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Benefits plan managers revealed several major shifts in plan emphasis this year, reports global insurance brokerage Hub International Ltd.’s third annual barometer survey The top priority expressed by the 300 benefits professionals surveyed remained managing the cost of benefits plans. But other results of the survey indicate that cost containment and other priorities of the past – including government compliance, catering to millennials and identifying new cost reduction methods – don’t have the same urgency they once did.
These and other trends spotted in the survey are largely the result of two factors, says Mike Barone, Hub’s North American president of employee benefits: the ongoing economic recovery and the war for talent. Which, he notes, are closely related. “The economy has put more pressure on human resources’ responsibility for recruiting human capital and talent development. Depending on where you are, you have unemployment rates near zero. It’s hard not to focus on anything else.”
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Dan Cook is a journalist and communications consultant based in Portland, OR. During his journalism career he has been a reporter and editor for a variety of media companies, including American Lawyer Media, BusinessWeek, Newhouse Newspapers, Knight-Ridder, Time Inc., and Reuters. He specializes in health care and insurance related coverage for BenefitsPRO.
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