10 Benefits Your Employer Will Cut Next Year

Companies are slashing jobs, benefits, perks--even the holiday party

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Many employers will frantically ax jobs in the coming months in an effort to improve their bottom lines. Other companies will wield a scalpel to whittle out cost savings from employee perks. A whopping 86 percent of companies expect recent financial market changes to affect employee benefits in the next year, according to a recent survey. Here's a look at the where employers are likely to make cuts.

Layoffs. Large employers, including Citigroup and Sun Microsystems, have already begun massive layoffs. Americans lost 240,000 jobs in October. And the current 6.5 percent unemployment rate is the highest since 2004. Analysts predict that many more layoffs are still to come. A mid-October survey of 248 companies by the consulting firm Watson Wyatt found that 26 percent of employers expect to make layoffs in the next 12 months.

Hiring freezes


Higher health costs
Travel restrictions
Training cuts
Canceled parties
Salary freezes
Reduced merit increases
Pension freezes
Cut 401(k) matches