This Month Only! >> $20 off and a FREE SHRM tote with your membership and code TOTE2018!
Sign up for free email newsletters and get more SHRM content delivered to your inbox.
Is your employee handbook keeping up with the changing world of work? With SHRM's Employee Handbook Builder get peace of mind that your handbook is up-to-date.
Build competencies, establish credibility and advance your career—while earning PDCs—at SHRM Seminars in 12 cities across the U.S. this spring.
#SHRM18 will expand your perspective – on your organization, on your career, and on the way you approach HR. Join us in Chicago June 17-20, 2018
As policies shift, employers should review how to achieve their overall objectives
Members may download one copy of our sample forms and templates for your personal use within your organization. Please note that all such forms and policies should be reviewed by your legal counsel for compliance with applicable law, and should be modified to suit your organization’s culture, industry, and practices. Neither members nor non-members may reproduce such samples in any other way (e.g., to republish in a book or use for a commercial purpose) without SHRM’s permission. To request permission for specific items, click on the “reuse permissions” button on the page where you find the item.
Employee benefits have been transformed over the past 30 years. To examine the impact of these changes, the nonprofit Employee Benefit Research Institute (EBRI) recently
conducted a policy forum in Washington, D.C., where panels of industry experts and thought leaders shared their insights on the evolution of employee benefits and the opportunities that lie ahead.
Among their observations included in the July 2014
EBRI Issue Brief, “Employee Benefits: Today, Tomorrow, and Yesterday,” are the following:
• Relative to 1975, the year after enactment of the Employee Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA), total coverage and active participation of the employment-based benefits system has grown significantly—but
the mix has changed dramatically. “Today, the private sector is heavily tilted toward defined contribution retirement plans, with a small and still-declining proportion of participants in defined benefit plans,” noted EBRI CEO and President Dallas Salisbury.
massive change has taken place in the types of health benefits offered by employers. “Thirty-five years ago, and more recently than that, we were talking about [health maintenance organizations]. Today we're talking about
accountable care organizations and
patient-centered medical homes. Thirty years ago or so, we were talking about cafeteria plans and managed competition, and today we're talking about
consumer-driven health plans and
private insurance exchanges,” said Paul Fronstin, director of EBRI’s health research education program.
•Nursing home and home health care costs are “the most important risk in terms of looking at families that seem to have enough money [but] end up running short of money in retirement,” observed EBRI Research Director Jack VanDerhei.
• There has been
a shift, both on the
to push responsibility back to the individual. “I think employers are, in a sense, trapped by circumstance and essentially have little or no input as to where we're going,” in part due to the burdensome regulatory costs of offering employee benefits, said Howard Fluhr, chairman of the Segal Group, a benefits consultancy.
• Employers now favor
voluntary platforms and
defined contribution-type programs that allow them to have more cost control, concurred Larry Zimpleman, chairman of The Principal Financial Group. “The problem is that left to their own decision-making, employees don't make the right choices, leaving us with a voluntary system where people are making really bad choices.”
• The increasing
political focus on
limiting tax preferences for private-sector health and retirement benefits “is probably the most negative thing that has happened [in benefits] in 35 years,” Zimpleman added.
• For Millennials, benefits are most valued when they come with
advice, counseling and recommendations, as well as
with a default choice that must be opted out of, rather than an open-ended opportunity to participate. “If Millennials are simply offered choices without direction, their reaction is, ‘You don't care about me. One of these must be better than the other, and you're not telling me which,’ ” said Neil Howe, a senior associate to the Center for Strategic and International Studies in Washington.
• Men and women who are employed are
to provide elder care, said Ellen Galinsky, president of the Families and Work Institute. However, “men experience more work/family conflict than women when they take care of their elderly parents or relatives.”
• “There are some older people who think that benefits are tilted towards younger people—with maternity leave, with educational assistance aimed at early career, and [there is some] thinking that maybe there needs to be more of
a tilt towards benefits for older people and the issues they face,” said Mathew Greenwald, president of Greenwald & Associates, a market research firm.
• “Workers’ needs are getting more complex, and employers will have to think about
how they can achieve their overall objectives, especially with people demanding to stay in the workplace longer, by designing benefit packages that help them meet their needs,” Greenwald added.
Stephen Miller, CEBS, is an online editor/manager for SHRM. Follow him on Twitter
You have successfully saved this page as a bookmark.
Please confirm that you want to proceed with deleting bookmark.
You have successfully removed bookmark.
Please log in as a SHRM member before saving bookmarks.
Please sign in as a SHRM member before saving bookmarks.
Please purchase a SHRM membership before saving bookmarks.
An error has occurred
Recommended for you
SHRM Annual Conference & Exposition
SHRM’s HR Vendor Directory contains over 10,000 companies