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The future of employee benefits

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#1 tabbs


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Posted 01 February 2008 - 04:59 PM

Will companies cut their employee benefits as the economy begins to weaken? And, will the trend toward employees paying more of their health care premiums continue? A panel of human resources professionals from top companies such as City Furniture and BankUnited debated these topics at a Watson Wyatt South Florida Employer Briefing at The Miami Herald on Thursday.

Here are the major points

* Companies are tailoring their benefits to their workforce. For example, The Miami Herald employees are under a lot of stress so the company offers onsite chiropractic and chair massages; Vitas Health workers work with dying patients so they offer generous time off for those who need mental health days; City Furniture has its headquarters out in the middle of nowhere so it is building a health clinic incase workers get hurt on the job.

* Employers are not marketing their benefits as if they were consumer products -- too many employees don't understand their benefits or the value of the total package.

* Expect to see a big increase in the use of benefits related to stress and mental illness. Health insurance will increasingly get more costly for workers but companies are making efforts to keep premiums down through disease management.

* Going forward there may be more hybrid retirement savings plans -- 401ks are dropping in value with the stock market. Just when companies want workers to retire, fewer will want to leave.

* The panelists did not feel employers would cut back on benefits if the economy continues to weaken but they do think they will shift which benefits they spend more on.

#2 Guest_Hunnybunches72_*

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Posted 02 February 2008 - 10:14 AM

Hmm..some interesting stuff to think about.
Im a little concerned with the HUGE recession they are calling for..that benefits will be one of the first things cut for people.

#3 Guest_Leslie_*

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Posted 02 February 2008 - 01:18 PM

I know our company, who offers great benefits such as some of those listed above, has been forced over the years to cut back on some things. But in all honestly, I have also seen them add things -- our benefits used to be completely free and a few yrs ago they had to start charging if you wanted 'family' coverage. Its not much and the benefits are great. A lot of people were ticked but I don't think some people understand how good they have it and how much benefits cost companies. They actually now provide our employees with an annual 'benefit statement' -- how much you claimed for health/dental/etc...how much the company contributed to your pension, etc -- just so people see what that $ value is. It may not be cash in your pocket every pay day that you have in hand but its certainly got a lot more value than people give it!