family rate by each tier being calculated separately. Our goal continues to simplify the complicated and ever changing benefits world for you and your customers...

FSA transit/parking elections and changes
Encouraging your flock to use public transit and helping them save on taxes while you save on payroll taxes...win..win... Broker partners and company admins can now help employees (when needed) enroll or change FSA transit/parking elections by simply choosing them from the benefits tab and enrolling or changing their election. This will also be reflected on the employees benefit summary page and in the next benefit change report/payroll change report. 

Reporting enhancements
We are focusing on making our many reports easier to read and understand. We have created new legends, eliminated columns and added notes indicating when it's a domestic partner rather than a spouse to assist you in setting up deduction(s) correctly in a payroll vendor's platform. By selecting this in our reporting, you can calculate the annual imputed income correctly at year end and eliminate the back and forth. We have also added a COBRA CSV standard file for all vendors along with the eligible COBRA reasons for all situations. Finally, Time-off reporting can now be run with a specific date range to see an accurate balance for active or termed employees and just in time for Thanksgiving vacations...

We love to over-communicate
Flock now has a comprehensive summary email to both our broker partners and company admins which informs you of a new hire or life event benefit change/enrollment occurs. The email summary includes the choices the employee made and indicates the employee cost per pay period along with the effective dates. It's a simple way for Flock to provide a heads on a new benefits change/enrollment, and a simple way to cross reference the benefits change report. Of course, if you find it's too gobble-gobble for your liking, your broker can turn the emails on/off whenever you request it.

Open Enrollment passive plan mapping
If you have a client offering several plans now and want to consolidate into a few plans, you can easily provide this for the next open enrollment period. This is a new & exciting change and a great way to save time in launching Flock for our broker partners. You can now map several prior year plan products (along with dependent data) to one or a few new plans in a single click.

Voluntary life enhancements
Voluntary supplemental life insurance rate calculations can be complicated and Flock already supports many different variations. We now have added the ability to provide a single flat dollar tier or multiple tiers as needed for dependent(s) enrollment.