Health and Retirement Benefits To Decrease Over Next 10 Years, Report Finds
Health and retirement benefits for U.S. workers will decrease over the next 10 years, regardless of whether their wages increase, as more companies seek to reduce costs, according to a report recently released by the American Benefits Council, which lobbies lawmakers on behalf of Fortune 500 companies, Bloomberg/Philadelphia Inquirer reports. The report said that fewer companies over the next 10 years will offer health benefits to retirees. According to the report, the percentage of companies that offered retiree health benefits decreased to 11% in 2000 from 20% in 1997. In addition, the report said that fewer companies over the next 10 years will offer workers older than age 55 health benefit extras for retirement because the "labor pool will tighten and employers will not try to encourage early retirement with the benefits," Bloomberg/Inquirer reports (Bliss, Bloomberg/Philadelphia Inquirer, 6/10). The "rampaging cost of health care has been a huge issue for companies around the country," the Miami Herald reports. "In almost every area -- retirement income, active and retiree health and long-term care -- the employee benefits system is headed for a crisis," the report said (Garber, Miami Herald, 6/10).This is part of the California Healthline Daily Edition, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.