Small Biz Worried About Retirement, Committed to Health Care

April 15, 2009 ( - Apparently workers aren't the only ones worried about retirement.

Forty-one percent of business owners indicated they were on track to save for their own retirement, though that’s down 10% from spring 2008.

According to the American Express OPEN Small Business Monitor, the number of business owners concerned about saving for retirement has risen to 79% from 73% last spring, and only 38% report having a succession plan for their business. A contributing factor to the change in retirement savings may be that 60% are tapping personal finances to help fund their enterprises.

Health Care Valued

That said, small business owners still value health-care coverage for their employees As entrepreneurs look to cut expenses, those that offer health-care coverage appear to be protecting it. Traditionally, small business owners have kept health-care coverage safe, according to the report. Two-thirds of business owners (66%) offer health-care coverage to their employees, unchanged from last spring. Additionally, the number of bosses who agree it is important (64%) to offer health-care coverage to their employees is on par with last year (65%).

Manufacturers are far more likely to offer health-care benefits; three-quarters (75%) offer health-care coverage to their employees (vs. 66% of services companies and 55% of retailers). As manufacturers are the most likely to have cash flow concerns, it is not surprising they are also more likely to have shopped for a new insurance carrier (23% vs. 16% of services companies and 9% of retailers) or required their employees to pay a larger share of health-care costs (9% vs. 8% of retailers and 2% of services companies).