MetLife: Employers To Expand Retiree Benefits Over Next Five Years

July 12, 2007 ( - Slightly more than 60% of employers who currently offer retirement benefits expect to build up their benefits offerings over the next five years, with a surprising part of the that anticipated growth being led by small employers, according to MetLife's most recent retirement trend study.

According to MetLife’s Study of Employee Benefits Trends, w hile retiree benefits offerings are more prevalent at the largest employers, smaller employers say they will expand the amount of benefits they provide to their retired workers.

For example, more than two-thirds of employers with between two and 499 employees that currently provide retiree benefits plan to increase the amount of these benefits over the next five years. Some 40% of companies currently offer retiree benefits, such as medical, dental or life insurance, and 63% of these employers expect to expand these offerings during the next five years.

According to the MetLife research, the three most widely offered post-retiree benefits are:

  • Medical insurance, 31%;
  • Life insurance, 22%; and
  • Dental insurance, 18%.

In terms of health care costs in retirement, 61% of all employees ages 21 and older say they are very concerned. The study also suggests a spiked interest in long-term care, with 46% saying that was the case.

Meanwhile, more than half (58%) of employees who are 51 and older are very concerned about having enough money to make ends meet, with 35% of those ages 51 and older saying they live paycheck to paycheck. Nearly half (48%) of these workers say that 70% or more of their monthly household income goes to paying bills and living expenses, which makes saving difficult.

For a complete copy of the study go here .