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Employee Benefits In 2014

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This is one type of employee benefit

This is one type of employee benefit

I recently reviewed a research report that was written by the Society For Human Resource Management (SHRM) on the state of employee benefits in 2014.  See the full report on the SHRM website by clicking here.  They provided an executive summary at the beginning of the 80-plus page report and I will further summarize the results with an emphasis on its effect for employers under 25 employees for today’s topic.

  • They surmised that the increased amount of the health care cost being paid by employees is why there has been a 12% increase in the number of companies offering Health Savings Accounts over the past 5 years.
  • Over the past 5 years there has also been a shift towards preventative health and wellness benefits as a strategy to reduce costs.  These are things like smoking cessation programs, coaching, and incentives for participation in a wellness program.
  • Defined benefit plans continue to fall out of favor and only 24% of the organizations involved in the study had a defined benefit plan.  Defined contribution plans are becoming more popular but plans with hardship withdrawal provisions are decreasing.  Flexible spending plans for dependent care as well as undergraduate education assistance and 529 plans have been decreasing.
  • Paid time off plans are becoming more popular while being paid specifically for personal days is decreasing.  Companies offering child care and elder care benefits declined over the 5 year period. In addition, flexible working benefits other than telecommuting remained about the same.
  • Other benefits like travel planning, company-sponsored sports teams and the like decreased during the survey period.  The only thing that increased in this area was the use of payroll debit cards (pay cards) so that employees without a bank account could be paid through a payroll direct deposit.   I am assuming that was increase driven by the employer for the need for convenience and processing efficiency.
  • Lastly, professional and career development benefits and housing and relocation benefits decreased while business travel benefits remained mainly unchanged.  The only change in the business travel benefit area was the decrease from 54% to 30% for reimbursement of personal telephone calls while away from home for work travel.  This is mainly due to the lower need due to cell phone plans that have moved to free long distance or unlimited talk and text.

I hope this is helpful and I encourage you to read the report online or download it for future browsing to see how your company compares to others in the study.  Have a great week.

 

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Written by pacelinebiz

September 15, 2014 at 8:01 am

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