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Are PEO Products Right for You?

Finding Solutions for Your Scaling Business

[BY GerryThistle]

In the highly competitive market for talented employees, a robust benefit package and employee management system is essential to attract and retain quality personnel. For small to mid-sized businesses this can be challenging.

Perhaps you have heard of a Professional Employer Organization (PEO). A PEO provides comprehensive one stop employee management services including: payroll administration, workers’ compensation management, human resources compliance and employee benefits administration. The PEO essentially becomes the employer of record for tax and insurance purposes, a relationship that is referred to as co-employment.

Many PEOs provide a package of products and services that one would typically find at a Fortune 500 company, but now utilizing a PEO solution, employer groups of 10 to 1,000 employees have access to these benefits and services. At USI Insurance Services we have been involved with PEOs for 18 years and today, TriNet is our leading PEO vendor. Currently we have over 30 clients placed with TriNet. Those customers are in a variety of industries including, but not limited to, agriculture, health care and professional services. TriNet also has a special focus on the hospitality industry and is strongly represented with companies in the startup phase. 

In addition to basic PEO services, like payroll administration and human resources, TriNet offers comprehensive employee benefits, like group health insurance and products such as dental, short term disability, long term disability and life insurance, which are often more affordable when accessed via a PEO. Also clients are making one payment each month to cover these myriad of services, which greatly helps with budgeting and payroll. In the ever changing world of human resources law, expertise in this arena is crucial to any business, PEOs provide expert support, not just a resource library. Also, TriNet’s innovative, secure and reliable HR management software has helped small and mid-size businesses thrive. 

What To Look For

STRATEGY_SCBMARKETINGCompanies need a PEO that provides employment practices liability

coverage, coupled with deep human resources services which bring a level of expertise few business owners or their staff possess. Today’s employers have to be mindful of mitigating employment risks.

Most significant in today’s business environment is compliance with the Affordable Care Act. By anyone’s standard ACA is extremely cumbersome, often times overwhelming and more than a little confusing, to the uninitiated. A quality PEO is able to help navigate through ACA compliance challenges.

Most importantly, a PEO enables a business to focus on its customers, which is what generates revenue for the company. What business, and business owner, wouldn’t prefer that over being distracted by these administrative and compliance issues? These responsibilities don’t generate profits, but can certainly absorb a significant amount of time.

Not for Everyone

HR-BENEFITS_SCBMARKETINGThe most important thing we can ever say to a prospect, client or friend who is considering a PEO is that PEOs are not created equally. There are significant differences in capability, in size and in their financial position. It would be a mistake to think they are all the same.

Our clients have been extremely well-served by the PEO solution, but we don’t use a “one size fits all” approach, because all businesses are different. A comprehensive PEO analysis by a qualified Broker Consultant is essential, comparing a PEO solution to the traditional approaches within the insurance industry.  If a move to a PEO proves viable, we provide the placement expertise and ongoing consulting services to meet our client’s ever changing needs. 

THISTLEGerry Thistle is an insurance broker and consultant with USI Insurance Services. He can be contacted at (772) 562-3369 or

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