A barometer measures atmospheric pressure. In the world of employee benefits, the pressures are ever-changing and ever-increasing. Whether dealing with health care reform compliance, meeting fiduciary obligations in your 401(k) plan or launching a wellness initiative, the pressures and demands of your job just keep growing. One pressure that never eases - for benefits pros and CFOs alike - is the demand for data. With that in mind, this year's Benefits Barometer offers you more than a dozen charts designed to help you benchmark your benefits costs, health plans, retirement plans and overall benefits management. Special thanks to the agencies, consulting firms and advocacy groups that contributed to this year's Benefits Barometer:

* Kaiser Family Foundation and Health Research & Educational Trust

* Mercer

* Profit Sharing/401k Council of America

* U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

We hope you'll find this year's Barometer valuable as you plan for the year ahead, whatever new pressures it may bring.

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