COMPENSATION, RETIREMENT AND BENEFITS TRENDS REPORT

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1 COMPENSATION, RETIREMENT AND BENEFITS TRENDS REPORT 2014/2015

2 REPORT BACKGROUND The annual Compensation, Retirement and Benefits Trends Survey is designed to reveal key trends across a full range of compensation, retirement, health and welfare benefits and employee rewards programs. The result is a comprehensive view of firms total employee rewards programs that is rarely available from a single source. The 2014/2015 survey includes information from more than 1,000 organizations across the country, spanning a range of industries, with the deepest penetration in manufacturing, not-for-profit, healthcare and professional services. DISTRIBUTION BY INDUSTRY SECTOR MANUFACTURING NOT-FOR-PROFIT HEALTHCARE PROFESSIONAL SERVICES FINANCE & BANKING TECHNOLOGY DISTRIBUTION CONSTRUCTION/REAL ESTATE EDUCATION INSURANCE RETAIL ENERGY/UTILITY RESTAURANT GOVERNMENT TRANSPORTATION OTHER 14% 13% 1 1 8% 5% 5% 4% 4% 3% 3% 1% 1% 1% 1 REGIONAL DEFINITIONS: DISTRIBUTION BY SIZE FULL TIME EQUIVALENTS (FTEs) Northeast Midwest New England: Connecticut, Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Rhode Island and Vermont Middle Atlantic: New Jersey, New York and Pennsylvania East North Central: Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, Ohio and Wisconsin West North Central: Iowa, Kansas, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, North Dakota and South Dakota 50 or Fewer ,000 1,001-5,000 5, % 34% 13% 6% 6% 7% South South Atlantic: Delaware, District of Columbia, Florida, Georgia, Maryland, North Carolina, South Carolina, Virginia and West Virginia East South Central: Alabama, Kentucky, Mississippi and Tennessee West South Central: Arkansas, Louisiana, Oklahoma and Texas DISTRIBUTION BY REGION West Mountain: Arizona, Colorado, Idaho, Montana, Nevada, New Mexico, Utah and Wyoming Pacific: Alaska, California, Hawaii, Oregon and Washington Note: Not all respondents provided demographic information Midwest South West Northeast 50% 28% 15% 7% 2014/2015 Compensation, Retirement and Benefits Trends Report 2

3 EXECUTIVE SUMMARY Employment-based benefit systems continue to be a major expense for employers, and at the same time, a critical component of employee recruitment, motivation and retention. Sharing benefit expenses with employees, and implementing creative approaches to lower overall compensation costs, while still maintaining a productive workforce, are continually evolving strategies employer respondents are focusing on when making their total compensation decisions. Consistent with the last couple of years, employer respondents reported that health/welfare benefit costs had the most significant impact on their total rewards decisions over the last 12 months (61%), followed by organizational performance and the challenge of attracting and retaining key employees. FACTORS THAT HAD SIGNIFICANT IMPACT ON TOTAL COMPENSATION/REWARDS DECISIONS FOR 2014 HEALTH/WELFARE BENEFITS COSTS ORGANIZATIONAL PERFORMANCE CHALLENGE OF ATTRACTING KEY EMPLOYEES CHALLENGE OF RETAINING KEY EMPLOYEES DESIRE TO INCENT EMPLOYEES 61% 47% 47% 45% 37% LABOR COSTS 25% CHALLENGE OF ENGAGING KEY EMPLOYEES 2 last year. Another 38 percent of employers either planned to do so in 2015, or were considering doing so. Reducing staff and overtime, and relying more on part-time or contingent staff are other common approaches to cost reduction. In looking at cost reduction measures by industry, significantly more healthcare organization respondents implemented overtime reduction over the past year than those in other sectors. This is likely due to healthcare organization respondents attempting new staffing models and dealing with the implications of the Affordable Care Act. Larger organizations with more than 5,000 employees are much more likely to take measures to contain costs through staff reduction. COST REDUCTION AND CONTAINMENT STRATEGIES INCREASE EMPLOYEE SHARE OF HEALTH/WELFARE COSTS 60% 2 9% 29% OVERTIME REDUCTION 36% 2 3% 11% INCREASE NUMBER OF PART-TIME/CONTINGENT STAFF 28% 10% 4% 14% STAFF REDUCTION 27% 18% 3% 6% REDUCE/ELIMINATE HEALTH/WELFARE BENEFITS 20% 5% 13% HIRING FREEZE 17% 10% 1% 6% PAY FREEZE 16% 8% 6% REDUCE/SUSPEND 401(k) MATCH 14% 6% 6% Implemented in Past 12 Months Plan to Implement in Next 12 months Considering Implementing at Some Point RETIREMENT PLAN COSTS 15% OTHER 5% While the number of responding organizations implementing or planning to implement cost reduction and containment strategies has declined slightly from one year ago, many continue to focus on costs through various measures. By far, the most prominent strategy employer respondents have implemented or are considering, is requiring employees to pay a greater portion of health and welfare costs. Nearly one-quarter (2) of responding employers shared health and welfare costs with employees in 2014, up from 17 percent As organizational plans for implementing cost reduction techniques continue to evolve, in 2015 nearly half (48%) of employer respondents also plan to implement a wellness program within their organization, in addition to the already significant number of 39 percent who currently have a wellness program. Moreover, of those with a wellness program, nearly a third (31%) plan to build on their programs and expand the types of wellness activities and education they offer. Thus, as employers move in the direction of sharing costs with employees, they are increasingly providing their employees with new ways to take an active role in their overall health and wellness. 2014/2015 Compensation, Retirement and Benefits Trends Report 3

4 COMPENSATION PRACTICES Following health and welfare benefits costs, attracting, challenging and retaining key employees are among the top factors impacting responding employers total compensation decisions in However, increases in employee compensation have still not returned to the higher levels, (average increases of 4.0%) experienced prior to the global financial crisis seven years ago, which presents employers with difficult challenges. Base Salary Increases and Salary Structure Adjustments In 2014, median salary increases in employee compensation are consistent with the past two years for executive, managerial, salaried and hourly non-exempt workers, remaining at 3.0 percent; and overall average salary increases for 2015 are expected to stay rather flat with 2014 levels (less than 3.0%). industry groups to have a formal salary structure to manage their compensation investment, as are larger organizations with more than 1,000 employees. As a result of low salary increases in general, employers have found it exceedingly important to focus on a more comprehensive system of incenting and rewarding employees. While the total compensation philosophy of the majority of employer respondents is to position employee benefits at market, responding organizations with more than 1,000 employees are more likely to have formal philosophies surrounding all aspects of total rewards -- incentives, benefits, retirement; and, a total compensation package which includes payfor-performance, short-term and long term incentives, spot bonuses, and other non-monetary rewards such as formal recognition, professional development and leadership opportunities. Salary structures are anticipated to move up slightly in In 2015, average salary structure movement is expected to range anywhere from 1.0 percent to 1.7 percent, compared to from 0.9 percent to 1.4 percent in 2014, depending on the employee group. Half of responding organizations (50%) have a formal salary structure with grades, minimums, midpoints and maximums to manage compensation. The financial/banking/insurance, healthcare and not-for-profit industry sectors are far more likely than other BASE SALARY INCREASES ANTICIPATED FOR 2015 (Averages, as a percent of base salary, including salary freezes) EXECUTIVES SALARIED (Exempt) SALARIED (Non-exempt) HOURLY (Non-exempt) HOURLY (Union) ALL INDUSTRIES 2.8% 2.8% 2.6% 2.7% 2.0% CONTRUCTION/ REAL ESTATE DISTRIBUTION/ WHOLESALE FINANCE/BANKING/ INSURANCE 3.5% 2.6% 2.1% 2.6% 3.0% 2.6% 3.3% 3.3% % 2.6% 3.1% 2.6% 2.6% 1.9% HEALTHCARE 2.8% 2.5% 2.3% 2.5% 2.1% MANUFACTURING 3.3% 3.0% 2.9% 2.9% 2.3% NOT-FOR-PROFIT 2.9% 3.0% 2.6% 2.7% 2.1% PROF. SERVICES 2.9% 3.4% % 2.8% STRUCTURE ADJUSTMENTS ANTICIPATED FOR 2015 (Averages, including zero percent structure adjustments) ALL INDUSTRIES 1.4% 1.6% 1.5% 1.7% 1.0% 2014/2015 Compensation, Retirement and Benefits Trends Report 4

5 Pay-for-Performance More than half (56%) of the organizations surveyed have implemented EMPLOYEE GROUPS ELIGIBLE TO PARTICIPATE IN INCENTIVE PLANS or plan to implement some type of pay-for-performance program, and responding organizations with more than 1,000 employees are much more likely to utilize pay-for-performance. Within these organizations, EXECUTIVES 34% 59% an increasing number of dollars continue to be allocated to differentiate high performers and less money is being utilized, as a percent of payroll, to reward low performers. While average salary increases for SALARIED (EXEMPT) 14% 60% high performers and satisfactory performers increased slightly from 2012 to 2013, they remained steady in 2014 at 4.8 percent and 2.9 percent respectively. However, the average salary increase for low performers fell from 1.8 percent in 2013 to 1.1 percent in AVERAGE BASE SALARY INCREASES IN % SALARIED (NON-EXEMPT) HOURLY (NON-EXEMPT) HOURLY NON-EXEMPT (UNION) 1% 7% 7% 6% 35% 41% 2.9% 1.1% SHORT-TERM INCENTIVES (1 YEAR OR LESS) LONG-TERM INCENTIVES (MORE THAN 1 YEAR) HIGH PERFORMERS SATISFACTORY PERFORMERS Short- and Long-term Incentives Eligibility for short-term incentive pay is substantially more available to executives and salaried-exempt management than to hourly and non-exempt workers. However, the manufacturing, construction/ real estate and finance/banking industries are more likely to extend incentive opportunity to hourly employees compared to the other industry sectors. Long-term incentive pay remains largely reserved for executives. Half (50%) of all organizations surveyed reported having vesting schedules of four years or less for eligibility to participate in their most common long-term incentive program. LOW PERFORMERS While the targets for short-term incentives remained similar to last year, the maximum incentive opportunity for executives continues to exceed other employee categories. The most important measurement criterion for executives is organizational performance. For workers at most other levels, individual performance is most important. This likely emphasizes the importance of creating a clear line of site between day-to-day responsibilities and reward opportunity for employees below the executive level. By far, the most commonly used measure for organizational performance continues to be earnings before income, taxes, depreciation and amortization (EBITDA), cited by 60 percent of respondents, and up from 55 percent in TARGETED AND MAXIMUM SHORT-TERM INCENTIVE PAY OPPORTUNITIES IN 2014 EXECUTIVES 23% 47% SALARIED (EXEMPT) 1 21% SALARIED (NON-EXEMPT) 6% 1 HOURLY (NON-EXEMPT) HOURLY NON-EXEMPT (UNION) 9% 5% 10% 6% MAXIMUM TARGET 2014/2015 Compensation, Retirement and Benefits Trends Report 5

6 Sales Performance and Incentives Contributing further to market uncertainty is that two-thirds (67%) of respondents reported missing some or all of their sales targets in Despite this, only 13 percent made or plan to make changes to their sales compensation plans to better align sales objectives with rewards. However, another 15 percent are considering making changes in Responding organizations with more than 1,000 employees are much more likely to make regular changes to their sales compensation programs compared to organizations with fewer employees. Most of those responding organizations that made changes or are planning changes to their sales compensation plan are doing so to increase the plan s motivational impact (reported by nearly three-quarters or 73 percent). Spot Bonuses While most incentive plans are designed to set expectations up front, spot bonuses, are usually more subjective, and are typically given to an employee for a noteworthy achievement. Spot bonuses are used by 40 percent of responding organizations. Verisight Compensation Consulting Group s Analysis: The strategy for managing total compensation, coupled with formal compensation philosophies, continues to evolve as most responding organizations target market for employee benefits and use other levers to drive performance e.g., base salaries and short-term incentives. Employer respondents are increasingly focused on flexibility and approaches aimed at recruiting, rewarding and retaining top performers, all of which continue to be significant factors driving decisions. While median salary increase budgets remain around 3.0 percent for the foreseeable future, the salary increase gap between the highest and lowest performers continues to widen, as employers reinforce desired performance and shift compensation investments to high performers. Additionally, use of short- and long-term incentives with performance measures aligned with strategic objectives continue to support the focus on performance at all levels of the organization. These strategic compensation initiatives likely stem from employers desire to motivate employees with increasingly limited financial resources, which has been a recurring theme over the past several years. Employers continue to fine tune metrics to align with employees ability to impact performance, leading to organization success measures for leadership and more likely individual performance, coupled with team objectives, for employees below the executive level. To complement short-term performance, there has been an evolution in long-term incentives. From these incentives - which are reserved primarily for executives - employers are migrating toward shorter vesting periods, typically four years or less, and stronger linkages to organization-wide performance measures. 2014/2015 Compensation, Retirement and Benefits Trends Report 6

7 RETIREMENT PLANS As organizations continued to recover from the global recession, we are seeing a continued increase in employer respondents who reinstated their matching contributions. In addition, this year s survey results noted an increase in retirement plans that implemented automatic enrollment and automatic escalation. In 2014, responding employers also have become more aware of the need for increased hands-on education for plan participants, to both help employees better realize plan costs, and to heighten their responsibility to build a solid portfolio for their future. While the dominant delivery method for providing education continues to be through online tools, employer respondents have reacted to employee needs by offering more interactive education through one-on-one counseling, group meetings; and by offering managed personal accounts. Retirement plan costs continue to be an important criterion when choosing a retirement plan provider. However, in 2014, costs were a secondary concern to the level and quality of service provided. Additionally, since fiduciary responsibilities and compliance requirements are top concerns in 2014, it is not surprising that the usage of advisors has grown for most of the advisory services offered. Plan Types and Investment Offerings The vast majority of survey respondents (94%) continue to offer a defined contribution plan that provides for employee contributions, allowing employees to tailor their retirement savings to their personal needs. The majority of eligible employees (54%) are capitalizing on this retirement savings opportunity by making contributions from their salary on a pre-tax basis. A much lower percentage (9%) of eligible employees elected to save for retirement by making contributions on an after-tax basis to a Roth account under the plan. The percentage of responding organizations who currently offer matching contributions has increased by 5 percentage points over the past couple of years (up from 74% in 2012 to 79% in 2014). Of the responding plans which do not currently offer a matching contribution, almost one-quarter (24%) indicated they are either planning to add a match in 2015 or are considering making matching contributions in the future. Most plans (67%) have a graduated vesting schedule for employer contributions, versus immediate (21%) or cliff vesting (11%). use automatic enrollment in 2014 indicated they plan to add this feature in 2015 or are considering it for the future. AUTOMATIC ENROLLMENT AND ESCALATION FEATURE (2014) 56% Employer respondents continue to offer plan participants a large selection of investment options. Nearly all (96%) offer more than 10 options, and close to a quarter (23%) offer more than 20 investment options. The most common type of investment offered continues to be mutual funds (98%). However, in 2014, significantly more plans include model portfolios compared to 2013 (5 versus 35% in 2013). On the other hand, the number of plans offering Exchange Traded Funds (ETFs) show a declining trend over the most recent three-year period MUTUAL FUNDS 98% 95% 9 MODEL PORTFOLIOS INSURANCE FUNDS BROKERAGE WINDOWS 44% YES, PLAN HAS AUTOMATIC ENROLLMENT NO, PLAN DOES NOT HAVE AUTOMATIC ENROLLMENT 66% INVESTMENT OPTIONS OFFERED ( ) 5 35% 49% 8% 7% -- 5% 14% 14% ETFs 4% 16% 20% OTHER 1% 5% 7% 34% YES, PLAN HAS AUTOMATIC ESCALATION NO, PLAN DOES NOT HAVE AUTMOATIC ESCALATION Note: voids in data indicate questions that were not asked in previous years While less than half (44%) of the respondents indicated their plans utilized an automatic enrollment feature in 2014, this usage shows an increase over 2013 (up from 35%). One-third (34%) of the respondents with an automatic enrollment feature reported using it with auto escalation, which is also a growing trend, up from only 27 percent in When asked about the possibility of implementing automatic enrollment in the future, 39 percent of those respondents who did not 2014/2015 Compensation, Retirement and Benefits Trends Report 7

8 An important decision for any plan fiduciary is the selection of a default investment fund to be used when participants do not designate how their plan accounts are to be invested. In 2013, there was a shift toward an increased use of target date funds as the default investment. Although in 2014 the survey showed that trend reverse back to the 2012 level, target date funds continue to be the most commonly used default investment (44%). Balanced funds and cash funds also experienced a decline as a default investment, while investments in model portfolios and managed accounts increased over the last couple of years (up to 18% in 2014), keeping in mind that both model portfolios and managed accounts may be structured as a balanced investment option. QUALIFIED DEFAULT INVESTMENT ALTERNATIVE (QDIA) CHOICES Plan Evaluation and Cost Analysis In 2014, level and quality of service topped the list of plan sponsor concerns when evaluating their retirement plan offerings with two-thirds (68%) of respondents placing it as one of their top three concerns, up from 2013 when costs of investments topped the list. Still cost of investments and cost of services followed close behind in importance. More than two-thirds (70%) of employers reported that they understand the total cost of their plan (including investments and recordkeeping). Consistent with 2013, there is a disparity between larger and smaller employers. Generally, the smaller the employer, the more need there is for assistance in determining total costs. Over a third (38%) of respondents with 50 or fewer employees reported that they do not fully understand their plan costs, compared to only 7 percent of organizations with over 5,000 employees. ASSET ALLOCATION EMPLOYER UNDERSTANDING OF PLAN COSTS TARGET DATE 44% 53% 44% MANAGED INVESTMENT ACCOUNTS/MODEL PORTFOLIOS LIFESTYLE 18% 1 1 5% 5% 9% UNDERSTAND, BUT DIDN'T REALIZE COSTS BEFORE THE DISCLOSURE 10% BALANCED FUNDS 11% 14% 13% YES, UNDERSTAND COSTS 59% CASH MONEY MARKET % NO, STILL DON'T UNDERSTAND COSTS 31% Consistent with prior years, most plan sponsors surveyed continue to be responsible for covering recordkeeping costs (57%), with the largest concentration of these plan sponsors being from organizations with 50 or fewer employees. Most of those who deduct the expense from participant accounts (37%) are from organizations with over 5,000 employees. 2014/2015 Compensation, Retirement and Benefits Trends Report 8

9 While the majority of responding employers understand the costs of their plans, most (63%) continue to believe that plan participants have a very limited understanding of plan costs. This suggests that employees may benefit from either additional employee education, or the use of different types of education, and may explain the increase in additional employee education during To help employees prepare for current and future financial needs, over a third (35%) of responding employers have implemented or expect to implement financial wellness programs. To date, only 20 percent have implemented or plan to implement lifetime income options as part of their retirement plan to help employees manage longevity risk. FINANCIAL WELLNESS AND LIFETIME INCOME OPTIONS HOW WELL EMPLOYERS THINK PARTICIPANTS UNDERSTAND THE FULL COST OF THEIR PLAN IMPLEMENTED PLANNING TO IMPLEMENT NOT PLANNING TO IMPLEMENT FULLY UNDERSTAND ALL COSTS 3% FINANCIAL WELLNESS PROGRAMS LIFETIME INCOME OPTIONS 17% 18% 65% 14% 6% 80% HAVE A MODERATE UNDERSTANDING OF COSTS 34% HAVE A VERY LIMITED UNDERSTANDING OF COSTS 63% It appears that responding employers are beginning to apply different mediums of employee investment education. While the dominant delivery method for investment education remains the use of online Internet tools (75%), in 2014, significantly more employer respondents are also offering more interactive education to plan participants through both group meetings and one-on-one counseling. These methods, which allow interaction between the advisor and employee, traditionally have been more effective. Around two-thirds are providing more interactive learning methods compared to about half in INVESTMENT ADVICE AND EDUCATION FOR PLAN PARTICIPANTS EDUCATION - ONLINE TOOLS EDUCATION - GROUP MEETINGS ADVICE - ONE ON ONE COUNSELING ADVICE - DO IT YOURSELF INTERNET TOOLS 53% 49% 75% 85% 69% 67% 66% 77% EDUCATION - HARD COPY MATERIALS ADVICE - MANAGED PERSONAL ACCOUNTS 28% 17% 63% 76% /2015 Compensation, Retirement and Benefits Trends Report 9

10 Plan Concerns and Use of Advisors Retirement plan concerns for most responding organizations center on fiduciary responsibilities and compliance issues. Since concerns about fiduciary responsibilities, administrative requirements, and complying with legal and regulatory laws are top concerns, it is not surprising that the majority of organizations (81%) use outside investment advisors or consultants for retirement plan advice. RETIREMENT PLAN CONCERNS FIDUCIARY RESPONSIBILITIES Advisors are consulted mostly for plan design (78%). However, in 2014, significantly more organizations reported using advisors for cost analysis and management (53% compared to 40% in 2013). Engaging advisors for cost analysis and management is more common among responding organizations with more than 50 employees, which may partially explain why the larger organizations are more aware of their plan costs. Additionally, in 2014 the use of advisors has grown for most other services offered. USE OF RETIREMENT PLAN ADVISORS 78% 3 ADMINISTRIVE REQUIREMENTS 71% 21% PLAN DESIGN COST ANALYSIS/MANAGEMENT 40% 53% 78% 77% LEGAL AND REGULATORY COMPLIANCE 67% 21% PROPERLY DESIGNED PLAN TO ACHIEVE COMPANY GOALS INVESTMENT ADVISOR ERISA 3(21) INVESTMENT ADVISOR ERISA 3(38) 11% 10% 46% 40% 37% 13% LIFETIME INCOME FOR PARTICIPANTS INVESTMENT ADVISOR WHO IS NOT A FIDUCIARY 36% 39% 28% 11% TOP THREE VENDOR SELECTION % 35% SINGLE MOST IMPORTANT 2014/2015 Compensation, Retirement and Benefits Trends Report 10

11 Loans and Withdrawals from Retirement Accounts Although the goal is to save for retirement, many employees experience situations giving rise to the need to borrow or take a distribution prior to retirement. In response to these needs, many plans permit participant loans and distributions for certain hardship events. The most common practice is to allow plan participants to have one outstanding loan from their retirement account (65%). Close to one third of responding organizations (29%) allow two loans. Although the average dollar amount of plan loans increases with the age of the participant, the average loan amount represents a much smaller percentage of the participant s account balance, declining by nearly half for every 10 years in age. Most responding organizations allow plan participants to make hardship withdrawals from their retirement accounts (83%). When using this feature, more plan participants between the ages of 30 and 59 appear to request hardship withdrawals from their plans compared to other age groups. LOANS AND WITHDRAWALS FROM RETIREMENT ACCOUNTS LOANS AVERAGE LOAN BALANCE AS A % OF AVERAGE ACCOUNT BALANCE 25% 27% 8% 5% 3% 0% AVERAGE LOAN BALANCE $3,358 $7,851 $10,698 $9,298 $11,533 $4,730 WITHDRAWALS & DISTRIBUTIONS AVERAGE # OF HARDSHIP WITHDRAWALS TAKEN AS A % OF TOTAL HARDSHIP DISTRIBUTIONS 14% 20% 20% 18% 11% 18% AVERAGE DISTRIBUTIONS AS A % OF AVERAGE ACCOUNT BALANCE 27% 46% 19% 20% 17% 1% AVERAGE ACCOUNT BALANCE $13,281 $28,870 $141,931 $208,318 $353,728 $8,697, /2015 Compensation, Retirement and Benefits Trends Report 11

12 Verisight Retirement Consulting Group s Analysis: As the survey results indicate, the top concern for employers sponsoring qualified retirement plans continues to be fiduciary responsibility. As a part of their fiduciary responsibility, employers are focused upon the quality of services their plans are receiving, the cost for those services and the cost of the plan investments. With the long-standing practice of fees being paid directly from the plan s investment vehicles, more employer respondents (53%) are seeking assistance from outside consultants when quantifying and evaluating their plan fees. Not surprising is the correlation of smaller employers who indicate they do not fully understand their plans total costs with the lower utilization of outside consultants to provide assistance with fee management. As we noted last year, this trend suggests more work is required after receiving the Department of Labor fee disclosures. Employers must quantify and analyze the fee information provided, keeping in mind the services received for those fees. To properly assess all of the services received for the cost paid, many, if not most, employers will need the assistance of outside specialists. Also with pre-approved defined contribution plans requiring document restatement by April 30, 2016, it is not surprising that the percentage of responding employers (78%) using outside consultants for plan design remains high. As many employers review their plan design for the upcoming document restatement, they are evaluating whether to add automatic enrollment, reinstate their matching contributions, add or remove hardship distributions/participant loans, as well as numerous other features. Each employer s retirement plan objectives will vary based on a diverse set of factors, such as, the organization s financial stability, workforce demographics, competition for employees, compensation and other benefits costs, etc. Therefore, those charged with overall retirement plan design will need to make certain they fully understand the costs and administrative requirements associated with the various provisions in their plans, ensuring those to whom they delegate the day-to-day plan operations also understand them. Just like employers, the retirement objectives among employees often vary, as is evidenced by a consistent increase in the average pre-tax deferrals among employees as they near retirement. Substantiating the commonly held belief that retirement becomes more important to employees as they get closer to it, the average pre-tax deferral of those surveyed between age 60 and 69 is more than double the average deferral of those under age 30. Regardless of the specific objectives, the survey confirms that both employers and employees continue to utilize qualified retirement plans as a means to supplement employee retirement savings, and employees are able to accumulate significant amounts in their plan accounts over time. 2014/2015 Compensation, Retirement and Benefits Trends Report 12

13 HEALTH AND WELFARE BENEFITS With employer health plan costs continuing to climb, employer respondents still recognize the importance of offering employee group health coverage to attract and retain their workforce, with Preferred Provider Organizations (PPOs) currently being the most widely offered and the most attractive plan to employees. To manage health plan costs, more and more employers reported passing on a greater portion of those costs to employees mainly through higher premium payments, higher deductible plans (which are growing in popularity with employees), larger co-payments or co-insurance, and by offering consumer-driven health plans, which shift responsibility to employees. Health Plan Options The majority of survey respondents plan to continue providing employee group health coverage through their current plan, as they recognize the importance of this benefit to attract and retain productive employees, and, in the foreseeable future, they will continue to provide this benefit through their current plan. In 2014 more responding organizations (85% compared to around threequarters in 2013) do not intend to increase the number of employees working less than 30 hours per week in order to reduce their healthcare costs. GROUP HEALTHCARE ACTIONS LIKELY TO BE TAKEN DURING THE NEXT PLAN YEAR CONTINUE CURRENT GROUP HEALTH COVERAGE 84% Preferred Provider Organization (PPO) plans remain the most widely available health plan, offered by two-thirds (67%) of all employer respondents. However, since 2013 when PPO plans were offered by nearly three-quarters (74%), there appears to be somewhat of a shift away from PPO plans toward High Deductible Health Plans and Traditional Indemnity Plans. HEALTHCARE PLANS OFFERED IN 2014 VERSUS 2015 PREFERRED PROVIDER ORGANIZATION (PPO) PLAN HIGH DEDUCTIBLE HEALTH PLAN WITH HSA OR HRA HEALTH MAINTENANCE ORGANIZATION (HMO) PLAN TRADITIONAL INDEMNITY PLAN DO NOT OFFER HEALTH INSURANCE OTHER 10% 1% 1% 3% 29% 29% 47% 43% Similar to 2013, PPOs also continue to be the most popular option among employees, especially employees in organizations with over 1,000 employees. Overall, employers reported that 44 percent selected PPOs during the most recent open enrollment period. High Deductible Health Plans also continue to grow in popularity, and are now preferred by more than a quarter of employees, up from 16 percent two years ago, and up from 22 percent in % 74% OBTAIN GROUP HEALTH COVERAGE THROUGH A PRIVATE EXCHANGE NOT OFFER GROUP HEALTH COVERAGE 1% HEALTHCARE PLANS SELECTED BY EMPLOYEES IN 2014 HIGH DEDUCTIBLE HEALTH PLAN WITH HSA OR HRA 27% UNDECIDED 11% HEALTH MAINTENANCE (HMO) PLAN 24% OTHER PREFERRED PROVIDER ORGANIZATION (PPO) PLAN 44% TRADITIONAL INDEMNITY PLAN 5% 2014/2015 Compensation, Retirement and Benefits Trends Report 13

14 Health Plan Costs and Cost-Sharing INVESTMENT ADVICE AND EDUCATION FOR PLAN ACTIONS PARTICIPANTS TAKEN TO REDUCE HEALTHCARE COSTS Employer health costs continue to increase. Most surveyed employers (85%) saw an increase in their health plan costs in 2013, (up from 79% the previous year). In 2014 that trend continued with RAISED EMPLOYEE'S PORTION OF PREMIUM PAYMENT 38% 36% about the same number of employers (85%) experiening increases, with half reporting average percentage change increases from 4.1 percent up to 12 percent. Close to one-fifth (18%) experienced increases over 12 percent. RAISED EMPLOYEE'S DEDUCTIBLE, CO-PAYMENT, OR CO-INSURANCE 30% 38% OFFERED CONSUMER-DRIVEN HEALTHCARE OPTION 20% 26% HEALTH PLAN INCREASES IN 2014 DECREASED NO CHANGE 0.1% - 4% 4.1% - 8% 8.1% % - 16% 16.1% - 20% OVER 20% 8% 7% 17% 28% 2 8% 5% 5% IMPLEMENTED WELLNESS PROGRAM Overall, the percentage increase in average monthly premium since 2013 was the largest for employee plus one dependent (10 percent increase up to $1,006) with the employee sharing close to one-third of the premium. Family coverage increased by 7 percent, employee plus children by 8 percent, and the smallest percentage increase was 3 percent for employee only. 20% Increasing the employee share of healthcare costs through increased premium payments, higher deductibles and larger co-payments, remains the most common method of addressing healthcare costs among organization respondents of all sizes. As previously noted, consumer-driven healthcare options are becoming more popular with employees; and slightly over one-quarter (26%) of organizations reported that they offer this option as a way to address their costs. Responding organizations anticipate further cost-sharing with employees in However, the smallest firms with 50 or fewer employees are more likely than larger firms not to take any action to address their healthcare costs. HEALTH PLAN PREMIUMS AVERAGE MONTHLY PREMIUMS EMPLOYEE SHARE OF PREMIUM FAMILY $1,334 33% EMPLOYEE + ONE (SPOUSE OR CHILD) $1,006 31% EMPLOYEE + CHILDREN $923 31% EMPLOYEE ONLY $492 21% 2014/2015 Compensation, Retirement and Benefits Trends Report 14

15 Other Benefits The majority of responding organizations currently offer various types of health and wellness benefits to their employees. In 2015, only a small percentage of respondents plan to discontinue certain benefits. While there is expected to be a fair amount of growth in organizations implementing wellness programs, up from 39 percent in 2014 to nearly half (48%) in 2015, smaller organizations with 50 or fewer employees are predictably less likely to offer wellness programs than larger firms. OTHER BENEFITS OFFERED IN 2014 AND PLANNED FOR IN 2015 DENTAL LIFE LONG-TERM DISABILITY SHORT-TERM DISABILITY VISION 7 66% 67% 65% 83% 75% 95% 89% 93% 85% Consistent with the last couple years, most responding employers who currently offer dental, vision, life insurance, short-term and long-term disability and long term care insurance plan to continue these programs in However, like last year, close to one-third (31%) expects to further build on their current wellness programs, giving employees new ways to take an active role in their health and overall wellness. Eleven percent plan to further grow their on-site health centers, as compared to 25 percent in While one-fifth (20%) plans to increase dental insurance, another one-fifth plans to reduce or discontinue this coverage. ACTIONS CHANGES PLANNED FOR OTHER BENEFITS IN % -1% -1% 0% WELLNESS PROGRAMS ON-SITE HEALTH CENTER VISION INSURANCE 11% DENTAL INSURANCE 20% SHORT-TERM DISABILITY 31% WELLNESS PROGRAMS LONG-TERM CARE INSURANCE 16% 16% 39% 48% -1% -1% LIFE-INSURANCE RETIREE MEDICAL LONG-TERM CARE ON-SITE HEALTH CENTER 6% 6% LONG-TERM DISABILITY -11% RETIREE MEDICAL 0% REDUCE/DISCONTINUE INCREASE In 2014, more surveyed organizations are also expanding the various types of wellness programs and activities they currently offer. However, while close to three quarters (71%) offered education programs focused on wellness and disease prevention as part of their wellness program in 2013, fewer (58%) reported doing so in Conversely, in 2014, nearly one quarter (23%) of responding organizations are moving toward either on-site health centers or subsidies to outside facilities such as gyms, compared to only 8 percent in /2015 Compensation, Retirement and Benefits Trends Report 15

16 WELLNESS PROGRAMS AND ACTIVITY TYPES HEALTH RISK ASSESSMENT 65% GROUP WELLNESS ACTIVITIES 61% EDUCATION PROGRAMS ON WELLNESS/DISEASE PREVENTION While surveyed organizations continue to offer a variety of incentives to encourage employees to participate in and experience positive wellness program outcomes, in 2014, significantly fewer offered raffles and giveaways, and contribution discounts or account credit for participation. In 2013, nearly two-thirds (63%) relied on raffles or giveaways compared to only about half (49%) in Likewise, in 2013 close to half (49%) relied on incenting with employee contribution discounts for participation, compared to only about one-third (3) in % TOBACCO CESSATION 58% BIOMETRIC SCREENING 57% WEIGHT MANAGEMENT PROGRAM 44% HEALTH COACHING 38% ON-SITE HEALTH CENTER OR SUBSIDY TO OUTSIDE FACILITY 23% Verisight Health and Welfare Consulting Group s Analysis: Healthcare costs continue to outpace inflation on average, and employers continue to look for strategic ways to manage costs and improve outcomes. The cost burden often shifts to employees through increased contributions and higher point-of-care cost. Employees are now, more than ever, involved in directing the cost and delivery of their healthcare. This shift toward employee responsibility extends beyond cost-sharing. In keeping with this trend, employers and employees continue to move toward High Deductible Health Plans (HDHPs). These high-deductible plans place more responsibility on employees, encouraging them to make cost-conscious decisions about their treatment options. Employees are also encouraged to take an active role in their overall health and wellbeing via employer-sponsored wellness programs. As health and welfare benefits continue to evolve, many responding organizations (70%) utilize an outside advisor or consultant to assist them with their health and welfare plan strategies, with the majority also using the same advisor for their retirement plan. Within this group, 80 percent use the advisor for plan design, cost analysis, management, and vendor selection. 2014/2015 Compensation, Retirement and Benefits Trends Report 16

17 CHART INDEX REPORT BACKGROUND Distribution by Industry Sector Distribution by Size - Full Time Equivalents (FTEs) Distribution by Region EXECUTIVE SUMMARY Factors That Had Significant Impact on Total Compensation/Rewards Decisions for 2014 Cost Reduction and Containment Strategies COMPENSATION PRACTICES Base Salary Increases Anticipated for 2015 Structure Adjustments Anticipated for 2015 Average Base Salary Increases in 2014 Employee Groups Eligible to Participate in Incentive Plans Targeted and Maximum Short-Term Incentive Pay Opportunities in 2014 RETIREMENT PLANS Automatic Entrollment and Escalation Feature (2014) Investment Options Offered ( ) Qualified Default Investment Alternative Choices ( ) Employer Understanding of Plan Costs How Well Employers Think Participants Understand the Full Cost of Their Plan Investment Advice and Education for Plan Participants Financial Wellness and Lifetime Income Options Retirement Plan Concerns Use of Retirement Plan Advisors Loans and Withdrawals from Retirement Accounts HEALTH AND WELFARE BENEFITS Group Healthcare Actions Likely to be Taken During the Next Plan Year Healthcare Plans Offered in 2014 Versus 2015 Healthcare Plans Selected by Employees in 2014 Health Plan Increases in 2014 Actions Taken to Reduce Healthcare Costs Health Plan Premiums Other Benefits Offered in 2014 and Planned for in 2015 Changes Planned for Other Benefits in 2015 Wellness Programs and Activity Types ANALYSIS INDEX VERISIGHT COMPENSATION CONSULTING GROUP S ANALYSIS VERISIGHT RETIREMENT CONSULTING GROUP S ANALYSIS VERISIGHT HEALTH AND WELFARE CONSULTING GROUP S ANALYSIS /2015 Compensation, Retirement and Benefits Trends Report 17

18 Since 1985, Verisight s mission remains the same to be the best client-centric service provider of 401(k) and other retirement plans; recordkeeping and administration; actuarial services; ESOP; compensation and employee benefits consulting. We are our clients trusted partner, combining in-depth insight and expertise with a fully transparent fee model that allows us to deliver unbiased solutions that meet the unique needs of each of our clients. Discover the Verisight difference. Call , visit or McGladrey LLP is the leading U.S. provider of assurance, tax and consulting services focused on the middle market, with more than 7,000 people in 75 offices nationwide. McGladrey is a licensed CPA firm and serves clients around the world through RSM International, a global network of independent assurance, tax and consulting firms. McGladrey uses its deep understanding of the needs and aspirations of clients to help them succeed. For more information, visit like us on Facebook at McGladrey News, follow us on and/or connect with us on LinkedIn. We are pleased to have the support of the American Benefits Institute and DailyAccess, for the 2014/2015 Verisight and McGladrey Compensation, Retirement and Benefits Trends Survey. The contents of this report are provided for informational purposes only and should not be relied upon or considered legal or tax advice. While Verisight makes every effort to ensure the accuracy of the report, it assumes no responsibility for the accuracy thereof and accepts no liability for any reliance on the report Verisight, Inc. All Rights Reserved, including the right to produce any portion of this report without prior written consent.

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