Employees' Desire for Workplace Access to Insurance Term Paper

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Employees' desire for workplace access to insurance and savings products and advice growing, Metlife study shows; Employers underestimate role of benefits in employee loyalty. http://www.metlife.com/Applications/Corporate/WPS/CDA/PageGenerator/0,4773,P250%255ES1060,00.html

If companies need to see how quickly their employees' needs change, they just have to look at the results of the 6th Annual Metlife Study of Employee Benefits Trends survey. No one has even officially called the economic problems the country is presently facing a true "recession," but that did not stop employees to change their tune about their benefits.

The study surveys the attitudes of an increasingly diverse workforce toward financial and benefits-related issues. It also analyzes the benefits practices and viewpoints all-size companies across a wide range of industries. Over a 30-day period, MetLife surveyed 1,380 full-time employees and 1,652 benefits decision-makers across the United States about employee benefits and marketplace trends.Buy full Download Microsoft Word File paper
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Term Paper on Employees' Desire for Workplace Access to Insurance Assignment

In part because of concerns about the economy, also because of growing personal financial responsibility and the baby-boomers seeing retirement in the not-to-distant future, this year's survey shows that more than ever employees are turning to their employers for financial advice and growth. Over half of Americans in the workforce are now obtaining most of their financial and retirement services through the workplace - up six percent from last year. Employees are looking toward their employers for guidance- 44% want access to general financial planning advice at work, up from 30% last year. Nearly half of all employees also want their employers to provide retirement advice. Personnel of all ages are becoming more responsible about taking care of their financial future. Many of the employees who sought advice from their employers this year have never done so before. According to the 2008 MetLife Study of the American Dream, 64% of Americans continue to feel more pressure to provide for their financial security due to decreased confidence in government-sponsored benefits and programs such as Social Security and Medicare. As these traditional programs become shakier, employees are taking greater personal responsibility for planning for their own financial future: Seventy-seven of employees report they beginning to build their own financial package to protect them in their retirement years or other times when needed.

Changes in demographics, with the aging baby-boomers are surely skewing some of these results. When they first came into the job market, they were interested in their retirement up to 40 years later, but now they are concerned about only a few years down the pike, at most about a decade. Their concerns about finances, and other issues such as social security and healthcare are becoming more real as they get closer to their retirement date.

Speaking of baby-boomers, employers hopefully have prepared for the years when these long-loyal employees begin to leaven en masse. The retirement of the 75 million baby boomers -- the oldest of whom turn 62 this year -- could produce a shortage of talent, challenging organizations recruit and hire an unprecedented number of retirees. The transition of such a large number of the U.S. most experienced employees from the workforce over a relatively short window of time will more than likely create a "knowledge gap" -- when knowledge is becoming such an important commodity worldwide. In order to interest and keep these experienced workers, 73% of employers who currently offer retiree benefits report are going to increase the dollar amount spent on retiree benefits over the next 5 years, compared to 63% of employers saying the same in 2006.

Ironically, after all those golden parachutes of years past and early retirement packages, increasing numbers of companies are asking employees to put off their retirement or at least work part time. Too many employees leaving at the same time does not help any company.

Another important aspect of this survey is that benefits continue to play an important role in an employee's loyalty and decision to stay with a company. When asked which work-related factors make them feel most loyal to their employers, 81% of employees cited health benefits as important, second only to salary/wages.

Likewise, among employees, retirement benefits are on par with advancement opportunities as an important factor in loyalty. This was cited by 72% of respondents.

In fact, benefits are becoming a significant reason why an employee stays with a company. Forty-five percent of those surveyed say benefits are an important reason why they remain with their current employer, up from 33% a year ago. An additional 33% say benefits were an important factor attracting them to their current job, up from 28% last year. Of course statistics such as this drive results; employees can surely expect that employers who want to retain their employees or even have satisfied employees while they remain with the company and until they go to other pastures, are going to start providing more benefits or those that are geared toward specific populations.

This is a lesson that employers need to learn: With so many employees approaching retirement, they can do more to address the needs of an aging workforce. As more baby boomers begin to retire and/or approach retirement, employers need to take another look at their benefits offerings. The study reveals that nearly three-quarters of employers that currently offer retiree benefits expect the dollar amount of these benefits to increase in the next five years, compared to 63% last year.

Benefits 2020 http://www.cfo.com/article.cfm/5490995/c_2984379/?f=archives

The future of health and retirement plans presents big challenges for employers and employees. David Katz: CFO

This is what employees are interested in 2008. What about another decade or so? What will employees be asking for then? With the cost of benefits already climbing rapidly, and increasingly employees having to pay more of their own benefits, what is in store for another ten to fifteen years down the pike?

According to this article by Katz of CFO Magazine, this situation is only going to get worse. Employees are going to have to pay increasingly larger percentages of their benefits in the future decades. it's only going to get worse. That is what some of the most well-known employee-benefits "gurus" are saying. For example, Dallas Salisbury, the CEO of the Employee Benefit Research Institute, a Washington, D.C., respected, nonpartisan think tank in Washington, D.C., does not see a rosy picture in the future when it comes to employee benefits in the next decade and a half.

First, benefits cuts are going to continue, Salisbury says. By the year 2020, the numbers of the medically uninsured are going to be significantly higher. This is because by this date, Social Security, if nothing is done by then, is expected to become cash-flow negative. Without this safety net, employees will have a very difficult time retiring, because they haven't saved enough and the standard of living keeps on going up and up. Look what happened this year with the price of oil and the ramifications of that. It is als expected that retiree medical coverage, which has been cut in half, will be halved again.

Yet, remember that employees want benefits in order to be loyal and stay with a company, as noted above. Then how are companies going to do both? Simultaneously, a large number of organizations will be forced to offer generous benefits to at least a portion of the domestic workforce, since a shortage of labor -- already seen presently in some high-end manufacturing and health-sector jobs and only getting worse with the high number of expected retirments to come -- strengthens. Financial Officers and boards will have to stretch benefit dollars further to balance these competing interests.

Finding this balance between the rock and hard place is going to result in three scenarios:

The shift to defined-contribution health and retirement benefits promotes less-efficient use of resources.

Up to now, the 401(k) plans have been the preferred way of providing retirement benefits. Presently, healthcare,… [END OF PREVIEW] . . . READ MORE

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