Employers Plan to Trim Benefits and Office Perks in '09

February 20, 2009 (PLANSPONSOR.com) - Nearly four-in-ten employers (38%) say the current economy will force them to make administrative cuts sometime this year, according to a recent CareerBuilder.com survey.

One-in-four employers expect to scale back on health care benefits and 11% plan to reduce wellness benefits, according to a CareerBuilder.com press release.

Employees can expect fewer social functions and business trips in 2009, as nearly two-thirds (65%) of those expecting to make administrative cuts indicate they will be cutting or scaling back company social events such as picnics and holiday parties, and 61% say they will curtail business travel.

Other areas companies plan to cut or reduce spending, according to the press release, include:

  • Special office perks – i.e. coffee, ice machines, discounted vending – (34%);
  • Incentive trips – (28%); and
  • Philanthropic activities – (21%).

Nearly four-in-ten employers (39%) say they are now offering increased telecommuting and flexible work schedules to help employees reduce their commuting costs. Others say they offer public transportation discounts and incentives, compressed workweeks, and increased mileage reimbursement rates.

The survey was conducted among more than 3,000 hiring managers and HR professionals between November 12 and December 1, 2008.

News reports abound of companies cutting employer contributions to employees’ retirement plans in efforts to cut costs (see Another Casino Operator Craps Out on Match ); however, most employers responding to a recent PLANSPONSOR survey said they had no plans to cut their 401(k) match (see SURVEY SAYS: What Are Your Plans for Your Match? ).