IFEBP Finds Only a Few Have Dropped Retiree Health Benefits

October 3, 2007 (PLANSPONSOR.com) - The effects of rising health care costs on employer-sponsored retiree health care has been raised as a concerned, but only 4% of respondents to a survey from the International Foundation of Employee Benefit Plans (IFEBP) previously offered retiree health care benefits but do not now.

According to a press release, the survey found 71% of respondents offer retiree health benefits to current and/or future retirees, and 25% never offered retiree health benefits. Eighty-four percent of both salaried and hourly plans offered by survey respondents cover both retirees younger than age 65 and retirees age 65 and older.

Additionally, for those respondents that indicated they included prescription drug coverage in their 65+ retiree health plans, 58% indicated they maintained their current prescription drug plan and took the Medicare Part D subsidy, the release said.

Eighty-four percent of respondents who provide retiree health care allow spouses to be eligible for coverage and 44% of allow coverage for non-spouse dependents of retirees. Two-thirds (65%) of respondents indicated they fund their retiree health plans on a pay-as-you-go basis.

IFEBP’s Retiree Health Care survey reflects responses from 391 U.S. corporations, public employers, multiemployer plans and professional services advisors and includes 51 samples submitted by respondents, including summary plan descriptions, plan documents, enrollment guides, newsletters and forms.

The survey is available for $125 (or $50 for IFEBP members), plus shipping and handling. Copies can be ordered online at http://www.ifebp.org/books.asp?6375 or by calling (888) 334-3327, option 4, Item #6375.