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How the Health Care Industry Views Pension Problems

Given the outsized impact of the pandemic on the healthcare industry, it’s no surprise that employee benefits have taken center stage to help address organizational challenges.

In fact, Voya Financial’s biennial survey of pension management in the healthcare industry conducted in conjunction with the American Society for Healthcare Human Resources Administration reveals that many organizations are looking to optimize their pension plans and employer-sponsored benefits.

Amid the big quit, healthcare organizations believe it is now “much more” or “a little more” important to attract and retain medical staff (83%) and support staff (82 %) High quality. As a result, the value placed on employee benefits, including an employer-sponsored pension plan, has become the key to success in retaining and attracting high-quality employees, the study notes.

According to the results, 90% of healthcare organization decision makers agree that benefits programs overall help attract and retain high-quality employees, with 88% agreeing that their organization’s defined contribution plan specifically helps attract and retain high quality employees. As a result, since January 2021, about 4 in 10 healthcare organizations (39%) have started to offer or have already enhanced their match to their employees’ pension plan contributions.

Healthcare organizations also say helping employees make informed investment decisions is the biggest challenge in managing their retirement plan.

According to the findings:

  • 94% believe it is important to provide support/guidance to underserved employee populations to improve their retirement readiness; and
  • 80% say adding or changing plan features such as improving or implementing automatic features is a top priority.

But more organizations focused on implementing a balanced approach to their overall health and wealth benefits offerings, including making working hours more flexible (54%), increasing wages at a higher rate (52%) and expanding traditional and non-traditional benefits (45%).

Additionally, an overwhelming majority (93%) of health care retirement plan decision makers agree that more can be done to help employees optimize their health and wealth benefits like retirement savings, HSAs, health insurance and emergency savings. Additionally, a significant number (86%) also agreed that employees want more support and information to ease the transition to retirement, including understanding social security benefits and healthcare costs.

“Many organizations, but particularly those in the healthcare sector, have encountered great organizational challenges given the impacts of the pandemic,” said Brodie Wood, vice president and national practice leader for healthcare market. of Voya’s health. “As a result, these organizations now face even more unique challenges when it comes to attracting and retaining talent. In turn, they had to find new opportunities to address their benefits offerings so they could support their employees. »

Financial well-being

Voya’s survey results also revealed that healthcare organizations continue to measure the success of their retirement plan based on three key criteria:

  • improve overall financial well-being;
  • rate of participation ; and
  • preparation for retirement.

While most organizations are confident that their retirement plan will help employees achieve their retirement goals and save enough to maintain their retirement lifestyle, improving overall well-being is now a ticket to success. .

“An employer’s ability to provide wellness programs outside of retirement is increasingly important to employees, especially as more employees today seek out these unique employee benefits. help meet all of their savings needs,” added Wood. “We also found that nearly half (42%) of organizations that currently offer financial wellness programs prefer to offer similar programs or capabilities outside of retirement, but the challenges organizations face to Getting employees to engage with these programs and offers remains to be a barrier for many.

Employers need help

Other findings show that pension advisors and consultants continue to play an important role for many healthcare organizations, with more than half (56%) saying the level of service they receive has increased over the recent years.

“The past two years, more than ever before, have required pension plan advisors to play a wide variety of roles, and some of the key services noted included plan design recommendations and support with fiduciary responsibilities,” observes Wood. “As the industry continues to evolve with changing legislation and ongoing trends, these people will continue to be critical to the success of organizations when it comes to helping them deliver valuable benefits to all. the individuals.”

Administered by Greenwald Research, the study had two phases, including an online survey conducted from February 4, 2022 to March 8, 2022 among 214 pension plan decision makers from healthcare organizations that offer a DC plan, as well as follow-up interviews with a select group of these decision-makers conducted in March 2022.