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HR Shared Services Year End – Utilization of Electronic W-2s

Over the past few years, the proliferation of electronic W-2s at year-end has grown significantly. There are advantages for both the company, as well as the employee.

A recent iPolling® question from a Peeriosity member in the Payroll research area provided them with a custom research report, prepared within hours, that included input from dozens of their peers. The member inquired about the use of electronic W-2s, as well as a request for comments. Samples of the results are summarized below.

The main benefits noted for the Company:

  • Reduced Postage, Forms and Envelop Costs
  • Reduced Labor Costs for Print and Mail
  • Time Saved on Wrong Address Tracking
  • Fewer Loss Replacements

The benefits for the employee:

  • Earlier Access to W-2 Translates to Quicker Tax Filing (and refund)
  • Reduced Possibility of Loss
  • Remote Access to W-2 if not Located at Primary Residence
  • Data Easily Downloaded into Tax Preparation Software

As with all Peeriosity custom research and iPolling®, members have full visibility of respondent’s names by company, as well as the ability to contact them for follow-up discussion using Peeriosity’s integrated Peer MailTM system. Additionally, a discussion stream of comments adds further insights to the research. Some of the representative comments include:

  • Employee consent is required in order to furnish electronic W-2s. We have made a concerted effort to really publicize the benefits to employees and make it easy for them to complete the consent.
  • Each year gets easier and easier and our enrollment gets greater. The early adopters liked telling their co-workers and we eventually reached the “tipping-point” in our fourth year when our enrollment numbers far exceeded our expectation. Now it’s the rare exception that an employee is not receiving an electronic W-2.
  • Electronic W-2s can usually be accessed between the 10th and 15th of January. Paper W-2 employees hear how quick their co-workers received W-2’s while they are waiting an additional two weeks or more before they receive theirs in the mail. We take advantage of the timing difference and roll out a campaign to get people to sign their consent for the following year’s W-2. Do this once or twice and the enrollment numbers swell.
  • We tried, but our lack of a vehicle to distribute and collect consents was a barrier for us to get a critical mass. We are working on our HR portal, which should make this easier on our next try.
  • Our initial rollout was met with skepticism by a segment of our workforce. For them, we decided to mail paper W-2s as we always had, but also gave them access to the electronic W-2s and offered a modest incentive (small dollar gift card) to do so. The results were good and we had much-improved enrollment the following year.

How are you delivering both company and employee benefits using electronic delivery?

Who are your peers and how are you collaborating with them?

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