While media coverage of the candidates in the presidential race takes center stage, there is still the subject — which nears boiling point in every conversation and debate — of the U.S. economy and how to avoid another financial meltdown.
A healthy America is a more economically successful one, no matter what side of the aisle you hale from. Access to benefits — both health and retirement savings in the workplace — has never been more prevalent as major contributing factors to an individual’s economic success, both present and future. It doesn’t just help the individual either — it helps the health and wealth of our nation as a whole. Healthcare reform is evolving and retirement reform is on the horizon in many states, with more coming. Most companies are looking for creative ways to build out current and competitive benefit programs that retain and attract employees, while positively impacting their business and bottom line.
Also see: "Top 30 401(k) plans."
Health has expanded to include more than just a healthcare plan and a gym membership — and retirement options include more than just a defined contribution plan. Competitive businesses are shifting to a more holistic view — a stack of well-rounded benefits that offer a more complete and compounding wellness spectrum.
Building a full stack of benefits
The evidence is clear in the 2015 Employee Benefits Survey from the Society of Human Resources Management that employees are looking for more, and employers are shifting their “strategic focus” in order to take advantage of federal health reform programs through the Affordable Care Act, while layering in participation-boosting benefits for health and wealth, such as:
- Health and lifestyle coaching
- Multiple health savings vehicles, including high-deduction Health Savings Accounts that also function as a retirement savings vehicle
- Preventative programs for chronic health conditions — think smoking cessation programs that also increase employee productivity and reduce hours missed in the workplace
- More progressive retirement vehicles including Roth 401(k) and individual retirement accounts
- Retirement advice and preparation tools, such as one-on-one financial advice, or group financial education
- Auto-enrollment in a retirement plan with an annual increase in contribution with direct correlation to annual pay increases
Ultimately, businesses are getting creative with their benefits. What does your stack look like for 2016? It may be time for a reboot — that’s a New Year’s resolution that every business can benefit from.
If you’re low on time, check out this quick infographic breakdown of the SHRM study, including what’s hot, and what’s on its way out.
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