Among the benefits offered to workers by their employers, health insurance and retirement savings rank higher than other deductions and incentives. In addition, 43 percent of working Americans trust their employers most for high-quality health care coverage compared with either the government (state or federal) or the individual health insurance market.
A survey by the American Benefits Council, titled Americans’ Views on Employee Benefits, finds that 27 percent of employees put “tax deferral on contributions to employer-sponsored retirement savings like a 401k to encourage retirement saving” as their first choice when asked to choose the most important tax benefit over the next 10 years.
Another 26 percent chose “tax-free employer-sponsored health insurance coverage to encourage companies to provide insurance to employees” as their first choice.
That’s compared with 10 percent who chose the mortgage interest deduction, 13 percent who chose a lower tax rate on capital gains and 9 percent who chose the deduction for charitable giving.
Survey respondents also voted for health insurance and retirement benefits, among benefits provided by their employer, as the most important ones. In fact, their choices of those two far outweighed anything else offered by employers, with 35 percent of workers choosing health benefits and 31 percent retirement benefits as their first choices, compared with 5 percent who voted for paid vacation; 6 percent who voted for paid medical or family leave; 7 percent who chose a financial and retirement planning program; 4 percent who chose life insurance and disability coverage; 7 percent who chose student loan reimbursement and tuition assistance; and 4 percent who opted for a health and wellness program.
In addition, survey respondents chose, by nearly two to one, compensation packages that emphasize more, quality benefits over take-home pay. Asked which they’d prefer—more take-home pay with less generous, lower-quality benefits or less take-home pay with more generous, higher-quality benefits, 60 percent opted for better benefits while just 34 percent voted for higher take-home pay.
Workers also expect both individuals and government entities to play a bigger part in individuals’ financial security, with 52 percent saying individuals will be taking it on and 45 percent saying the federal government’s role will rise.