Report: Economic conditions forcing employers to make changes to their benefits packages

The current economic conditions are affecting the insurance benefits that employers can offer their employees, with half of those responding to a survey from a leading insurance company that changes had been made to their plans.

The current economic conditions are affecting the insurance benefits that employers can offer their employees, with half of those responding to a survey from a leading insurance company that changes had been made to their plans.

The survey tapped over 750 human resource managers and benefits administrators attending the Society for Human Resource Management's annual conference in New Orleans this July and asked them about the economy, their companies' benefits and how well their employees understood them.

Of the respondents, 42 percent said that their employer was looking to change their benefits package in the next year. Among the changes to insurance packages that were listed, 26 percent said they had increased contributions from employees, while nine percent listed increased contributions from the employer.

Twelve percent of respondents stated that they had eliminated some benefits, as compared to only 10 percent who said they had added to their plans. Additionally, while 92 percent of those surveyed felt that it was "very important to their business" for employees to understand their benefits package, only 19 percent felt that their employees did so.

The survey also noted that employers seemed to be warming up to the idea of employee-paid voluntary benefits, which has been trumpeted as a cost effective alternative method to provide adequate insurance options to employees. While 12 percent of those surveyed said they had offered employee-paid voluntary options, 60 percent of respondents said they were considering adding the voluntary options to their benefits plan.

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Posted: August 3, 2009

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