Since 2010, the United States job market has tightened up and competition for the best employees has intensified. As a result, employers are looking more favorably toward voluntary benefits to attract and retain talent.
In a new LIMRA report, Stability in a Changing World, we learn that 71 percent employers believe that voluntary benefits improve worker morale and satisfaction – a 13 percentage point increase from 2010, the last time LIMRA surveyed employers.
The study also revealed that the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act has had little-to-no impact on the majority (60 percent) of employers’ appetite for offering voluntary benefits. As for who should bear the costs of benefits, most employers remain committed to partially funding a comprehensive portfolio. However, the majority believe that employees should assume greater responsibility for their benefits.
Does the voluntary benefits industry deliver on its promises? The majority of employers believe that advisors and carriers generally do. Improving engagement, the report finds, may help win over the skeptics. Employer loyalty to carriers is more common than it used to be: 14 percent of companies have switched carriers in the past two years, compared with 17 percent in 2010. Price continues to playthe biggest role in takeover activity.
Employers remain confused by the federal changes to health care and its effect on their benefits. The study found that just 10 percent of employers offer an insurance benefit through an exchange, and most are not likely to do so within the next two years.
Carriers and advisors can provide value to their clients by offering help navigating the new health care requirements and providing guidance and best practices on how to leverage new health care exchanges.
1,321 employee benefits’ decision makers in private companies with 10 or more employees were surveyed in May and June 2014. Respondents were contacted by Research Now using a nationwide panel of companies with 10 or more employees.