In the March 20th issue of Employee Benefit Adviser, reporter Brian M. Kalish reports that according to the results from the 10th Annual MetLife Annual Study of Employee Benefits Trends, tough times have employees placing greater reliance on benefits for financial security, as employers affirm their commitment to sponsoring those benefits albeit with increased cost sharing.
Since 2002, employers’ top benefits objectives – controlling costs, attracting and retaining employees and increased productivity – have remained fairly constant.  For advisers, the trends seem to point toward stable expenditures for core benefits, but greater funding from employees, including voluntary benefit purchases.

Kalish went on to report that as employees rely more on benefits, they are willing to bear most of the cost of them.  Of surveyed Gen X and Gen Y employees, 62 percent said they are willing to bear more of the cost of their benefits rather than lose them.

And, that may happen.  The study revealed that while a third of employees believe their employer is likely to soon cut benefits, 70 percent of surveyed employers said they intend to maintain their current level of employee benefits.  However, 30 percent will do this by shifting costs to employees.

Among employees, 57 percent of Gen X and Gen Y are interested in a wider variety of voluntary benefits offered by their employer, as compared to 43 percent of Baby Boomers.  The study also found that employers recognize this interest as 62 percent of employers agree that in the next five years, employee-paid benefits will become a more important strategy than they are today.

For brokers, there is an opportunity to promote the Purchasing Power Value Proposition to those employers who are actively seeking creative solutions that help their companies remain competitive and maximize the value of the benefits they offer their employees.  The Purchasing Power employee purchase program can be a valuable addition to the overall benefits package designed to help employees successfully managing their work-life balance while assisting them achieve their personal goals in securing life-enhancing products.

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