Employee benefits are inequitable — and it’s getting worse

Read my recent article as published in Employee Benefit News. See the link below.

2 responses to “ Employee benefits are inequitable — and it’s getting worse

  1. Patrick J. Pine

    While I agree with your general characterization, there are other factors involved. One is the concepts embodied in ERISA which generally lean to giving all employees the same “treatment” in benefits. For instance, as an administrator if I allow one employee or dependent to get a benefit but do not treat another employee/dependent in the same plan the same treatment I may be violating ERISA. What if I waive the nonessential emergency room visit copay waived for my buddy but not for some other eligible person does not have his/her ER copay waived? What if we decide to cover part of outstanding student loans? Do we only help those with outstanding balances but not the older person who paid off the student loan years ago? And it gets even trickier when we try to consider if I should cover Viagra but not a women’s contraceptive? What about giving high paid execs deferred comp and SERP options – not given to lower paid employees?

    So I understand your argument as to health benefits – but I think there are other situations where one can argue a benefit favors younger employees or there is an equity based on gender or an inequity based on pay.

    Patrick
    Patrick J. Pine
    Administrator
    Robert F. Kennedy Medical Plan
    Juan De La Cruz Pension Plan
    PO Box 47
    Keene CA 93531
    661 823 6905 (O)
    661 972 3662 (M)
    661 822 6286 (F)

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    • You are right but the other benefits are less prevalent n employer groups and the cost for things like health insurance are larger and disproportionate than other benefits. The bottom line is that if employees see little benefit of their benefit program, then it doesn’t help attract and retain talent. We do have a way for employers to provide a more equitable benefits program while complying with ERISA.

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