I was talking to a broker the other day about pre-taxing benefits in a small business and he said, "It isn't 1998 anymore. Pre-tax isn't a big deal these days." It sounds weird to say aloud, but I think he's right. If you have less than 50 employees (and 96 percent of businesses in the U.S. do), you're more concerned with benefits paperwork and administration than tax savings.

He got me thinking: Was pre-tax ever as big a deal to employers and employees as it was to us?

Last month, I lamented that too many in our business have fallen into the order taker trap. An employee says, "I like that accident plan," and we write them up without exploring other options that may better meet their needs. I call it Order Taker Syndrome (OTS).

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