Employee Benefit Trends in 2020

Feb 03, 2020
| Michael Roloson, Director at PEO Focus
employee-trends-2020-(1).jpgAs we ring in the new year and look forward to 2020, Employee Benefits will once again be a top focus for both businesses and employees alike. With record low unemployment levels, employees are looking to work in industries and at companies that not only provide personal fulfilment but the healthcare and workplace benefits they covet the most.
 
With Millennials making up over 1/3 of the overall workforce and Baby Boomers with 50% of their generation still working, it has become critical for companies to have a broad range of employee benefits to choose from in an effort to attract the best talent possible.
 
Let’s look at some of the trends we see taking shape throughout 2020 and beyond.


Financial Wellness Tools

As financial literacy becomes more of a focal point across all generations, access to tools to help with financial planning are so desirable we believe they will gain traction significantly in the upcoming years. From student loans to credit cards, childcare, and planning for retirement, there are many areas where online platforms and services can help employees identify how to manage their finances while also preparing for future expenses.
 
By providing access to advisors and technology solutions for budgeting and investing assistance, companies can help employees reduce stress and uncertainty surrounding financial wellness. For example, with greater financial insights it is easier to understand if it is better to pay down debt, invest in equities, 529 college plans, 401k accounts, or purchase disability insurance.
 
In making it easier for employees to understand where their money will make the greatest impact, companies help employees take better advantage of their benefit offerings and reduce the stress of making critical investment decisions.


Paid Time Off and Work Flexibility 

The debate over the benefits of working remotely versus working in an office have been heating up for both employers and employees. As more data emerges showing employees can be equally or even more productive working from home, companies are slowly increasing their work from home programs.
 
As today’s connectivity continues to evolve and the technical tools employees use for their day-to-day work increases, companies will continue to evaluate the ability to offer remote or flexible working policies to remain competitive in the war for talent.
 
With flex and remote working, employees have a stronger work life balance which is quickly becoming one of the most discussed questions by candidates in job interviews.
 
Similarly, employees are looking for more flexible (or in some cases unlimited) paid time off policies. The two main areas of emphasis are being placed on Vacation and Flex Time.
 
Employees prefer to be judged and rewarded more on results than time put in. The desire to have more time off stems from the desire to invest more time in family, hobbies, and other aspects of life as well as being acknowledged and rewarded for a job well done.
 
By providing a healthy PTO policy, employers can ensure their teams are achieving a work life balance that drives their teams to reach higher levels of success in the workplace.


Retirement Benefits to Become More of a Focus

Currently only 56% of companies based out of the United States offer a 401k or other retirement program. Out of those companies, 49% offer a 401k without any type of employer match while 10% offer a match of 6% or above. The median match is 3% and it is our prediction over the next ten years we will begin to see this number gradually rise.
 
Retirement benefits are one of the most requested employee benefit. Recently, small and medium sized businesses have begun offering 401k plans at both higher rates and with greater matches in an effort to attract talent and retain their top employees.
 
A larger employee 401K match offering, along with upgraded online services and support, and access to advisors surrounding these plans, is a way companies can deliver greater benefit to all employees.


Proactive Health Plans 

As costs continue to rise in Healthcare, companies are looking for any advantage possible to lower Insurance Premiums and reduce Healthcare costs for employees. Similarly, employees are looking to their employers to assist them with solutions to cover their healthcare needs.
 
For the most part, Health Insurance focuses on providing financial assistance for health care costs after you have become sick or injured. With this in mind, we predict Proactive Healthcare plans, which focus on helping individuals stay healthy longer, gaining a lot of momentum over the next 10 years.
 
Proactive Healthcare plans focus on providing employees with reduced costs to testing and data designed to help them recognize what health concerns they may have in the future based on information available today and from their family history. These plans are designed to help people understand how to manage their health sooner and in turn lower long-term healthcare expenses. Many of these plans operate on a pre-tax basis giving some employees a monetary incentive for participation. 


Health Advocacy Programs

There is nothing more frustrating than getting a bill from a healthcare provider you think is incorrect. You know you are going to be on hold for a long time trying to call the provider and your health insurance carrier.
 
It can be equally as painful to understand which services your plan covers and which it does not or where to find the most affordable place in your network for something that varies wildly in price based on nothing other than the facility such as an MRI. Enter Health Advocacy programs.
 
In implementing these programs employees gain access to one-on-one assistance from trained professionals who understand the Employees Health Insurance plan and can negotiate on their behalf with healthcare providers and insurance carriers or help them understand what treatment options are available to them. Health Advocacy programs help people save time, money and frustration during stressful times.


Taking Stock for 2020

2020 will be an interesting year for Healthcare and workplace advancements. It’s important as a small and medium sized business to reflect each year on your healthcare, human resource and employee benefits offerings – not only to ensure your offering the most competitive package but to also ensure your accelerating your business with the right resources, partners and support.
 
Michael Roloson is a Director with PEO Focus, a PEO Consulting Firm that assists their clients with understanding the complexities of PEO and PEO related solutions.  You can learn more about PEO Focus at www.peofocus.com or contact them directly at info@peofocus.com.