I frequently come across interesting information that, while not lending itself to a full blog post, is still worth sharing. This post is part of a periodic series in which I summarize this information and provide links for those who want to learn more.
• Employers waiting for the Supreme Court ruling on health care reform.
Companies expect some parts of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA), aka health care reform, to be struck down when the U.S. Supreme Court issues its decision sometime later this month. A survey of 1,027 employers conducted by the International Foundation of Employee Benefit Plans found that two-thirds of employers expect the mandate for individuals to purchase health insurance or face fines will be struck down, 19% expect the law to be remain unscathed and 15% expect the law to be struck down in its entirety.
Although many employers (45%) are in wait-and-see mode, 60% of them are monitoring developments from the Court closely. Interestingly, the smallest employers (fewer than 50 employees) and the largest (more than 10,000 employees) say that they are monitoring the situation most closely.
When asked if they would like to retain any of the PPACA’s provisions, one-third want to be able to offer larger wellness incentives, nearly one-quarter would like to keep the provision that eliminates required pre-existing condition exclusions, and 22% would like to keep required coverage for adult children up to age 26. When asked what employees would like to retain from the law, 59% of the respondents said required coverage of adult children up to age 26, 34% said the elimination of pre-existing condition exclusions, and 32% said the provision that eliminates cost sharing for preventive care.
• The growing value of guaranteed retirement.
There is more data coming out showing that employees value guaranteed retirement income more and more. A few months ago, a Towers Watson study found that 55% of respondents are willing to pay a higher amount from each paycheck to ensure they have a guaranteed retirement. Now, a new survey conducted by Bank of America Merrill Lynch finds that 82% of employees are willing to give up more than 5% of their current salaries in order to get guaranteed retirement income, 42% are willing to give up more than 10% of their current salaries, and 16% are willing to give up more than 15% of current salaries. Employers looking for ways to differentiate themselves among current and potential employees should take note.
• Employment costs.
The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics released its most recent data on employer costs for employee compensation. On average, employee compensation and benefit costs total $30.69 per hour worked in March 2012, with wages and salaries making up $21.27 of that amount or 69.3% and benefits rounding out the rest at $9.42 per hour. However, when you break out compensation costs by private industry, the per-hour total drops to $28.78 per hour, while state and local governments spend an average of $41.16 per hour worked.