The month of December can be a mad rush for HR pros to get all those pesky end-of-year tasks done before we ring in the new year, from payroll processing to benefit renewals and wrapping up open enrollment.
But it’s not just HR that has a lot on its plate: Employees have some end-of-year tasks on their end, too. But if they’re not on top of it, you’re saddled with yet another task: Sending them reminders – sometimes over and over – to get everything done before we ring in the new year.
To avoid that exhausting back-and-forth give employees a checklist of the tasks they need to complete before January. Here are five reminders to help employees close out the year strong.
End-of-year reminders for employees
The end-of-year rush can be a pain, so it’s essential to notify your employees of what you need from them to avoid unnecessary stress.
1. Verify information
Remind employees to verify their personal information to ensure it’s up to date, including details like:
- Physical address
- Phone number
- Email address, and
- Social Security number.
Verifying employee information is essential for year-end reporting, as well as preparing tax forms in the new year and can ensure that there are less headaches when tax season comes along.
“Double-checking now can prevent errors that might require tax return corrections later,” says Michaels.
2. Review tax withholding information
Remind employees to review their tax withholding information. You may want to remind employees to be extra careful with their review if their financial situation has changed.
When talking to employees, remind them that this ensures their tax obligations are reflected accurately in their paycheck and can help them avoid surprises when tax season comes around.
You can also provide helpful tools, such as the IRS Tax Withholding Estimator.
3. Confirm your final 401(k) contributions
In the same vein as taxes, it’s important to remind employees about 401(k) contributions before the end of the year.
Remind employees to coordinate their year-end contributions before contribution limits reset in the new year. It might also be a good idea to remind employees about the pre-tax benefits of their 401(k) as they plan contributions for the new year.
You can also remind employees about the contribution limits for 2024.
4. Spend Flexible Spending Account dollars
If employees have a flexible spending account (FSA), it’s a good idea to remind them to utilize their funds before December 31, 2023. Unliked Health Savings Accounts, FSA dollars don’t roll over.
You may want to include a list of what they can use them on, including:
- Over-the-counter medications, and
- Deductibles and co-payments.
Remind employees to explore eligible items at the FSA Store to make the most of their benefit.
If your FSA plan has a “run-out” period – which gives employees extra time in the new year to get reimbursed for 2023 – or a grace period to use leftover funds into 2024, remind employees about these deadlines as well.
5. Double-check PTO balance
If your Paid Time Off (PTO) policy is “use it or lose it” and does not roll over into the new year, it’s important to send a few reminders as the end of the year approaches for employees to use up their days.
Remind employees to verify their PTO balance, and if possible, encourage them to consider taking a day off to recharge and relax before all the stress of the new year.
“If your PTO will expire, discuss with your manager to plan a well-deserved mental health day or staycation,” Michaels suggests.