Report shows employees lose coverage as unemployment rises; Most Employers Have Restored 401(k) Match

October 21 , 2011 - Here are the stories that the WorldatWork Public Policy team are reading today.

Employees lose coverage as unemployment rises, report shows
The Hill
Julian Pecquet
A new report from the nonpartisan Employee Benefit Research Institute for the first time tracks the close correlation between the unemployment rate and the likelihood of workers being uninsured.
Just over 56 percent of workers were covered as of April 2010, the report found, well below the levels a decade earlier. The main reason: cost. (Continued.)

fReport: Rich-poor gap growing
Mackenzie Weinger
The gap between the United States’ rich and poor continued to grow last year, according to new government wage data.
With pay down and fewer jobs available, the Social Security Administration’s figures highlight one of the major issues of the Occupy Wall Street movement - widening income disparity, the Associated Press reported. (Continued.)

Analysis Shows Most Employers Resotre 401(k) Match
Workforce Management
Jerry Geisel .
Most employers that suspended their 401(k) plan matching contributions during the most recent economic downturn have restored them, according to a new analysis.
Seventy-five percent of employers that suspended their matches have now restored them, according to a Towers Watson & Co. study published last week. (Continued.)

DC, DB Plans Hurt by Rising Health-Care Costs
Workforce Management
Robert Steyer
Rapidly rising health-care costs are putting pressure on corporate benefits budgets—including money for defined contribution and defined benefits plans—according to a survey released Oct. 18 by Diversified.
Indeed, aside from health-care benefits, the only corporate benefits budget item that grew between 2009—when Diversified last conducted the survey—and 2011 was corporate 401(k) plans, which increased two percentage points to 15 percent in the latest survey. (Continued.)