Posted on February 25, 2013

Top 7 Trends in Benefits for 2013

As health care reform and new regulations on retirement plans take effect, employers can be expected to focus their efforts in these areas. They are also likely to continue responding to the workforce’s demand for more programs to support work/life balance. Here are seven of the top benefits trends to look for in 2013:

1. Employer-sponsored health care benefits
Studies show that the majority of employers plan to offer health care benefits to employees in the future, even in light of the Affordable Care Act. Many believe that health benefits are key to attracting top talent.

2. Stabilizing health care costs
The National Business Group on Health projects health care costs to increase an average of 7% nationwide this year. Though this is lower than in years past, experts are still unsure as to whether or not this is a long-term trend.

3. Consumer-driven health plans
The popularity of consumer-driven health plans and health savings accounts continues to grow, with increasing numbers of employers offering them throughout 2012. Consumer-driven plans are now the second most common plan design in the U.S.

4. Wellness programs
Employers are continuing to leverage wellness programs to manage and reduce health care costs. Some tactics that became more popular in 2012 were wellness incentives linked to program participation, holistic wellness programs that incorporate nutrition, fitness and stress management, and on-site or near-site health clinics.

5. Flexible work arrangements
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, flexible work arrangements were made available to more than half of U.S. workers in 2012. The majority of workers also had the option to adjust their hours or location instead of taking time off. The Conference Board also reported that more employees are being allowed to work from home than in years past.

6. Employee support benefits
A Workplace Options survey found that 43% of employees have seen an increase in employer-provided work/life benefits. According to Ease@Work Director Janet Schiavoni, 2013 will see “a continued shift from work/life balance to work/life integration, which will be supported by expanded flexibility in the workplace.” With employees remaining constantly connected to work through technology, employers will have to introduce more flexibility.

7. Retirement plan engagement
Although more than 50% of Baby Boomers and Gen Xers are expected to have enough retirement income, employers continue to report low employee engagement with retirement planning. The majority state that employees spend very little time managing their plans, and they see a need for more communication.

Keeping up with the changing benefits landscape can be chaotic. See how Paycor can help you manage benefits enrollment, scheduling and other employee administration tasks.

Source: Employers Resource Council