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Employers are continuing to make gradual shifts to their benefits plans as they confront legislative changes, escalating costs, slashed HR budgets and an uneven economy, according to the findings in SHRM’s 2013 Employee Benefits survey report, released on June 14. The report was sponsored by Colonial Life.
The survey of randomly selected SHRM members was fielded in February 2013. Noteworthy benefits trends highlighted in the survey report include:
Preventive health and wellness. Over the last five years, the number of organizations providing wellness-related initiatives that offer incentives to employees has increased (see chart below).
Health and Wellness Incentives Show Sizable Increase
Respondents Offering in 2009
Respondents Offering in 2013
Health and lifestyle coaching
Rewards or bonuses for completing certain health and wellness programs
Onsite fitness classes
Health care premium discount for getting an annual health risk assessment
Health care premium discount for participating in a wellness program
Source: 2013 Employee Benefits survey report.
Retirement savings and planning. Employer-sponsored retirement plans continue to shift toward 401(k)-type defined contribution plans, with more organizations offering Roth 401(k) options. There was also an increase in the number of organizations offering one-on-one investment advice and specific retirement preparation advice.
Financial benefits and compensation. Employee referral bonuses have gained in popularity over the past year.
Leave. Paid-time-off plans, which combine traditional vacation time, sick leave and personal days into one comprehensive plan, continue to gain in popularity. At the same time, the following benefits have become less prevalent: floating holidays, paid personal days, paid vacation leave donation programs and paid sick leave donation programs.
Flexible working benefits. Flextime has remained stable in recent years.
Housing and relocation benefits. Temporary relocation benefits continue to decline in popularity.
Family-Friendly Benefits Expand
Onsite lactation/mother’s rooms and domestic partner benefits for same-sex partners (other than health care)
continue to gain in popularity, the survey found.
Regarding child care benefits, 71 percent of employers offer dependent care flexible spending accounts, 26 percent allow employees to bring their children to work in a child care emergency, and 12 percent offer a child care referral service.
“With a majority of single-parent families having a parent in the workforce and 59 percent of two-parent families with both parents employed, child care benefits are an important recruiting and job satisfaction driver for working parents,” said Evren Esen, manager of SHRM’s Survey Research Center.
Steps to Take
The report includes a number of recommended action steps, including the following:
is an online editor/manager for SHRM.
Related SHRM Articles:
SHRM Research Spotlights Health Care Reform Strategies, Costs,
SHRM Online Benefits, June 2013
SHRM Online Health Care Reform Resource Page
SHRM Online Retirement Plans Resource Page
SHRM Online Outsourcing Resource Page
SHRM Online Workplace Flexibility Resource Page
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