Data and Research

Employees Want a Full Suite of Benefits

This is prompting employers to ask their benefits brokers for new and innovative solutions.

By Lee Barney editors@plansponsor.com | July 06, 2017

Sixty-five percent of employers are asking their broker or consultant to recommend new and innovative benefits solutions, MetLife found in its 15th annual employee benefit trends study, “Work Redefined: A New Age of Benefits.” Because employees are changing jobs more often, employers are hoping that enhanced benefits will keep staff in their employ longer.

The survey found that forty-nine percent of employees are anxious about their financial well-being, and 40% would like their employer to provide financial security. Twenty-three percent say they are less productive at work because of financial worries. Fifty-eight percent of employees want customized benefit options, and 43% expect to delay their retirement due to their financial situation.

Sixty percent of employees worry about money. Only 27% are happy with their progress in paying down student debt, and only 32% think they are doing a good enough job of saving for their children’s education.

Forty-nine percent of employees want programs that reward healthy behavior, but only 8% of employers offer such a program. Sixty-two percent of employees want portable benefits. Sixty percent of employees want parental leave to include both partners.

Fifty-nine percent of employees say that if health and wellbeing benefits were offered to them, they would be more loyal to their employer, and another 53% say that of financial planning programs. Seventy-four percent say that of flexible work hours, 72% of customized benefits and 66% of the ability to work from home.

NEXT: The Employer’s Perspective

Employers tend to agree with employees’ belief that they have a responsibility to help them with their financial lives; 73% believe they have a responsibility for their employees’ health and well-being of their employees. Sixty-four percent of employers believe that their benefits can help employees make better financial decisions, and 80% think benefits can increase employee satisfaction.

Eighty-eight percent think financial wellness benefits can boost employee productivity, and 75% think they will result in employees working longer hours. Seventy-eight percent think that benefits overall can increase employee loyalty, and 73% think they can attract employees.

The top five benefits employers think they must offer are health insurance (88%), prescription drug coverage and a 401(k) or other retirement plan (both tied at 72%), auto insurance (68%), dental insurance (68%) and home insurance (62%).

“It is important for employers to ensure that they offer the benefits that employees need, even if the company doesn’t pay for them,” MetLife says. “Offering a benefits experience that provides a range of support shows employees that their goals—in and out of work—are understood. Getting to know the needs of employees can help employers decide on the right mix of benefits options.”

MetLife also says employers should make enrolling in benefits easier for their employees.

Metlife’s report was conducted by ORC International last October and November among 2,504 company benefits executives and 2,652 employees. The full report can be downloaded here.

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