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Employee Benefits News

Latest News
24 Apr 2018

Employees with flexible benefits more likely to be happy with their benefits

Just two-fifths (40%) of UK workers are satisfied with the benefits package offered by their employer and feel it meets their needs, according to research by Willis Towers Watson.

In contrast, almost two thirds (61%) of employers believe employees are happy with their benefits package.

As well as identifying this disconnect between employee and employer attitudes to benefits, the Benefit Preferences report found a clear correlation between benefit choice and appreciation. Almost three-quarters (72%) of employees who are able to tailor their provision via flexible benefit schemes said their package met their needs, compared with just 23% among those offered no benefits choice.

“These findings reinforce the importance of employers actively engaging with their staff to identify the benefits they most value, aligned to their workforce demographics,” commented Mark Ramsook, director of sales and marketing at Willis Towers Watson Health and Benefits.

Employers should ensure their benefits programmes are effectively communicated and leveraged to maximise engagement and address employee requirements, Ramsook explained.

“This is particularly important for traditional core benefits, such as pensions and health insurance, which continue to be valued highly, according to the study, and which will invariably attract the highest levels of spend.”

In the survey of 2,824 employees at medium and large private sector companies, two-thirds (66%) said they would sacrifice salary for more generous pension benefits. And there was a notable rise in the popularity of health insurance, with 39% wanting to see improved provision in lieu of salary — a 16 percentage point increase from 2015.

The research also highlighted how different employee populations want different things from their benefits, with baby boomers more likely to cite retirement planning as their preferred benefit while younger workers are more likely to choose annual unpaid leave.

“Providing flexibility in benefits not only creates better appreciation from employees overall but also helps companies to engage all segments of the workforce, avoiding situations where certain employee groups do not feel their benefits are relevant or engaging,” Ramsook added.

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