When it comes to providing health insurance and retirement benefits and ensuring the financial security of workers, Americans expect the role of individuals and government entities to increase and the role of employers to decrease over the next 10 years, according to results of a recent survey by the American Benefits Council.

The survey of 800 registered voters was conducted on November 5-9, 2017. When asked which entity they trust the most to provide them with high-quality health coverage, 43% of employed respondents said employers, while smaller shares cited the individual health insurance market (28%), the Federal government (13%), or state government (8%). However, when asked which entity they trust the most to provide them with opportunities to save for retirement, 56% of working respondents cited the individual financial services market, while 27% named employers and 9% cited the Federal government.

The working survey participants were also asked to identify the type of benefit they consider most important in the next 10 years. The top response was employer-provided health insurance coverage (35%), followed by employer-provided retirement benefits (31%). Much smaller shares of respondents cited student loan reimbursement and tuition assistance (7%), a financial and retirement planning program (7%), paid medical and family leave (6%), or paid vacation (5%).

When asked which entity they expect will play a larger role in providing individuals with health insurance and retirement savings opportunities over the next 10 years, more than half (52%) of respondents said they anticipate that individuals will play a larger role, while significant shares said they believe the Federal government (45%) or the state government (39%) will play a larger role. By contrast, only 29% of respondents said they expect employers will play a larger role, with the remaining respondents indicating they expect the role of employers to become smaller (35%) or stay the same (34%).

The survey participants were also asked to identify the tax incentives they view as most important over the next 10 years. More than one-quarter of respondents chose tax deferral on contributions to retirement plans (27%) or tax-free employer-sponsored health coverage (26%), while smaller shares selected the mortgage interest deduction (20%), a lower rate on capital gains (13%), or a deduction for charitable giving (9%).

Moreover, when asked if they would prefer a compensation package that emphasizes quality benefits or more take-home pay, 60% of respondents said they would prefer more generous, high-quality benefits in exchange for lower take-home pay; while 34% of respondents indicated that they would prefer less generous, lower-quality benefits in exchange for higher take-home pay.

From Benefit Trends Newsletter, Volume 6,1 Issue 1

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