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January, 2017

Dear Members,


Overtime Rule Delayed

The overtime rule which would have qualified millions of workers for overtime has been blocked by a federal judge in Texas. District Judge Amos Mazzant, in Sherman, Texas, issued a nationwide injunction agreeing with 21 states and a coalition of business groups that the rule proposed by Obama is unlawful.

On December 1, 2016, the Department of Justice on behalf of the Department of Labor filed a notice to appeal the preliminary injunction to the U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit. The rule was to go into effect on December 1, 2016, but it's on hold pending the outcome of the appeal or change by the Trump administration.

Source: Kathleen K. Ryan, Executive Director and General Counsel, PFDA

Catholic Church Reaffirms Human Remains Should Be Placed in a Sacred Place

Recently the Catholic Church reminded their members that burial is still the preferred method of disposition of human remains for Catholics. It was also clarified by the Vatican that cremated remains must be laid to rest in a sacred place (a cemetery, a church, or an area set aside for burial purposes), not scattered or kept in someone's home.

EPA Announces Initial List of Chemicals for Review

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has announced the first ten chemicals that will be evaluated for potential risks to human health and the environment under Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA) reform. Formaldehyde is not on this list.

The list of chemicals came from the EPA's 2014 TSCA Work Plan, a list of 90 chemicals selected based on their potential for high hazard and exposure as well as other considerations.

Even though Formaldehyde is not on this current list, it is on the Work Plan list and it will be evaluated over the next several years.

Source: NFDA Bulletin, December 5, 2016

Employer Health Care Coverage Reporting Date Extended

Funeral Homes with fewer than 50 employees that provide self-insured medical coverage must use Form 1095-B to report their 2016 health coverage information to the IRS and their employees. They must also file Form 1094-B to transmit health returns to the IRS. Forms must be provided to employees by March 2, 2017, instead of January 31st. However, the due date to send returns to the IRS is still February 28, for e-filing the date is March 31.

Source: Kiplinger Tax Letter, VOL. 91, NO. 24, December 2, 2016

Pre-Need Determination of Eligibility Program for Vets

VA national cemeteries are offering individuals with the opportunity to apply for interment in one of its cemeteries prior to the time of need. In order to prequalify, individuals must complete and submit a VA Form 40-100007 Application for Pre-Need Determination of Eligibility for Burial in a VA National Cemetery, along with supporting documents.

For more information on the new program, individuals can call 800-827-1000 or go to http://www.cem.va.gov/.

Source: U.S. Department of Veteran Affairs, News Release, December 8, 2016


Sales and Use Tax

The Pennsylvania Department of Revenue has made some recent changes to items that are taxable in the Commonwealth. These changes include sales tax on cremation urns that are not interred. Therefore, if you have not been engaged to inter the urn, I would suggest you either collect tax on any urn sold to a consumer or have them sign a statement that they will have the urn interred on a certain date. Keep these records in a file so that if you are audited, you have proof of what you have done.

Source: Kathleen K. Ryan, Executive Director and General Counsel, PFDA

Who Can Request a Death Certificate?

The Pennsylvania Department of Health Division of Vital Records permits the following people to request a death certificate:

• Legal representative of decedent's estate
• Immediate family members
• Extended family members who indicate a direct relationship to the decedent
• Power of Attorney (for eligible requestor)
• If applicant is retained by a city/county/state office who has assumed administration of an estate, a letter signed by an official of the city/county/state office is required indicating for what purpose they have retained the services of the applicant and identify whose estate is involved.

If you have any questions or require additional information, contact the Division of Vital Records at (724) 656-3100.


Caution: Severe Weather Driving Ahead

To avoid getting caught off-guard when road conditions go from good to bad, a little advance preparation-—for you and your car-—may help you steer clear of those fender benders.

The best way to avoid an accident is to not be on the roads in the first place. If driving is unavoidable: Slow down and plan ahead; Leave tailgating for the football game; Pay attention; Make sure your lights and wipers work properly; Get enough rest; and Drive defensively.

Source: Federated Insurance

Funeral Directors Life Recognized as One of the Top 25 Workplaces in the Nation
Funeral Directors Life (FDLIC) was recently recognized by Great Place to Work® as one of the top 25 companies to work for in the United States on their 2016 Best Small & Medium Workplaces list, published by FORTUNE magazine. Funeral Directors Life was ranked #21 out of hundreds of companies analyzed across the nation.

To see the 2016 Great Place to Work Best Small & Medium Workplaces list and to learn more about how to build a high-trust workplace culture, visit www.greatplacetowork.com or to learn more about Funeral Directors Life, visit www.funeraldirectorslife.com.

NFDA and Federated Insurance Partner to Address Distracted Driving
Distracted driving has become an epidemic, and with the introduction of new mobile devices, the risk for potential behind-the-wheel distractions increases. NFDA and Federated Insurance have partnered to help funeral homes address distracted driving in both their business and their communities with a community outreach tool kit. The tool kit is free for all NFDA members.

Funeral homes can learn more about the tool kit and order their free copy by contacting a local Federated marketing representative or visiting www.nfda.org/distracteddriving.

Source: NFDA Bulletin, December 5, 2016

New Member Benefit - Discount Background Checks

Effective staff and vendor management has become a necessity in today's business environment, that is why PFDA is partnering with Coeus Global, a nationally recognized background screening provider. As a PFDA member, you will receive a 20 - 40% member discount.

Choosing the right partner can be the difference between providing a safe and secure environment for your customers and employees, as well as reducing potential risks, and allowing undesirable elements to tarnish your organizations valuable reputation within your community.

Coeus Global's online Employee Management System (EMS) will allow your funeral home, locally or nationally, to effectively conduct background screenings and track staff applicants quickly and easily.

To learn more about this new member benefit discount program please contact James Eirkson at: james@pfda.org or 800-692-6068


What Great Funeral Directors Will Never Say to Families

Families come to funeral directors to help them plan their loved ones' funerals. They rely on funeral directors to provide them with guidance, help, advice, etc., during a very emotional time in their lives. Families want to have a great experience and know they are in good hands. In order to make sure you, as a great funeral director, are delivering great customer service, you should avoid saying the following words to families: 1. "I know how you feel." 2. "We've always done it this way." 3. "Are you sure?" 4. "That's not my job." and 5. "That's just the way it is."

Source: funeralOne, October 5, 2016


PFDA Office Closed

The PFDA office will be closed on Monday, January 2, 2017 in observance of the Holiday and will reopen on Tuesday, January 3, 2017. The office will also be closed on Monday, January 16, 2017 in observance of the Martin Luther King, Jr. holiday. The office will reopen Tuesday, January 17, 2017.

New Classified Ad Page on the PFDA Website

The PFDA website will now have a stand-alone page for classified ads. Members and non-members are permitted to advertise any funeral related products they are looking to sell on this page. The cost to advertise on the page is $55.00 per month, which will also include a listing in the monthly newsletter. It's an additional $5.00 to have a file# attached to your ad. All ad information needs to be sent to Donna in the PFDA office via email to donna@pfda.org or fax at 717-545-7360, by the 15th of the month to appear in the following month's newsletter and on the website.

PFDA Dues Update
The Annual PFDA Membership dues have been mailed. You can pay your dues by going to www.pfda.org or by mailing a check or credit card to the PFDA office. If you have any questions, please contact Sue at 800-692-6068 or sue@pfda.org.


PFDA Annual Convention

The 2017 Annual Convention and Expo will be held April 23-26, 2017 at Kalahari Resorts and Convention Center in Pocono Manor, PA. Attendees can reserve overnight rooms by calling 855-356-9208 and asking for the Pennsylvania Funeral Directors Association block or going online to https://book.kalahariresorts.com/poconos/groups.asp and using the group booking ID 416.

Registration brochures for this year's annual convention will be mailed shortly. Information on the PFDA Convention and Expo "The Power of Change..." can be found at www.pfda.org.

Local Association Presidents and Secretaries and PFDA members are asked to submit names of deceased members and immediate family members to be honored at the Service of Remembrance during the PFDA Annual Convention. The service will be held on Tuesday, April 25 at 11:00am.

The annual service awards ceremony will take place during the PFDA Annual Convention on Tuesday, April 25 at 10:30am.

PFDA invites you to join in making a donation to this year's silent auction at Convention. All proceeds go to the Funeral Service Fund and Building Fund. In 2016, $6,000 was raised due to many baskets and items that were received. Your help is needed again this year.

Forms for all of the events listed above are enclosed.


PFDA's Annual District Meetings will be held during the weeks of September 11-14 and September 18-21, 2017.


Eileen (Koller) Brillhart, 58, of West York, died on November 11, 2016. She was a Licensed Funeral Director and owner, supervisor and funeral director of Koller Funeral Home & Cremation Center, Inc, York.

Annie Doherty, 99, of Charlestown, Boston, died on November 15, 2016. She is survived by her son-in-law, John Eirkson, PFDA Advisor and James Eirkson, Assistant Executive Director and COO of PFDA.

Dale N. Hoover, 75, of Millersburg, died on November 19, 2016. He was a licensed funeral director and the previous co-owner of Hoover Funeral Homes in Millersburg and Elizabethville.

Mary L. Confer, 88, of Williamsport, died on November 20, 2016 at the Williamsport Home. She is survived by her son John M., a licensed funeral director and supervisor at Knight-Confer Funeral Home Inc., Williamsport.

John V. Graziano, 88, of Jeannette, died on December 16, 2016. He was the founder of John V. Graziano Funeral Home in Jeannette. He is survived by his sons both PA Licensed Funeral Directors, John A, owner and operator of Hartman-Graziano Funeral Home, Latrobe and James P., President of John V. Graziano Funeral Home.

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