NU Online News Service, March 29, 12:53 p.m. – U.S. workers seemed to value employer-sponsored health insurance and 401(k) plans about as much in November 2001 as they did two years earlier, according to results of a new survey conducted by Matthew Greenwald & Associates Inc., Washington.

The survey, sponsored by the Employee Benefit Research Institute, Washington, found that the recent recession and the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks had little noticeable effect on attitudes about core benefits.

Sixty percent of the workers participating in 2001 rated health insurance as the most important benefit, down from 64% in 1999. The percentage who identified retirement savings plans, such as 401(k) plans, as the most important benefit increased slightly, to 23%, from 21%.

But only 36% of workers surveyed in 2001 said they would choose a 401(k) plan over higher pay, down from 40% in 1999, EBRI says.