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Note from the editor

When employers look for innovative ways to attract and retain workers while simultaneously cutting costs, benefits tend to emerge as the answer.

But the benefits landscape shifts each year, and its future remains uncertain. Employers are taking various paths: Some are holding tight to the old standbys, like transit perks, while others are grabbing the bull by the horns, devising ways to disrupt the entire healthcare system. But wherever you fall on that spectrum, the experts say one thing is clear: Those who are able to customize benefits for both workers and workforces will be well-positioned to leverage such offerings in the future, regardless of the problem they aim to solve.

This report details multiple aspects of that issue, including:

  • A new federal paid leave mandate;
  • How the benefits landscape may change during the next decade;
  • What employers are doing today to cut healthcare costs;
  • Trends in wellness program offerings;
  • How employers are expanding their use of paid leave;
  • The obstacles impeding transit benefit adoption; and
  • A look at how phased retirement could alleviate certain employee woes.

These are just a few of the many aspects of employee benefits that employers are thinking about. We hope you enjoy this deep dive into the current trends.

Kate Tornone Lead Editor

COVID-19 pandemic brings federal paid leave mandate

Small business are 'particularly despondent' about the requirement, Jeff Nowak, shareholder at Littler Mendelson, told HR Dive.

'Posters aren't going to cut it': Open enrollment in a pandemic

DirectPath's Kim Buckey offered communication tips for practitioners heading into open enrollment season.

Holistic, custom perks are the future of employee benefits

Larger paychecks won’t be enough to compete in the 2020s. Instead, employers are also looking for something broader that can help employees with life outside the office.

Frustrated employers buck status quo, leave insurers for riskier arrangements

"In a nutshell, has it been an easy two to three years? No. But it has to be the way we go because healthcare costs are just going absolutely stupid," the owner of a North Carolina auto group said.

From wellness to well-being: the evolution of employer health initiatives

What started as on-site yoga classes and smoking cessation programs has evolved into something more holistic and wide-reaching.

Employers offering paid leave for more uses than ever before

Assuming legal mandates are satisfied, employers can design offerings as they see fit, including bereavement leave, domestic abuse leave and volunteering leave.

Aches, pains and trains: Why commuter benefits aren't more popular

A bad commute can hurt job satisfaction, but many factors get in the way of employee benefits that could help workers save time — and money.

Could phased retirement programs solve the talent logjam?

Mandatory retirement policies are mostly illegal in the US, but their disappearance has become a point of concern for those worried about future generations.