Employee Benefits Open Enrollment: HR Industry Experts and Research from SHRM

October 4, 2016
Open enrollment will be held in the coming months at companies across the United States to allow employees to choose health insurance plans and other benefits.

Open enrollment experts from the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM) in Alexandria, Va., are available to discuss upcoming changes and trends employees can anticipate during the 2017 open enrollment season. 

SHRM’s vice president of human resources, Bettina Deynes, says employees can expect a steady uptick in health insurance premiums and deductibles. Additionally, more employers will continue complying with Affordable Care Act reforms that include earlier tax deadlines than last year

Employers will also continue implementing high-deductible health plans such as health savings accounts (HSAs) and health reimbursement arrangements (HRAs). According to the 2016 SHRM Employee Benefits Survey, the percentage of organizations offering HSAs increased from 43 percent to 50 percent in the past year. 

Open enrollment also includes the selection of retirement saving benefits. The benefits survey showed that fewer organizations allowed Roth 401(k) (or similar defined contribution plan) catch-up contributions (75 percent vs. 70 percent) or hardship withdrawals (67 percent vs. 60 percent) in 2016 compared with 2015.

While the focus of open enrollment often entails how it will affect employees, benefits are an important retention and recruiting tool for organizations. According to the upcoming 2016 SHRM Strategic Benefits Survey, about three-fifths (61 percent) of HR professionals indicated that their organizations adjusted health care benefits over the past 12 months to help retain employees at all levels of the organization; about two-thirds (65 percent) made changes to health care benefits to recruit new employees at all levels of the organization.

SHRM offers these resources and open enrollment experts who are available for interviews:

SHRM Expert
Bettina Deynes, vice president of human resources, SHRM

SHRM HR Disciplines Special Expertise Panelists
  • Sylvia Francis, human resources manager/total rewards, Regional Transportation District
  • Rodney Alvarez, vice president of talent management, Celtra Inc.
Video: What Employees Should Know Before They Enroll – Bettina Deynes, vice president of human resources, shares some trends and tips for employees about open enrollment. Bonus: The video also highlights some of the latest statistics about benefits that many organizations offer.
Media outlets may embed this video on their websites, share the link in their social media or contact SHRM media affairs for separate clips of soundbites from Deynes. 
Embed Code: <iframe width="560" height="315" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/uiNYubKNR0M" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe>

To schedule an interview or to receive a video file of Deynes’ interview, please contact Vanessa Hill of SHRM Public Affairs at 703-535-6072 and Vanessa.Hill@shrm.org or Sundra Hominik at 703-535-6273 and Sundra.Hominik@shrm.org.


Hire the best HR talent or advance your own career.

Member Benefit: Ask-An-Advisor Service

SHRM's HR Knowledge Advisors offer guidance and resources to assist members with their HR inquiries.

SHRM's HR Knowledge Advisors offer guidance and resources to assist members with their HR inquiries.



HR Daily Newsletter

News, trends and analysis, as well as breaking news alerts, to help HR professionals do their jobs better each business day.