Welcome to a new installment of “What Robin’s Reading,” our bimonthly feature that highlights what the Robin Weingast team is reading to stay current and up-to-date on the issues that will most impact our clients and their benefits planning.
This month, we’re reading the 2015 Employee Benefits Security Survey, released each year by Mass Mutual. The goal of the survey, which drew responses from over 1,500 full-time employees at companies that provide benefits is “to explore the disconnect between the value employees place on their employer-provided benefits and other aspects of their lives, to understand employees’ perceptions of their benefits, and to determine the level of interest in employee benefits and personal finance guidance tools.”
Here are some takeaways from the survey that caught our attention:
• Personal finance and health are the areas that are most important to the respondents — being able to retire comfortably is important, but not nearly as important as those two areas.
• Respondents know more about their personal finances and employee benefits than anything else, including current events, sports, and office gossip.
• While respondents feel like the understand basic personal finances, like credit card balances and savings accounts, they do not feel they know as much about what it takes to retire comfortably, and how to prioritize their benefits
• Respondents who want to know more about their finances feel that the obstacles they encounter include not having enough time and not having a person they trust to talk to about finances.
• 40% of the respondents stated that they are very distracted at work due to their concerns about their own finances, most notably millennials. (We read this great follow-up piece in Forbes on why that’s so important.)
• A total of 87% of the respondents were at least somewhat satisfied with their employee benefits plan. Not surprisingly, those who knew more about their plans were more satisfied with them and less distracted by their finances.
For a full copy of the report, click here.
For us, this study reinforced a few key things. The first, is that it’s difficult for people to understand what they need to do to retire comfortably. We touched upon this in previous posts about 401 (k) plans and retirement myths.
The second big takeaway for us, is that it’s not enough to have a good benefits plan; you have to have a well-educated team of employees who understand the plan and know how it can help ease their anxiety and keep them focused at work. That’s good for your team, and good for your business.
It’s vital that you have a plan administrator who won’t apply a “cookie cutter” solution to your benefits plan and who will take time to provide your employees with information and resources to help them plan for their futures. If you’d like help making sure your employees have a benefits plan that they understand, appreciate, and that works for your bottom line, contact us today.