Benefits news you may have missed: May 25-29

From 2021’s new HSA limits to Edward Jones’ coronavirus strategy, here are some of this week’s top stories.
By: | May 29, 2020 • 2 min read
Paper with words health savings account (HSA) on a table.

IRS increases 2021 HSA limits: Employees will be able to sock away some extra money into their health savings accounts next year. The annual limit on deductible contributions to an HSA will jump by $50 for individuals and $100 for families next year, the IRS announced. Read more here.

Edward Jones’ coronavirus strategy: Keeping employees (virtually) connected: Constant communication, virtual meetings and coffee chats are among the financial services firm’s strategy for keeping workers engaged, CHRO says. Read more here.

27 million have lost employer-sponsored health coverage: Nearly 27 million people are estimated to have lost employer-sponsored health coverage because of the massive layoffs stemming from the coronavirus pandemic. The staggering figure comes from a new analysis from the Kaiser Family Foundation and shows the vast toll the pandemic is having on health insurance and other benefits offered by employers. Read more here.

Retailers turn to bonuses, benefits to aid workers during pandemic: The majority of retailers are turning to bonuses, more pay and enhanced benefits to keep employees working during the coronavirus, according to new data. A new survey of more than 50 major U.S. retailers by consulting firm Korn Ferry finds that 43% of essential retailer respondents to its May 6 survey say they have increased hourly pay, while 17% say they are offering a bonus to be paid into the future, and 22% say they are offering both increased hourly pay and a bonus. Read more here.

Coronavirus resource spotlight: Employer mental health guide: A look at a new guide from the Business Group on Health that helps HR leaders develop and implement mental health programs for their employees. Read more here.

HRE soundbite: ‘Touch benefits as a last resort’: HSA Bank’s Kevin Robertson suggests that employers should avoid making any big coronavirus-related benefits changes for as long as possible. Read more here.

Employers worry about maintaining morale: When asked by payroll administrator TriNet about their single biggest challenge to managing their workforce during the pandemic, the No. 1 response of small and medium-sized businesses was maintaining morale, cited by nearly a quarter of respondents. A strong company culture with positive morale is always essential—but it’s especially important in light of the coronavirus pandemic. Read more here.

Kathryn Mayer is HRE’s benefits editor and chair of the Health & Benefits Leadership Conference. She has covered benefits for the better part of a decade, and her stories have won multiple awards, including a Jesse H. Neal Award and honors from the American Society of Business Publication Editors and the National Federation of Press Women. She holds bachelor’s and master’s degrees from the University of Denver. She can be reached at kmayer@lrp.com.