Employees participating in a recent survey believe that their employer should stay active in benefits. They do not view a pool of money and access to an online benefits menu as an attractive alternative. The largest number (42 percent) said they feel their employer should take a more active role. About one-third (31 percent) said they may be interested, depending on the amount of money provided, and another 14 percent said it depended upon the options available. (The question was worded such that employees could understand the concepts of defined contribution and a private exchange.)
Employees were also asked if they would prefer working for an employer that chooses to pay more to employees rather than offer benefits. Half of the employees surveyed said they are not interested in this but prefer to get benefits at work. These same employees said they simply do not want to deal with benefits on their own.
The answers to both of these questions varied only slightly by age. Those under age 40 were slightly more interested in the defined contribution/private exchange model than those above age 40, but still only about 14 percent of employees said they were interested. The responses to the question about working for an employer that pays more but does not offer benefits was also only slightly different by age with the under 40 group still being the most interested.
Eastbridge Consulting Group, Inc. is a marketing advisory firm serving insurance and financial services organizations in the United States and Canada.