Top 5 benefit trends to watch in 2018

Published
  • November 27 2017, 9:52pm EST
The new year is right around the corner and knowing what employee benefit trends to be on the lookout for could give brokers an edge against their competition, especially when having a stronger communication system with clients is one of those rising trends.

To keep benefit advisers ahead of the market, MetLife recently released its top five expected employee benefit trends for 2018. They range from stronger data security measures to increased knowledge in growing workplace technology.

Overview

The new year is right around the corner and knowing what employee benefit trends to be on the lookout for could give brokers an edge against their competition, especially when having a stronger communication system with clients is one of those rising trends.

To keep benefit advisers ahead of the market, MetLife recently released its top five expected employee benefit trends for 2018. They range from stronger data security measures to increased knowledge in growing workplace technology.

Human/machine balance

In the era of artificial intelligence, robotics and other automation, ensuring employees feel valued will be more important than ever. According to Pew Research, 72% of Americans are worried about a future where robots and computers are capable of performing many human jobs — more than double the 33% of people who are enthusiastic about it.

Smart employers will stay ahead of these concerns and keep their people by meeting their personal needs. Three-quarters of employees say that the ability to choose their benefits keeps them loyal to their employers, according to MetLife’s Employee Benefit Trends Study.

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New formula for engaged employees

When it comes to benefits, medical and voluntary alone are no longer enough. Medical plus voluntary plus financial wellness is the new formula for engaged employees. More than half of employees say that financial planning programs are important for increasing loyalty to their employers, according to MetLife’s EBTS.

Personalization

Employees are turning to their employers for financial resources, like benefits, more than ever before, according to MetLife’s EBTS. A separate LIMRA study showed that the workplace even became the primary source of life insurance in 2016.

As this trend continues, carriers, brokers and employers will focus on deeply understanding their workforces’ needs and improving benefits communications through personalization. Only a third of employees feel their employers’ benefits communications adequately address their lives and personal situations, according to MetLife’s EBTS.

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Greater ecosystem integration

When it comes to delivering an engaging benefits experience for employees, partnerships are what to watch in the year ahead. Employers are relying on brokers for a broader array of advice, according to the EBTS.

Separate MetLife research shows that benefit communication firms are on a growing number of employers’ radar screens. Seamless integration between carriers, brokers, third-parties and employers will be a necessary focus as the benefits ecosystem continues to expand.

Data security focus

As technology advances, data security anxiety will continue to rise. Four in five brokers are concerned about employee data security. Cyber threats are keeping small business owners up at night, with the most recent Small Business Index from MetLife and the U.S. Chamber of Commerce showing nearly two-thirds are concerned about a cyberattack. We’ll see companies of all sizes and their advisers keeping an eye toward data security in the year ahead.