Swap health care for retirement benefits? {via BenefitsPro}

Employees less likely to swap health care for retirement benefits {via BenefitsPro}

While a majority of American workers say that they’re satisfied with their existing health care benefits, they also admit they’re not ready to sacrifice their own future retirement benefits to boost those health services.

The opinions are part of survey results released Thursday by the National Business Group on Health, a non-profit organization made up of nearly 350 large employers.

This year’s survey asked employees about their attitudes toward trading retirement and health care benefits now, versus their feelings five years ago.

Today, slightly fewer employees (27 percent) are open to decreasing retirement benefits in order to have increased health benefits than they were in 2007 (when 34 responded in that way).

One in three employees (36 percent) say they are willing to accept a reduction in health benefits in order to have increased retirement benefits, compared to 34 percent in 2007.

Employees are also more likely to accept reduced health benefits (44 percent) to increase their salaries then reduce salaries to improve health benefits (21 percent).

And if their employer had to reduce total compensation, most employees (46 percent) prefer to see their retirement benefits reduced follow by health benefits (32 percent) then salaries (22 percent).

Health benefits are still seen as a very major factor to consider when employees think about accepting a new job or staying with their current employer (87 percent), although retirement benefits were also said to be very important (78 percent, versus 63 percent who answered that way in 2007’s survey).

“Although employees would like to see their retirement benefits improved and may feel their retirement savings have suffered over the past five years, they aren’t willing to have that improvement come at the expense of their health benefits or even salary,” said Helen Darling, president and CEO of the NBGH.

“The weakened economy and higher unexpendable expenses such as gas and commuting have likely put pressure on just how far their take home pay can go,” said Darling.

About thebenefitblog

Eric is a Producer at Lockton Insurance Brokers, Inc., the world’s largest privately held commercial broker. Eric has over 23 years of experience in the insurance industry and has spent the last 11 years with Lockton. Eric specializes in Health & Welfare Benefits, Retirement Planning, and Executive Benefits. Eric's clients utilize his expertise in the areas of Plan Due Diligence, Transaction Structure, Fiduciary Oversight, Investment Design, Compliance and Vendor negotiation to improve the operational & financial outcome for each client. The Benefit Blog is a place to share that expertise and industry news.
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