Will the role of retirement benefits (DB and DC) in competitive labor markets change?

by Anna Rappaport, Anna Rappaport Consulting

In my view, pensions and 401(k) plans have not been a major factor in individual decisions about taking jobs, although DB benefits can be a big factor in decisions about when to retire or leave, particularly at older ages. DC benefits have not been much of an influence on the timing of leaving. In contrast, health insurance has been an important factor in labor market decisions for many years in the U.S. Many people do not consider a job without good health insurance, and health insurance can be a significant factor in decisions about changing jobs and when to retire. In 2014, if the Health Insurance Exchanges are implemented as scheduled under the Affordable Care Act (ACA) , people without employer health insurance will have a new set of marketplace options. My view is that health benefits will be much less important at that point. I am interested in learning whether people think that pensions will become much more important in labor market competition and whether they agree with me about health benefits.

I am interested in other ideas about how employers may compete for employees when the ACA is implemented. Please share your ideas below.

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