eESI Week’s Best for the week ending December 29 includes a look at retail performance during the holiday season, a preview of benefits trends for 2018, and a review of the latest Affordable Care Act adjustments.


Shoppers Made Christmas Merry for Retailers

Fox Business reported this week that U.S. holiday sales will hit record levels this season. This news came as a bit of a surprise as the retail industry witnessed a series of high profile bankruptcies and store closing in 2017. Additionally, delivery companies are seeing an uptick in business as they handle deliveries and returns of holiday gifts.

The healthy retail report adds to other signs of a surging economy observed in recent months. 

Employee Benefits that Keep Everyone Happy

In 5 Big Benefits Trends Going into 2018, SHRM’s Stephen Miller tells us what benefits are trending and which ones may give employers headaches in 2018. (Spoiler alert: Healthcare costs aren’t going down.)


Meanwhile, reporting on Gallup’s State of the American Manager report, Tom Nolan points out that happy employees are healthier employees. In The No. 1 Employee Benefit That No One’s Talking About, Nolan advises employers to hire better managers if they want to improve employee well-being and attract the best talent.


Starting the New Year Refreshed and Ready

Are you planning to celebrate the new year and then hit the ground running in 2018? Harvard Business Review’s Matt Plummer offers his advice for getting back to work after the holiday break in How to Actually Come Back From the Holidays Feeling Refreshed.


Plummer recommends spending a little time planning and setting goals for the new year while you celebrate the old. This infographic featuring 30 Habits, Qualities and Secrets That Lead to Success from Entrepreneur should give you plenty of ideas as you contemplate your 2018 strategy.


What’s Happening with the ACA This Week?

First, a date change. In a pre-Christmas announcement, the IRS extended until March 2 the deadline for employers to deliver Forms 1095-B or -C to employees. These forms contain information related to employer-sponsored healthcare coverage. While employees don’t need to file a copy of these documents with their taxes, they may need the information to claim certain deductions.


In IRS Extends Deadline to Supply ACA Forms to Employees, SHRM’s Stephen Miller explains the details. Employers should bear in mind that this extension only affects disclosures sent to employees. Employers must still get their ACA paperwork to the IRS on time.


Then, a repeal (but not until 2019). As part of the new tax law, individuals will not pay a penalty for failing to obtain insurance coverage. But that provision of the tax legislation doesn’t take effect until 2019. In What Individual Mandate Repeal Means for Employers, Miller discusses the impact that the scheduled elimination of the individual mandate penalty in 2019 will have on employees and employers.


A Look Back Before We Say Goodbye

2017 was a year of change.  Here’s a look back …