Nearly half (48 per cent) of U.S. workers say inflation is making it difficult for them to pay for their employee benefits, according to a survey by the Hartford Financial Services Group Inc.
The survey, which polled 900 employees, found although more than a third (39 per cent) said their overall health has improved thanks to the benefits and services offered by their company, 40 per cent said inflation will force them to scale back on the benefits they choose during open enrolment.
Younger workers were more likely to report they’d cut back on benefits than their older peers, with more than half (51 per cent) of respondents aged 18 to 34 noting they’re likely to scale back on their benefits, compared to those aged 35 to 54 (41 per cent) and those aged 55 and older (25 per cent).
Close to a third (30 per cent) of respondents are rolling over the same benefits choices they made the previous year, while more than a quarter (28 per cent) plan on keeping up to date on benefits throughout the year so they’re prepared to make decisions at enrolment time. Another 22 per cent of respondents are analyzing their coverage and crunching the numbers for all of their benefits choices, while 12 per cent will consult with someone else before making their benefits selections and eight per cent said the tend to ignore all of the open enrolment emails and would prefer not to think about their benefits.
“With our current economic environment, it is an ideal time for workers to take stock of what benefits they currently have rather than automatically rolling over the same benefits they chose in previous years,” said Dana MacKinnon, head of relationship management strategy and enrolment for group benefits at the Hartford, in a press release. “I encourage workers to take extra time this year to reflect on what changes have occurred in their life and select the benefits that best fit their individual needs and budget to help protect their finances in the long run.”