Friday, August 28, 2009

Can Employee Benefits Rise Again?

My article "Can Employee Benefits Rise Again?" appears in the August 20 AICPA Career Insider:

>Recent news has been discouraging. The Society for Human Resource Management has featured an article about Watson Wyatt’s study of Fortune 1000 firms that have frozen (i.e., eliminated benefit accruals) their defined benefit (DB) pension plans. Watson-Wyatt found that out of 607 pension plan sponsors in the Fortune 1000 (a reduction from 20 years ago), 190 have frozen their benefit accruals, up from 169 last year. Freezes peaked in 2007 for firms in the Fortune 1000 for at least six years. Only 42 percent of Fortune 1000 firms accrue benefits in DB pension plans.

At the same time, some proponents of private plans are concerned about President Obama’s proposal for a national health plan. While the proposal that was reported out of the House Energy and Commerce Committee did not suggest supersession of employer-sponsored plans (see the The Wall Street Journal, August 1, 2009), some might construe it as a first step. In the workers’ compensation field, public plans like New York’s State Insurance Fund have long competed, often unsuccessfully, with private plans. Nevertheless, the establishment of a health plan of last resort would suggest at least partial failure of the private system.

Read the whole thing here.

No comments: