Employees view benefits package essential when accepting a job

More than three-quarters of American workers say the benefits package offered is essential to their decision to take or reject a job, according to recent research from the Employee Benefit Research Institute (EBRI) and Greenwald & Associates.

“Workers overwhelmingly consider health insurance to be the most important workplace benefit,” said Paul Fronstin, director of EBRI’s Health Research and Education Program. “We also find that many workers do not rate the benefits package offered by their employer as high.” He noted that the ranking of retirement benefits has declined in recent years, but that may be due to the introduction of additional benefits in the survey, such as paid time off.

The 2015 EBRI/Greenwald & Associates Health and Voluntary Workplace Benefits Survey (WBS) found the following:

• Job satisfaction and worker morale are strongly correlated with benefits satisfaction. For example, more than one-half (54 percent) of those who are extremely satisfied with their benefits are also extremely satisfied with their current job, compared with just 20 percent of those who are very satisfied. Just 10 percent of those who are at most somewhat satisfied with their benefits say they are extremely satisfied with their job.

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

• Eighty-eight percent of workers report that employment-based health insurance is extremely or very important, far more than for any other workplace benefit.

• Workers identify lower cost (compared with purchasing benefits on their own) and choice as strong advantages of voluntary employment-based benefits. However, 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.

SOURCE: EBRI press release, November 17, 2015.

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