New Survey Examines the Employee Benefits Offered in Four Employment Sectors
Brookfield, Wisconsin (PRWEB) November 26, 2008 -- As Wall Street continues to tumble, U.S. workers are looking for help in managing their money. One place they may be able to turn—their employers.
A recent survey of employers conducted by the International Foundation of Employee Benefit Plans found that 43% of U.S. respondents offer financial education/literacy programs for their workers.
“The current financial crisis has affected the way Americans are spending their money and how they are saving for the future,” says Julie Stich, Senior Information/Research Specialist with the International Foundation of Employee Benefit Plans. “If the situation persists through 2009, we may see the percentage of employers offering financial education programs increase as they try to help their employees deal with the crisis.”
“With the economy affecting retirement plans, employees are taking a greater interest in their retirement future,” says Stich. “Employees who participate in a defined contribution plan may view the impact of the financial crisis differently from those who have a defined benefit pension plan. People with 401(k) plans feel the impact of the stock market decline each time they check their account balance. On the other hand, someone who participates in a defined benefit pension plan is largely sheltered from the effect of the financial crisis on retirement assets. It’s the employers who bear the market risk.”
Key U.S. Pension/Retirement Findings
The survey breaks down which retirement plans are most likely to be offered in each employment sector. As expected, those in the corporate sector are most likely to offer a defined contribution (DC) plan such as a 401(k) plan, while those in the multiemployer and public employer sectors are most likely to offer a defined benefit (DB) plan.
To increase employee participation in DC plans and to assist participants with the management of their funds, many employers have introduced automatic features. The most popular features are target retirement date/lifecycle funds, offered by 54% of respondents, and automatic enrollment, offered by 39% of respondents.
These findings and others concerning employee benefits are reported in the survey titled Employee Benefits Survey: U.S. and Canada: 2009. The report contains responses from 972 respondents representing employers and benefit plans in the U.S. and Canada. Survey results are presented for four employment sectors: corporations, public employers, multiemployer benefit plans and professional service firms serving the employee benefits industry.
The survey looked at retirement plan offerings, health care benefits and other miscellaneous benefits.
Key U.S. Health Care Findings
The International Foundation of Employee Benefit Plans is a nonprofit organization, dedicated to being a leading objective and independent global source of employee benefits, compensation, and financial literacy education and information.
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