Employee-Benefit Cost Pressures Plague CFOs, Survey Finds

Perhaps in response, 33% said their companies were cutting average per-employee health-care costs and 26% said their employers would reduce their matches of their employees' 401(k) contributions.

Of all the pricing pressures that senior finance executives are most worried about, employee benefits tops the list by far, according to the results of a Grant Thornton survey released Monday. Fully 77% of the 846 U.S. CFOs and senior comptrollers participating pointed to benefits-cost pressures, including those involving health care and pensions.

That’s a much higher percentage of concern than that bestowed on insurance (31%) or energy and raw materials (both 30%). Perhaps aligning with their concern about benefits pressures, 33% said their companies were cutting average per-employee health-care costs and 26% said their employers would reduce their matches of their employees’ 401(k) contributions.

In terms of compensation, 55% of the finance executives participating in the accounting firm’s survey said their companies were slashing bonuses, 42% were cutting salary raises, and 34% were decreasing stock options and other kinds of equity-based compensation.

At the same time, 31% of the participants reported that they’re less worried about their organizations’ ability to continue as a going concern compared with this time last year, while 24% were more worried and 45% had about the same level of anxiety.

Grant Thornton LLP conducted the survey from September 21 through October 2.

 

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