Businesses continue to report that controlling the health care benefit costs is the most important benefit priority, but most employees cite retirement security as their top benefit concern. The disconnect is revealed in a survey of more than 400 benefit specialists by the International Society of Certified Employee Benefit Specialists (ISCEBS) and Deloitte & Touche, in which 86% of employers cite controlling health-care costs as the top benefit priority. Other priorities include expanding self-service technology, implementing Web-based systems and providing financial-planning tools and information. Employees, by contrast, are most concerned about retirement and investment issues. Evaluating current investment options was cited by 64% of respondents, followed by evaluating current levels of retirement savings (61%), identifying additional ways to save (44%), learning more about controlling health risks (40%), and using Internet tools to manage finances (36%). "Many employees have experienced dramatic decreases in their invested retirement savings and are searching for ways to protect and maximize their nest eggs," observed Mary Komornicka, CEBS, senior vice president at Marshall & Ilsley Trust Co. and president of ISCEBS. "Indeed, many employees have been forced to reconsider when they will retire."

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