Workers Want Better Benefits Communication

 

American workers believe that understanding their benefits is very important, and there is a lot their employers could do to improve benefits communication, according to Colonial Life & Accident Insurance Company. The study found that 98 percent of individuals whose employers offer benefits said that it is at least somewhat important to understand the benefits provided to them by their employer, and 73 percent said that it is very important.

However, the survey found that employer benefits communication often is ineffective. Only 60 percent of employees said that their employer’s benefits communication is fairly or very effective, and 9 percent said it is not at all effective. In addition, only 32 percent of individuals whose employers offer benefits said that they are very comfortable making decisions about the benefits available to them at work. Employees with total household income of less than $35,000 report struggling more, with only 25 percent saying they are very comfortable with benefits decisionmaking. They also are much more likely than workers with household income of $50,000 or more to say they are not at all comfortable: 12 percent compared to 3 percent.

Colonial Life found that employers can take several steps to help workers better understand their benefits. The top choice among options offered in the survey is providing benefits information employees can access at home or at work, with 38 percent of employees saying this change would be helpful to them. Equally desired at 37 percent is providing benefits information that is easier to understand. And 34 percent would like their employers to provide an opportunity for them to talk with a benefits expert on company time. Other benefits communication changes employees said would help is receiving benefits information more frequently (31 percent) and receiving benefits information that’s more personalized to their needs (30 percent).

The survey contains responses from 2,111 U.S. individuals age 18 and older employed full- or part-time. For more information, visit http://www.coloniallife.com.

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