Benefits Matter, But Many Aren’t Satisfied

A new survey validates the impact of benefits on attracting and retaining workers — but many current workers aren’t all that satisfied with the package.

Three-quarters of workers state that the benefits package an employer offers prospective workers is extremely (36%) or very (41%) important in their decision to accept or reject a job, compared with 32% and 44%, respectively, in last year’s survey. Little wonder then, that job satisfaction and worker morale are strongly correlated with benefits satisfaction.

The 2015 EBRI/Greenwald & Associates Health and Voluntary Workplace Benefits Survey (WBS) found that more than one-half (54%) of those who are extremely satisfied with their benefits are also extremely satisfied with their current job, compared with just one in five of those who are very satisfied. Moreover, just 1 in 10 of those who are at most somewhat satisfied with their benefits say they are extremely satisfied with their job.

Nevertheless, 30% are only somewhat satisfied with the benefits offered by their current employer, and 20% are not satisfied.

While employment-based health insurance topped the list of important benefits, with 64% saying it was extremely important, and another 24% very important, a retirement savings plan was cited as “very important” by 40%, and “very important” by another 35%.

Workers identify lower cost (compared with purchasing benefits on their own) and choice as strong advantages of voluntary employment-based benefits, though they are split with respect to their comfort in having their employer choose their benefits providers, and think the possibility that they may have to pay the full cost of any voluntary benefits is a disadvantage.

Not all workers offered a benefit at the workplace take advantage of it; approximately 8 in 10 who are offered health insurance (85%), a retirement savings plan (82%), and dental insurance (80%) each report they currently take advantage of these benefits through their employer. Between two-thirds and three-quarters each of those offered vision insurance (75%), life insurance (73%), and a traditional pension or defined benefit plan (69%) indicate they take advantage of this coverage through the workplace.

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