In Tighter Job Market, Employers Hope to Sweeten the Pot
WINDSOR, Conn., Jan. 7, 2015 — A new LIMRA report finds employers strongly support voluntary benefits to supplement their benefits’ menus.
“As the economy has improved, employers see many advantages to sponsoring employee-funded benefits,” said Ron Neyer, assistant research director, LIMRA Distribution Research. “Beyond incurring no direct added costs, many employers recognize that voluntary benefits improve worker morale and job satisfaction.”
The report, Stability in a Changing World: Voluntary Options Remain Deep-Rooted in Employer Benefit Strategies, finds employers see more value in voluntary benefits today compared to in 2010, when the job market was far slacker.
“Increased job openings and a more competitive landscape have quickly reminded employers that voluntary benefits can help keep their current staff happy and also assist with bringing more good people on board,” said Neyer.
Meanwhile, as companies navigate health care reform, many decision makers are proceeding with caution.
“Carriers, and especially advisors, are in a great position to help company decision makers navigate the maze more easily,” said Neyer. “Employers are struggling with best practices, and the industry is well suited to assist them through the uncertainty.”
And despite the onset of insurance exchanges, only one in 10 employers currently offers an insurance benefit via them. This percentage is doubled at larger companies.
Employers remain very committed to sponsoring employee benefits. Although some companies would prefer moving to an entirely-voluntary benefits arrangement with their workers, nearly 90 percent favor providing comprehensive options. And almost half of all companies expect the number of their benefits-eligible employees to increase over the next three to five years, especially at organizations with 100 or more workers.
“I don’t see employer-sponsored benefits going away anytime soon,” said Neyer.
LIMRA surveyed 1,321 employee benefits decision makers in private companies with 10 or more employees in May and June 2014.
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