Survey: Tiered Benefits Packages Facilitate Employee Retention

One of the best ways to retain top employees is through competitive benefits packages. The best packages offer
both retirement and healthcare programs, according to a financial services industry report recently published by business intelligence firm Cutting Edge Information.

Lately, as companies try to cut or control costs, benefits packages have repeatedly borne the brunt of budget slashes. "Long-term strains created by pension programs force executives to reconsider retirement planning's impact
on company cost structures. And, in the same way, spiraling healthcare costs force employees to pay more for their health plans," said Eric Bolesh, lead analyst for the report at Cutting Edge Information.

Companies' efforts to balance contribution matching against total contribution caps creates variables in total 401(k) payouts and the value of retirement programs. According to the report, companies that match at least 100% of employee contributions are usually best for the employees because
employees do not always take full advantage of company 401(k) programs. "As a rule, high-percentage matching programs are valued higher since they offer a faster road to 401(k) funding," Bolesh said. "However, lower-percentage
programs combined with higher funding caps may generate greater total payouts."

"Financial Services Recruiting and Hiring," (available
at ) the report from Cutting Edge Information, found that the top 25 financial services companies all offer basic medical coverage, and most offer some form of dental and vision coverage. To gain access to these benefits, employees sign on for different kinds of medical plans. Almost all firms offer an HMO option, and most offer PPO (preferred provider option) and POS (point of sale) plans. According to Money Magazine, 40% of "Best Businesses" offer all three healthcare options as an effective way to retain employees.

To download a summary of the 114-page report, "Financial Services Recruiting and Hiring" visit For more information on this report or to learn about other research being conducted by Cutting Edge Information, contact Jan Blanchette at or 919-433-0218.

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