Experts predict 2020’s most in-demand benefits

Experts predict 2020’s most in-demand benefits

With 2020 fast approaching, benefits professionals are taking stock of breakthrough trends of this year, even as they think about what employers will most want to offer their employees in the next.

“Looking back on 2019 it was definitely a year of innovation in benefits,” says Kate Torgersen, founder of Milk Stork, a breast milk shipping company. “It’s things I’ve never even thought of that’s being offered as a benefit.”

Innovations like helping employees make a dent in their student loan debtimprove their mental wellness and help with their family care needs, — to name a few. Companies are using their own tech, or are partnering with outside entities, to deliver these new in-demand benefit programs to their employees.

Employee Benefits News asked several experts to predict the hottest benefits for 2020. Scroll through to see their answers!

“Employers in 2020 are all really going to try and launch something around the caregiving topic, whether it’s a solution like Wellthy or just a caregiver leave policy. We’re seeing employers who are involved in setting up caregiver employee resource groups. So I just think the caregiving support umbrella with all sorts of solutions is going to be a hot topic for employers next year,” Lindsay Jurist-Rosner, CEO, Wellthy.

“It’s more of a wish than a prediction. I really do wish that coming into the 2020 election there will be a conversation around paid leave in this country — federal paid leave. It merits a conversation on both sides and it would benefit so many Americans,” Kate Torgersen, CEO, Milk Stork.

“Student loan repayment is going to be the hottest employee benefit of 2020. Studies show that [such] assistance is one of the most desired employee benefits and is essential to attracting top talent. Earlier this year, the Society for Human Resource Management announced that the number of employers offering student loan benefits had doubled over the last year and is projected to grow to 32% of all U.S. employers by 2021. We’re witnessing the hottest job market in a generation and the lowest unemployment rate in history. One key to improving employee retention is to provide meaningful benefits, not just fun perks. Student loan repayment is highly customizable, making it one of the most cost-effective employee benefits employers can offer,” Greg Poulin, CEO, Goodly.

“Our small to mid-sized employers continue to rank health and retirement as top priorities year after year — whether it be traditional group health plans, more flexible health reimbursement arrangements or the hot topic of an open multiple employer plan 401(k). So, in 2020, I predict health benefits and 401(k)s will remain at the top. However, with student loan debt estimated to be $1.6 trillion, I expect the trend of companies reimbursing employees for their student loans, even in a taxable way, to gain momentum in 2020 and the coming years,” Victoria Hodgkins, CEO, PeopleKeep.

“With health care costs increasing yearly, health coverage still receives the most demand. People are strongly considering high-deductible plans in order to lower monthly premiums, while still ensuring coverage for any catastrophic life events. The downside to a high-deductible health plan is the difficulty with meeting your deductible if you are a fairly healthy person throughout the year. I’ve noticed a trend where people have become more savvy by opting in for an HSA benefit to receive a tax deduction, then using these funds to pay for qualified medical expenses until reaching their high-deductible plan threshold,” Dustin Ray, CEO, Incfile