Among the benefits offered to workers by their employers, healthinsurance and retirement savings rank higher than otherdeductions and incentives. In addition, 43 percent of workingAmericans trust their employers most for high-qualityhealth care coverage compared with either the government (state orfederal) or the individual health insurance market.

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A survey by the American Benefits Council, titledAmericans’ Views on Employee Benefits, finds that 27 percent ofemployees put “tax deferral on contributions to employer-sponsoredretirement savings like a 401k to encourage retirement saving” astheir first choice when asked to choose the most important taxbenefit over the next 10 years.

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Another 26 percent chose “tax-free employer-sponsored healthinsurance coverage to encourage companies to provide insurance toemployees” as their first choice.

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That’s compared with 10 percent who chose the mortgage interestdeduction, 13 percent who chose a lower tax rate on capital gainsand 9 percent who chose the deduction for charitable giving.

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Survey respondents also voted for health insurance andretirement benefits, among benefits provided by their employer, asthe most important ones. In fact, their choices of those two faroutweighed anything else offered by employers, with 35 percent ofworkers choosing health benefits and 31 percent retirement benefitsas their first choices, compared with 5 percent who voted for paidvacation; 6 percent who voted for paid medical or family leave; 7 percent whochose a financial and retirement planning program; 4 percent whochose life insurance and disability coverage; 7 percent who chosestudent loan reimbursement and tuition assistance; and 4 percentwho opted for a health and wellness program.

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In addition, survey respondents chose, by nearly two to one,compensation packages that emphasize more, quality benefits overtake-home pay. Asked which they’d prefer—more take-home pay withless generous, lower-quality benefits or less take-home pay withmore generous, higher-quality benefits, 60 percent opted for betterbenefits while just 34 percent voted for higher take-home pay.

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Workers also expect both individuals and government entities toplay a bigger part in individuals’ financial security, with 52percent saying individuals will be taking it on and 45 percentsaying the federal government’s role will rise.

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