This week’s 5 for Friday rounds up five stories about the latest trends in employee benefits.
- Small Employers Weigh Impact of Providing Health Insurance. New York Times: Almost half of retail and hospitality employers do not offer coverage to all their full-time employees, according to a recent survey by Mercer, a benefits consultant. “They’re all developing their strategies,” said Debra Gold, a senior partner with Mercer who advises several major retailers.
- Benefits Leader Reins In 401(k)s. Wall Street Journal: “When a large organization like IBM makes the change, others are going to watch and see, and if they’re struggling with the same issues from a cost-pressure perspective, and they are, it wouldn’t surprise me if other companies followed suit,” said Alison Borland, vice president of retirement solutions and strategies at Aon Hewitt.
- 5 Ideas for Creating a Robust Employee Benefits Plan. Practice Management News: “[I]t’s important to develop a robust benefits plan and consult experts to ensure your plan does not unintentionally run afoul of federal, state and local regulations. Creating a benefits plan may sound challenging, but it can be the difference in retaining your valuable employees and attracting new ones.”
- Experts Question Employees’ Readiness for Consumer-Driven Health Care. Employee Benefits News: “Our whole health care [benefits] system is an accident; nothing about the way the system works was designed from the start,” says Jennifer Benz, founder and chief strategist for San Francisco-based benefits communications firm Benz Communications. “Employer-sponsored health care is an accident of dealing with post-World War II employment issues. Managed care and everything since has just built layers and layers on top [of those accidental beginnings].”