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More employees satisfied with retirement plans than health care: Survey

More employees satisfied with retirement plans than health care: Survey

Employees' satisfaction with their employer-sponsored retirement plans has increased at roughly the same rate that their satisfaction with their group health benefits has decreased over the last several years, according to a new report by Towers Watson & Co.

Sixty-seven percent of employees polled in Towers Watson's “2013/2014 Global Benefit Attitudes Survey” indicated they were generally satisfied with their retirement benefits in 2013, an increase of four percentage points over results reported in 2010.

Conversely, 59% of employees polled said they were satisfied with their group health care benefits, compared with 64% in 2010, according to the New York-based consultant firm's report.

Satisfaction was lowest among employees enrolled in high-deductible health plans when measured against other plan types, with just 48% of those employees reporting that they were satisfied with their health benefits in 2013.

The report's authors noted that the rising trend of employers shifting a greater share of premium and out-of-pocket costs onto their employees is likely one of the primary drivers of the overall decline in their satisfaction with those benefits.

“While employees rely on and value their health care benefits, they are clearly not happy about their health care costs,” David Speier, an Arlington, Virginia-based senior consultant at Towers Watson, said Tuesday in a statement accompanying the report.

Although the report indicated that employees are generally growing more satisfied with their retirement benefits, its authors still noted some troubling findings, particularly the chasm between the percentage of employees who say they are satisfied with their employer's retirement options (67%) and the percentage of employers who say those benefits actually meet their needs (47%).


“Workers are happy with their retirement benefits,” said Kevin Wagner, an Atlanta-based senior consultant at Towers Watson in the company's statement. However, he noted, “they are increasingly concerned that their retirement income will come up short when they exit the workforce.”

View the full copy of Towers Watson's “2013/2014 Global Benefit Attitudes Survey.”