Employee Benefits & Inflation: Supporting Your Team As Costs Rise
April 20, 2022 | Winston
In November 2021, the annual inflation rate in the United States rose to 6.8%, the highest recorded in nearly three decades. As a result, employees nationwide are struggling to make ends meet, and many are leaving their positions searching for better pay and benefits. In honor of National Employee Benefits Day in April, we’ve put together a list of potential benefits employers can offer to their employees to offset inflation costs and support their teams.
1. Healthcare Benefits
According to Investopedia, national healthcare expenditure (NHE) is expected to reach $6.2 trillion by 2028, causing concern by government officials and citizens alike about the consequently rising healthcare costs. However, organizations can help offset some of these costs by examining their current healthcare benefits and determining where and how they can make their programs more affordable. We would recommend reaching out to your health and welfare broker for help with coming up with effective cost reduction strategies for your employees, for example implementing employer HSA contributions.
2. Remote Working Options
In March, the national average for a gallon of gas topped $4, the highest since the 2008 financial crisis. For employees who commute a long distance to the office, this price spike can be detrimental to their finances. One way to combat this is to allow employees to work remotely if possible. This perk will save money on gas and other travel expenses for both employees and potentially employers as well. Another option if your employees cannot work remotely would be to offer transit reimbursement benefits.
3. Student Loan Assistance
Offering student loan assistance can not only help employees significantly, but it can also set companies apart from their competitors and attract and retain more new talent. Student loan repayment benefits started gaining popularity in 2020 as part of the pandemic relief. According to SHRM, employers can now provide up to $5,250 in student loan repayment, tax-free until 2025.
Many companies have now integrated student loan repayment into their current benefits offerings in a way that also helps with retention by giving employees $100 a month in assistance their first year enrolled, then $200 their second year, and so on. This aid helps employers keep a handle on out-of-pocket expenses and encourages employees to stay longer in their positions.
4. Daycare Subsidies
The average cost for full-time daycare in the United States is $991 per month for infants and $847 per month for toddlers, according to VeryWell Family. Yet, this is another area expected to rise as the need to pay daycare workers will naturally increase with the new cost of living. Employers can help support their employees with young children by offering daycare subsidies to help cover the cost of childcare.
As we noted in our recent blog titled, Top 3 Employee Benefits to Attract and Retain Female Professionals, women are currently leaving their jobs at a higher rate than men, with some citing lack of childcare as the reasoning. By offering daycare subsidies, more employees will be able to afford daycare, and employers can help retain all employees but especially their top female talent.
Are you looking to update your current benefits offerings before Open Enrollment to address these employee inflation concerns? Our team at Winston can help! We can work with you and your broker to help develop a feasible package for your company while still helping to support your employees through the potentially challenging times ahead. Learn more about our services!
Disclaimer: This content is strictly informational and should not be used as specific advice on insurance products, legal, accounting, and/or tax related matters. Insureds should always contact the appropriate licensed professional for their insurance, legal, accounting, or tax needs.