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Employers say managing healthcare costs is top concern
For the fourth consecutive year, employers say managing the cost of providing healthcare to employees is their biggest challenge, according to a survey by Deloitte in conjunction with the International Society of Certified Employee Benefit Specialists.

The survey's 330 respondents ranked the top five priorities for 2012 as follows:
  • The cost of providing healthcare benefits to active employees

  • The willingness or ability of employees to pay for benefit plan coverage and to manage their own reward budget

  • The ability of reward programs to attract, motivate and retain the talented employees needed to effectively run the organization

  • The ability to adjust to and comply with current and future provisions of health care reform legislation

  • Clear alignment of total rewards strategy with business strategy and brand

Retirement readiness: 83% of respondents said they continue to be concerned about their ability to afford retirement and post-retirement health care. More than 40% of all respondents plan to delay their retirement. 36% plan to provide employees with better tools for their retirement planning.

Additional findings:
  • 85% of respondents believe benefit costs per employee will rise over the next five years as a result of healthcare reform.

  • 68% of employers surveyed are planning to redesign their rewards program expect to re-evaluate their benefits strategy in light of the legislation.

  • 70% are considering expanded wellness programs to help manage health care costs.

  • 1 in 5 organizations has integrated social media into their total rewards communication campaigns.

  • Outsourcing is gaining high marks among employers, but organizations are still looking for improvements.