I’ve recently seen a number of statistics from insurance carriers’ annual studies on employee benefits.

Following the Eastbridge Consulting Group report earlier this year that showed a decrease in voluntary benefits sales during 2010, it has been refreshing to see that, according to the surveys, employees’ interest in these programs remains strong.

 However, as I dug deeper into the results, I couldn’t help but notice a marked difference in employers’ and employees’ perceptions of voluntary benefits.

 To illustrate, consider these statistics:

 

Study

Employee Perspective

Employer Perspective

MetLife 9th Annual Study of Employee Benefit Trends

52% are interested in a wider array of voluntary benefits that they can choose and pay for on their own

Only 17% indicate that voluntary benefits are a very significant part of the company’s benefits strategy

Prudential Fifth Annual Study of Employee Benefits: Today & Beyond

66% say offering voluntary benefits increases the overall value of their benefits

Only 21% consider increasing participation in voluntary and/or optional plans a top benefits objective

The statistics above illustrate that employees appreciate and want their employer to offer voluntary benefits programs while employers seem to view voluntary plans as “ancillary offerings” that do not garner as much significance as their other benefits.

One possible explanation for the discrepancy is employers viewing voluntary benefits as just another administrative burden.  However, if they work with a third-party provider that manages voluntary benefits administration, they can offer a menu of options without the headaches!

Mantz is Vice President of Sales at The Farmington Company, a national provider of benefits communication and voluntary benefits services. He can be contacted at dmantz@farmingtonco.com or 1-800-621-0067, extension 6703.

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