2014 & 2015 Employee Benefit Trends Study

Are employers taking their eyes off voluntary benefits solutions? (And, why it’s not the time to reduce focus on a proven success strategy.)

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It’s true. Insights from MetLife’s 12th Annual U.S. Employee Benefit Trends Study show that employer focus on voluntary strategies has dipped, ending a three-year rising trend.

Percentage of companies that agree voluntary benefits are a significant part of their company’s benefit strategy.

Click above to see responses by company size


Plus, the likelihood of companies planning to add more voluntary products in the next two years also declined.

Down 12% from 2012

The percentage of companies likely to increase the number of voluntary benefits offered in the next two years has declined from 47% to 35%.

With the emphasis on the shift to voluntary benefits in recent years, the decline is somewhat surprising. However, it’s understandable given that health care challenges are now weighing big on employers’ minds.


Health Care Is Top of Mind For Most Employers

The Affordable Care Act (ACA) and health care costs are understandably challenging issues that may be prioritized over a voluntary strategy.

Percentage of all companies citing these issues as “very challenging.”

Descending chart

3 Compelling Reasons to Keep Voluntary Benefits in the Spotlight

There’s evidence that voluntary benefits strategies are paying off big time for employers when it comes to satisfaction and loyalty.

1An upswing in employee loyalty and satisfaction shows current benefits strategies are working.

Employees are more satisfied with benefits than at any time since the Study began.

Benefits Satisfaction Benefits Satisfaction

Percentage of employees who strongly agree, “I am satisfied with the benefits that I receive through my employer.”


Employee loyalty has increased, although employers may not recognize the shift.

Heart percentages

Employees:
“I feel very loyal to my employer.”

Heart percentages

Employers:
“I believe that our employees are very loyal to our company.”


Job satisfaction has spiked, reinforcing a strong connection with benefits satisfaction.

Benefits Satisfaction Benefits Satisfaction

Percentage of employees who say, “I am satisfied with the job that I have now.”


And, employees who are very satisfied with benefits are now more than twice as likely to be very satisfied with their jobs.

75%

Happy face

Very satisfied with benefits

30%

Unhappy face

Not very satisfied with benefits

Percentage of employees who are very satisfied with benefits and who are very satisfied with their jobs.


Benefits have become an increasingly important factor in employee decisions to work at a company… and stay at a company.

Percentage of employees who “strongly agree” with these statements

Benefits Satisfaction Benefits Satisfaction

“Benefits are an important reason why I came to work for my employer.”

“Benefits are an important reason why I remain with my employer.”

Benefits Satisfaction Benefits Satisfaction

“Benefits are an important reason why I came to work for my employer.”

Benefits Satisfaction Benefits Satisfaction

“Benefits are an important reason why I remain with my employer.”

2012

2013

2Employees want benefits that meet their personal needs. Voluntary benefits deliver more satisfaction for less cost.

Employees continue to look to their employers for a wider range of benefits.

”I am interested in having my employer provide a wider array of voluntary benefits that I can choose to purchase.“

2012

2013


”I am willing to bear more of the cost of my benefits in order to have the choice of benefits that meet my needs.“

2012

2013


Customized benefits can drive greater loyalty.

2012 bar graph 2012 bar graph

”Having benefits customized to meet my needs would increase my loyalty to my employer.“

2012 bar graph 2012 bar graph
2013 bar graph 2013 bar graph

”Having benefits customized to meet my needs would increase my loyalty to my employer.“

Employees that strongly agree

Employees that agree

3Employees are counting on workplace benefits more than ever. Voluntary solutions help meet their needs.

Employees are still feeling the impacts of the recession. Concerns about health care, job security and meeting their financial obligations increased this year.

Percentage of employees who are very concerned about these issues.

Having enough money to cover out-of-pocket medical expenses.

40% to 48%

Meeting monthly living expensives/financial obligations.

38% to 44%

Job security.

31% to 42%


More than ever, the workplace benefits safety net is crucial.

Percentage of employees who strongly agree, “I am looking to my employer for more help in achieving financial security through employee benefits.”

Click the icon to view a generation’s answer

Generational Average

Gen Y
Gen X
Young boomers
Old boomers

2012

2013


Voluntary benefits help employees cope with rising health care expenses, especially if they have high deductible medical plans.

Percentage of employees saying they would be interested in the following voluntary employee benefits if their employer offered them.

60%

Vision Care Insurance or Vision Discount Program

49%

Accident Insurance

44%

Critical Illness Insurance

44%

Hospital Indemnity Insurance

42%

Cancer Insurance


Aligning Employee Expectations and Employer Budgets

In addition to voluntary benefits, the Study explores other successful strategies for sustaining benefits satisfaction while containing costs. Download the Insights to Go summary to review more findings and insights about the latest employee benefits trends.