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.