It's been said that we're living in a job seekers' market in 2018, and perhaps no area within HR's purview made that more obvious than employee benefits.
Flexibility was the name of the game this year. Employers explored and expanded support structures for parents and their families, debuted generous remote-work options, and even state and local governments got in on the action, passing laws guaranteeing predictive (and flexible, in some cases) scheduling.
Top benefits stories at HR Dive this year covered updates to newer support areas, like employer student loan repayment contributions, as well as the old standbys: retirement accounts and the ever-steadfast health insurance debate. It wasn't all fun and games, however: a year after a presidential emergency declaration on the opioid crisis, employers and their broker and insurer partners still have much work to do.
This diverse series of trends reveals the depth of employee benefits management that lies ahead in 2019. The question, though, is not only whether your organization can afford new perks, programs and purchases, but also whether it can structure them with the right foundation. And as costs continue to rise for fundamental elements of coverage, this may prove an expensive lesson for some HR departments.
IRS approves employer's 401(k) incentive for student loan payments
The decision could pave the way for employers to better meet the needs of employees saddled with student debt and with little or nothing saved for retirement. Read More »
Millennials and older workers split on work motivations
Flexible work options, however, appear to be highly desirable to workers across generational lines. Read More »
Walgreens slashes benefits after granting $100M in pay raises
To stay competitive while balancing their budgets, employers might have to come up with non-traditional benefits that appeal to workers. Read More »
How to better accommodate mental illness in the workplace
HR must "be willing to be wrong" and reach out to employees who seem to be struggling to better protect both workers and the bottom line, according to experts at DMEC's 2018 annual conference. Read More »
IRS raises annual retirement plan contribution cap to $19K for 2019
Employees across generations aren't saving enough for retirement, let alone contributing as much as the tax code allows. Read More »
Benefits Program of the Year: PwC
PwC decided to address the issue of engagement post-childbirth, and in doing so, it may have helped set a standard for family and caregiver support in corporate America. Read More »
Survey: 'Work perks' are gaining on traditional benefits
Employees say fringe benefits will be a key consideration in evaluating future jobs, signaling how seriously they consider employers' offerings. Read More »
HR pressured by job market to invest in wellness benefits
For wellness programs to be worth the investment, employers and workers must agree on the value and effectiveness of those programs. Read More »
No matter your workforce, you have caregivers who need help
Employers can take several steps and work through existing solutions to support employees during a critical time. But what does that look like in a modern workplace? Read More »
The opioid epidemic at work: 1 year later
We asked experts: What kinds of changes have employers made to their benefits and healthcare strategies to combat drug addiction, and what could they do better? Read More »