DC Most Prevalent among Corporates, DB among Multi-Employer Plans

November 25, 2008 (PLANSPONSOR.com) - A new survey, not surprisingly, has found that corporate employers are most likely to offer a defined contribution (DC) plan while Taft-Hartley or public plans are most likely to be traditional defined benefit programs.

The recent employer survey by the International Foundation of Employee Benefit Plans (IFEABS) also found that many employers have introduced automatic features, the most popular of which are target retirement-date/lifecycle funds (54%) and automatic enrollment (39%).

Also, some 43% of U.S. respondents said they offer financial education/literacy programs for their workers, which IFEBS pointed out was key to helping participants more effectively deal with the nation’s ongoing economic problems.

“The current financial crisis has affected the way Americans are spending their money and how they are saving for the future,” says Julie Stich, IFEBS Senior Information/Research Specialist, in a news release. “If the situation persists through 2009, we may see the percentage of employers offering financial education programs increase as they try to help their employees deal with the crisis.”

Health Plan Data

According to the news announcement, the health-plan findings included that:

  • Nearly two in five corporations, 40%, offer a high-deductible health plan (HDHP). The most popular offering is a HDHP with a health savings account (HSA).
  • Corporations are most likely to offer a health flexible spending account (FSA). Nine in 10 (87%) corporate respondents offer a FSA, followed by 65% of public employers, 58% of professional service firms and just 9% of multiemployer plans.
  • Other popular benefits offered by respondents in general include mental health benefits (71%), vision care (64%), chiropractic coverage (61%), and orthodontia benefits (59%).

Finally, according to the news release, the survey also found that 58% ofcorporations and 54% of professional service firms offer at least 10 paid holidays per year while 53% of government employers offer 12 or more days.

Also, slightly more than half-57%, of corporations and 55% of public employers-offer some form of adoption benefits to their employees.

Public employers are the most likely to offer flexible work hours at 55%. They are followed by professional service firms with 54% and corporations at 47%.

The findings are reported in the survey Employee Benefits Survey: U.S. and Canada: 2009, containing responses from 972 respondents representing employers and benefit plans in the U.S. and Canada.

The report is $132 (I.F. Members $99). To order, visit www.ifebp.org/books.asp?6542 , e-mail bookstore@ifebp.org , or call (888) 334-3327, option 4.