Did you know that “save more and spend less” is one of the most popular New Year’s resolutions made each year? As an employer, if you’re offering Consumer-Directed Benefits (CDBs), such as Health Savings Accounts (HSAs), Flexible Spending Accounts (FSAs) and Commuter benefits, you’re doing your part to help employees meet their 2017 financial resolutions.
As we look ahead, it’s important to think about the demographics of your employee base and regularly evaluate your benefits portfolio to provide the best savings opportunities for employees’ current and future expenses. Here are three key trends in CDBs that we anticipate for 2017:
1) Health accounts and 401(k)s will go hand-in-hand. According to the Plan Sponsor Council of America, nearly 90% of employees are eligible to participate in their company’s 401(k) plan—and of those, 87.6% take part. The message? If you offer a 401(k), employees will enroll. However, it’s important to remember that this adoption didn’t happen overnight—it’s been 30 years in the making. We’ve seen a similar adoption curve with HSAs and Healthcare FSAs, with employees recognizing the importance of using pre-tax dollars for inevitable, out-of-pocket healthcare costs. We believe that the vast majority of Americans will soon have a 401(k) and at least one health account, taking advantage of both savings tools to build and protect a retirement income.
2) Taking uberPOOL will be Uber-cool. Commuters can now pay for uberPOOl rides using pre-tax funds from their WageWorks Commuter accounts. The program was so well received in New York City that it has since been expanded to cover: Boston, Washington D.C., San Francisco, Philadelphia, Las Vegas, Atlanta, Miami and the state of New Jersey. Let’s get people in fewer cars and make employees’ commutes more convenient and affordable. Remember—employees can enroll in Commuter benefits at any time throughout the year. If you don’t yet have a Commuter program in place, we’d be happy to get you started.
3) A Dependent Care FSA baby boom. Millennials (who already comprise one-third of the U.S. workforce) are getting older. According to BenefitsPro, almost 50 percent of this group have already started a family and most plan to do so within the next five years. That’s right—a millennial baby boom is coming. With new expenses eating into millennials’ paychecks, we anticipate a boost in Dependent Care FSA enrollment and a shift in the benefits that matter most to this demographic. And, baby boomers will benefit too! A MetLife study reported that nearly 10 million Americans over the age of 50 are caring for elderly parents. A Dependent Care FSA can help retain employees of all ages, whether millennials with young kids or those with parents needing elder daycare.
Here’s to a great 2017! We’re ready to help you choose the best CDBs, so your employees stay healthy, take care of their dependents, save more and spend less—this year and in years to come.