NU Online News Service, Jan. 20, 11:44 a.m. – Benefits executives are lukewarm about the idea of creating a federal income tax credit to help retirement plan members buy investment advice, according to results of a survey by the American Benefits Council, Washington.

The council found that only 22% of the 337 benefits executives who participated said the Bush administration should make seeking such a tax credit a very high priority.

But 42% of the participants said the administration should make seeking a planning tax credit a somewhat high priority.

The survey also found that participants were pessimistic about the near-term future of the U.S. health finance system. Eighty-six percent were “very concerned” about the possibility that continued increases in health coverage costs might affect the ability of employers to provide employee health coverage, and 62% said the Bush administration should make increasing the number of Americans with health insurance a very high priority.

But 59% of the executives believe the annual health care cost inflation rate will still be 10% or higher five years from now.