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What Changes to Benefits Are Coming in 2010?

What Changes to Benefits Are Coming in 2010?

HR Focus via Yellowbrix

November 03, 2009

Whether there will be additional cuts to employee benefits and whether employers will bring back some of the reductions made because of the recession are not clear yet. However, employers are continuing to watch benefits costs – and await health care reform, which may create cost-related scenarios that employers can’t yet predict.

When they provided their survey responses over the summer, respondents to HRfocus Changes in Benefits Survey were just beginning to consider what benefits changes may be part of the year ahead. (More results from the survey are in the special report in October HRfocus.)

Many want just to keep things constant, waiting for the recovery and seeing what may be able to be restored, such as 401(k) matches. Others are planning to reinstate some benefits that were cut because of the recession, and still more are hoping to expand benefits. In fact, many respondents want to add or expand wellness programs, making these ongoing initiatives rather than responses to the recession.


The change to benefits that is most likely to increase next year is wellness programs: 46.8 percent of respondents said these will be increased next year. This is the leading or a major planned change for all industry groups.

All health care organizations said they are planning this, and 55.6 percent of manufacturing companies and half of both financial services organizations and real estate and construction companies will follow suit.

Wellness is most likely to be expanded at organizations with 251 to 1,000 full-time equivalents (FTEs) and those with 1,000 or more FTEs, with 66.7 percent and 50 percent, respectively, saying they would increase this benefit.

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