On Thursday morning, June 30th, the manufacturing team from Barnes Dennig teamed up with representatives from Graydon Head Legal Counsel and Wells Fargo Insurance to present the 2013 Manufacturing Compensation and Benefits Study. The eighth edition study was presented to a variety of clients in the manufacturing industry and highlights the survey results from a record 63 companies of various sizes and markets.

Chip Dennig began the presentation by discussing the state of the economy in the manufacturing industry. Almost 50% of the companies reported an increase in employment, supporting what seems to be an optimistic future in a marketplace with some uncertainty. In general, compensation levels were also up across executive and management positions.  The primary issues facing participating companies were recruiting and retaining talent as well as controlling health care and other costs.

Carter G. Kemper of Wells Fargo and Bob Saelinger from Graydon Head primarily focused on the implications of Obamacare in the months ahead. Each state will be announcing their exchange availability by October 1, 2013. This date is approaching quickly and many are unprepared. Kemper talked about the affects this will have on the private sector and the impact it will have on the way business is conducted overall. There will need to be significant interaction between employers and employees throughout this process with considerable emphasis placed on wellness programs.  The use of wellness programs is on the rise, signaling the important role each employee plays in his or her own health and recognizing the long term benefits and cost reduction with respect to healthy employees.  This interaction between the employees and employers will help facilitate the decision to “pay or play.”

Saelinger discussed the benefits of company-sponsored benefit plans versus the public exchange. With a variety of pros and cons represented on both ends of the spectrum, it was concluded that lack of attention to detail and insufficient compliance will result in fines. All 30+ hour employees are considered full-time and eligible for the benefits. Employers may be subject to penalties based on the number of full-time employees and part-time employee equivalents.

The presentation was followed by a panel that addressed many of the questions plaguing those in attendance, especially surrounding health care and the use of wellness programs.  To serve as a point of motivation and to highlight the impending compliance deadline, Tonya Arrasmith, HR Director at Atkins & Pearce, Inc., stated, “Today is a great day to start planning if you haven’t already.”

To obtain a copy of the survey, please contact Ian McManis at: imcmanis@barnesdennig.com