FL Health System Opts to Keep Matching but at Lower Rate

March 5, 2009 (PLANSPONSOR.com) - Wuesthoff Health System will cut $1.8 million in employee benefits as of March 29, affecting all 2,650 employees, FLORIDA TODAY reports.

Wuesthoff spokeswoman, Lisa Crites told the newspaper the health system hopes to save $500,000 annually by paring back its matching contributions to retirement savings plans from 3% of deferrals to 1.5%, and to save $1.2 million more from choosing not to make discretionary distributions to these plans.

The employer is also cutting discretionary funds, or bonuses, at the end of the year, and tuition reimbursement for outside coursework.

“These benefit changes are considered temporary at this point,” Crites said in the news report. “We are continuing to offer an employer match for our associates’ retirement plans when many organizations across the country have eliminated these benefits altogether.”

According to FLORIDA TODAY, this is the second time in two years Wuesthoff has announced changes to its benefit structure. In January 2008, the company cut $1 million in benefits to employees outside its hospitals.